Students pose for picture in colorful tunics at Walker International Day.

News and Highlights December 2018

A Word from Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins and the Charlottesville School Board   
Forum participants place stickers on poster

Dear community members—

Thanks to so many of you who have shared your voice and time with us during our conversations about equity at Charlottesville City Schools.

At our second forum this past week, we reflected back some of the action items that have arisen so far from parents, staff, students, and community members. Participants voted on their top-priority action items. In addition, we invited participants to add any ideas that were missing from our summaries.

We are still listening. We need to hear from as many voices as possible. You can vote on your priority actions (and give us any missing ideas) by going to charlottesvilleschools.org/equity-forum. We are also working with students to make sure we hear their key perspectives. In addition, we invite faith communities, clubs, or groups to contact us about hosting a mini-forum so we can receive additional feedback.

Why is listening so important? We cannot fully address these issues unless we better understand them.

The values our community is expressing – that all students are loved, that all gifts are recognized, that all potential is nurtured – are the values of our staff, leaders, and Board. We have been actively working to promote this vision for decades, and yet, like schools across the country, our schools show how challenging it is to eradicate disparities.

So we are listening to learn what has been working and what needs to be improved. What haven’t we tried? What barriers are we not seeing?

In addition to listening, we are also acting. We are forming a committee on equity with a broad coalition of school and community stakeholders. We are doing internal reviews of our data, programs, and efforts. We are mapping resources of sister school divisions and model equity programs so that we can learn from others. The School Board is drafting an equity policy that will guide our practices and lay a foundation for parity.

In short, we continue to listen. We are taking first steps to review and revise our past efforts and plan future action. We are guided by our confidence that your values are our values and that together, we want to seize this moment to make a difference for our community.

With appreciation,

Dr. Rosa Atkins, Superintendent
Juandiego Wade, School Board Chair

UVA Engineering student working with Clark kindergartener.

Kindergartners and fourth-graders from Clark “kid-tested” first-year UVA Engineering students’ designs at the UVA Design Lab. Meanwhile, Walker students also tested the college students’ projects in the Alpha Lab at Walker. UVA’s budding engineers designed age-appropriate interactive educational activities. Read more here.

BUS STOP MEET & GREETS PROVIDE BOOKS, SNACKS, SMILES
Family engagement coordinator distributes books and snacks to children at bus stop.Throughout the year it is not uncommon to see Family Engagement Facilitator Velvet Coleman greeting families at the bus stops. She is a familiar face to families and often passes out free books and snacks to children as well as educational resources to parents. Learn more about our efforts to promote family engagement here. Recently, Ms. Coleman and Dr. Atkins chatted about ways families can connect with their schools. See the video here.

MUFFINS WITH MOMS, DONUTS WITH DADS CONNECTS SCHOOLS & FAMILIES
Mom with two boys at Muffins with MomsLike all of our elementary schools, Johnson Elementary offers opportunities for moms, dads, uncles, aunts, grandparents, and/or special friends to join their students for some quality time at school. Recently, the school hosted two breakfast and books events–Muffins with Moms and Donuts with Dads. Additionally, the pre-K and kindergarten classes prepared a delicious soup supper for their families, and many families and friends attended the school’s annual International Day celebration. 

VENABLE ALL-STARS SING NATIONAL ANTHEM IN JOHN PAUL JONES ARENA
Venable students sing National Anthem at UVA Women's Basketball GameOur fourth grade chorus proudly sang the National Anthem at the UVA women’s basketball game in front of students from schools across Charlottesville and Albemarle. Way to go, 4th graders! Pictured left, a live video of the students on the jumbotron in the John Paul Jones Arena as they sing before the game begins. See the video here.

CHS STUDENTS TOUR WASHINGTON AND LEE UNIVERSITY
Latino students touring Washington and Lee University.Thanks to the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, GEAR UP, and Virginia Latino Higher Education Network, several of our Hispanic CHS students took a free school field trip to Lexington, Virginia to visit one of the nations top liberal arts colleges, Washington and Lee University. During the college visit, the group toured the campus, met with admissions officers, and enjoyed lunch.

CHS THEATRE PRESENTS “HEATHERS” – OPENING NIGHT THURSDAY
"Heathers The Musical High School Edition" promotional poster.“Heathers The Musical” is a PG-13 version of the off-Broadway show. Considered a “dark comedy,” “Heathers” revolves around serious issues that students continue to face today. Take a sneak peek at CHSTheatre rehearsals here. Rated PG-13,this show is recommended for high school aged students and older. The show runs Thursday-Sunday in the CHS Black Box Theatre. Order tickets and learn more about the show here.

UPCOMING EVENTS AT-A-GLANCE
illustration of calendar 12/5 Walker/Buford Chorus Concert, 7pm, Walker Auditorium
12/6  City Schoolyard Garden Harvest of the Month
12/6  School Board meeting, 5pm, CHS Media Center
12/6  CHS Theatre presents “Heathers The Musical” through 12/8
12/7 CHS Art First Fridays exhibit (portraits of musicians), 5-7pm, Music Resource Center, 105 Ridge Street
12/10 Venable Winter Concert, 6pm
12/11 Jackson-Via Winter Concert 6:30pm
12/11 Burnley-Moran Winter Concert 6:15pm (dinner at 5:30pm)
12/11 Johnson Winter Concert, 6 pm
12/12 Walker Orchestra Winter Concert, 7pm
12/12 CHS Art exhibit, “(W)here to Stay,” 6-8pm, Jefferson School
12/13 CHS Choir Holiday Pops Concert, 7pm, MLKPAC
12/18 Clark Winter Concert 6pm (dinner at 5:30pm)
12/18 Greenbrier Winter Concert 6pm
12/18 CHS mid-term exams through 12/21
12/19 All-City Band Concert, 7pm, MLKPAC
12/24 Winter Break – no school through 1/4/2019
1/7 Classes Resume

More Looks at Cville Schools

Student dancers wearing colorful tunics at Walker International Day.

Walker Upper Elementary students performed a dance at International Day in the school cafeteria. The school-wide celebration included student projects that featured food, dance, music, and costumes from countries around the globe. ESOL teacher Elena Kryzhanovskaya, a former ESL student and refugee from Ukraine who moved to Charlottesville when she was eight years old, organized the event. Learn more about Mrs. K’s heart for her students here. 

CHS students with Nashville's Fab 5 performing "Need One Another (Right Now".)

A video by musicians from CHS and Metro-Nashville Public Schools has earned a 2018 Advocacy in Action Award from the music education non-profit, Music for All. The musical remake of Bebe and CeCe Winans’ song, “Right Now (We Need One Another),” was recorded last year in response to the events of August 11-12 in Charlottesville. The music video features 80 CHS choir and orchestra musicians, along with Nashville’s Fab 5, a group of student singers who attend different schools at MNPS.  Watch the video here.

Local motivational speaker Alex-Zan speaks to Jackson-Via students to promote good character traits. In partnership with Charlottesville City Schools, Zan will visit all six elementary schools to promote his message as well as share his history as a member of the Charlottesville 12, the infamous group of students who first integrated our city schools.

Local motivational speaker and civil rights pioneer Alex-Zan shares his message, “Today’s thinkers are tomorrow’s leaders” with third and fourth grade students at Jackson-Via. In partnership with Charlottesville City Schools, Alex-Zan is visiting City elementary schools (three per year) to assure that at least once during their elementary years, all Charlottesville students hear Alex-Zan’s positive messages and learn the story of the Charlottesville 12, the group of students who first integrated our city schools. See more photos here.

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

Find us on the web at charlottesvilleschools.org