What‘s Happening at Johnson

YMCA logo

Sign up for YMCA After School

YMCA logoDear Charlottesville City Schools families,

Registration is now open for the YMCA After School Program in Charlottesville City Schools (formerly the CLASS program) for the 2022-23 school year! For more information about the program and to make a reservation for your child(ren), please visit: https://piedmontymca.org/ymca-after-school-ccs.

The program serves students in kindergarten through grade 6 on our school campuses, beginning at school dismissal and ending at 6pm. Spots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Be sure to reserve a spot online as soon as possible to guarantee placement in the program. In early summer, the YMCA will contact participants who have reservations in order to fill out paperwork and complete their registration.

We are pleased to partner with the YMCA on this important program. If you have questions about the YMCA After School Program, please contact Bonita Patton at youthandfamily@piedmontymca.org.

2022 Summer Opportunities

Charlottesville City Schools is introducing our new 2022 Summer Opportunities online hub. This page is full of academic and enrichment opportunities for your children which are run by our division, the City of Charlottesville, or program partners in our schools. These offerings are either free, financially accessible, or offer scholarships. While not a complete list of all the happenings in Cville this summer, this resource is meant to give families a starting point for enriching their children’s time off from school. We will update this list as additional information is available.

Time To Re-Register Your Student

It’s time to complete your online re-registration forms. Update your bus requests, phone numbers, and more to get ready for next year. (This process does not guarantee a spot on the bus next year, but it will help the City make plans for next year’s school bus routes since the bus driver shortage continues.)

Help us help you! To give our partners in Pupil Transportation the best chance to serve as many students as possible, we ask you to complete the forms by June 29!

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

PowerSchool logoBack-to-School Forms:

Back-to-school forms have been posted to PowerSchool (select the child you want to update first, then click “Re-Registration” at left to start the re-registration form for your child). Please fill out one re-registration per child as soon as possible.

New student?

Find new student registration information here.

To learn more:

  • Watch this video courtesy of Jackson-Via (but contact your own school!)
  • See below for tips and solutions.

 

A few tips:

  • Note that the PowerSchool web address has changed! https://ccssis.powerschool.com/public
  • PowerSchool may ask you to reset your password.
  • Need login help? Call your school.
  • Los formularios se pueden cambiar al español. ¿Necesitas ayuda en español? Llame al 434-245-2548.
  • New students who have registered since April 2022 do not need to be re-registered.

Problems?

  • The app is great, but it doesn’t work for this purpose. Log in here: https://ccssis.powerschool.com/public
  • If you don’t see “Re-registration:”
    • You may be logged in as your student. You need to log in as an adult. Call your school for help.
    • On your phone, look for a small triangle near the top of the screen — if you click it, a menu will appear.
  • Follow all the formatting models the form offers. For instance, if they say, mm-dd-yyyy, use dashes.
  • If you don’t see all your children listed in your account, contact your school or the helpline (see next bullet) for assistance.
  • Need help? Call your school during school hours. Through June 10, after school and on weekends until 8pm, you can call 245-2955 for help.

Free/Reduced Meal applications will be posted this summer.

School Supply Lists will be posted this summer.

Teacher assignments or class schedules will be posted to PowerSchool  in mid-August.

2020-21 Surveys graphic

Elementary Families Year-End Survey

Charlottesville City Schools would appreciate your feedback on the following short survey in an effort to improve our elementary  parental involvement programs, especially during this challenging year. Please know that participants remain anonymous so feel free to share.

Complete Survey Now

Translate/ Traducir/ ترجمه کردن ./ يترجم/ ژباړه / Tafsiri

We appreciate you sharing your perspective with us!

Celebrate Cville Schools Student Art!

Presenting Art Connections, the Charlottesville City Schools 2022 Jeff Suling Annual Student Art Exhibition! This virtual exhibit includes an introductory video featuring art teachers and student artists, and you can peruse amazing and important student artwork from every school and every grade.

The exhibit is organized into six categories reflecting the ways artists connect in the many aspects of our lives: Art Foundations; Communities; History of Art & Culture; Natural World; Storytelling; and Visual Math.

Click here or on the image below to begin exploring Art Connections!

ArtConnections

Graphic: It's time to register for Kindergarten

Register for Kindergarten

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

If you have a child that will be 5 years old by September 30, you can register for the 2022-23 year. See below for instructions.

Not sure which elementary school your child will attend?  Find out here.

Scenes from Kindergarten Open House

Translation -- see lower left in several languages with globeNeed translation?

  • Translate this website in the lower left corner.
  • Text 434-953-1802.
  • Call Spanish telephone line at 434-245-2548.

How to Register

For Fall 2022 Kindergarteners Who Are NOT Currently Attending Cville Schools Preschool  

Complete this Form (English) 

Completa este Formulario (Español)

Later, someone from your child’s school will be in touch about how you can bring in proof of residency and other documents (see list here).

For Fall 2022 Kindergarteners Who ARE Currently Attending Cville Schools Preschool (and other returning students)

Log into PowerSchool and Click Re-Registration 

Inicie sesión en PowerSchool y haga clic en Re-Registration

Kindergarten FAQ

Which school will my child attend?

School Registrar Contact List and FAX NUMBERS

Questions about Using InfoSnap (PowerSchool Enrollment)?

  • Call Toll Free 1-866-752-6850 (Monday-Friday 8 A.M. – 5 P.M. Eastern)* (English only) or
  • Visit the InfoSnap Family Support Center to find answers or start a chat (English & español) or
  • Send an email to support@infosnap.com (English & español)

What is the required documentation to enroll in Charlottesville City Schools?

Students enrolling in the Charlottesville City Schools for the first time must provide:

  • Original birth certificate (or certified copy)
  • Proof of residency
    • Mortgage, lease, real estate tax statement OR
    • Driver’s license/government-issued photo ID plus current utility bill (electric, gas, water/sewer)
  • A completed Virginia School Entrance Health Form showing that the child has received a physical examination performed by a physician within a year of enrollment. (Required for new students in preschool-grade 5; required for all kindergartners, even if they were enrolled in the preschool program.) Suggestion: Call your doctor’s office to ask if they’ll fax your child’s form to your school. Fax numbers are listed with school registrar contact list, above, or on this page.
  • A completed immunization record (for all grades; part of the School Entrance Health Form)
  • Custody or guardianship paperwork (if necessary)
  • Don’t have everything? Bring what you have to the school, and they will help you.

More Resources

Family Pacing Guides for Elementary Students

Help support your child’s learning with these family pacing guides. Click to the tab for your child’s grade level — or click on specials to see what’s going on in art, music, gym, or iSTEM.

 

Go to Family Pacing Guides

 

Want to Go Deeper in History?

Starting line at Buzz by Belmont Race 2017

Buzz-by-Belmont: Clark 5K Family Fun Run/Walk on April 30

2014Clark5k_KM034_loJoin the Clark Elementary School Bees for the annual Buzz-by-Belmont 5K Family Fun Run/Walk–now back in person!

Now in its 16th year, this celebration of fitness, student achievement, and family fun starts and finishes at Clark Elementary School and has become a tradition in the neighborhood and Cville fitness community. The event is hosted by the Clark Elementary School PTO. All proceeds benefit the Clark Educational Opportunity Fund.

  • When: Saturday, April 30, 8:30-10am
  • Where: Start and finish at Clark Elementary School, 1000 Belmont Avenue
  • Who: Anyone is welcome. Families are encouraged to walk or run the route together!
  • Registration: Click here to visit the Eventbrite page to sign up

The rolling course tours some of Charlottesville’s most vibrant neighborhoods, passing through Downtown Belmont, and touching the diverse areas of Belmont, Carlton and Sixth Street that comprise the Clark Elementary School district.

Sponsored by: Safe Routes to School, WE Brown, The Local, Ting, Peter Johnson Builders, Ivy Dental, Ragged Mounting Running Shop, Balanced Chiropractic and Physical Therapy, Found Market, BeJust, Progress Studio, Alakazam, Belle, Amanda Ohlms Usborne Books & More, Peacock Auto, The Wool Factory, Decades Arcade, and Good Phyte Foods.

 

Congratulations Golden Apple Award Winners

The Golden Apple Awards honor outstanding educators in Charlottesville and Albemarle who have demonstrated excellence in teaching and involvement in the community outside the school.

2022 Winners

Congratulations to the 9 Golden Apple Award Winners in our division! The Golden Apple Awards honor outstanding educators in Charlottesville and Albemarle who have demonstrated excellence in teaching and involvement in the community outside the school.

CHS

  • Andrew Josselyn, English Teacher
  • His nominator writes: “Andy is an imaginative classroom instructor who is constantly looking for ways to make school relevant to teenagers’ lives. Andy’s creativity and commitment to improving our school community make him a huge asset to CHS.”

Buford

  • Matthew Resnick, History Teacher
  • His nominator writes: “Mr. Resnick has made his civics and economics classroom a safe, supportive space for all of his students. His classroom is filled with student-created artifacts that promote a culturally responsive, inclusive space for all students.”

Walker

  • Bridget Drain, Special Education Teacher
  • Her nominator writes: “Most notable is Ms. Drain’s commitment to helping students with marginalized identities find representation in the classroom setting. She not only builds relationships that are grounded in trust and respect, but sustains these connections long after her students leave her care.”

Burnley-Moran

  • Huma Ahmad, Speech Language Pathologist
  • Her nominator writes: “She takes all of her time to help children who have special needs with reading or writing down to math reach their potential. She takes out the time to hear the parents and come to conclusions on what is best for the child.”

Clark

  • Caitlin Natale, Second Grade Teacher
  • Her nominator writes: “Every time I am in her classroom, there is a palpable love of learning. No matter what she is doing, the students yearn to engage with her.”

Greenbrier

  • Brenning Greenfield, Kindergarten Teacher
  • His nominator writes: “Mr. Greenfield makes learning engaging (with his infusion of music), meaningful (such as with his classmate writings to celebrate their ‘Reading Stars of the Week,’) and rigorous as he encourages his students to think outside the box and embrace challenge.”

Jackson-Via

  • Melanie-Ann Johnson, Gifted Education Teacher
  • Her nominator writes: “Melanie Johnson has been an inspiration this year and in past years in her work with students, her outreach to the families of Jackson-Via and the larger community of Charlottesville.”

Johnson

  • Lindsay Kamide, Reading Specialist
  • Her nominator writes: “Our daughter loves the time she spends with Ms. Kamide and we love how she meets her where she is and is always on point with book recommendations that she will actually enjoy reading.”

Venable

  • Jenny Isaacs-Lowe, Special Education Teacher
  • Her nominator writes: “Jenny Lowe is an exceptional educator and a vital asset to the Venable community. She is an advocate for all students and families, and she believes deeply in each student’s ability to learn and reach high standards in school.”

About the Golden Apple Awards

The Golden Apple Awards honor outstanding educators in Charlottesville and Albemarle.

Candidates for this award are teachers at any level (preschool through grade 12) and in any discipline who have demonstrated excellence in teaching and involvement in the community outside the school.

A nominee exhibits the following characteristics:

  • Creates a love of learning in students of all abilities and backgrounds.
  • Stimulates thought and provokes student dialogue.
  • Challenges students to reach high standards and expectations.
  • Understands the needs of students individually and collectively and meets those needs with determination, enthusiasm and imagination.
  • Involves families in the education process.

Nominations for the next school year will be available in the fall. Winners receive a $500 grant for classroom materials or professional development.

Sponsored by Better Living Building Supplies and Cabinetry.


Previous Golden Apple Award Recipients from Cville Schools

2021

2021 Winners: Kelsey Cox of Burnley-Moran; Amit Kapur of Clark; Desiree Conner of Greenbrier; Michel Ann Sizemore of Jackson-Via; Michelle Schettler of Johnson; Allison Shields of Venable; Maggie Pfuntner of Walker; Shinay Henderson of Buford; Matt Terillo of Charlottesville High School; Denise Meyer of Hospital Ed

2020

collage of photos of the 2020 Golden Apple Award winners
20202 Charlottesville Schools Golden Apple Award recipients

11 teachers from Charlottesville City Schools are among the outstanding recipients of the 2020 Golden Apple Awards presented by Better Living Building Supply & Cabinetry.

These awards are presented annually to nominated faculty members from the public and private schools in Albemarle County and Charlottesville City.

Award recipients receive a Golden Apple, as well as gift certificates from local businesses. As a “Golden Apple” teacher, each recipient is also eligible to receive a $1,000 Golden Apple Grant to be used for classroom materials or to support the recipient’s continued professional development.

Congratulations to the following 2020 winners: Lisa Johnson Black (Hospital Ed), Kelsey Cary (Lugo-McGinness), Mary Caitlyn Cordone (Clark), Matthew Deegan (CHS), Kavita Kumar (Greenbrier), Calder McLellan (Venable), Kathryn Salem (Jackson-Via), Brandy Walker (Buford), Lisa Wallace (Burnley-Moran), Cianna Washburg (Walker), and Lindsay Wayland (Johnson). Congrats to these amazing teachers!  You can watch the virtual ceremony here.


2019 Charlottesville City Schools Golden Apple Award Recipients

Click on each each portrait to hear what they had to say!


  • Golden Apple Previous Winners collage2019 Winners: Kathy Claus- Greenbrier Elementary, Melissa Combs- Venable Elementary, Will Cooke- Charlottesville High School, Maelys Croce- Johnson Elementary, Robin Ellis- Clark Elementary, Meaghan Fenton- Jackson-Via Elementary, Chris Lorigan- Burnley-Moran Elementary, Michael McCrory- Lugo-McGinness Academy, Melissa Mitchem- Buford Middle, and Kevin Paquette- Walker Upper Elementary.
  • 2018 Winners: Latoya Brown (Buford Middle), Mary Johnston (Burnley-Moran Elementary), Nicole Armstrong (Charlottesville High, Black Knights), Jessica Taylor (Clark Elementary School), Briana Barns (Jackson-Via Elementary School), Laura Schaaf (Johnson Elementary), Harry Hill (Lugo-McGinness Academy), Leslie S. Hunter (Venable Elementary School), Sarah Lloyd (Walker Upper Elementary School), and Patrick Beale (Greenbrier Elementary School).
  • 2017 Winners: Melvin Grady (Buford), Jessica Powley (Burnley-Moran), Brian Kayser (CHS), Ashley Riley (Clark), Amy Jones (Greenbrier), Lisa Utz (Jackson-Via), Lorena Caballero Bower (Johnson), Michael McCrory (Lugo-McGinness Academy), Nicole Driggs (Venable), and Samantha Pagni (Walker).
  • 2016 Winners: Cindy Cartwright (Venable), Mary Craig (Clark), Shannon Gillikin (Jackson-Via), Ron Green (Greenbrier), Jenn Horne (CHS), Patricia Luke (Buford), Alex Piedra (Walker), Leslie Scalley (Johnson), Tracy Weaver (Burnley-Moran)

Message about Student Masking & 2021-22 COVID Communications and Data

Revised February 2, 2022

Topics on this Page:

Logins/How to Login:

NOTE: This information is for 2021-22. All information is subject to change based on new information from health experts such as the CDC and emerging best practices.

Click here to provide comments or input on our plans for safe in-person instruction and continuity of services.

Student masks recommended (not required) as of March 1

Dear staff and families –

There is a new state law that will require masks to be optional for students in our schools. We will uphold this legislation in our buildings, while still requiring masks on our school buses per federal requirements. Staff will still be required to wear masks.

This policy will go into effect on Tuesday, March 1. Based on the strong feedback in favor of masking that we’ve received, we anticipate most students to continue masking at that time. I certainly encourage families to choose mask-wearing at school for their children, considering:

  • Although the numbers look better today than in January, our community transmission is still classified as “high.” 
  • Masking is still recommended by the CDC because it helps prevent the spread of COVID in schools. 
  • Masking reduces the likelihood of quarantines and helps protect younger students, who have lower vaccination rates (or aren’t yet eligible).

In addition to encouraging masking, our layered COVID mitigation strategies include offering vaccination and testing, practicing healthy routines such as hand-washing, and continuing with increased air filtration, sanitization and ventilation. At the bottom of this letter, we’ve also answered some common questions about how optional masking will work in our schools. As always you can find full info about COVID safety in our schools on this page of our website.

On another note, as a reminder: Schools will be closed this Monday, February 21, in observance of Presidents’ Day. 

Although we’re still in this pandemic, it’s also important to take a moment for gratitude that the number of COVID cases in our schools is on the decline as the omicron surge passes. Thank you to everyone in our community for the care you show one another at every new turn!

Royal A. Gurley, Jr., Ed.D. (he/him)
Superintendent
Charlottesville City Schools

 

Questions about Masking

I want my child to continue to wear a mask, and I’m afraid they might not continue to do so at school. Can teachers or staff help?

At the elementary level, please talk to your child first. Then reach out to your teacher to communicate this concern, and we will continue to offer a helpful reminder of the family’s wishes. For older children who have multiple teachers, we recommend having a conversation with your child to help them understand that masking offers protection.

Will masks still be available free for staff and students? 

Yes! High-quality KN95s in sizes for children and adults are available each week in our schools.

Masks, Make-Up Days, and COVID Updates from Dr. Gurley, 1/24/22

Masks, Make-Up Days, and COVID Updates from Dr. Gurley, January 24, 2022

Dear families and staff –

Preparing for the week ahead, I want to check in with some important updates about the following topics:

  • Mask protocols moving forward as we maintain our universal masking requirement
  • Availability of KN95 masks for staff and students
  • Changes to this spring’s academic calendar (make-up days)
  • Updates on COVID indicators
  • A sign of hope that we are containing COVID in our schools

Mask Protocols
You have probably heard a lot of recent talk about masks in Virginia schools. I want to remind you that our division’s mask requirement is not changing: students and staff will continue to wear masks in our buildings and on our buses. We are abiding by the state law that requires schools to follow the CDC’s recommendations for reducing COVID spread, and the federal law that requires masks on buses. I have given guidance to our schools and bus drivers to help them handle any unusual circumstances in the weeks to come.

Availability of KN95 Masks
Through our own COVID planning and with contributions from the City, we have adult-size KN95 masks to offer to staff and to students at Walker, Buford, and CHS for those who need and wish to wear them. Child-size masks have also been ordered. Remember that the masks can be reused, and also remember that we very much appreciate those who are able to supply their own to minimize costs for the schools.

School Make-Up Days on February 21 and March 4, 2022
Due to the unusual January weather (and with more wintry months ahead of us), we will make some changes to our calendar to restore in-person learning time. We know that this year, making face-to-face connections and maximizing learning time is more important than ever. Therefore, pending School Board approval (on 2/3), the following will now be make-up days:

  • Monday, February 21, 2022 –  previously student and staff holiday
  • Friday, March 4, 2022 – previously a Professional Learning Day

COVID Indicators
Our COVID indicators remain about the same – staffing levels are steady, student absentee rates remain higher than usual, and COVID cases remain high, as well. We have shifted a few more classes and some sports teams into quarantine, and we remain in daily contact with the Blue Ridge Health District (BRHD). UVa’s forecasting model has pushed our projected omicron peak back a week.

Putting our COVID Cases in Perspective: A Sign of Hope
Having just acknowledged that our COVID cases are surging now, I do want to offer another data point that helps us understand COVID in our schools. Our free school-based COVID testing program gives PCR tests to about 1,000 people each week. Even during these surge weeks, our positivity rate for this program has been a very low 2 percent. While a screening program will always have a lower percentage than a testing program, by way of comparison, Virginia’s testing programs had a positivity rate of 30 percent this past week. Our 2 percent rate includes a number of staff and students who choose to get tested after a recent exposure – or in some cases, because they started showing symptoms at school on the day of testing. Thanks to everyone for following our protocols to keep our school community safe!

As always, thanks for your partnership!

Dr. Royal A. Gurley, Jr.

More Details about Masking

Students and staff will continue to wear masks in our buildings and on our buses. There are no changes to our safety protocols.

  • Students, staff, and visitors are NOT permitted to enter the school building without a mask. If there is a need, we do have masks available. This is in keeping with Virginia Senate Bill 1303, which requires schools to follow the mitigation recommendations of the CDC “to the maximum extent practicable.”
  • Per federal guidelines, masks are required on buses. Bus drivers will continue to have masks available for students. 
    • Any elementary students without a mask at the bus stop will be offered one by the driver. If they refuse to put on a mask and no parent/guardian is with them at the bus stop, they will be transported to school. Upon arrival at school, the student will be offered a mask by school staff. If the child does not comply with the masking mandate of Charlottesville City Schools, the family will be called to pick up their child. 

Any secondary student (grades 5-12) who is unmasked at the bus stop will be provided a mask by the bus driver. If the student refuses to wear a mask, the student will not be permitted to ride the bus per federal guidelines. We will make every effort to contact the family.

Message about Weather and COVID Updates from Dr. Gurley, 1/19/22

Message about Weather and COVID Updates from Dr. Gurley, January 19, 2022

Dear staff and families –

As you may know, we are heading into what the UVA model predicts to be “peak week” for this COVID surge (with January 23 as the predicted peak). In addition, I wanted to share our latest thoughts about tomorrow’s weather forecast.

I’ll start with tomorrow’s weather:

  • Currently, the forecast calls for a warm day (high of 44) with periods of rain and snow. Our paid weather service projects minimal impact on road conditions. Therefore, we expect to open on time, even if there is snow falling (just as we are typically open when there is rain).
  • We will reevaluate in the morning and adjust this plan if necessary.

Now back to COVID:

We are feeling the COVID surge in our schools, so let me give an update on our indicators and some specific situations.

  • Staffing: Staff absences are variable from school to school, with some increasing and some decreasing. At this point, staffing is at a level that would support in-person learning at all schools.
  • School COVID levels/spread: If you check our COVID dashboard, you’ll see that last week’s numbers were very high, even after factoring in some delayed reporting of winter break cases. As is common for our reported cases, families can typically identify non-school exposures that may have led to the cases. Even so, we are also mindful of the possibility of cases spreading at school. Out of an abundance of caution, we have moved one classroom at Venable online until 1/31, and we are watching some other situations, as well.
  • Absence rates: Due to the increase in cases and exposures, student absences have significantly increased, again varying by school.

The last time we reported on these COVID indicators, we were in a very good place in all three areas. Now, we are starting to feel the impact of the surge on the classroom and school level. 

What can you do?

  • Before you send your student to school, please screen carefully for symptoms (and for unvaccinated students, also screen for any possible exposures). As we have said before, if in doubt, sit it out.
  • Please make a plan now in case your child, your classroom, or even your school might need to go virtual for a week or two.

What will we do?

  • We will continue to monitor specific situations for possible school transmission.
  • If we have any cause of concern that COVID is spreading in a classroom or other group (such as a sports team or among bus riders), we will err on the side of caution to temporarily move that group to virtual for a time, typically two weeks from the date of last exposure.
  • We continue to consult with the Blue Ridge Health District, and we would particularly rely on their guidance for any large-group or school-wide closure.

Looking ahead

Some east coast cities are reporting significant declines after passing the surge’s peak. We can hope that after our area peaks, we will follow suit. Until then, let’s do all we can to minimize the impact of our community surge on our schools.

We will continue to keep you posted. Thank you for your continued partnership.

Dr. Royal A. Gurley, Jr.

Message about Masking and Other COVID Updates from Dr. Gurley and the School Board, 1/17/22

Message about Masking and Other COVID Updates from Dr. Gurley and the School Board, 1/17/22

Dear staff and families –

As you may have heard, a few days ago, Governor Youngkin issued an executive order relating to masks in schools. Today we affirm that we will continue to require all students, staff, and visitors to wear masks on school grounds, school buses, and at bus stops. In doing so, we are following Virginia Senate Bill 1303, which requires schools to follow the mitigation recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “to the maximum extent practicable.” In addition, we are also following the federal requirement for masking on buses. There is no change to our current practice.

Especially at this moment during the omicron-variant surge, we reaffirm our commitment to masking and other mitigation strategies. Following the recommendations of the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health has allowed us to keep in-school transmission to a minimum. We especially appreciate the Blue Ridge Health District for their near-daily guidance.

Other COVID-related items of note:

  • This week, the CDC upgraded its mask guidance, noting that cloth masks are not as protective as N95s, KN95, or double-masking with a disposable and cloth mask. Still, their guidance calls for the “most protective mask … that fits well and that you will wear consistently.” A nosepiece and a close fit along the cheeks are recommended. As always, we have masks available for those who need them.
  • Registration for free, in-school COVID testing is ongoing. Families can choose the frequency of testing. Learn more and sign up here:  http://charlottesvilleschools.org/COVID-testing
  • Optional in-school vaccine clinics are being scheduled now in partnership with BRHD. We will keep you posted.
  • When school reopens following yesterday’s storm, please screen your child carefully for symptoms (and if unvaccinated, for exposures) before leaving home.

All of these measures – and more – are in keeping with the CDC’s guidance for schools. We are committed to the safety and education of our students and staff. Thanks to our students, families, staff, and community members for their support of our efforts to promote learning and safety. Best wishes for a meaningful Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

Dr. Royal A. Gurley, Jr.  and Ms. Lisa Larson-Torres
Superintendent and School Board Chair

Clarification about Booster Shots and Quarantine, 1/14/22

Click here to read. Updates have been made to protocols and this page.

Updates and Safety Reminders from Dr. Gurley for Returning to School, 1/9/22

Dear staff and families–

We are looking forward to welcoming students and staff back to school. After reviewing current road conditions and the forecast, we expect to start school on time tomorrow. As always, please have a plan for any unexpected delays or closures announced in the morning by 5:30am. As a reminder, bus-riders will have new schedules tomorrow (see below).

I wanted to check in with a few updates and COVID safety reminders:

Image of CCS student daily health screening questions. Click for OCR PDF.
Daily Health Screening Questions for Students

When Should Your Child Stay Home?

  • If your students have any COVID symptoms, they should stay home until seen by a healthcare provider. A negative PCR test or a note from the healthcare provider is required for the student to return to school.
  • If your children are not fully vaccinated, they should also stay home if exposed or if anyone in your household is showing possible COVID symptoms.
  • We are maintaining the 14-day period for exposure and the 10-day period for diagnosis.
  • Questions? Refer to our COVID situations guide or call your school.
  • If in doubt, sit it out!

 

Image of girl adjusting mask nosepiece from CDCLevel Up your Masking Game!
The latest guidance says that high-quality masking over the mouth and nose is important.

  • For some people, that might mean wearing one KN95 (no valves)
  • For others, that might mean double-masking with a paper mask and a cloth mask
  • Others may wear a multiple-layered cloth mask
  • There is no need to wear 2 paper masks
  • A nose piece to ensure a tight fit is recommended
  • As always, we will have masks at school for those who need them
  • Click here for more CDC masking guidance

 

 

School-Based COVID TestingSay Yes to the Test!
Remember that you can sign your child up for free PCR COVID-testing at school. Update: we test all younger students weekly; staff and CHS students get tested when they wish. Learn more and sign up here.

 

Updates on In-Person School/Classroom Indicators

  • Staffing: at this time, all schools have adequate staffing in place.
  • School COVID levels/spread: On our COVID dashboard, you will see a spike in the week ending 1/7, after we reminded families and staff to report cases over winter break. (Cases are shown on the date reported, not the date diagnosed.) Keep in mind that when we and the Blue Ridge Health District evaluate this indicator, the most crucial factor is not whether staff and students report COVID cases, but whether COVID is spreading at school.
  • Absence rates: We will be following this information as we return to school.

 

Reminder: New Bus Routes Start Tomorrow
If you’ve been notified that you have a bus spot, you can find your bus information in your previous messages (a reminder was sent on Wednesday). With new routes, some new drivers, and winter roads, please expect some delays. Thanks in advance for your patience, especially for those of you who are still on the waiting list.

 

Make-up Days for Last Week’s Snowdays?
We will not need to make up the four snowdays from last week. We have banked hours that will cover these days.

 

Virginia School Principals Appreciation Week
Finally, I want to ask you to join me in celebrating our principals this week. They continue to show leadership in unprecedented ways – tracing COVID exposures, running COVID testing programs, creating virtual learning plans, and so much more. All the while, they continue to offer instructional leadership, manage large teams, attend to student needs, and so much more. Consider a note of encouragement to your principal this week, either via email or on one of our upcoming social media posts.

Portrait with and without mask by Jai, gr 3, Clark Elementary.
Portrait can be folded to show or remove mask, courtesy Jai, gr 3, Clark Elementary

A Final Word
I appreciate each of you, your commitment to our schools, and your commitment to one another’s physical and emotional wellbeing. As we ask you to recommit to efforts such as vaccination (and boosters), masking, staying home when needed, and more, know that school leaders are doing our part to maintain excellent ventilation, continue best practices, and monitor our school indicators. We are committed to the safety and learning of our students and staff.

Let’s make it a great Monday!

Dr. Royal A. Gurley, Jr.

Decision-Making for Possible COVID School Closures:
Letter from Dr. Gurley, 1/5/22

Dear CCS Staff and Families,

I first want to begin with saying, “We will not cut any corners to risk the health and safety of our students and staff.”  To that end, I am writing to inform you of the indicators we are monitoring as a school system to inform our decision-making related to whether an individual school continues in-person instruction or pivots to virtual instruction.

Data Points for Monitoring:

  • Staff Capacity: Currently, we monitor daily the number of staff members available in each building. Each building requires a minimum number of teachers and support staff to efficiently and effectively run the building. If the staffing drops to an inoperable level over a consecutive period at a school, the school division will re-evaluate the correct path forward. We will also specifically monitor staffing in critical areas such as instruction, nutrition, and transportation. 
  • Active Covid Cases by Schools: Located on our district webpage we track the number of cases for remote and in-person instruction. The Blue Ridge Health District will make the recommendation for reverting a class or school to online learning. They emphasize that every situation is different.
  • Overall Student Attendance Rates: CCS will closely monitor the attendance rate of students (including those who are out due to a COVID diagnosis or exposure). If we reach the point where the absentee rate becomes disruptive to student learning and school operations, we would consider a temporary reversion to virtual instruction.

Throughout this school year, our community transmission rate has been in the substantial or high range. Even so, we have successfully kept students, staff, and families safe due to the layered mitigation effort. Almost all cases reported by staff or students have been unrelated to school or school programs. 

The Code of Virginia requires each school board to offer in-person instruction to each student enrolled in the local school division. Should the integrity of our system be compromised because we are seeing cases spread at school, if we are unable to staff our classes, or instruction is disrupted by student absenteeism, we are fully prepared to temporarily pivot a school to a virtual model to support our staff and families.

January Updates and Message from Dr. Gurley, 12/29/2021

Dear Charlottesville Schools staff and families–

We hope you’ve had a good winter break. We are looking forward to welcoming students back to our schools on Tuesday, January 4. We know you have concerns regarding the rise in COVID cases and how it impacts school safety, so I’m writing now with an update about safety measures (including testing) and transportation. We are aware of new guidance from the CDC, but we will maintain our existing protocols until the Virginia Department of Health (VHD) or the Blue Ridge Health District (BRHD) recommends changes to our mitigation strategies or daily operations. The bottom line is that working closely with the BRHD, we are staying the course to continue our many COVID safety strategies, including our testing programs.

For our bus-riders, the City has told us to expect some disruption for our school bus routes for next week and in the future. We will work with the City to notify families of any bus cancellations or modifications as early as possible.

Please read on for more information about safety, testing, Tuesday’s BRHD town hall to answer COVID questions, and more.

As we move forward, please know that while the case levels are troubling, we are working to keep our schools safe. We know that vaccination reduces our risks, especially of severe illness and hospitalization. We know that very few children in our area have been hospitalized for COVID (we wish the number were zero). So far this year, almost all of our school COVID cases were transmitted in the community – outside of school or school programs. We are committed to following the guidance of health experts for practices such as masking, hand-washing, testing, and more. One of their recommendations is to keep students in school. If we all do our part, we can do this safely.

Dr. Royal A. Gurley
Superintendent

More Details: Updates for January 2022

Safety and Mitigation Measures

We had a successful fall by following VDH guidance, and we will continue to do so. These safety measures include encouraging vaccination & boosters, requiring universal masking in schools/buses, promoting hand-washing, and requiring daily health screening and staying home when sick. (Need a new copy of our daily health screener?) We also offer free school-based proactive and diagnostic testing – see more, below. Our safety plan also limits gatherings and events, and we’ll continue outside lunch, weather permitting. 

  • Maintain Current Quarantine/Isolation Practices: As we return to school on January 4, per VDH guidance, we plan to maintain our current practices. This includes maintaining a 10-day isolation for diagnosed staff and students, and a 14-day quarantine for unvaccinated people unless they participate in our test-to-stay pilot (see below). If BRHD or VDH advises us to change, we will let you know the new practices.
  • Reporting Cases and Exposures: Please continue to report COVID diagnoses and exposures, even though we are on break. You can email your principal or supervisor. This will help us prepare for a smooth opening.

Testing Programs

Since November, we have offered a variety of free school-based testing programs for students and staff. These programs resume next week (with a slightly different schedule for one week only), and we encourage everyone to sign up.

  • FREE COVID Testing Program Resumes Jan. 4: This free, COVID screening program is offered weekly for both staff and students. Registration is ongoing: learn more and sign up here. We’ll add new registrants as soon as possible. (To give our vendor the best chance to include your student this week, please sign up by Sunday evening.) As a reminder, this proactive testing program is opt-in per Virginia guidelines.
    • Different Testing Schedule for the Week of January 4: During this week, the “Friday” schools (Burnley-Moran, Venable, and Walker) will be tested on Tuesday, January 4. The other schools will follow their usual Wednesday/Thursday schedules. 
  • Diagnostic, Symptomatic Testing – Our partnership with the state also allows us to do diagnostic testing for students/staff who develop symptoms while at school. Again, you can learn more or sign up for either screening or diagnostic testing here.
  • Test to Stay Pilot Coming Soon –  CCS has been working with UVA Health and the Blue Ridge Health District to develop a pilot program for Test to Stay, a protocol to safely limit absences following exposure. We will share more information at our January 6 School Board Meeting, with a goal of starting mid-January. In the meanwhile, please follow current protocols for exposure (vaccinated people do not need to quarantine; unvaccinated people quarantine for 14 days from last exposure).
  • Community Testing Options: BRHD plans to expand area testing events to meet increased demand. Learn more about testing events here.

Transportation

At the beginning of winter break, we distributed new, expanded bus route information to include more students. While we are excited that the City has been able to add more routes, at the same time, they are reporting that a number of their drivers are currently sick. We know that such issues will continue to arise. We will work with the City to notify families of any bus cancellations or modifications as early as possible. Thanks in advance for your patience.

Town Hall on COVID Questions

The Blue Ridge Health District is hosting a virtual community town hall meeting to answer questions about COVID on Tuesday, January 4 at 7pm. Look for a link on the BRHD Facebook page or watch on Channel 10.

In-Person Instruction

Per state law and following the consensus of local health experts, we will continue offering in-person learning five days a week. As a reminder, we will work closely with the BRHD on any decision to temporarily revert to online instruction for a classroom (or school, if needed). Keep students home if they are sick (or if they’re unvaccinated, keep them home if anyone in the household might have COVID)!  Let’s all do our part to keep our schools safe! 


 

Previous COVID Safety Information

 

Top Tools for Families

illustration of school supplies with mask and hand sanitizer plus the words "New Safety Routines and In-Person Agreement."
Click image to review new safety routines.
Image of CCS student daily health screening questions. Click for OCR PDF.
When should your child stay home? Click image to find the Daily Health Screening Questions
"What to do in common COVID situations." Click to find OCR pdf.
Click image to go to Google doc “What to do in common COVID situations,” a guide for families and staff.

Enlaces para información en español:
Acuerdo y Normas de seguridad  |  Evaluador de Salud Diaro  |  Qué hacer en situaciones de Covid


2021-22 Information

This page gives basic information related to COVID and everyday topics for in-person instruction (5 days a week). If you have additional questions, please contact your school.

  • School-based COVID testing is in place for proactive screening, diagnostic rapid-testing, and Test to Stay: Learn more here.
  • Optional school-based vaccine clinics are returning: stay tuned.
  • Bus service has expanded but a wait list remains. (Click here to read  coverage of this issue). Please see detailed information in the “Transportation” section below. The City, which manages the student transportation program, continues to try to expand routes.

illustration of linguistic charactersTranslation Traducción ترجمة Tafsiri अनुवाद ترجمه

Translators and interpreters are available. Our web site can be translated with Google. Call or email your school for help. You can also text 434-953-1802.

Si tiene preguntas acerca de las escuelas de Charlottesville, llame a nuestra línea telefónica en español al 434-245-2548. Un profesor de español le devolverá la llamada. 

 

Local Health Data Using CDC Framework

We have been working with the state and local health experts to follow local COVID-19 data. See the charts and spreadsheets below for Charlottesville City Schools confirmed cases in 20-21 and 21-22. Note that we report cases even if the staff member or student was remote or not present at school during the period of contagion.

See COVID Dashboard Spreadsheet 21-22

In-Person School/Classroom Indicators

We are following three primary indicator to guide decision-making about schools and classrooms maintaining in-person or moving to virtual instruction.

  • Staffing: at this time, all schools are similar to what we were seeing before break.
  • School COVID levels/spread: COVID cases are higher than prior to break, especially since many winter break cases are being reported now and are logged on the date reported. Most new cases have not resulted in school exposures, but we continue to work with the health district to monitor specific situations.  Keep in mind that when we and the Blue Ridge Health District evaluate this indicator, the most crucial factor is not whether staff and students report COVID cases, but whether COVID is spreading at school.
  • Absence rates: Like staff absences, this rate is similar to pre-winter break.

Data Points for Monitoring Schools/Classrooms

Data Points for Monitoring Schools/Classrooms:

  • Staff Capacity: Currently, we monitor daily the number of staff members available in each building. Each building requires a minimum number of teachers and support staff to efficiently and effectively run the building. If the staffing drops to an inoperable level over a consecutive period at a school, the school division will re-evaluate the correct path forward. We will also specifically monitor staffing in critical areas such as instruction, nutrition, and transportation. 
  • Active COVID Cases by Schools: Located on our district webpage we track the number of cases for remote and in-person instruction. The Blue Ridge Health District will make the recommendation for reverting a class or school to online learning. They emphasize that every situation is different.
  • Overall Student Attendance Rates: CCS will closely monitor the attendance rate of students (including those who are out due to a COVID diagnosis or exposure). If we reach the point where the absentee rate becomes disruptive to student learning and school operations, we would consider a temporary reversion to virtual instruction.

Charlottesville Indicators

Learn about the CDC framework & thresholds for each metric

Find Charlottesville data (load page & select Charlottesville)

Illustration of health safetyMeasures to Promote Safety (Mitigation)

As part of its data metrics, the CDC recommends a number of  mitigation strategies, from masking to ventilation to school-based COVID testing. We will show the  complete list below and give an update.

Details about Safety and Mitigation Measures

Core Mitigation Measures to Support School Openings (CDC)

  1. Promoting Vaccination: We encourage vaccination of all school community members age 12+ and held school-based clinics in the spring. Students can also be vaccinated at the Back-to-School Bash on August 21. The School Board has voted to require staff to be vaccinated, or in cases such as health exemptions, be tested weekly.
  2. Masks and Face Coverings: As of March 1, 2022, a new state law requires masks to be optional for students in our schools. We will uphold this legislation in our buildings, while still requiring masks on our school buses per federal requirements. Staff will still be required to wear masks. For details and exceptions (such as when eating or if there is a medical or other accommodation), please see the policy.  KN95s in sizes for children and adults are available in our schools. Face shields are also available but they are not a replacement for masks.
  3. Social Distancing to the extent possible (3 feet where possible):  Signage and floor markers will reinforce the furniture placement to encourage 3-foot separation.  Floor decals in halls and markings on sidewalks will show direction and reinforce  spacing.  Signage also communicates one-way directions in stairwells or hallways as needed.
  4. Screening Testing: We are participating in a state program for regular COVID testing throughout this school year as an additional strategy to promote safety.  As part of the same state program, we offer rapid diagnostic testing for individuals as needed. To sign up or learn more information, click here.
  5. Ventilation: The City is following ASHRAE recommendations to use the highest MERV-rated filters possible for all equipment, coupled with increasing ventilation.  All systems are set for maximum outdoor air at normal occupancy levels.  Any space that cannot use a MERV 13 or 14 filter will be equipped with a portable air cleaner. As weather permits, we will keep windows open. Going above and beyond standard mitigation for K-12 and universities, the City engaged an engineer from Tri-Dim to consult on the best course of action for each building/space and installed UV-C lights and/or bipolar ionization equipment  according to recommendations.
  6. Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette:  Students and staff will use hand sanitizer upon arrival. Hand sanitizer is available in all classrooms, on all buses, and at all student building entrances, and some classrooms have sinks for handwashing. Schools will teach and  reinforce good hygiene practices such as handwashing,  covering coughs and sneezes, and refraining from touching surfaces when possible.  
  7. Staying home when sick and getting tested: Staff and students will be asked to screen at home daily for COVID-19 symptoms and risk factors such as close contacts showing symptoms. Students will be asked to stay home and contact a healthcare professional if they are symptomatic or if they know of an exposure to COVID-19. Note: fully vaccinated students/staff (for age 18+, this means “boosted if eligible” as of 1/25) who are symptom-free may attend school when close contacts either show symptoms or have suspected/confirmed COVID-19. See guidance in the health section, below.
    CSS Student Home Screening Tool (revised July 28, 2021)
  8. Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine:  To help us work with the health department for contact tracing, we will implement several measures. Student movement in school buildings and buses will be minimized and monitored, and seating will be assigned. We will fully support contact tracing and subsequently enforce recommendations for quarantine or isolation. (Some students/staff participate in Test to Stay as a safe alternative to quarantine.) The agreement for in-person instruction (signed with registration or re-registration forms) gives permission for Blue Ridge Health Department and Charlottesville City Schools to share contract-tracing information related to exposure or diagnosis of school community members.
  9. Cleaning and disinfection: All CCS cleaning products are on the EPA list of disinfectants for COVID-19. Custodians have been equipped and trained with foggers and electrostatic sprayers to support more rapid and effective disinfection of surfaces and entire spaces. Classrooms are equipped with spray bottles with the all-purpose disinfectant cleaner and microfiber cloths to readily address high-touch services such as desktops and door knobs.  A daily cleaning form is used by the custodial staff working with the building administrators, and a color-coded  system indicates whether rooms are: in use or not yet cleaned (red),  ready for use following standard cleaning procedures (yellow), or ready for use following extra cleaning measures (green). 

Other CDC-Recommended Strategies in Place

  1. Adequate supplies:  As stated elsewhere, we will supply hand sanitizer, face masks, face shields, disposable gloves, COVID-approved cleaning supplies, and more. Staff such as nurses in need of other PPE will be supplied those items.
  2. Shared objects:  As possible, we will minimize use of shared items or will create a plan for cleaning and disinfection (of touch screens, key boards, door knobs, etc).
  3. Visitors/Volunteers:  We are limiting volunteer programs and non-essential visitors. Signage reminds visitors to check to see if their business can be conducted by phone,  computer, or outside meeting.  If the principal approves a volunteer or visitor, individuals need to wear a mask, screen for symptoms, and use hand sanitizer.
  4. Water systems:  The City has been flushing water regularly to make sure that school water supplies remain safe.
  5. Physical barriers and guides: The division has ordered and installed plexi-glass barriers for areas such as reception desks and to support safe 1:1 interactions in classrooms or with specialists. Schools can acquire additional barriers according to their specific needs.
  6. Communal spaces: Most or all students will have lunch in classrooms. We will use playgrounds, but we will stagger use and schedule hand-washing before and after recess.
  7. Food service:  For most or all students in our schools, we will serve meals in classrooms. Classes are encouraged to eat outside as much as possible, and we have developed safety routines for when this is not possible. Students are still welcome to bring packed meals, but no microwave will be available. All students will wash hands or use hand sanitizer before and after eating. Other safety features include a meal pre-ordering system and a touchless system using ID cards for payment. We will  provide additional wheeled waste cans  in the hallways so food waste will not remain in the classrooms.food tray icon For virtual or quarantined students, families can arrange pick-up at the school closest to them. Find complete meal information here.

Other Strategies:

  • Training:  Staff and students will need to be trained on appropriate procedures and mitigation strategies. We will use training videos prior to returning to in-person instruction. Custodial staff received special training. Additional training was also required for nursing staff as well as SPED staff who work with students to assist with medical or personal care.
  • Protocols:  We have assembled policies and protocols to guide our return to in-person instruction. All protocols are subject to change based on public health expertise and emerging best practices.
  • Outdoor Spaces: We hope to use our outdoor spaces as much as possible, particularly for classes such as gym or choir.  Classes may also go outside for lunch or suitable instruction/class meetings.

illustration of clock and scheduleDaily Routines for the New School Year

School looks different. What does that look like at lunch, recess, or more? Watch this short video for a few daily safety reminders for students:

 

 

Image of CCS student daily health screening questions. Click for OCR PDF.
Daily Health Screening Questions for Students

When Should Your Child Stay Home?

  • If your students have any COVID symptoms, they should stay home until seen by a healthcare provider. A negative PCR test or a note from the healthcare provider is required for the student to return to school.
  • If your children are not fully vaccinated, they should also stay home if exposed or if anyone in your household is showing possible COVID symptoms. 
  • We have a 10-day period for exposure and the 10-day period for diagnosis. If your child is exposed at school or in the community, ask your school about Test to Stay as a safe alternative to quarantine.
  • Questions? Refer to our COVID situations guide or call your school.
  • If in doubt, sit it out!

 

Image of girl adjusting mask nosepiece from CDCLevel Up your Masking Game!
The latest guidance says that high-quality masking over the mouth and nose is important. We continue to recommend mask-wearing in our schools for everyone, though as of March 1, 2022, a new state law requires masks to be optional for students. We will uphold this legislation in our buildings, while still requiring masks on our school buses per federal requirements. Staff will still be required to wear masks.

  • For some people, that might mean wearing one KN95 (no valves)
  • For others, that might mean double-masking with a paper mask and a cloth mask 
  • Others may wear a multiple-layered cloth mask
  • There is no need to wear 2 paper masks
  • A nose piece to ensure a tight fit is recommended
  • As always, we will have masks at school for those who need them, including KN95s for children and adults
  • Click here for more CDC masking guidance

Details about Daily Routines

Cover of CCS COVID-19 Protocols document. Click to access Protocols document (google file).
Click image to access CCS COVID-19 Protocols document

Arrival/Daily Schedule:

When students arrive at the bus or the school, they may have their temperature screened and will hand sanitize. They can pick up a grab-and-go breakfast if they wish (breakfast and lunch are free this school year). Then students will go directly to their assigned spot in their classroom. Elementary students will largely stay in their “home” classroom, but we use outdoor spaces as much as possible, particularly for gym and recess. Generally speaking, students will eat lunch in their classrooms. At Buford and CHS, students will follow their schedules to move from class to class following signage and other procedures to encourage social distancing. School hours may be adjusted to allow for the additional cleaning time required for buses between runs.

Note: please make a plan for if your student arrives at the bus or school with a fever or COVID symptoms. See  the transportation FAQ (below) for details.

Athletics and Extra-Curricular Activities:

Clubs and athletic activities may resume:

  • CHS will follow Virginia High School League (VHSL) guidelines for sports and activities. For further updates, visit gocville.org.
  • All other clubs and extracurricular activities will need to follow CCS guidelines and gain building-level approval to be sure that activities are in compliance.

Restroom Use:

High-risk touch points in restrooms (faucet knobs, flush handles, partition locks, ADA railings) will be disinfected at least mid-morning and mid-afternoon, and restrooms will be cleaned nightly. Schools will stagger bathroom breaks to minimize close contact with students from another cohort.  Handwashing is the key to safe bathroom use. Mirror clings in all restrooms will reinforce the importance and basics of proper handwashing. Schools will develop site plans for safe restroom use.

Calendar:

You can find the academic calendar for 2021-22 here. Click “other formats” for a one-page printout.

Furniture:

To the greatest degree possible, individual desks will be used and will be separated by 3′. Furniture will be arranged so that students face in the same direction.

Gym/Recess:

As much as possible, PE and recess will take place outside. We are requiring masks for staff outdoors and encouraging masks outdoors for all students at this time, with the understanding that outdoors is the best time for mask breaks when students and staff are 6ft apart or more.  (Procedures for extracurricular activities are program specific).

Students should wash hands before and after recess or gym. Outdoor playground equipment can be shared within a class, but again, since it will not be disinfected, hand-washing is important. Multiple cohorts can be outside at the same time as long as they are distanced from one another.  Any shared equipment such as balls should be disinfected between classes.

Hours:

  • Elementaries (including PreK): 8am-2:30pm
  • Buford/Walker: 8:30am-3:15pm
  • CHS: 9:05am-3:50pm
  • LMA: 9:15am-3:05pm

Early dismissal hours are:

  • Elementaries: 12noon
  • Buford/Walker: 12:45pm
  • CHS: 1:40pm
  • LMA: 11:30am

food tray iconMeals:

We are offering free breakfast/lunch for all students this school year. For most students in our schools, we will serve meals in classrooms. Classes are encouraged to eat outside as much as possible. When this is not possible, we have developed the safety routines including:

  • Minimizing talking while masks are off for eating (“mask off = voice off”)
  • Assigning seating cohorts during meals, avoiding having students face each other
  • Maintaining spacing of 3-6 feet.
  • Opening windows during mealtime

Students can still bring packed meals from home, but no microwave will be available. All students will wash hands or use hand sanitizer before and after eating. Other safety features include a meal pre-ordering system and a touchless system using ID cards for payment. We will  provide additional wheeled waste cans  in the hallways so food waste will not remain in the classrooms. See more information about meals, below.

For virtual or quarantined students, families can complete a Google form to arrange next-day pick-up at the school closest to them.

Safety Drills:

Schools are still following the schedule for state-required safety drills. We will adapt these processes to accommodate social distancing.

Shared Items/Spaces:

We will limit shared items as much as possible. If shared, items should be disinfected between use when possible. Group work can still happen — students will just need to follow social distancing guidelines. Schools and teachers will use lots of visual cues and reminders. Areas where students will need to share a space or equipment will create a space-specific cleaning plan.

Transportation Info:

See next section for information about transportation.

Volunteers/Visitors:

We are limiting volunteer programs and non-essential visitors. Signage reminds visitors to check to see if their business can be conducted by phone,  computer, or outside meeting.  If the principal approves a volunteer or visitor, individuals need to wear a mask, screen for symptoms, and use hand sanitizer.

Water Fountains:

Students are encouraged to bring water bottles since water fountains will not be open. Bottle-filling stations are available.

 

Illustration of lunch tray with foodMeals

Breakfast and lunch will be free for all students during the 2021-22 year. Even so, we encourage families to apply for free/reduced meals, especially if they are new to Charlottesville City Schools. Find more information about meal protocols in “Daily Routines” (above), and find complete information about meals at charlottesvilleschools.org/food.

2021-22 Applications for Free/Reduced Meals

What’s for lunch? Find menus here — there’s a link at the bottom of every page on our website.

Virtual or quarantined students needing meal service? Virtual or quarantined students can complete this form to request a next-day pick-up meal at the school nearest you.

Request to pick-up a next-day to-go meal at a school

 

Illustration of bikers and walkersTransportation

When school opens, we’ll have very limited space on school buses. Help now by finding a new way for your child to go to and from school. For information and ideas, look through our FAQ. The City’s Safe Routes to School team has developed some walking/maps for the elementaries and Buford — look below the FAQ to see yours or print it up.

Transportation FAQ

How much space will there be on school buses?

Due to severe driver shortages complicated by the pandemic, the City of Charlottesville has fewer school bus drivers than needed, and the schools will have very limited school bus space.  Current estimates show that we will be able to serve a maximum of 200 riders per day for elementaries (combined), 200 for Buford/Walker (combined), and 200 for CHS. (During 2019-20, 2,600 students rode the bus to and from school. This year, we may have a maximum of 600 per day.)

How else can my kid get to school?

To assist families who do not receive bus transportation, the City’s Safe Routes to School program is helping to organize additional supports such as volunteers guiding groups of walkers or bike-riders to school. They have developed new maps to help (see yours below)! Learn more about Safe Routes to Schools and ways you can help! Your PTO might have a sign-up genius or another way to connect families. Or partner with friends, neighbors, and classmates to make alternative plans. Learn more about biking/walking to Cville Schools.

Any changes for car-riders?

There will be more cars in the drop-off and pick-up zones, so we have established alternate locations such as nearby parking lots where we can set up additional sites for car-riders. Stay tuned for  information from your school.  Important note: please stay in the car drop-off lane until your children have cleared any temperature checks or other screenings.

How will I know if my child can ride the bus?

If you requested bus service, your school will let you know if you are assigned a spot or if you are on a wait list. If you are unsure of your child’s status, please do not go to a bus stop. Instead, please help us by finding an alternative way for your child to get to and from school.  Thank you for your patience, and if you know of potential drivers who can help us, please send them to the City’s website!

Note: for children in 1st grade and younger, a responsible adult must accompany the student to and from the bus stop.

How will you select which students to put on the bus initially and which to put on the waitlist?

In the spring, priorities for ridership were determined among students who indicated that they could not get to school unless they had school bus transportation who:

  • Have qualifying special needs (IEP’s)
  • Are Pre-K students (transportation cannot be a barrier under state guidelines)
  • Need Tier 3 supports (this might include English language learners, etc.)
  • Siblings of priority students ride can ride as the 2nd child on a  seat

The City’s Pupil Transportation department  is actively trying to identify drivers and solutions. Thank you for your patience.

How will we keep buses safe?

Buses will be cleaned between runs. Families will screen students for symptoms at home, and prior to boarding the bus, students will wear masks and use hand sanitizer. Students may get a  temperature check or screening. For those students who get a bus assignment, we ask them to sit in their assigned seat. Siblings can sit together.

What if my child can’t ride the bus due to a fever/symptoms?

For children in 1st grade and younger, a responsible adult must be at the stop each morning. For older students, we will call families to let them know if their child was unable to board the bus or the student will ride the bus and go directly to the school’s isolation room for prompt pick-up. Please make a plan in case your child gets sent home from the bus or school due to a fever or other COVID symptoms. We will make every effort to contact families in this situation. If one child in a family shows a fever or other COVID symptoms, we will ask for all unvaccinated students in the family to return home and seek guidance from a healthcare provider.

What if my walker or bike-rider arrives at school with a fever or symptoms?

The student will be sent to the school’s isolation room, and the parents/guardians will be notified to promptly arrange for the student (and unvaccinated siblings) to return home.

Why do you have so little space on the buses and why can’t the City just hire more bus drivers?

  1. There was a national shortage of school bus drivers even before the pandemic.
  2. Many of our drivers are retirees who are at greater risk due to COVID-19; some have decided to step down for their personal safety.
  3. The process of getting trained and ready to work as a school bus driver takes a while.
  4. We are limiting students to 2 per seat.
  5. Want to join our team of bus driver or recommend a friend? Visit the City’s employment site.

Walk/Bike Maps from the City’s Safe Routes to School Team

Volunteers/Visitors:

We are limiting volunteer programs and non-essential visitors. Signage reminds visitors to check to see if their business can be conducted by phone,  computer, or outside meeting.  If the principal approves a volunteer or visitor, individuals need to wear a mask, screen for symptoms, and use hand sanitizer.

Illustration of facemaskHealth Protocols for Staff and Families

We all depend on each other to reduce risk and promote safety. The latest guidance says that high-quality masking over the mouth and nose is important. We continue to recommend mask-wearing in our schools for everyone, though as of March 1, 2022, a new state law requires masks to be optional for students. We will uphold this legislation in our buildings, while still requiring masks on our school buses per federal requirements. Staff will still be required to wear masks.

Find info below about daily screening and what to do in common COVID situations.  Click “More Information” to find more about masking, health screening, COVID communications, and other health protocols.

"What to do in common COVID situations." Click to find OCR pdf.
Click image to go to Google doc “What to do in common COVID situations,” a guide for families and staff.
Image of CCS student daily health screening questions. Click for OCR PDF.
Click image to find the PDF of the Daily Health Screening Questions for Students
Cover of CCS COVID-19 Protocols document. Click to access Protocols document (google file).
Click image to access CCS COVID-19 Protocols document

Vaccinations for COVID-19 and other Diseases:

  • If your child is age 12 or older, please check with your healthcare provider about the COVID-19 vaccine. Click here for area walk-in clinics and other information.
  • And to learn more about the state’s new (non-COVID) vaccination requirements for students in kindergarten, grade 7, and grade 12, click here. Be sure to submit documentation to your school as soon as possible.
  • Questions about your child’s vaccines? Please check with your healthcare provider or call the school.
  • To promote safety, the Charlottesville School Board has voted to require staff to be vaccinated, or in cases such as health exemptions, be tested weekly.

More Information about Health Protocols, including Masking

COVID Communications

Will schools inform families of a positive case in the classroom or school?

We will follow the same protocols that we did last spring. After notifying any individuals who may have been directly impacted by a diagnosis, we will next communicate with any elementary classrooms that have been generally impacted. After those two processes are complete, we will communicate to all school staff/families that someone who has been in the school was diagnosed with COVID and that anyone who needs to quarantine has already been contacted. As we did in the spring, we will only announce cases that might impact the school, not those among, for example, virtual-only students or staff members who had not recently visited the school. Names and personally identifiable information will not be released.

Masks and Face Coverings

What is the policy? When do students/staff need to wear them?

We continue to recommend mask-wearing in our schools for everyone, though as of March 1, 2022, a new state law requires masks to be optional for students. We will uphold this legislation in our buildings, while still requiring masks on our school buses per federal requirements. Staff will still be required to wear masks, with the exceptions of designated times for eating or when people are outside and can be six or more feet apart. Masks should not be see-through or have valves.  Find the full policy here.

I want my child to continue to wear a mask, and I’m afraid they might not continue to do so at school. Can teachers or staff help?

At the elementary level, please talk to your child first. Then reach out to your teacher to communicate this concern, and we will continue to offer a helpful reminder of the family’s wishes. For older children who have multiple teachers, we recommend having a conversation with your child to help them understand that masking offers protection.

Are masks available free for staff and students? 

Yes! High-quality KN95s in sizes for children and adults are available each week in our schools.

What if a staff member can’t wear a mask?

For individuals with a documented health condition or disabilities, CCS will identify solutions on a case-by-case basis.

What about face shields?

Face shields are not a substitute for masks, but we do have a supply for any teachers and students who wish to wear them as an additional protection.

Handwashing and Hand Sanitizing

How will handwashing (and hand-sanitizing) be encouraged?

Staff and students will participate in handwashing/sanitizing at regular intervals, including upon arrival at school, before/after recess, and before/after lunch. Schools will have supplies of hand sanitizer and soap to allow for frequent hand-washing, and classrooms and school facilities will be disinfected regularly. We will teach the importance of (and techniques for) handwashing.

Do schools have supplies for handwashing or sanitizing?

Schools have supplies of hand sanitizer and soap to allow for frequent handwashing. Older students who wish to bring a personal bottle of sanitizer are encouraged to do so.

Will you teach students about the importance and best techniques for handwashing?

Yes, prior to and following a return to in-person instruction, we will use videos, visual reminders, and more to reinforce this important habit.

Social Distancing

How will the schools follow social distancing guidelines?

Students and staff will maintain 3 feet of social distancing in indoor and outdoor settings as much as possible. Schools will clearly mark off distances (up to 6 feet) for specific areas, such as bathroom lines or school pick-up/drop-off locations.

Classrooms will be set up to follow the health and safety guidelines in our approved plan. Classroom seating should be revised to maximize distancing between students as much as possible. Desks will be rearranged so that students are all facing the same direction, and community tables will be removed or equipped/marked for safe use.

What if students struggle with social distancing?

We will make every effort to teach this skill and reinforce its importance. We will have clear markings and reminders to support the behavior we need to see.

What about social distancing outside of school?

Families, one important way you can help us to keep school as safe as possible is to make your home or non-school routines as similar as possible to the school routines for things such as masking, social distancing, and handwashing. This will be especially important at Thanksgiving and over winter break.

Health Screenings for Staff and Students

How will you do daily health screening?

Everyone entering a building, including students and staff, must engage in a daily health screen before leaving home for school. Families and staff will sign a one-time agreement that they will agree to self-screening. Find family agreement here.

Will there be on-site health screening?

Adults and students may get a temperature check and/or in-person symptom screening before entering the building (or boarding a school bus). Students/staff with a temperature of 100.0F or above will need to go home. Students and staff should stay home if they are experiencing symptoms, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, abdominal pain, fatigue, muscle aches, and/or headache. Unvaccinated students should also stay home if close contacts are experiencing symptoms or awaiting COVID test results or have possible/confirmed COVID.

Note: please make a plan for if your student arrives at the bus or school with a fever. If your child will ride the bus, see  the transportation FAQ (below) for details. If you drive your child to school, please stay at school until the child has passed any temperature screening.

Will There be COVID-19 Testing for Staff or Students?

We are  participating in a state program for regular COVID testing throughout this school year as an additional strategy to promote safety.  As part of the same state program, we offer rapid diagnostic testing for individuals as needed.  And we offer Test to Stay as a safe alternative to quarantine when possible. To sign up or learn more information, click here.

Cleaning

How will we keep facilities clean?

Facilities staff will clean and disinfect nightly, and during the day for high-need areas. Staff will frequently clean touched surfaces in schools and on buses at least daily and between use as much as possible. Toys or classroom items that cannot be easily cleaned or sanitized (such as plush toys) will be removed.  For more about cleaning procedures, see Safety and Mitigation Strategies, above.

What about restrooms?

High-touch surfaces (faucet knobs, flush handles, railings) will be disinfected at least mid-morning and mid-afternoon, and all restrooms will be cleaned nightly. Handwashing is key to safety. Signage will encourage spacing, handwashing, and other safe practices. Schools will develop a site-based plan for restroom use.

PPE-Personal Protective Equipment

Has PPE (personal protective equipment) been purchased?

CCS has purchased PPE such as masks, face shields, thermometers, and gloves to help maintain a safe environment and prepare for the return to school. We’ll make sure schools receive supplies based on key information like the number of students enrolled, the number of teaching stations it has, and other details. We have a system to monitor and replenish these supplies to ensure schools have what they need to maintain a safe environment.

Will PPE (personal protective equipment) be given to staff? Students?

Additional supplies such as gowns and N95/KN95 masks will be provided for school nurses and others who may have close contact in personal care for students.

What if a Student Displays Symptoms or is Diagnosed?

"What to do in common COVID situations." Click to find OCR pdf.
Click image to go to Google doc “What to do in common COVID situations,” a guide for families and staff.

What if a student develops COVID-19 symptoms at home?

Consult with your primary care physician and report the absence at school. If someone is experiencing symptoms in your household, do not send any of your unvaccinated children to school without further guidance. If the symptoms are typical for your child, be sure to tell your doctor. Keep in mind, not everyone who displays COVID-19 symptoms has or will contract the virus.  

What if a student develops symptoms at school?

Students who develop symptoms at school will be immediately directed to a designated isolation space in the school until they can safely leave or be picked up to go home. Prompt pick-up of sick children and their unvaccinated siblings (within an hour) is part of the safety agreement that parents/guardians agree to follow when participating in in-person instruction.

Depending on the situation, the individual’s primary care provider may recommend testing for COVID-19 or give other guidance. Individuals who test positive will remain in isolation.  Students  with COVID-19 symptoms (and their unvaccinated siblings) should not return to school without guidance from their healthcare provider and/or school nurse. Please continue to report the absences; it would be helpful if families speak with the principal or school nurse with updates.

Will students have to show a negative COVID test to return to school?

Not if they are seen by their healthcare provider. There are many reasons that someone may show symptoms and/or an elevated temperature above 100.0F. But if a student displays COVID-19 symptoms, they should get PCR tested and/or check with their healthcare provider or the school nurse for guidance (and a note).

What if a student is diagnosed with COVID-19?

Any student required to isolate at home due to illness from COVID-19 will be required to isolate for 10 days or until there is no fever for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine (or as directed by a healthcare provider). A note from a healthcare provider will be required prior to returning to a CCS school campus.

What if a student  is exposed to COVID-19 at school or in the community (not at home)?

Fully vaccinated students (for age 18+, fully vaccinated means “boosted if eligible” as of 1/25)  who are symptom-free can attend school. Unvaccinated students who are a “close contact” of someone with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 will need to participate in our Test to Stay program (if exposure did not happen at the child’s home) or  quarantine at home for 10 days from the date of last exposure.   Please notify the principal or school nurse. 

What if a household member of a student is diagnosed with COVID-19?

Per health department guidance, fully vaccinated students (for age 18+, fully vaccinated means “boosted if eligible” as of 1/25) who are symptom-free can attend school. Any unvaccinated student who lives with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 will need to begin quarantine and remain in this phase for 10 days following the recovery of the patient or as directed by a healthcare provider.

If a child stays home with symptoms or to quarantine following exposure, how will they continue to learn?

Students will continue to be served by their home school but in a remote capacity for the duration of the quarantine period. Please check with your teacher for guidance.

How does contract-tracing work?

Contact-tracing is a helpful way to keep the school community safe. The agreement for in-person instruction gives Charlottesville City School and the Blue Ridge Health Department permission to share information about COVID exposure and diagnoses concerning our school community members. That way, people who were exposed to a known positive case can start Test to Stay or start their quarantine and prevent the spread of this disease to others. It is helpful when students or staff displaying symptoms keep the school nurse or staff “in the loop” so that we can take precautions to keep everyone safe.

What will we be told if a student or staff member becomes sick?

Names and personally identifiable information will not be released, but the local health department will work with schools on the necessary next steps, including  communications to families or school staff. All such communications will be coordinated with the health department. In the spring, we announced cases that might impact the school (but we did not notify the school about cases among, for example, virtual students or staff members who had not recently visited the school.)

Is there a nurse at all schools and program sites?

Schools have full-time nurses.

How safe is the school isolation quarantine area?

Staff assigned to supervise individuals in the designated isolation quarantine area will be provided with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE – masks, gloves, gown, cap, shoe coverings), and proper disposal will be provided for the PPE.  Custodial staff responsible for cleaning the area will also be provided with appropriate PPE to address the area after any isolated individuals leave the space.  The protocol for this area in each school will include use of disinfectant spraying equipment. An isolation quarantine area cleaning checklist will be signed and dated when the protocol is completed.

Is there a chance that a class or school would need to revert to online-only instruction?

We will continue to work closely with the local health department and are following local and state data. As diagnosed cases arise, we will cooperate with the health department on contact tracing or other recommendations. Public health experts are very clear that each case is unique and that they will respond accordingly.

What if a Staff Member Displays Symptoms or is Diagnosed?

"What to do in common COVID situations." Click to find OCR pdf.
Click image to go to Google doc “What to do in common COVID situations,” a guide for families and staff.

What if a Staff Member Develops COVID-19 Symptoms at Home?

Consult with your healthcare provider and notify your supervisor. If these symptoms are common to you, be sure to mention this. Do not attend school without further guidance (even if you are vaccinated). Please keep any of your unvaccinated Charlottesville Schools students at home until your healthcare provider gives guidance. Keep in mind, not everyone who displays COVID-19 symptoms has or will contract the virus.

What if a Staff Member Develops Symptoms at School?

Staff who develop symptoms in the school setting will be immediately sent home or directed to a designated isolation space in the school until they can safely be picked up. Depending on the situation, the individual’s healthcare provider may recommend testing for COVID-19 or give other guidance. Individuals who test positive will remain in isolation.  Staff with COVID-19 symptoms (and their unvaccinated children who attend Charlottesville Schools) should not return to school without guidance from their healthcare provider. 

Will Staff Have to Show a Negative COVID Test to Return to School?

Not if they see their healthcare provider. There are many reasons that someone might show symptoms and/or an elevated temperature above 100.0F. But if a staff member displays COVID-19 symptoms, they should get tested or check with a healthcare provider for guidance.

 What if a Staff Member is Diagnosed with COVID-19?

Any staff member required to isolate at home due to illness from COVID-19 will be required to isolate for 10 days or until there is no fever for 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medicine (or as directed by a healthcare provider).  Their unvaccinated household members (including any children who attend Charlottesville Schools) will need to go into quarantine.

What if a Staff Member is Exposed to COVID-19?

Fully vaccinated staff (which means boosted if eligible as of 1/25) who are symptom-free will not need to quarantine. Unvaccinated staff who are a “close contact” of someone with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19  will need to do Test to Stay or quarantine at home for 10 days from the date of last exposure or according to the guidance of their healthcare provider.  Please contact the Director of Human Resources. 

What if a Household Member of a Staff Member is Diagnosed with COVID-19?

Per health department guidance, fully vaccinated staff (which means boosted if eligible as of 1/25) who are symptom-free will not need to quarantine.  Any unvaccinated staff member or student who lives with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 will need to quarantine or do an extended Test to Stay protocol. Typically this is a 10-day quarantine from the date of last exposure. Check with your healthcare provider for guidance.

What Will We Be Told if a Staff Member Gets COVID-19?

Names and personally identifiable information will not be released, but the local health department will work with schools on the necessary next steps, including  communications to families or school staff. All such communications will be coordinated with the health department. In the spring, we announced cases that might impact the school (but we did not notify the school about cases among, for example, virtual staff members who had not recently visited the school.)

Public Input on the Plan for Safe In-Person Instruction & Continuity of Services for 2021-22

This web page contains all information related to our plan for a safe school year (5 days/week),  along with our planned uses for the fund from the American Rescue Plan (Act) – Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER III). Submit feedback to the Board at any time by emailing schoolboard@charlottesvilleschools.org or texting 434-953-1802.  You can also comment  at any regular School Board meeting via Zoom (or go to CHS Media Center), first Thursday of the month, 5pm.

Need translation? Text 953-1802

¿Tiene preguntas? ¿Necesita información?
¡Puede ponerse en contacto con las escuelas de Charlottesville en español!

Usted también puede conocer información importante sobre la educación de su hijo/hija. Sólo tiene que llamar al número (434) 245-2548

Need other formats or assistance? Want to comment or make a suggestion? Text 434-953-1802.

Illustration of handshakeHow Can I Help?

There are some simple steps that everyone can take to keep our community safe this fall. Or you can learn about the City’s Safe Routes to School program to find ways to help children bike or walk in the mornings or afternoons.

Ways to Help or Volunteer

Eager to see a safe and smooth school opening? Here’s how you can help:

  1. Continue to build your family’s good habits — social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand-washing. If you or your age 5+ students haven’t been vaccinated, talk to your healthcare provider for guidance.  Do your part to reduce our COVID-19 numbers.
  2. Get flu shots for your family.
  3. Download the state’s COVIDWISE app. This app does not collect personal data, but it does help with contact tracing.
  4. Stay up-to-date with Charlottesville City Schools. Complete your child’s re-registration forms in PowerSchool. Still not getting phone calls and/or emails? Want to get texts? Please check with your school office.
  5. If your child will be learning in person, make a plan for these situations now:
    1. Transportation to and from school. There will be VERY LIMITED bus space.
    2. Sick days: If your child is sick, please help our community and keep all the unvaccinated students in your household home. Check with your doctor or school nurse for advice.
    3. Unexpected fever or symptoms at the bus or school: We may screen for fevers or signs of illness before children enter the bus or school. Please make a plan now for if your child is not allowed to board the bus or needs to go home from school.
    4. Isolation: If your unvaccinated child is exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms at any point (whether at school, when out, or at home), the unvaccinated students in your household will need to isolate for fourteen days or as directed by a healthcare provider.

Kids will be walking and biking. Want to learn more or find a way to help?

The City’s Safe Routes to School program has created maps and is helping to organize supports to help students safely walk or bike (or scoot or skip) to school. Interested in learning more or helping? Let them know!

 

Illustration of chromebookStudents Remaining in Virtual (Online-Only) Instruction

This page was designed to help students attending school in person. For those students whose applications were accepted for online-only instruction, you can learn more at charlottesvilleschools.org/virtual. The deadline for priority consideration was in mid-July.

  • To allow us to finalize preparations for a smooth start to the school year, we will close the application on Sunday, August 15 at 8pm.

If you believe your child needs and will be successful in virtual learning next year, learn more at  at charlottesvilleschools.org/virtual.

Need meal service for your virtual student? For virtual (or quarantined) students, complete this form to request a next-day pick-up meal at the school nearest you.

Request to pick-up a to-go meal at a school