Students working together with Legos

December 2016 Elementary Highlights

Children at the elementary tailgate party at CHS
Friday Knight Lights: future CHS cheerleaders.

The first-ever all-elementary tailgate was a success.  Their cuteness and cheers propelled the CHS football team to a big win. Thanks to the Burnley-Moran PTO for organizing the event.

Second-graders across the division enjoyed their annual field trip to Monticello, filled with history, beauty, gardens, and even math.  Visiting Monticello’s “edible laboratory,” students guessed the weights of pumpkins, recorded weather, and tasted fennel.

Monticello magic -- something for each of our second-graders.
Monticello magic — something for each of our second-graders.

Thanks to a partnership with Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, students in the after-school CLASS program have new, fun options for staying on the move and healthy, as profiled by the Newsplex.

Students building a structure to protect lettuce from frost
Protecting lettuce from the freeze.

As part of the new iSTEM program, third-grade engineers in every school designed, built, and are testing frost-covers for their schools’ lettuce plants. Who can keep their lettuce healthy this winter?

Students from Burnley-Moran, Johnson, and Venable went to see a national production of “Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters” at the Paramount Theater.

Students conducting a science experiment with cabbage in the garden
Experimenting in the garden at BME.

Burnley-Moran students used their garden for both history and science this fall. Kindergartners studied “long ago” by “hunting” with arrows made with the garden’s corn cobs (using baskets as targets).  First graders boiled cabbage leaves to see how adding either a base or an acid will change the color of the purple cabbage water to either blue or red.

Multiplying with cookies
Multiplying with cookies at Clark.

Clark third-grade bakers practiced their math skills twice, by measuring ingredients and then laying out the cookies in even rows for multiplication practice.  Students also held their own Thanksgiving Day parade (with floats) after reading Balloons Over Broadway.

Loading the truck for the food drive at Greenbrier
Loading the truck for the food drive at Greenbrier.

Greenbrier students collected 1,199 cans of food for the Salvation Army, and students have been watching the progress of their new garden shed’s living roof.  All that’s left is the planting! Thanks to City Schoolyard Garden and volunteers!

Family collecting kale from the garden's harvest
Sharing the garden’s harvest with families at Jackson-Via.

Jackson-Via welcomed Virginia’s First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe to lunch in recognition its school-wide free & reduced lunch program.  And the school celebrated  “Family Harvest Day,” sharing fifteen pounds of kale, lettuce, and baby spinach from their garden with families, students, and teachers.

International Day at Johnson
International Day at Johnson.

Johnson hosted a number of special events, from an art workshop hosted by the Embassy of Oman, to their annual International Day celebration honoring their students’ varied backgrounds, to a kindergarten and pre-k soup supper, and a Thanksgiving pow-wow with kindergarten-aged native Americans.  Plus, the students earned a school-wide dance party by earning so many compliments!

Students working together with Legos
Working together at Venable.

As part of their celebration of International Education Week, Venable students practiced saying hello non-verbally in the style of different cultures.  And then they made a mannequin challenge to document those greeting poses! Venable students have also been using their voices (singing the national anthem for UVA women’s soccer), their hands (making useful objects out of gourds from the garden), and their ears and eyes (finding matches during bingo night).


First draft of the 2017-18 calendar. To receive this data by phone or in an alternate format, please call 434-245-2962.Remember, following winter break (12/19-12/30), there is a teacher workday on Monday, January 2, 2017.  Students return to school on Tuesday, January 3.

The draft calendar for the 2017-18 school year has been posted online. The calendar is developed jointly by the Albemarle and Charlottesville schools, through the work of a committee that includes staff and parents. The School Board will vote on this calendar at its January meeting.

Communications logos: You can customize how you receive messages from us
Customize your settings in PowerSchool unless you want to receive early-morning calls about school closings.

New this year for winter closing notifications: This year, all families will receive emails and calls at all times (including early morning) unless families customize their settings via PowerSchool. Find instructions here.  If you have not yet set up your PowerSchool account, call 245-2943.

The division will be holding a number of events to gather feedback and input for our 2017-2023 Strategic Plan. A community-wide listening session will be held at CHS on Wednesday, January 25 at 7pm — come join us! Or if you wish to participate in a smaller, school-based session on another day, please contact your principal or write goodnews@charlottesvilleschools.org. Learn more or take a brief survey here.

Five of  our teachers were honored at the 2016 Chamber of Commerce dinner, serving as the guests of Bill Kehoe, recipient of the 2016 Chamber Paul Goodloe McIntire Citizenship Award. The outstanding teachers honored from Charlottesville City Schools were Michael Keller and Brendan Martin of Buford Middle School, Michel Ann Sizemore of Jackson Via Elementary, and Sarah Gallagher and Rachel Rasnake of Walker Upper Elementary.

Mr. Chambers, highlighted by the Virginia Education Association
Mr. Chambers, highlighted by the VEA.

Mr. Ernest Chambers, physical education teacher at Burnley-Moran Elementary, was profiled in the Virginia Education Association’s Journal of Education.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently gave a shout-out to the schools’ partnership with City Schoolyard Garden and Local Food Hub, which supports innovating programs such as as our Harvest of the Month program, our extensive Farm-to-School Week offerings, and our year-round commitment to fresh, local foods and garden classrooms.  Thanks to both organizations for your support!

In November, the Special Education Advisory Committee hosted a community discussion about how to prepare your child for “Life After High School, Now.”

Multi-aged kids coding at Johnson for "hour of code"
Multi-aged coders at Johnson for “Hour of Code.”

Across the division, Charlottesville Schools participated in the international Hour of Code, a event designed to expose students to computer programming. Charlottesville Schools has extensive and growing support to help students learn to code.

At its fall conference, the Virginia Board of Education honored Charlottesville City Schools for receiving a 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools District Sustainability Award.


Upcoming events include:

  • Multiple elementary concerts, 12/13 (Burnley-Moran’s is on 12/15)
  • Winter Break and Teacher Workday, 12/19 through Monday, 1/2
  • Classes resume, Tuesday, 1/3
  • School Board Meeting, 1/5, 5pm, CHS Media Center
  • Community Budget Presentation, 1/10, 5:30pm, CHS Media Center
  • No School for Martin Luther King Day, 1/16
  • End of 2nd Quarter, 1/20
  • CHS Orchestra presents family-friendly Peter and the Wolf, 1/21,  2pm, MLKPAC
  • No School for Teacher Workday, 1/23
  • Stage Left Theater presents family-friendly Beauty and the Beast, 1/24, 6:30pm, Walker Auditorium
  • Community Strategic Plan Listening Session (open to all), 1/25, 7pm, CHS

Remember that you can subscribe to our Google calendar of school holidays and as well as Google calendars for school-specific events. Instructions are at charlottesvilleschoools.org/calendar.