What‘s Happening at Buford

Students visit Fralin Art Museum at UVA.

Highlights and News November 2018

A Word from Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins
Dr. Rosa Atkins

Dear families –

As we look ahead to our second Community Forum on Equity on November 27 at 7:30 p.m. at CHS, I wanted to give you a few updates.

Thanks to all of you who came to our first forum in October. With more than 400 community members, employees, and students present, along with many following along on Facebook, we were able to hear valuable feedback on issues of equity and achievement in our schools. We also gathered hundreds of responses from our online surveys and have made that data available to you at www.charlottesvilleschools.org/NYT. You can read through and add your voice to the conversation.

While we move forward to identify and implement tangible ways to help all of our students excel, we will continue to celebrate signs of the achievement and growth we see in our students, from our elementary schools’ extended-day literacy program to CHS students using their photography skills to tell their peers’ global stories in a community exhibition.

Dr. Rosa S. Atkins,
Superintendent

Venable teacher reading to students in EBL after school program.

Venable Elementary teacher Karen Minor reads to first grade children during Extended Bridges to Learning, an after-school literacy program that provides small group instruction to students in grades K-5. EBL is funded in part by a Virginia Department of Education grant. Read more about EBL here.

NEW PILOT PROGRAM AT WALKER EMPOWERS STUDENTS’ DECISION-MAKING
Super-Why and First Lady at Greenbrier Using a $6,000 grant from CFA Institute,Walker Upper Elementary School students are deciding how to spend the funds on school improvements. The new program employs a process known as participatory budgeting. The unique curriculum leads all sixth graders through a semester-long process that includes these steps: Discover, Dream, Design, Decide, and Do. We can’t wait to see what they decide to do! Read more about the program here.

STRING OF MUSICIANS TEACH, PERFORM, AND INSPIRE
Stock photo of violinist Ray ChenStudents of all ages interacted with an impressive lineup of musicians this fall. Third-graders attended the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival Children’s Concert and fourth-graders visited UVA to hear the Charlottesville Symphony at the University of Virginia perform “Jazzing Up the Orchestra” with the Free Bridge Quintet. Contemporary cellist BJ Griffin led three days of workshops at Buford, Walker, and CHS to teach students about his unique style that combines classical composition and hip hop. Ray Chen, acclaimed violinist who has played in concert halls around the world, performed for CHS students courtesy of Tuesday Evening Concert Series. And, most recently, students from across the division visited The Paramount Theater to see the touring strings duo, Black Violin.Johnson teacher Lindsay Wayland posted a video from the concert and commented, “Best. Field trip. Ever.”

DRAFT SCHOOL CALENDAR FOR 2019-20 POSTED FOR FEEDBACK
French exchange students participate in Conversation Cafe at CHS.The Charlottesville-Albemarle School Calendar Committee has created a draft calendar for the 2019-20 school year. We would like your feedback. Please review the draft calendar and complete a brief survey by November 16.

SCHOOL-WIDE MORNING MEETINGS PROMOTE POSITIVE SCHOOL CULTURE
Teacher sings on stage at BME school-wide morning meeting.Elementary schools across the division are using monthly school-wide morning meetings to build school tradition, pride,and a sense of belonging for students.“These gatherings help us sustain a strong school culture and climate across all grade levels,” says Burnley-Moran Principal Dr. Elizabeth Korab. Read more about these meetings here. 

2018 FALL PHOTO GALLERY – HIGHLIGHTS THAT MAKE US SMILE
Super-Why and First Lady at GreenbrierWhile we have begun a challenging conversation this fall, there is also much to celebrate in our schools. From fine arts to fun runs to fall festivals, here is a look back at some of the highlights from the last month. A few other fun facts? From CHS alone, we have the band’s 1st-place finish in regionals, a top-6 state finish for Theatre CHS, and football players Sabias Folley and Isaiah Washington earning player-of-the-week honors.

UPCOMING EVENTS AT-A-GLANCE
illustration of calendar 11/13 Buford Orchestra Concert
11/21 Thanksgiving Break begins – no school until 11/26
11/27 Second Community Forum on Equity, CHS, 7:30 p.m.
11/28 CHS Orchestra Concert
11/29 CHS Band Concert
12/5 Walker/Buford Chorus Winter Concert
12/6 School Board Meeting, 5pm CHS Media Center
12/6-12/8 TheatreCHS presents “Heathers”

More Looks at Cville Schools

Students visit Fralin Museum of Art at UVA

Walker Upper Elementary students discuss a painting by American artist Rozeal with a museum docent at the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia. This fall, all students in grades 3-8 are participating in Writer’s Eye, an education program sponsored by the Fralin that encourages kids to use art as inspiration for writing prose and poetry. Photo Credit: Coe Sweet Photography.

Crossing guard Miss Ruth hugs a Clark student

Known for her compassion and care, Clark School crossing guard Ruth Hill keeps children and families safe as they travel to and from school. “I love each of these children as if they were my own,” said Hill. Read more here.

CHS Teacher Matt Shields with father

When he is not teaching physics and engineering or taking BACON Club students to MIT for global robotics competitions, CHS teacher Matt Shields spends his time doing other things like… donating a kidney to his father! Learn more here. Photo Credit: Sarah Cramer Shields

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

Find us on the web at charlottesvilleschools.org

 

A Letter from The Principal about School Culture

Illustration of young teens holding a sign saying "positive school culture"

Dear Buford Families,

At Buford, we are actively working to create an inclusive environment that provides for the physical and emotional safety of all of our students.

Some of the immediate actions we have taken include:

  • Increasing supervision in the hallways and during transition.
  • Mobilizing groups for students who need skills in conflict resolution and social-emotional awareness.
  • Having direct conversations with students about how we should treat one another including a no-tolerance policy for bullying.
  • Beginning discussions with student on how to intervene and how to report.
  • Instituting a homeroom in the mornings to provide students a calmer, less chaotic start to the day,.
  • Continuing the “Peace Squad” club (originated for fifth- and sixth-graders at Walker School) so students can continue to learn the skills of being an “upstander” and can continue to promote the trademark message, “Kindness is cool.
  • Training for staff with a certified trainer has also been scheduled for 11/7.
  • Announcing the creation of a committee to address school culture. To volunteer, see details, below.

While this work will be ongoing, several events held during the week of 10/22-26 have directly addressed this issue.

  • Monday, 10/22 – Buford United Student Assembly, which reiterated school expectations and the message of kindness and inclusion.
  • Wednesday, 10/24 – Unity Day celebration, which spread the message of kindness, inclusion, and unity.
  • Thursday, 10/25 – Presentations from Liz Ianelli, a psychotherapist and clinical industry expert on bullying, and Susan Sutton, a nationally recognized school counselor and cyberbullying consultant, followed by a Q&A with Mrs. Carter.
  • Friday, 10/26 – Susan Sutton’s student presentation on cyberbullying.

The emotional and physical safety of our kids is deeply important to me not only as a principal, but also as a parent. I look forward to working with all of our families as we continue to shape and mold Buford Middle School into the school we want it to be for all of our students.

Mrs. Stephanie Carter
Principal

In addition to the above events and others that are planned for the 2nd quarter, we are seeking parent volunteers to serve on a committee to address school culture. Our school needs your voice! If you are interested in serving in this capacity, please contact me via email at carters2@charlottesvilleschools.org or by phone at 434-245-2411.

Orchestra students learn from visiting singer/cellist

BJ Griffin with Walker orchestra students.Singer/cellist BJ Griffin and his pianist Jason Brown spent three days in music workshops with Walker, Buford, and CHS orchestra students. The visit culminated with a performance with the CHSO for Walker and Buford orchestra students at the CHS Martin Luther King Performing Arts Center.

“I can’t say enough positive things about this experience,” said Fine Arts Coordinator Aaron Eichorst. “It’s the best kind of instruction and engagement we strive to provide. What an honor to be part of it.”

During the performance, students sang along and clapped to Griffin’s renditions of pop hits by artists like Michael Jackson, Lordes, and Ed Sheeran.

Griffin is known for his solo and ensemble performances that mix classical, jazz, and pop music. He is also a singer/songwriter that has worked throughout the east coast. For more about Griffin, visit https://www.bjgriffinmusic.com/about.

 

Photograph of two children with arms around eachother.

CCS News and Highlights October 3, 2018

A Word from Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins
Dr. Rosa Atkins

Dear families —

“Every Learner. Every day. Everyone.” These words embody our mission – that at Charlottesville City Schools, we want to support all of our learners.

How are we doing on that? By some measures, we’re doing great. Our graduation rate rose to 92.6%, and for black students, that rate has risen 25 points since 2006. Data shows that as students move through our schools, they show strong growth. As we’ve emphasized social-emotional learning and added supports for positive behaviors, our suspensions have dropped significantly.

However, by other measures, we still have work to do. On Virginia’s “standards of learning” tests, our African-American students are often not meeting the state’s standards. While we and others see these tests as faulty, even so, this is a sign that needs attention. Similarly, we want to diversify the students who enroll in advanced and AP classes, who participate in our gifted programs, and who attain the state’s advanced diploma.

We take these matters seriously. To familiarize yourself with our approaches to promoting equity, please visit charlottesvilleschools.org/equity. We create opportunities and supports throughout our schools, and we work with local and national partners to study and address underlying issues.

Relatedly, you might have followed community discussions about our schools’ dress codes and whether they ban hate symbols that were displayed during the violence in August 2017. Presently, there is no explicit ban in the Albemarle or Charlottesville code, but our School Board stated that symbols of hate are not appropriate in our schools. We and Albemarle County Public Schools have agreed to work together to explore not only the issue of hate symbols, but also the larger question of how we can better serve all of our students.

To further explore these topics, we invite you to a community forum on Tuesday, October 23, at 7 p.m. We help our children learn and grow. Our community and schools will learn and grow, too.

Dr. Rosa S. Atkins
Superintendent

Jackson-Via students enjoying Wildrock

Educating the whole child requires time for creative play. Jackson-Via preschool students enjoyed the playhouse during a field trip to Wildrock, a local natural playground. After a morning in the mud kitchen and creek, our youngest learners were fast asleep on the bus ride back to school.

VA FIRST LADY AND SUPER WHY! VISIT GREENBRIER ON LITERACY TOUR
Super-Why and First Lady at Greenbrier Toting a Wonder Woman backpack and a cartload of picture books, Virginia’s First Lady Pamela Northam visited Greenbrier. PBS’s popular character Super Why! was also there to give high fives and hugs. Stopping in to surprise several classrooms, the First Lady paused in one preschool class to read “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do you See?” Cville Schools is proud to partner with the United Way-Thomas Jefferson Area, Albemarle County Schools, and MACAA Head Start to provide quality early childhood education.

BUFORD COMMUNITY MURAL IN PROGRESS
Painted portrait of Anne Martin Anyone who has been at Buford in the last 10 years probably recognizes this face! Head custodian Anne Martin, wearing the school’s “I am Excellent” t-shirt, is one of many who are featured on a new mural spanning the cafeteria wall. “So many people give so much to the school, and I think that this is a lovely representation and really tells the story of Buford,” said Principal Stephanie Carter. Funded in part by the Charlottesville Mural Project, the finished mural will feature teachers, students, and other Buford community members. Local artist Eliza Evans is donating her time to paint the portraits.

ARTIST, CREATOR OF UVA MEMORIAL VISITS CHS
Artist Eto Otitigbe speaking to CHS students. Eto Otitigbe, the designer of the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at UVA, spoke to art, history, and engineering students at CHS about the project to honor the enslaved people who helped construct the first buildings at UVA. Otitigbe discussed the importance of learning about history in the context of art. “Through creativity and artistic expression, we can inspire and gather ideas from different perspectives,” he said. Photo credit: Jeneene Chatowsky, UVA Advancement Communications.

iSTEM and MATH CLASSES TEAM UP FOR CODING LESSON 
Two boys working with a lap top and Spheros. Walker students in Ms. Skeen and Ms. Gallagher’s math classes joined iSTEM teacher Mr. Chamberlin for a lesson in square roots and computer coding. Using Spheros, small programmable robots that roll and light up, partners found the square root of a number, made a path with masking tape, and created code to make the Sphero travel along the path.

UPCOMING EVENTS AT-A-GLANCE
illustration of calendar 10/4 School Board Meeting
10/5 Fall Harvest Festival
10/6 Clark Buzz by Belmont 5K Run/Walk
10/12 CHS Homecoming football game
10/23 Community Forum on Equity
10/26 Friday Knight Lights All-Elementary Football Tailgate
10/26 End of 1st quarter

More Looks at Cville Schools

Three boys on a hayride at apple orchard.

Johnson students enjoyed picking apples while they learned about the fruit’s life cycle at Carter Mountain’s “Apple School.”  Next up? Farm-to-School Week activities and tastings at all our schools this week thanks to City Schoolyard Garden and the Local Food Hub. Photo credit: Rebecca Covington.

Principal and teacher playing math game with pediatric patient.

A patient at UVA Children’s Hospital plays a math game with elementary teacher Deborah Johnson and Principal Eric Johnson. To read more about our Hospital Education Program, click here.

Boy and girl smiling with arms around eachother.

“We are the same because we both like recess. We also both like art,” write two Clark students. The project was inspired by reading “Same, Same but Different.”  Learn more and see the amazing photos by ESL teacher April Hoffman here.

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

Find us on the web at charlottesvilleschools.org

 

Secretary Qarni receives tshirt from two Venable students

VA Sec. of Ed visits as division celebrates VA Farm to School, Healthy Schools Week, and Buford Fall Harvest Festival

VA Secretary of Education Atif Qarni visits Venable Elementary garden.Charlottesville City Schools, in partnership with City Schoolyard Garden, celebrated a week of garden activities, visits from farm animals, and made-from-scratch lunches made with local ingredients provided by area farmers through Local Food Hub.

During Charlottesville Healthy Schools Week and VA Farm to School Week students sampled a variety of healthy foods including farmer’s market salsa and vegetable soup while also taste-testing local goat cheese, pears, and apples.

On Thursday, Charlottesville City Schools hosted special guest Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni at Venable School. Secretary Qarni and members  of his staff joined students for lunch, visited the garden to see goats from Caramont Farms, and sampled cherry tomatoes, CSYG’s October Harvest of the Month.

Throughout the week, students across the division also mingled with goats, bees, chickens, and sheep in our school gardens and learned about composting, apple pressing, wool carding, and more.

Dr. Atkins with children in garden petting a goat.The week culminated with the Fall Harvest Festival at Buford Middle School at 5:30 p.m. This annual free community event offered food, fun, music, and garden activities for all.

Charlottesville City Schools partners with the local nonprofit City Schoolyard Garden for a shared vision: Young people thrive with the opportunity to engage with nature, to enhance their academic learning through hands-on experience, to cultivate skills for healthy living, and to grow in leadership.

Together, Charlottesville City Schools and City Schoolyard Garden manage nine garden spaces including one at all six Charlottesville public elementary schools, Buford Middle School, Charlottesville High School, and our alternative high school, Lugo-McGinness Academy. These gardens encompass over 26,383 square feet of diverse organic gardens with over 33,724 student interactions for over 3,500 youth each year.

Logo badge for 2019 Best Schools-Niche

Charlottesville Schools Ranked #6 in Virginia

Logo badge for 2019 Best Schools-NicheThe 2019 Niche.com K-12 rankings are out, and Charlottesville City Schools earned an A+ , placing #6 overall among Virginia school districts and landing in the top 3% in the nation.

Niche ranks nearly 100,000 schools and districts based on statistics and millions of opinions from students and parents. Additional recognition for CCS from a variety of Niche categories include:

  • #2 of 133 – Most Diverse School Divisions
  • #3 of 132 – Best Places to Teach in Virginia
  • #6 of 132 – Districts with the Best Teachers in Virginia.
  •  A+ ranking in College Prep and Diversity categories and A in Academics and Teachers.

We’re proud of the good work of our students and teachers, and we appreciate the support of our community. While any given ranking system has its limitations, Charlottesville City Schools has done so well by so many measures, that the combined feedback paints a portrait of excellence. Three other indicators would include:

illustration of raised hands with a computer search bar

Help Nights for Back-to-School Forms

illustration of raised hands with a computer search barHaving trouble creating your PowerSchool account? Need to add a child to the account? Want a hand finishing up your back-to-school forms? Working on your free/reduced lunch application?

Call or stop by during our Help Nights on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 4-5.  All Charlottesville families are welcome to attend either event. iSe habla español!

  • On Tuesday, 9/4, from 5-7pm, we’ll be at Clark School (1000 Belmont Avenue).
  • On Wednesday, 9/5, from 5-7pm, we’ll be at CHS (1400 Melbourne Rd).
  • Just need a student ID or a password reset? For student IDs, you can call your school. For password resets or other questions, call either 245-2943 or 245-2962. During the help nights, you can also call 245-2943 from 5-7pm.

Image says "translation -- see top of page" in Spanish, Chinese, Nepali, Arabic, and English.These important back-to-school forms are required for all returning students every year. (If you completed forms for a new student this spring or summer, you do not need to do them again.) Most of the answers are pre-completed for you. These forms help with:

  • health and emergency information
  • field trip permissions
  • authorizations for a friend or relative to pick your child up from school
  • accurate bus information
  • and much more!

Thanks to all who have completed them, and if you need any assistance, please call us or join us for the Help Nights for Back-to-School Forms.

Buford Back-to-School Community Visits, Chromebook Distribution, and more!

The first day of school is almost here, and we can’t wait to welcome back our students!

lenovo-thinkpad-chromebook-laptop-6806-010Get Your Chromebooks

Buford Middle School students are assigned a Chromebook (computer) and charger for the school year. Buford students, along with their parents/guardians, will have the opportunity to pick up their Chromebook prior to the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year.

Pick-Up Dates and Times (in Buford Cafeteria)

  • Monday, August 13th: 3-6pm
  • Tuesday, August 14th: 3-6pm
  • Wednesday, August 15th: 4-6pm
  • Thursday, August 16th: 3-6pm
  • Friday, August 17th: 3-6pm
  • Tuesday, August 21st: 3-6pm

Please take advantage of these dates and times so your child can avoid long lines on the first day of school. *Chromebooks will not be distributed during Open House.

TIP: Use your child’s Chromebook to log into PowerSchool and easily complete your back-to-school forms with InfoSnap! Information about creating a PowerSchool account will be mailed to your home in August.