What‘s Happening at School Division News

screenshot of NBC29 story on bus stop meet and greets

Bus stop meet and greets connect schools and families

screenshot of NBC29 story on bus stop meet and greetsWhether dropping in to visit schools or hosting Parent University information workshops or swinging by bus stops with breakfast and books, our family engagement team is always looking for ways to connect schools and families.

Throughout the year, Family Engagement Coordinators Velvet Coleman and Bianca Johnson can be seen visiting neighborhood bus stops at their morning bus stop meet and greets. The visits have been widely-received by the community since they began in August 2018, and it is not uncommon to see principals, teachers, and administrators stop by to help greet students and their families.

“Strong relationships between our families,  our schools, and our communities benefit us all,” said Coleman. When students see us in their community and in their schools, they now recognize us, and this helps build relationships.”

For more on how our family engagement team is making connections, visit www.charlottesvilleschools.org/family-engagement.

Related news coverage:

Sylvia Elder accepts dedication plaque.

New track dedication celebrates legacy of Coach Curtis Elder

Sylvia Elder accepts dedication plaque.The Charlottesville High School community held a dedication ceremony for the new Curtis Elder Track and Field Complex at CHS to honor the rich legacy of former CHS Track Coach Curtis Elder.

“The power to win must come from within,” was just one of Coach Elder’s many inspiring mantras for his players, and one he took to heart.  During his 44 seasons of coaching, Coach Elder’s teams won 253 track meets, 20 district and 20 regional track championships, and 7 state track championships.  He was also nominated for national track coach of the year in 2005 and in 1999 and was honored by track coaches across Virginia for his contributions to the sport.

Elder family at ceremony.During the dedication ceremony that included members of  the Elder family, the CHS football team, and many friends, colleagues, and former students, Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins remarked, “We can count the number of wins and championships, but we will never be able to count up all the lives touched by his mentorship and leadership in our schools and in our community.”

Dr. Atkins also thanked Coach Elder’s wife, Sylvia, and family for sharing Coach Elder with CHS on long nights and weekends and praised him for modeling what the combination of high expectations, excellent teaching, and deep relationship can accomplish.

Mrs. Elder, herself a physical education teacher, school counselor, and department chair in Charlottesville City Schools for 37 years, accepted a wooden plaque marking the occasion from Atkins and CHS Assistant Principal and Supervisor of Athletics Rodney Redd.

Sylvia Elder remarks.“I am overwhelmed, ” said Mrs. Elder. “I spend a lot of time walking on this track because it makes me feel close to him. He would be so pleased to see this beautiful facility, knowing current and future athletes in our community will benefit from it.”

One athlete in particular that will be one of the first athletes to compete on the new track this spring is Elder’s grandson, a top high school runner in the state.  William Trent, who runs for Monticello High School, recently set a new state record in the 400 during the 2019 Virginia High School League Class 3 state track and field championships.

In addition to the track dedication, CHS plans to nominate Coach Elder later this year for the Virginia High School League Hall of Fame.

See more photo’s here.

Related news coverage:

Daily Progress

Venable student with tshirt

Back-to-School Nights

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

  • Burnley-Moran: Tuesday, September 17, 5:30-7pm (includes picnic)
  • Clark: Tuesday, September 17, 5:30-7pm
  • Greenbrier: Tuesday, September 17, 6-7:30pm
  • Jackson-Via: Tuesday, September 17, 6-7:30pm
  • Johnson: Tuesday, September 17, 6-7:30pm
  • Venable:  Thursday, September 19, 5:30-7:30pm (Welcome Back Potluck to follow)
  • Walker: Tuesday, September 10, 6-8pm
  • Buford: Parent-Teacher Conferences Thursday 9/26 and Tuesday, 10/1, 4-7pm plus Harvest Festival 10/4 at 5:30pm
  • CHS: Monday, September 16, 5-7pm
  • CATEC: Wednesday, September 25, 5-7pm
  • Lugo-McGinness: Back-to-School Potluck, August 20
headshot of Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins

Superintendent appointed to Governor’s Commission on African American History Education

Dr. Atkins headshotCharlottesville Schools Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins will serve on Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s new commission to review Virginia’s history standards and instructional practices, content, and resources currently used to teach African American history in the Commonwealth.

“Virginia is the birthplace of our country, and it is so fitting that our Commonwealth would lead the way in these efforts,” said Dr. Atkins. “When I look at the makeup of the Commission and the individuals the Governor has selected, I feel really honored to be able to work with such talented people who are so passionate about understanding and teaching students about America’s total history.”

Governor Northam signed Executive Order Thirty-Nine, which establishes the Commission on African American History Education, during his speaking engagement at the 2019 Commemoration of the First African Landing, a ceremony to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in English-occupied North America at Point Comfort in 1619.

“The full history of Virginia is complex, contradictory, and often untold—and we must do a better job of making sure that every Virginia graduate enters adult life with an accurate and thorough understanding of our past, and the pivotal role that African Americans have played in building and perfecting our Commonwealth,” said Governor Northam. “The important work of this Commission will help ensure that Virginia’s standards of learning are inclusive of African American history and allow students to engage deeply, drawing connections between historic racial inequities and their continuous influence on our communities today.”

The Executive Order tasks the Commission with issuing a report no later than July 1, 2020, with recommendations for improving the student experience, including but not limited to:

  • Technical edits to and recommendations for enriched standards related to African American history;
  • Broader considerations for the full history and social studies standards review process; and
  • Necessary professional development and instructional supports for all teachers to ensure culturally competent instruction.

“Right now our children in school are getting only part of our American history, and unfortunately, many of the attitudes that people have developed toward blacks stem from that narrow view of history, said Atkins. “We don’t want to go down a narrow path about contributions. We also want to bring to the forefront the heinous acts that were committed in order to enslave blacks in America. We want to tell that part of the story and set the record straight to hopefully help impact some of those attitudes.”

The Commonwealth first established its history and social science standards of learning in 1995. Since that time, the standards have been routinely updated based on feedback from practitioners, historians, and stakeholders. The work of the Commission will help inform the next history and social science standards review the state will undertake.

Additionally, the Virginia Department of Education will work with Virtual Virginia, WHRO Public Media, and committees of history and social science public school educators, university historians, and college professors to develop a new African American history course for high school students. Together, they will establish objectives and competencies to provide a foundation of knowledge and understanding of African American history.

This new elective will be available to all students in the Commonwealth virtually beginning in the fall of 2020. Its component digital parts will be accessible resources for students in numerous other history courses.

Along with Dr. Atkins, the Governor has appointed the following individuals to serve on the Commission:

  • Dr. Derrick P. Alridge of Charlottesville, Professor of Education and Director of the Center for Race and Public Education in the South, Curry School of Education and Human Development, University of Virginia
  • Dr. Edward Ayers of Richmond, Professor of the Humanities, University of Richmond
  • Jarvis E. Bailey of Fredericksburg, High School Administrator, Westmoreland County Public Schools and School Board Member, Fredericksburg City
  • Maria D. Burgos of Prince William County, Supervisor of Global Learning and Culturally Responsive Instruction, Prince William County Public Schools
  • Christy S. Coleman of Chesterfield, CEO, American Civil War Museum
  • Dr. Robert N. Corley, III of Chesterfield, Associate Vice-Provost for Academic Affairs and Project Director, The Wallace Foundation’s University Principal Preparation Initiative, Virginia State University
  • Pamela Croom of Hampton, President-Elect, Virginia PTA
  • Dr. Andrew P. Daire of Moseley, Dean of the School of Education, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Crystal DeLong of Bedford, Teacher, Liberty High School, Bedford County Public Schools
  • Beau Dickenson of Harrisonburg, President, Virginia Social Studies Leaders Consortium and Social Studies Supervisor, Rockingham County Public Schools
  • Crystal M. Edwards of Lynchburg, Superintendent, Lynchburg City Schools
  • Anne Marie Evans of Fluvanna County, Director of Education and Outreach–New American History, University of Richmond
  • Dr. John K. Lee of Raleigh, Professor, North Carolina State University
  • Makya Renée Little of Woodbridge, Parent Advocate and Florida A&M University Alumnus
  • Dr. Monica Manns of Henrico, Director of Equity and Diversity, Henrico County Public Schools
  • Basil Marin of Atlanta, Assistant Principal, DeKalb County Schools
  • Tyrone Nelson of Henrico County, Chairman, Henrico County Board of Supervisors and Pastor, Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church of Richmond
  • Dr. Cassandra L. Newby-Alexander of Chesapeake, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Professor of History, Norfolk State University
  • The Honorable Atif Qarni of Prince William, Secretary of Education, Commonwealth of Virginia
  • Gloria Randolph-King of Roanoke, Retired Roanoke City Public Schools Administrator
  • Rodney Robinson of Richmond, 2019 National Teacher of the Year
  • Dr. Vanessa D. Thaxton-Ward of Hampton, Director, Hampton University Museum
  • Pastor Michelle C. Thomas of Loudoun County, Founder and CEO, Loudoun Freedom Center and President, NAACP Loudoun Branch
  • Dr. Dietra Trent of Halifax, Former Secretary of Education
  • Dr. James F. Lane of Chesterfield, Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • Dr. Alice Reilly of Alexandria, Educator, George Mason University
  • Renita S. Williams of Chesapeake, Secondary Social Studies Instructional Supervisor, Newport News Public Schools
  • Rodney Jordan of Norfolk, Co-Chair, Virginia School Boards Association Task Force on Students and Schools in Challenging Environments and School Board Member, Norfolk City
  • Cainan Townsend of Farmville, Director of Education, Robert Russa Moton Museum
  • Chris Van Tassell of Richmond, Program Coordinator and Educator, Virginia Museum of History & Culture
  • Robert C. Watson of Williamsburg, Assistant Professor of History, Hampton University
  • Dr. William E. White of Williamsburg, Visiting Distinguished Scholar, Christopher Newport University
  • Jonathan C. Zur of Richmond, President and CEO, Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities

The full text of Executive Order Thirty-Nine can be found here.

Additional information about the Commission and its meetings will be available online here.

Related links


Image of the PowerSchool and Re-registration Instruction letter. See OCR PDF on this page for content.

Back-to-School Information

feature image of kids and busGet ready for school by completing your back-to-school forms now!

We look forward to welcoming our students back on August 21, 2019 for the first day of school. See below for important dates such as back-to-school open houses, and school supplies lists.

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Image of the PowerSchool and Re-registration Instruction letter. See OCR PDF on this page for content.Back-to-School Forms:

Back-to-school forms have been posted to PowerSchool (click “Re-Registration” at left). Please fill them out as soon as possible.

Free and Reduced Lunch Application

Need a school supply list? Click here.

Need a summer reading list? Click here.

Need a open house schedule? Click here.

Looking for teacher assignments, class schedules, or bus routes? They’ll be posted to PowerSchool in August. Grades PK-8 will be posted on the AFTERNOON (updated from morning) of Monday, August 13. CHS will announce the timing later.

Regular School Hours:

Elementary: 8:00am to 2:30pm
Buford and Walker: 8:30am to 3:15pm
CHS: 9:05am to 3:50pm (with a one-hour delayed start on the 2nd Thursday of some months)

School Supplies Lists 2019-20

School-Supply-Lists2School starts August 21.  Now is a great time to get your school supplies!

Below are this year’s CCS school supplies lists.  Copies of these lists are available at area stores. If you have any questions, please call your school.

And if you need assistance getting school supplies for this year, plan to attend the Back to School Bash at the Sprint Pavilion on August 17 from 10:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. For more information about the Back to School Bash, including a link to register, visit www.cvillebacktoschoolbash.com/.

  • For assistance with other school supplies, any fees, or other needs, please contact your school principal or counselor.

School Supply Lists for the 2019-20 School Year:

Need a open house schedule? Click here.

Need a summer reading list? Click here.

For other Back-to-School details, click here.

Golden Apple Awards graphic

Annual Golden Apple Award winners announced

Golden Apple Previous Winners collage10 teachers from Charlottesville City Schools are among the outstanding recipients of the 2019 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 2019 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.


2019 Charlottesville City Schools Golden Apple Award Recipients

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



Sophomores wearing their "You Can Talk To Me" lanyards after earning their youth Mental Health First Aid certifications.

Sophomores earn certification for teen Mental Health First Aid pilot program

UPDATE: In June, students David Green and Lamont Bullard traveled with Mr. Williams to Las Vegas to join other students from schools that piloted the Teen Mental Health First Aid Program. While there, the students met members of the Born This Way Foundation, including a special visit with Lady Gaga and an on-stage appearance at her concert that evening. See them on stage here:


(April, 2019) This spring sophomores at CHS participated in the teen Mental Health First Aid

Sophomores wearing their "You Can Talk To Me" lanyards after earning their youth Mental Health First Aid certifications.
Sophomores wearing their “You Can Talk To Me” lanyards after earning their youth Mental Health First Aid certifications.

program, a course that trains high school students how to identify and respond to developing mental health or substance abuse problems among their friends.

CHS is one of eight high schools in the nation (two from Virginia) chosen to pilot this program developed by the National Council for Behavioral Health. Supported by Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation and researchers at Johns Hopkins University, the course specifically teaches students an action plan: Look, Ask, Listen, Help.

“We think it is really important to put the tools in the students’ hands so they know how to help a friend who is showing signs of mental illness or substance abuse,” said CHS School Counselor Sarah Elaine Hart.

Ms. Hart and Mr. Williams demonstrate how to help during a substance abuse crisis.
Ms. Hart and Mr. Williams demonstrate how to help during a substance abuse crisis.

Hart taught the three-week course along with her colleague Dominique Williams and Region Ten Prevention Director Emily Warren.

“Overall, we have found that most kids want to know what to do when a friend is struggling, even when it feels uncomfortable and hard,” said Hart. “They want to be equipped with the tools to help.”

The first national program of its kind, the course will be offered nationwide next year to students in grades 10th-12th. Students who complete the course earn Mental Health First Aid certifications.

Related Links:

Knott, Katherine. “In Mental Health Pilot Program, CHS Students Learn to Reach Out.” The Daily Progress, 24 Apr. 2019.