CDC poster about stopping germs (see list in text)

Coronavirus Messages

This is an archive of the Charlottesville City Schools division messages related to coronavirus.

Charlottesville City Schools Messages to Families

Message to Families 4/12: Reminder about Teaching New Material, Meals, and More

Dear Charlottesville City Schools staff and families–

We hope you enjoyed spring break. As a reminder, this week, we will begin offering new instruction. K-1 families will receive a printed workbook in the mail, and other students will access the curriculum online through programs such as Canvas, Google Classroom, or Clever. If your family does not have a computer or access to the internet AND you have not contacted your school, please do so.

To address questions you may have about online learning this spring, we have posted information on our web site at charlottesvilleschools.org/learningFAQ. One big idea is that we are deemphasizing grading at this time and shifting to a system similar to pass-fail. We will continue to provide constructive feedback as we focus on the key skills and concepts that our students need to be ready for the fall. This video explains how this new system of grading and learning will work.

Starting Monday, we will resume the school’s food deliveries. You can find the latest information for deliveries or volunteering at charlottesvilleschools.org/food.
Have a good day — we’re happy to prepare your students for next year. As we begin this new phase, remember to stay safe, stay connected, and keep learning.

Message to Families 4/2: Updates about Learning and Spring Break Meals

Dear Charlottesville staff and families,

We have a few updates about learning and about meals.

Our IT team has been busy helping families get computers and solve connectivity issues, and our teachers have been reaching out through phone, email, and online learning programs. If your student has not been able to connect with your teacher, please contact your school. We want to help your student continue learning. We have posted learning resources on our web site at charlottesvilleschools.org/learning. This week features more exploratory online activities as we continue to make contact with students and families.

Spring break is April 6-10. After that, we will begin teaching new curriculum, whether online or with printed materials that will be mailed to K and 1st-grade families. We will soon post information on our web site that addresses specific questions about our spring learning plan (see outline, below). Please be patient as we continue to receive ongoing guidance from the state that impacts these plans.

For meals: We have posted the volunteer sign-up sheet for the weeks following spring break.  Next week, our nutritional staff and school bus drivers will get a well-deserved break. But we encourage families in need to take advantage of services offered by groups such as Loaves and Fishes and the Charlottesville Food Justice Network. For details, see the flyer that came home with yesterday’s meals or visit charlottesvilleschools.org/food.

Have a good evening!

Message to Families 3/23: Schools Closed for Remainder of School Year

Dear Charlottesville Schools families and staff,

The Governor of Virginia has just announced the closure of Virginia schools for the remainder of the school year. The state will issue guidance about what this means for our continuity of instruction, the class of 2020, the role of schools in delivering meals to students, and many other issues. We will keep you informed as we learn more and make plans. Please take care and know that we are working together to serve our community in this unusual time.

Message to Families 3/22: Food and Learning Updates

Dear families,

What a week! If you’re like me, you’re still trying to process all that has happened.

In the past week, we have grappled with

  • the confirmation that the virus has arrived in our state and community, 
  • the sudden decision to close our schools,
  • the creation of a school meals delivery system that served more than 2,500 meals, 
  • the distribution of about 900 chromebooks to our 2nd- to 6th-grade students, and 
  • outlining a new framework for student engagement and learning.

I’m so proud of our teachers, principals, and staff as well as our community volunteers who have made these accomplishments possible, even as they have juggled responsibilities at home.

FOOD UPDATES
Let’s start with a brief update on food. Schools’ food deliveries this week are Monday and Wednesday only. Since we will be giving multiple day’s food at each visit, we recommend children bring an adult or backpack to help carry the extra food home. Delivery times/locations are the same but as we deliver more food, there may be route delays.  Volunteers are needed for this week. Learn more and sign up to help at charlottesvilleschools.org/food.

Let’s take a moment to thank our nutrition team and bus drivers for their incredible work and dedication! What important work they are doing!

LEARNING UPDATES
Now, let us turn our attention to learning. While we will await the governor’s guidance on when to re-open schools, we are making plans in case the closure extends beyond 3/27. Tomorrow the governor is expected to make an announcement.

NEW REALITIES
As we think about what learning will look like in case of an extended closure, let’s keep in mind that at home, work, and “school,” we are making new routines and finding new ways to meet our basic needs. We are still working to get supports such as chromebooks and wifi to households in need. We are working to empower our teachers to succeed in a new environment even as we recognize that they are also supporting their own families at home, particularly as illness arises (coronavirus or otherwise). In other words, this is new and complicated, and we will not immediately transform our vibrant schools into fully formed distance-learning counterparts.

NEXT STEPS FOR LEARNING
Having said that, we are committed to finding new ways to connect and engage with our students. Starting later this week, teachers will be reaching out to students to make connections and to map which students need additional supports to be part of a virtual community.

As we gain confidence online and extend resources as needed, we will ramp up our distance learning offerings. Along the way, we will make mistakes and learn — exactly what we expect our students to do. Let’s be patient and encouraging with one another — just as we expect of our teachers.

GOALS AND EXPECTATIONS FOR LEARNING
Our goal during this time is to maintain the relationship between our schools and our families and to encourage students to continue — and enjoy — learning. For the time being, learning resources are offered as suggestions for your family to help provide structure, maintain a connection to our schools, and foster continuous learning.  Work will not be graded. These activities are offered as a support, not a stressor. If our closure is extended beyond 3/27, we may formalize these arrangements. 

You will learn more from your schools and your teachers about what this will look like for your students, but as you await contact from your teacher, we’ve created a page to give you some basics to work with at charlottesvilleschools.org/learning.

CHALLENGES AHEAD
We have big questions to grapple with, such as:

  • How do we meet the needs of our most vulnerable learners?
  • How will we support our youngest students with at-home learning?
  • How will we prepare high school seniors for graduation and life after graduation?
  • Will we be able to sustain our model for food delivery if this situation continues or worsens?
  • We have many challenges and exciting opportunities. 

The good news is, we aren’t in this alone. We are following state guidance. For instance, the state is applying for a federal waiver from state SOL testing, and the state is issuing guidelines for seniors. Aside from the state, we are working with other school divisions. And remember, Charlottesville, we are a strong community.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?
There are many ways to help.

  • Take care of yourself and your family.
  • Consider volunteering. Presently, we need food delivery volunteers — even for tomorrow. A one-stop-shop for giving and getting help is supportcville.com.
  • Consider donating. The CACF is creating a school-based fund to support our food delivery efforts — stay tuned. And already, the CACF has created a general Charlottesville Emergency fund for the needs throughout our community.
  • Be patient as we continue to learn what works. If you have suggestions or concerns, please contact us directly. Constructive feedback is welcome, and we may miss a good idea if it is posted on social media instead of emailed to a staff member. 

You are doing your best. Although not seen by the public, our custodians and IT staff are doing their best. Our teachers will soon be doing their best (and we know just how good their best is!) Our nutrition staff, bus drivers, and volunteers are doing their best. Together, we all want what is best for the young people of Charlottesville.

With appreciation,
Dr. Rosa Atkins

Message to 2nd-6th Grade Families 3/18: Chromebook Pick-Up

Dear Walker and elementary families, [grades 2-6]

On Thursday, March 19, we will begin the process of checking out Chromebook computers to 2nd- through 6th-graders who need them. Walker School will be open for check-outs from noon-6pm on Thursday. On Thursday evening, we’ll have check-out stations at each elementary school from 5-6pm. You can go to the school that is most convenient to you.

If your family already has computers, ipads, or similar devices for your students to use, we ask that you hold off or limit your check-outs to one per family. We want to make sure that we are reaching as many of our families as possible. We’ll also be giving away print-outs of educational resources. For families who are not coming to pick up a Chromebook, we will post these items to our website. We continue to develop additional instructional materials.

As we have said before, thanks for your patience as we develop new ways to meet the needs of our families. Have a good evening.

Message to Families 3/17: Food Delivery Sites, Chromebook/WiFi Survey

Dear Charlottesville City Schools families,

This is an update with revised information about our food deliveries and an update about a chromebook and wifi survey that will be sent later today.

  • The food delivery info has been posted to charlottesvilleschools.org/food, but for those without access to email or the web, details will be read later in this message.
  • As we make plans to offer chromebook computers and WiFi hotspots to households in need, later today we will offer a survey via phone, email, and the web site. In preparation for the survey, you might check to see if your phones and devices can now log on to the free hotspots that Xfinity has made available throughout the city. Thanks in advance for participating in this survey.

And as always, thanks for your patience and please keep referring to the web site for updates. As we better understand the needs of our community, we continue to revise our plans.

Food Delivery Updates

As a reminder, this information is posted at charlottesvilleschools.org/food.

Beginning on Wednesday, our delivery hour will be 11am-noon, Monday-Friday. (This timeframe allows us to serve hot foods safely.)

In order to better reach families, we are keeping 5 of the existing stations open and we will convert others to roaming bus delivery routes that will stop at 4-5 locations during the hour.

Five stations will offer hour-long service in one location:

  1. CHS – 1400 Melbourne Ave.
  2. Friendship Court – 418 Garrett St
  3. Greenstone on 5th – 746 Prospect Av
  4. Hearthwood Apartments  – 2111 Michie Drive
  5. Jackson-Via Elementary School – Parking Lot / Bus Loop 508 Harris Road
  6. Westhaven – 803 Hardy Drive

 

Five buses will make routes through other neighborhoods throughout the city:

  1. Route 1 (Burnley-Moran Area)
    • Stop 1 11:00 AM Nicholson St @ Bennett St
    • Stop 2 11:15 AM Holmes Avenue @ Elizabeth Avenue
    • Stop 3 11:30 AM St. Clair Avenue @ St. George Avenue
    • Stop 4 11:45 AM 323 Riverside Avenue
  2. Route 2 (Burnley-Moran and Clark Areas)
    • Stop 1 11:00 AM Meade Avenue @ Meade Park
    • Stop 2 11:15 AM Carlton Avenue @ Nassau St
    • Stop 3 11:30 AM Rives St @ Hampton St
    • Stop 4 11:45 AM Rougemont Avenue @ Meridian St.
  3. Route 3 (Jackson-Via Area)
    • Stop 1 11:00 AM 6th St SE @ Rougemont Avenue
    • Stop 2 11:15 AM 1st St S @ Lankford Avenue
    • Stop 3 11:30 AM Ridge St @ Brookwood Drive
    • Stop 4 11:45 AM 5th St SW @ Cleveland Avenue
  4. Route 4 (Johnson Area)
    • Stop 1 11:00 AM 6th St SE @ Bolling Avenue
    • Stop 2 11:15 AM Elliott Avenue @ Burnett St
    • Stop 3 11:30 AM Cherry Avenue @ Hanover St
    • Stop4 11:45 AM Bailey Avenue @ Orangedale Avenue
  5. Route 5 (Venable Area)
    • Stop 1 11:00 AM Wayne Avenue @ Cedar Hill Rd
    • Stop 2 11:10 AM 2204 N. Berkshire Rd
    • Stop 3 11:25 AM Rose Hill Drive @ Madison Avenue
    • Stop 4 11:35 AM Forest St @ Concord Avenue
    • Stop 5 11:45 AM Venable Elementary @ Gordon Avenue

NOTES: As a reminder, per federal guidelines, a child 18 or under must be present to claim their own bag. Thanks again for your patience. Finally, please stay tuned since we continue to refine these routines and stops as we try to respond to this situation and the needs of our community.

Message to Families March 16, 2020: Reminder about Meal Delivery 3/17, including new Riverside site

Dear Charlottesville City Schools families–

This is a reminder about the meal deliveries that will be tomorrow along with a few updates:

  • We will begin food deliveries tomorrow at sites throughout the city from the hours of 10-12. We have added Christ Community Church as an 11th pick-up site. Find details at charlottesvilleschools.org/food
  • As of this afternoon, we will be following the City’s lead and closing our buildings through at least Friday, March 27. While some staff may be in the office, most will be working from home. There will be no public access to the buildings.
  • In light of this change, we are pausing some efforts, such as distributing chromebooks and creating division-wide online and at-home learning and engagement opportunities. We’ll provide updates later.

Please continue to visit our web site if you have questions. In this fast-paced environment, we are updating it regularly regarding food deliveries and information about our coronavirus closure. 

Thanks so much for your patience in a continually changing situation.

Message to Families March 15, 2020: Medicine and Musical Instrument Pick-Up

Dear families,

We recognize that Friday afternoon’s decision to close schools state-wide came suddenly. If your student has medicine or personal items that you need to pick up, you can come by the school tomorrow between 9am and 2pm. If possible, please contact your school office or principal so that we can have your item ready for you to pick up. In the case of medicine, a parent or guardian needs to be present.

In addition, band and orchestra students at Walker, Buford, and CHS can pick up their instruments outside the schools from 11-2 tomorrow.

School telephone numbers and principal emails are below.

Thanks again for your understanding in this unusual time.

Beth Cheuk
Charlottesville City Schools

  • CHS: 434-245-2410 or irizare1@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Lugo-McGinnes: 434-245-2406 or dahlj1@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Buford: 434-245-2411or turnerj1@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Walker: 434-245-2412 or hastina1@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Burnley-Moran: 434-245-2413 or korabe1@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Clark: 434-245-2414 or isleyd1@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Greenbrier: 434-245-2415 or cuomop1@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Jackson-Via: 434-245-2416 or malonej1@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Johnson: 434-245-2417 or thompss2@charlottesvilleschools.org
  • Venable: 434-245-2418 or kershne1@charlottesvilleschools.org

Message to Families March 13, 2020: Statewide School Closure, Meal Announcements

Message to Families March 13, 2020

Dear Charlottesville Staff and Families–

A few minutes ago, Governor Ralph Northam ordered that all of Virginia’s K-12 schools will close for a minimum of two weeks beginning on Monday and extending through at least March 27. We wanted to notify you of this as soon as possible because we recognize that this will require a lot of planning on both your part and ours.

We will be in touch with more information on Monday. For the time being, a few announcements:

  • The PBJ Fund and our wonderful elementary PTOs have planned sandwich deliveries to some of our neighborhoods on Monday. See our web site and social media for details.
  • We will begin food service for families in need on Tuesday. More information will come.
  • The Charlottesville Area Community Fund has opened a fund for donations to support our community in this time. Again, see our web site and social media.

Again, we will have more information for you on Monday once we meet to make plans. 

As I mentioned yesterday, this health event will cause stress and challenges. It is also an opportunity for us to support one another, just as we have done in the past. Thanks and take care!

Update to elementary families: To stay in compliance with the governor’s order, we will cancel the CLASS program on Monday 3/16. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Message to Families March 12, 2020: Updates and Changes to Programming

Message to Families March 12, 2020

Dear Charlottesville Schools Staff and Families,

I’m reaching out with important updates regarding our response to coronavirus. The most pressing item is that on Monday, March 16, there will be no school for students in Charlottesville Schools while we give our teachers and staff time to train and prepare for the possibility of extended school closures. However, the after-school program called CLASS will hold a full-day program for students already enrolled in CLASS. A flyer will go home today with CLASS families.

Now for additional updates. This is lengthy but important.

In addition to our current practices of cleaning, hand-washing, and reminding sick students and staff to stay home, we are taking extra steps:

  • We have cancelled field trips, events, and staff travel that would involve gatherings of more than 100 people or that would take students or staff outside of the Charlottesville area, including out-of-state and international travel. For this weekend, this includes Parent University and the ArtConnections open house along with District 13 orchestra assessments at Buford.
  • For the time being, we will hold athletic practices but cancel scrimmages. We will give teams updates as information is available.
  • We are preparing — and we ask you to prepare — for the possibility of extended school closures following health department guidance. As we prepare for this possibility, we are developing online or at-home learning plans, and we are exploring ways to get food and resources to families who rely on the school meals program due to food insecurity. Please arrange childcare now for the possibility that we may face extended school closures.
  • In addition, we request that students or staff who return from areas where coronavirus has been identified practice self-isolation per the recommendations of the CDC. For details or guidance about household members who have traveled, please see our website.

We know you will have questions, and we have updated our resource page at charlottesvilleschools.org/coronavirus.

As we take these steps, it is important to remember that children appear to be only mildly impacted by the coronavirus. The health department’s guidance to us is designed to mitigate the spread of the virus to keep our entire community safe, especially older adults and individuals with underlying health issues. These recommendations may change as we learn more from the health department and other authorities.

As our community moves forward, we know that these changes are stressful, there will be challenges, and we will get through it together. 

With appreciation,

Rosa Atkins

Message to Families March 4, 2020: Basic Coronavirus Preparations

Message to Families (March 4, 2020)

Dear Charlottesville Schools Families and Staff,

Charlottesville City Schools is working with the regional and state health department to monitor and make plans for the respiratory illness caused by coronavirus (or COVID-19).

According to the Center for Disease Control, the current risk of COVID-19 infection to the American public is still considered low. As of today, there are no COVID-19 cases in Virginia.

Even so, we want to be prepared and we are reinforcing everyday best practices such as hand-washing, covering coughs, and cleaning our buildings. We are also working with regional partners such as the health department to revise our preparation plans.

We have created a web page to answer more specific questions. You can find it at charlottesvilleschools.org/coronavirus.

In the meanwhile, take care and wash your hands!