What‘s Happening at School Division News

“Concert for Charlottesville” Video Earns National Awards


A music video collaboration by musicians from Charlottesville High School and Metro Nashville public schools has earned 2018 Advocacy in Action Awards from the music education non-profit organization, Music for All.

The musical remake of Bebe and CeCe Winans’ song, “Right Now (We Need One Another),” was recorded by Charlottesville High School and Metro Nashville Public Schools musicians last year in response to the events of August 11-12 in Charlottesville.

The music video features 50 CHS orchestra students and 30 members of the CHS choir, along with Nashville’s Fab 5, a group of student singers that attend different schools at MNPS.

“It was remarkable that in such a short amount of time, we were able to join with the folks from Nashville to create a new song of hope for the future,” said CHS Choir Teacher Will Cooke.

Following the two-day collaboration, the music video was featured among a long line-up of musical performers including Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake, and Ariana Grande at the Dave Matthew’s Band Concert for Charlottesville last September.

“To see all of us up on the jumbotron at the Dave Matthews concert was truly a thrill,” said CHS Orchestra Teacher Laura Thomas. “I get goose bumps every time I think about it.  It was our students singing and playing and trying to promote a positive message.”

The two groups reconnected in the spring in Nashville at Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School.  The CHS and Fab 5 singers recorded a second musical tribute in response to the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Read more about it and see the music video “Shine” here.

According to James P. Stephens, Jr., Director of Advocacy and Educational Resources for Music for All, the Advocacy in Action Awards recognize “the amazing advocacy work that is being done in scholastic music programs across the country.” The group’s mission is “to create, provide and expand positively life-changing experiences through music for all.”

This video is being recognized as a winner in three subcategories of Community Engagement:

    • Outstanding Community Engagement Video
    • Outstanding Community Event
    • Outstanding Community Service Project

Related Links

Flyer for 2nd Community Forum on Equity November 27 at CHS at 7:30. Bus service available. See post for pdf of bus schedules and more details.

Equity Forum

Flyer for 2nd Community Forum on Equity November 27 at CHS at 7:30. Bus service available. See post for pdf of bus schedules and more details.Charlottesville City Schools will host a second community forum to discuss equity on Tuesday, November 27, at Charlottesville High School at 7:30pm.

Our plan for the second forum is to reflect back what we’ve been hearing from the community so far. We’ll ask participants to respond to this summary and vote on their “top 10” ideas. (Community members can also participate from home.) After community members have had a chance to review and respond, we’ll have brief presentations to summarize what we’ve heard and give next steps.

Updates from the First Forum

Other Resources

 

November is Family Engagement Month

Screenshot of video School Talk Live.November is National Family Engagement month, and we want you to know how much we value our partnership with families. See why student-family-school partnerships are so important to a child’s success in this video interview with Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins and PreK-2nd grade Family Engagement Facilitator Velvet Coleman.

For more tips and resources, visit our Family Engagement web page here.

Students visit Fralin Art Museum at UVA.

Highlights and News November 2018

A Word from Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins
Dr. Rosa Atkins

Dear families –

As we look ahead to our second Community Forum on Equity on November 27 at 7:30 p.m. at CHS, I wanted to give you a few updates.

Thanks to all of you who came to our first forum in October. With more than 400 community members, employees, and students present, along with many following along on Facebook, we were able to hear valuable feedback on issues of equity and achievement in our schools. We also gathered hundreds of responses from our online surveys and have made that data available to you at www.charlottesvilleschools.org/NYT. You can read through and add your voice to the conversation.

While we move forward to identify and implement tangible ways to help all of our students excel, we will continue to celebrate signs of the achievement and growth we see in our students, from our elementary schools’ extended-day literacy program to CHS students using their photography skills to tell their peers’ global stories in a community exhibition.

Dr. Rosa S. Atkins,
Superintendent

Venable teacher reading to students in EBL after school program.

Venable Elementary teacher Karen Minor reads to first grade children during Extended Bridges to Learning, an after-school literacy program that provides small group instruction to students in grades K-5. EBL is funded in part by a Virginia Department of Education grant. Read more about EBL here.

NEW PILOT PROGRAM AT WALKER EMPOWERS STUDENTS’ DECISION-MAKING
Super-Why and First Lady at Greenbrier Using a $6,000 grant from CFA Institute,Walker Upper Elementary School students are deciding how to spend the funds on school improvements. The new program employs a process known as participatory budgeting. The unique curriculum leads all sixth graders through a semester-long process that includes these steps: Discover, Dream, Design, Decide, and Do. We can’t wait to see what they decide to do! Read more about the program here.

STRING OF MUSICIANS TEACH, PERFORM, AND INSPIRE
Stock photo of violinist Ray ChenStudents of all ages interacted with an impressive lineup of musicians this fall. Third-graders attended the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival Children’s Concert and fourth-graders visited UVA to hear the Charlottesville Symphony at the University of Virginia perform “Jazzing Up the Orchestra” with the Free Bridge Quintet. Contemporary cellist BJ Griffin led three days of workshops at Buford, Walker, and CHS to teach students about his unique style that combines classical composition and hip hop. Ray Chen, acclaimed violinist who has played in concert halls around the world, performed for CHS students courtesy of Tuesday Evening Concert Series. And, most recently, students from across the division visited The Paramount Theater to see the touring strings duo, Black Violin.Johnson teacher Lindsay Wayland posted a video from the concert and commented, “Best. Field trip. Ever.”

DRAFT SCHOOL CALENDAR FOR 2019-20 POSTED FOR FEEDBACK
French exchange students participate in Conversation Cafe at CHS.The Charlottesville-Albemarle School Calendar Committee has created a draft calendar for the 2019-20 school year. We would like your feedback. Please review the draft calendar and complete a brief survey by November 16.

SCHOOL-WIDE MORNING MEETINGS PROMOTE POSITIVE SCHOOL CULTURE
Teacher sings on stage at BME school-wide morning meeting.Elementary schools across the division are using monthly school-wide morning meetings to build school tradition, pride,and a sense of belonging for students.“These gatherings help us sustain a strong school culture and climate across all grade levels,” says Burnley-Moran Principal Dr. Elizabeth Korab. Read more about these meetings here. 

2018 FALL PHOTO GALLERY – HIGHLIGHTS THAT MAKE US SMILE
Super-Why and First Lady at GreenbrierWhile we have begun a challenging conversation this fall, there is also much to celebrate in our schools. From fine arts to fun runs to fall festivals, here is a look back at some of the highlights from the last month. A few other fun facts? From CHS alone, we have the band’s 1st-place finish in regionals, a top-6 state finish for Theatre CHS, and football players Sabias Folley and Isaiah Washington earning player-of-the-week honors.

UPCOMING EVENTS AT-A-GLANCE
illustration of calendar 11/13 Buford Orchestra Concert
11/21 Thanksgiving Break begins – no school until 11/26
11/27 Second Community Forum on Equity, CHS, 7:30 p.m.
11/28 CHS Orchestra Concert
11/29 CHS Band Concert
12/5 Walker/Buford Chorus Winter Concert
12/6 School Board Meeting, 5pm CHS Media Center
12/6-12/8 TheatreCHS presents “Heathers”

More Looks at Cville Schools

Students visit Fralin Museum of Art at UVA

Walker Upper Elementary students discuss a painting by American artist Rozeal with a museum docent at the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia. This fall, all students in grades 3-8 are participating in Writer’s Eye, an education program sponsored by the Fralin that encourages kids to use art as inspiration for writing prose and poetry. Photo Credit: Coe Sweet Photography.

Crossing guard Miss Ruth hugs a Clark student

Known for her compassion and care, Clark School crossing guard Ruth Hill keeps children and families safe as they travel to and from school. “I love each of these children as if they were my own,” said Hill. Read more here.

CHS Teacher Matt Shields with father

When he is not teaching physics and engineering or taking BACON Club students to MIT for global robotics competitions, CHS teacher Matt Shields spends his time doing other things like… donating a kidney to his father! Learn more here. Photo Credit: Sarah Cramer Shields

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

Find us on the web at charlottesvilleschools.org

 

Draft calendar for 2019-20 school year. PDF is attached on this page. For details, call 245-2962.

Draft Calendar for 2019-20

Draft calendar for 2019-20 school year. PDF is attached on this page. For details, call 245-2962.The Charlottesville-Albemarle School Calendar Committee has created a draft calendar for the 2019-20 school year.  We would like your feedback. Please review the draft calendar and complete a brief survey by November 16.

  • 2019-20 draft calendar (pdf)
  • Survey is closed. Eighty-three percent of participants selected “Approve as is.” We’ll explore the comments and suggestions that were contributed.

If feedback indicates that changes to the calendar should be considered, we will let you know.

The draft calendar will be presented to the School Board for review in December with an expected vote in January.

Comments about the calendar:

  • Spring break: Our practice is to designate the first full week of April as our spring break. We are sometimes asked, Can’t you align spring break with U.Va.’s?   U.Va.’s spring break is typically near the beginning of March, which for K-12 students would make for a very long stretch without a break later in the spring. So while we recognize that this would be a good solution for U.Va. families, we feel that it doesn’t represent the interests of all our students and staff. A 2016 survey indicated that a majority of respondents favored keeping spring break during the first week of April.
  • History about the calendar development: For over a decade, the Charlottesville and Albemarle County school divisions have worked together for a common calendar. A joint committee creates a draft calendar, and then we ask for input from students, teachers, administration, and parents. If necessary, the committee makes revisions to the draft before submitting a recommended calendar to the two school boards for approval.
two elementary students, boy and girl, playing in classroom.

November is Family Engagement Month!

November is National Family Engagement month, and we want you to know how much we value our partnership with families. Research shows that parental involvement is very important to a child’s success.

There are many ways that families can engage with our schools. In fact, coming up on November 27th at 7:30pm is our second community forum on equity at Charlottesville High School. We hope you will plan to join us as we continue discussing ways to better serve all of our children. 

Bus service will be available for the community forum on 11/27. Routes will be posted on the website soon.

A Message to Families from Ms. Coleman

PreK-2nd Family Engagement Coordinator Velvet Coleman is available to support families with a variety of resources. Her latest tips for families include eight ways parents can support their children in school.

Tips for Academic Success

Image of Family Engagement flyer

 

 

School Board passes dress code resolution

Cville Schools official sealIn November 2018, the Charlottesville City Schools School Board unanimously passed a resolution that bans students from wearing clothing that depicts symbols “associated with racial hatred and violence.”

Citing the events of  August 11-12, 2017 in Charlottesville, board members resolved that  “student dress that is disruptive of the learning environment, that contains language or images that are discriminatory, or that promotes violent conduct or contains threats includes, but not limited to, clothing that depicts Confederate imagery or the Nazi swastika or contains images and language associated with the Ku Klux Klan and other White Nationalist groups, is prohibited and will not be tolerated in our schools.”

Photograph of two children with arms around eachother.

CCS News and Highlights October 3, 2018

A Word from Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins
Dr. Rosa Atkins

Dear families —

“Every Learner. Every day. Everyone.” These words embody our mission – that at Charlottesville City Schools, we want to support all of our learners.

How are we doing on that? By some measures, we’re doing great. Our graduation rate rose to 92.6%, and for black students, that rate has risen 25 points since 2006. Data shows that as students move through our schools, they show strong growth. As we’ve emphasized social-emotional learning and added supports for positive behaviors, our suspensions have dropped significantly.

However, by other measures, we still have work to do. On Virginia’s “standards of learning” tests, our African-American students are often not meeting the state’s standards. While we and others see these tests as faulty, even so, this is a sign that needs attention. Similarly, we want to diversify the students who enroll in advanced and AP classes, who participate in our gifted programs, and who attain the state’s advanced diploma.

We take these matters seriously. To familiarize yourself with our approaches to promoting equity, please visit charlottesvilleschools.org/equity. We create opportunities and supports throughout our schools, and we work with local and national partners to study and address underlying issues.

Relatedly, you might have followed community discussions about our schools’ dress codes and whether they ban hate symbols that were displayed during the violence in August 2017. Presently, there is no explicit ban in the Albemarle or Charlottesville code, but our School Board stated that symbols of hate are not appropriate in our schools. We and Albemarle County Public Schools have agreed to work together to explore not only the issue of hate symbols, but also the larger question of how we can better serve all of our students.

To further explore these topics, we invite you to a community forum on Tuesday, October 23, at 7 p.m. We help our children learn and grow. Our community and schools will learn and grow, too.

Dr. Rosa S. Atkins
Superintendent

Jackson-Via students enjoying Wildrock

Educating the whole child requires time for creative play. Jackson-Via preschool students enjoyed the playhouse during a field trip to Wildrock, a local natural playground. After a morning in the mud kitchen and creek, our youngest learners were fast asleep on the bus ride back to school.

VA FIRST LADY AND SUPER WHY! VISIT GREENBRIER ON LITERACY TOUR
Super-Why and First Lady at Greenbrier Toting a Wonder Woman backpack and a cartload of picture books, Virginia’s First Lady Pamela Northam visited Greenbrier. PBS’s popular character Super Why! was also there to give high fives and hugs. Stopping in to surprise several classrooms, the First Lady paused in one preschool class to read “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do you See?” Cville Schools is proud to partner with the United Way-Thomas Jefferson Area, Albemarle County Schools, and MACAA Head Start to provide quality early childhood education.

BUFORD COMMUNITY MURAL IN PROGRESS
Painted portrait of Anne Martin Anyone who has been at Buford in the last 10 years probably recognizes this face! Head custodian Anne Martin, wearing the school’s “I am Excellent” t-shirt, is one of many who are featured on a new mural spanning the cafeteria wall. “So many people give so much to the school, and I think that this is a lovely representation and really tells the story of Buford,” said Principal Stephanie Carter. Funded in part by the Charlottesville Mural Project, the finished mural will feature teachers, students, and other Buford community members. Local artist Eliza Evans is donating her time to paint the portraits.

ARTIST, CREATOR OF UVA MEMORIAL VISITS CHS
Artist Eto Otitigbe speaking to CHS students. Eto Otitigbe, the designer of the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at UVA, spoke to art, history, and engineering students at CHS about the project to honor the enslaved people who helped construct the first buildings at UVA. Otitigbe discussed the importance of learning about history in the context of art. “Through creativity and artistic expression, we can inspire and gather ideas from different perspectives,” he said. Photo credit: Jeneene Chatowsky, UVA Advancement Communications.

iSTEM and MATH CLASSES TEAM UP FOR CODING LESSON 
Two boys working with a lap top and Spheros. Walker students in Ms. Skeen and Ms. Gallagher’s math classes joined iSTEM teacher Mr. Chamberlin for a lesson in square roots and computer coding. Using Spheros, small programmable robots that roll and light up, partners found the square root of a number, made a path with masking tape, and created code to make the Sphero travel along the path.

UPCOMING EVENTS AT-A-GLANCE
illustration of calendar 10/4 School Board Meeting
10/5 Fall Harvest Festival
10/6 Clark Buzz by Belmont 5K Run/Walk
10/12 CHS Homecoming football game
10/23 Community Forum on Equity
10/26 Friday Knight Lights All-Elementary Football Tailgate
10/26 End of 1st quarter

More Looks at Cville Schools

Three boys on a hayride at apple orchard.

Johnson students enjoyed picking apples while they learned about the fruit’s life cycle at Carter Mountain’s “Apple School.”  Next up? Farm-to-School Week activities and tastings at all our schools this week thanks to City Schoolyard Garden and the Local Food Hub. Photo credit: Rebecca Covington.

Principal and teacher playing math game with pediatric patient.

A patient at UVA Children’s Hospital plays a math game with elementary teacher Deborah Johnson and Principal Eric Johnson. To read more about our Hospital Education Program, click here.

Boy and girl smiling with arms around eachother.

“We are the same because we both like recess. We also both like art,” write two Clark students. The project was inspired by reading “Same, Same but Different.”  Learn more and see the amazing photos by ESL teacher April Hoffman here.

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

Find us on the web at charlottesvilleschools.org

 

Secretary Qarni receives tshirt from two Venable students

VA Sec. of Ed visits as division celebrates VA Farm to School, Healthy Schools Week, and Buford Fall Harvest Festival

VA Secretary of Education Atif Qarni visits Venable Elementary garden.Charlottesville City Schools, in partnership with City Schoolyard Garden, celebrated a week of garden activities, visits from farm animals, and made-from-scratch lunches made with local ingredients provided by area farmers through Local Food Hub.

During Charlottesville Healthy Schools Week and VA Farm to School Week students sampled a variety of healthy foods including farmer’s market salsa and vegetable soup while also taste-testing local goat cheese, pears, and apples.

On Thursday, Charlottesville City Schools hosted special guest Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni at Venable School. Secretary Qarni and members  of his staff joined students for lunch, visited the garden to see goats from Caramont Farms, and sampled cherry tomatoes, CSYG’s October Harvest of the Month.

Throughout the week, students across the division also mingled with goats, bees, chickens, and sheep in our school gardens and learned about composting, apple pressing, wool carding, and more.

Dr. Atkins with children in garden petting a goat.The week culminated with the Fall Harvest Festival at Buford Middle School at 5:30 p.m. This annual free community event offered food, fun, music, and garden activities for all.

Charlottesville City Schools partners with the local nonprofit City Schoolyard Garden for a shared vision: Young people thrive with the opportunity to engage with nature, to enhance their academic learning through hands-on experience, to cultivate skills for healthy living, and to grow in leadership.

Together, Charlottesville City Schools and City Schoolyard Garden manage nine garden spaces including one at all six Charlottesville public elementary schools, Buford Middle School, Charlottesville High School, and our alternative high school, Lugo-McGinness Academy. These gardens encompass over 26,383 square feet of diverse organic gardens with over 33,724 student interactions for over 3,500 youth each year.

Photo of an African-American graduate

Graduation Rates Rise; Community Forum on Equity Scheduled for 10/23

Female graduate walks across the stageContinuing a pattern of growth, the Charlottesville High School on-time graduation rate rose to 92.6 percent for the class of 2018, which exceeds the state’s overall rate. The drop-out rate fell to 4.8 percent, also superior to the state’s rate.

The on-time graduation rate also rose for African-American students in Charlottesville, hitting 88.3 percent. Since 2006, this rate for Charlottesville’s black students has risen almost 25 points.

“We are so proud of our students and the staff who support them. The growth in our black students’ graduation rates in the last twelve years is tremendous,” noted Dr. Rosa Atkins, superintendent. “Even so, we are never complacent, and we see areas for growth. We want to make sure that all of our students are fully prepared for life after graduation.”

PhotoOne growth area is the attainment of the advanced studies diploma across all racial and ethnic groups. At 73 percent, Charlottesville’s white students exceed their state peers in attaining this advanced diploma. Yet Charlottesville’s students of color are far less likely to attain the advanced diploma, which most closely aligns with the requirements of most four-year colleges and universities.

“When we look at our graduation rates, we celebrate the gains our students have made. And just as we encourage our students to do, we then set new goals for achievement,” noted Dr. Atkins.

As part its commitment to supporting all students, Charlottesville City Schools will host a community forum on equity on Tuesday, October 23, at 7 p.m. at Charlottesville High School.