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.
Recently, CHS celebrated “I’m First Day,” a nation-wide initiative to support students who will be the first in their family to graduate from college. The event included hand-written notes of encouragement and a photo wall featuring CHS staff and students who were (or will be) first in their family. As a first-generation college student myself, I am proud that our schools prepare so many of our students to be trailblazers in this way, and I was touched to learn that so many of my colleagues on the staff are themselves first-generation college students. First-gen staff members like Dr. Eric Irizarry (CHS principal), Kim Powell (Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations), and Dr. Jesse Turner (Buford principal) have cleared a path, and they in turn can encourage our students to take those first bold steps toward college, career, or adulthood.
Speaking of trailblazers, in October we honored the families and students who desegregated Johnson School in 1962. The City and City Schools installed a historic marker and hosted a ceremony recognizing Eugene and Lorraine Williams along with the four black students who integrated the school. For photos, video, and more information about this powerful event, click here. And to learn how we are incorporating diverse and local voices into our history classes,please click here. As one small piece of this project, we have created an annual Trailblazers Day to tell our students about our own school history.
Together, let us blaze a new trail toward equity and excellence in our schools.
Dr. Rosa Atkins
A glimpse into our elementary schools… 4th-graders attending a “sound engineering” concert at UVA… UVA President Jim Ryan reading to Johnson students… Jackson-Via students learning teamwork with string … Clark students testing water flow during an iSTEM activity.
THEATRE CHS EARNS AWARD FOR COLLABORATION, POSITIVITY, & EXCELLENCE At the Virginia Theatre Association’s high school festival, CHS earned the first-ever “Spirit of Theater” award. The new award recognizes collaboration and positivity in the face of challenge. CHS won for its complex and well-received presentation of “Failure,” directed by senior Jack Heaphy. The one-act, which relied on technical effects, also won top technical honors. In addition, students earned awards in the Tech Olympics and for improvisation, and many seniors earned college call-backs and scholarships. Visit TheatreCHS on Facebook.
DRAFT CALENDAR FOR 2020-12 SCHOOL YEAR POSTED FOR FEEDBACK The draft academic calendar for the 2020-21 school year has been posted to our web site for community comment. The proposed calendar is nearly identical to this year’s. A joint committee from Cville Schools and ACPS will review the feedback and then present a recommendation to the School Board in December. After School Board consideration, a vote will be held in January. Click here for the draft calendar and a link to the survey.
CHS SENIOR OPENS RESTAURANT AT FIFTH STREET STATION The Dejua behind “Dejua’s Creationz” at Fifth Street Station is a CHS senior who followed her mother’s footsteps to bring her dreams to life. When she’s not at CHS, Dejua Lewis offers desserts and smoothies in a space that she shares with her mother’s restaurant. The restaurant was recently featured on NBC29, and Dejua was also interviewed in the CHS Knightly News, where she told her classmates, if they “invest their time, love, and patience into their craft, they can be just as successful.”
CVILLE SCHOOLS HONORS BUS DRIVERS October brought National Bus Driver’s Week, and we honored those who transport our students safely between school and home each day. At an appreciation breakfast, we thanked our drivers for their part in Charlottesville City Schools’ mission– “Every Learner. Every Day. Everyone!” The City has openings for additional regular and substitute drivers. For more information, click here.
REAL TALKS AT BUFORD OFFER REAL-LIFE WISDOM Eighth-graders in Dr. Venable’s math classes have been treated to several guest speakers who have reflected on their journey from young person to community leader. (In the photo at left, Mr. Marcus Carter, a counselor and athletic director at Fluvanna Middle School, is leading students in a teamwork exercise.) “Voices from the Village” is a similar program that offers speakers at CHS and Lugo-McGinness Academy.
UVA LINK LAB STUDENTS MENTORING CHS ENGINEERS A new partnership with UVA Engineering’s Link Lab will connect high school engineers with graduate student mentors. The UVA students will guide CHS students in year-long, team projects like engineering of drones, windmills, oscillators and autonomous systems applications. The launch event included a group discussion, tour of the CHS Sigma Lab, and problem-solving sessions. To learn more, visit UVA Engineering on Facebook.
SCHOOL BOARD NOTES In October, the School Board approved new equity and anti-racism policies and heard an update about “Changing the Narrative,” which aims to include more diverse and local voices in social science classes. The Board also approved the calendar of budget development meetings. In other news, Juandiego Wade will receive the 2019 Paul Goodloe McIntire Citizenship Award. And the recent elections returned James Bryant, Dr. Sherry Kraft, and Jennifer McKeever and brought Lashundra Bryson Morsberger for a first term. Congratulations to all and thanks for your service. For School Board information, including agendas, minutes, and livestream video, read more here.
UPCOMING EVENTS AT-A-GLANCE 11/13 Special Education Advisory Committee, Johnson, 5:30pm 11/15 Starry Knight Telescope Star Party (open to all Cville Schools families), 7-8:30pm, CHS Curtis Elder Track & Field Complex 11/18 CHS Band Fall Concert, 7pm 11/19 Buford Orchestra Fall Concert, 7:30pm 11/19 Lugo-McGinness Student/Family Celebration, 12pm 11/19Parent University, 5-7:30pm, Jackson-Via Elementary (open to all) 11/27-29 Thanksgiving Break 12/2 Gifted Advisory Committee Meeting, 7-8:30pm, Division Annex Offices at CHS 12/4 CHS Orchestra Winter Concert, 7:30-9pm, MLKPAC 12/5 School Board Meeting, 5pm, CHS Media Center 12/5 Harvest of the Month Snack Program (thanks, City Schoolyard Garden) 12/6City of Charlottesville Grand Illumination, begins at 4:30pm, Downtown Mall 12/10 All-City Band Winter Concert, 7pm, MLKPAC 12/11 Walker Orchestra Concert, 7pm, MLKPAC 12/12 CHS Holiday Pops Choir Concert, 7-8:30pm, MLKPAC 12/18 Walker Chorus Concert, 7-8pm, Walker Auditorium 12/19 Walker Stage Left Performance of Peter Pan, 6:30pm, Walker Auditorium 12/23-1/3 Winter Break (classes resume 1/6)
More Looks at Cville Schools
Minds in Motion: same great program, new season. Our partnership with the Richmond Ballet continued in a new format. Elementary schools hosted two-week intensive residencies, culminating in a fall performance. This year’s program was the “Journey of the Monarch,” combining dance with biology, plus teamwork, confidence, and fun. See more photos.
Sixth graders enjoyed a hip hop writing workshop with Grammy-award winning artist Secret Agent 23 Skidoo. Students found courage to share their own original raps to professional background beats. The next day, students saw the artist perform at the Paramount. More info.
The Class of 2022 is this year’s Powderpuff champions of Charlottesville High School! With the help of assistant Principal Rodney Redd, who also oversees athletics, the CHS Student Council revived this popular tradition two years ago.
Find more info and events on on our website, social media, or our Google calendars!
A joint committee from Charlottesville Schools and Albemarle County Public Schools will review the feedback and then present a recommendation to the School Boards in December. After School Board consideration, a vote will be held in January.
Comments about the calendar:
Spring break: Our practice is to designate the first full week of April as our spring break. We are sometimes asked, Can’t you align spring break with U.Va.’s? U.Va.’s spring break is typically near the beginning of March, which for K-12 students would make for a very long stretch without a break later in the spring. So while we recognize that this would be a good solution for U.Va. families, we feel that it doesn’t represent the interests of all our students and staff. A 2016 survey indicated that a majority of respondents favored keeping spring break during the first week of April.
Religious Holidays: Our practice is not to observe religious holidays as school holidays (but we do try to avoid scheduling evening events on major religious holidays). Students or staff who wish to be absent to observe a religious holiday are allowed to do so. For the 2020-21 school year, a professional learning day falls on Yom Kippur. This might be a benefit to Jewish families but might present a conflict for Jewish teachers and staff (who are welcome to take a personal day off but would miss the professional learning day). We welcome your input on this draft.
History about the calendar development: For over a decade, the Charlottesville and Albemarle County school divisions have worked together for a common calendar. A joint committee creates a draft calendar, and then we ask for input from students, teachers, administration, and parents. If necessary, the committee makes revisions to the draft before submitting a recommended calendar to the two school boards for approval.
Charlottesville City Schools will offer Parent University to city elementary families on November 19 at Jackson-Via Elementary from 5 – 7:30 p.m.
“We are always trying to find creative ways to further connect families with resources and updates about our curricular work,” said Charlottesville City Schools Family Engagement Facilitator Velvet Coleman. “Parent University will give families an opportunity to learn more on a variety of topics from math and literacy to social emotional learning to the alarming increase in vaping among youth.”
Free and open to all preschool through fourth grade families whose children attend Charlottesville City Schools, the event will include workshops, encourage questions from families, and provide take-home materials. Additionally, the school division is providing dinner, childcare, and transportation for participants. Assistance and translation services will also be offered to attendees who have limited English.
“Because we serve such a diverse population, accessibility is important to us as we seek ways to serve all our students well,” said Coleman. “We want to make it as easy as possible for families to be able to get the support they need to help their children reach their full potential.”
A variety of community vendors will be present, including Aetna, Book Baskets, and the Tobacco Free Coalition.
We hope to see you at Parent University on November 19! Please remember to RSVP.
Join us for an evening of celestial wonder at the CHS Starry Knight telescope star party on Friday, November 15 from 7-8:30 p.m at the Curtis Elder Track and Field Complex at CHS.
In partnership with the Charlottesville Astronomical Society, the CHS iSTEM team will share information about the wonders of space while participants engage in a variety of activities including stargazing through telescopes and making your own night-vision flashlights.
This event is free and open to all Charlottesville City Schools families.
Our fourth graders amazed us this week with their Minds in Motion performances at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Performing Arts Center!
Through a unique partnership with Richmond Ballet, each year city fourth graders are introduced to creative expression and live performance through movement and dance at their schools. This year, Minds in Motion teaching artists from Richmond Ballet visited each elementary school for two-week residencies which culminated in two live performances of “Journey of the Monarch.”
Charlottesville City Schools and the City’s Energy and Water Management Team are working together to reduce the energy and water footprint of all City schools. On April 11th, 2019 the School Board approved an Energy and Water Performance resolution, showing a commitment to achieving and maintaining high performing school facilities.
Continuing on past efforts, the City’s maintenance and development teams are specifying high efficiency building equipment, such as high-efficiency chillers and LED lighting, and are enhancing operational control through advanced building automation systems. Charlottesville Schools and the City’s Energy and Water Management Team continue to investigate ways to accelerate the installation of high performance equipment throughout our schools.
The City is also working with each school to raise awareness about energy and water saving practices through education and outreach efforts that include distributing educational materials and providing tips and strategies that students and faculty can use to reduce the energy and water impact at our schools.
Each quarter a different theme emphasizes aspects of energy and water efficiency/conservation. The 2019-2020 themes are:
Fall (September – November): The Value of Energy and Water
Winter (December – February): Understanding Our Energy and Water Use
Education around these themes is provided via posters and visual reminders displayed throughout schools as well as through announcements, newsletters, and social media. Teachers will be referencing materials periodically in the classroom, and parents are encouraged to continue these efforts at home.
Learn more about other green initiatives at Charlottesville City Schools here.
2019 Education and Outreach
Fall Quarter: The Value of Energy and Water
The energy and water that we use at home and in our school are typically provided using finite resources. In Virginia, fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) are used to produce over 60% of the electricity that we use, with nuclear and renewables making up the rest. We also use natural gas directly to heat our school and to heat our water. The water we use is pumped from reservoirs fed by rivers and is treated before coming to our homes and school as clean, potable water. Simply put, our demand for electricity, natural gas, and water (the amount we use) has a direct impact on these resources. We have a responsibility to manage what we use but we’re also empowered with the ability to make lasting change.
In many cases we use more than we need, so we already have simple opportunities to reduce our impact. The best place to start is just becoming aware of when and how we use energy and water throughout our typical day. As you do your normal activities, think about how long you leave your lights on, leave your phone plugged in, and leave the water running. Now think about how you can adjust your behaviors to trim that up a bit. It’s a game of inches, not miles, and small changes add up to big savings.
Grammy-winning hip hop artist, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo, dropped by Walker School to lead Ms. Bohannon’s music students in a behind-the-scenes hip hop song writing workshop.
Skidoo demonstrated some of his own rhymes and beats, and then encouraged students to write their own hip hop verses. One by one (or in some cases two by two), students mustered up courage to share their own original raps to background beats booming through the auditorium.
“Learning writing and rhyming skills through music is a perfect lesson for this age group,” said Charlottesville Schools Fine Arts Coordinator Aaron Eichorst. “Through this experience, the sixth graders are learning that their voice is important, and that they can have agency over things that matter to them through creative expression.”
The workshop is part of a larger educational experience for area youth provided by the Paramount Arts Education Program. Nearly 400 city sixth graders, along with other area youth, attended the Secret Agent 23 Skidoo performance at The Paramount. The concert was one of eleven live arts performances scheduled for area students during the 2019-20 school year. Read more about the performance at The Paramount here.
“Through our partnership with The Paramount Theater, our students are able to experience meaningful opportunities through live fine arts year after year,” said Eichorst. “For many of them, visiting the beautifully restored historic Paramount Theater with their classmates is their first experience seeing live music, dance, storytelling, or theater.”
Read more about the visit, including details from the live performance at The Paramount here.
More on Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
With sophisticated instrumental funk and positive, witty wordplay, Secret Agent 23 Skidoo has earned a loyal national following. His latest album, Wake Up The Dream is an Amazon Original Album described as a “funk-filled trip through your subconscious.” 2016’s space-themed Infinity Plus One took home music’s biggest prize at the 59th GRAMMY Awards for Best Children’s Album of the Year. Positive themes of empowerment, love, imaginations set loose, hope, ambitions, and dreams run through 23 Skidoo’s extensive catalog. For more, visit the web site.
More on The Paramount Arts Education Program
The Paramount Arts Education Program is committed to presenting the finest arts education performances for area school children. The support and generosity of their Arts Education Partners allows The Paramount to make these programs accessible to ALL children in Central Virginia by offering performances at a reduced cost or free of charge. Over 195,000 students and teachers from all over the region have attended a live performance at The Paramount since 2004. For more, visit the web site.
For the fifth time, CHS students have earned the W!SE Financial Literacy Blue Star School Award by demonstrating financial literacy on a national, standardized Financial Literacy Certification Test.
Additionally, three CHS teachers were recognized by W!se as Gold Star Teachers for achieving a 93% pass rate or higher in 2018-19–Hank Sohn, Yumeca Webb-Jordan, and former CHS teacher Meagan Maynard.
The W!se program aims to to help high school students graduate as financially capable young adults by providing high school programming that provides students with vital knowledge about personal finance.
To earn this coveted award, a school must have achieved an 80% passing rate on the W!se Financial Literacy Certification Test and have either a majority of students on a given grade level take the test or achieve a minimum average score of 85%.
CHS will be honored along with other Blue Star schools at the W!se MoneyPOWER Institute in New York City on November 5th.
Congratulations on this achievement and Go Black Knights!
Our annual Walk-A-Thon was a fun morning of walking, running, and skipping around the big field to earn money for our PTO. ALL funds go directly toward great projects and events for Venable students. Thanks to all who helped make our Walk-a-Thon a success!
On Wednesday, October 23, the City of Charlottesville and Charlottesville City Schools dedicated a new historic marker focused on the desegregation of Johnson Elementary School in October 1962.
Honoring the trailblazers who were part of the school’s desegregation, the City of Charlottesville and Charlottesville City Schools unveiled a new marker near the school’s entrance on Cherry Avenue, followed by a ceremony in the school auditorium,
The sign continues the story of Charlottesville City Schools’ desegregation as detailed on a historic marker in front of Venable Elementary School (with a duplicate sign near the Albemarle County Office Building, the former site of Lane High School). The original sign speaks to the initial desegregation of Venable and Lane in September 1959.
The new sign installed at Johnson School primarily addresses the period from 1959-1962, during which the City Schools minimized additional integration of the schools. Court cases led by the NAACP challenged discriminatory practices in the schools, and in 1962, the schools were compelled to expand desegregation, including allowing black students into all-white Johnson School. Johnson became the third public school in Charlottesville to integrate.
This effort was led in part by then-NAACP President Eugene Williams and his wife Lorraine, at that time a teacher in the City Schools. Their daughters, Karol and Scheryl, were among the 17 named plaintiffs seeking entrance to Johnson, Venable, or Lane. They, along with Michael Lewis and Rosalind Whitlock (whose parents had separately requested a transfer to Johnson), were the four to desegregate the school in 1962.
“The installation of this marker becomes another opportunity for community members, especially our school children, to learn the truth about Charlottesville’s history,” said the City’s Charlene Green of the Office of Human Rights. “We are telling more of those stories that have shaped Charlottesville’s narrative. It’s critical that we tell everyone’s story, no matter how uncomfortable it makes us.”
“We are pleased to honor these trailblazers — the parents and children of yesterday who have made gains and opportunities for all of us,” noted Charlottesville City Schools Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins. “The best way for us to honor them is to continually open up doors and improve outcomes for all students.”