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School-Based COVID Testing

Sign Up for FREE School-Based COVID Testing Programs — Starts in October!

Revised September 23, 2021

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Opportunity to Participate in Free In-School COVID-19 Screening Testing

Good news! We will be offering free COVID-19 screening testing for our students and staff. This testing can bring you peace of mind and helps keep our schools safe.

Sign Up Here!

 

Group or Pooled Testing

The voluntary program will offer regularly scheduled “pooled” or “grouped” COVID tests at school to identify infected people who may be symptom-free. Testing is one more layer of protection, along with wearing masks, staying home if there are any symptoms/risk factors, maintaining good ventilation, and more. Everyone is encouraged to participate.

Diagnostic Testing

We will also be partnering with the state to offer voluntary diagnostic rapid testing in cases of symptoms/exposure. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information about diagnostic testing for exposed/symptomatic people. The permission form gives the option of agreeing to one or both of the testing programs.

More Information

  • To learn more, scroll down to read our Frequently Asked Questions.
  • The state has matched us with a vendor to run this programs (NEXT Molecular).  Sign up now so you’ll be ready when the program starts in October!  Registration is ongoing, but those who have signed up by September 30 can start getting tested in October.
  • Thanks to our partners on this project, the Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Department of Health. And thanks to our other partners – our students, families, and staff!

Sign Up Here!

illustration of linguistic charactersTranslation Traducción ترجمة Tafsiri अनुवाद ترجمه

Translators and interpreters are available. Our web site and the sign-up form can be translated with Google. Call or email your school for help. You can also text 434-953-1802.

Si tiene preguntas acerca de las escuelas de Charlottesville, llame a nuestra línea telefónica en español al 434-245-2548. Un profesor de español le devolverá la llamada. 


Frequently Asked Questions

 

How do I sign up?

Complete this form. We hope everyone – vaccinated and unvaccinated people — will sign up for pooled testing, but we will only test those staff and students who complete the consent form. Need a paper copy of the permission form? Contact or visit your school. The form allows you to sign up for the regularly scheduled pooled testing and/or the diagnostic testing in case of symptoms/exposure.

Does the test hurt?

This is a shallow swab, not the deep nasal swab. One state employee noted, “The swab is less invasive than a child picking their nose.” (And this is the only time you will see the phrase “picking their nose” in a Cville Schools publication, we hope.)

How does pooled testing work, generally speaking?

In pooled testing, a group of 5 people will have their noses individually swabbed. The swabs are then combined into one test sample for PCR COVID testing. If the test comes back negative, COVID was not detected for anyone in the group. If the tests come back positive, each of the 5 people will take an individual test to rule out COVID.

Can I learn more about how pooled testing works?

Vendors provided by the Virginia Department of Health will conduct pooled PCR testing. Vendors will provide trained staff to swab the front of the student’s nose. This is a non-invasive shallow swab. The vendor will then combine samples from several students and/or staff members into a “pool” (or group) of 5 people and test the pooled sample. If a pool comes back negative, we can assume that every individual who was part of that pool had a negative result. If the pool comes back positive, we will need to determine which individual(s) in the pool has/have COVID-19. Some vendors are able to analyze the first sample again to identify the infected person, while others will need to return to the school and collect a second sample.

Where will testing take place?

Testing will take place at school. Pooled testing will take place once per week, but depending on the numbers and people’s preferences, not every student/staff member will be tested each week. If your student was selected for testing, you will be notified. We will know more about the frequency of testing once we know how many people want to participate. Anyone who has signed up by September 30 can start getting tested in October, so please sign up! Registration will remain open for those who choose to join later.

When will I receive results?

Each time your student is tested, you will receive notification of the result within 24-48 hours. If your student is part of a positive pool, you will be notified of next steps — generally, another swab  will be collected at school within a day.  This individual result will also typically be available within 24-48 hours of the 2nd swab. If the individual test is positive, your child should go home and follow our protocols for isolation and contact-tracing.

Can my student remain in school if they are part of a positive pool, but have not yet received the result of their individual follow-up test?

  • At this time, If your child is symptom-free and doesn’t have other risk factors such as a recent exposure, then yes, your child can remain in school (but they would not attend  after-school activities such as sports and clubs until results from the follow-up test are received). However, we ask that you monitor for symptoms and take special care with masking and distancing while awaiting the second set of results (which hopefully will be back within 24 hours). As an extension of the school day, the YMCA After School program would allow students to participate in their program while they are awaiting the second set of results.
  • If your child shows any symptoms or has been recently exposed (or has another risk factor), then even if your child is fully vaccinated, we ask your child to go home and wait for the individual results.
  • If a student’s pooled test was positive but the child declines follow-up testing at the school, then the student will go home until a negative test result is shown; if no test is shown, the student will be treated as a positive case. As noted below, we will adjust these practices as needed following local, state, or national medical guidance and best practices.
  • After pooled testing, any individual who develops symptoms should stay home from school, notify the school, and isolate. Arrange to get the follow-up test from a community testing site (don’t come back to the school).

Who will have access to my student’s results?

Negative results will be reported to the tested individual (or family). The school and health department will also receive word of the negative test and the number of individuals in the group. Students in a positive pool will be notified that follow-up testing is required and names will be reported to the school so they can follow up with further screening for symptoms and risk factors. The names of students in a positive pool will not be reported to the BRHD. If a student’s follow-up individual test is positive, the result will be reported to the family, the school, the BRHD, and the Virginia Department of Health.

When will pooled testing start?

We are working out the final details and hope to start by mid-October. Anyone who has signed up by September 30 can start getting tested in October, so please sign up! We encourage everyone to participate. Registration will remain open for those who choose to join later.

How is pooled testing helpful?

Pooled testing is one strategy recommended by the CDC to control the spread of COVID. Testing people in groups allows our community to test more people while saving materials and costs. Pooled testing helps us identify symptom-free people who could potentially spread the virus. For some people, proactive testing is also a relief, a periodic check to know that you or your child doesn’t have COVID. Remember, pooled testing is only one strategy — we will continue to mask, require daily screening for symptoms/risk factors, keep our upgraded ventilation systems in good working order, follow protocols, and more.

How many people are in the pool?

We will have 5 people in a pool or group. (The guidelines are for 5-25 people to be in one pool, and the state recommends keeping the pool sizes on the low end of that range when possible.)

How many people can participate? How often might a student or staff member get tested?

At the participation numbers we have right now, the vendors will be able to test all participants weekly. As our participation numbers go up, we might change the model so that some participants get tested every other week, for example. The goal is to test at least 10-20% of a school per week, and higher if possible. Actual numbers and schedules will depend on the numbers of participating students/staff and the capacity of our vendor. As we learn more about our participation numbers and our vendor’s specific practices, we will let you know.

What about diagnostic testing for people who are exposed or show symptoms?

In addition to screening testing, we are partnering with the state to offer free diagnostic testing for exposed or symptomatic people at school.  Free diagnostic testing would be offered in situations such as those who develop symptoms during the school day, or for vaccinated people who have been exposed (starting 3 days after exposure). We would offer the 15-minute rapid antigen test called BinaxNOW, which also uses a shallow nasal swab. While the BinaxNOW test is fast and useful, it is not as accurate as a PCR test, and symptomatic people testing negative on the rapid test should still follow up with a healthcare provider for guidance.

The COVID testing permission form gives the option of agreeing to one or both of the testing programs. Both programs are funded by a partnership with the Virginia Departments of Health and Education.

Remember, if your student feels ill or has symptoms of COVID-19 prior to the school day, keep your student home and check with a healthcare provider. When a sick child goes to school, this puts others in our school community at risk.

A final word

The information in this guide is subject to change based on emerging best practices, the capacity of our vendor, or guidance from local, state, and national medical experts.

Sign Up Here!

Sigma Lab at CHS

Follow along as City and Schools discuss Walker/Buford Redesign

 

Frequently Asked Questions About this  School Redesign Project

How? Why? When?

  1. First check out the most recent reporting.
  2. Then dig through our Frequently Asked Questions.

Go to FAQ

Upcoming Opportunities to Express Your Support

  • City Council

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Need a Brief Update about Charlottesville City Schools Facilities?

facades of five Charlottesville schools

Facilities: A Brief Update (May 2021)

Charlottesville City Schools and the City of Charlottesville are currently exploring design and funding options for a redesign of Buford Middle School and Walker Upper Elementary School.

Key Ideas

  • Buford would serve grades 6-8
  • Fifth-graders would return to their elementary schools
  • Walker could become a city-wide preschool center.

More Information/Reporting

Smaller Modernization Projects at the Elementary Schools

In addition, there has been a separate process for accomplishing modernization projects (with an annual budget of $1-1.25 million) at the elementary schools.


Illustration of NewsletterSign Up for Our Newsletter!

Stay tuned as this process unfolds. Sign up for our periodic newsletter.

Sign Up Now

 


icon of calendarUpcoming Key Dates

  • City Council

illustration of progressSchool Board and City Council Find Common Ground in Joint Session on Wednesday, September 15

The Charlottesville City School Board and City Council met to review the recommendation from the Community Design Team (based on the 9/14 meeting). There was general support for the phased project, with questions about how to fund it. Estimates for phase 1 (covering the renovation/expansion of Buford Middle School  to house grades 6-8, initial renovations of Walker for preK students, and furniture for fifth-grade students returning to elementary schools) came in at $75 million.


Seventh & Final Community Design Team Meeting picks Option 2 for Walker, Option 3 for Buford (9/14/21)

The CDT identified option 2 at Walker and option 3 at Buford as the preferred schemes to move forward for recommendation to the School Board and City Council. The following criteria were the most important when identifying what should be the selected scheme:

  • Thorough renovation of any buildings to remain
  • Square footage/student
  • Daylight & fresh air to classrooms
  • Easy access to outdoor space
  • Appropriately sized and defined learning communities

Want to see the options or learn more?


illustration of blueprint and architecture toolsSixth Community Design Team Meeting: Reviewing Possible Schemes to Get to YES (8/17/21)

At this meeting, Zoom participants explored new design schemes (for which cost estimates ae being prepared now). The group reviewed the pros/cons of the new schemes with the hope of building consensus toward a recommendation to City Council. Flip through the slides (video to come) to review the slides. Have an opinion? Take the survey! (survey  now closed)


illustration of people discussing moneyFifth Community Design Team Meeting: Report from Working Group about Focusing on Buford (8/3/21)

Between Zoom and the in-person meeting, nearly 60 attended this meeting, hearing a brief update from the Working Group (comprised of City/School staff and elected officials). The Working Group’s sense is that we are trying to spread the available funding too thin by developing both projects at once. Their guidance is to focus the first round of available funding (possibly $60 million) to accomplish the move of 6th grade to the renovated Buford campus and then create a longer term plan to renovate Walker for preK. The meeting also featured presentations about the latest research about middle schools, the value of outdoor play, and Buford students’ perspectives on the Buford garden learning spaces.


Icon of "start video"Fourth Community Design Team Meeting: Higher-Than-Hoped for Construction Estimates (July 20, 2021)

Again, about 50 people were on hand to brace for higher-than-hoped for construction estimates. Pandemic inflation has complicated an already-tight budget. Watch the meeting to explore options.


Icon of "start video"Third Community Design Team Meeting Gathered Site-Specific Feedback (July 6, 2021)

About 50 people cam to the most recent meeting and shared their voice about the “big rocks” they want to prioritize for either preschool or Walker.


Icon of "start video"Second Community Design Team Meeting Shows Possible “Site Fits” (June 15, 2021)

More than 50 people joined in to hear the latest as VMDO showed a number of possible building and construction plans to prepare for getting rough cost estimates.


Icon of "start video"VMDO Architects Holds First Community Design Team Meeting (June 3,  2021)

Nearly 70 people came together to start the process of dreaming and planning! Next meeting: June 15, 6pm!


Logo for VMDO ArchitectsCity Selects VMDO Architects to Develop Design Options for Buford/Walker (April  2021)

In April 2021, the City selected local educational architecture firm VMDO to gather community feedback and present design options for Buford Middle School (which would serve grades 6-8) and Walker School (which would become a preschool center). See “VMDO Architects selected to design city schools reconfiguration project” (Daily Progress, 4/4/21). The Request for Proposals for design options were initially posted in December 2019 and submissions were received by the end of January, but the pandemic raised other priorities.


Logo for City of CharlottesvilleCity Council Meets for Update on Walker/Buford Redesign (November 2020)

In November 2020, the City Council met for an update on the project. For an update, read “City Council considers funding for school reconfiguration project”  (Daily Progress, 11/20/20).


CCS color seal logo for faviconSchool Board Endorses Facilities Plan to Reconfigure Buford and Walker: February 11, 2019

As part of the budget planning process for the 2019-20 year, the Charlottesville School Board held discussions with Charlottesville City Council about school facilities, enrollment growth, and their implications for equity.

The School Board endorsed a school reconfiguration plan that would create a preschool center, return 5th-graders to elementary schools, and modernize Buford Middle School for grades 6-8.  The Charlottesville City Council  approved a $3 million allocation for design and planning work on school reconfiguration. (The funds would be outside the schools’ operating budget, as part of the CIP or Capital Improvement Project process.)

The over-arching ideas are:

  • Move the schools’ 3- and 4-year-old preschool classes to a dedicated preschool center on the current Walker Upper Elementary School campus. This specialized center would allow for additional classrooms, before/after school care, and services that are targeted to meet the needs of our youngest learners.
  • Return fifth-graders to elementary schools, the environment that is most developmentally appropriate for their needs. This will required continued monitoring of the enrollment capacity of our elementary schools.
  • Remodel Buford Middle School to maximize opportunities for grades 6-8. This will eliminate one of the two middle-grade transitions  that we current require as our students presently first move from elementary to Walker in grade 5 and again move from Walker to Buford in grade 7.
  • In addition to this process, the schools have received a five-year commitment of $1 million from City Council to support modernization projects. The first, completed in the summer of 2018, was at Clark Elementary. The second will be completed at Jackson-Via Elementary in the summer of 2019.

To learn more about the process that led to these decisions, scroll down for previous updates. As noted previously, the timeline for planning and modernizing schools would be at least three years.


PREVIOUS UPDATE:  April 25, 2018

This winter, Charlottesville City Schools held a series of discussions relating to our rising student enrollment. We presented a number of options and offered a preliminary survey to solicit additional input. We also briefed community leaders such as City Council and the Planning Commission.

What We Heard

  • We heard strong support for returning to centralized preschool with services that focus on the needs of our eligible three- and four-year-old students (and their families). Aside from allowing us to specialize in early childhood education, a centralized preschool would free up space in our crowded elementary schools.
  • We heard a preference for maintaining our commitment to small neighborhood elementary schools (over a model of enlarging three of our elementary schools). This would likely require the construction of a seventh elementary school on currently owned or future-acquired property.
  • We did NOT hear a consensus about relocating fifth-graders to the elementary schools. However, returning fifth-grade to elementary schools had previously arisen as a strong preference in prior community surveys and meetings. This would require a preschool center and the remodeling of Buford for 6th- through 8th-graders. Elementary capacity would still need to be addressed.
  • We heard an interest in additional options. These options include a 5-8 campus that provides updated facilities and eliminates a school transition during the critical “middle grade” years. Another option is creating a specialty academy to serve students in the elementary or middle-grade years.
  • We heard interest in combining our capacity needs and our modernization needs. If we can identify solutions that both expand capacity and modernize our facilities, there is support for a greater investment that would provide our community with a bigger return.
  • We heard support for our out-of-division student program even as we heard reminders that we should minimize the impact of the program on overcrowding. In other words, we will continue to strive to admit only those students who will fill otherwise unused seats in existing classrooms. Relatedly, we heard support for continuing to offer spaces to the children of employees of the City Schools and the City. And we heard from community members who want to make sure that once we have built a relationship with a nonresident student, we should view that child as a “Charlottesville student,” or “one of our own,” not as an outsider who should be sent away.

Next Steps

  • New data points in August. Updated enrollment figures will help us make informed decisions. This data will help us critically re-evaluate and tweak our interpretation of enrollment trends as projected by our partner, U.Va.’s Weldon Cooper Center.
  • Learning cottages. The “elementary wave” we’ve been seeing continues to max out our elementary schools and is beginning to make an impact at Walker and Buford. We have purchased one additional unit for next year with the option to buy others if needed. We have also completed the most time-consuming part of the planning process: site studies at campuses to identify the best placements.
  • Fleshing out options and responding to opportunities. In response to community feedback (see above), we can continue to explore our options and opportunities. In doing this work, we continue to work with VMDO Architects and the City’s Facilities team.
  • Fall community meetings. We will meet with City Council, community partners, and the community-at-large to be transparent and responsive to the hopes and concerns of all.

Previous Updates to this page (January 2018)

Charlottesville City Schools is growing! Since our enrollment has been increasing about 3 percent annually, we need to consider the future of our school facilities. Together, let’s consider how we can best meet our students’ needs, particularly for our classes serving preschool through grade 8. Our school division’s growth also presents an opportunity to modernize our schools for 21st-century learning.

Graphic showing enrollment growth from 1986-2011 and 2011-2018

Upcoming Meetings:

    • (POSTPONED) Community Conversation: January 31, 2018 – 6 p.m., Charlottesville High School media center

    • School Board discussion/public comment – February 1, 2018, 5:00 p.m., CHS 

      • School Board meetings are live streamed at ustream.com (search for Charlottesville City Schools). Watch regularly scheduled meetings on the first Thursday of every month at 5 p.m.
      • Meetings are also recorded and later televised on Public Access Channel 14 on Thursday & Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday at 12 and 7 p.m. of the same week as the meeting.

Community Meetings Slideshow

Charlottesville City Schools contracted VMDO Architects to study capacity and growth in the division. VMDO’s findings, along with the UVA Weldon Cooper Center’s study on enrollment trends in Charlottesville, were presented at two community meetings in November.

Title slide "Charlottesville City Schools Public Forums on Capacity & Growth." Click on the image to view full slideshow presentation.
Click to view full slideshow presentation.

 

Click here to jump to a topic:

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs on Growth and Capacity Solutions for Charlottesville City Schools

Frequently Asked Questions coming soon. Please help us compile this list by providing your own questions/feedback using the Community Survey.

Next Steps

Meet

The next Community Meetings will be January 23 at 6 p.m. at Mt. Zion First African Baptist Church and January 31 at 6 p.m. at CHS Media Center followed by a series of school PTO meetings and other community outreach meetings where we will provide information and gather feedback from community members. Additionally, there will be discussion and an opportunity for public comment at the regularly scheduled School Board meeting on February 2 at 5:30pm in the Charlottesville High School library.

Stay in Touch

Stay informed and share your thoughts! We will continue to post future
updates on this web page. Look for a more robust community survey coming in January.

Consider

Next decisions:
1) Consensus about moving forward with expansion plans?
2) One new elementary, or three expanded elementaries? Centralized preschool?
3) Other questions as they emerge from community feedback.

 

Additional Resources

Complete the community survey

A very brief  survey is available to capture some initial thoughts. Please look for a more detailed survey coming in January.

Graphic: Every Learner. Every Day. Everyone.

graphic "Return to Learn" first quarter plan 2020-21

2021-22 COVID and Return to Learn Information

Revised September 21, 2021

Topics on this Page:

Logins/How to Login:

Return to Learn/Return to school plan for Charlottesville City Schools

NOTE: This information is for 2021-22. All information is subject to change based on new information from health experts such as the CDC and emerging best practices.

Top Tools for Families

illustration of school supplies with mask and hand sanitizer plus the words "New Safety Routines and In-Person Agreement."
Click image to review new safety routines.
Image of CCS student daily health screening questions. Click for OCR PDF.
Click image to find the PDF of the Daily Health Screening Questions for Students
"What to do in common COVID situations." Click to find OCR pdf.
Click image to go to Google doc “What to do in common COVID situations,” a guide for families and staff.

Enlaces para información en español:
Acuerdo y Normas de seguridad  |  Evaluador de Salud Diaro  |  Qué hacer en situaciones de Covid


2021-22 Information

This page gives basic information related to COVID and everyday topics for in-person instruction (5 days a week).If you have additional questions, please contact your school.

  • IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT SCHOOL BUSES: Bus service is very limited due to a shortage of drivers (Click here to read recent coverage of this issue). Please see detailed information in the “Transportation” section below. The City, which manages the student transportation program, continues to try to expand routes.
  • Looking for information about virtual learning? For those students whose applications were accepted to our  virtual program, information is available at charlottesvilleschools.org/virtual. Contact your teacher with questions.

illustration of linguistic charactersTranslation Traducción ترجمة Tafsiri अनुवाद ترجمه

Translators and interpreters are available. Our web site can be translated with Google. Call or email your school for help. You can also text 434-953-1802.

Si tiene preguntas acerca de las escuelas de Charlottesville, llame a nuestra línea telefónica en español al 434-245-2548. Un profesor de español le devolverá la llamada. 

 

Local Health Data Using CDC Framework

We have been working with the state and local health experts to follow local COVID-19 data. See the charts and spreadsheets below for Charlottesville City Schools confirmed cases in 20-21 and 21-22. Note that we report cases even if the staff member or student was remote or not present at school during the period of contagion.

url=”https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1syQZKdxz1Op1kpoy1pu2DYHs2Tuu2PSDJlxwt2qAgzA/edit?usp=sharing”]See COVID Dashboard Spreadsheet 21-22[/button]

Charlottesville Indicators

Learn about the CDC framework & thresholds for each metric

Find Charlottesville data (load page & select Charlottesville)

Illustration of health safetyMeasures to Promote Safety (Mitigation)

As part of its data metrics, the CDC recommends a number of  mitigation strategies, from masking to ventilation to school-based COVID testing. We will show the  complete list below and give an update.

Details about Safety and Mitigation Measures

Core Mitigation Measures to Support School Openings (CDC)

  1. Promoting Vaccination: We encourage vaccination of all school community members age 12+ and held school-based clinics in the spring. Students can also be vaccinated at the Back-to-School Bash on August 21. The School Board has voted to require staff to be vaccinated, or in cases such as health exemptions, be tested weekly.
  2. Masks and Face Coverings:  Per our masks/face coverings policy, all students, staff, and visitors are required to wear masks covering the mouth and nose inside school buildings and on school buses/at bus stops. For details and exceptions (such as when eating or if there is a medical or other accommodation), please see the policy.  Individuals will be asked to supply their own masks, but disposable masks will be available if an individual has forgotten to bring one. Face shields are also available for students and staff, but they are not a replacement for masks.
  3. Social Distancing to the extent possible (3 feet where possible):  Signage and floor markers will reinforce the furniture placement to encourage 3-foot separation.  Floor decals in halls and markings on sidewalks will show direction and reinforce  spacing.  Signage also communicates one-way directions in stairwells or hallways as needed.
  4. Screening Testing: We will  participate in a state program for regular COVID testing throughout this school year as an additional strategy to promote safety. The tests will be pooled (or grouped); if the group test is positive, the individuals in the group would be tested further. As part of the same state program, we are hoping to offer rapid diagnostic testing for individuals as needed. To sign up or learn more information, click here.
  5. Ventilation: The City is following ASHRAE recommendations to use the highest MERV-rated filters possible for all equipment, coupled with increasing ventilation.  All systems are set for maximum outdoor air at normal occupancy levels.  Any space that cannot use a MERV 13 or 14 filter will be equipped with a portable air cleaner. As weather permits, we will keep windows open. Going above and beyond standard mitigation for K-12 and universities, the City engaged an engineer from Tri-Dim to consult on the best course of action for each building/space and installed UV-C lights and/or bipolar ionization equipment  according to recommendations.
  6. Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette:  Students and staff will use hand sanitizer upon arrival. Hand sanitizer is available in all classrooms, on all buses, and at all student building entrances, and some classrooms have sinks for handwashing. Schools will teach and  reinforce good hygiene practices such as handwashing,  covering coughs and sneezes, and refraining from touching surfaces when possible.  
  7. Staying home when sick and getting tested: Staff and students will be asked to screen at home daily for COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors such as close contacts showing symptoms. Students will be asked to stay home and contact a healthcare professional if they are symptomatic or if they know of an exposure to COVID-19. Note: fully vaccinated students/staff who are symptom-free may attend school when close contacts either show symptoms or have suspected/confirmed COVID-19. See guidance in the health section, below.
    CSS Student Home Screening Tool (revised July 28, 2021)
  8. Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine:  To help us work with the health department for contact tracing, we will implement several measures. Student movement in school buildings and buses will be minimized and monitored, and seating will be assigned. We will fully support contact tracing and subsequently enforce recommendations for quarantine or isolation. The agreement for in-person instruction (signed with registration or re-registration forms) gives permission for Blue Ridge Health Department and Charlottesville City Schools to share contract-tracing information related to exposure or diagnosis of school community members.
  9. Cleaning and disinfection: All CCS cleaning products are on the EPA list of disinfectants for COVID-19. Custodians have been equipped and trained with foggers and electrostatic sprayers to support more rapid and effective disinfection of surfaces and entire spaces. Classrooms are equipped with spray bottles with the all-purpose disinfectant cleaner and microfiber cloths to readily address high-touch services such as desktops and door knobs.  A daily cleaning form is used by the custodial staff working with the building administrators, and a color-coded  system indicates whether rooms are: in use or not yet cleaned (red),  ready for use following standard cleaning procedures (yellow), or ready for use following extra cleaning measures (green). 

Other CDC-Recommended Strategies in Place

  1. Adequate supplies:  As stated elsewhere, we will supply hand sanitizer, face masks (for those who arrive without them), face shields, disposable gloves, COVID-approved cleaning supplies, and more. Staff such as nurses in need of other PPE will be supplied those items.
  2. Shared objects:  As possible, we will minimize use of shared items or will create a plan for cleaning and disinfection (of touch screens, key boards, door knobs, etc).
  3. Visitors/Volunteers:  We are limiting volunteer programs and non-essential visitors. Signage reminds visitors to check to see if their business can be conducted by phone,  computer, or outside meeting.  If the principal approves a volunteer or visitor, individuals need to wear a mask, screen for symptoms, and use hand sanitizer.
  4. Water systems:  The City has been flushing water regularly to make sure that school water supplies remain safe.
  5. Physical barriers and guides: The division has ordered and installed plexi-glass barriers for areas such as reception desks and to support safe 1:1 interactions in classrooms or with specialists. Schools can acquire additional barriers according to their specific needs.
  6. Communal spaces: Most or all students will have lunch in classrooms. We will use playgrounds, but we will stagger use and schedule hand-washing before and after recess.
  7. Food service:  For most or all students in our schools, we will serve meals in classrooms. Classes are encouraged to eat outside as much as possible, and we have developed safety routines for when this is not possible. Students are still welcome to bring packed meals, but no microwave will be available. All students will wash hands or use hand sanitizer before and after eating. Other safety features include a meal pre-ordering system and a touchless system using ID cards for payment. We will  provide additional wheeled waste cans  in the hallways so food waste will not remain in the classrooms.food tray icon For virtual or quarantined students, families can arrange pick-up at the school closest to them. Find complete meal information here.

Other Strategies:

  • Training:  Staff and students will need to be trained on appropriate procedures and mitigation strategies. We will use training videos prior to returning to in-person instruction. Custodial staff received special training. Additional training was also required for nursing staff as well as SPED staff who work with students to assist with medical or personal care.
  • Protocols:  We have assembled policies and protocols to guide our return to in-person instruction. All protocols are subject to change based on public health expertise and emerging best practices.
  • Outdoor Spaces: We hope to use our outdoor spaces as much as possible, particularly for classes such as gym or choir.  Classes may also go outside for lunch or suitable instruction/class meetings.

illustration of clock and scheduleDaily Routines for the New School Year

School will look different. What does that look like at lunch, recess, or more? If your child attended in person last spring, many daily routines will stay the same. Watch this short video for a few daily safety reminders for students:

 

 

Details about Daily Routines

Cover of CCS COVID-19 Protocols document. Click to access Protocols document (google file).
Click image to access CCS COVID-19 Protocols document

Arrival/Daily Schedule:

When students arrive at the bus or the school, they may have their temperature screened and will hand sanitize. They can pick up a grab-and-go breakfast if they wish (breakfast and lunch are free this school year). Then students will go directly to their assigned spot in their classroom. Elementary students will largely stay in their “home” classroom, but we use outdoor spaces as much as possible, particularly for gym and recess. Generally speaking, students will eat lunch in their classrooms. At Buford and CHS, students will follow their schedules to move from class to class following signage and other procedures to encourage social distancing. School hours may be adjusted to allow for the additional cleaning time required for buses between runs.

Note: please make a plan for if your student arrives at the bus or school with a fever or COVID symptoms. See  the transportation FAQ (below) for details.

Athletics and Extra-Curricular Activities:

Clubs and athletic activities may resume:

  • CHS will follow Virginia High School League (VHSL) guidelines for sports and activities. For further updates, visit gocville.org.
  • All other clubs and extracurricular activities will need to follow CCS guidelines and gain building-level approval to be sure that activities are in compliance.

Restroom Use:

High-risk touch points in restrooms (faucet knobs, flush handles, partition locks, ADA railings) will be disinfected at least mid-morning and mid-afternoon, and restrooms will be cleaned nightly. Schools will stagger bathroom breaks to minimize close contact with students from another cohort.  Handwashing is the key to safe bathroom use. Mirror clings in all restrooms will reinforce the importance and basics of proper handwashing. Schools will develop site plans for safe restroom use.

Calendar:

You can find the academic calendar for 2021-22 here. Click “other formats” for a one-page printout.

Furniture:

To the greatest degree possible, individual desks will be used and will be separated by 3′. Furniture will be arranged so that students face in the same direction.

Gym/Recess:

As much as possible, PE and recess will take place outside. We are requiring masks for staff outdoors and encouraging masks outdoors for all students at this time, with the understanding that outdoors is the best time for mask breaks when students and staff are 6ft apart or more.  (Procedures for extracurricular activities are program specific).

Students should wash hands before and after recess or gym. Outdoor playground equipment can be shared within a class, but again, since it will not be disinfected, hand-washing is important. Multiple cohorts can be outside at the same time as long as they are distanced from one another.  Any shared equipment such as balls should be disinfected between classes.

Hours:

  • Elementaries (including PreK): 8am-2:30pm
  • Buford/Walker: 8:30am-3:15pm
  • CHS: 9:05am-3:50pm
  • LMA: 9:15am-3:05pm

Early dismissal hours are:

  • Elementaries: 12noon
  • Buford/Walker: 12:45pm
  • CHS: 1:40pm
  • LMA: 11:30am

food tray iconMeals:

We are offering free breakfast/lunch for all students this school year. For most students in our schools, we will serve meals in classrooms. Classes are encouraged to eat outside as much as possible. When this is not possible, we have developed the safety routines including:

  • Minimizing talking while masks are off for eating (“mask off = voice off”)
  • Assigning seating cohorts during meals, avoiding having students face each other
  • Maintaining spacing of 3-6 feet.
  • Opening windows during mealtime

Students can still bring packed meals from home, but no microwave will be available. All students will wash hands or use hand sanitizer before and after eating. Other safety features include a meal pre-ordering system and a touchless system using ID cards for payment. We will  provide additional wheeled waste cans  in the hallways so food waste will not remain in the classrooms. See more information about meals, below.

For virtual or quarantined students, families can complete a Google form to arrange next-day pick-up at the school closest to them.

Safety Drills:

Schools are still following the schedule for state-required safety drills. We will adapt these processes to accommodate social distancing.

Shared Items/Spaces:

We will limit shared items as much as possible. If shared, items should be disinfected between use when possible. Group work can still happen — students will just need to follow social distancing guidelines. Schools and teachers will use lots of visual cues and reminders. Areas where students will need to share a space or equipment will create a space-specific cleaning plan.

Transportation Info:

See next section for information about transportation.

Volunteers/Visitors:

We are limiting volunteer programs and non-essential visitors. Signage reminds visitors to check to see if their business can be conducted by phone,  computer, or outside meeting.  If the principal approves a volunteer or visitor, individuals need to wear a mask, screen for symptoms, and use hand sanitizer.

Water Fountains:

Students are encouraged to bring water bottles since water fountains will not be open. Bottle-filling stations are available.

 

Illustration of lunch tray with foodMeals

Breakfast and lunch will be free for all students during the 2021-22 year. Even so, we encourage families to apply for free/reduced meals, especially if they are new to Charlottesville City Schools. Find more information about meal protocols in “Daily Routines” (above), and find complete information about meals at charlottesvilleschools.org/food.

2021-22 Applications for Free/Reduced Meals

What’s for lunch? Find menus here — there’s a link at the bottom of every page on our website.

Virtual or quarantined students needing meal service? Virtual or quarantined students can complete this form to request a next-day pick-up meal at the school nearest you.

Request to pick-up a next-day to-go meal at a school

 

Illustration of bikers and walkersTransportation

When school opens, we’ll have very limited space on school buses. Help now by finding a new way for your child to go to and from school. For information and ideas, look through our FAQ. The City’s Safe Routes to School team has developed some walking/maps for the elementaries and Buford — look below the FAQ to see yours or print it up.

Transportation FAQ

How much space will there be on school buses?

Due to severe driver shortages complicated by the pandemic, the City of Charlottesville has fewer school bus drivers than needed, and the schools will have very limited school bus space.  Current estimates show that we will be able to serve a maximum of 200 riders per day for elementaries (combined), 200 for Buford/Walker (combined), and 200 for CHS. (During 2019-20, 2,600 students rode the bus to and from school. This year, we may have a maximum of 600 per day.)

How else can my kid get to school?

To assist families who do not receive bus transportation, the City’s Safe Routes to School program is helping to organize additional supports such as volunteers guiding groups of walkers or bike-riders to school. They have developed new maps to help (see yours below)! Learn more about Safe Routes to Schools and ways you can help! Your PTO might have a sign-up genius or another way to connect families. Or partner with friends, neighbors, and classmates to make alternative plans.

Any changes for car-riders?

There will be more cars in the drop-off and pick-up zones, so we have established alternate locations such as nearby parking lots where we can set up additional sites for car-riders. Stay tuned for  information from your school.  Important note: please stay in the car drop-off lane until your children have cleared any temperature checks or other screenings.

How will I know if my child can ride the bus?

If you requested bus service, your school will let you know if you are assigned a spot or if you are on a wait list. If you are unsure of your child’s status, please do not go to a bus stop. Instead, please help us by finding an alternative way for your child to get to and from school.  Thank you for your patience, and if you know of potential drivers who can help us, please send them to the City’s website!

Note: for children in 1st grade and younger, a responsible adult must accompany the student to and from the bus stop.

How will you select which students to put on the bus initially and which to put on the waitlist?

In the spring, priorities for ridership were determined among students who indicated that they could not get to school unless they had school bus transportation who:

  • Have qualifying special needs (IEP’s)
  • Are Pre-K students (transportation cannot be a barrier under state guidelines)
  • Need Tier 3 supports (this might include English language learners, etc.)
  • Siblings of priority students ride can ride as the 2nd child on a  seat

The City’s Pupil Transportation department  is actively trying to identify drivers and solutions. Thank you for your patience.

How will we keep buses safe?

Buses will be cleaned between runs. Families will screen students for symptoms at home, and prior to boarding the bus, students will wear masks and use hand sanitizer. Students may get a  temperature check or screening. For those students who get a bus assignment, we ask them to sit in their assigned seat. Siblings can sit together.

What if my child can’t ride the bus due to a fever/symptoms?

For children in 1st grade and younger, a responsible adult must be at the stop each morning. For older students, we will call families to let them know if their child was unable to board the bus or the student will ride the bus and go directly to the school’s isolation room for prompt pick-up. Please make a plan in case your child gets sent home from the bus or school due to a fever or other COVID symptoms. We will make every effort to contact families in this situation. If one child in a family shows a fever or other COVID symptoms, we will ask for all unvaccinated students in the family to return home and seek guidance from a healthcare provider.

What if my walker or bike-rider arrives at school with a fever or symptoms?

The student will be sent to the school’s isolation room, and the parents/guardians will be notified to promptly arrange for the student (and unvaccinated siblings) to return home.

Why do you have so little space on the buses and why can’t the City just hire more bus drivers?

  1. There was a national shortage of school bus drivers even before the pandemic.
  2. Many of our drivers are retirees who are at greater risk due to COVID-19; some have decided to step down for their personal safety.
  3. The process of getting trained and ready to work as a school bus driver takes a while.
  4. We are limiting students to 2 per seat.
  5. Want to join our team of bus driver or recommend a friend? Visit the City’s employment site.

Walk/Bike Maps from the City’s Safe Routes to School Team

Volunteers/Visitors:

We are limiting volunteer programs and non-essential visitors. Signage reminds visitors to check to see if their business can be conducted by phone,  computer, or outside meeting.  If the principal approves a volunteer or visitor, individuals need to wear a mask, screen for symptoms, and use hand sanitizer.

Illustration of facemaskHealth Protocols for Staff and Families

We all depend on each other to reduce risk and promote safety. Following recommendations from the CDC, we will require everyone in the school division to wear a mask while indoors at the start of the school year.

Find info below about daily screening and what to do in common COVID situations.  Click “More Information” to find more about masking, health screening, COVID communications, and other health protocols.

"What to do in common COVID situations." Click to find OCR pdf.
Click image to go to Google doc “What to do in common COVID situations,” a guide for families and staff.
Image of CCS student daily health screening questions. Click for OCR PDF.
Click image to find the PDF of the Daily Health Screening Questions for Students
Cover of CCS COVID-19 Protocols document. Click to access Protocols document (google file).
Click image to access CCS COVID-19 Protocols document

Vaccinations for COVID-19 and other Diseases:

  • If your child is age 12 or older, please check with your healthcare provider about the COVID-19 vaccine. Click here for area walk-in clinics and other information.
  • And to learn more about the state’s new (non-COVID) vaccination requirements for students in kindergarten, grade 7, and grade 12, click here. Be sure to submit documentation to your school as soon as possible.
  • Questions about your child’s vaccines? Please check with your healthcare provider or call the school.
  • To promote safety, the Charlottesville School Board has voted to require staff to be vaccinated, or in cases such as health exemptions, be tested weekly.

More Information about Health Protocols

COVID Communications

Will schools inform families of a positive case in the classroom or school?

We will follow the same protocols that we did last spring. After notifying any individuals who may have been directly impacted by a diagnosis, we will next communicate with any elementary classrooms that have been generally impacted. After those two processes are complete, we will communicate to all school staff/families that someone who has been in the school was diagnosed with COVID and that anyone who needs to quarantine has already been contacted. As we did in the spring, we will only announce cases that might impact the school, not those among, for example, virtual-only students or staff members who had not recently visited the school. Names and personally identifiable information will not be released.

Masks and Face Coverings

What is the policy? When do students/staff need to wear them?

All adults and students are required to wear masks covering the nose and mouth when on school grounds, with the exceptions of designated times for eating or when people are outside and can be six or more feet apart. Masks will also be required on buses and at bus stops. Masks should not be see-through or have valves.  Find the full policy here.

What if someone won’t wear a mask?

We will have additional masks on hand for anyone who has forgotten or lost one. We will work to ensure that the student and family understand the importance of wearing a face covering.

What if someone can’t wear a mask?

For individuals with a documented health condition or disabilities, CCS will identify solutions on a case-by-case basis.

What if someone needs help getting cloth masks?

We know this can be a challenge. If providing a mask is a challenge for your family, please check with your teacher or school.

Can you wear the same mask daily?

Yes, if it is washed and dried after each day. Masks should be washed on a daily basis (this can be in a sink with soap and water or in a washing machine). It would also be good to keep a “spare” in the classroom or a backpack. If providing (or daily washing) masks is  a challenge for your family, again please contact your teacher or school.

What about face shields?

Face shields are not a substitute for masks, but we do have a supply for any teachers and students who wish to wear them as an additional protection.

Why are we requiring  masks?

Face masks are one of the most important ways to  slow the spread of COVID-19 when combined with everyday preventive actions and social distancing in public settings. The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatricians recommend universal masking in schools.

Handwashing and Hand Sanitizing

How will handwashing (and hand-sanitizing) be encouraged?

Staff and students will participate in handwashing/sanitizing at regular intervals, including upon arrival at school, before/after recess, and before/after lunch. Schools will have supplies of hand sanitizer and soap to allow for frequent hand-washing, and classrooms and school facilities will be disinfected regularly. We will teach the importance of (and techniques for) handwashing.

Do schools have supplies for handwashing or sanitizing?

Schools have supplies of hand sanitizer and soap to allow for frequent handwashing. Older students who wish to bring a personal bottle of sanitizer are encouraged to do so.

Will you teach students about the importance and best techniques for handwashing?

Yes, prior to and following a return to in-person instruction, we will use videos, visual reminders, and more to reinforce this important habit.

Social Distancing

How will the schools follow social distancing guidelines?

Students and staff will maintain 3 feet of social distancing in indoor and outdoor settings as much as possible. Schools will clearly mark off distances (up to 6 feet) for specific areas, such as bathroom lines or school pick-up/drop-off locations.

Classrooms will be set up to follow the health and safety guidelines in our approved plan. Classroom seating should be revised to maximize distancing between students as much as possible. Desks will be rearranged so that students are all facing the same direction, and community tables will be removed or equipped/marked for safe use.

What if students struggle with social distancing?

We will make every effort to teach this skill and reinforce its importance. We will have clear markings and reminders to support the behavior we need to see.

What about social distancing outside of school?

Families, one important way you can help us to keep school as safe as possible is to make your home or non-school routines as similar as possible to the school routines for things such as masking, social distancing, and handwashing. This will be especially important at Thanksgiving and over winter break.

Health Screenings for Staff and Students

How will you do daily health screening?

Everyone entering a building, including students and staff, must engage in a daily health screen before leaving home for school. Families and staff will sign a one-time agreement that they will agree to self-screening. Find family agreement here.

Will there be on-site health screening?

Adults and students may get a temperature check and/or in-person symptom screening before entering the building (or boarding a school bus). Students/staff with a temperature of 100.0F or above will need to go home. Students and staff should stay home if they are experiencing symptoms, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, abdominal pain, fatigue, muscle aches, and/or headache. Unvaccinated students should also stay home if close contacts are experiencing symptoms or awaiting COVID test results or have possible/confirmed COVID.

Note: please make a plan for if your student arrives at the bus or school with a fever. If your child will ride the bus, see  the transportation FAQ (below) for details. If you drive your child to school, please stay at school until the child has passed any temperature screening.

Will There be COVID-19 Testing for Staff or Students?

We will  participate in a state program for regular COVID testing throughout this school year as an additional strategy to promote safety. The tests will be pooled (or grouped); if the group test is positive, the individuals in the group would be tested further. As part of the same state program, we are hoping to offer rapid diagnostic testing for individuals as needed. To sign up or learn more information, click here.

Cleaning

How will we keep facilities clean?

Facilities staff will clean and disinfect nightly, and during the day for high-need areas. Staff will frequently clean touched surfaces in schools and on buses at least daily and between use as much as possible. Toys or classroom items that cannot be easily cleaned or sanitized (such as plush toys) will be removed.  For more about cleaning procedures, see Safety and Mitigation Strategies, above.

What about restrooms?

High-touch surfaces (faucet knobs, flush handles, railings) will be disinfected at least mid-morning and mid-afternoon, and all restrooms will be cleaned nightly. Handwashing is key to safety. Signage will encourage spacing, handwashing, and other safe practices. Schools will develop a site-based plan for restroom use.

PPE-Personal Protective Equipment

Has PPE (personal protective equipment) been purchased?

CCS has purchased PPE such as masks, face shields, thermometers, and gloves to help maintain a safe environment and prepare for the return to school. We’ll make sure schools receive supplies based on key information like the number of students enrolled, the number of teaching stations it has, and other details. We have a system to monitor and replenish these supplies to ensure schools have what they need to maintain a safe environment.

Will PPE (personal protective equipment) be given to staff? Students?

Additional supplies such as gowns and N95/KN95 masks will be provided for school nurses and others who may have close contact in personal care for students.

What if a Student Displays Symptoms or is Diagnosed?

"What to do in common COVID situations." Click to find OCR pdf.
Click image to go to Google doc “What to do in common COVID situations,” a guide for families and staff.

What if a student develops COVID-19 symptoms at home?

Consult with your primary care physician and report the absence at school. If someone is experiencing symptoms in your household, do not send any of your unvaccinated children to school without further guidance. If the symptoms are typical for your child, be sure to tell your doctor. Keep in mind, not everyone who displays COVID-19 symptoms has or will contract the virus.  

What if a student develops symptoms at school?

Students who develop symptoms at school will be immediately directed to a designated isolation space in the school until they can safely leave or be picked up to go home. Prompt pick-up of sick children and their unvaccinated siblings (within an hour) is part of the safety agreement that parents/guardians agree to follow when participating in in-person instruction.

Depending on the situation, the individual’s primary care provider may recommend testing for COVID-19 or give other guidance. Individuals who test positive will remain in isolation.  Students  with COVID-19 symptoms (and their unvaccinated siblings) should not return to school without guidance from their healthcare provider and/or school nurse. Please continue to report the absences; it would be helpful if families speak with the principal or school nurse with updates.

Will students have to show a negative COVID test to return to school?

No. There are many reasons that someone may show symptoms and/or an elevated temperature above 100.0F. But if a student displays COVID-19 symptoms, they should check with their healthcare provider or the school nurse for guidance.

What if a student is diagnosed with COVID-19?

Any student required to isolate at home due to illness from COVID-19 will be required to isolate for 10 days or until there is no fever for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine (or as directed by a healthcare provider). A note from a healthcare provider will be required prior to returning to a CCS school campus.

What if a student  is exposed to COVID-19?

Fully vaccinated students who are symptom-free can attend school. Unvaccinated students who are a “close contact” of someone with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 will need to quarantine at home for 14 days from the date of last exposure or as directed by a healthcare provider.  For this purpose “close contact” is defined as being within 15 feet of a confirmed COVID-19 person for 15 minutes over a 24-hour period.  Please notify the principal or school nurse. 

What if a household member of a student is diagnosed with COVID-19?

Per health department guidance, fully vaccinated students who are symptom-free can attend school. Any unvaccinated student who lives with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 will need to begin quarantine and remain in this phase for two weeks following the recovery of the patient or as directed by a healthcare provider.

If a child stays home with symptoms or to quarantine following exposure, how will they continue to learn?

Students will continue to be served by their home school but in a remote capacity for the duration of the quarantine period. Please check with your teacher for guidance.

How does contract-tracing work?

Contact-tracing is a helpful way to keep the school community safe. The agreement for in-person instruction gives Charlottesville City School and the Blue Ridge Health Department permission to share information about COVID exposure and diagnoses concerning our school community members. That way, people who were exposed to a known positive case can quarantine and prevent the spread of this disease to others. It is helpful when students or staff displaying symptoms keep the school nurse or staff “in the loop” so that we can take precautions to keep everyone safe.

What will we be told if a student or staff member becomes sick?

Names and personally identifiable information will not be released, but the local health department will work with schools on the necessary next steps, including  communications to families or school staff. All such communications will be coordinated with the health department. In the spring, we announced cases that might impact the school (but we did not notify the school about cases among, for example, virtual students or staff members who had not recently visited the school.)

Is there a nurse at all schools and program sites?

Schools have full-time nurses.

How safe is the school isolation quarantine area?

Staff assigned to supervise individuals in the designated isolation quarantine area will be provided with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE – masks, gloves, gown, cap, shoe coverings), and proper disposal will be provided for the PPE.  Custodial staff responsible for cleaning the area will also be provided with appropriate PPE to address the area after any isolated individuals leave the space.  The protocol for this area in each school will include use of disinfectant spraying equipment. An isolation quarantine area cleaning checklist will be signed and dated when the protocol is completed.

Is there a chance that a class or school would need to revert to online-only instruction?

We will continue to work closely with the local health department and are following local and state data. As diagnosed cases arise, we will cooperate with the health department on contact tracing or other recommendations. Public health experts are very clear that each case is unique and that they will respond accordingly.

What if a Staff Member Displays Symptoms or is Diagnosed?

"What to do in common COVID situations." Click to find OCR pdf.
Click image to go to Google doc “What to do in common COVID situations,” a guide for families and staff.

What if a Staff Member Develops COVID-19 Symptoms at Home?

Consult with your healthcare provider and notify your supervisor. If these symptoms are common to you, be sure to mention this. Do not attend school without further guidance (even if you are vaccinated). Please keep any of your unvaccinated Charlottesville Schools students at home until your healthcare provider gives guidance. Keep in mind, not everyone who displays COVID-19 symptoms has or will contract the virus.

What if a Staff Member Develops Symptoms at School?

Staff who develop symptoms in the school setting will be immediately sent home or directed to a designated isolation space in the school until they can safely be picked up. Depending on the situation, the individual’s healthcare provider may recommend testing for COVID-19 or give other guidance. Individuals who test positive will remain in isolation.  Staff with COVID-19 symptoms (and their unvaccinated children who attend Charlottesville Schools) should not return to school without guidance from their healthcare provider. 

Will Staff Have to Show a Negative COVID Test to Return to School?

No. There are many reasons that someone might show symptoms and/or an elevated temperature above 100.0F. But if a staff member displays COVID-19 symptoms, they should check with a healthcare provider for guidance.

 What if a Staff Member is Diagnosed with COVID-19?

Any staff member required to isolate at home due to illness from COVID-19 will be required to isolate for 10 days or until there is no fever for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine (or as directed by a healthcare provider).  Their unvaccinated household members (including any children who attend Charlottesville Schools) will need to go into quarantine.

What if a Staff Member is Exposed to COVID-19?

Fully vaccinated staff who are symptom-free will not need to quarantine. Unvaccinated staff who are a “close contact” of someone with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19  will need to quarantine at home for 14 days from the date of last exposure or according to the guidance of their healthcare provider.  For this purpose “close contact” is defined as being within 15 feet of a confirmed COVID-19 person for 15 minutes over a 24 hour period. Please contact the Director of Human Resources. 

What if a Household Member of a Staff Member is Diagnosed with COVID-19?

Per health department guidance, fully vaccinated staff who are symptom-free will not need to quarantine.  Any unvaccinated staff member or student who lives with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 will need to quarantine. Typically this is a two-week quarantine from the date of last exposure. Check with your healthcare provider for guidance.

What Will We Be Told if a Staff Member Gets COVID-19?

Names and personally identifiable information will not be released, but the local health department will work with schools on the necessary next steps, including  communications to families or school staff. All such communications will be coordinated with the health department. In the spring, we announced cases that might impact the school (but we did not notify the school about cases among, for example, virtual staff members who had not recently visited the school.)

 

Plan for Safe Return to In-Person Instruction & Continuity of Services for 2021-22

Our plan for a safe start to the school year in the fall (5 days/week) can be found below,  along with our draft planned uses for the fund from the American Rescue Plan (Act) – Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER III). Submit feedback to the Board by emailing schoolboard@charlottesvilleschools.org or text 434-953-1802.  You can also comment  at the 8/5 5pm Board meeting via Zoom (or go to CHS Media Center).

Spanish – Español | Arabic – عربى| Dari -از جانب| Pashto – پښتو  | Swahili  – Kiswahili

Need translation? Text 953-1802

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Usted también puede conocer información importante sobre la educación de su hijo/hija. Sólo tiene que llamar al número (434) 245-2548

Need other formats or assistance? Want to comment or make a suggestion? Text 434-953-1802.

Illustration of handshakeHow Can I Help?

There are some simple steps that everyone can take to keep our community safe this fall. Or you can learn about the City’s Safe Routes to School program to find ways to help children bike or walk in the mornings or afternoons.

Ways to Help or Volunteer

Eager to see a safe and smooth school opening? Here’s how you can help:

  1. Continue to build your family’s good habits — social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand-washing. If you or your age 12+ students haven’t been vaccinated, talk to your healthcare provider for guidance.  Do your part to reduce our COVID-19 numbers.
  2. Get flu shots for your family.
  3. Download the state’s COVIDWISE app. This app does not collect personal data, but it does help with contact tracing.
  4. Stay up-to-date with Charlottesville City Schools. Complete your child’s re-registration forms in PowerSchool. Still not getting phone calls and/or emails? Want to get texts? Please check with your school office.
  5. If your child will be learning in person, make a plan for these situations now:
    1. Transportation to and from school. There will be VERY LIMITED bus space.
    2. Sick days: If your child is sick, please help our community and keep all the unvaccinated students in your household home. Check with your doctor or school nurse for advice.
    3. Unexpected fever or symptoms at the bus or school: We may screen for fevers or signs of illness before children enter the bus or school. Please make a plan now for if your child is not allowed to board the bus or needs to go home from school.
    4. Isolation: If your unvaccinated child is exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms at any point (whether at school, when out, or at home), the unvaccinated students in your household will need to isolate for fourteen days or as directed by a healthcare provider.

Kids will be walking and biking. Want to learn more or find a way to help?

The City’s Safe Routes to School program has created maps and is helping to organize supports to help students safely walk or bike (or scoot or skip) to school. Interested in learning more or helping? Let them know!

 

Illustration of chromebookStudents Remaining in Virtual (Online-Only) Instruction

This page was designed to help students attending school in person. For those students whose applications were accepted for online-only instruction, you can learn more at charlottesvilleschools.org/virtual. The deadline for priority consideration was in mid-July.

  • To allow us to finalize preparations for a smooth start to the school year, we will close the application on Sunday, August 15 at 8pm.

If you believe your child needs and will be successful in virtual learning next year, learn more at  at charlottesvilleschools.org/virtual.

Need meal service for your virtual student? For virtual (or quarantined) students, complete this form to request a next-day pick-up meal at the school nearest you.

Request to pick-up a to-go meal at a school

Introducing Our New Superintendent Dr. Royal A. Gurley, Jr.

The Charlottesville City School Board warmly welcomes Royal A. Gurley, Jr., Ed.D. as the new superintendent. Dr. Gurley is an educator and equity ambassador with 20 years of experience who is committed to transformational leadership that prioritizes access and opportunities to learn for all students. Dr. Gurley will begin the post on October 4 with a four-year contract.

Dr. Gurley will become the superintendent in Charlottesville after serving as the assistant superintendent for academic services of the Dinwiddie County Public Schools since 2017. There, in addition to maintaining 100% accreditation for all the district’s schools, he focused efforts and resources to support the goal of students reading on level by grade three. He also organized an equity task force that evaluated school policies and curriculum through a lens of cultural relevance and inclusivity.

“I am honored and thrilled to be joining the outstanding Charlottesville City Schools,” said Dr. Gurley. “Among CCS’s many resources are the phenomenal faculty and staff, and I look forward to working with this dedicated team in an ongoing effort to address the needs and build on the strengths of every student we serve.”

Read Full Press Release here

Charlottesville City School Board Names Dr. Royal A. Gurley, Jr. New Superintendent

CHARLOTTESVILLE, September 2, 2021— The Charlottesville City School Board has named Dr. Royal A. Gurley, Jr., Ed.D. the new superintendent as the first order of business at its 5 p.m. meeting today. Dr. Gurley is an educator and equity ambassador with 20 years of experience who is committed to transformational leadership that prioritizes access and opportunities to learn for all students. Dr. Gurley will begin the post on October 4 with a four-year contract.

Dr. Gurley will become the superintendent in Charlottesville after serving as the assistant superintendent for academic services of the Dinwiddie County Public Schools since 2017. There, in addition to maintaining 100% accreditation for all the district’s schools, he focused efforts and resources to support the goal of students reading on level by grade three. He also organized an equity task force that evaluated school policies and curriculum through a lens of cultural relevance and inclusivity.

Dr. Gurley’s career also includes being a building administrator, director of special education, instructional technology integrator, teacher, and member of the armed forces.

“I am honored and thrilled to be joining the outstanding Charlottesville City Schools,” said Dr. Gurley. “Among CCS’s many resources are the phenomenal faculty and staff, and I look forward to working with this dedicated team in an ongoing effort to address the needs and build on the strengths of every student we serve.”

“We are so pleased to welcome Dr. Gurley,” said Lisa Larson-Torres, chair of the School Board. “The Board is united in our support. In a pool of very strong candidates, we felt his interpersonal skills, his division-level administrative experience, and his deep commitment to equity reflected the community feedback we heard. Thanks to everyone who lifted their voice in a survey, a focus group, or by serving on the committee.”

In addition to his leadership in Dinwiddie, Dr. Gurley currently serves in statewide roles as a member of the Virginia Department of Education Equity Task Force and Return to School Task Force. He is also a committee member for the Virginia Social Emotional Learning Stakeholder Workgroup.

Dr. Gurley earned his Bachelors of Arts in Sociology, Master of Education, and Doctor of Education in Educational Administration and Supervision from Virginia State University. Additionally, he earned a Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Instructional Technology and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Educational Leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University. Most recently, Dr. Gurley completed the Urban Superintendents Academy at the University of Southern California.

Dr. Gurley and his husband, Derrek Carter-Gurley, will be relocating to Charlottesville with their labradoodle, Cooper. Dr. Gurley is a native of Sussex County, Virginia and an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated.

Dr. Gurley succeeds Dr. Rosa S. Atkins, who concluded her 15-year tenure as superintendent this summer to take a leadership role with the Virginia Department of Education. James M. Henderson, who served for more than four decades as an educator with the Charlottesville City Schools, came out of retirement to serve as acting superintendent. The recruiting and hiring process was guided by executive search firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA). To learn more about the search process, scroll down.

This page will keep you posted on the latest for Charlottesville City Schools’ search for a superintendent to succeed Dr. Rosa Atkins, whose retirement became official on May 31, 2021.

  • To receive  an email when this page is updated, click here.

 


icon of calendarTentative Calendar for Search

  • Position Advertising: May 2021 until filled
  • Application deadline: Open until filled
  • Leadership Profile presented to Board: June 17, 2021
  • Board first round of interviews: August 2021
  • Find full calendar here

illustration of org chart with leaderHYA Presents Leadership Profile (6/17)

After gathering community input via a survey and focus groups, our consultants presented a leadership profile to the School Board at their meeting on June 17. To learn more, you can watch the presentation (see below) and/or review the following documents:


icon of people in discussion groupSchool Board and HYA Schedule Community Focus Groups June 9-12; Survey Ends June 10

Share your voice in this important process! Complete the feedback survey and/or attend a discussion group. Public meetings are listed below; other groups for community partners, staff members, students and more are also scheduled. To learn more, call 245-2401.

  • Wednesday, June 9 at 6:00 p.m. Buford (in-person no zoom option)
  • Thursday, June 10 at 11:00 a.m. – Zoom Registration Link
  • Saturday, June 12 at 2:00 p.m. – Zoom Registration Link

Icon of "start video"School Board Meets with HYA to Determine Timeline (5/14)

On May 14, the School Board held a public work session with representatives from executive search firm HYA to determine key dates and processes for the upcoming search for the schools’ next superintendent.

 


Logo for HYA Executive Search FirmSchool Board Hires Executive Search Firm (5/4)

The School Board of Charlottesville City Schools announced on May 4 that it hired Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA), based in Rosemont, Illinois, to conduct the search for a superintendent for Charlottesville City Schools.  The School Board will work with HYA to seek feedback from school staff, parents, students, elected officials, and community members to identify the leadership qualities these constituents feel are most important in an effective superintendent. LEARN MORE.


Jim Henderson portraitJim Henderson Named Acting Superintendent (3/26)

The Charlottesville City School Board announced that they have appointed James M. Henderson as Acting Superintendent. Mr. Henderson will begin work June 1.

Mr. Henderson is a June 2020 retiree of Charlottesville City Schools following a career at the school division that spanned more than four decades. LEARN MORE


Dr. Rosa AtkinsRosa Atkins Announces Retirement (3/23)

Earlier this month,  Superintendent Dr. Atkins announced that she would be retiring  from Charlottesville City Schools and accepting a top-level position with the Virginia Department of Education.  During her fifteen years at the schools, Dr. Atkins received state and national recognition for her work. Dr. Atkins, thank you for your service to our schools!

Back-to-School Conversations About COVID Safety

Charlottesville City Schools hosted the first of a series of conversations about creating COVID-safe schools on Sunday, August 22, via Zoom and Facebook, discussing how the division is creating an in-person learning environment that prioritizes the safety of students, staff, and community.  

COVID safety in our schools “takes a village.” During this event we walked through safety practices and answered questions on topics such as:

  • A typical day at school, discussing how staff and students will weave COVID safety into everything from the bus ride to the classroom, from mealtime to recess. 
  • Systems-level updates we’ve made such as ventilation and cleaning procedures
  • How families can support COVID safety by talking with children about the importance of masks, doing daily symptom checks, and keeping children home according to guidelines.
  • How the division and families will respond to positive reports of COVID in a school, including our collaboration with the Blue Ridge Health Department to do contact tracing and quarantine unvaccinated people who have been directly exposed.
  • Additional COVID safety ideas in the works, such as the possibility of regular grouped COVID testing.

Speakers included CCS Board Chair Lisa Larson-Torres; Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Kim Powell; and Acting Director of Human Resources and Student Services Dr. Beth Baptist. Charlene Green, Deputy Director of the Piedmont Housing Alliance and a local leader in equity and civic engagement, moderated. 

This event was conducted in English. A recording is now available on the CCS YouTube channel, which allows community members to access subtitles in their preferred language.

Up-to-date information about the division’s COVID safety plans are also available on our website by clicking here.

Bethany Crawley

Three Charlottesville Elementary School Teachers Win Shannon Grants

Teachers at Burnley-Moran, Greenbrier and Johnson elementaries are the recipients of grants to fund innovative, hands-on learning opportunities for children in the 2021-22 school year. 

The recipients are:

  • Bethany Crawley
    Bethany Crawley

    Bethany Crawley, Johnson Elementary, $750 for “Diverse Book Clubs”: Fourth graders feel safe, valued, and heard as they participate in monthly book clubs to explore the vibrant mix of cultures, languages, religions, backgrounds, families, personalities, and abilities that make up their diverse community.

  • Joan Evans, Burnley-Moran Elementary School, $676 for “Children, Children What Do You See?”: Five-and six-year-olds gain experience and confidence exploring the walking trail around their school as they use binoculars to recognize, analyze, and record the nesting activity of bluebirds along the Bluebird Trail.
  • Teresa Seto, Greenbrier Elementary, $379 for “Make It Simple”: Third grade students perform
    Teresa Seto
    Teresa Seto

    activities, design experiments, and test hypotheses using five simple machines and a spring scale to see and understand the effect of distance and force on work.

These competitive grants are awarded annually by the Edgar and Eleanor Shannon Foundation for Excellence in Public Education: Charlottesville/Albemarle. According to their website, “Shannon Grants are designed to add an extra measure of excellence to our local classrooms. They supplement—but in no way replace—public funding for our local schools.” The awarded projects support “the kind of learning experiences that stay with children for a lifetime.”

Schools Earn State Honors for Healthy Meals During Pandemic

The CCS Nutrition Department provided healthy bagged lunches for students during virtual learning. Photo by Erin Edgerton / Daily Progress

Charlottesville City Schools received top honors this week in a statewide competition recognizing school divisions that address childhood hunger and provide “healthier, more nutritious school meals.”

The 2021 Virginia School Board Association (VSBA) Food for Thought Competition named Charlottesville City Schools the winner of the Healthy School Meals category for divisions of 10,000 pupils or less.

The award honored the school division’s recent efforts, which include a commitment to purchasing local and cooking from scratch when possible. A partnership with the nonprofit Cultivate Charlottesville has been key, with outcomes such as the schools’ Harvest of the Month Program, youth-led outreach, and improved access to fresh meals. VSBA also recognized how the division adapted to serve meals during the pandemic via serving stations and bus routes throughout the community, services which continued for virtual students even after the schools reopened in the spring.

Carlton Jones, Coordinator of Nutrition for the city schools, accepted the award at a virtual ceremony on Tuesday. He highlighted the efforts of his team, including Sandra Vazquez, Coordinator of Nutrition, school nutrition managers and staff. He also thanked community partner Cultivate Charlottesville, the School Board, City Council and all school staff and volunteers.

“I want to thank the entire community for supporting us during this pandemic and during some of these tough times,” Jones said.

Acting superintendent Jim Henderson congratulated the department and its leaders, noting “The nutrition team’s work is foundational to our work teaching children. We thank you for your dedication, your flexibility, and your commitment.”

“The nutrition team’s work is foundational to our work teaching children. We thank you for your dedication, your flexibility, and your commitment.”

Time To Re-Register Your Student

Please help us by completing your back-to-school forms now!

Help us help you! To give our partners in Pupil Transportation the best chance to serve as many students as possible, we ask you to complete the forms by June 15!

Para leer este sitio web en español, indica “Translate” (traducir) en la parte por encima de la página y escoja Spanish.

PowerSchool logoBack-to-School Forms:

Back-to-school forms have been posted to PowerSchool (select the child you want to update first, then click “Re-Registration” at left to start the re-registration form for your child). Please fill out one re-registration per child as soon as possible.

New student?

Find new student registration information here.

To learn more:

  • Watch this video courtesy of Jackson-Via (but contact your own school!)
  • See below for tips and solutions.

 

A few tips:

  • Note that the PowerSchool web address has changed! https://ccssis.powerschool.com/public
  • PowerSchool may ask you to reset your password.
  • Need login help? Call your school.
  • Los formularios se pueden cambiar al español. ¿Necesitas ayuda en español? Llame al 434-245-2548.
  • Kindergarteners and other new students do not need to be re-registered.

Problems?

  • The app is great, but it doesn’t work for this purpose. Log in here: https://ccssis.powerschool.com/public
  • If you don’t see “Re-registration:”
    • You may be logged in as your student. You need to log in as an adult. Call your school for help.
    • On your phone, look for a small triangle near the top of the screen — if you click it, a menu will appear.
  • Follow all the formatting models the form offers. For instance, if they say, mm-dd-yyyy, use dashes.
  • If you don’t see all your children listed in your account, contact your school or the helpline (see next bullet) for assistance.
  • Need help? Call your school during school hours. Through June 10, after school and on weekends until 8pm, you can call 245-2955 for help.

Free/Reduced Meal applications will be posted this summer.

School Supply Lists will be posted this summer.

Teacher assignments or class schedules will be posted to PowerSchool  in mid-August.

illustrations of June 24 21 news such as online learning

July 8 Updates for Families: Virtual Learning Applications and More

This is a reminder about applying for virtual learning in the fall and re-registering each of your returning students to help us prepare for the bus challenges we will face.

Virtual Learning Applications

illustration of book and computer

As you know, we are offering in-person instruction 5 days/week this fall, which is the option most families prefer and what the state requires. If you are interested in learning more or applying for virtual learning to meet your student’s needs this fall, please visit charlottesvilleschools.org/virtual to complete the application. Complete one application per student. Please apply by this Monday, July 12, for priority consideration.

PowerSchool logoRe-Registration for Returning Students
We will face challenges in providing bus transportation this fall. To assist with our planning, we are asking families to re-register their returning students now by logging into our PowerSchool web portal. Register each child separately. You can find instructions online. Call your school for assistance. If your family has not registered any new students, please do so here.

walk in information see url to information on webpageOther Reminders/Updates:

 

 

 

Online learning image showing computer surrounded by learning tree with symbols for goals, time management, rewards etc.

Virtual Education

Online learning image showing computer surrounded by learning tree with symbols for goals, time management, rewards etc.Thanks to so many our of our families for completing this spring’s virtual learning interest survey. The vast majority of families indicated that they prefer 5 days/week in-person learning, an option required by the state.

In addition, we are offering a limited fully virtual program for students in grade 3-8.  CHS will continue offering some virtual classes (see below).

Based on state guidance, virtual learning will look different this fall — with more screen time (synchronous learning), a “screen on” policy, and more.

Translate/ Traducir/ ترجمه کردن ./ يترجم/ ژباړه / Tafsiri

Read the CCS Virtual Learning Expectations/Agreement Here

All Virtual Learning Approvals DEPEND UPON:

  1. Completion of the CCS Virtual Instruction application. For priority consideration, apply by July 12, 2021. Applications received after July 12, 2021 will be considered as space is available.
  2. Meeting the established criteria/expectations for virtual instruction
  3. Availability of CCS learning courses, capacity, and adequate demand for virtual learning
  4. Demonstrated appropriate student conduct, meaningful effort, engagement, and success in virtual classes
  5. Yearly renewal of the virtual application

CCS Virtual students are required to attend school daily by attending their synchronous sessions and logging in to CANVAS (as directed). Students must attend synchronous sessions to be counted as present.

When a CCS Virtual student cannot log in and attend synchronous sessions, due to illness or extenuating circumstances, the parent/guardian must contact their child’s virtual teacher and follow their school’s attendance procedures. For extended absences, families must send an excuse note for the absence to their child’s school.

CCS Virtual Students and Parents/Guardians Must Agree to the Following:

  • The student must adhere to the CCS Code of Student Conduct and Acceptable Use Policy while participating in virtual instruction.
  • The student and parent/guardian must attend their assigned orientation session at the beginning of the school year and participate in regular communication with the virtual teacher throughout the school year.
  • The student must have consistent dependable access to an internet service. (Charlottesville City Schools can offer assistance.)
  • The student must take all Virginia SOL tests in-person at the school building for any SOL courses taken virtually.
  • The student must log in to CANVAS and complete assignments by due dates.
  • The student must log on to their Zoom / Google Meet sessions as per their schedule (Please note that there is an increased amount of screen time (synchronous learning) from the 2020-21 virtual instruction.)
  • The student will have their camera on during all synchronous sessions unless otherwise indicated by the teacher.
  • Students are still considered CCS students and will be held to the same standards and policies set forth by Charlottesville City Schools and their school’s student handbook, including activities and athletics.
  • The younger the student is, the more support they will need to be a successful virtual learner.
    • Families must designate a responsible individual for their child in grades 3-5 to provide this support. The responsible individual will need to:
    • Ensure the student dedicates a scheduled time to work on their courses
    • Ensure the student attends all synchronous sessions at the assigned time and has needed materials ready when necessary
    • Be digitally available to communicate with the teacher via emails, messages or announcements in the child’s course, especially if the child needs help from the teacher
    • Monitor and support student’s comprehension and progress, making sure they are completing lessons and assignments to a high standard
    • Ensure the student demonstrates positive characteristics of digital citizenship and academic integrity at all times
  • I understand that if my student is not successful in virtual learning, the school will reassign my student to in-person learning.

Think that Virtual Learning is What Your Student Needs?

For priority consideration, apply by July 12, 2021. Applications received after July 12, 2021 will be considered as space is available. Per state guidance, students who are good candidates for virtual learning this year are those who demonstrated success with virtual learning last year.

To allow us to finalize preparations for the new school year, applications closed Sunday, August 15 at 8pm.

In addition to your application, a committee will review your student’s academic records, attendance, and past performance in virtual learning environments to assist with their decision regarding the approval status of the application.

 

Students in grades K-2 or 9-12

Based on the survey, we found very few students in K-2 or 9-12 who were interested in fully virtual learning.

  • If you have a child in K-2 who needs virtual instruction, please check with your school as soon as possible
  • If you have a student in grades 9-12 who needs virtual instruction, please check with your student’s counselor as soon as possible to see how to adjust your schedule to include virtual classes offered by CHS or Virtual Virginia (as available, see below)

 

Virtual Learning at Charlottesville High School

CHS student at computerThe Charlottesville City School Division offers some classes virtually to students in grades 9 – 12.

Students may choose to take an online course as part of their regular course load or in addition to a traditional seven-period day as well as during summer school. These courses are available anytime, so students are able to complete coursework before, during, or after the regular school day.

  • There are limited virtual offerings at CHS in areas such as Health/PE and Economics and Personal Finance. Note: space may be limited, or if there is insufficient demand, the course may not be offered.
  • Students were also be able to enroll in classes offered through Virtual Virginia, which has closed to additional registrations.

To explore virtual classes at CHS for the 21-22 school year, please contact your CHS counselor as soon as possible!

TO LEARN MORE:

    • Speak with your CHS counselor
    • See a complete list of CCS virtual course options in the Program of Study (Virtual Offerings begin on page 32)
    • Additional questions? Contact:
      • Jessica Brantley, Health/PE Virtual, brantlj1@charlottesvilleschools.org