What‘s Happening at CHS

Advocacy in Action Award winner badge

CHS earns triple gold in 2019 Advocacy in Action Awards

Advocacy in Action Award winner badgeThe Charlottesville High School music program is a triple-gold winner in the 2019 Music for All Advocacy in Action Awards for its 2018 music collaboration with students from Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Recognized for excellence in three categories, Community Service Project, Community Engagement, and Community Event, members of the CHS Orchestra and CHS Choir joined talents with the “Fab 5,” a student quintet from Pearl-Cohn Magnet High School in Nashville to perform Bebe Winans’ hit song, “Right Now (We Need One Another).”  The efforts were a direct response to the deadly events of August 11-12, 2017 in Charlottesville, VA.

Under the leadership of CHS Orchestra Director Laura Mulligan Thomas and CHS Choir Director Will Cooke, the students performed the song at a school-wide assembly at Charlottesville High School followed by various locations around the city, including the street where Heather Heyer lost her life. Video footage of the collaboration was shared with the community via social media and broadcasted on a jumbotron as part of the Concert for Charlottesville featuring headlining musicians such as Dave Matthews, Pharrell Williams and Stevie Wonder. Held at University of Virginia’s Scott Stadium, the concert was attended by over 50,000 people and live-streamed on such platforms as Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr and HuffPost.

“We are thrilled to receive this recognition for our students’ efforts for community advocacy through music,” said Cooke. “The collaboration created immeasurable positive feeling and healing within our school communities, our local communities, and beyond—including a follow-up gathering to record a second song in support of the Parkland, Florida survivors.”

Charlottesville High School’s submission will be part of the Music for All Advocacy in Action website, which is a clearinghouse of practical advocacy examples that can be adapted and replicated by programs nationwide. To read more about the project and see the video, visit https://advocacy.musicforall.org/submission/right-now-we-need-one-another-event/.

CHS musicians on stage holding hands wearing "Cville" tshirts “Building bridges between schools and communities starts with identifying what we already share,” said Thomas. “Students in a Virginia choir and orchestra were eager to collaborate with students in a Tennessee choir because we all speak the same musical language; we share the culture of rehearsals, practice, and performance. The students in Nashville recorded a video for us, we responded with an invitation, and the resulting collaboration was awe-inspiring for our students, teachers, and community!”

For more information about Music for All, please visit www.musicforall.org.

Related links:

Screen shot of marketing poster for "Peter and the Wolf" performance.

Fine Arts Upcoming Events

t Charlottesville City Schools, we value the fine arts.  We invite you to come see our students’ talents this winter, whether in band, choir, dance, theater, orchestra, the visual arts or more (see calendar below).

Photo collage of fine artsPhoto collage of fine arts at Cville Schools

Upcoming Events

  • January 10, Buford Middle School student art exhibit at City Hall
  • January 18,  Walker Stage Left Theatre presents: The Trial of Goldilocks, 6:30 p.m., Walker Auditorium
  • January 20, CHS Orchestra presents Serge Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” with special guest Jamie Bernstein, 3 p.m., The Paramount Theater. (click for more info)
  • January 29, Walker School 5th grade band concert, 7pm, Walker Auditorium
  • January 30, CHS Symphony/Choir Concert, 7:30pm, MLKPAC
  • February 1, Buford Stage Left Theatre performance, 6:30 p.m., Buford Auditorium
  • February 2, Jr. Regional Orchestra Festival, 9 a.m., Jouett Middle School
  • February 8-9, All-District Chorus, Albemarle High School.
  • February 14-17, TheatreCHS presents “Mamma Mia!” 7:30 p.m., MLKPAC (click for more info)
  • February 16, District Jazz Festival, Albemarle High School
  • February 21, CHS Band Assessment Preview Concert, 7 p.m., MLKPAC
  • February 26, Buford Band Assessment Preview Concert, 7 p.m., Buford Auditorium
  • February 27, Walker Band Assessment Preview Concert, 7 p.m., Walker Auditorium
  • March 1-2, District Band Assessments, Fluvanna High School
  • March 4-13, ArtConnection Exhibit, weekdays, MLKPAC
  • March 6, ArtConnections Open House, 4-6:30pm, MLKPAC
  • March 9, ArtConnections Saturday Celebration, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., MLKPAC
  • March 9, District Orchestra Assessments
  • March 13, ArtConnections Open House, 4-6:30 p.m., MLKPAC
  • March 14, District Choir Assessments, Eastern View High School
  • March 21, All-City Chorus Festival, 7 p.m., MLKPAC
  • March 22-24, TheatreCHS New York Trip
  • March 22-23, Jr. Regional Orchestra
CHS students holding The Hate U Give

Cville OneBook: The Hate U Give

CHS students holding The Hate U GiveCharlottesville High Schools earned a shout-out in USAToday on December 10 for its direct discussions about race in its English 9 honors-option classes. After in-class discussions and activities relating to the award-winning novel The Hate U Give (plus a field trip to see the movie), there was also an evening panel discussion featuring students and author Angie Thomas via Skype. Thanks to Jefferson School African American Heritage Center for their hospitality and leadership in hosting the panel discussion.

Thomas praised Charlottesville’s direct approach to learning from the white supremacist rallies in August 2017: “It gives me hope for the rest of the country.”Since last year, CHS librarian Anne Ernst has been working on OneBook, dedicated to a community “Big Read” of the book as a response to A12. OneBook also coordinated a special printing of the book for free distribution. This is the second year that the 2017 book has featured prominently in the English 9 curriculum since it raises topics that are timely and relevant to the Charlottesville community and CHS students’ lives.

The USA Today mention arose from local coverage of this initiative in Sunday’s Daily Progress. That article features Ernst plus CHS teachers Jenn Horne and Andy Josselyn, along with CHS students Joseph Gainey, Sam Schuyler, and Elana West-Smith.

Superintendent Rosa Atkins noted, “This is just one example of ways that our teachers and staff guide students to engage with crucial issues. These discussions require courage from teachers and students. They are important and meaningful to all of us. Thanks to all involved for their leadership.”

Links:

 

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

 

“Concert for Charlottesville” Video Earns National Awards


A music video collaboration by musicians from Charlottesville High School and Metro Nashville public schools has earned 2018 Advocacy in Action Awards from the music education non-profit organization, Music for All.

The musical remake of Bebe and CeCe Winans’ song, “Right Now (We Need One Another),” was recorded by Charlottesville High School and Metro Nashville Public Schools musicians last year in response to the events of August 11-12 in Charlottesville.

The music video features 50 CHS orchestra students and 30 members of the CHS choir, along with Nashville’s Fab 5, a group of student singers that attend different schools at MNPS.

“It was remarkable that in such a short amount of time, we were able to join with the folks from Nashville to create a new song of hope for the future,” said CHS Choir Teacher Will Cooke.

Following the two-day collaboration, the music video was featured among a long line-up of musical performers including Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake, and Ariana Grande at the Dave Matthew’s Band Concert for Charlottesville last September.

“To see all of us up on the jumbotron at the Dave Matthews concert was truly a thrill,” said CHS Orchestra Teacher Laura Thomas. “I get goose bumps every time I think about it.  It was our students singing and playing and trying to promote a positive message.”

The two groups reconnected in the spring in Nashville at Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School.  The CHS and Fab 5 singers recorded a second musical tribute in response to the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Read more about it and see the music video “Shine” here.

According to James P. Stephens, Jr., Director of Advocacy and Educational Resources for Music for All, the Advocacy in Action Awards recognize “the amazing advocacy work that is being done in scholastic music programs across the country.” The group’s mission is “to create, provide and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all.”

This video is being recognized as a winner in three subcategories of Community Engagement:

    • Outstanding Community Engagement Video
    • Outstanding Community Event
    • Outstanding Community Service Project

Related Links

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

 

Promo poster for "Heathers The Musical High School Edition."

“Heathers The Musical” opens this Thursday at CHS

Promo poster for "Heathers The Musical" high school editionCharlottesville High School will present “Heathers The Musical (High School Edition)” Thursday, December 6 through Saturday, December 8 at 7 p.m. at the CHS Black Box Theatre. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults. Order tickets online here.

The play is a new adaptation of the Broadway musical based on the 1990s cult classic movie. It follows the story of Veronica Sawyer – a brainy teenage misfit who hustles her way into the most powerful and ruthless clique at Westerberg High: the Heathers.

two male actors rehearse for "Heathers The Musical."But before she can get comfortable, she falls for the wrong boy and finds herself ostracized by the popular group. Adapted to be appropriate for a teenage cast and audience, the show deals with the important issues of teen suicide, bullying, homophobia and gun violence.

“‘Heathers’ was chosen this year in Musical Theatre Ensemble not only because it feels especially relevant to kids in theatre, but also because it uses theatre as a vehicle to create a greater dialogue where we can discuss openly amongst all students the universal social hardships faced by teenagers today,” said CHS Theatre teacher David Becker. “While the play brings up some universal questions that every student may ask in high school— sometimes depicted in the show in an absurd, overly exaggerated way– it provides an impetus for us to have these conversations not just with the cast, but school-wide.”

The musical is rated PG13, which means Parents Strongly Cautioned – some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. This show is for high school aged students and older. Parents are advised to do their own research on the show and make a decision about attending that they think is most appropriate for their individual families.

Theatre CHS has won numerous Virginia High School League awards. Student leadership in directing, costuming, poster design, and more is a hallmark of the program.  For more information, call 245-2410.

 

Find photos, videos, and more by visiting @TheatreCHS on Twitter and Instagram.