January 2022 News and Highlights

A Word from Dr. Gurley

Portrait of Dr. GurleyDear families,

We are so glad to have students back in the classroom this week after the weather disruptions of the beginning of the year. The snow, road conditions and power outages made it unsafe for us to transport students and open schools. In fact, power was not restored to Clark until last Thursday. At the same time, I know our division’s decision to remain closed was hard on many of our families. I appreciate your patience and the grace you have extended to me.

Communicating About Closures
As we face the possibility of more winter weather this weekend, please keep tuned in for updates. If we need to change our schedule, we will contact you via SchoolMessenger. You can also check our website, social media channels, and local media. (If you’re not getting SchoolMessenger phone or email updates, contact your school.)

Updates on In-Person School/Classroom COVID Indicators
We are also keeping an eye on how the current COVID surge is impacting our schools’ safety and operations using our three indicators:

  • Both staffing and student absences are similar to what we were seeing before winter break.
  • COVID cases are higher than prior to break, especially since many winter break cases are being reported now. Most new cases have not resulted in school exposures, but we continue to work with the health district to monitor specific situations.

COVID Protocol: Definition of “Fully Vaccinated”
We are also changing one part of our COVID protocol: Now, to be considered fully vaccinated (and avoid the 14-day quarantine after exposure), students and staff must also receive a booster shot if/when they are eligible. Boosters are widely available and recommended for ages 12+. For our purposes, you are considered fully vaccinated either if you are boosted, or if it has been less than than 6 months since a Pfizer/Moderna 2nd dose or 2 months since a J&J single dose. A “test to stay” protocol as a safe alternative to quarantine is in the works for students through a partnership with the state.

Schools are closed this Monday, January 17, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Amidst these challenging times, let this day offer a chance for reflection and the renewal of our commitments to one another and our community.

Sincerely,
Dr. Royal A. Gurley, Jr.

Mark your calendars! Want to see more dates? Here is a link to the fully updated 2021-22 school year calendar. And check out the newly approved 2022-23 school year calendar, too.

SCHOOL BOARD FAREWELLS, WELCOMES, AND NEW ‘MINI MINUTES’
In December we said goodbye and THANK YOU to Leah Puryear and Juandiego Wade for 15 transformative years on our School Board. Watch a brief tribute to their service. In 2022 we welcome Emily Dooley and Dom Morse to the Board! Plus: Want to keep up with important updates from the Board? Subscribe to “Mini Minutes” for quick takeaways from each session.

GOLDEN APPLE AWARDS: NOMINATE AN OUTSTANDING TEACHER
There’s still time to submit nominations for the 2022 Golden Apple Awards for Teaching Excellence in Charlottesville and Albemarle! The deadline to honor one of your child’s amazing educators is Monday, January 24. Winners receive a $500 grant for classroom materials or professional development. Click here for the online nomination form.

Program of Study text/imageCOURSE SELECTION FOR 2022-23: COMING SOON!
Students planning to enroll at Walker, Buford and CHS in Fall 2022 will soon be choosing courses. Stay tuned for updates from your school. You can also read the approved Program of Studies for next year.

illustration of budget and calculator

BUDGET INPUT SESSION FOR PARENTS/COMMUNITY
Join the conversation about our division’s budget priorities for next year. This virtual meeting is Thursday, January 20, 7-8:30 pm. Click here to register.

Image of girl adjusting mask nosepiece from CDCFAQ FOR COVID SAFETY 
“How can I sign my child up for free COVID testing at school?”   |   “What kinds of masks work best?”   |   “When should my child stay home from school?”

More Looks at Cville Schools

Our principals are amazing! For Virginia School Principal Appreciation Week, join us in saying THANK YOU to our principals for their leadership during these unprecedented times. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to learn more about each educator’s service to our division.

Congratulations to Dr. Rosa Atkins, Virginia’s new Acting Superintendent of Public Instruction! Learn more.

 

 

 

CHS teacher Pam Brown is one of the Daily Progress’s “Distinguished Dozen.” Click here to read the story. 

Find more info and events on on our website, social media, or our Google calendars!

Find us on the web at charlottesvilleschools.org