What‘s Happening at School Division News

Coronavirus Updates graphic

Updated Learning Plan for Fall 2020

Updated: July 2, 2020 

This landing page will answer your questions about Charlottesville City Schools’ closure due to coronavirus and point you to other school resources. We are continually updating this page to respond to new information. Need translation? See video below. ¿Necesitas traducción? Ver video a continuación. هل تحتاج إلى ترجمة؟ انظر الفيديو أدناه.

Related Resources:

Charlottesville City Schools Messages to Families

Back to School sign with covid safe text - education concept.

July 2: Update on Fall Learning and Calendar

Dear staff and families —

Thanks to so many of you for completing our feedback survey in response to our first draft learning plan. As we noted last week, in response, we have revisited our options and are bringing forward a new draft.

What We’ve Heard

icon--Safety by Milinda Courey from the Noun Project

You value safety (top priority)

 

Teacher icon - Teacher by Adrien Coquet from the Noun ProjectYou want clear and consistent learning structures (ranging from learning tools to the daily schedule)

 

Stay Connected icon - Community by Oksana Latysheva from the Noun ProjectYou’d like to stay connected with your school community    (teachers, friends, etc.)

 

Teacher icon - Teacher by Adrien Coquet from the Noun ProjectYou’d like more face-to-face learning days if possible, especially for younger students

 

icon student at computer - Computer by Adrien Coquet from the Noun ProjectYou’d like the flexibility to keep your child in school-supported full-time distance learning

 

Return to Learning Plan Available

Speaking to this top value of safety, we are finalizing our health plan, and you can find our detailed guidance document called “Return to School” here. The document doesn’t cover specifics like a school schedule, but it is our high-level plan for moving forward.

Revised Plan for Attendance and School Calendar

As we have been planning for the fall, we have stayed in contact with Albemarle County Public Schools. We know it is helpful when both school systems have similar calendars and plans.

Draft 2 of Attendance Options

Graphic showing draft learning plan for fall 2020 for elementary and secondary students. Information in graphic is below.

Kindergarten through Grade 6*

Elementary students K through grade six would have the option to attend school face-to-face four days a week (likely Monday-Thursday) with one day of at-home learning on Friday. Or families can choose school-supported full-time online learning.

Grade 7-12

Secondary students would have the option to attend school face-to-face two days a week with three days of at-home learning. Or families can choose school-supported full-time online learning.

*We will publish details about preschool plans later.

Draft revised calendar for the 2020-21 school year. Revised July 2, 2020. Call 245-2962 with questions. OCR PDF is also posed on this page.Academic Calendar 2020-21

To support these changes, we recommend delaying the start of school to September 8 (with an end date of June 11). No school holidays would be impacted, but we would shift all teacher workdays and professional learning days to the at-home learning day (likely Fridays). See draft calendar here.

Decision-Making Timeline

The School Board will be discussing (but not voting on) these matters at the next meeting on Monday, July 6 at 5pm. You can register to attend here or you can follow along on Facebook here. They will vote on this matter mid-month, on Thursday, July 16 at 5pm.

What to Expect This Fall

To support this plan and follow CDC guidance, we will be making changes such as the following:

  • Reducing the number of desks and people in a classroom (we are trying to form classrooms of 12 or fewer students for K-4, and 15 or fewer in grades 5+),
  • Limiting the number of students on a bus and working with the City and volunteers to create supports for students who walk or ride bikes,
  • Adjusting class schedules to limit hallway use and co-mingling of students. At the elementary level, this might mean serving meals in classrooms, having art/music in the home classroom, and more.
  • Requiring practices such as face masks and handwashing in ways that are developmentally appropriate.
  • Adding daily health checks for students and staff both at home prior to leaving and upon arrival at school.
  • Completing enhanced cleaning each day. We have upgraded equipment, practices, and air filters to promote safety.
  • Returning to more structured learning assignments and traditional grading.

We know you will have additional questions, and we will create and expand a Frequently Asked Questions section of our web site at charlottesvilleschools.org/coronavirus.

Ways you can help now

  1. Find alternate ways for your child to get to and from school. The fewer students on the bus, the more options we have for serving your child face-to-face.
  2. Consider volunteering with Safe Routes to School to help students in your neighborhood walk or ride bikes. Add your name & email to this list of possible volunteers.
  3. Complete your re-registration forms in PowerSchool to help us make plans for those who really do need bus transportation. Need login help? Call your school.
  4. Get your child caught up on vaccinations. This is especially true for rising K and 6th-grade students.
  5. Build a back-up network — if the virus returns in greater measure, we might need to scale back our plans or even revert to distance learning-only for some period.
  6. Sign up to help with summer meal deliveries. We need help on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Thanks so much for sharing ideas, words of encouragement, and offers for help. In the survey, you repeatedly reminded us that these are challenging days, there will be no perfect solutions, and we are in this together. Thank you for recognizing the complexity of this situation, and for partnering with us as we plan to come together in learning this fall.

Have a great holiday weekend and a wonderful Fourth of July!

Dr. Rosa S. Atkins
Superintendent

6/25 Meal Volunteers and Update on Fall Learning

Dear families:

We’re calling with two updates, one about summer meal volunteers and the other about our fall learning plan.

SUMMER MEALS
Please help! We still need volunteers (age 18 and older) to help with this summer’s meal deliveries on Mondays and Wednesdays. You can find the sign-up at charlottesvilleschools.org/food or go directly to the sign-up.

DRAFT FALL LEARNING PLAN
Thanks so much for sharing your feedback about our draft learning plan and your experiences with distance learning.

In response to your feedback, we are cancelling the June 29 Board Meeting to allow staff time to consider additional options for fall learning. As a reminder, all plans must be in compliance with state and CDC guidance, which is subject to change based on local, state, or national coronavirus conditions. We are also working with Albemarle County Public Schools to coordinate our planning as much as possible.

No matter what plan we choose, bus space will be very limited. It would be helpful if you could re-register your child in PowerSchool and let us know if you can arrange for your child to arrive and depart by foot, bike, or car.

The fall learning plan will be on the agenda at the Board’s next meeting on Monday, July 6 at 5pm.

Thanks again for sharing your feedback. We’ll keep you posted. Have a good evening.

Message to Families 6/12: Draft Plan for Fall Learning and Survey

Dear Staff and Families:

Earlier this week, we shared with you Virginia’s guidance for fall learning. Under these guidelines, Charlottesville City Schools could open under any of the following phases:

Virginia Phases for Education Plan flyer
Click on image for printable PDF

Phase 1: Distance learning* only with some exceptions for special education services

Phase 2: Distance learning for most students with some face-to-face learning for students learning English, receiving special education services, or enrolled in grades preK-3

Phase 3: A combination of distance learning and limited-size face-to-face learning for all students


*Distance learning is defined as students working away from school but with guidance from teachers. Students might use printed workbooks or materials provided online through platforms such as Seesaw and Canvas.


In all three phases:

  • Distance learning will remain a big part of our learning and teaching
  • Some families may choose to remain in full-time distance learning while still enrolled in our schools (and will be supported by our staff)
  • Following Virginia’s and the CDC’s guidance, there is no way that we can safely serve all of our students face-to-face 5 “regular” days a week.
  • We would follow cleaning and distancing guidelines in schools and on buses.

Charlottesville’s Draft Plan

At the 6/11 School Board meeting, Dr. Atkins presented a draft plan for the fall, which would be a Phase 3 opening. (You can find other options that we explored here.)

Under this recommended Phase 3 plan:

  • All students would go to school face-to-face 2 days a week and would engage in distance learning 3 days a week
  • Students in the same family would share a schedule (for example, all the kids in one family might attend school on Tuesday and Thursday and learn from home on M-W-F)
  • The schedule would remain the same each week
  • Families who choose to continue full-time distance learning can do so while enrolled in our schools (and will be supported by our staff)
  • If the virus worsens, we may need to return to a Phase 2 or Phase 1 situation

graphic showing a sample week of hybrid learning

 

Feedback about this Draft Plan

We know that you will have many questions and suggestions. While we have been planning for months, we just received the state guidance a few days ago, and we are combining the state and local plans now. We will communicate more details as soon as possible and as we do so, we will try to answer your questions and consider your suggestions.

For now, it would be very helpful if you could answer a survey to give us feedback about this draft plan and answer some questions about this spring. You can find the survey here. Thanks for your patience as we find new ways to help your students learn.

Need translation?

Watch this video for instructions. ¿Necesita una traducción para la encuesta de fin de año? Mire este video para obtener instrucciones. هل تحتاج إلى ترجمة لمسح نهاية العام؟ شاهد هذا الفيديو للحصول على التعليمات.

Message to Families 6/10: Governor Issues Updates for Fall

Dear Staff and Families —

We’re reaching out to let you know with a few updates and staffing and the fall.

First of all, we have announced several key administrative hires. You can find the details on our website. Talented people such as Jim Henderson are retiring, but we had a strong pool of applicants and are in a very good position moving forward.

Secondly, Governor Northam made an announcement yesterday relating to the reopening of Virginia schools this fall. We will briefly summarize the big ideas here.

Virginia Phases for Education Plan flyer
Click for printable PDF

Phase 1

Presently, throughout the spring, the state has been in Phase 1, with continued closures but with the possibility of face-to-face work with certain students with disabilities.

The state is now entering Phase 2 in most parts of Virginia, but the state’s guidance allows for individual school divisions to opt to keep Phase 1-level programming. Consequently, we do not anticipate that we will change any of our plans for the summer.

Phase 2

For schools, Phase 2 will allow (but does not require) the limited reopening of services focusing on students such as English language learners, those receiving special education services, those with special learning needs, and our youngest students (preK-grade 3). Phase 2 allows for staggered small-group face-to-face gatherings that still follow social distancing measures. In this phase, most students would be served by distance learning programs. Phase 2 also allows for resuming modified sports practices.

Phase 3

When we reach Phase 3, schools would be allowed to offer additional in-person instruction following the limits and guidelines that the state will issue. This would likely be a staggered approach allowing students to return to school in groups, perhaps taking turns to attend school one or two days a week. This would be a hybrid approach that will combine face-to-face and distance learning. Some age groups or families may need or choose to continue full-time distance learning. Phase 3 might be in place for August. Again, the possibilities that are outlined in Phase 3 are allowed but not required; some school divisions may decide to stay at Phase 2.

Beyond Phase 3 may become our “new normal” until the risks are significantly diminished, such as when a vaccine is developed and in widespread use. Of course, at any time, we may be required to return to an earlier phase to contain the virus. Individual school divisions may choose to stay in Phase 1 or 2 even as the state gives options for opening schools.

Coming Soon: Plans for Charlottesville

These announcements were not a surprise to us, and they complement the work that our planning committees have been developing this spring. We will overlay the state’s planning documents on ours to make sure that we are in compliance and following CDC recommendations. At that point, we will start posting possible scenarios for public feedback.

Coming Soon: Survey

As we consider Phase 2 and Phase 3 scenarios for the fall, we need to hear from our staff, families, and students. We are developing a survey that will help us understand your ideas and hear your feedback. If face-to-face instruction is allowed, would you want your family to participate, or would you prefer your child to continue remote learning? What parts of remote learning do you want to keep even when we resume face-to-face instruction? Could you provide your own transportation or encourage your child to walk/bike so that we can give limited school bus spaces to students who are in need?

While individual staff and families will answer such questions differently, we hope to be able to serve everyone better based on the responses.

We are using this closure as an opportunity to reconsider all elements of school so that we will reopen better than ever — even if that reopening looks very different than the schools that closed in March.

Do Now: Re-Register Your Child for Fall

Thanks in advance for your patience and for your help with the survey. We’ll be in touch shortly with the links you’ll need. As a reminder, our fall re-registration forms are open in PowerSchool. Completing this form for each returning student is one way you can help us prepare for the fall.

Thank you!

Message to Families 4/12: Reminder about Teaching New Material, Meals, and More

Dear Charlottesville City Schools staff and families–

We hope you enjoyed spring break. As a reminder, this week, we will begin offering new instruction. K-1 families will receive a printed workbook in the mail, and other students will access the curriculum online through programs such as Canvas, Google Classroom, or Clever. If your family does not have a computer or access to the internet AND you have not contacted your school, please do so.

To address questions you may have about online learning this spring, we have posted information on our web site at charlottesvilleschools.org/learningFAQ. One big idea is that we are deemphasizing grading at this time and shifting to a system similar to pass-fail. We will continue to provide constructive feedback as we focus on the key skills and concepts that our students need to be ready for the fall. This video explains how this new system of grading and learning will work.

Starting Monday, we will resume the school’s food deliveries. You can find the latest information for deliveries or volunteering at charlottesvilleschools.org/food.
Have a good day — we’re happy to prepare your students for next year. As we begin this new phase, remember to stay safe, stay connected, and keep learning.

Message to Families 4/2: Updates about Learning and Spring Break Meals

Dear Charlottesville staff and families,

We have a few updates about learning and about meals.

Our IT team has been busy helping families get computers and solve connectivity issues, and our teachers have been reaching out through phone, email, and online learning programs. If your student has not been able to connect with your teacher, please contact your school. We want to help your student continue learning. We have posted learning resources on our web site at charlottesvilleschools.org/learning. This week features more exploratory online activities as we continue to make contact with students and families.

Spring break is April 6-10. After that, we will begin teaching new curriculum, whether online or with printed materials that will be mailed to K and 1st-grade families. We will soon post information on our web site that addresses specific questions about our spring learning plan (see outline, below). Please be patient as we continue to receive ongoing guidance from the state that impacts these plans.

For meals: We have posted the volunteer sign-up sheet for the weeks following spring break.  Next week, our nutritional staff and school bus drivers will get a well-deserved break. But we encourage families in need to take advantage of services offered by groups such as Loaves and Fishes and the Charlottesville Food Justice Network. For details, see the flyer that came home with yesterday’s meals or visit charlottesvilleschools.org/food.

Have a good evening!

Message to Families 3/23: Schools Closed for Remainder of School Year

Dear Charlottesville Schools families and staff,

The Governor of Virginia has just announced the closure of Virginia schools for the remainder of the school year. The state will issue guidance about what this means for our continuity of instruction, the class of 2020, the role of schools in delivering meals to students, and many other issues. We will keep you informed as we learn more and make plans. Please take care and know that we are working together to serve our community in this unusual time.

Message to Families 3/22: Food and Learning Updates

Dear families,

What a week! If you’re like me, you’re still trying to process all that has happened.

In the past week, we have grappled with

  • the confirmation that the virus has arrived in our state and community, 
  • the sudden decision to close our schools,
  • the creation of a school meals delivery system that served more than 2,500 meals, 
  • the distribution of about 900 chromebooks to our 2nd- to 6th-grade students, and 
  • outlining a new framework for student engagement and learning.

I’m so proud of our teachers, principals, and staff as well as our community volunteers who have made these accomplishments possible, even as they have juggled responsibilities at home.

FOOD UPDATES
Let’s start with a brief update on food. Schools’ food deliveries this week are Monday and Wednesday only. Since we will be giving multiple day’s food at each visit, we recommend children bring an adult or backpack to help carry the extra food home. Delivery times/locations are the same but as we deliver more food, there may be route delays.  Volunteers are needed for this week. Learn more and sign up to help at charlottesvilleschools.org/food.

Let’s take a moment to thank our nutrition team and bus drivers for their incredible work and dedication! What important work they are doing!

LEARNING UPDATES
Now, let us turn our attention to learning. While we will await the governor’s guidance on when to re-open schools, we are making plans in case the closure extends beyond 3/27. Tomorrow the governor is expected to make an announcement.

NEW REALITIES
As we think about what learning will look like in case of an extended closure, let’s keep in mind that at home, work, and “school,” we are making new routines and finding new ways to meet our basic needs. We are still working to get supports such as chromebooks and wifi to households in need. We are working to empower our teachers to succeed in a new environment even as we recognize that they are also supporting their own families at home, particularly as illness arises (coronavirus or otherwise). In other words, this is new and complicated, and we will not immediately transform our vibrant schools into fully formed distance-learning counterparts.

NEXT STEPS FOR LEARNING
Having said that, we are committed to finding new ways to connect and engage with our students. Starting later this week, teachers will be reaching out to students to make connections and to map which students need additional supports to be part of a virtual community.

As we gain confidence online and extend resources as needed, we will ramp up our distance learning offerings. Along the way, we will make mistakes and learn — exactly what we expect our students to do. Let’s be patient and encouraging with one another — just as we expect of our teachers.

GOALS AND EXPECTATIONS FOR LEARNING
Our goal during this time is to maintain the relationship between our schools and our families and to encourage students to continue — and enjoy — learning. For the time being, learning resources are offered as suggestions for your family to help provide structure, maintain a connection to our schools, and foster continuous learning.  Work will not be graded. These activities are offered as a support, not a stressor. If our closure is extended beyond 3/27, we may formalize these arrangements. 

You will learn more from your schools and your teachers about what this will look like for your students, but as you await contact from your teacher, we’ve created a page to give you some basics to work with at charlottesvilleschools.org/learning.

CHALLENGES AHEAD
We have big questions to grapple with, such as:

  • How do we meet the needs of our most vulnerable learners?
  • How will we support our youngest students with at-home learning?
  • How will we prepare high school seniors for graduation and life after graduation?
  • Will we be able to sustain our model for food delivery if this situation continues or worsens?
  • We have many challenges and exciting opportunities. 

The good news is, we aren’t in this alone. We are following state guidance. For instance, the state is applying for a federal waiver from state SOL testing, and the state is issuing guidelines for seniors. Aside from the state, we are working with other school divisions. And remember, Charlottesville, we are a strong community.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?
There are many ways to help.

  • Take care of yourself and your family.
  • Consider volunteering. Presently, we need food delivery volunteers — even for tomorrow. A one-stop-shop for giving and getting help is supportcville.com.
  • Consider donating. The CACF is creating a school-based fund to support our food delivery efforts — stay tuned. And already, the CACF has created a general Charlottesville Emergency fund for the needs throughout our community.
  • Be patient as we continue to learn what works. If you have suggestions or concerns, please contact us directly. Constructive feedback is welcome, and we may miss a good idea if it is posted on social media instead of emailed to a staff member. 

You are doing your best. Although not seen by the public, our custodians and IT staff are doing their best. Our teachers will soon be doing their best (and we know just how good their best is!) Our nutrition staff, bus drivers, and volunteers are doing their best. Together, we all want what is best for the young people of Charlottesville.

With appreciation,
Dr. Rosa Atkins

Questions about Schools

Are the Schools Offering Meal Service?

Are the Schools Offering Meal Service During the Summer?

Yes. In partnership with Parks & Rec, meals will be provided throughout the summer. Learn more at charlottesvilleschools.org/food.

Are the Schools Offering Online or At-Home Learning?

Are the Schools Offering Online or At-Home Learning During the Summer?

No. During the summer, our schools are preparing for a hybrid plan of instruction that includes face-to-face and distance learning in the fall. We are gathering feedback now from the community through this survey (provide link). More information will be sent to families as our plan develops.

Can I Still Get a Chromebook, Charger, or WiFi Hotspot for My Home?

Can I Still Get a Chromebook, Charger, or WiFi Hotspot for My Home? 

If your family does not have a Chromebook or charger, please contact your school.

In addition, if your family has no internet access or has a data limit that presents a barrier to online school participation, please contact your school so we can help your family find a learning solution.

Why Are the Schools Closed?

Why Are the Schools Closed?

On Friday, March 13, Governor Northam announced the closure of all Virginia K-12 schools for at least two weeks, which was later extended to the rest of the school year.  Accordingly, we have cancelled face-to-face classes and activities and are offering distance learning opportunities. On June 10, the state released guidelines for returning to school in the fall.

Have Schools Cancelled Activities?

Questions about Students/Staff and their Families

What Should My Family Do?

  • Families should maintain the preparations they take for flu and colds.  This includes washing hands with soap (or hand sanitizer) frequently,  trying not to touch your face, covering coughs, and staying home when sick. (See guidelines, below from the Virginia Department of Health).
  • Thanks for your flexibility with this closure. Thanks also for your patience as we transition to a new learning system.
  • Make sure that your contact information is up-to-date with the schools for messages (calls/emails/texts). You can edit these settings and your contact information by logging into PowerSchool. (Find instructions here.)
  • Want to help or volunteer? See below.

 CDC poster about stopping germs (see list in text)Guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Take flu antivirals if prescribed by your health care provider if you have the flu.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Ensure that your own family has a plan. The CDC has a guide. 

How Can My Family Help?

How Can My Family Help?

There are a number of  ways you can help.

How Do I Get Messages from the School?

How Do I Get Messages from the School?

All families should be enrolled in School Messenger, which delivers messages via telephone, email, and text according to the settings of the parent/guardian.

You can edit these settings and update your contact information by logging into PowerSchool. (Find instructions here.)

For staff: Staff can also log in to customize how they receive updates. To sign up or to retrieve your password, use your work email (doej1@charlottesvilleschools.org). You can also find instructions about how to manage the settings.

How Do I Explain Coronavirus to My Child?

How Do I Explain Coronavirus or COVID-19 to My Child?

You can remind your child (and yourself) that:

  • COVID-19 is similar to other illnesses  that Americans experience such as the flu.
  • Children are generally experiencing mild symptoms.
  • Your family has a plan to take care (including washing hands, covering coughs, etc.).
  • Our community has a plan.

Other Questions

I’ve Heard That Some Communities Have Had Bullying and Discrimination Towards Asians. What Can We Do?

It’s important for students, staff, and parents to separate facts from fear. Guard against stigma by knowing the facts and only getting information from reliable sources. There are a lot of things on social media and in the news that are not rooted in science and are offensive, demeaning, and racist. Encourage everyone to keep their attention on the facts. Contact your school if you have specific concerns about bullying or bias. For questions about exclusion of students or staff who have traveled or their family members, or if someone self-reports travel or illness, contact the health district (434-972-6219 or 434-972-6261).

What About Facilities Rentals for the Schools and the Performing Arts Center?

What About Facilities Rentals for the Schools and the Performing Arts Center?

After Sunday, March 15, we will end facility rentals until further notice. We are sorry for the inconvenience and challenge that this presents.

How Can I Suggest a Topic or Correction for this Page?

How can I Suggest a Topic or Correction for this Page?

Email cheukb1@charlottesvilleschools.org with suggestions for this page. We want this page to be useful.

For specific questions about your situation, call your the your primary care provider, the health department at 434-972-6261, or your school.

How Can I Learn More about Coronavirus (Nationally or Locally)?

How Can I  Learn More about Coronavirus (Nationally or Locally)?

If you have questions about your child’s attendance at school, please contact the school directly.

Links and a local and state hotline are below. You can also turn to your health-care provider for specific questions or reach out to the  Thomas Jefferson Area Health District hotline at  434-972-6261.

  • Information on coronavirus from the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
    • This includes information on how the disease spreads, the latest numbers of American diagnoses, and more.
  • Travel recommendations from the CDC
  • Virginia coronavirus information from the Virginia Department of Health
  • Telephone hotline operated by the Virginia Department of Health: 877-ASK-VDH3.
  • Telephone hotline number for the local health department:  434-972-6261.

Where’s the Original Version of this Page?

Where’s the Original Version of this Page?

This page has been updated to focus on information relevant during our school closure. The original page can be found here.

Other Resources:

coolage of Otey, Hubbard, Cuomo with "staff hellos and farewells" written on it

Staffing Updates June 2020

Charlottesville Schools Announces Three Appointments

Charlottesville City Schools announced three key administrative hires today: Dr. Katina W. Otey will become Chief Academic Officer, Dr. Keith P. Hubbard will become Director of Human Resources, and Mr. Pat Cuomo will become Director of Technology.

“We are so pleased with these hires and the strong pool of candidates that they represent,” noted Dr. Rosa S. Atkins, superintendent. “The people who are leaving these roles have left big shoes to fill, and we are confident that these new hires will build on past good work and take us into a new chapter.”

Katina Otey portraitDr. Katina W. Otey, formerly Director of Elementary School Leadership for Chesterfield County Public Schools, will be the Chief Academic Officer. This position is a renaming of the current Assistant Superintendent position held by Jim Henderson, who is retiring this month after 45 years with Charlottesville City Schools. Dr. Otey brings varied experiences to this role, including principal, assistant principal (AP), teacher, and equity team chair. She also holds degrees and endorsements from Virginia Tech, U.Va., and VCU.

Keith Hubbard portraitDr. Keith P. Hubbard will serve as Director of Human Resources, succeeding interim director Dr. Diane Behrens. Dr. Hubbard comes from Newport News Public Schools, where he has served as Director of Elementary School Leadership since 2013. He brings decades of educational experience in the role of principal and others, and he brings a strong background in leadership and instructional coaching, teacher retention, school culture, observation/feedback and more. He holds degrees from George Washington University and Norfolk State University.

Pat Cuomo portraitMr. Pat Cuomo will become Director of Technology as Jeff Faust becomes Executive Director of Technology in Chesapeake Public Schools. Mr. Cuomo has served as principal of Charlottesville’s Greenbrier Elementary since 2016 and has worked in Charlottesville Schools since 2011. Mr. Cuomo holds a master’s degree in instructional technology as well as additional coursework in data analytics. Mr. Cuomo has formerly worked as a teacher, AP, technology trainer, and tech integrator in public schools. His degrees and certificates were earned at Molloy College (NY), New York Institute of Technology, and Virginia Commonwealth University.

“As we welcome these colleagues to new roles, we also want to say thank you to the talented and dedicated folks they are succeeding,” continued Dr. Atkins. “To Diane Behrens, we want to say thank you for returning to our division to help during a transitional time. To Jeff Faust, we want to honor you for your visionary leadership that has earned national recognition. And to Jim Henderson, there is no way that we as a division or community can adequately express our appreciation for more than four decades of outstanding service to Charlottesville City Schools. Best wishes to all of you and thanks for your leadership and planning, which will be tremendously helpful to these leaders who are continuing and building upon your good work.”

Cville Schools logo

Statement in Response to the Death of George Floyd from the Charlottesville School Board and Superintendent

May 31, 2020

Dear staff, families, and students —

As a School Board and Superintendent, we write today in the midst of national strife as we feel outrage and grief over the senseless loss of George Floyd, the latest Black man to have his life taken by a police officer. Let it be clear, racism and the abuse of power diminish our entire nation and threaten the potential of every Black boy or girl, man and woman.

More than reactively condemning these repeated tragedies, we must work to prevent the next one. We are unafraid and prepared to do unprecedented work to push back against hatred, discrimination, and violence until the misalignment of power and force are reigned in. Equity work in our schools and community demands that we look in the mirror and take further actions to ensure justice and better outcomes for Black students, staff, and families.

Without justice, we will not find true peace or civility. We stand with our brothers and sisters in calling for better protections for our neighbors — and ourselves.

Paraphrasing Dr. King, we know that we have too long ignored injustices or we have tolerated them for the sake of tranquility and status quo. Our nation has allowed a culture of death and despair, which in turn provokes riots. Let us no longer postpone true equity; let us listen to the voices that remind us that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And after listening, let us work toward the social justice and progress that will promote our mutual and interdependent prosperity.

Finally, we want to extend care to all who are experiencing anger, heartbreak, fear, and trauma as they process Mr. Floyd’s death, knowing that it could have been or could one day be their own husband, uncle, brother, cousin, son, grandson, or student. We remind you that our schools and our community offer resources for coping. Please see below or visit our website for links and telephone numbers.

Have a good night and take care.

Dr. Atkins, Superintendent
Jennifer McKeever, School Board Chair

Resources:

  • Everyone, especially those in need of urgent care: Region Ten
    Need immediate counseling? If this is an emergency, call 911. Otherwise, you can call Region Ten at any time at 434-972-1800 or 1-866-694-1605 for help or more information.
  • Students: school counselors — send them an email to set up a time.
  • Staff: Employee Assistance Program — visit https://uvafeap.com/
  • Resources for Talking with Children about Race (compiled by Charlottesville City Schools Counselors in August 2017)
Senior photo at CHS victory lap

May 2020 News & Highlights

 

A Word from Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins 

Two CHS graduates from the Class of 2019!Dear staff, family, and community:

It’s official — Charlottesville High School’s “Victory Lap” was triumphant! The drive-through graduation event featured several CHS-related selfie stations (including a mural painted by CHS teacher Nathan Alexander) and a Black Knights spirit station. And it concluded with the graduates walking across the stage with their name read aloud as families watched from the car and nearby teachers and staff cheered. Cars were decorated. Balloons were filled. Cowbells were rung. And, yes, tears were shed.

You can find lovely pictures on our social media channels. You can also see it for yourself when our graduation video premieres on June 4 at 7pm (the original time for graduation) on our Facebook page or on Charlottesville’s Channel 14. Thanks to Lori Shinseki (parent of Jack Heaphy ’20) for volunteering her talents on our grad video!

And special thanks to Dr. Irizarry and his admin team, the CHS graduation team, the CHS staff at large, and several division leaders, who helped bring the Victory Lap to life. Many parents and grads said they felt the love and connection — no virus can stop that. Congrats, Class of 2020!

Dr. Rosa Atkins

Collage of graduates at CHS Victor Lap drive-through event

More views of the Victory Lap event at CHS on May 14-15 to celebrate the Class of 2020. From social media to yard signs to this event and our upcoming grad video, we invite you to help us celebrate these students! Find details here.

NEW LEARNING: BUFORD CIVICS CLASSES CONNECT WITH ELECTED OFFICIALS
Del. Sally Hudson meeting with Buford students onlineLearning has changed this spring. We know there are losses, but we celebrate the gains as well, such as Buford Civic teacher Matt Resnick and his colleagues hosting class forums with politicians such as Virginia’s Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax, U.S. Rep. Denver Riggleman, and VA Del. Sally Hudson. Thanks to these teachers and others for finding new and creative ways to make learning connections!

UPDATES ABOUT SUMMER SCHOOL AND FALL
illustration of sun and leaves with words "summer school/fall learning"CHS has posted information about online summer offerings in Health, PE, and Economics and Personal Finance. In addition, all schools will be offering continuing learning opportunities for selected students who have not yet been able to complete the core curriculum. And for the first time, some elementary students will take part in a free virtual “Freedom School” co-hosted by UVa’s Curry School as part of the acclaimed Freedom School program.

For the fall, our planning committees are now working on three scenarios: (1) face-to-face instruction, (2) a hybrid of face-to-face and distance learning, and (3) distance learning. The state is also developing guidelines for schools, and we are receiving health department guidance as well. Thanks for your patience — we’ll keep you posted. Regardless, it’s not too early to register your new student or re-register your returning student (see below).

TEACHER APPRECIATION: THANKS FOR SHOWING THE LOVE
Ms. Kumar, Greenbrier's Golden Apple Winner for 2020During Teacher Appreciation Week, we asked you to shower our staff with love, and you really delivered! On social media we posted 100+ shoutouts that included photos and words of appreciation from students, parents, and colleagues. Some PTOs and students also created chalk art, painted murals, or developed videos. And finally, thanks also for your nominations for our amazing Golden Apple award-winners (and thanks to Better Living for their continued support). This year’s winners are:  Lisa Johnson Black (Hospital Ed), Kelsey Cary (Lugo-McGinnis), Mary Caitlyn Cordone (Clark), Matthew Deegan (CHS), Kavita Kumar (Greenbrier), Calder McLellan (Venable), Matt Richardson (CATEC), Kathryn Salem (Jackson-Via), Brandy Walker (Buford), Lisa Wallace (Burnley-Moran), Cianna Washburg (Walker), and Lindsay Wayland (Johnson). Congrats to these amazing teachers!

MEAL DELIVERY AND A NEW STATE BENEFIT FOR FAMILIES
Sandi Vasquez preparing mealsContinued thanks to our nutrition staff for delivering more than 7,000 meals a week to students, and thanks also to Cultivate Charlottesville (the new nonprofit home of City Schoolyard Garden) for leading the Memorial Day meal delivery to give our staff a break. You can still volunteer to help our staff with deliveries. One important update is that the state has created the Pandemic-EBT card to assist families who rely on free/reduced meals. If your child already receives free/reduced meals, you do not need to do anything to receive this benefit. But if your child does not receive free/reduced meals, you can still apply for free/reduced meals to qualify for the new benefit.

STAYING CONNECTED: AN UPDATE
Computer showing student avatars in online meetingIn the midst of this pandemic, we have been staying connected with our families via tools such as learning books, See Saw, Canvas, social media, email, Google Meet, phone calls, and more. We have been able to connect with every single Charlottesville Schools family. For every known need, we have been able to supply a Chromebook and a WiFi hotspot. Thanks to all the teachers, counselors, principals, social workers, IT staff and more who have made this possible — and thanks for our families who are doing their part to stay connected, as well. The last day of school is June 5.

KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION AND RE-REGISTERING FOR THE FALL
Staff and K student hug at Greenbrier's kindergarten camp 2019While our kindergarten open house is still on hold, our new student online forms are open. To orient students to their new schools, many of our schools– including Buford — are posting welcome videos. Families of returning students (including our preK students) can also complete re-registration forms by logging into PowerSchool and clicking “Re-Registration” at the left, (Repeat this process for each child.) Need help logging into PowerSchool or adding a child to your account? Call your school.

SCHOOL BOARD NOTES
Cville Schools official logoIn May, the School Board again met virtually as a response to the closure. As we reported in a previous community email, the most important topic was adjusting the 2020-21 budget in light of the financial impact of the pandemic. All staff members whose role was impacted by cuts have been placed in new positions at Charlottesville Schools. Find more School Board information, including agendas, minutes, and livestream video. The next meeting will be held June 11, also virtually. Tune in on Facebook at @CvilleSchools.

UPCOMING EVENTS AND IMPORTANT LINKS
illustration of calendarOngoing: Preschool applications. Find info online.
Ongoing: Online registration for kindergarten See details. Also, re-registration for returning students is now open. Log into PowerSchool and click Re-Registration at left.
6/4 CHS Virtual Graduation, 7pm. Watch on Facebook or Channel 14.
6/5 Last day of school
6/11 
School Board Meeting (virtual), 5pm

Key Links: Coronavirus Closure landing page ♦ Food/ Volunteering Information ♦ Learning/ Family Resources ♦ Learning FAQ 

More Looks at Cville Schools

Art for Hospice of the Piedmont by Camila, grade 3

Our art teachers continue to find meaningful ways to connect with their students — and to connect their students to the community.  A partnership with Hospice of the Piedmont supplies life-affirming student art for families facing challenges during this pandemic.  See NBC29’s coverage here.

CHS student Meg Gist and teacher Matt Deegan shaving their heads to benefit children with cancer

Two CHS projects are helping others. Student Meg Gist and teacher Matt Deegan shaved their heads to benefit children with cancer. And teacher Peter Davis is continuing his urban gardening students’ work from earlier this year by tending the CHS garden and sharing the produce with those in need.

Teachers exercising together in Fit with Friends program

We have prioritized wellness during this pandemic — and we are so glad to see teachers staying fit and connected using a program for teachers. For families, our gym teachers have been sharing physical wellness tips, and our learning page includes mental wellness resources for the family.

Find more info and events on on our website, social media, or our Google calendars!

Find us on the web at charlottesvilleschools.org

photo of two pears with hearts cut out. Courtesy Unsplash/Esther Wechsler

Important Food Updates: Summer Meal Delivery and New Benefit

graphic for summer meal delivery

Update: Meal delivery will stay the same during the summer

Our nutrition staff will continue to prepare the foods, and the City’s Parks/Rec staff will help volunteers and deliver (with the help of bus drivers, of course!)

Questions about the P-EBT Card

You can learn more about this state program by visiting their web site. If you have not received your  benefit, you can call them at 804-726-7000.

More Information about this Pandemic EBT Program

This new state benefit — called the “Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer,” or P-EBT — is a temporary food benefit available to families with children who qualify for free or reduced-price meals. It is made possible by The Virginia Department of Social Services and the Virginia Department of Education. The aim is to assist families during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Weekday Meal Delivery at Locations Throughout City, 11am-noon

Charlottesville City Schools is delivering breakfast/ lunch bags to children up to through CHS. The Monday/Wednesday deliveries will be available from the hours of 11am-noon at locations throughout the city.  Families can go to the location that is closest to them. Parents are not required to be present in order for their child to receive a bag, but it is helpful since children will be carrying multiple days’ worth of food — bring an adult or at least a backpack.

We are required to follow federal guidelines for food delivery. Therefore:

  • Each bag is designed to serve  one school-aged child for several days
  • One bag per child age 18/CHS and under — the child must be present to claim the bag
  • If your child cannot come to the site, let your server know
  • One bag per child per delivery day (though bags will contain multiple days’ worth of food)

Food Delivery Sites and Routes (with two new stops)

Food Delivery Sites and Routes

These sites are subject to change as we learn more about what works best. Last updated: 03/26/20 at 4:15pm

 

Monday and Wednesday (children will receive multiple days’ worth of food).

Five stations will offer hour-long service in one location:

  1. Friendship Court – 418 Garrett St
  2. Greenstone on 5th – 746 Prospect Av
  3. Hearthwood Apartments  – 2111 Michie Drive
  4. Jackson-Via Elementary School – Parking Lot / Bus Loop 508 Harris Road
  5. Westhaven – 801 Hardy Drive


Five buses will make routes through other neighborhoods throughout the city:

  1. Route 1 (Johnson Area)
    • Stop 1 11:00 AM 6th St SE @ Bolling Avenue
    • Stop 2 11:15 AM Elliott Avenue @ Burnett St
    • Stop 3 11:30 AM Cherry Avenue @ Hanover St
    • Stop4 11:45 AM Bailey Avenue @ Orangedale Avenue
    • NEW: Stop 5 11:55 AM 806 Prospect Ave
  2. Route 2 (Jackson-Via Area)
    • Stop 1 11:00 AM 6th St SE @ Rougemont Avenue
    • Stop 2 11:15 AM 1st St S @ Lankford Avenue
    • Stop 3 11:30 AM Ridge St @ Brookwood Drive
    • Stop 4 11:45 AM 5th St SW @ Cleveland Avenue
  3. Route 3 (Burnley-Moran Area)
    • Stop 1 11:00 AM Nicholson St @ Bennett St
    • Stop 2 11:15 AM Holmes Avenue @ Elizabeth Avenue
    • Stop 3 11:30 AM St. Clair Avenue @ St. George Avenue
    • Stop 4 11:45 AM 323 Riverside Avenue
  4. Route 4 (Venable Area)
    • Stop 1 11:00 AM Wayne Avenue @ Cedar Hill Rd
    • Stop 2 11:10 AM 2204 N. Berkshire Rd
    • Stop 3 11:25 AM Rose Hill Drive @ Madison Avenue
    • Stop 4 11:35 AM Forest St @ Concord Avenue
    • NEW Stop 5 11:40 AM Rose Hill Drive @ Charlton Ave
    • Stop 6 11:45 AM Venable Elementary @ Gordon Avenue
  5. Route 5 (Burnley-Moran and Clark Areas)
    • Stop 1 11:00 AM Meade Avenue @ Meade Park
    • Stop 2 11:15 AM Carlton Avenue @ Nassau St
    • Stop 3 11:30 AM Rives St @ Hampton St
    • Stop 4 11:45 AM Rougemont Avenue @ Meridian St.

Volunteer Information: NEED VOLUNTEERS FOR 4/27 AND BEYOND

Illustration of an adult hand helping a child hand

We have a need of volunteers for Monday, 4/27 and beyond (deliveries are Mondays and Wednesdays).  Volunteers should arrive at the correct location at 10am to help load (lifting required of most volunteers). They should be done by  12:30pm.  Thanks to CIty Schoolyard Garden for their assistance with this effort.

Safety note to volunteers: buses are sanitized nightly. Volunteers are limited to allow for safe distances during transportation.

Details & Sign-Ups for Volunteers


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.

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

Google Translate:

This website can be translated into Google-supported languages:

See top-right corner.

screenshot of CCS web site with translate circled in the top-right corner (to show the translation capability of the web site)Screenshot of CCS web site on cell phone with "translate" circled in the upper right corner (to show how to ranslate this site into other languages)

collage of photos of the 2020 Golden Apple Award winners

2020 Golden Apple Award winners announced

collage of photos of the 2020 Golden Apple Award winners
Watch our CvilleSchools Facebook page as we feature each of these recipients in the coming days.

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.

Previous winners:

  • 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).

2019 Charlottesville City Schools Golden Apple Award Recipients

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

 

 

Important Info

A Message from the Superintendent

Important InfoA Message from Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins to Charlottesville Schools Families, May 12, 2020

Dear families:

Recently, we had to make some significant adjustments to our budget for 2020-21. Cuts are always challenging and disappointing. You can learn more about the details of these changes by viewing our May 7, 2020 School Board meeting amended budget presentation here.

As of today, all 17 staff members affected by these budget cuts have accepted new positions within our school division. We appreciate them and are so glad that they will continue to work with us in new roles.

Below is a letter I shared with our staff that I thought may be of interest to you.

Sincerely,

Dr. Rosa Atkins

—-

May 8, 2020

Dear staff,

Yesterday and the days leading up to it were among the most challenging days of my career as an educator. How to make $1.1 million in cuts to our budget?

In some ways, as Board chair Jennifer McKeever noted, it was especially difficult because we had recently been able to restore some positions such as 2nd-grade instructional assistants (as they had been cut during the last budget crisis).

And yet we did need to make the cuts — and quickly.

Our priority was to protect as many employees as possible. In the end, of the 17 positions we cut, we were able to immediately place 14 staff members in a new (often similar) role. We are working with the 3 others to explore options. [Update: all 17 have been placed.]

As we made these decisions, we began by agreeing not to fill any non-essential vacancies that were already open due to retirements or people who would be moving on. Then we made some cuts to positions where the staff member in that position could move into an essential vacancy. And finally, we made the difficult decision to suspend the elementary Spanish program and limit the staffing of 2nd grade IAs (as again, where possible, these employees were offered similar vacancies).

As I said, these decisions were extremely difficult. We heard from a number of families who value the elementary Spanish program (and more importantly, their elementary Spanish teachers). The Board, my administrative team, and I could not agree more — and we look forward to restoring and even strengthening this program in the near future. Similarly, we heard from parents of 2nd graders who have been profoundly assisted by their IAs. We understand and hope to return this program to full staffing soon.

We also recognize that we moved quickly on these decisions — and we heard from board member Lashundra Bryson Morsberger and others that it would be better to slow down this process and hear more from the community. Again, we agree. Under ordinary circumstances, we would follow a different process. But I think we can all agree that these are not ordinary circumstances. In this situation, we were balancing the need to share this information publicly with a need to alert the impacted employees privately before this information was public. In addition, we needed to move quickly to get City Council a revised budget and so that we are in a position to issue contracts to all of you.

The irony that this happened during Teacher Appreciation Week is not lost on us. We hope that despite these changes, each of you will know that we were working out of a deep sense of care for our staff, students, and community.

This is an extraordinarily difficult time — and we will face still more challenges. But I know that we will rise to this occasion, and we will emerge from it stronger. 

Please take care.

Rosa S. Atkins, Ed.D.

Division Superintendent

Charlottesville City Schools

 

April 2020 News and Highlights

A Word from Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins

Photo collage of staffDear staff, family, and community:

When I first thought about a column for this month’s “News and Highlights,” I thought that it would be all news and no highlights. During this pandemic, we are focused on finding solutions and passing the information along to you. So, yes, there is a lot of news in this email.

However, I also realized that even in this challenging time, we have a lot of highlights, too! Can we give a virtual round of applause to the custodial staff who kept our students and staff safe prior to the closure? (And they continue to keep our remaining in-office staff members safe, too!) Let’s give a shout-out to our nutrition team and so many volunteers and partners for establishing fully functional neighborhood-based student meal delivery program on DAY TWO of our closure! Each week, they serve more than 7,000 meals! Let’s also recognize our IT team — they are getting our last students connected with chromebooks and connectivity. (And let’s also recognize them for putting us in such a strong position BEFORE the crisis — Cville Schools has previously won national recognition for the strength of our tech planning and execution.) And of of course, I want to thank our principals, teachers, counselors, social workers and so many more for their continued focus on students’ learning and well-being.

So read on. You’ll find “news you can use.” You’ll also find some much-needed smiles and inspiration. During this time, remember to stay safe. Stay connected. And let’s keep learning!

Dr. Rosa Atkins

 

CHS Engineering teacher Matt Shields using CHS lab to make PPE for health care workers.

Responding to the pandemic, CHS Engineering teacher Dr. Matt Shields has made protective equipment for area health professionals. Using the school’s lab and 3-D printer, Shields has made hundreds of items such as face masks and “ear savers” to make continual mask-wearing more comfortable. Students have helped tweak designs — and have seen the truth in Shields’ philosophy that “engineers make the world a better place.” Find details here.

HELPING YOUR STUDENT LEARN THIS YEAR 
Cover of Pre-K Learning book.Last week, we began teaching NEW material to our students. We have posted learning/family resources and a learning FAQ. If your family needs a chromebook or internet access, contact your principal. Learning books for Pre-K to grade 1 have been mailed — contact your school if you didn’t get one. Grades 2-4 are using Chromebooks to check SeeSaw. Grades 5-8 are working in Canvas. (Walker has a learning site set up as a gateway.) We are de-emphasizing grading, and SOLs have been cancelled. Instead, we are focused on preparing students for the fall. This video explains more. Teachers have been reaching out to families — if they haven’t been able to reach you, please contact your school!

QUESTIONS ABOUT SUMMER SCHOOL AND FALL
illustration of sun and leaves with words "summer school/fall learning"There is still a lot up in the air, both regarding coronavirus and plans for future instruction on the local, state, and federal levels. Summer school is likely to be online, although if it is safe to go face-to-face, we will try to do so. Stay tuned also about a virtual “Freedom School” summer partnership with UVa’s Curry School for elementary students. For the fall, we are making a Plan A (for face-to-face instruction) and Plan B (for distance learning if schools are still closed). One way or another, we will be ready to help your students learn.

TAKING CARE OF OUR STAFF
Ralph Taylor of the Burnley-Moran CLASS programDuring the closure, we have prioritized our staff by paying all contract employees such as instructional assistants and nutrition/custodial staff. CLASS employees are being paid through the CLASS budget (which has been helped by families generously donating a month or even more of their spring payments). School bus drivers and crossing guards are being paid by the City. Hourly employees such as part-time nutrition staff are being paid as work is available. We hope to continue supporting all of these employees, but we are also aware that future budget cuts will impact our spending plans.

TAKING CARE OF OUR STUDENTS
Photos of students and staff using video conferences to #stayconnectedCCSFace-to-face classes may be cancelled, but our teachers, counselors, and staff are still finding ways to connect. From a simple phone call to teacher parades to distributing books for our students to staff read-alongs (or even puppet shows) to a virtual theater cabaret and an online art show, we are making connections. Some principals are maintaining routines by posting school-wide meetings or daily/weekly announcements, complete with the pledge and honoring birthdays. In addition to teachers’ office hours, counselors are holding office hours and setting up appointments. Region Ten is also providing key supports. We’ve posted mental health resources on our learning page.

MORE LEARNING RESOURCES
Logo for TV Classroom lessons led by Virginia teachersOur teachers and instructional coordinators have done a great job of pulling together distance learning curriculum. But the state is also providing options that might help your family. Working with the state, PBS stations in Virginia are showing teacher-led lessons on weekday afternoons on station 41.2 or Comcast 265 or 1146. From 1-2pm are K-3 learning segments, and from 2-3pm, episodes teach algebra and life science. Starting April 27, from 3-4pm, the network will offer an AP prep week. The public media network has also upped its educational programming in other ways.

WHAT ABOUT GRADUATION?
Class of 2020 Celebrating our Seniors graphicDuring this disruptive season, we have a special place in our hearts for the Class of 2020. Given the continued cancellation of public events, we are brainstorming other ways to celebrate our seniors. For starters, we’ve made a CHS-themed “I ♥ a Senior” frame for your Facebook profiles, as well as some Cville Schools “In This Together” frames for all our families. (You can find these frames on our Cville Schools and CHS Facebook pages.) We’re also rolling out some other celebrations as we look ahead to more formal virtual celebrations later this spring. We’ll keep you posted!

WHAT ABOUT KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION?
Staff and K student hug at Greenbrier's kindergarten camp 2019Another favorite event was cancelled this April — when our future K students and their families come see the school, meet the teachers, and bring required paperwork. We’re so sorry to miss this special occasion, but online forms have been posted here, and we’ll keep you updated about how to get the required documents to us. We’re also thinking about the more important part — how to connect kids and teachers.

SCHOOL BOARD NOTES
Cville Schools official logoThe School Board held its first virtual meeting in April, as a response to the closure. Staff provided updates in all areas relating to the coronavirus closure. Find more School Board information, including agendas, minutes, and livestream video. You can find a similar update by watching the April 14 episode of Cville 360, a new government news program. The next meeting will be held May 7, also virtually. Tune in on Facebook at @CvilleSchools.

UPCOMING EVENTS AND IMPORTANT LINKS
illustration of calendarOngoing: Preschool applications. Find info online.
Coming soon: Online registration for kindergarten See details.
5/7 School Board Meeting (virtual), 5pm
6/4 CHS Virtual Graduation, 7pm

Key Links: Coronavirus Closure landing page ♦ Food/ Volunteering Information ♦ Learning/ Family Resources ♦ Learning FAQ 

More Looks at Cville Schools

Burnley-Moran teacher Ernest Chambers virtually leading the Avocado Dance

Burnley-Moran gym teacher Ernest Chambers connected with students virtually for a run-through of a school favorite, the Avocado Dance. Don’t miss the video!

Girls' indoor track state champs in 4x400 relay

In March, the girls’ indoor track team had a big day, earning two relay state championships! The 4×200 was run by E. Schock, M. Packer, E. Burns, A. Ventre. The 4×400 (shown above) was run by Packer, Ventre, L. Hoskins, and K. Van Der Pluijm. The team earned 4th overall with many students placing. We’re so proud!

Buford staff holding books as part of their video celebrating reading

Buford staff virtually teamed up to bring a smile and encourage their students to keep reading and learning. Watch the video here.  For more fun videos and to see glimpses of our learning tools, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube.

Find more info and events on on our website, social media, or our Google calendars!

Find us on the web at charlottesvilleschools.org

graphic of Continuity of Learning Resources

Continuity of Learning Resources

Charlottesville City Schools Continuity of Learning Plan SPRING BREAK: APRIL 6-10, 2020 PHASE 2: March 23-April 3 PHASE 3: April 13-June 3 1 • Establishing meal service • Distributing Chromebooks for families of 2nd- to 6th-graders • Planning exploratory learning activities and long-term framework • Online exploratory activities or review modules posted • Teachers making connections with students via phone, email, and learning programs • No new material presented (per state guidelines) • Continued meal and tech deliveries • New curriculum covering core curriculum presented online or via printed materials (K-1) • Continued meal and tech deliveries • Note: We will continue to revise this plan to respond to changing circumstances, state guidance, and best practices. 2 Note to Families: Our IT team has been busy helping families get computers and solve connectivity issues, and our teachers have been reaching out through phone, email, and online learning programs. If your student has not been able to connect with your teacher, please contact your school via phone or email. We want to help your student continue learning. 3 PHASE 1: March 16-20 LEARNING LOGISTICS EXPLORATORY LEARNING NEW LEARNING April 2020
Click for printable PDF

Beginning April 13, we moved into the third phase of our learning plan, which means teaching new material until June 5.  Our goals are to help students get prepared for the fall — whether the fall will bring first grade or the first year of college. Let’s stay safe. Stay connected. And let’s keep learning.

  • Want grade-level information about how your child can keep learning? See below.
  • Want other resources, ranging from mental wellness to information about special education? Keep scrolling.
  • Have questions about grading or our learning plan? Check out this Frequently Asked Questions page.
  • Need a computer or access to the internet? If you haven’t reached out to your school, please do so.
  • Our teachers and other staff have been connecting with students and families via Canvas, SeeSaw, Google Hangouts, email, calls, apps and more.  We have connected with all families. If you have questions or need to speak with your teacher, please use one of these tools to reach out to the teacher or school.

Information on Summer School will be released shortly.

Expectations Using These Resources

Expectations Using These Resources

Our goals during this time are to prepare our students for next year, to maintain the relationship between students and teachers/school staff, and to promote the well-being of our community. Work will not be graded, but we will offer constructive feedback to promote learning. (For information about grading or other matters about learning, please see our  Frequently Asked Questions page.) We know this is a stressful time. If you have questions about how to balance learning with your personal situation, please reach out to your teacher or principal.

PreK-Grade 1

Cover for CCS Early Childhood At-Home Learning Book 1
Cover of the PreK Learning Book

Over spring break, learning books were mailed home to students in grades preK-1. If you have not received one by Wednesday, April 15, please contact your teacher. And if you have not yet made contact with your teacher, please contact your school. We want to help your child continue learning!

Questions? Visit our Learning Frequently Asked Questions page.

On Tuesday, April 14, we will lend computers to K and 1st-grade families who would like another way for their child to stay connected with their teacher and classmates. If you would like to pick up a computer for your family (and you don’t already have one), then stop by your elementary school on Tuesday, April 14 from 4-6pm.

Grades 2-4

As we move into new instruction, your child will use their Chromebook to access learning apps and new instruction. SeeSaw will be the primary point of connection, but logging into Clever (see instructions, below) will give students access to SeeSaw and more.

Questions? Visit our Learning Frequently Asked Questions page.

Recommended Resources

Accessing CCS K-4 Online Learning Tools

 


Walker, Buford, CHS Resources

For details and answers to questions, visit our Learning Frequently Asked Questions page.


Resources for All Ages

Cville Schools Counseling Department and Social-Emotional Learning Resources

Information about group teen therapy from Region 10. See PDF on this page for OCR details. Call 972-1800 with questions.Our school counselors have compiled a list of resources to help families and students in this unusual time. Topics range from talking about the coronavirus to general mental wellness to social-emotional learning.

Cville Schools Library Resources

Let’s keep reading — and singing, and playing, and listening to audiobooks…! For tips and resources, see these links.

Privacy and Digital Citizenship Resources

Privacy and Online Learning

As we shift to using more online resources, consider these common steps steps to protect privacy:

  1. Students and families should remember that teachers and other students may be able to see the students and their homes. Students might consider sitting with their backs to a wall to limit the view of others into their homes.
  2. Everyone should respect the privacy of other students and teachers during this period of remote learning. Get permission before making a photo or video of a class, student, or teacher. Any use of pictures or video with the intent of harm is covered in the Code of Student Conduct.
  3. If parents do not wish for their students to use a specific online learning tool, please contact your teacher so that modifications or alternative arrangements can be made.

Want some ways to reinforce our schools’ digital literacy lessons? We recommend Google’s Be Internet Awesome, and more specifically, their Interland game (K-6).

Equity and Coronavirus

Without focused attention on equity, this pandemic will exacerbate inequities nationally, not only along racial or economic lines, but also in communities such as ESL and special education. To address these issues:

  • We are working to map who has computer and internet access and to address the gaps and/or provide off-line learning activities
  • In our initial roll-out of continued learning, we are not introducing new material. We do not want students who are not presently connected to fall behind. We need to find individualized solutions for families without internet access.
  • For PreK-1, we are using off-line resources for teaching and making computers available for families who want another way to connect with schools.
  • We are having conversations about equity and distance learning to be thoughtful and informed in our approach.
  • We are serving food at designated schools and bringing it into key neighborhoods by bus to connect students with food since we know that hungry children are less able to learn.
  • We are teaming up with partners and agencies to serve our students with special needs.
  • Our special education and ESL teams are staying tuned as state guidance is issued so we can follow best practices to make individualized decisions to identify services and supports.

Special Education Services

The current activities and resources posted on this page and in Canvas were developed in conjunction with special education staff. For the time being, these materials are remedial in nature, provided for everyone and optional.

Special Education case managers will contact families to share how they can support and facilitate access during this time and/or provide additional learning and enrichment activities.  Since in-person classes are cancelled per Governor’s orders, special education services will not be provided for the time being.

When CCS begins teaching new material to all students, individualized decisions will be made by IEP teams to identify the special education services and supports that are required to participate in the new instruction. Additionally, when we return to in-person learning, IEP teams will discuss the educational impact of school closure.

If you have questions or concerns and cannot reach your special education case manager, please contact the coordinator based on your school:
  • Preschool, Elementary and Accessible Materials: Rachel Rasnake 434-245-2664
  • Walker Upper Elementary School and Charlottesville High School: Karen Wilson 434-245-2648
  • Buford Middle School and Alternative Placements: Pattye Leslie 434-245-2660

Cville Schools ESL Resources

Cville Schools ESL Resources

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Students Experiencing Homelessness

Students Experiencing Homelessness

Our counselors and social workers have been in contact with families that we know to be experiencing homelessness to connect them with resources. (See next section, Community Resources, for additional suggestions.)

We know that this crisis is causing financial hardship for a number of our families. We want to help your family navigate these challenges — please reach out to your school counselor.

Community Resources

Learning happens when our basic needs have been met. Attached please find a guide to community resources:

Learning Suggestions and Public TV/Radio Resources from the State of Virginia

Learning at Home: Suggestions and Public TV/Radio Resources from the State of Virginia

Parents and families can support students’ thinking and learning during extended school closures.

  • Collaborate with your child to organize the day to include time for learning, activities and exercise.
  • Read to and with your child and have conversations about what you have read together.
  • Take a walk and ask about what your child is seeing and about being a good citizen.
  • Encourage critical thinking through cooking together or planning a garden.
  • Encourage conversations about mathematics in your child’s day.
  • Explore your child’s creativity by creating art, music, or dance.
  • Write a letter to a family member or friend or community hero.
  • Be mindful of screen time and have alternatives for children to play outside.
  • Listen to your child about his or her feelings and fears and offer comfort, honesty, and reassurance.
  • In addition, the VA Public Media PBS TV channel will provide programming in science, math, history, literature and the arts catered specifically to different grade levels throughout the day. For instance, Grades 1-3 programming will air from 1-2pm.
     Find more resources here.
  • El Superintendente de Instrucción Pública James Lane anunció hoy que el Departamento de Educación de Virginia se está asociando con Radio Poder WBTK 1380 AM, una estación en español de Richmond, para lanzar “Virginia: Educación en Radio”, el primer programa de aprendizaje de radio bilingüe de la Mancomunidad. “Virginia: Educación en Radio” presentará lecciones pregrabadas de múltiples materias para
    apoyar la continuidad del aprendizaje de los estudiantes de habla hispana en los grados K-12, mientras que las escuelas están cerradas para frenar la propagación de COVID-19.

Teacher Supports

Teacher Supports

Staff meetings, instructional coaches, PLCs, and resources have helped our staff adjust to this new learning environment.

Basics (Computers, Connectivity, and Expectations)

Chromebook Distribution

Chromebook Distribution

If you did not receive a Chromebook or need a charger, please reach out to your principal at most schools. At Burnley-Moran, reach out to assistant principal Adriane Butler (butlera1).

On Tuesday, April 14, we will lend computers to K and 1st-grade families who would like another way for their child to stay connected with their teacher and classmates. If you would like to pick up a computer for your family (and you don’t already have one), then stop by your elementary school on Tuesday, April 14 from 4-6pm.

Internet Access

Internet Access

Previous and current surveys indicate that the vast majority of our families have at-home internet access. Recently, Xfinity and AT&T opened up all their U.S. WiFi hotspots to non-customers, which will assist even more of our families.

Suggested WiFi networks:

  • If your family has a home WiFi network, go for it!
  • If you can see an AT&T or Xfinity hotspot from your home, right now they are open to everyone (not just customers).
  • If you can see a City of Charlottesville or a Charlottesville City Schools network from your home, jump on as guest.
  • Other suggestions include asking a neighbor to see if they’ll share their WiFi password. (They can change the password at any time — for instance, after we reopen schools.)
  • Still no home access? You can walk with the computer to figure out the closest school or park where you could sit and log in.
  • If nothing else works in your home, please contact your principal.
Summer activity packet for upper level grades

City and Schools promote energy and water conservation-Summer Update

Energy and Water Management Program Spring Quarter Update reminding people to reduce energy and water waste.Charlottesville City Schools and the City’s Energy and Water Management Team are working together to reduce the energy and water footprint of all City schools. In 2019, the School Board approved an Energy and Water Performance resolution, showing a commitment to achieving and maintaining high performing school facilities. 

Continuing on past efforts, the City’s maintenance and development teams are specifying high efficiency building equipment, such as high-efficiency chillers and LED lighting, and are enhancing operational control through advanced building automation systems. Charlottesville Schools and the City’s Energy and Water Management Team continue to investigate ways to accelerate the installation of high performance equipment throughout our schools.

The City is also working with each school to raise awareness about energy and water saving practices through education and outreach efforts that include distributing educational materials and providing tips and strategies that students and faculty can use to reduce the energy and water impact at our schools. 

Each quarter a different theme emphasizes aspects of energy and water efficiency/conservation. The 2019-2020 themes are:

  • Fall (September – November): The Value of Energy and Water
  • Winter (December – February): Understanding Our Energy and Water Use
  • Spring (March – May): Smart Energy and Water Use
  • Summer (June – August): Keep Going! Summertime Savings

Have questions about this program? Contact the City’s Energy and Water Management Team at EnergyWaterTeam@charlottesville.org.

Learn more about other green initiatives at Charlottesville City Schools here.

2019-20 Education and Outreach

Summer activity packet for upper level grades

Summer Quarter: This summer the Energy and Water Management Team wants you to take what you learned around how to save energy and water at school and apply it at home!

Let’s first focus on reducing our energy waste at home. This can look like turning the lights off when you leave a room, making sure you power down and unplug electronics when you are not using them, and making sure doors and windows aren’t left open when your home’s heating or air conditioning is running.

When you look at water, there are some easy ways we can reduce our water waste at home. Remember to always turn the water off when not in use (like while we are brushing our teeth), don’t forget to fill up your reusable water bottle with tap water when you are thirsty, and if you see dripping faucet or running toilet tell an adult to fix it! Plus, if you help your family with some gardening projects outside, look to the weather to do the watering work or collect rainwater to use for watering later.

This summer let’s all commit to saving energy and water. Take this pledge and start implementing these easy steps at home today!

This summer I pledge to be an energy and water saver at home!

  • I pledge to turn the lights off when I leave a room,
  • I pledge to power down and unplug electronics when I’m finished with them,
  • I pledge to close windows and doors when my home’s heating and cooling systems are on,
  • I pledge to turn the water off when not in use,
  • I pledge to use a reusable water bottle instead of a single-use plastic bottle,
  • I pledge to report water leaks as soon I see them,
  • I pledge to come back to school in the fall ready to keep saving energy and water!

You are now ready to be an energy and water saver! Together we can all have a huge impact at home and at school.

Activity Sheets for Grades K-4

Activity Sheets for Grades 5-12

Paper copies of the activity sheets were included with our summer meal distribution program. Copies can also be found in the main office of each school building, or you can contact the Energy and Water Management Team, at EnergyWaterTeam@Charlottesville.gov.

Energy and Water Management Program: Spring Quarter Poster image discusses reducing water and energy wasteSpring Quarter: Reducing our Energy and Water Waste

This spring the Energy and Water Management Team is back with more reminders to help us trim up our energy and water use!

Help our school reduce energy waste! Make sure outside doors close behind you and tell an adult if propped open. This will help keep our cooled and heated air inside our school rather than letting it escape through open doors to the outside!

Don’t forget to bring your reusable water bottle along with you wherever you go! Fill it up from tap water, which comes from our rivers and is cleaned to make it safe and taste good. Before dumping out any left over water, think reusable by giving it to some plants that would happily enjoy that water.

Spring Quarter Tips:
1. Keep outside doors closed
2. Fill up your reusable water bottle with tap water
3. If you see a water leak or an open outside door, report it!

If we each reduce our energy and water waste at school and at home by focusing on these easy habits,together we can have a real impact.

Energy and Water Management Program Winter Quarter posterWinter Quarter: Understanding our Energy and Water Use

Did you know that the greenhouse gases produced from energy used at all 10 Charlottesville City Schools is equal to the greenhouse gases produced by 500 homes? We know our schools need resources to operate but what exactly uses energy and water in our schools every day?

We are asking students and faculty to try to identify what uses energy and water when you walk into your classroom each day. For energy, think about the overhead lighting, computers, electronics, and air conditioning/heating. For water, think about the water fountain in the hallway and sink in your classroom. What about at home?

There are also the items that aren’t as noticeable such as leaving your phone plugged in even when it’s fully charged or not paying attention to that dripping faucet. Even when a phone is plugged in and is fully charged, it still uses 2.24 watts of energy, and that slow drip…drip…drip of a faucet can waste 3,000 gallons of water a year!

Let’s reduce our energy and water impact at school and at home by focusing on these easy habits we can do each day.

Winter Quarter Tips:

  • Turn the lights off when you leave a room.
  • Make an effort to unplug personal electronics.
  • Turn the water off when not in use.
  • If you see a water leak or hear a running toilet, report it!

 

water and energy management posterFall Quarter: The Value of Energy and Water

The energy and water that we use at home and in our school are typically provided using finite resources. In Virginia, fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) are used to produce over 60% of the electricity that we use, with nuclear and renewables making up the rest. We also use natural gas directly to heat our school and to heat our water. The water we use is pumped from reservoirs fed by rivers and is treated before coming to our homes and school as clean, potable water.  Simply put, our demand for electricity, natural gas, and water (the amount we use) has a direct impact on these resources. We have a responsibility to manage what we use but we’re also empowered with the ability to make lasting change.

In many cases we use more than we need, so we already have simple opportunities to reduce our impact. The best place to start is just becoming aware of when and how we use energy and water throughout our typical day. As you do your normal activities, think about how long you leave your lights on, leave your phone plugged in, and leave the water running. Now think about how you can adjust your behaviors to trim that up a bit.  It’s a game of inches, not miles, and small changes add up to big savings.

Fall Quarter Tips:

  • Last one out? Flip the switch!
  • Turn the water off when not in use.