Fostering School Community and Relationships
One of the goals for Charlottesville City Schools is to promote a positive and inclusive culture in our learning communities. Relationships are at the heart of a thriving community. We strive to encourage strong relationships among and between staff, students, and families through mentoring and other initiatives.
- A strong sense of community is at the heart of our division-wide framework for supporting students’ academic, behavioral, and mental health needs (Virginia Tiered Systems of Support and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports). Both Johnson Elementary and our alternative learning center, Lugo-McGinness Academy, have led the way as we establish practices that build community, encourage good behavior, and deepen relationships.
- From school-wide meetings at Venable to Fun Fridays at Clark to the Harry Potter-style “house” system at Jackson-Via, our elementary schools promote a positive sense of community. Need another example? How about the “welcome back” field days at the start of each semester at Burnley-Moran.
- We believe in mentoring, whether that means Buford eighth-graders serving as reading buddies at neighboring Johnson Elementary, upperclassmen at CHS welcoming ninth-graders through Link Crew, or teachers, coaches, and community leaders guiding students at every step of the way.
- Our school counselors foster social-emotional health in a variety of ways. They offer classroom lessons, such as Walker students guiding their blindfolded partners to solve jigsaw puzzles. They also sponsor clubs and groups such as the Walker Peace Squad or the Jackson-Via Bully-Nots. Social-emotional learning is also part of our curriculum, and trauma-responsive practices are in place in all our schools.
- Relationships (and reading skills) can deepen even during the summer through our teachers’ and librarians’ Books on Bikes program! The BoB team visits neighborhoods to deliver free books, popsicles, and smiles. (A therapy dog even makes the rounds!)
- Parents are a big part of our school communities, whether through staying connected, volunteering, or attending events such as Doughnuts with Dad at Johnson. We are proud to have a Family Engagement Coordinator and are so grateful for the good work of our active PTOs!
- Clubs, athletics, and our amazing fine arts programs also build relationships and community.
- An award-winning and comprehensive commitment to wellness — from mental health to outdoor gardens — lays the foundation for our community-building.