Group photo of Walker students on stage after student government speeches.

News and Highlights March 2019

 

A Word from Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins 

Dear staff and families–

Thank you for the support you have shown the schools during the past week when we closed our schools for two days following a racist online threat made by a student from a different school division.

Allow me to reflect on this experience, finding both causes of grief and sources of hope:

    • I’m grieved by the fear and disruption that were inflicted on a community that is still in many ways recovering from the trauma of the white nationalist rallies in 2017.

    • I’m saddened that this threat was made under the guise of being a CHS student, which was especially disruptive to our sense of community and mutual trust.

    • I’m heartened that community partners such as City of Promise stepped in to feed and nurture our students when they could not be at school. Thank you.

    • I’m inspired by our educators, who on Friday decided that if our students could not come to us, then they would go to our students. Neighborhood by neighborhood, they brought food, books, hugs, games, and kind words.

    • I’m grateful to the Charlottesville Police and the Charlottesville Commonwealth Attorney’s office for making an arrest and receiving a guilty plea to bring resolution so quickly. Thanks also to the CPD for working alongside us from the moment we received the threat until now to make sure that our schools are safe.

    • I’m appreciative of our school counselors and our other student services practitioners who provided mental wellness support to our students and staff as they returned to school. In addition to our own staff members, volunteer counselors represented Region 10, Counseling Alliance of Central Virginia, and Central Virginia Counselors of Color.

    • I’m reminded by members of our Black Student Union and Latinx Student Union that not only do we need to look at isolated incidents, but we must also keep our focus on larger racial inequities and the structures, practices, and aggressions that perpetuate them.

    • I’m hopeful about our past, current, and planned work to promote equity in our schools, which aligns with the feedback we have been broadly seeking from students, staff, and community members. For an update, click here.

    • I’m delighted to announce that work began this week to upgrade entryway security at CHS, Buford, and Walker. This previously scheduled work complements last year’s security enhancements at our elementary schools. This work should be completed by August.

    • I’m thankful for school leaders and their staff, who helped our schools smoothly reopen and quietly return to being places of learning, relationship, and personal growth.

Thanks to all of you for your support of the schools, our staff, and our students. Best wishes for spring break.

Dr. Rosa Atkins

Photo collage of CHS students and staff with various hairstyles

“Self Expression through Hairstyles” is a project by Rachel Wilson’s photography classes at Charlottesville High School featuring CHS students and staff. The video debuted at the Black History Month assembly at CHS, but we thought our families and community would enjoy seeing it, too. Great job to all the students involved in the project! Click here to see the video.

VISITING PRINTMAKER TEACHES STUDENTS THE ART OF LETTERPRESS
Printer Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. shows CHS students how to make a letterpress print.Printer Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. conducted several letterpress workshops at our schools and other places in the Charlottesville area as part of his “Finding Wisdom” residency with Virginia Humanities’ Virginia Center for the Book. Students got to make their own prints using their own words of wisdom. Read more here.

VIDEO EARNS TOP HONORS FROM FUTURE-READY SCHOOLS FILM FESTIVAL
Screenshot from "Here and Now" iSTEM Future Ready videoCongratulations to iSTEM teacher Teresa Amasia and Burnley-Moran Elementary, winners in the “school” category of the Future Ready Schools Film Festival. This humorous video illustrates how our schools are empowering (and preparing) future-ready students! See what happens when a teacher finds himself inexplicably in the future. Or does he? See the video here.

THERAPY DOGS VISITS SUPPORT LEARNING IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Teacher and student visit with Chuleta the therapy dog at Jackson-Via Elementary.Certified therapy dogs Chuleta, Marley, and Luna are a few furry friends who  make regular visits to Jackson-Via and Johnson Elementary Schools to offer social-emotional support to students while at school. “The dogs have become part of the school community,” said Principal Dr. Justin Malone. Read more here.

PARENT UNIVERSITY STRENGTHENS HOME-SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP
Walker School counselor assists a parent at Parent University.Parents and caregivers attended two Parent University sessions at Jackson-Via and Greenbrier Elementary Schools. Workshops on literacy, math, special education, and social-emotional learning were among the many topics discussed. Parents also learned about strategies and resources they could use to help their children at home.  Read more here.

BUFORD STUDENTS HEAR FROM CVILLE PILGRIMAGE PARTICIPANTS
Buford Middle School students hear from guest speaker.Buford Middle School students hosted area residents who participated in the 2018 Civil Rights Pilgrimage to several sites in the South including Montgomery, AL. Gathering in small groups, the guests shared their first-hand accounts of the experience and why they participated. For news coverage of the visit to Buford, click here. For a recap of other events and activities during Black History Month, read more here.

WALKER STUDENTS FORM NEW STUDENT GOVERNMENT
Walker students celebrate after giving speeches for student government.A new student government which includes two representatives from each homeroom and an elected executive council is underway at Walker School. “We’re so proud of them,” said Instructional Coach Erika Pierce. “After delivering campaign speeches, they have hit the ground running with so many ideas to make Walker School a great place to be.” Ideas include school-wide celebrations, improved recycling efforts, and talent shows.

SCHOOL BOARD NOTES
Cville Schools official logoRecent actions from the School Board include learning about a proposed resolution regarding energy and water management so that school buildings will reduce their environmental impact. The Board also reviewed the local plan for career and technical education. As part of her report, Dr. Atkins overviewed recent updates in the division’s work to promote equity. For the latest School Board information, including agendas, minutes, and livestream video, read more here.

UPCOMING EVENTS AT-A-GLANCE
illustration of calendar3/28 Early dismissal for students/Professional Learning for staff/End of third grading period
3/28 “Power of We” presentation on community resilience, 6pm MLK PAC
3/29 No school for students/Teacher Flex Workday
4/1 Spring Break through 4/5
4/4 CHS All-Virginia Choir, Band, & Orchestra through 4/6
4/9 Walker rising 5th grade information session, 5:30pm
4/11 School Board Meeting, 5pm CHS
4/11 City Schoolyard Garden Harvest of the Month
4/18 Kindergarten Open Houses and registration, 3:30-6pm
4/18 Theatre CHS performs “The Crucible” through 4/20
4/24 CHS Chorus Spring Concert, 7pm MLK PAC
4/25 City Schoolyard Garden Root Celebration, 4:30pm Greenbrier
4/25 Buford Engineering Night, 5:30pm
4/27 CHS Prom
4/30 Walker Orchestra Spring Concert, 7pm

More Looks at Cville Schools

Two students pose in Johnson School photo booth.

Johnson Elementary second graders created the backdrop for the Kehinde Wiley-inspired photobooth featured at the school’s African American Heritage Night. Thanks to the school’s art teacher, Jocelyn Johnson, and parent photographer, John Robinson, for capturing the beautiful Johnson family. See more photos here.

CHS Knightengales group photo

The Knightengales, Charlottesville High School’s female ensemble, earned all Superior ratings at the District 13 Concert Assessment. For the latest highlights of our flourishing fine arts program, click here.

Lisa Reeder's husband and son with Carlton Jones on Lisa's Local on the Line Day.

Nutrition Services Director Carlton Jones, along with Geoff Shaw and his son, Lincoln, celebrate our recently renamed “Lisa’s Local on the Line” menu offerings to honor the legacy of Lisa Reeder. Learn more here.

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

Find us on the web at charlottesvilleschools.org