Venable will be offering tours to prospective parents on the dates listed below. All tours take place at 9:15 a.m. and last approximately 45 minutes. We limit the number of participants on each tour to ensure that everyone can hear and ask questions. Please call Ms. Lawson in the Venable office to register – 434-245-2418.
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 only a 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.
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.
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.
Charlottesville City Schools will be celebrating Kindness Week Tuesday, February 19 through Friday, February 22, in conjunction with the National Random Acts of Kindness Week sponsored by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.
“Focusing our efforts on such a simple and positive theme that everyone can participate in is unifying in many ways,” said Johnson School Counselor Allison Pillow. “It’s just a good reminder for all of us to spread kindness whenever we can. There really is a boomerang effect with such an act.”
All nine city schools will participate in the following Spirit Days:
Tuesday (2/19): Dreaming of a World of Kindness (Wear pajamas!)
Wednesday (2/19): Hats off to Kindness (Wear a hat!)
Thursday (2/21): Nothing Beats Team Kindness (Wear your favorite team attire or team colors!)
Friday (2/19): Crazy for Kindness (Wear crazy, mismatched clothes/funky hair!)
Additionally, each school will have its own related activities including a Kindness Art Competition, a Kindness Quilt, Kindness Student Choice Awards, and more. For further information on school-specific events, contact your school.
As you know, equity has been a priority for many years, and it has received particular attention in the last months. I’m writing with an update on our latest work to support equity, including our FY2020 proposed budget, a school reconfiguration plan, the Quest program, and our Program of Study for next year.
We continue to seek feedback from staff, from CHS and Buford students, and the community. Gatherings include meetings with Habitat families, Westhaven and Friendship Court community members, and churchgoers across the city.
We have used equity as our lens for the requested 2019-20 budget. Examples include a living wage for all annually appointed positions, another significant pay increase for instructional staff, and new positions in areas such as family engagement, the AVID college prep program, and our social-emotional learning program.
Our Board has endorsed a school reconfiguration plan that would create a preschool center with extended-day services and early interventions. (This center would be located on the current Walker School campus). The plan also returns 5th-graders to elementary schools and would modernize Buford Middle School to maximize opportunities for the City’s 6th-, 7th-, and 8th-graders. City Council has shown support for this plan by tentatively designating a $3 million allocation for planning and design. We recognize that serving our students well — in preschool, in fifth grade, in middle school, in all grades– is a true equity priority.
We have continued long-standing conversations about ways to diversify our Quest (gifted) program, and we have increased the program’s emphasis on push-in, whole-class teaching.
Our Program of Study for next year gives attention at Walker, Buford, and CHS to continue “unleveling” our instruction to promote student diversity within classrooms. Similarly, professional learning will emphasize the skills needed to support this model.
We are finalizing an equity committee that will guide our work on establishing a policy that will be foundational to this “equity lens.” This committee will also offer input in areas such as family engagement, instructional and professional learning practices, institutional changes in areas such as unleveled classes, alignment between grade levels, and minority HR recruitment.
We have posted an opening for Supervisor of Equity and Inclusion to maintain this momentum. Help us find the right person!
This is a long list, but it is merely a snapshot of the work we continue to do to promote equity. We hope it is a reminder to our community that we remain committed — in fact, we have redoubled our commitment — to every student, every day, everyone.
–Dr. Rosa S. Atkins
100-year-old students with canes, beards and baldness celebrate Johnson Elementary’s 100th day of school. To see more of what is happening in all six elementary schools, click here.
ACADEMIC ADVISING UNDERWAY AT CHS, BUFORD, AND WALKER Through lunchtime and evening curriculum fairs, classroom visits, and one-on-one meetings, teachers and school counselors at CHS and Buford are providing important information to students and families about academic options for 2019-2020. Meanwhile, Walker School counselors have been visiting all city fourth graders to help prepare them for their transition to a new school next year.Read more here.
MUSIC COLLABORATION EARNS TRIPLE GOLD IN MUSIC FOR ALL AWARDS The Charlottesville High School music program was recognized for excellence in three categories (Community Service Project, Community Engagement, and Community Events) by the 2019 Music for All Advocacy in Action Awards for its 2018 music collaboration with students from Metro Nashville Public Schools. Read more here.
BACON CLUB SIZZLES AT REGIONAL, STATE, AND WORLD COMPETITIONS Congrats to CHS BACON for placing #3 in the WORLD in the Zero Robotics coding tournament sponsored by MIT and NASA. Meanwhile, the FTC Robotics team and the Science Olympiad competitors excelled in regional competitions and are heading to states! Read more here.
PARENT UNIVERSITY COMING SOON FOR ELEMENTARY FAMILIES Mark your calendars now for Parent University! All PreK-Grade 4 families are welcome to attend either night for parent workshops, information booths, and a chance to connect with other families. Jackson-Via will host the first night on March 5 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., or join us at Greenbrier on March 14 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.. Read more here.
CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH (ALL YEAR LONG) Bulletin board and classroom door decorations, Soul Feasts, Career Days, guest speakers, and film screenings are just a few of the ways we are celebrating Black History Month in February. But, we are also finding year-round ways to explore both local and diverse history– thanks to the efforts of our Coordinator of World Studies Annie Evans, our talented teachers, and our invaluable community partners.Read more here.
UPCOMING EVENTS AT-A-GLANCE 2/14 TheatreCHS presents “Mamma Mia!” though 2/17 2/15 Jackson-Via and Venable Soul Fests, 5:30pm 2/15 Burnley-Moran Family Dance, 6:30pm 2/16 District Jazz Festival, Albemarle HS 2/18 No School–Professional Learning Day for teachers 2/19 Jackson-Via PTO Meeting, 6pm 2/19 Kindness Week through 2/22, various activities at each school 2/21 Buford International Night, 5:30pm 2/21 Greenbrier Family Learning Night, 6pm 2/21 Jackson-Via 3rd/4th Grade Literacy Night, 6pm 2/21 CHS Band Assessment Preview, 7pm, MLKPAC 2/22 Burnley-Moran Black History Month Celebration and Career Fair. 8:30am 2/22 Greenbrier Winter Movie Night 2/25 Burnley-Moran Book Fair and Read Across BME through March 1 2/25CHS Project Discovery Workshop, 4pm 2/26 Buford Band Assessment Preview, 7pm, Buford Auditorium 2/27 Walker Band Assessment Preview Concert, 7pm, Walker Auditorium 2/28Burnley-Moran Write Night, 5:30pm 3/1District Band Assessments through 3/2, Fluvanna HS 3/4 Art Connections Exhibit and activities through 3/13
More Looks at Cville Schools
Charlottesville City Schools has earned state and national recognition for our efforts to support the whole child, which includes mental wellness, social emotional learning, and supporting students who have experienced trauma. The Aspen Institute National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development recently cited our exemplary work in its “Nation of Hope” report. Learn more about this work here.
As varsity teams begin post-season play, it’s also time for spring sports tryouts. For information and winter athletics highlights, read more here.
It’s time to register for preschool! Applications for eligible 3- and 4-year-old children are due March 1. For more information and applications,read more here.
Find more info and events on on our website, social media, or our Google calendars!
There are many activities going on this month to celebrate Black History Month ranging from classroom decorations to special morning announcements to Soul Feasts and assemblies.
Like several of our schools, Clark Elementary held its annual Soul Feast, which featured a full menu of fried chicken, collards, and more. This year the “Ladies of Soul” (all Clark staff members) gave a special performance.
CHS is hosting its annual speaker series featuring a variety of guests like documentary photographer Ruddy Rowe. Additionally, CHS will host a film screening to tell the story of Drewary Brown to a new generation of Charlottesville residents, and CHS’s African-American history students visited Jefferson School for a special program with Monticello and other community partners.
Meanwhile, we want to applaud the efforts of our teachers, librarians, and World History Coordinator Annie Evans for their year-round work to incorporate local and African-American history across the curriculum all year long. From preK-12th grade, our students encounter diverse voices, stories, and experiences in classroom materials, the arts, and student activities.
Charlottesville City Schools is one of six school systems statewide involved in Changing the Narrative, a Virginia Humanities initiative that aims to explore black history and culture in schools and encourages young people of color to explore and highlight their heritage.
As we head into the post-season, congratulations to our teams and athletes for another strong season of athleticism and sportsmanship, and best wishes as regional competitions begin! See details, below, and check for Twitter updates at @CHSBlackKnights or @cville_dsa (Director of Student Activities) for future results and competition times.
Congrats to the boys and girls teams for finishing up their last week of regular-season play in an impressive fashion. The girls finished tied for 2nd in the district and regional standings and will get to host several playoff games. The boys finished the season with a bang by upsetting top-ranked Louisa County in a road game! The boys team also qualified for regionals.
Regional play begins 2/15 with girls hosting William Byrd at 6pm and boys playing at Salem.
Congratulations to CHS 10th-grader Ella Reed for capturing the Region 4D Championship in the 200 Intermediate! In addition, Zoe DeGuzman qualified for state in the 200 Freestyle and the 100 Breaststroke, and Howard Zu will also be swimming in the 100 Breaststroke.
Good luck to track athletes in regional play. At the Jefferson District meet, the women’s team placed 3rd and the men came in 4th. Many athletes qualified for the regional meet based on their season and Jefferson District performances: Kristina Abraham, Susannah Birle, Charlotte Bloor, Aliyah Cobbs, Avyonne Cobbs, Jude Fairchild, Asha Gupta, Autumn Hiller, Lucia Hoskins, Miles Kershner, Graham Lenert, Reece McKee, Grace McMahon-Gioeli, Adam Moreland, Elodie Price, Eliza Schock, Lewis Tate, Edison Tennant, Kika Van der Pluijm, Isaac Vik, Joe Von Storch, and members of the men’s 4×800 Relay.
Jefferson District meet highlights included Lewis Tate’s High Jump victory and 2nd-place finishes for Susannah Birle in 55M and 300M; Kika Van der Pluijm in 1000M; and Joe Von Storch in 300M.
Congrats to David Wiles for qualifying for states during the Wrestling team’s regional meet on 2/8 and 2/9. Congratulations also to the following wrestlers for their Jefferson District success: Nima Tamang (3rd) and 4th-place finishers Stuart Applestein, Javion Vest, David Wiles, and Ben Yates.
The Charlottesville High School Theater Department will present the Broadway musical hit “Mamma Mia!” on Friday, February 15 through Sunday, February 17 at CHS in the Martin Luther King Performing Arts Center.
Based on the songs of Swedish pop band ABBA including a top hit by the same name, “Mamma Mia” is one of the longest running shows in Broadway history. It features strong female leads with an emphasis on themes of female friendships and empowerment. In 2008, a film adaptation premiered starring Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried.
“This year‘s production of ‘Mamma Mia!’ promises to be a night or afternoon full of joy and happiness,” said CHS Drama Department Chair David Becker, who is in his 10th year leading TheatreCHS. “The cast, crew, and orchestra have worked tirelessly to polish all of the elements that go into a successful show.”
The Friday and Saturday evening performances and the Sunday matinee performance will feature the full cast, while the Saturday matinee benefit show will feature the understudies. All proceeds from the benefit show will go toward college scholarships.
First-year parent volunteer Victoria Hamilton, whose daughter, Courtney, plays the role of Dona in
the musical, said participating in theater is a valuable, multi-faceted experience for the students.
“Through theatre, our kids use math, science, engineering, technology, design, construction, public speaking, visual arts, performing arts, all while fostering a supportive community,” said Hamilton. “I witnessed each of these real life applications and vast creativities in multitudes over the past several weeks by kids from all backgrounds and interests. I have no doubt they will carry this with them throughout their lives.”
“Mamma Mia!” is part of the 2018-19 TheatreCHS performance season which includes: “Dreaming America,” “Arabian Nights,” “Heathers The Musical,” “The Crucible,” and the annual Dessert Theatre.
2/14 Dress Rehearsal (Invitation only-“pay what you can”)
2/15 7:30 p.m.
2/16 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
2/17 3 p.m.
Interested media should contact Krissy Vick at (434) 245-2922.
TheatreCHS has consistently remained an important and vital fine arts force at Charlottesville High School. The Program invites students to work collaboratively, develop critical thinking and public speaking skills, and engage in creative dialogues. An array of courses is taught with the intention of providing enrichment for students interested in these skills, all of which encompass dramatic arts. Numerous students have gone on to pursue advanced studies in theater/cinema, technical theater, stage management, and lighting design at a variety of top schools including Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia College, George Mason University, James Madison University, University of Virginia, and Princeton University. For more information, visithttp://theatrechs.org/.
Mark your calendars now for Parent University! All PK-Grade 4 families are welcome to attend either night for parent workshops, information booths, and a chance to connect with other families. Jackson-Via will host the first night on March 5 from 5:30-7:30, or join us at Greenbrier on March 14 from 5:30-7:30.
Check back here (or check your child’s backpack) for additional details. Or contact our family engagement facilitator Velvet Coleman, 245-2593 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The start of 2019 has been a busy one for our creative and innovative elementary students in Charlottesville City! Keep reading for some of our recent elementary activities.
And looking ahead, mark your calendars now for Parent University! All PK-Grade 4 families are welcome to attend either night for parent workshops, information booths, and a chance to connect with other families. Jackson-Via will host the first night on 3/5 from 5:30-7:30, or join us at Greenbrier on 3/14 from 5:30-7:30.
Math and STEM nights are a big hit with families as they come to school to design, build, play math games together. STEM stations include a Bee Bot obstacle course, a parachute drop, straw rockets and a photo booth!
Students are using their critical thinking skills to solve challenges at Clark Elementary. A team of third- graders worked together to complete a challenge from BreakoutEDU. Fourth-graders at Clark also worked in teams to explore the effects of mass and force on motion and energy.
Clark students and staff also made a thank-you video to show how much they are enjoying and benefiting from their summertime classroom renovations:
Jump! Hop! Push-ups on the wall! Jackson-Via students have a new way of releasing energy as they walk the school’s new sensory path in their hallway. For more details, see the following video or click here for NBC29’s coverage:
And a successful book swap at Jackson-Via collected 1300 books, sending home 3 books per child!
Happy birthday to Martin Luther King Jr.! Greenbrier held its annual MLK Jr. birthday celebration on January 25. For the assembly, each grade level created a mural with a famous quote from MLK Jr. and spoke about what the quote meant to them. After a presentation of the “I Have a Dream” speech with pictures of Greenbrier students showing examples of character, the students sang “Happy Birthday” to Martin Luther King Jr. and enjoyed cake with their lunch.
What materials dissolve in water? At Venable, first-grade scientists worked together to experiment with the solubility of different liquids and solids including cornstarch and rocks.
Bobcat Buddies in third grade and first grade at Burnley-Moran worked together to design and build a representation of the Great Wall of China.
Families, math games, and pizza were abundant at the Greenstone Community Center for Johnson’s K-second grade Quest Math night. The stations were led by third- and fourth-graders who wore “Johnson Math Teacher” t-shirts and “teacher” badges. Students left with math games to play at home.
In art class at Jackson-Via, Pre-K and second-grade students constructed sculptures with an assortment of materials.
Third-graders across the city recently participated in Market Day at their schools. They learned about economics and ancient civilizations while creating items to sell at a school “market.”
Elementary students from Burnley-Moran, Johnson, Venable, and Walker went to the historic Paramount Theater to attend the play Phantom Toll Booth on Thursday, January 24. They enjoyed watching the actors bring the classic by Norton Juster to life!
At Walker Upper Elementary School, 15 sixth-grade student groups presented proposals of how they would spend a $6,000 grant as a part of a participatory budgeting program. (Yes, 6,000 real dollars generously donated by CFA Institute.) On January 16, students hosted a referendum, and the winning project was a proposal to have soccer and basketball tournaments at recess. The project was organized by parent Serena Gruia For more details, check out the story on Cville Tomorrow.
Fore more updates, follow @CvilleSchools or your own school on Facebook or Twitter!
Eighth grade students have an option to take up to three periods of electives, depending on the other courses they take. Please select from the list of elective options for 2019-20 (see below).
For additional information and scheduling help specific to Buford, watch these helpful videos produced by our school counselors.
Rising 8th grade students:
Rising 7th grade students:
Elective Course Descriptions
Band (Full Year): This course will focus on developing musicianship by studying chromatic scale, major scales, drums (rudiments and various rolls), intermediate methods and rhythms, concert music, and rehearsal skills. Audition for placement required.
Orchestra (Full Year): The Buford Orchestra program is arranged into four different levels-beginning, lower intermediate, upper intermediate and advanced. Each level focuses on playing technique, music literature, and performance appropriate to the level of the class. Audition for placement required.
Chorus (Full Year): Come be a part of the Buford Middle School Chorus! This course is emphasizes intensive instruction in vocal techniques, reading and writing or music, vocal expression, dynamic contrast, signing in three and four part harmonies, musical notation, diction, sight reading, ear training, and breathing techniques. Audition for placement required.
AVID (Full Year): AVID 8 is an academic elective that focuses on college readiness and skills necessary for rigorous high school coursework. Students will develop their skills in note-taking, tutor-facilitated study groups, and WICOR strategies. Students accepted into AVID 8 will be encouraged to enroll in higher-level courses. Application and interview required.
Garden Aid (Full Year): In the garden aid class, students take leadership roles in maintaining the garden throughout the school year. Their class time includes planting, harvesting, and watering, along with planning for the next growing season and learning hands-on about the science and history of growing food.
Introduction to Band (Full Year): This is a beginning band course open to all students that are interested in learning a concert instrument. Instruments that students can choose from are: Flute, Clarinet, Trumpet, Trombone and Baritone. Students will learn fundamental skills necessary to play an instrument and instruction will focus on rhythmic and pitch accuracy and tone.
Spanish*, French*, or Latin* (Full Year): This rigorous course is an accelerated high school credit course in the Spanish, French or Latin language and culture. Emphasis is placed on listening comprehension, speaking skills, reading comprehension, and effective written communication at the beginning level. Students must receive a C or above in part I to be recommended for part II.
Engineering I* (Full Year): Does engineering interest you? Do you imagine yourself designing solutions to problems? Engineering may be a career for you! Engineering is a hands-on course in which students work together to explore the fascinating field of engineering!
Independent Living* (Full Year): This course allows students to explore strategies for living independently by focusing on relationships, applying financial literacy, and consumerism, managing resources in the areas of apparel, nutrition, and wellness and housing. They will develop leadership roles and plan for careers.
Art (Full Year): Students will use a variety of mediums in developing painting and sculpture skills. Students produce works that are developed from preliminary ideas and sketches. They compare and contrast art from different world cultures and investigate how content can influence meaning.
Art (Half Year)^: Through application, art history, art theory, and formal discussion, students will deepen their knowledge and understanding of the visual arts. The course will explore line, value, perspective, basic design, printing, sculpture, and color theory. Students will be responsible for creating, organizing, and maintaining a portfolio.
Family and Consumer Science (Half Year)^: The students will focus on career research and workplace readiness skills. Students will develop a basic understanding of money management skills and will enhance their knowledge of nutrition and wellness practices. Students will also practice the use of the sewing machine.
Foundations of Engineering (Half Year)^: Do you remember a world before cell phones, the internet, or computers? Inventions have significantly changed the way our society and the world work! Inventions and Innovations will let students explore inventions and solutions and how to turn ideas into life changing inventions.
Introduction to Guitar (Half Year)^: Beginning guitar gives students the opportunity to learn via collaboration with peers, to gain responsibility and self-discipline through musical expression in a group activity. This course will include the study of beginning guitar techniques such as basic scales, strumming patterns, arpeggios, use of a pick, and chord progression.
Introduction to Theater (Half Year)^: This course will help new artists as
they take their first steps towards understanding the basics of theater: acting, direction, play writing, and stage creation.
Computer Science (Half Year)^: Students will cover topics such as: programming, physical computing, HTML/CSS, and data. During this 18 week course students will be encouraged to learn by hands on experiences and collaboration with peers.
Early Morning PE (Full Year)^: Students who want to take an additional elective can sign up for early morning PE. The days this course meets is TBD but it will meet from 7:30-8:15 am. Students mustprovide their own transportation.
*= HS credit course ^= Must choose 2 semester courses
Buford’s annual International Night will be on February 21, 2019 from 5:30 – 7 p.m. in the Buford cafeteria.
International Night is a popular school tradition that features International foods, exhibits, and performances. Come enjoy a fun evening and learn about different cultures from Buford students and families that have connections with other countries. Also, please bring a dish to share.
The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia announced the winners of Writer’s Eye 2018, the Museum’s annual literary competition challenging
writers of all ages to create original works of poetry and prose inspired by art.
In the Poetry category, Buford student Ariela Milstein placed first for her original work, “A Broken Home,” and Lowell Tolton earned first place honorable mention for her poem, “Just Am.”
Nearly 2000 Charlottesville City School students in grades 3-8 visited the Fralin Museum of Art last fall to participate in the program. After an interactive tour, students were asked to use the art as inspiration for their writing.
“For many of our students, visiting an art museum is a new experience,” said Charlottesville City Schools Literacy Coordinator Jen Davis. “The Writer’s Eye program helps our students look at art through a detailed lens and produce creatively written pieces using the art as the springboard.”
While touring the museum, students viewed a special collection of 12 original works ranging from a 1910 Edward Henry Potthast oil painting, “The Balloon Vender,” to more contemporary pieces like Nigerian artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby’s mixed-media work, “Home: As you See Me.” Then the students wrote about their observations, emotions, and feelings invoked by the artwork, a concept known as ekphrasis.
Museum docents helped the young writers consider their own human experiences using prompts such as, “Does this painting remind you of a place you’ve been or an experience you’ve had?” and “Imagine a conversation between the figures in this painting—what are they talking about?”
Walker Upper Elementary teacher Jenifer Snyder visited the museum with students who are learning English as a second language. “It was amazing to see how these students were able to think deeply about small details in the artwork and then put their ideas down on paper.”
This year 4,406 individuals participated in the Writer’s Eye tours, and many others sought out the artwork on their own. Community and student docents gave 348 tours to students from 36 public schools and 19 independent schools in the cities of Charlottesville, Staunton, and Waynesboro, and nine surrounding counties: Albemarle, Augusta, Appomattox, Culpeper, Greene, Madison, Nelson, Orange, and Rappahannock.
Contestants submitted 1,306 entries in four age-related categories: Grades 3–5, 6– 8, 9–12 and university/adult. Entries for the younger grades are judged by panels of local writers and teachers.
The winners will be honored at an awards ceremony on March 17 from 3-5 p.m. in UVA’s Newcomb Hall Ballroom, and their works will be published in a 27-page full color anthology, available to the public for free.