- Bus schedule
2017 has already been a busy year at CHS! In case you’ve missed them, here is a sample of the things that have been happening so far.
Black History Month Presentation | ROLE MODELS – Influential African-Americans
50 African-American leaders from the Charlottesville and Albemarle communities were welcomed by CHS students for a photo shoot and interview sesion in January. This collaborative project between the CHS African-American History and photography classes sought to highlight and celebrate prominent community leaders for Black History Month.
The project was also highlighted in the Daily Progress.
TheaterCHS presents “Into the Woods” February 16-18
Charlottesville High School students performed Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods at the Martin Luther King Jr. Performing Arts Center from February 16-18. The Tony Award-winning musical revisits and reimagines several well-known fairy tales.
Girls’ Basketball Regional Victory
The CHS Girls’ Basketball team enjoyed a well-fought victory in February when they defeated Jefferson Forest 40 – 31 to win the Conference 23 title! Congratulations, Lady Knights!
CHS Students Earn All-State Choir Honor
Charlottesville High School students Parker Sullivan, Brianna Ramirez, & Leah Patek have been awarded All-VA Choir honors!
AVID | Mentoring & College Visits
In February, CHS AVID students visited Radford and Virginia Tech. They also spent time at Jackson-Via mentoring students with classrooms activities.
| Welcome to the Black Knights Twitter feed. We hope you will follow us for updates and news about CHS! – Charlottesville High School (@CHSBlackKnights)
January 24, 2017
As you know, we are developing the strategic plan that will guide our Charlottesville schools through the year 2023. So far, we have gotten a great response from students, staff, and parents — and we want to hear from you, too.
Three opportunities are available for staff and parents:
- A community-wide listening session will be held this Wednesday (1/25) at CHS at 7pm. Join us!
- An online survey is another way you can share your feedback and ideas.
- A schedule of school-based meetings is on the web site, as well.
This monthly newsletter will reflect on some of the ideas we’ve heard so far, connecting the ideas with recent activities in our schools.
—Dr. Rosa S. Atkins, Superintendent
Early Feedback from our Meetings and and Survey Responses:
- This month, CHS photo and African-American history students partnered on an community project in which they interviewed and photographed local black leaders to document African-American lives, leadership, and experiences. The images and content will be presented to the CHS community during their African-American History Month assembly.
- CHS student Saad Khaleefa more than impressed the crowd at the annual community celebration honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he read his essay describing this experiences as a refugee from Syria. Khaleefa won the high school writing contest (and classmate Thomas Inigo was a finalist); the contest was curated by PVCC judges and sponsored by the Albemarle County Rotary Club Foundation.
- Thanks to the school division’s new iSTEM program, fifth-graders at Walker School designed, built, and tested boats for a journey up the “James River” in a classroom simulation. In addition to the STEM skills, the project incorporated history and language arts skills. Similarly, third-graders across the division designed and built garden structures to protect the schools’ lettuce from winter, among other projects. You can catch a broader glimpse of the work of this new iSTEM program at STEM nights hosted by the elementary schools this winter.
- Burnley-Moran students have been writing letters to (and receiving correspondence from) senior-citizen pen pals throughout the year. This month, they’re going to meet each other face-to-face!
- Clark Elementary organized a “community helper day” for its kindergartners, inviting special guests including their own award-winning crossing guard Ms. Ruth Hill. Other guests are future and current community helpers from CATEC, with high school students representing fields such as firefighting, dental, and medical care.
- CHS eleventh-grade English classes took advantage of performances of The Grapes of Wrath at the Paramount Theater offered by the National Players. Thanks to the theater, the actors visited CHS to offer related workshops with English and drama classes. Similarly, a number of our elementary school students were able to hear the Richmond Symphony accompany a screening of The Snowman, also at the Paramount.
- CHS biology students recently partnered with UVa Health professionals to present their research at a student symposium.
- Buford students will soon be watching Hidden Figures, a powerful reminder that each of us can use our talents to impact our world.
- Our partnership with City Schoolyard Garden offers hands-on learning across the curriculum. Students, staff, and parents are pleased with these ongoing activities and are glad to see expansions, including the green roof project on the new garden shed at Greenbrier.
Recent examples include:
- Our strategic plan process includes focus groups with students at all our schools, including our alternative program, Lugo-McGinness Academy. Students have brought important and unique perspectives but also share many of the same educational goals and preferences as their teachers and parents.
- The CHS science club BACON (Best All-around Club of Nerds) offers a model for how students can take ownership of their learning. Students pick the projects they wish to focus on and work independently on their goals. As adviser Dr. Matt Shields notes, “It’s about as far away as you can get from ‘My dad did my science fair project.'” For a fifth straight year, the students working on the Zero Robotics team qualified for the international finals in the programming competition sponsored by NASA and MIT. Good luck at the finals, BACON!
Students at CATEC also offer a model of charting their own path and exploring possible careers ranging from health care to culinary arts. New this year is the program’s partnership with tech giant CISCO, offering industry-recognized certifications in IT. CATEC recently hosted the regional competition for Skills USA, showing the range of the program’s offerings. CHS students Luis Becerra-Vargas and Ed Pollock, respectively, earned 2nd and 3rd in Culinary Arts at the competition. Congratulations!
- Even younger students can take ownership of their learning. This year, thanks to a grant from the Shannon Foundation, Venable students will lead their own parent-teacher conferences. Using portfolios of their own work, students will reflect on their growth and learning as well as articulate their goals for the future.
While students in all curriculum areas offered specific examples of ways their teachers offer choice and independence, Buford and CHS students enrolled in engineering classes say that choice and independence are at the heart of these classes. Students are given structured expectations about what they will learn and what projects will guide them through the curriculum, but on a daily basis, students work independently and with peers to accomplish these goals.
Recent examples include:
- Across our elementary schools, classrooms and even whole schools host periodic or daily “morning meetings” to celebrate successes, define goals, and build community.
- This year’s new Link Crew program at CHS has connected upper-class mentors with ninth-graders to help younger students make a good transition, establish connections, and have fun.
- More than wins and losses, athletics is about character. At a recent basketball game, CHS recently honored graduate Rashard Davis, who just helped the JMU football team earn a national championship. Davis is known for his work ethic, values, character — and setting college conference records. Similarly, girls’ basketball coach Jim Daly recently tweeted, “Our leading scorer from last night [Daeja Wade] was back in the gym by 9am to coach a 1st/2nd grade basketball team — nice reminder of what a great group of girls we have!”
- Walker students recently worked on some jigsaw puzzles while blindfolded! The challenge — completed with a little help from some friends — was organized by the schools’ counselors, who organize monthly lessons to build connections, character, and culture.
- Jackson-Via recently earned a grant from Charlottesville’s “Sister Cities Commission” to support the school’s Harry-Potter-like “house” system. Connected to Charlottesville’s sister cities in Africa, Bulgaria, France, and Italy, the “houses” are student groups designed to build both interpersonal and international connections.
- Wellness and nutrition have also received attention in the focus groups. While Charlottesville has won national awards for its commitments to healthy activity, local foods, and more, there is always room for improvement. New nutrition coordinator has met with a feedback group of Walker students, and a parent group focusing on fresh and healthy school meals has also been formed. Find the group on Facebook here!
- Lugo-McGinness Academy, the school division’s alternative school for students in grades 7-12, is leading the way for us to reexamine school culture and discipline, focusing on relationships, student growth, and self-awareness.
Recent examples include:
- Teachers at all levels incorporate learning games into their curriculum using hands-on items like dice or internet game-show-like tools like “Kahoot.”
- Perhaps the model of “purposeful play” comes from kindergarten, including Johnson students recently choosing from a range of centers to explore “community helpers” — opting to play with a hospital-themed doll set, a child’s construction work table, dress-up stations, and more.
- A recent pep rally at CHS marked the semester’s end with laughs and games such as life-sized “Hungry, Hungry, Hippos.”
- When possible, students prefer an atmosphere of “fun but serious.” One example they offered is their fine arts classes where it is fun to sing or draw or play an instrument, but the atmosphere is still marked by work and accomplishment.
- Recess remains a priority for students, teachers, parents, and child-development experts, especially when recess is augmented by regular “get the wiggles out” activities such as brain breaks, mini-dance parties, “Fun Fridays,” and other times for unstructured activities.
Continue to attract and support such high-quality teachers and staff
- Continue to support equity in achievement
- Continue our commitment to the arts
- Reexamine our facilities and how they will support learning
- This is just a sampling of ideas we’ve heard. If you think one is missing, let us know by filling out the survey or attending a meeting!
At their January meeting, the Board elected Juan Wade and Sherry Kraft as chair and vice-chair, respectively. The Board expressed its appreciation to outgoing chair and vice chair Amy Laufer and Leah Puryear (both of whom will remain on the Board). In addition, the Board voted to approve the 2017-18 Academic Calendar, the 2017-18 Program of Studies , and the tuition for the CLASS summer program. The Board also discussed the budget for 2017-18, heard updates about the “Link Crew” mentoring program at CHS, and more.
Upcoming events include:
- Stage Left Theater presents Beauty and the Beast, 1/24, 6:30pm, Walker Auditorium
- Community Strategic Plan Listening Session (open to all), 1/25, 7pm, CHS (Click here for a list of other listening sessions).
- Buford offers Parent University, 1/26, 6pm
- CHS Symphony/Choir Concert with Fine Arts Showcase, 2/1, 7:30pm, MLKPAC
- School Board Meeting, 2/2, 5:30pm, CHS Media Center
- Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) meeting, 2/14, 8:45am, Division Annex at CHS (call 245-2400 for more information)
- CATEC Open House, 2/16, 4-6pm
- TheatreCHS presents In the Woods, 2/16-18 at 7:30 (also 1:00 on 2/18). MLKPAC. Tickets available here.
- Professional Learning Day (no school for students), 2/20
- School Board Meeting, 3/2, 5:30pm, CHS Media Center
- View previous editions of the Superintendent Message.
Charlottesville High School presents Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods at the Martin Luther King Jr. Performing Arts Center from February 16-18, 2017. The Tony Award-winning musical revisits and reimagines several well-known fairy tales.
Performances will be Thursday through Saturday, February 16-18, at 7:30pm, with an additional Saturday matinee at 1pm. Tickets, available at http://theatrechs.org/buy-tickets-here/, are $10 for adults and $5 for students.
“We’re delighted to present this popular musical here in Charlottesville. It’s a real showcase for our students, whether our actors, our tech crew, our pit orchestra, and more,” notes director David Becker. “Even the technical innovations in the set offer an opportunity for our students to learn and shine.”
Find photos, videos, and more by visiting @TheatreCHS on Twitter.
Recently made into an award-winning 2014 film, Into the Woods has remained popular with audiences since its premier in 1986. Its fresh take on familiar fairy tales and its lively music combine for a crowd-pleaser. Among the ensemble cast are seniors Francis MacCall and Julia Kenner, playing the Baker and Baker’s Wife; Cina Boutin and Corbin Staton, playing Cinderella and her father; and Holden Hays and Helaina Stratos playing the Mysterious Man and Rapunzel. Some 80 students are involved as actors, supporters, or musicians, not counting students contributing to the production through the school’s technical theater class.
In addition, for the first time, the CHS presentation will benefit from some engineering and multi-media additions, including a rotating stage as well as digital set elements developed by students.
Directed by David Becker, TheatreCHS has won numerous Virginia High School League awards. Student leadership in directing, costuming, poster design, and more is a hallmark of the program. (The poster image was illustrated and designed by Sahara Clemons, a tenth-grader at CHS.)
“The musical explores themes of growing up, our dreams and hopes, the downside to unintended consequences, and more,” adds Becker. “These themes resonate with our young performers, and we’re confident that our audiences will agree.”
For more information, call 245-2410.
Come to CHS on January 10 from 5-7pm to learn about your options for classes next year!
Charlottesville High School
CHS WILL SHOWCASE OUR COURSE OFFERINGS FOR THE 2017-2018 SCHOOL YEAR. ALL CHS DEPARTMENTS WILL BE ON HAND TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE AS YOU SELECT CLASSES. PVCC & CATEC WILL BE PRESENT ALONG WITH CHS ATHLETICS AND STUDENT CLUBS.
1/7 Teacher Recommendations
1/11-1/20 Student Registration
1/30 Student Meetings with Counselors
CHS Student Clubs
FOOD & DRINK:
Pizza and drinks will be provided to attendees
Honors-Option Classes: Based on the success and popularity of the “honors-option” classes at CHS, all English 9 and 10 classes will be “honors-option” beginning in 2017-18. Students in these classes choose whether to take the course for academic or honors credit. Students who choose honors credit complete additional assignments and requirements. Honors-option classes are also offered in world language and economics and personal finance courses. For questions, call 245-2410.
The Zero Robotics programming team of the CHS BACON science club has coded their way to the top (again). At the end of round three of the competition, the team finished #2 (US) and #4 (world). For round four, they are partnered with teams from the UK and Australia. Good luck!
CHS’s pilot of a “double robot” allows student Ashton Ryan to attend his math class from home. Thanks to Ashton for working with us to see if this technology would be a good solution for students in the hospital or with other situations that keep them out of school. In addition to Charlottesville Tomorrow (see first link), NBC29 featured the story.
Basketball season’s underway, and the boys’ and girls’ teams are off to a strong start. In the first game of the season, Alaijah Ragland reached the rare milestone of scoring more than 1000 points in her high school career; she was also named Schewels Athlete of the Week.
Signs of unity and appreciation: Link Crew, the CHS mentoring program, created a “Wall of Thanks” for students & staff. Click here to see a few of their notes. And the “Becoming a Global Citizen” class created a unity display of posters reminding students that “we are black, white, Muslim, Christian,” (and more), and “we are unified, Americans, together, Black Knights.”
Piano students enjoyed a workshop with sixteen-year-old prodigy Matt Savage. Savage, who is on the autism spectrum, has toured the world and performed for heads of state. Thanks to the Charlottesville Jazz Society for the opportunity!
The CHS marketing and finance department hosted a panel discussion with Union Bank reps to discuss financial planning as part of their EverFi programs. Students Maia Shortridge and Dyshe Smith and spoke as part of the event.
At this year’s one-act play conference and Virginia Theatre Association conference, Theatre CHS earned a variety of awards. Emma Strock was honored as “best actress” at the former, and at the latter, Elliot Craft got a nod for best actor, Patrick O’Shea earned 1st and 2nd in costume and scene design. CHS earned a shout-out for sound/music design, placed 2nd in Improvathon, and won an honorable mention for best one-act play for “The 39 Steps.” Finally, all six seniors earned college callbacks. You can see “The 39 Steps” at CHS from 12/9-11.
Congratulations to the CHS football team, who ended their season in the regional semi-finals, after earning their first home play-off game in more than a decade. Sabias Folley (for both offense and defense), Trejon Bryant, Rakeem Davis, Larry Henderson, Lorenzo Louderback, and Shandon Pritchett earned first-team all-conference honors. Davis was also named Falcon Club Player of the Week in November.
The volleyball team also qualified for the play-offs, and both the boys’ and girls’ cross country teams qualified for regionals.
Environmental science students at CHS have been busy, whether they are heading outside to do water testing in McIntire Park or analyzing the data of for the energy gained from the school’s solar panels.
Mr. Bullock’s history students “visited” the Great Wall of China thanks to Google Virtual Reality, while Mr. Deegan’s students explored history by way of Broadway, examining lyrics from Hamilton.
Art students have been using scratch programming to add sound to their art. Does that maken them enginartists?
Kibiriti Majuto ’17 was featured in an article in The Atlantic, titled “The Refugee who Became Class President.” Kibiriti is a native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and serves as the CHS senior class president, among other leadership roles in the school and community.
The CHS choir sang the national anthem at the last home (regular season) football game, and the Sirens (an all-female a cappella group) sang at U.Va.’s annual Lighting of the Lawn. In addition, the band performed at the City’s Veterans Day celebration.
Need help writing a paper? You’re in luck, because there is now a student-run CHS writing lab operating during lunch hours.
CATEC students continue their successful launch of their new CISCO partnership for IT certification. Culinary students also held their annual Thanksgiving fundraiser, offering pies and other holiday dishes, and nursing students hosted a blood drive.
The draft calendar for the 2017-18 school year has been posted online. The calendar is developed jointly by the Albemarle and Charlottesville schools, through the work of a committee that includes staff and parents. The School Board will vote on this calendar at its January meeting.
New this year for winter closing notifications: This year, all families will receive emails and calls at all times (including early morning) unless families customize their settings via PowerSchool. Find instructions here. If you have not yet set up your PowerSchool account, call 245-2943.
The division will be holding a number of events to gather feedback and input for our 2017-2023 Strategic Plan. A community-wide listening session will be held at CHS on Wednesday, January 25 at 7pm — come join us! Or if you wish to participate in a smaller, school-based session on another day, please contact your principal or write firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more or take a brief survey here.
A big congratulations to Dr. Polly Sibert of Walker and Laura Mulligan Thomas of CHS. These two orchestra directors received statewide recognition this week for their continued excellence and leadership. Dr. Sibert won the JMU Outstanding Music Educator Award, given to one alum annually. Laura Thomas won the Philip Fuller Award from the VA Band/Orchestra Directors Association. Details are here.
The Charlottesville Schools community extends condolences to the family, friends, colleagues, and students of Patricia Stanton, who taught Latin at CHS for more than 40 years until her passing in November.
CHS teachers Josh O’Grady and Zachary Bullock were able to present their experiences on the teaching the “History of Sports in America” and implementing the “flipped classroom” at the annual conference of the National Council of Social Studies in DC.
Rodney Redd was named athletic director at Charlottesville High School, bringing broad experience as an athletic director, coach, and teacher. Welcome!
In November, the Special Education Advisory Committee hosted a community discussion about how to prepare your child for “Life After High School, Now.”
Across the division, Charlottesville Schools participated in the international Hour of Code, a event designed to expose students to computer programming. Charlottesville Schools has extensive and growing support to help students learn to code.
At its fall conference, the Virginia Board of Education honored Charlottesville City Schools for receiving a 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools District Sustainability Award.
Upcoming events include:
- CHS Holiday Pops Concert, 12/8, 7pm, MLKPAC
- CATEC Open House, 12/14, 5pm
- CHS Band Concert, 12/14 at MLKPAC at 7:30pm
- Winter Break and Teacher Workday, 12/19 through Monday, 1/2
- Classes resume, Tuesday, 1/3
- School Board Meeting, 1/5, 5pm, CHS Media Center
- CHS Curriculum Fair, 1/10, 5-7, CHS Atrium
- Community Budget Presentation, 1/10, 5:30pm, CHS Media Center
- No School for Martin Luther King Day, 1/16
- End of 2nd Quarter, 1/20
- CHS Orchestra presents Peter and the Wolf, 1/21, 3pm, MLKPAC
- No School for Teacher Workday, 1/23
- Community Strategic Plan Listening Session (open to all), 1/25, 7pm, CHS
Dr. Polly Sibert of Walker Upper Elementary School received James Madison University’s Outstanding Music Educator Award, awarded annually to an alum who demonstrates excellence in musicianship and pedagogy. Dr. Sibert is teaching her 25th year at Walker School.
Laura Mulligan Thomas, who received the same JMU music educator award in 2013, received the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association’s Philip Fuller award in recognition of her longtime service, leadership, and accomplishments. Over the course of more than three decades, she has grown the CHS orchestra program from a group of 8 students to an award-winning group of 145. Their next international tour will be to Ireland in the summer of 2017.
“We are so proud of these two directors,” noted Aaron Eichorst, Coordinator of Fine Arts for Charlottesville City Schools. “Our students, parents, and staff already recognize the quality of our schools’ music education programs, but these awards show that music professionals across the state recognize the excellence of our faculty, as well.”
The CHS Marching Knights received a prestigious invitation to perform in the London London’s New Year’s Day Parade & Festival in 2018. Schools are vetted before invitations to the largest New Year’s event in the world. It will be the band’s first international trip!
The band is also enjoying a strong marching season, recently earning 1st place Percussion, 1st place Music, and 1st place class AAA at the Midlothian High School Showcase of Bands. On October 29 at 2pm, they will host their annual Cavalcade competition, a great chance to see and hear top bands from across the state.
CHS earned top honors (again) as a w!se Blue Star school for financial literacy, and the schools’s three economics and personal finance teachers also earned top honors as Yellow Star teachers. Congratulations to our students and teachers Meagan Maynard, Deb Tewksbury, and Yumeka Webb-Jordan!
Knightingales Brianna Ramirez, Rebecca Sutphin, Casey Casarez, and Kiana Anderson were invited to sing with the UVA Women’s Chorus in a benefit concert for SARA (the Sexual Assault Resource Agency of Charlottesville).
CHS history teacher Zach Bullock was named one of 50 worldwide “flipped ambassadors” by the Flipped Learning Global Initiative. In flipped classrooms (used by a number of teachers at CHS and in other Charlottesville schools), teachers typically present “lectures” via brief video presentations that students watch as homework. That leaves class time for activities, solving problems, and the opportunity to ask questions of teachers or classmates.
Congrats to Caleb Rose and Stella Sokolowski, just named to the All-State Jazz Ensemble. Only 40 are selected from across Virginia! And 15 CHS Orchestra members were selected for the 2015 South Central Senior Regional Orchestra!
Two signs of diversity…. Photography students have hung an exhibition of their images of CHS students and staff in the atrium. Part of the national Inside Out project, the images showcase the beauty and diversity of our students. In addition, a new Latino Student Association has formed and has held events at CHS to promote an appreciation for Latino cultures.
Francis MacCall and Naia Fairchild, who has Down syndrome, served as king and queen of homecoming. In March 2015, Naia and her mother offered the keynote address to the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress.
Art I and art II classes visited Ix Art Park to work with local artist Chicho Lorenzo. Students cut stencils and spray-painted their designs on canvas and around the Art Park.
CHS and Buford students explored how businesses use technology in Charlottesville’s annual CBIC Tech Tour.
Two recent evening events benefited students, a college night and a workshop about how the latest brain research can make learning easier.
Students in human biology took a field trip to the U.Va. Health Sciences library, where mentors from the medical school assisted the students with research projects. The students will present their research in the spring.
CHS students recently hosted French peers from Charlottesville’s sister city of Besançon, part of a series of exchanges between the two communities.