About Charlottesville High School

About Charlottesville High School

Football players leaping in air celebrating a play near goal posts.Extraordinary Students, Extraordinary School

Charlottesville High School is home of the Black Knights, serving approximately 1200 students in grades 9-12. CHS excels in academics, the arts, athletics, and more. Students regularly earn an array of honors and qualify for national and international competitions in academics, fine arts, and STEM programming.

Female graduate walks across the stageThrough its extensive AP, dual enrollment, and dual-degree programs with Piedmont Virginia Community College, CHS prepares students to go to elite universities. Recent graduates are attending schools including American University, Brandeis University, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, New York University, Oberlin College, Old Dominion University, Smith College, VCU, Virginia Tech, UCLA, UNC-Chapel Hill, UVA, Washington University in St. Louis, and William & Mary.

We also prepare first-generation college students to blaze a trail for their families with continuing education through our AVID program (Advancement Via Individual Determination). Read more about  this successful in-school college preparatory program here.

A few CHS highlights:

  • CHS Marching Black Knights in Dogwood Festival Parade 2018.Our high-tech STEM lab is home to science and engineering classes and serves as a shared space for cross-curricular work. It is also home to the award-winning  BACON Club ( Best All-Around Club of Nerds), along with an internationally-qualifying Zero Robotics team (two years in a row!).
  • The CHS band and orchestra are among the most-decorated in Virginia, and the orchestra has received superior ratings continually since 1984. CHS has earned twelve“Blue Ribbons” from the Virginia Music Educators Association, given to schools whose top band, choir, and orchestra all earn superior.Students making pitches for Project S.E.R.V.E.
  • CHS students pitched proposals for community projects — and earned cash support — at events such as the Tom Tom Founders Festival and CFA Institute’s Project SERVE.
  • CHS students enrolled in career and technical education classes at CHS or at the Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) model future-readiness in a wide variety of areas, such as the program’s partnership with tech leader CISCO or their newly launched Technical Eats food bus, and they earn college credits and industry certifications.
  • For the second time in three years, the CHS Student Investment Group was one of six American finalists in the University of Pennsylvania Wharton Global High School Investment Competition!
  • CHS students excel in world languages, including French, German, Latin, Spanish, and even Chinese!   Our students put this language training into practice by translating for Spanish-speaking families at school events, partnering with the East Asia Center at U.Va., hosting guests from China, and making field trips to the German Embassy (plus China, France, Spain, and Switzerland).
  • Group of graduates gather outside of JPJ Arena CHS students outperform their state and national peers on the SAT and AP exams.  We are the only area school recognized by the Washington Post as a “challenging school” that encourages a wide variety of students to take AP classes and exams. Our honors and advanced classes are increasingly diverse — African-American enrollment in honors classes is up 29 percent in the last three years. This is in part due to greater use of “honors-optional” classes that allow students within a single class to elect assignments and readings that qualify for honors credit.

The Knightly News, a school newsletter, is  posted online and also mailed to parents six times a year. Mail subscriptions are available as well.

Follow CHS on Twitter or Facebook at @CHSBlackKnights!


History of Charlottesville High School

Built in 1974, Charlottesville High School replaced the historic Lane High School, which now serves as the Albemarle County Office Building. Lane High was built in 1939 but shut its doors in 1958 as part of the state’s massive resistance to racial integration.  Lane High, along with Venable Elementary, were the first Charlottesville schools to be integrated when the “Charlottesville Twelve” entered the schools on September 8, 1959. In recent years, many Charlottesville City Schools have often hosted members of the “Venable Twelve” to speak to students about their experiences integrating the schools.

Meet the Principal

Mr. Rashaad Pitt began his journey as an educator in 2006 as a history teacher in Petersburg City Public Schools. Working in a range of settings such as Chesterfield County Public Schools, the Department of Juvenile Justice, and Hampton City Schools, Mr. Pitt has served as teacher, middle school success coordinator, high school dean of students, and career academy principal.  His areas of experience include restorative justice, community outreach, professional development, and instructional leadership.