Coronavirus Updates graphic

Coronavirus/School Closure

Updated: April 13, 2020 10:00am

This landing page will answer your questions about Charlottesville City Schools’ closure due to coronavirus and point you to other school resources. We are continually updating this page to respond to new information.

Charlottesville City Schools Resources:

illustration of a "closed" signCharlottesville City Schools will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year following Governor Northam’s statewide school closure to contain the coronavirus. Stay tuned for updates related to continuity of learning and more.

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

Questions about Schools

Are the Schools Offering Meal Service?

Are the Schools Offering Meal Service?

Yes. Learn more at charlottesvilleschools.org/food.

During spring break (April 6-10), we recommend that families take advantage of community resources. These will be posted on our web site once the 4/1 school meal deliveries are complete.

Are the Schools Offering Online or At-Home Learning?

Are the Schools Offering Online or At-Home Learning?

Yes. During the weeks prior to spring break, we are offering exploratory activities as we continued to provide tech or other supports to families who are not connected with the schools. After spring break (April 6-10), we will be teaching new material to students, whether online or via learning materials mailed home.  All this is in keeping with the state’s guidance.

  • Find out more at charlottesvilleschools.org/learning
  • If your child has not been in contact with your teacher(s), please contact your school. We want to be connected and to keep your child learning this spring.
  • More details will be posted soon.

illustration of wifi hotspotWe have a number of free wifi hotspots available for check-out to households that do not presently have a way for their students to connect with their teachers.  Contact your school

Can I Still Get a Chromebook, Charger, or WiFi Hotspot for My Home?

Can I Still Get a Chromebook, Charger, or WiFi Hotspot for My Home? 

If your family does not have a Chromebook or charger, please contact your school.

In addition, if your family has no internet access or has a data limit that presents a barrier to online school participation, please contact your school so we can help your family find a learning solution.

Why Are the Schools Closed?

Why Are the Schools Closed?

On Friday, March 13, Governor Northam announced the closure of all Virginia K-12 schools for at least two weeks, which was later extended to the rest of the school year.  Accordingly, we have cancelled face-to-face classes and activities and are offering distance learning opportunities.

Have Schools Cancelled Activities?

Have Schools Cancelled Activities?

  • Activities and Events: 
    • Public activities have been cancelled by Governor Northam through June 10.
    • We are exploring virtual or delayed options for some events. Stay tuned.

Questions about Students/Staff and their Families

What Should My Family Do?

What Should My Family Do?

  • If your child has not been in contact with your teacher(s), please contact your school. We want to be connected and to keep your child learning this spring.
  • Families should maintain the preparations they take for flu and colds.  This includes washing hands with soap (or hand sanitizer) frequently,  trying not to touch your face, covering coughs, and staying home when sick. (See guidelines, below from the Virginia Department of Health).
  • Thanks for your flexibility with this closure. Thanks also for your patience as we transition to a new learning system.
  • Make sure that your contact information is up-to-date with the schools for messages (calls/emails/texts). You can edit these settings and your contact information by logging into PowerSchool. (Find instructions here.)
  • Want to help or volunteer? See below.

 CDC poster about stopping germs (see list in text)Guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Take flu antivirals if prescribed by your health care provider if you have the flu.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Ensure that your own family has a plan. The CDC has a guide. 

How Can My Family Help?

How Can My Family Help?

There are a number of  ways you can help.

  • If your child has not been in contact with your teacher(s), please contact your school. We want to be connected and to keep your child learning this spring.
  • Check to see if volunteer slots have opened (or new days added) to assist with our Nutrition Service’s meal delivery program during the closure.
  • You may wish to donate to the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation’s  “Community Emergency Response Fund.”

How Do I Get Messages from the School?

How Do I Get Messages from the School?

If your child has not been in contact with your teacher(s), please contact your school. We want to be connected and to keep your child learning this spring.

All families should be enrolled in School Messenger, which delivers messages via telephone, email, and text according to the settings of the parent/guardian.

You can edit these settings and update your contact information by logging into PowerSchool. (Find instructions here.)

For staff: Staff can also log in to customize how they receive updates. To sign up or to retrieve your password, use your work email (doej1@charlottesvilleschools.org). You can also find instructions about how to manage the settings.

How Do I Explain Coronavirus to My Child?

How Do I Explain Coronavirus or COVID-19 to My Child?

You can remind your child (and yourself) that:

  • COVID-19 is similar to other illnesses  that Americans experience such as the flu.
  • Children are generally experiencing mild symptoms.
  • Your family has a plan to take care (including washing hands, covering coughs, etc.).
  • Our community has a plan.

Other Questions

I’ve Heard That Some Communities Have Had Bullying and Discrimination Towards Asians. What Can We Do?

It’s important for students, staff, and parents to separate facts from fear. Guard against stigma by knowing the facts and only getting information from reliable sources. There are a lot of things on social media and in the news that are not rooted in science and are offensive, demeaning, and racist. Encourage everyone to keep their attention on the facts. Contact your school if you have specific concerns about bullying or bias. For questions about exclusion of students or staff who have traveled or their family members, or if someone self-reports travel or illness, contact the health district (434-972-6219 or 434-972-6261).

What About Facilities Rentals for the Schools and the Performing Arts Center?

What About Facilities Rentals for the Schools and the Performing Arts Center?

After Sunday, March 15, we will end facility rentals until further notice. We are sorry for the inconvenience and challenge that this presents.

How Can I Suggest a Topic or Correction for this Page?

How can I Suggest a Topic or Correction for this Page?

Email cheukb1@charlottesvilleschools.org with suggestions for this page. We want this page to be useful.

For specific questions about your situation, call your the your primary care provider, the health department at 434-972-6261, or your school.

How Can I Learn More about Coronavirus (Nationally or Locally)?

How Can I  Learn More about Coronavirus (Nationally or Locally)?

If you have questions about your child’s attendance at school, please contact the school directly.

Links and a local and state hotline are below. You can also turn to your health-care provider for specific questions or reach out to the  Thomas Jefferson Area Health District hotline at  434-972-6261.

  • Information on coronavirus from the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
    • This includes information on how the disease spreads, the latest numbers of American diagnoses, and more.
  • Travel recommendations from the CDC
  • Virginia coronavirus information from the Virginia Department of Health
  • Telephone hotline operated by the Virginia Department of Health: 877-ASK-VDH3.
  • Telephone hotline number for the local health department:  434-972-6261.

Where’s the Original Version of this Page?

Where’s the Original Version of this Page?

This page has been updated to focus on information relevant during our school closure. The original page can be found here.

Other Resources: