A strong and positive community is a cornerstone of Charlottesville school operations. To promote this culture and to help all students succeed, Charlottesville City Schools has implemented a program of positive supports (Virginia Tiered System of Supports and Positive Behavorial Intervention and Supports). School staff and students work together to establish a common understanding and common language about positive behavior.
Both students and staff are committed to preventing bullying behavior and taking action when bullying occurs.
Charlottesville City Schools Code of Student Conduct defines bullying as unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time on the part of one or more persons. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
Support from home is a critical component in teaching respect and self-control. We also involve parents in addressing a child‘s bullying behavior and in determining a solution.
Additionally, all schools in Virginia are required to offer character education. Schools have an array of professionally developed programs from which to choose. In the Charlottesville City Schools, social and emotional learning is promoted in part through the counseling departments. Student recognition and parental involvement are key components in the school system‘s approach to character development. Community service and mentoring programs are also a part of the program.
A comprehensive Code of Student Conduct manual has also been developed and is updated annually. Programs are supplemented by trade books, library books and media programs. Community nonprofit organizations frequently provide live presentations and programs related to character development in the schools.
It’s Cool to Be Kind: Walker’s Peace Squad and Other Clubs
Aside from the excellent in-school programming provided by our school counselors and others, several of our schools have clubs to spread the kindness message through training, the arts, and other fun ways. At Walker School, the Peace Squad works to end bullying and promote kindness through student training and by presenting plays and skits to fellow students and younger students at the City’s elementary schools. At Buford Middle School, efforts are underway to form a new chapter of the Peace Squad, along with a Buford United task force to promote a positive culture throughout the school. Jackson-Via’s “Bully Nots” and “First Friends” similarly spread a message of caring through song and dance at a school-wide assembly.