Mark your calendars now for Parent University! All PK-Grade 4 families are welcome to attend either night for parent workshops, information booths, and a chance to connect with other families. Jackson-Via will host the first night on March 5 from 5:30-7:30, or join us at Greenbrier on March 14 from 5:30-7:30.
Check back here (or check your child’s backpack) for additional details. Or contact our family engagement facilitator Velvet Coleman, 245-2593 or email@example.com.
The start of 2019 has been a busy one for our creative and innovative elementary students in Charlottesville City! Keep reading for some of our recent elementary activities.
And looking ahead, mark your calendars now for Parent University! All PK-Grade 4 families are welcome to attend either night for parent workshops, information booths, and a chance to connect with other families. Jackson-Via will host the first night on 3/5 from 5:30-7:30, or join us at Greenbrier on 3/14 from 5:30-7:30.
Math and STEM nights are a big hit with families as they come to school to design, build, play math games together. STEM stations include a Bee Bot obstacle course, a parachute drop, straw rockets and a photo booth!
Students are using their critical thinking skills to solve challenges at Clark Elementary. A team of third- graders worked together to complete a challenge from BreakoutEDU. Fourth-graders at Clark also worked in teams to explore the effects of mass and force on motion and energy.
Clark students and staff also made a thank-you video to show how much they are enjoying and benefiting from their summertime classroom renovations:
Jump! Hop! Push-ups on the wall! Jackson-Via students have a new way of releasing energy as they walk the school’s new sensory path in their hallway. For more details, see the following video or click here for NBC29’s coverage:
And a successful book swap at Jackson-Via collected 1300 books, sending home 3 books per child!
Happy birthday to Martin Luther King Jr.! Greenbrier held its annual MLK Jr. birthday celebration on January 25. For the assembly, each grade level created a mural with a famous quote from MLK Jr. and spoke about what the quote meant to them. After a presentation of the “I Have a Dream” speech with pictures of Greenbrier students showing examples of character, the students sang “Happy Birthday” to Martin Luther King Jr. and enjoyed cake with their lunch.
What materials dissolve in water? At Venable, first-grade scientists worked together to experiment with the solubility of different liquids and solids including cornstarch and rocks.
Bobcat Buddies in third grade and first grade at Burnley-Moran worked together to design and build a representation of the Great Wall of China.
Families, math games, and pizza were abundant at the Greenstone Community Center for Johnson’s K-second grade Quest Math night. The stations were led by third- and fourth-graders who wore “Johnson Math Teacher” t-shirts and “teacher” badges. Students left with math games to play at home.
In art class at Jackson-Via, Pre-K and second-grade students constructed sculptures with an assortment of materials.
Third-graders across the city recently participated in Market Day at their schools. They learned about economics and ancient civilizations while creating items to sell at a school “market.”
Elementary students from Burnley-Moran, Johnson, Venable, and Walker went to the historic Paramount Theater to attend the play Phantom Toll Booth on Thursday, January 24. They enjoyed watching the actors bring the classic by Norton Juster to life!
At Walker Upper Elementary School, 15 sixth-grade student groups presented proposals of how they would spend a $6,000 grant as a part of a participatory budgeting program. (Yes, 6,000 real dollars generously donated by CFA Institute.) On January 16, students hosted a referendum, and the winning project was a proposal to have soccer and basketball tournaments at recess. The project was organized by parent Serena Gruia For more details, check out the story on Cville Tomorrow.
Fore more updates, follow @CvilleSchools or your own school on Facebook or Twitter!
Lately, the Johnson gym has been all about climbing walls and overcoming obstacles. Students are building up their physical and emotional strength with fun and challenging games that build strong bodies and develop great sportsmanship, kindness, and perseverance. Students have explored ways to be active indoors during cold and wet weather and challenged themselves to eat more fruits and veggies whenever possible.
Physical Education class is an incredibly important part of school life where students learn cognitive, physical, and social skills. Thank you for encouraging and supporting your children as they continue to develop into the healthiest and strongest version of themselves. If you have any questions, comments, or ideas you’d like to share please email (firstname.lastname@example.org), call, or come see me.
-adapted from December edition of Johnson School Specials Newsletter, written by physical education teacher Kelly Walters.
A Word from Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins and the Charlottesville School Board
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.
Dr. Rosa Atkins, Superintendent Juandiego Wade, School Board Chair
BUS STOP MEET & GREETS PROVIDE BOOKS, SNACKS, SMILES 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 Like 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 Our 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 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.
UPCOMING EVENTS AT-A-GLANCE 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
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.
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 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!
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,
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
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 Students 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 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 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 While 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.
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.
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.
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!
The November 2018 edition of the CCS elementary librarians newsletter is now available. “It’s Elementary, My Dear” provides up-to-date information about all the great things happening in our six school libraries.
This month, read about the division-wide as well as world-wide Read for the Record event.
With passports in hand, nearly 80 students at Johnson Elementary visited 35 countries in the cafeteria at the 10th annual International Day celebration.
“This is our favorite day of the year,” said Principal Summer Thompson. “We all come together to appreciate our cultural differences and learn about places from all over the world.”
Students prepared tri-fold posters featuring countries such as China, Burma, and Afghanistan. They also wore authentic clothing and provided food samples. One mother and son featuring the Philippines wore coordinating attire and served homemade lumpia, while another father and daughter showcased Mexico and served guacamole and salad with cotija cheese.