About Charlottesville High School

About Charlottesville High School

CHS homecomingExtraordinary 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. In the 2015-16 school year, students  qualified for national (and international) competitions in academic team, art, and programming. Three students were selected to represent the United States through State Department international travel programs.

CHS IMG_3854Through its extensive AP, dual enrollment, and dual-degree programs with Piedmont Virginia Community College, CHS prepares students to go to elite universities.  More than 40 members of the class of ’16 are attending schools such as Yale, the University of Chicago, Northwestern, the University of Virginia, and William & Mary.  We also prepare first-generation college students to blaze a trail for their families with continuing education.

A few CHS highlights:

  • CHS DSC_0038In 2014, a new high-tech STEM lab was unveiled at the school, home to science and engineering classes and serving as a shared space for cross-curricular work. (It is also home to the award-winning science club BACON, the Best All-Around Club of Nerds.)
  • 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 eleven “Blue Ribbons” from the Virginia Music Educators Association, given to schools whose top band, choir, and orchestra all earn superior.
  • CHS students excel in world languages, including French, German, Latin, Spanish, and even Chinese!  In 2015-16, 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 students through the State Department, and making field trips to the German Embassy (plus China, France, Spain, and Switzerland).
  • CHS IMG_6411CHS 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.

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

Dr. Eric Irizarry holds three degrees from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he also served as an adjunct teacher. Prior to his arrival at CHS in 2016, he served as a principal and held other administrative and teaching positions in North Carolina schools. He has presented at conferences and has focused much of his research and career on helping all students to achieve.