What‘s Happening at Clark

Woodwind section of the Walker Elementary 5th grade band perform.

Fabulous Fine Arts @ Cville Schools

Here are just a few highlights of what has been happening lately in the Fine Arts program at Charlottesville City Schools.

2018 CHS Symphony group photo
2018 CHS Symphony

The annual CHS Symphony/Chorus/Fine Arts Celebration featured all of the Charlottesville High School fine arts in one evening.  The performance combined the talents of the CHS Symphony, CHS Choir, CHS Jazz Band, CHS Visual Arts, and CHS Theatre. CHS Choir teacher Will Cooke noted that eight CHS Choir alumni were also singing among the choir.

CHS orchestra teacher Laura Thomas credits the strong foundational programs in the elementary and middle schools for enabling the successes at the high school.

Medium shot of CHS symphony“The Symphony Orchestra is the product of so many behind the scenes, long-term arrangements and effort,” said Thomas during her remarks to the audience.  “In Charlottesville, it starts at the elementary schools where we have such a solid general elementary music program. And then in fifth grade at Walker, where many choose an instrument and or continue to sing. And then, we have this world-class music program at Buford, and at the high school we schedule the String Ensemble and the Wind Ensemble at the same time, so that we can actually combine to rehearse and create this wonderful thing. I was just telling my students a couple days ago, ‘This doesn’t happen everywhere. The symphony orchestra is really a rare thing at a high school.’ I am so very, very proud of this symphony orchestra, and I hope you are too.”

To view selections from the performance, use the following links:

Woodwind section of the Walker Elementary 5th grade band performs.
Woodwind section of the Walker Elementary 5th grade band performs.

The Walker Upper Elementary School fifth grade beginner band and the Buford Middle School jazz band both recently  performed for their schools. Walker band teacher Susan Allen showcased each section of the band–brass, woodwinds, and percussion–to teach the audience about the different instruments.

17 Buford Middle School musicians made the 2018 Junior Regional Orchestra! The JRO auditions were held on January 27 at Jouett Middle School and included musicians from Lynchburg, Roanoke, and Cville/Albemarle. Each student played two scales, two prepared excerpts, and a sight-reading selection. The JRO event will take place on March 23-24 at Heritage High School in Lynchburg.

For the month of February, artwork by Johnson Elementary students is on display at Charlottesville City Hall and artwork by CHS students is featured in the teen section of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library.

A CHS artist uses a photograph to paint a portrait for a child.

CHS art students in Ms. Mildonian’s classes have been painting portraits for children of Puerto Rico who were affected by the hurricanes last year. In partnership with memoryproject.org, these artists are using photographs of the children to create special keepsakes which will be hand-delivered to the children when they are completed.

“We want our kids to understand that sharing kindness through artistic expression can be really meaningful,” said Mildonian. Hopefully, these paintings will make the children of Puerto Rico, many who have lost everything, feel loved and not forgotten.”

Bioluminescent fish
Bioluminescent artwork by a Clark second grade student.

What happens when second grade students combine art, reading, and STEM all in one unit? Clark Elementary students make bioluminescent creatures using circuits and glow paint!  This illuminating cross-curricular activity was inspired by the Hot Read of the Month, “Glow: Animals that Make Their Own Light.” iSTEM teacher Teresa Amasia helped the students design their own light-up sea creatures by building a suspended pendulum and using glow in the dark paint.

Painting by Marcelle Van Yahres "Maya Angelou"
“Maya Angelou” by Marcelle Van Yahres

The CCS Faculty Art Exhibit, a long-standing tradition for Charlottesville City Schools, is now on display in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Performance Arts Center (MLK-PAC) lobby from January 22, 2018 to March 26, 2018.  The show features drawings, paintings, photographs, sculpture, digital art and mixed-media created by faculty and staff members who work for the nine schools in our division. With more than 20 participants, the exhibit includes works from visual art teachers, school counselors, instructional assistants, administrators, and other support staff. Read more about it here.

CHS art students at Second Street Gallery worked with American-Nigerian artist Adejoke Tugbiyele to create a collaborative work of art
CHS artists show off their collaborative art project at Second Street Gallery.

CHS art students took a field trip to the Second Street Gallery to view Adejoke Tugbiyele’s multi-media exhibit “Language of the Heart.” Internationally known, Tugbiyele’s work draws from her experience as a Nigerian-American. She uses a combination of installation, sculpture, video, photography, drawings, and collaborative performance as a metaphor for self-progress. She worked with our students to create a collaborative, mixed-media figure of a superhuman. Special thanks to the artist and to SSG Director and Chief Curator, Kristen Chiacchia, and Outreach Director, Lou Haney for providing this opportunity.

TheatreCHS is busy putting the finishing touches on the upcoming production, “South Pacific.” Poster of "South Pacific" theater productionTickets are on sale now for the performance which runs February 22-25, 2018 at the MLK Performing Arts Center at CHS. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting http://theatrechs.seatyourself.biz.

Meanwhile, preparations are already underway for two spring productions, “Chicago,” presented on March 29-30, and “The Tempest,” on April 26-27. Here is a sneak peak of Velma and Roxie at rehearsals.

To see more great TheatreCHS daily action–everything from “High School Musical” pep rallies to courtroom drama–follow them on Twitter @TheatreCHS.

The annual Venable Elementary School Soul Fest will be held on February 16 from 5:30 – 7 p.m.  In addition to great food, the event includes some amazing performers who will join the third grade chorus and first grade presenters this year. Thanks to Jon Lohman and the Virginia Folklife Program, the students will perform along with former musical director for the Virginia State University Gospel Choir Cora Harvey Armstrong, a renowned gospel singer from Virginia.  In addition, Mr. Benjamin Nussbaum’s fourth grade class will present their video, “The Rainbow Schoolbus Goes Deep Into Protesting,” which was showcased at the Virginia Film Festival earlier this fall.

Image of band in New Year's Day parade in London.
Screenshot of CHS Marching Band participating in the 2018 London New Year’s Day Parade and Festival. The parade was televised around the world.

The CHS Marching Band travelled to London to march in the 2018 London New Year’s Day parade. The largest New Year’s parade in the world, it includes more than 8,000 performers and an audience of 500,000 people. Band director Jason Hackworth helped plan the trip itinerary which included a tour of London’s most famous landmarks like Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Tower of London.


graphic of two kids

Apply for Preschool

graphic of kids holding handsIt’s time to apply for preschool! Charlottesville City Schools offers free classes for qualifying three- and four-year-olds.
Apply by March 1.


Call 434-245-2813.

Para leer este sitio web en español, indica “Translate” (traducir) en la parte por encima de la página y escoja “Spanish.” La aplicación y más información está disponible en español.


Ms. Velvet Coleman and friends have lunch at Jackson-Via.

Family engagement facilitator making connections

Ms. Velvet Coleman and friends have lunch at Jackson-Via.
Ms. Velvet Coleman and friends have lunch at Jackson-Via.

Family engagement facilitator Ms. Velvet Coleman provides support to families of students grades pre-K – 2nd who attend our six elementary schools.

Recently featured in Charlottesville Tomorrow, Ms. Coleman can be seen throughout the city in schools, homes, community centers, and even bus stops connecting with students and their families.

At the January school board meeting, she shared an impressive overview of her efforts during her first six months on the job.

“I’m so thrilled that we have you.” said school board vice-chair Sherry Kraft, commending Coleman for her work to build connections between school and home.

For more information about family engagement services at Cville Schools, visit this link.



Dancing scene from the Jackson-Via Bully Knots program.

Elementary Highlights Winter 2018

December was a time for holiday performances and seasonal fun at Charlottesville City Schools. Here is a festive look back on some of the best moments.Collage of various scenes from the Charlottesville City School winter performances.A collage of holiday pictures

Family engagement facilitator Velvet Coleman helps connect home and school at the Muffins for Moms event at Johnson Elementary.

We loved seeing so many moms, dads, grandparents, uncles, and family friends participating in elementary family engagement events like Muffins for Moms, and Doughnuts for Dads. Student and family engagement facilitator Velvet Coleman was featured in The Daily Progress for her efforts to help all our students be more successful in school.

Elementary students across the division visited the Paramount Theater twice so far this year to view live performances of My Father’s Dragon and Guess How Much I Love You and I Love my Storybook.

Students learning at stations at Monticello.
Elementary school students learning about the five senses at Monticello.

Students also visited Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello for tours and engaging cross-curricular lessons that made connections between history, math, science, and literacy!

In November, a variety of Thanksgiving and fall fun activities included Thanksgiving pow wows, churning butter, and art projects reminding our youngest learners to be grateful.

A variety of pictures showing Thanksgiving and fall fun activities.

Clark Elementary third graders learned about writing haiku poetry using inspiration from a neighborhood walk.  They also worked on writing book recommendations for their peers and posted them on a bulletin board.

UVA student helps Clark student solve a mystery.
A UVA engineering student helps a child find clues to solve the spy mystery.

First-year engineering students from U.Va. designed a learning activity for Clark students which involved leading the kids through a series of activity stations to solve a spy mystery.

Three students pose in authentic Iranian costumes at International Day at Johnson Elem.
Sisters at Johnson International Day model authentic costumes of Iran and pass out food samples.

Several schools celebrated International Day, including Johnson and Clark. Students prepared exhibits that represented different countries, sampled a variety of foods from around the world, and dressed in costume.  Our families were instrumental in participating in this fun and educational opportunity to celebrate differences.

Artwork by Nathan Jordan, first place winner.

Congratulations to Nathan Jordan, a first-grader at Johnson Elementary for being a 2017 Imagine a Day without Water Student Art Contest Winner in the 1st – 2nd Grade Category. The annual contest is sponsored by the City of Charlottesville Public Works.

Also at Johnson, Ms. Wayland’s fourth graders had their opinions published in the New York Times Kids Edition in November.  The editors sent them each their own copy of the newspaper, and the class celebrated with a reading party. The NY Times opinions editors visited the class earlier this year to teach them about voicing their opinions in a constructive way. You can read more about it here.

Thank you, Ms. Rickabaugh for leading the effort to create a Painted Rock Garden in the Johnson schoolyard garden. Students painted rocks that celebrate each individual’s uniqueness after reading the books Something Beautiful and Only One You.  Read more about it here.

Dancing scene from the Jackson-Via Bully Knots program.
Principal Justin Malone in the grand finale of the 10th Annual Bully-Knots Assembly.

Mrs. U along with the Jackson-Via Bully Nots and First Friends student group presented the 10th annual Bully-Not assembly at Jackson-Via.  This entertaining production was a joyful reminder about kindness, caring, and community. Principal Malone encouraged students to send out kindness boomerangs that will surely return to them. See more here.

CHS AVID students visited their buddies at Jackson-Via to play games and talk about preparing for college.

Hot wheels experiment on JV STEM and Literacy Night.
A student learns about velocity using a Hot Wheels car.

Jackson-Via STEM and Literacy Night provided an excellent educational opportunity  for families to learn about these fields while having fun with Straw Rockets, Hot Wheels, and BeeBots.

“Books and Breakfast” at Greenbrier Elementary was well worth the early wake-up to gather with more than 100 friends and family. Kudos to the staff for hosting such a large turnout!

Students enjoying homemade stone soup and salad.
Students feast on homemade stone soup and salad.

Greenbrier students had the chance to make  stone soup after reading the picture book “Stone Soup.” The popular folk story reminds people to  share and “bring what you’ve got.” Sharing the meal they prepared together, the students also enjoyed salad using some of the vegetables from their City Schoolyard Garden.

Thanks to the generosity of many in our community, many of our children received gifts, toys, books, and food from the Toy Lift  and PB &J programs during the holiday season. It was an exciting day when a U-Haul full of items arrived at Greenbrier Elementary and many volunteers helped unload the gifts.

Venable student James Fox was thrilled to be named Thursday’s Hero by the U.Va. football team. He had a special visit with the Hoos and special guests.  You can see it here.

“The Rainbow Schoolbus Goes Deep into Protesting,” a short film about peace created by Venable students in Mr. Nussbaum’s class,  was featured during the Virginia Film Festival Family Day.

Group photo of the Girls on the Run participants.
The Girls on the Run team celebrating their final 5K run.

The Burnley-Moran Girls on the Run team wrapped up their season with a celebratory final 5K run after a 3-month season of goal-setting, personal achievement and teamwork.

PreK and K students at Burnley-Moran participated in a Community Helpers Job Fair that included volunteer students from CATEC.  Students rotated through various stations including  dentistry and cosmetology.

Students from Burnley Moran get to ride on the Charlottesville Area Transit bus while learning about community.
These students toured the neighborhood on the CAT bus as part of their lesson on community.

What better way for Burnley-Moran students to learn about our community than to ride on the Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT) bus and tour the neighborhood!

Kindergarten students at Charlottesville City Schools

Kindergarten Open House Coming April 20

Smiling Kindergarten students at Charlottesville City SchoolsCharlottesville City’s elementary schools will hold kindergarten open houses on Thursday, April 18 at 3:30 – 6:00 PM. Students should visit the open house for the school they will attend. (Not sure which elementary school your child will attend?  Find out here.)


  1. Online forms will be posted here in April (in English and español) — forms are also available at open house
  2. Visit the open house with proof of residency and other documents (see list here).
  3. Find answers to other questions (including non-resident applications) on our registration page.

We’re excited to meet our new kindergarten students and their families!

More Information:



Students and adults walking to school at Venable.

Elementary Fall 2017 Highlights

Students and adults walking to school at Venable.
Walk to School Day at Venable

Our schools recently celebrated “Walk to School Day.” At Venable, students walked by grade and were greeted by CHS cheerleaders.  Venable also celebrated the new track at the start of their annual Walk-A-Thon. This track was paid for by the Venable PTO and built by the city Parks & Rec department last summer. It is a great addition for Venable and the the neighboring community, including Lugo-McGinness Academy (Charlottesville’s high school alternative program).

The 2nd annual All-Elementary “Friday Knight Lights” Tailgate will be Friday, October 20 at 6 p.m. at CHS. Get to meet cheerleaders and band members before chearing on the CHS Black Knights before their game at 7 p.m.!

Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe visits with students in the Johnson Elementary garden.
Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe visits Johnson

We celebrated Farm-to-School week, presented by our Nutrition Department in partnership with City Schoolyard Garden and the Local Food Hub. Activities ranged from locally sourced lunches to visits with chickens and goats. The week wrapped up at Johnson with a visit from the First Lady of Virginia, Dorothy McAuliffe

Governor McAuliffe visit to Clark STEM fair.
Virginia Governor McAuliffe discusses robotics with CHS student

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe also visited Charlottesville and attended a Clark Elementary School STEM fair. Clark fourth graders, along with the governor, rotated through activities featuring drones, robots, and driverless cars. Running the stations were volunteers from PVCC, Perrone Robotics, and our own talented CHS BACON students.

All nine of Charlottesville City Schools received “Virginia Naturally” state recognition for increasing the environmental awareness and stewardship of our students.

Photo of Bloom Magazine page.
Bloom Magazine

Read more about how we are “building bridges to engineering” through our innovative iStem program in the October 2017 edition of Bloom Magazine and follow @CCS_iSTEM on Twitter for ongoing updates.

Students lining up to start the Clark 5K
Buzz-by-Belmont Clark 5K

The annual Clark Elementary 5K Buzz-by-Belmont Fun Run to benefit the Clark Educational Fund was a success! Thank you to all of our runners, volunteers, and community partners that helped with this event.

The hallways in several of our elementary schools are filled with “The Best Part of Me” writing and photos inspired by Wendy Ewald’s book, “The Best Part of Me.”

Best of me collage
The Clark “Best of Me” collage lines the hallways with student writing and portraits.

Students paining a mural at Burnley-Moran
Mural-making at Burnley-Moran

Burnley-Moran Elementary is celebrating  Spirit Week the week of 10/16-10/20. The festivities will end with the second annual All-Elementary Football Tailgate on October 20 at 6 p.m. at Charlottesville High School. Meanwhile, Mr. Ryan Trott’s fourth-grade art students have been creating a beautiful hallway mural designed by kids from the Blue Ridge Academic Program. The mural focuses on positive messages of perseverance, effort, and accepting challenge and can be seen on the Burnley-Moran hallway walls leading to the basement level.

New York Times opinion editors work with Ms. Wayland's students.
New York Times at Johnson

Fourth-graders in Mrs. Wayland’s class at Johnson Elementary were invited to serve as guest op-ed writers for the November issue of The New York Times for Kids. Two Times editors and their photographer came to conduct a workshop and take headshots of the young columnists. In addition, the whole school is participating in a community-building art project. Students are decorating a fist-sized rock. Each looks lovely on its own, but they will be even more beautiful when combined with others to line trails and walkways around the campus.

bike safety at Greenbrier
Bike safety at Greenbrier

Students at Greenbrier Elementary are bringing their bikes and helmets to school and learning all about bike safety in PE class! Mr. Green is teaching them how to complete a pre-ride check, safety gear needed for riding, proper hand signals, and reading safety signs.

Back-to-School Night was a great community event with over 400 Jackson-Via family members who explored Jackson-Via, met with teachers, and shared a delicious pot luck dinner.

Jackson-Via students and staff dress as pirates for "Shiver Me Letters" math and literacy night.
Jackson-Via pirates

At Jackson-Via Math and Literacy Night, the pre-school and kindergarten families gathered for “Shiver Me Letters (and numbers),” and participated in activities that engaged the whole family.

Upcoming Days Off for Students: To mark the end of the first quarter, there will be a teacher workday (no school for students) on Friday, 27, October 27. Coinciding with Election Day is another break on Monday-Tuesday, November 6-7, while teachers have a professional learning day and a workday.


School registration: PowerSchool is an online tool to help schools, students, and families stay connected throughout the year. You can check grades and attendance and more. You can customize how you receive calls, emails, or texts. Make sure all of your students are added to your parent account. If you have not completed your online re-registration, please do so right away.

Holiday Performances

Page banner showing a collage of performances including Walker orchestra, CHS choir, and CHS band.There are numerous ways to enjoy the arts this season with Charlottesville City Schools. Upcoming performances include:

Calendar of Performances

  • Dec 5 All City Band Concert 7 p.m. MLK PAC
  • Dec 12 Greenbrier 4th grade 6 p.m., 1:30 p.m. daytime performance 3rd and 4th grade
  • Dec 12 Johnson Winter concert 6 p.m., 1 p.m. daytime performance K, 2nd and 4th grade
  • Dec 12 Jackson-Via Winter concerts: 2nd Grade at 6 p.m.; 3rd Grade at 6:45 p.m.; 4th Grade at 7:30 p.m.
  • Dec 13 Walker Orchestra 7 p.m.
  • Dec 14 CHS Holiday Pops Choir Concert 7 p.m. MLK PAC
  • Dec 14 Burnley-Moran 6:30 p.m. and 1 p.m.
  • Dec 18 Clark Winter Concert 5:30 p.m., daytime performance 1:30 p.m.
  • Dec 19 Venable Winter Concert 6 p.m., daytime performance 1 p.m.
  • Jan 19 “Pinocchio” play by Stage Left Productions, Walker 6:30 p.m.
  • Dec 19 Jackson-Via,daytime performance 10 a.m.
Elementary kids cheer on the Black Knights.

Friday Knight Lights 2017

Elementary kids cheer on the Black Knights.
Go Black Knights!

Students from all six CCS elementary schools gathered for the annual all-elementary school tailgate to cheer on the Black Knights at the CHS v. Western Albemarle football game.  The Black Knights were victorious with the final score, 35-26!

The Burnley-Moran PTO organized the event which included tailgate games, food, and pre-game visits from the CHS cheerleaders, football players, and marching band.

Student, parent, and teacher

Back-to-School Nights

FB-IMG_6666After a great start to the school year, attend a Back-to-School Night to check in with teachers and get a better sense of what’s coming up!

  • Burnley-Moran:  Tuesday, September 19, 5:30-7:30pm
  • Clark: Tuesday, September 19, 5:30-7pm
  • Greenbrier: Tuesday, September 19, 6-7pm
  • Jackson-Via: Tuesday, September 19, 6-7pm
  • Johnson: Tuesday, September 19, 6-7:30pm
  • Venable:  Thursday, September 14, 5:30-7:30pm (Welcome Back Pot Luck to follow)
  • Walker: Tuesday, September 12, 6-8pm
  • Buford:  Friday, September 15,  Fall Harvest Festival 5:30-7:30pm
  • CHS: Monday, September 18, 5:30-7:30pm
  • LMA:  Thursday, September 14, 4:30-6pm