What‘s Happening at School Division News

Illustration of pencil with the words "Family Learning Resources"

Family 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

Along with many other school districts across the state and nation, we are working on ways to extend learning opportunities and stay connected to our students while also doing our part to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

If your students haven’t been in contact with their teachers, please contact the schools. We want to help our students keep learning!

Expectations Using These Resources

Expectations Using These Resources

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, these 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.

Letter from Dr. Atkins, March 20

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

 

Elementary Guides

Your child will be hearing from his/her teacher soon, but in the meanwhile, we’ve organized these resources into a sample weekly plan for your convenience! Have fun with these activities.

PK- Grade 1 – Week 1

PK- Grade 1 – Week 2

  Grades 2-4: Week 1 

  Grades 2-4 : Week 2

Recommended Resources

Accessing CCS K-4 Online Learning Tools

 

 


Walker, Buford, CHS Resources


Resources for All Ages

Cville Schools Counseling Department and Social-Emotional Learning Resources

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.

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.
  • 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Resources

Learning happens when our basic needs have been met. Attached please find the local United Way’s guide to community resources:

Learning Suggestions from the State of Virginia

Learning at Home: Suggestions 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.

Basics (Computers, Connectivity, and Expectations

Chromebook Distribution

Chromebook Distribution

We have focused on distributing one Chromebook for every home with a student in grades 2-6 (unless their household already has a computer, ipod, or other device that students can use ). We are trying to reach as many families as possible.

Why grades 2-6?

  • Students at CHS and Buford have previously been issued Chromebook devices.
  • Our plans for students in PK-1 do not include devices (we will have off-line learning suggestions for them.)

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).

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 a bit with the computer to figure out the closest school or park where you could sit and check your email for a moment.
  • If nothing else works in your home, stay tuned. Within a few days, we hope to start distributing WiFi hotspots to families with no other internet access.

 

 

 

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

Neighborhood Meal Delivery During Closure

Spring Break Food Update (April 6-10)

Flyer about food availability during spring break. All information is on the web page (charlottesvilleschools.org/food). Call 245-2962 with questions.During Spring Break, we recommend the following resources to our families:

  • Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry (cvilleloaves.org)
    • Location:   2050 Lambs Road, Charlottesville, VA 22901, near Albemarle High School
    • Hours:
      • Saturday (April 4) 10am-12pm
      • Wednesday (April 8) 2pm-4pm
      • Thursday (April 9) 6:30pm-8:30pm
      • Saturday (April 11) 10am-12pm
    • Register: Please use this form to register so that Loaves & Fishes can prepare appropriately
  • Charlottesville Food Justice Network (cvillefoodjustice.org)
  • Description:  The Charlottesville Food Justice Network is partnering with CCS to provide meals during spring break when the schools will be closed. There will be five delivery sites on Monday and Wednesday and two meals shared each day prepared by local restaurants, Pearl Island andThe Charlottesville Food Justice Network is providing spring break meals. On Monday and Wednesday 4/6 and 4/8, pick up f rom 11-1 at Friendship Ct, Greenstone on 5th, Hearthwood, S. 1st St, or Westhaven. Friday pick-ups 12-1. Food pick-ups at Loaves & Fishes Thrusday night 6:30-8:30 and Sat 10am-noon. Call 434-260-3274 with questions. Mochiko Cville.
  • Locations:
    • S. First
    • Friendship Court
    • Greenstone on 5th
    • Hearthwood
    • Westhaven
  • Hours:
    • Monday (April 6) 11am-1pm
    • Wednesday (April 8) 11am-1pm

Thanks also to the Salvation Army, and PBJ Fund for the ways they are serving our families during this time.

Charlottesville City Schools’ food deliveries will be back at our usual times and locations on Monday (4/13) and Wednesday (4/15).  See below for delivery locations and times.  Have a safe spring break!


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

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).

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

  1. Charlottesville High School – 1400 Melbourne Ave
  2. Friendship Court – 418 Garrett St
  3. Greenstone on 5th – 746 Prospect Av
  4. Hearthwood Apartments  – 2111 Michie Drive
  5. Jackson-Via Elementary School – Parking Lot / Bus Loop 508 Harris Road
  6. 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 3/23 AND BEYOND

Illustration of an adult hand helping a child hand

We have a need of volunteers for Monday, 3/23 and beyond.  Volunteers should arrive at CHS (1400 Melbourne Rd) at 10am to help load (lifting required of most volunteers). They should be done by  12:30pm.  Monday/Wednesday deliveries. 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.


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)

Coronavirus/School Closure

VDH Infographic about Coronavirus symptoms and best practices (fever, cough, sore throat). Wash hands, cover cough, throw away tissue.

Updated: April 1, 2020 10:00am

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.

Charlottesville City Schools Resources:

illustration of a "closed" signCharlottesville City Schools will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year following Governor Northam’s statewide school closure to contain the coronavirus. Stay tuned for updates related to continuity of learning and more.

Charlottesville City Schools Messages to Families

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?

Yes. Learn more at charlottesvilleschools.org/food.

During spring break (April 6-10), we recommend that families take advantage of community resources. These will be posted on our web site once the 4/1 school meal deliveries are complete.

Are the Schools Offering Online or At-Home Learning?

Are the Schools Offering Online or At-Home Learning?

Yes. During the weeks prior to spring break, we are offering exploratory activities as we continued to provide tech or other supports to families who are not connected with the schools. After spring break (April 6-10), we will be teaching new material to students, whether online or via learning materials mailed home.  All this is in keeping with the state’s guidance.

  • Find out more at charlottesvilleschools.org/learning
  • If your child has not been in contact with your teacher(s), please contact your school. We want to be connected and to keep your child learning this spring.
  • More details will be posted soon.

illustration of wifi hotspotWe have a number of free wifi hotspots available for check-out to households that do not presently have a way for their students to connect with their teachers.  Contact your school

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.

Have Schools Cancelled Activities?

Have Schools Cancelled Activities?

  • Activities and Events: 
    • Public activities have been cancelled by Governor Northam through June 10.
    • We are exploring virtual or delayed options for some events. Stay tuned.

Questions about Students/Staff and their Families

What Should My Family Do?

What Should My Family Do?

  • If your child has not been in contact with your teacher(s), please contact your school. We want to be connected and to keep your child learning this spring.
  • 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.

  • If your child has not been in contact with your teacher(s), please contact your school. We want to be connected and to keep your child learning this spring.
  • Check to see if volunteer slots have opened (or new days added) to assist with our Nutrition Service’s meal delivery program during the closure.
  • You may wish to donate to the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation’s  “Community Emergency Response Fund.”

How Do I Get Messages from the School?

How Do I Get Messages from the School?

If your child has not been in contact with your teacher(s), please contact your school. We want to be connected and to keep your child learning this spring.

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:

Energy and Water Management Program: Spring Quarter Poster image discusses reducing water and energy waste

City and Schools promote energy and water conservation-Spring Quarter 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. On April 11th, 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

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.

 

Winter Sports Feb 2020 colleage (basketball, wrestling, track). Call 245-2962 with questions.

February 2020 News and Highlights

A Word from Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins

Johnson students in superhero gear for kindness weekDear staff, family, and community:

I write this note in the midst of Kindness Week in our schools. For instance, the superheroes at the right wore capes and masks to remind us that we all have the power to be kind. Does it get any cuter?

Love and kindness are key to our schools. Kindness is always available to us, but it is also hard to carry out. Many on our staff were reminded of this truth by Dr. Luvelle Brown, a native son who is now Superintendent in Ithaca Public Schools in New York. He reminded us that we need a culture of love to make our schools better for everyone. This newsletter reflects some of the ways we are taking care of our students, staff, and families. It also reminds us about next week’s Community Conversations on Equity, a chance for us to reflect on our equity work and what has (and hasn’t) gone right.

As we move forward, let’s take a cue from these little ones and lead with kindness. Now where did I put my cape?

Dr. Rosa Atkins

 

Collage of CHS sports (basketball, wrestling, swimming, track) during 2020 postseason.

Go Black Knights! We’re cheering you on in post-season play. Boys’ and girls’ hoops swept the Jeff District championship tourney and start regionals Friday night at home. Coach Mitch Minor has won 400+ career games at CHS. Wrestlers, swimmers, and track/field athletes are heading to states. Find details here. (Photos courtesy Andrew Shurtleff/Daily Progress and Tony D’Alessio.)

SUBSTITUTE TEACHERS: AN UPDATE. 
Dr. Atkins and Board members at February 2020 work session. Courtesy K. Knoot/Daily ProgressAs noted last month, we have been exploring options for how to attract and retain substitute teachers. A few updates: We’ve had some successes recruiting additional subs, we are budgeting to raise subs’ pay next year, and we are implementing better ways to welcome and support subs. In addition, at Walker, Buford, and CHS, we will start compensating teachers who need to cover for peers when no sub is available.  We’re also exploring how to begin a similar system at the elementaries. Read Daily Progress coverage.

EQUITY CONVERSATIONS: HEAR WHAT’S NEW. SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK.
Jackson-Via renovationWe’re hosting four Equity Conversations from 2/24-2/27, a chance for the community to hear what we’ve been working on and to share their perspectives. Dates are 2/24 at 6pm at CHS, 2/25 at 6:30pm at Friendship Ct., 2/26 at 6:30pm at Boys & Girls Club (Cherry Avenue), and 2/27 at 12pm at City of Promise. Spanish translation and childcare are available. For more information, call 245-2962 or see  our web site.

FOR UPDATE TO BURNLEY-MORAN, ARCHITECTS TALK TO EXPERTS — STUDENTS.
Burnley-Moran students vote on chairs for renovated spaces.As the school division and educational architects VMDO plan for an improvement project at Burnley-Moran, we are gathering feedback from stakeholders — including students. Focus groups of fourth-graders moved through stations to test furniture, explore the proposed designs with virtual reality goggles, and give a thumbs up (or down) to possible elements. Burnley-Moran will be the third elementary to receive a $1 million update. In addition, the City is also currently reviewing proposals to plan the redesign of Walker as a city-wide preschool center and Buford as a grade 6-8 middle school. Learn more.

PROJECT RUNWAY: HIGH SCHOOL EDITION
Clothes and shoes at CHS "Swap Shop"A student-run, no-fee clothing exchange at CHS is a fun and important way to meet students’ needs  — and even their wants. Located near the main office, the swap shop’s racks are available to all. Students and staff can grab a new look AND recycle the things they’re no longer wearing. Student leader Elana West-Smith notes, “I’m a thrifter and I also really enjoy the idea of people being able to have the resources they need.”

FROM WALKER PLAYGROUND TO TEACHER LOUNGE, FAMILIES MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
Walker student playing basketball at recess by Billy Jean Louis/Charlottesville TomorrowTwo family-led projects will make a big impact at Walker. First, over the MLK Day weekend, volunteers completed a weekend make-over of the teachers’ lounge. Next, students will receive a long-awaited playground to enhance their recess choices. Together, the joint Buford-Walker United PTO raised (and continue to raise) funds to build a playground, and the School Board approved the project in February. Thanks for making a difference!

SERVICE LEARNING? IT’S ELEMENTARY. AND MIDDLE SCHOOL. AND BEYOND.
Clark student sewing a wildlife rescue pouchReal-world activities and community service are important ways to bring learning to life, and it’s never too early to start, whether it’s K students practicing conservation, fourth-graders sewing cozy pouches to warm up orphaned wildlife at shelters, Buford students raising money for SARA, or CHS English classes using real estate records for “Mapping Cville” to find patterns of housing inequities. Schools benefit from volunteers, too — whether a visit from Miss Virginia, guest readers from the men of Alpha Phi Alpha, or field trips and mentoring from the UVa Medical Center, the School of Medicineor the School of Engineering.

BLACK HISTORY MONTH? LET’S TAKE IT BEYOND FEBRUARY.
Detail of a Johnson teacher's Black History Month door decorationsFrom door-decorating contests to soul feasts to daily fun facts to guest lecturers or lunchtime performances, our schools are celebrating Black History Month. We were especially charmed by Jackson-Via’s art students, who have studied and been inspired by Black artists. Beyond February, however, we are doing ongoing work to “Change the Narrative” and feature more black and other sometimes-silenced voices in our social science and history classes, assigned readings, and media centers. Learn more about BHM celebrations. 

SCHOOL BOARD NOTES
Cville Schools official logoIn recent weeks, the School Board has continued to work on next year’s budget, holding work sessions and community updates (see the calendar of budget events and presentation slides). At their February meeting, Board members heard updates on the MP3 black male mentoring program and our literacy instruction (including the introduction of a new elementary curriculum). The Board also expressed approval and appreciation for the family-led initiative to add playground equipment to Walker. Find more School Board information, including agendas, minutes, and livestream video.

UPCOMING EVENTS AT-A-GLANCE
illustration of calendarOngoing  Preschool applications. Find info online.
2/24-27 Community Conversations on Equity. See details.
2/27 CHS Band Pre-Assessment Concert, 7pm, MLKPAC
2/29 CHS Choir participates in Winter Songs, 7pm, Monticello HS

3/2-3 No School for professional learning/teacher work day
3/4  Special Education Advisory Committee, 5:30pm, Jackson-Via
3/5 School Board Meeting, 5pm, CHS Media Center
3/5 Harvest of the Month Snack Program (thanks, City Schoolyard Garden)
3/9 Governor’s Conversation on the State Equity Plan, 6-8:30pm
3/10 School Health Advisory Board, 4pm, Division Annex
3/11 Art Connections Evening Hours (with Buford Jazz Band), 4:30-6pm, CHS Small Gym
3/14 Art Connections Saturday Celebration, 10am-2pm, CHS Small Gym. Note: Enjoy Parent University (10:30am-1pm) while you’re there!
3/18 Art Connections Evening Hours (with Walker Jazz Band), 4:30-6pm, CHS Small Gym

More Looks at Cville Schools

Kids making and enjoying smoothies at Greenbrier cooking class

The family engagement team continues its good work with a cooking class at Greenbrier. Follow @EngageFamCCS.

CHS Symphony on stage at Martin Luther King Performing Arts Center.

CHS held its annual celebration of the arts in January, with joint performances by students in band, choir, orchestra, theatre, and visual arts. If you missed it, you can catch the video here..

Venable's crossing guard Ursula Coleman by Daily Progress/Erin Edgerton

Venable crossing guard Ursula Coleman was named 1 of 6 VA Outstanding Crossing Guards!  Ruth Hill of Clark won the same award in 2016. Thanks to all our hard-working guards who keep our walkers safe!

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

Find us on the web at charlottesvilleschools.org

Community Conversations on Equity — Still Time to Speak Up!

Flyer for Community Conversations on Equity. Dates are 2/24 at 6pm at CHS, 2/25 at 6:30pm at Friendship Ct, 2/26 at 6:30pm at Boys & Girls Club/Cherry Avenue, and 2/27 at 12pm at City of Promise. Spanish translation and childcare available. For more information, call 245-2962.

In February, we held a round of community-wide meetings about our shared commitment to serve all of our students well. We will share this feedback with the School Board in March, and we will update this web page with these findings, as well.

Have Ideas to Share?

We want to hear from you! The slides are posted below, along with a form for online feedback (scroll down).

Additional Information/Resources for these Conversations

 

Detail from a Johnson teacher's door saying Black History Month

Black History Month, February 2020

Black History Month is well underway at Charlottesville City Schools, with morning announcements, door decorations, soul feasts, guest presenters, and more.

Here are just a few examples from social media:

Jackson-Via art students studied and took inspiration from the rich history of Black artists and activists:

 

Johnson families enjoy African-American Heritage Night, complete with a Kehinde Wiley-inspired photo booth created by students (back by popular demand!):

CHS has a series of events, including lunchtime learning on Mondays:

 

Thanks to all the teachers, students, families, and community members who have volunteered to make this month meaningful!

While Black History Month is tremendously important, we continue to work to make sure that diverse perspectives are reflected in our curriculum, media centers, and offerings.  For two more examples from social media, see:

CHS students in Sigma Lab with visiting UVA Link lab mentors.

Sigma and Link Labs partner for UVA-CHS collaboration

The CHS Sigma Lab and the UVA Engineering Link Lab share a commonality–students serving their communities by solving real problems through engineering solutions. UVA Today recently highlighted the unique partnership formed between CHS engineering teacher Dr. Matt Shields and UVA professor Dr. Jonathan Goodall.

Tale of Two Labs: UVA engineers collaborate with Charlottesville High School students

January 28, 2020

By Audra Book

Matthew Shields, left, gives graduate engineering students (from left) Benjamin Bowes, Natalie Lerma, Arash Tavakoli, Ruijie Zhu, Wenqiang Chen, Luis Lopez Ruiz and Sonia Baee a tour of Charlottesville High’s Sigma Lab.Matthew Shields, left, gives graduate engineering students (from left) Benjamin Bowes, Natalie Lerma, Arash Tavakoli, Ruijie Zhu, Wenqiang Chen, Luis Lopez Ruiz and Sonia Baee a tour of Charlottesville High’s Sigma Lab. (Photos by Tom Cogill)

In 2001, Jonathan L. Goodall earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Virginia, graduating with the foundational belief that community collaborations lead to better engineering outcomes. While completing his Ph.D. in civil engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, then working as a professor at Duke University and the University of South Carolina, Goodall’s teaching emphasized the role community service plays in creating the best engineering solutions.

In 2013, Goodall’s career led him back to UVA Engineering, where he is a professor in the Department of Engineering Systems and Environment and associate director of UVA Engineering’s Link Lab for cyber-physical systems, with nearly 40 faculty members and more than 200 graduate students focused on research in the areas of autonomous systems, smart health and smart cities.

Goodall actively leads the Link Lab in smart cities research by being a good community partner. He stresses to his students the importance of working across traditional boundaries to serve society.

“UVA Engineering sees the value of service and views it as critical to education,” he said. “This is the only way to produce well-rounded graduates.”

Matthew Shields also graduated from UVA in 2001 after earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering, then completing his multi-degree track at UVA with a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from UVA’s Curry School of Education (now the Curry School of Education and Human Development) in 2011. Like Goodall, he embarked on a career having been influenced by a university that places tremendous value on service to society.

CHS engineering teacher Matthew Shields and UVA professor Jonathan L. Goodall both graduated from UVA Engineering in 2001. Now they are bringing their students together to demonstrate the power of community in tackling challenging problems.CHS engineering teacher Matthew Shields and UVA professor Jonathan L. Goodall both graduated from UVA Engineering in 2001. Now they are bringing their students together to demonstrate the power of community in tackling challenging problems.

Shields turned his own UVA learning experience into an evolution in local schools. He created and now directs Charlottesville High School’s Sigma Lab and Engineering Program. The multi-year engineering curriculum culminates in a capstone class, where high school seniors create self-directed team projects designed to solve community problems.

“I tell my students that engineering is about making the world a better place,” he said. “I challenge them to think about an audience here or in the broader world, then design and build something that serves these groups.”

Although Goodall and Shields departed UVA on very different trajectories, they are united in a mission to educate future engineering leaders. Recently, they decided to demonstrate the power of community by bringing their high school and UVA students together for a problem-solving partnership.
Goodall suggested that the Link Lab’s graduate students mentor the Charlottesville High School capstone class seniors. Shields thought this was a particularly good idea because many of the students’ projects were cyber-physical systems, and they would need outside expertise to overcome hurdles in design and development.

“One of my main goals for the engineering program is to connect it to the real world. Collaborating with the Link Lab has provided that authenticity. My students see the connection between the work they are doing and research happening at the graduate level.”

– MATT SHIELDS

Goodall proposed the idea to the Link Lab Student Committee on Culture and Livability, a graduate student organization focused on building community through inclusivity. Arash Tavakoli, a second-year Ph.D. student in civil engineering, and Luis Lopez Ruiz, a fifth-year Ph.D. student in electrical engineering, lead the organization.

Both thought mentoring would be right in line with the committee’s goals to create community conversations that lead to better research. They quickly moved to line up interested volunteers.

“Working with groups outside of those you would normally see leads to a fresh perspective, diversity in insights and better outcomes,” Tavakoli said.

Lopez Ruiz agreed. “Opportunities like this allow us to get out and develop friendships and build bridges of communication that lead to better collaborations overall.”

The teams met for the first time at the Sigma Lab in October. Shields stressed that his vision for the mentorship program extended beyond the technical aspects of engineering into learning how to collaborate. “What does it mean to be a real engineer?” he asked. “It means you solve problems and you work as a team.”

Goodall elaborated on the communal perspective. “What you are doing in this capstone class is a good fit for what Link Lab is doing,” he told the high school students. “We are doing cross-cutting research in cyber-physical systems. This is where the cyber and physical worlds come together, and these are the types of problems we are solving.”

The CHS capstone teams shared their projects and expected challenges. Projects were as diverse as a glove-operated drone, a hands-free musical instrument and an Android app that would allow the school’s gardening teacher to remotely water plants.

Link Lab graduate students offered ideas to help the capstone students overcome challenges. They also discussed methods for ongoing, real-time interaction and settled on using Slack, a cloud-based instant messaging system, for immediate communication between the Link Lab and Sigma Lab. Working together to implement the communication solution demonstrated the importance of teamwork in real-world scenarios.

The UVA Engineering Link Lab and Charlottesville High School Sigma Lab capstone class teams engaged in dynamic problem-solving, demonstrating the importance of collaboration in today’s engineering work environments.The UVA Engineering Link Lab and Charlottesville High School Sigma Lab capstone class teams engaged in dynamic problem-solving, demonstrating the importance of collaboration in today’s engineering work environments.

Sanjana Mendu, a second-year master’s student in the Department of Engineering Systems and Environment, pointed out that today’s engineering careers require more than just book smarts.

“Working with other people is the most important skill to have when you enter the real work environment,” she said. “Being a good team player and leadership are characteristics that my adviser values and seeks to instill.”

Tavakoli shared insights with the high school students about the importance of collaborating across traditional boundaries in modern workplaces.

“For the type of cyber-physical systems research we are doing at the Link Lab, we are looking beyond the foundations to social disciplines like psychology,” he said. “We are becoming better engineers by reaching out to find the expertise we need to create solutions that are socially viable. These skills are necessary in the 21st century, so we want to demonstrate and share that process.”

The graduate students spent additional time touring the Sigma Lab and working in dynamic, problem-solving sessions.

The partnership between the Link Lab and the Sigma Lab will continue, including an open invitation for the capstone teams to visit the Link Lab.

“One of my main goals for the engineering program is to connect it to the real world. Collaborating with the Link Lab has provided that authenticity,” Shields said. “My students see the connection between the work they are doing and research happening at the graduate level. The Link Lab also provides a discerning audience as my students conduct research and document their work.”

The value of the mentorship goes both ways, according to the Link Lab graduate students. “The student committee believes it is so important to get out of your own space and interact,” Lopez Ruiz said.

“Working together in the same physical space is paramount to modern-day engineering,” Goodall said. “This partnership allows us to offer the capstone students additional research experiences that will be an important aspect of learning for these future engineers, educators and researchers.”

graphic for academic advising season-look ahead

Looking ahead to 2020-21: Walker, Buford and CHS academic counseling begins

graphic for academic advising season-look aheadIt’s already time to think about next year! Whether you are at CHS, Buford, or Walker Upper Elementary, school counselors are beginning to meet with students and families about course offerings for 2020-21.

Want to learn more about options available next school year? Attend any of the following upcoming events to meet administrators, counselors, teachers, and ask questions:

Meanwhile, counselors are checking in with students during the school day. Walker school counselors are visiting all city fourth grade students to introduce themselves and give information about elective options, while Buford counselors are planning to visit Walker sixth graders, and CHS counselors are visiting Buford eighth graders–all to make next year’s transition easier for our students who are changing schools.

Have questions? Ask your teacher, counselor, or principal!

Two girls participate in Hour of Code activity at Venable.

January 2020 News and Highlights

 

A Word from Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins

Ms. Clarke's fourth grade classroom renovationDear staff, family, and community:

As we start 2020, I’ve been looking ahead to what the year will bring. Here are four areas you will hear more about:

Facilities. In early 2019, our Board endorsed a plan to reconfigure our schools. We received $3 million from the City to help us plan and design a new Walker (for preschool) and Buford (for grades 6-8). Once the bidding process is complete, the City will then select a firm to help with this work. Find updates here, and stay tuned!

Equity. The last year or so has been marked by public conversations and bold action on equity in our schools. On February 19 and 26, we’ll hold public events to continue this conversation, and you can also learn more detailed updates here.

Data. Among our most foundational work in equity — and in overall school improvement — is committing to a set of indicators that will show our progress and needs. This sounds simple, but in a world of changing tests, evolving tools, and unintended consequences, it is not. So we are thoughtfully exploring our top goals and the best way to measure them.

Substitute teachers. We — like school divisions across the country — have had shortages in areas such as substitute teachers, CLASS after-school staff, and bus drivers. We are doing internal work to assess the substitute situation and our responses (via marketing, training, compensation). And we are considering options for our community’s after-school care needs. In the meanwhile, help us spread the word! We are looking for substitute teachers and after-school staff — and our colleagues at the City (who manage student transportation) are looking for bus drivers (and substitute bus drivers). Together, let’s find good solutions and talented individuals.

As always, we invite you to partner with us. This might mean checking in with your teacher, attending events or meetings, volunteering, or just staying informed.

Enjoy the long weekend!

Dr. Rosa Atkins

 

Family Engagement/Parent University Leaders

Did you enjoy Parent University? Have you chatted during a Bus Stop Meet-n-Greet? Or perhaps your family enjoyed the winter break calendar of suggested activities. Thanks to Velvet Coleman, Bianca Johnson, & partners! Recently, the Daily Progress featured our family engagement team.

EQUITY-RELATED WORKSHOPS: NOT JUST FOR STAFF, BUT FOR FAMILIES, TOO!
Dr. Joseph Williams headshotThe Cville Schools staff and administrators have engaged in a variety of trainings related to equity — and we’ll continue to offer these important workshops. But families are a big part of the work, too. So in response to PTO requests, Cville Schools has worked with UVA professor (and Cville Schools parent) Dr. Joseph Williams to provide two free workshops for families. This past Saturday was a session on implicit bias, and this Saturday, we’ll cover “How to Talk to Your Child about Race.” Sign up here.

JACKSON-VIA BUILDING IMPROVEMENT: CHECK. NEXT UP: MUCH, MUCH MORE
Jackson-Via renovationAs part of our elementary modernizations, Jackson-Via just completed a $1.25 million improvement to its entrance, lighting, tech, furnishings, and more. This follows work at Clark in 2018, and Burnley-Moran is up next. In addition, we continue to plan for the redesign of Buford and Walker. The RFP for design and planning services was posted in December. An overview of these plans (moving 6th grade to Buford; returning 5th-grade to elementaries; creating a dedicated early education center at Walker) is on our web site.

IT’S TIME TO APPLY FOR PRESCHOOL – AND IT’S MORE WELCOMING THAN EVER
Dad demonstrates sewing for preschool students.It’s time to apply for preschool: Cville Schools offers free preK classes for qualifying 3- and 4-year-olds. The joint application is here (for Cville Schools, ACPS, and MACAA). Among the changes this year, incomplete toilet skills are no longer an automatic disqualifier for Cville Schools — we’ll look at students on a case-by-case basis. Other preschool news (aside from planning for an early childhood center — see above item) includes the “Creative Curriculum,” a research-based resource that ties together play, literacy, math, and personal growth as kiddos explore everyday subjects like balls or clothes. Pictured left, one of our parents demonstrates sewing as part of the unit on clothing.

WHAT’S COOKING AT WALKER? KIDS ARE IN THE KITCHEN (& OTHER CLUBS)
Walker students participate in cooking club.The Walker after-school program (EDGE) offers options ranging from sign language to theatre — come see Peter Pan on 1/17! Since 2003, a cooking club has brought Cville area chefs to work with students, started by former nutrition coordinator Alicia Cost and now run by Becky Calvert. It’s almost time for spring EDGE sign-ups. Spring info and sign-ups will be published 1/27. Sessions start 2/5; fee is $20 or free to students with free/reduced lunch. For more info for students OR adult volunteers, visit the EDGE web site.

YOU’VE SEEN TEACHERS MAKE A DIFFERENCE. NOMINATE THEM FOR AN AWARD!
Better living golden apply award logoMaybe a new teacher has gotten off to a great start. Perhaps it’s time to show appreciation for the teacher who’s put in good work for decades. Either way, it’s time for the annual Golden Apple nominations for outstanding teachers, sponsored by Better Living Building Supply & Cabinetry. Take a few minutes — perhaps working with your student — to submit a nomination to your principal by 1/27. (Winners from the last three years aren’t eligible, but you can still jot them a note of appreciation!) Find the application form here.

AS SECOND SEMESTER STARTS, LET’S TALK ABOUT NEXT FALL
illustration of curriculumThe first semester ends Friday, but it’s already time to think about next year! Check out upcoming ways to learn about our course offerings. For instance, Buford has a family curriculum night on 1/28, CHS has one on 2/3, Buford’s engineering expo is 2/13, and CATEC has an event on 2/25. Plus, Walker counselors are visiting elementary schools, and a video helps Walker families understand their choices. Counselors are checking in with Buford and CHS students to help them plan for a future that extends well beyond high school. Have questions? Ask your teacher, counselor, or principal!

WINTER WEATHER? CHECK YOUR NUMBERS, MAKE YOUR PLANS
snow photo of DOA‘Tis still the season for snow and ice. Take time now to prepare for a weather closing. To choose phone, email, or text notifications (and to check your contact information), log into PowerSchool and select School Messenger at left. Then in the top-left corner, click the three-menu lines and select “Preferences” to make your choice and check your info. Find more instructions. Need help logging into PowerSchool? Call your school, 245-2943, or 245-2962. Find more info about weather closing and notifications.

SCHOOL BOARD NOTES
Cville Schools official logoIn December, the School Board said farewell to interim member Ned Michie. In January, they welcomed new member Lashundra Bryson Morsberger, re-elected Jennifer McKeever and Leah Puryear as chair and vice chair, and approved committee assignments. Thanks to all for serving! December also began the budget development season (see the calendar of budget events and presentation slides). Areas of action include changes to the policy about distributing medicine in school, and the approval of the 2020-21 academic calendar and program of studies. Reports were given about family engagement, special education, the strategic plan, and the equity committee. Find more School Board information, including agendas, minutes, and livestream video.

UPCOMING EVENTS AT-A-GLANCE
illustration of calendar1/16-17 CHS Musical Theatre Education class presents Pippin, 7pm, Black Box Theatre, $10 adults ($5 students/alum)
1/17 Early Dismissal, End of 2nd Quarter, & Afternoon Professional Learning
1/17 Walker Stage Left Performs Peter Pan, 6:30pm, Walker Auditorium
1/20-21 No School (MLK Day on 1/20; teacher workday on 1/21)
1/21 Budget Update Meeting, 5pm, Jackson-Via (open to all)

1/28 Buford Family Curriculum Expo, 6pm (Walker families welcome!)
1/29 CHS Symphony/Choir/Arts Celebration, 7:30, MLKPAC

1/30 Walker 5th Grade Band Win
ter Concert, 6:30pm, Walker Auditorium
2/3 CHS Curriculum Fair & Buford Family Night, 4:30-7pm, CHS Cafeteria. (Buford Family Information Session will take place from 6:30-7pm in A-Commons.)

2/5 Walker EDGE Clubs Begin for Second Semester
2/6 School Board Meeting, 5pm, CHS Media Center
2/6 Harvest of the Month Snack Program (thanks, City Schoolyard Garden)
2/13 Buford Engineering Expo, 5:30-7pm, Buford (open to all)

More Looks at Cville Schools

Zymir Faulkner by Andrew Shurtleff/Daily Progress

Go Black Knights! Basketball, sideline cheer, swimming, track, and wrestling are in season. Boys’ hoops (12-1) won the Daily Progress Holiday Classic, and Zymir Faulkner (above) was the DP’s athlete of the week. Prior to Friday’s basketball game, the state championship boys’ soccer team was honored and received their rings. Spring tryouts start 2/24 — info will be posted to gocville.org.

Pippin poster and cast (musical theatre ensemble class)

The arts are always in season at Cville Schools. Students from CHS’s musical theatre ensemble class are presenting Pippin 1/16 and 1/17 in the Black Box. Walker students are presenting Peter Pan 1/17 at Walker. ALL CHS arts students are performing and presenting on 1/29. Don’t miss it! 

Venable Hour of Code activity

Students participated in the Hour of Code (national programming activities). Our iSTEM teachers present coding year-round, leading to computer science pathways at CHS and CATEC. And shout-out to CHS BACON (Best All-around Club of Nerds) for qualifying for the state FTC Robotics championship!

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

Find us on the web at charlottesvilleschools.org