| Welcome to the Black Knights Twitter feed. We hope you will follow us for updates and news about CHS! – Charlottesville High School (@CHSBlackKnights)
Welcome to our Clark Elementary School Twitter feed. We can’t wait to share all the wonderful things going on at Clark!
— Clark School (@clarkbees)
Jackson-Via will be offering tours to parents on the dates listed below. All tours take place at 9:15 a.m. and last approximately 30-45 minutes. We limit the number of participants on each tour to ensure that everyone can hear and ask questions. Please call Ms. Harlow in the Jackson-Via office to register – 434-245-2416.
- November 18
- December 2
- January 13
- February 10
- March 10
- April 14
Parents should plan to arrive in the front office a few minutes early to sign in and receive visitors’ passes. Please allot time for parking as there are typically few spots available on site and many of the neighborhood streets do not permit non-resident parking during the day.
Unfortunately, requests for tours at other dates and times cannot be honored due to the disruption to classes.
If you are an out-of-division family who would like to apply for a space in Charlottesville City Schools next year, we begin accepting applications in April. Click here for information about the application process.
If you are an out-of-division family who would like to apply for a space in Charlottesville City Schools next year, we begin accepting applications in April. Click here for information about the application process.
Has anyone told the Buford engineers that school’s out?! This summer, they’ve already made presentations at U.Va. Curry School of Education, American University, and ISTE ’17 in San Antonio! (That’s the the annual conference of the International Society for Technology in Education.) To learn more about their summer activities, follow @CCS_iSTEM on Twitter.
Below are this year’s CCS school supplies lists. Copies of these lists are available at area stores. If you have any questions, please call your school.
And if you need assistance getting school supplies for this year, contact your school counselor or register for this year’s Community Back-to-School Bash at the Sprint Wireless Pavilion on Saturday, August 12, from 10:30am – 12 pm.
School Supply Lists for the 2017-18 School Year:
Also, you and your family might enjoy meeting up with Books on Bikes, a group of Charlottesville City Schools teachers, librarians, staff, and even trained doggie pals as they make summertime deliveries of books and freezy-pops.
Summer Reading Recommendations and Information:
Next Year’s Sports Tryout Information:
- Coming soon.
- Free sports physicals at CHS after school in the main gym on May 24. Bring VHSL health form signed by your parents.
Save-the-Dates for Rising 9th-Graders:
- August 14, 9th Grade Orientation
- August 22, 9th Grade Meet/Greet
- August 23, 1st day of school
Senior Portrait Information:
- Thursday, August 10 (9am-4pm)
- Monday, September 11 (9am-4pm)
- For questions regarding price, packages or setup, contact Life Touch for more info at 540-562-3107 or 800-366-0639.
9th-11th Grade Portrait Information:
- Tuesday-Wednesday, September 19-20
- Monday, October 16
May 9, 2017
Thanks to so many of you who have offered your ideas as part of our strategic planning process. We have held more than 40 meetings in our schools and at community events with students, staff, parents, community members, and other stakeholders. Your feedback has been invaluable.
We now have a draft of the plan, focusing on academic excellence, safe and supportive schools, and organizational supports. At the heart of this plan is the idea that we are all learners — not only our students, but our teachers, staff members such as our bus drivers, and our families at home. We are growing and working together for the benefit of our community.
- Read over the draft plan.
- Join us for a community conversation this Thursday, May 11, at 5:30pm at CHS.
- Submit your comments via a brief Google form.
This month’s newsletter focuses on the big ideas of our strategic plan and provides recent examples that support these emphases. If you see an item in this newsletter, you’ll know that our strategic plan says, “We want more of this.”
Thanks for partnering with us, today and in the future!
—Rosa S. Atkins, Superintendent
ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE: Learning will be equitable, centered on students, and develop life-ready graduates
We want to make sure that all of our students find success and opportunities in our schools and in life after school.
Special events celebrate our diversity, including Buford’s recent International Night or Walker School’s recent performance of ¡El Espectáculo!, the capstone project of our Elementary Spanish program. But more than specific programs or special events, we want to build a division-wide culture that values both differences and commonalities, every day.
Charlottesville City Schools has been recognized as a model of excellence and leadership in an urban school division. Congratulations to School Board member Leah Puryear, who was recently elected to the national steering committee for the Council of Urban Boards of Education.
Another example of our commitment to supporting all our students is helping our students with special needs meet their goals and be a full part of our schools. We are delighted that, for instance, Naia Fairchild, the CHS cheerleading manager who has Down Syndrome, was elected homecoming queen this fall. If your child receives services, consider completing the Special Education Advisory Committee’s parent survey to help us serve you better. Join the SEAC’s mailing list to learn more about workshops or other programs that might benefit your family; to join, email email@example.com.
We are committed to providing leadership opportunities for all our students. For example, this year our immigrant and refugee students have earned a number of honors and leadership roles, from School Board rep to senior class president to peer mentor to City Youth Council member, and more.
Students are building a bridge to a bright future, including our first-generation college students. Our AVID program strengthens study skills, guides students towards college-prep classes, helps students navigate the college admissions process, and more. At the end of the day on May 12, the CHS senior class will celebrate “Decision Day” with a bounce house and other fun ways to celebrate 13 years of hard work. Congrats, class of 2017!
Early childhood education remains a priority. Charlottesville City Schools offers high-quality preschool for qualifying 3- and 4-year-olds who face economic challenges, need to learn English, require special services, or more. This investment — funded primarily with local dollars — yields big returns. In upcoming years, our leaders will consider whether a dedicated preschool facility could help us expand services and reduce crowding at our elementary schools.
As part of its sold-out production of A Raisin in the Sun, the CHS theatre program was highlighted in the Daily Progress for its commitment to choosing plays that welcome and include all our students.
Centered on Students:
We want to foster the unique talents and interests of our students, and we want students to “own” their learning by setting goals, making choices, and reflecting on their progress.
Student-centered learning looks different in various schools and classrooms. It can be as small as students choosing how to start their day (reading, drawing, or journaling). In some of our engineering and other classes, students can advance through a curriculum at their own pace.
Student-centered learning connects learners with resources to advance their own passions, such as Buford student Reece McKee earning 3rd place in Virginia for the Geography Bee. (Aidan Peters of Walker also qualified for the state competition!)
Special, competitive opportunities like the Virginia Governor’s School help our students dive deep into areas of their own interest, from the arts to environmental engineering to a special NASA program (2 out of Virginia’s 12 slots were earned by CHS students this year)! Congratulations to our Governor’s School honorees: Anna Bon-Harper, Sophia Greenhoe (alternate), Nadiya Khaydari, Maire Lee, Sydney Lewin, Risa Purow-Ruderman, Demetrius Ragland, and Jonah Weissman!
Similarly, for a second straight year, a CHS student has earned a competitive travel fellowship to continue studying Mandarin in China through a U.S. State Department-sponsored program. This summer Lucas Higgins will travel with the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y); last summer it was Santiago Padrón.
Using tech resources can make learning personal and relevant to students. Recently, Walker ESL students “visited” their home country of Nepal with virtual reality goggles.
Hosting student-led conferences (this year at Clark and Venable) was an excellent opportunity for students to reflect on their learning and share their progress with the parents and grandparents — some of whom joined in via Skype from as far away as Jordan!
Clubs like BACON (Best All-around Club of Nerds) or classes like AVID can connect students with projects and that are student-led and personally meaningful, including the 2nd-place-in-Virginia Avoidcopter (a drone with avoidance capabilities) or proposals for social change pitched at the TomTom Festival.
And a tried-and-true way to help students learn with passion (and excellence) is through the arts. Both the CHS and Buford orchestras were named grand champions of their respective regional competitions this spring (and won many other awards along the way). Congratulations to both groups and their directors!
Producing Life-Ready Graduates
Virginia’s new “Profile of a Virginia Graduate” focuses on abilities and traits that will prepare our students to succeed in life. These range from communication and “soft” skills to real-world problem-solving abilities to STEM literacy to workplace experiences and industry certifications.
Our new, locally developed iSTEM program continues to roll out hands-on, real-life projects that cross boundaries between “sciencey” subjects and areas such as art, history, and reading. From solar ovens to wind turbines to working models of the human respiratory system (and much, much more), our students are applying their skills to the world around them.
CATEC students model future-readiness for us in a variety of areas, from culinary arts to our new partnership with tech leader CISCO. Students can earn college credits, industry certifications, and valuable skills such as resume-building and interviewing.
Tapping into community resources is another way to help students learn to navigate their community and their futures. Field trips and guest speakers (both live and virtual) build connections and take advantage of the real world all around us. CHS history students recently visited the Vietnam War Foundation and Museum in Ruckersville, sitting in a Huey helicopter and gathering the oral histories of veterans.
When Charlottesville City Schools wanted to participate in the Hispanic Help Fair organized by Sin Barreras, we turned to the experts. Junior Marisol Rodriquez translated posters into Spanish for our booth, and senior Elizabeth Valtierra spoke en español y en ingles with the public who stopped by. What a great example of how our students can build communication and soft skills for the benefit of all!
Another sign of excellent communication skills: Congratulations to Ashley Clark and the CHS creative writing team! Ashley won 1st in Virginia for her short story! She plus Rachel Beling, Thomas Butler, Helen Gehle, Audrey Miller, and Qena Taylor earned 6th in VHSL creative writing.
And still more recognition of our students’ communication skills in a variety of media…. The VR film produced this year by Theatre CHS students was screened at the San Francisco Film Festival. Aleena Haidari won the Charlottesville Area Bar Association’s essay contest on the 14th Amendment, and her sister Waheda Haidari was a finalist in the Virginia War Memorial’s World War I art contest. Congratulations to all!
Our learning communities will foster social, emotional, mental, and physical wellness
Charlottesville City Schools has made a strong commitment to healthy habits and strong communities. There’s more to be done, but here are some examples of what we’re already doing to foster a well-rounded sense of wellness.
Positive school culture is supported by the ongoing division-wide implementation of Virginia Tiered Systems of Support, or VTSS. VTSS recognizes that students’ academic performance and behavior are closely aligned, and it calls for a division-wide framework for supplying quick, consistent responses to students’ academic and behavioral needs. Within the VTSS framework, a program called Positive Behaviorial Interventions and Supports (PBIS) promotes community, celebrates good behavior, and deepens relationships. More information is available on our web site.
Our school counselors foster social-emotional health in a variety of ways. They offer classroom lessons, such as guiding blindfolded partners to solve jigsaw puzzles at Walker. They sponsor clubs and groups such as the Walker Peace Squad or the Jackson-Via Bully-Nots. And they work with teachers to form peer mentoring groups, such as the CHS Link Crew. Wrapping up its first full year, the Link Crew trains selected CHS 10th-12th graders to help their crew of new 9th-graders have a smooth first year of high school.
Relationships (and reading skills) can deepen even during the summer through our teachers’ and librarians’ Books on Bikes program! The BoB team visits neighborhoods in the summer to deliver free books, popsicles, and smiles. (A therapy dog even makes the rounds!) Join them for their summer kick-off bike parade on June 10!
Our nutrition program has won awards for its commitment to nutritious, healthy foods, but there is always room for improvement. Working with the Local Food Hub, parents, and student focus groups, Nutrition Director Carlton Jones has been making plans for the future. Our new “Local on the Line” program supplies local foods (such as strawberries or salad greens, at left) in monthly menu items.
While gym and recess are very important, physical wellness is bigger than that. Throughout-the-day movement also comes from simple things like students working eye-to-eye on the floor or heading outside to create a calculus problem on the slope of a hill outside CHS.
Clubs and special events also support physical health, such as the family 1-mile color run that the Burnley-Moran PTO recently sponsored, or the Girls on the Run program at our schools. The Clark Girls on the Run recently got treated to running shoes at Ragged Mountain Running Shop thanks to support from Girls on the Run Board President Frank Grosch and the Piedmont Housing Alliance.
Athletics is a big part of the movement and physical wellness picture. The CHS boys’ soccer team has racked up 12 wins and no losses so far(!!), but beyond wins and losses, sports build fitness, relationships, and leadership. Girls’ tennis is also having a strong season, including a quarter-final win in conference play. Go Black Knights!
Our school spaces also support safety and learning. This year, our schools have seen the installation of clear exterior door signage (to aid responders in case of emergency), front door-locking management, a visitor screening system, and more. Aside from security, we want our facilities to support creativity, teamwork, and other 21st century skills, and we’ve been working with the always-supportive City of Charlottesville to create a funding stream for such improvements.
ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORTS: Systems and supports that enable staff and students to thrive
In many ways, these organizational supports make possible our goals for academic excellence and safe and supportive schools.
At the top of the list is great employees. It’s clear from our feedback groups that our community values the expertise and warmth of our teachers. Just this month, Laurel Bradley was honored as Z95’s teacher of the month (nominated by her student, at right), and CHS counselor David Wilkerson won the Colin Powell Award from Our Community Salutes! And this week, teachers from all of our schools will receive the Better Living Golden Apple Award. This year’s honorees include Melvin Grady (Buford), Jessica Powley (Burnley-Moran), Brian Kayser (CHS), Ashley Riley (Clark), Amy Jones (Greenbrier), Lisa Utz (Jackson-Via), Lorena Caballero Bower (Johnson), Michael McCrory (Lugo-McGinness Academy), Nicole Driggs (Venable), and Samantha Pagni (Walker). Congratulations to all!
Of course, staff doesn’t not work alone — we’re grateful to have the support of community partners and volunteers. This year, our Book Buddies literacy tutoring program will celebrate its 25th year on May 10 at the Jefferson School City Center. This program was created in the Charlottesville City Schools and has subsequently spread across the state and nation, building both literacy and valuable relationships.
For a second year, families with children entering kindergarten were invited to complete their registrations online. Online forms and streamlined processes help all of us focus on learning.
Our educational programs will increasingly rely on a robust network and technological supports. This spring, Charlottesville City Schools was nationally honored for integrating technology in support of innovative curriculum and improved student learning. The Center for Digital Education (CDE) ranked Charlottesville as top-10 winner (#5 among mid-sized divisions) in its 2016-17 Digital School Districts Survey Awards.
Upcoming events include:
- Book Buddies 25th Anniv. Reception, May 10, 4pm – 5pm, Jefferson School City Center
- Walker/Buford Chorus Concert, May 10, 7pm – 8pm, Buford Auditorium
- Strategic Plan Community Update, May 11, 5:30pm, CHS Sigma Lab
- Festival of Cultures, Sat, May 13, 10am – 4pm, Lee Park
- Stage Left Theatre presents Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, May 18, 6:30pm, Buford
- CHS Dessert Theatre, May 19-20, 7pm with Sat matinee at 3pm
- Walker Band Spring Concerts, May 19, 6:30pm – 9pm
- CHS Saturday Academic Intervention, May 13, 9am – 12:30pm
- CHS Saturday Academic Intervention for Seniors, May 20, 9am – 12:30pm, B-Commons
- Walker Band Instrument Selection Night, May 23 & 25, 5pm
- CATEC Completers Ceremony, May 24, 7pm
- No School (Memorial Day), May 29
- Buford Band Concert, May 30, 7pm, Buford Auditorium
- School Board Meeting, June 1, 5pm
- Minds in Motion Performance with Richmond Ballet, June 1, 7pm, MLKPAC
- 8th Grade Dance, June 2, 7pm – 10pm, Buford
- Senior Awards Celebration, June 7, 7pm, MLKPAC
- CHS graduation, June 8, 7pm, John Paul Jones Arena. Free and open to the public.
- Half-Day (Last Day of School), June 9
- Books on Bikes Summer Bike Parade, June 10, 9:30am, Clark School (Belmont side)
- View previous editions of the Superintendent Message.
Our next community meeting about the strategic plan for Charlottesville City Schools will be Thursday, May 11 at 5:30 at CHS. Join us to help refine the document that will guide our schools through 2023.
Where we are now:
- We’ll host a community-wide update on Thursday, May 11, at 5:30pm at the CHS Sigma Lab. Join us!
- We’ve held more than 40 meetings of students, parents, staff, community members, and groups focusing on specific topics.
- We received a strong response to our online survey.
- We’ve attended a number of community events to hear a variety of voices.
- We’ve reviewed a draft with our School Board (4/20) and will continue to work with feedback groups and the Board in the weeks to come.
- Curious about what we’ve been hearing so far?
- Read the draft plan and complete this online feedback form!
- Read “City Schools Eye ‘Transformational’ Strategic Plan” from the 4/23/17 Daily Progress.
- Read our January Highlights and News for examples of early themes and ideas
Related Documents and Resources:
- A brief video (2:04) presenting Virginia’s new “Profile of a Virginia Graduate”
- CCS Strategic Plan 2011-2017
- Proposed Strategic Plan Development Process, 2016-17
For More Information:
For a second year in a row, a Charlottesville High School student has earned a highly competitive travel fellowship in China through the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program. Sponsored by the U.S. State Department, the program serves to develop knowledge of languages and cultures that are critical to our national security and foreign relations. Junior Lucas Higgins is this year’s honoree.
In the past three years alone, six other Charlottesville students and teachers have earned U.S. State Department travel fellowships. This summer, Spanish teacher Carolyn Evans will travel with a U.S. Department of Education program.
Junior Lucas Higgins will travel to China this summer with NSLI-Y. He is the founder of the CHS Student Investment Group, which has raised an endowment of more than $25,000, awarded its first grant of $1,000 to the local nonprofit City Schoolyard Garden, and placed 4th worldwide in a competition last year sponsored by the Wharton Business School. He plays soccer on CHS’s 11-0 boys’ team, serves on the Charlottesville Youth Council. and is presently enrolled in Chinese 3 Honors at CHS.
NSLI-Y is part of a U.S. government initiative that prepares American citizens to be leaders in a global world. The program offers intensive language instruction plus community service and a stay with a host family.
Charlottesville City Schools has an unusually strong record of students and teachers participating in State Department-sponsored programs. Last year, Santiago Padrón (now a senior at CHS) was selected for the same NSLI-Y program in China. In the last two years, three other CHS students — Fré Halvorson-Taylor, Matthew Robinson, and Elsa Schenck — earned year-long fellowships with the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Abroad (YES Abroad) program.
Other recent CHS and CCS awardees include then-CHS student Emily Bambury, CHS Spanish teacher Karen Nelson, and Buford ESL teacher Renata Germino, all of whom studied in South America with State Department programs in 2015-2016.
This summer, Spanish teacher Carolyn Evans will travel with the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, the selective program will take just twelve K-12 educators to Ecuador and Peru for four weeks.
To speak with future or past fellowship winners, please contact Beth Cheuk at 245-2962 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- AVID Family Night in B-Commons, 5 – 7pm
- Engineering Expo in SIGMA Lab, 5:30 – 7pm
- Boys Soccer Game vs. Harrisonburg for Regional Semifinals and State Quarterfinals, 6:30pm, $7
- Theater Awards in Black Box, 7pm
- Senior Clearance in Small Gym. 9am – 12noon
- School Board meeting in Library, 5pm
- Parkside Cookout, 11:30am – 1:30pm
- ESL Awards Dinner in B-Commons 5:30 – 8pm
- Underclassmen exams (1st and 2nd) — see complete exam schedule and bus info here.
- Underclassmen exams (3rd and 4th)
- Underclassmen exams (5th and 6th)
- Class of 2017 Graduation Rehearsal at JPJ, 10-11am
- Senior Class Picnic at McIntire Park/Shelter II, 12 noon – 2pm
- Senior Awards Ceremony in MLKPAC, 7 – 9pm
- Underclassmen exams (7th and virtual)
- NO Delayed Start
- Class of 2017 Graduation at JPJ, 7pm
- Last day of school year!