What‘s Happening at School Division News

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Susan Erno Honored as Runner-Up for U.S. Outstanding Adult Ed Administrator

Susan ErnoSusan Erno, the Director of Thomas Jefferson Adult and Career Education (TJACE), was honored as national runner-up for outstanding administrator of the year by the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE), an organization of 15,000+ professional adult educators.

The honor was announced just days before TJACE hosts its 21st Annual Voices of Adult Learners Celebration, a reading of works written by area adult learners. Held annually as part of the Virginia Festival of the Book, the reading will be Thursday, March 23, from 6-8 p.m., at Jefferson School African-American Heritage Center. It is free and open to the public, with a light reception at 5:30.

“We are so proud of Susan and her regional leadership and advocacy for our inspirational adult learners,” commented Charlottesville City Schools Superintendent Rosa Atkins. “Susan’s leadership not only benefits the City of Charlottesville, but also five surrounding counties. Our whole region should be appreciative of her leadership and inspired by the adult learners she serves.”

Press Release from COABE. Call 245-2962 for informationSince 1998, Erno has coordinated the adult education programs for Charlottesville City Schools, which in 2012 became the center of a regional network that also covers Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, and Nelson. In addition, she has served as the president for the Virginia Association for Adult and Career Education. For more information about her career and accomplishments, please see the release from COABE.

“I’m humbled to receive this award,” notes Erno. “It’s inspiring to work with so many talented adult educators in our area and across the nation. But quite honestly, the ones who deserve honor are our adult learners who model perseverance, who have overcome challenges, and who continue to learn and to strive for a better future. I invite the community to come on Thursday to celebrate them!”

children posing from the CLASS program's Camp ExL

Register for Summer Camp ExL

Informational Flyer for Camp ExL 2017

Registration will begin Monday, March 20 for Camp ExL, the summer program from CLASS.  Spaces are limited and will fill up fast! Forms will not be accepted before March 20.

Program dates run from June 19th—July 28th between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. with additional wraparound hours available for extra cost.  This fun summer opportunity  is open to students in pre-k—3rd grade during the 2016-2017 school year.

Click here for more information and registration forms.

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Fine Arts in March & April

March Performances and Key Dates for Charlottesville City Schools

Spring performance and exhibition season for Charlottesville City Schools begins in March. Come join us for one of these community events:

Artwork by Charlottesville High School 12th grade student, Patrick O'Shea
Art courtesy Patrick O’Shea ’17

Piedmont Council for the Arts Rising Stars Award Ceremony

March 3, 7-9pm, The Haven (112 Market St.)

  • CHS seniors Faith Brown (music — cello), Elliot Craft (theater), and Patrick O’Shea (visual arts) are among the honorees!
  • Piedmont Council for the Arts will assemble the area’s most talented high school artists, writers, and performers for the 20th annual Arthur C. Greene Rising Stars Awards Ceremony. For more information, contact the PCA at 971-2787.

 

violin-collagePainted Violins Auction to Support CHS Orchestra Trip to Ireland

March 3-17 on view at Studio IX (and online)

  • Support our world-acclaimed musicians as they represent us this summer in Ireland!
  • Fourteen area artists have donated hand-painted violins to support the students
  • From March 3-17, the works can be viewed at Studio IX in the IX Building (969 2nd St. SE; gallery hours M-F 8am-5pm / Sat 9am-3pm)
  • To see photos online or bid, check out chsorchestra.org or https://chsorchestra.betterworldcollective.com/

Flyer for Art Connections exhibition, Mary 20-29. For details, call 245-2671.Art Connections 2017

March 20-29, CHS Small Gym

  • Art Connections is the annual exhibition of K-12 artwork by students at all Charlottesville City Schools.
  • Open weekdays from 9am-3:30pm in the CHS Small Gym
  • “Saturday Celebration” on March 25 from 10am-2pm with hands-on activities and the award-winning Walker Jazz Band!
  • “Open House” on Wednesday, March 29, from 4-6:30pm, just prior to “All-City Choir Festival” (see below)
  • For more information, contact Aaron Eichorst, 245-2671

 


Flyer for All-City Choral Festival 3/29 at 7pm. For details, call 245-2671.All-City Choral Festival

March 29, 7pm, Martin Luther King Performing Arts Center

  • Choirs from all schools will join for this special performance
  • For more information, contact Aaron Eichorst, 245-2671

 


Teacher Workday & Spring Break, March 31- April 7

 


Raisin in the Sun PosterA Raisin in the Sun

Theatre CHS, April 13-14, 7pm, Black Box Theatre at CHS

  • Tickets $10 adult/$5 student (available at theatrechs.org)
  • More info: David Becker at 245-2410

 


CHS Choir Spring Concert

April 26, MLKPAC, 7pm

Walker Orchestra Spring Concert

April 27, Walker Auditorium, 7pm

  • Come hear Dr. Sibert’s farewell concert to thank her for her many award-winning years of service!

CHS combined choir and Walker orchestra students

Charlottesville School Board

Statement from the School Board on our International Students

In the midst of our national conversation about immigrants and refugees, we, the Charlottesville City School Board, would like to affirm that we continue to support and value each of our students, regardless of race, ethnicity, country of origin, religion, or more. Although our teachers, staff, students, and families vary tremendously in culture, life experiences, and perspectives, we are united in our goals of nurturing personal and academic excellence for all and creating a learning atmosphere of mutual respect.

Charlottesville School Board

Our students from around the world – whether here as immigrants, refugees, through international exchanges, or for other reasons – enrich the learning environment for all of us. We admire their perseverance in learning a new language and culture, building new friendships, and establishing new routines. Many of our international students have become school and community leaders, and all of them are models of resilience.

In Charlottesville, our students are diverse by every measure — economically, racially, ethnically, and politically, to name just a few – and we strive to learn from one another and to celebrate both the ways that we are different and the ways that we are alike. We commend our teachers and staff for their work in supporting all of our students. We thank our community for its support of our schools and our students.

–Charlottesville City School Board, February 2, 2017

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

CHS students interviewing and photographing local African-Americans. Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Daily Progress

Highlights and News: January 24, 2017

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January 24, 2017

Johnson 4th-graders participate in a strategic plan focus group.
Johnson fourth-graders participate in a strategic plan focus group.

Dear families,

As you know, we are developing the strategic plan that will guide our Charlottesville schools through the year 2023. So far, we have gotten a great response from students, staff, and parents — and we want to hear from you, too.

Three opportunities are available for staff and parents:

  • A community-wide listening session will be held this Wednesday (1/25) at CHS at 7pm. Join us!
  • An online survey is another way you can share your feedback and ideas.
  • A schedule of school-based meetings is on the web site, as well.

This monthly newsletter will reflect on some of the ideas we’ve heard so far, connecting the ideas with recent activities in our schools.
Dr. Rosa S. Atkins, Superintendent

Early Feedback from our Meetings and and Survey Responses:

More Real-World Activities, Projects, and Writing

CHS students interviewing and photographing local African-Americans. Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Daily ProgressRecent examples:

  • This month, CHS photo and African-American history students partnered on an community project in which they interviewed and photographed local black leaders to document African-American lives, leadership, and experiences.  The images and content will be presented to the CHS community during their African-American History Month assembly.
  • CHS student Saad Khaleefa more than impressed the crowd at the annual community  celebration honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he read his essay describing this experiences as a refugee from Syria.  Khaleefa won the high school writing contest (and classmate Thomas Inigo was a finalist); the contest was curated by PVCC judges and sponsored by the Albemarle County Rotary Club Foundation.
  • Walker students designing and testing toy boats in a James River experiementThanks to the school division’s new iSTEM program, fifth-graders at Walker School designed, built, and tested boats for a journey up the “James River” in a classroom simulation. In addition to the STEM skills, the project incorporated history and language arts skills. Similarly, third-graders across the division designed and built garden structures to protect the schools’ lettuce from winter, among other projects. You can catch a broader glimpse of the work of this new iSTEM program at STEM nights hosted by the elementary schools this winter.
  • Burnley-Moran students have been writing letters to (and receiving correspondence from) senior-citizen pen pals throughout the year.  This month, they’re going to meet each other face-to-face!

More Use of Community Partnerships and Resources

Ms. Ruth from Clark speaking with studentsA few recent examples:

  • Clark Elementary organized a “community helper day” for its kindergartners, inviting special guests including their own award-winning crossing guard Ms. Ruth Hill. Other guests are future and current community helpers from CATEC,  with high school students representing fields such as firefighting, dental, and medical care.
  • Images from two performances at the Paramount Theatre: Grapes of Wrath and The SnowmanCHS eleventh-grade English classes took advantage of performances of The Grapes of Wrath at the Paramount Theater offered by the National Players. Thanks to the theater, the actors visited CHS to offer related workshops with English and drama classes. Similarly, a number of our elementary school students were able to hear the Richmond Symphony accompany a screening of The Snowman, also at the Paramount.
  • CHS biology students recently partnered with UVa Health professionals to present their research at a student symposium. 
  • Buford students will soon be watching Hidden Figures, a powerful reminder that each of us can use our talents to impact our world. 
  • Our partnership with City Schoolyard Garden offers hands-on learning across the curriculum. Students, staff, and parents are pleased with these ongoing activities and are glad to see expansions, including the green roof project on the new garden shed at Greenbrier.

Putting Students at the Center: Offering Choices and Pathways

16-17 Zero Robotics programming team from CHS
CHS Zero Robotics programming team: ranked 10th in the world

Recent examples include:

  • Our strategic plan process includes focus groups with students at all our schools, including our alternative program, Lugo-McGinness Academy. Students have brought important and unique perspectives but also share many of the same educational goals and preferences as their teachers and parents.
  • The CHS science club BACON (Best All-around Club of Nerds) offers a model for how students can take ownership of their learning.  Students pick the projects they wish to focus on and work independently on their goals. As adviser Dr. Matt Shields notes, “It’s about as far away as you can get from ‘My dad did my science fair project.'”  For a fifth straight year, the students working on the Zero Robotics team qualified for the international finals in the programming competition sponsored by NASA and MIT. Good luck at the finals, BACON!
  • CATEC winners Luis and Ed
    CATEC winners Luis and Ed

    Students at CATEC also offer a model of charting their own path and exploring possible careers ranging from health care to culinary arts.  New this year is the program’s partnership with tech giant CISCO, offering industry-recognized certifications in IT. CATEC recently hosted the regional competition for Skills USA, showing the range of the program’s offerings. CHS students Luis Becerra-Vargas and Ed Pollock, respectively, earned 2nd and 3rd in Culinary Arts at the competition.  Congratulations!

  • Even younger students can take ownership of their learning.  This year, thanks to a grant from the Shannon Foundation, Venable students will lead their own parent-teacher conferences. Using portfolios of their own work, students will reflect on their growth and learning as well as articulate their goals for the future.
  • Student coding circuitry in engineering
    Student coding circuits in engineering

    While students in all curriculum areas offered specific examples of ways their teachers offer choice and independence, Buford and CHS students enrolled in engineering classes say that choice and independence are at the heart of these classes. Students are given structured expectations about what they will learn and what projects will guide them through the curriculum, but on a daily basis, students work independently and with peers to accomplish these goals.

Improving School Culture, Community, & Wellness

Students Taking a bow at a school-wide Venable meeting.
Taking a bow at a school-wide Venable meeting

Recent examples include:

  • Across our elementary schools, classrooms and even whole schools host periodic or daily “morning meetings” to celebrate successes, define goals, and build community.
  • This year’s new Link Crew program at CHS has connected upper-class mentors with ninth-graders to help younger students make a good transition, establish connections, and have fun.
  • More than wins and losses, athletics is about character.  At a recent basketball game, CHS recently honored graduate Rashard Davis, who just helped the JMU football team earn a national championship.  Davis is known for his work ethic, values, character — and setting college conference records. Similarly, girls’ basketball coach Jim Daly recently tweeted, “Our leading scorer from last night [Daeja Wade] was back in the gym by 9am to coach a 1st/2nd grade basketball team — nice reminder of what a great group of girls we have!”
  • Walker students solving puzzles blindfolded with help from friendsWalker students recently worked on some jigsaw puzzles while blindfolded! The challenge — completed with a little help from some friends — was organized by the schools’ counselors, who organize monthly lessons to build connections, character, and culture.
  • Jackson-Via recently earned a grant from Charlottesville’s “Sister Cities Commission” to support the school’s Harry-Potter-like “house” system. Connected to Charlottesville’s sister cities in Africa, Bulgaria, France, and Italy, the “houses” are student groups designed to build both interpersonal and international connections.
  • Wellness and nutrition have also received attention in the focus groups.  While Charlottesville has won national awards for its commitments to healthy activity, local foods, and more, there is always room for improvement.  New nutrition coordinator has met with a feedback group of Walker students, and a parent group focusing on fresh and healthy school meals has also been formed. Find the group on Facebook here!
  • Lugo-McGinness Academy, the school division’s alternative school for students in grades 7-12, is leading the way for us to reexamine school culture and discipline, focusing on relationships, student growth, and self-awareness.

Tapping into the Power of Play

Recent examples include:

  • Teachers at all levels incorporate learning games into their curriculum using hands-on items like dice or internet game-show-like tools like “Kahoot.”
  • Perhaps the model of “purposeful play” comes from kindergarten, including Johnson students recently choosing from a range of centers to explore “community helpers” — opting to play with a hospital-themed doll set, a child’s construction work table,  dress-up stations, and more.
  • A recent pep rally at CHS marked the semester’s end with laughs and games such as life-sized “Hungry, Hungry, Hippos.”
CHS students play "Hungry, Hungry Hippos" at pep rally.
CHS students play “Hungry, Hungry Hippos” at pep rally.
  • When possible, students prefer an atmosphere of “fun but serious.” One example they offered is their fine arts classes where it is fun to sing or draw or play an instrument, but the atmosphere is still marked by work and accomplishment.
  • Recess remains a priority for students, teachers, parents, and child-development experts, especially when recess is augmented by regular “get the wiggles out” activities such as brain breaks, mini-dance parties,  “Fun Fridays,” and other times for unstructured activities.

More Ideas

Students in Walker orchestraMore ideas….

  • First-grade teachers collaborating with bee-bot robots
    First-grade teachers collaborating

    Continue to attract and support such high-quality teachers and staff

  • Continue to support equity in achievement
  • Continue our commitment to the arts
  • Reexamine our facilities and how they will support learning
  • This is just a sampling of ideas we’ve heard. If you think one is missing, let us know by filling out the survey or attending a meeting!

School Board Update

Outgoing vice chair and chair, Leah Puryear and Amy Laufer
Outgoing vice chair and chair, Leah Puryear and Amy Laufer

At their January meeting, the Board elected Juan Wade and Sherry Kraft as chair and vice-chair, respectively.  The Board expressed its appreciation to outgoing chair and vice chair Amy Laufer and Leah Puryear (both of whom will remain on the Board). In addition, the Board voted to approve the 2017-18 Academic Calendar, the 2017-18 Program of Studies , and the tuition for the CLASS summer program. The Board also discussed the budget for 2017-18, heard updates about the “Link Crew” mentoring program at CHS,  and more.

Upcoming Events

Poster for Theatre CHS's presentation of Into the Woods.  Call 245-2962 for details.
Design by Sahara Clemmons, grade 10.

Upcoming events include:

  • Stage Left Theater presents Beauty and the Beast, 1/24, 6:30pm, Walker Auditorium
  • Community Strategic Plan Listening Session (open to all), 1/25, 7pm, CHS (Click here for a list of other listening sessions).
  • Buford offers Parent University, 1/26, 6pm
  • CHS Symphony/Choir Concert with Fine Arts Showcase, 2/1, 7:30pm, MLKPAC
  • School Board Meeting, 2/2, 5:30pm, CHS Media Center
  • Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) meeting, 2/14, 8:45am, Division Annex at CHS (call 245-2400 for more information)
  • CATEC Open House, 2/16, 4-6pm
  • TheatreCHS presents In the Woods, 2/16-18 at 7:30 (also 1:00 on 2/18). MLKPAC. Tickets available here.
  • Professional Learning Day (no school for students), 2/20
  • School Board Meeting, 3/2, 5:30pm, CHS Media Center

Remember that you can subscribe to our Google calendar of school holidays and as well as Google calendars for school-specific events. Instructions are at charlottesvilleschoools.org/calendar.

Poster for "Into the Woods" on February 16-18, 7:30 pm nightly with 1pm matinee on Saturday. Call 245-2410 for information.

TheaterCHS presents “Into the Woods” February 16-18

Poster for "Into the Woods" on February 16-18, 7:30 pm nightly with 1pm matinee on Saturday. Call 245-2410 for information.Charlottesville High School presents Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Into the Woods at the Martin Luther King Jr. Performing Arts Center from February 16-18, 2017. The Tony Award-winning musical revisits and reimagines several well-known fairy tales.

Performances will be Thursday through Saturday, February 16-18, at 7:30pm, with an additional Saturday matinee at 1pm. Tickets, available at http://theatrechs.org/buy-tickets-here/, are $10 for adults and $5 for students.

“We’re delighted to present this popular musical here in Charlottesville. It’s a real showcase for our students, whether our actors, our tech crew, our pit orchestra, and more,” notes director David Becker. “Even the technical innovations in the set offer an opportunity for our students to learn and shine.”

Find photos, videos, and more by visiting @TheatreCHS on Twitter.

Recently made into an award-winning 2014 film, Into the Woods has remained popular with audiences since its premier in 1986. Its fresh take on familiar fairy tales and its lively music combine for a crowd-pleaser. Among the ensemble cast are seniors Francis MacCall and Julia Kenner, playing the Baker and Baker’s Wife; Cina Boutin and Corbin Staton, playing Cinderella and her father; and Holden Hays  and Helaina Stratos playing the Mysterious Man and Rapunzel. Some 80 students are involved as actors, supporters, or musicians, not counting students contributing to the production through the school’s technical theater class.

In addition, for the first time, the CHS presentation will benefit from some engineering and multi-media additions, including a rotating stage as well as digital set elements developed by students.

Directed by David Becker, TheatreCHS has won numerous Virginia High School League awards. Student leadership in directing, costuming, poster design, and more is a hallmark of the program. (The poster image was illustrated and designed by Sahara Clemons, a tenth-grader at CHS.)

“The musical explores themes of growing up, our dreams and hopes, the downside to unintended consequences, and more,” adds Becker. “These themes resonate with our young performers, and we’re confident that our audiences will agree.”

For more information, call 245-2410.

Strategic Planning logo

Strategic Planning for 2017-2023

Strategic Planning logoFrom now through June 2017, we will be casting a vision for Charlottesville City Schools that will guide us through 2023.  We will be listening, evaluating, dreaming, and planning.

We’ll be seeking broad community input:

  • Students, parents, staff, administrators, and community members are invited to participate!
  • We’ll have school-based and interest-based small groups for discussion throughout January (see schedule, below). If you’re interested in participating, email goodnews@charlottesvilleschools.org.
  • Want a glimpse of what changes might be coming here and across the nation? See the video links, below!
  • Curious about what we’ve been hearing so far?  Read this month’s Highlights and News.
  • We’re hosting community-wide listening session on CHS on Wednesday, January 25 at 7pm — anyone can come!

Online survey!

Use this brief Google form to start sharing ideas or to let us know how you’d like to be involved. You might consider watching two short videos (see links, below) to “prime the pump” for your responses.

Schedule of Listening Sessions (dates added as they are scheduled):

Location Date Time
Venable Thursday, 1/12 5:30pm
Burnley-Moran Tuesday, 1/17 6pm
Greenbrier Tuesday, 1/17 6pm
Johnson Thursday, 1/19 6:30pm (PTO at 6)
Community-Wide Meeting at CHS Wednesday, 1/25 7pm
Jackson-Via Thursday, 1/26 6pm
Buford (part of Parent University) Thursday, 1/26 6:30pm
CHS Monday, 1/30 6pm
Clark Tuesday, 1/31 5:30pm
Walker Tuesday, 2/7 7pm

Related Documents and Resources:

 

For More Information:

Jeff Faust, faustj1@charlottesvilleschools.org
Beth Cheuk, cheukb1@charlottesvilleschools.org
(434) 245-2962

student art of snowflakes

Closing Announcements: Customize Your Settings

student art of snowflakes
Art courtesy Anton, grade 4, Venable.

New this year for winter closing notifications: This year, all families will receive emails and calls at all times (including early morning) unless families customize their settings via PowerSchool. You can learn how to change your settings here (hint: the service we use is called School Messenger, and there’s a tab in PowerSchool).  If you have not yet set up your PowerSchool account, call 245-2943.

For general information about how we announce our school closings, click here. A flyer was also sent home with students.

Students working together with Legos

Highlights & News, December 2016

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December 8, 2016

Dear families—

Walker students visiting UVA athletes
Walker students hanging out with the Hoos.

On the radio this month, you can hear students from Walker School thanking community partners for the special programs they make possible. One student chose to thank City Schoolyard Garden for creating and supporting our garden classrooms, and for working with the Local Food Hub to support our “Harvest of the Month” fresh and local snack.  Another spoke about her swimming lessons at Walker, made possible by the City’s Parks and Recreation department and the Ben Hair -Just Swim for Life Foundation. Two students spoke about U.Va., the first thanking engineering students who helped Walker students learn to code and the second recognizing the university’s Fralin Museum of Art for sponsoring the Writer’s Eye competition. These are just a few of the partners that our students thanked, and the list goes on well beyond those they mentioned, from business and nonprofit partnerships to  extensive relationships with U.Va. and PVCC and other area school divisions.

Strategic Planning logoWe’re thankful for these partnerships.  We also recognize that our most important relationship is with you, the families of our students.  As we start the process of creating the strategic plan that will guide our schools for the next six years, we want to hear from you.  We’ll have one community-wide listening session on Wednesday, January 25, at 7pm at CHS.  We’d love to see you there.  We’ll also have smaller, school-based sessions for more in-depth conversations. If you’d like to be part of those groups, please contact your principal or write goodnews@charlottesvilleschools.org. If you only have time for a quick survey, click here.  However you participate, thank you!

Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season.  We’ll see your students back in school on Tuesday, January 3.

–Dr. Rosa S. Atkins

Division-Wide News

First draft of the 2017-18 calendar. To receive this data by phone or in an alternate format, please call 434-245-2962.Remember, following winter break (12/19-12/30), there is a teacher workday on Monday, January 2, 2017.  Students return to school on Tuesday, January 3.

The draft calendar for the 2017-18 school year has been posted online. The calendar is developed jointly by the Albemarle and Charlottesville schools, through the work of a committee that includes staff and parents. The School Board will vote on this calendar at its January meeting.

Communications logos: You can customize how you receive messages from us
Customize your settings in PowerSchool unless you want to receive early-morning calls about school closings.

New this year for winter closing notifications: This year, all families will receive emails and calls at all times (including early morning) unless families customize their settings via PowerSchool. Find instructions here.  If you have not yet set up your PowerSchool account, call 245-2943.

The division will be holding a number of events to gather feedback and input for our 2017-2023 Strategic Plan. A community-wide listening session will be held at CHS on Wednesday, January 25 at 7pm — come join us! Or if you wish to participate in a smaller, school-based session on another day, please contact your principal or write goodnews@charlottesvilleschools.org. Learn more or take a brief survey here.

Polly Sibert and Laura Thomas
Award-winners Sibert and Thomas.

A big congratulations to Dr. Polly Sibert of Walker and Laura Mulligan Thomas of CHS. These two orchestra directors received statewide recognition this week for their continued excellence and leadership. Dr. Sibert won the JMU Outstanding Music Educator Award, given to one alum annually. Laura Thomas won the Philip Fuller Award from the VA Band/Orchestra Directors Association. Details are here.

The Charlottesville Schools community extends condolences to the family, friends, colleagues, and students of Patricia Stanton, who taught Latin at CHS for more than 40 years until her passing in November.

Five of  our teachers were honored at the 2016 Chamber of Commerce dinner, serving as the guests of Bill Kehoe, recipient of the 2016 Chamber Paul Goodloe McIntire Citizenship Award. The outstanding teachers honored from Charlottesville City Schools were Michael Keller and Brendan Martin of Buford Middle School, Michel Ann Sizemore of Jackson Via Elementary, and Sarah Gallagher and Rachel Rasnake of Walker Upper Elementary.

Mr. Chambers, highlighted by the Virginia Education Association
Mr. Chambers, highlighted by the VEA.

Mr. Ernest Chambers, physical education teacher at Burnley-Moran Elementary, was profiled in the Virginia Education Association’s Journal of Education.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently gave a shout-out to the schools’ partnership with City Schoolyard Garden and Local Food Hub, which supports innovating programs such as as our Harvest of the Month program, our extensive Farm-to-School Week offerings, and our year-round commitment to fresh, local foods and garden classrooms.  Thanks to both organizations for your support!

CHS teachers Josh O’Grady and Zachary Bullock were able to present their experiences on the teaching  the “History of Sports in America” and implementing the “flipped classroom” at the annual conference of the National Council of Social Studies in DC.

Messrs. Bullock and O'Grady at the NCSS conference in DC.
Messrs. Bullock and O’Grady at the NCSS conference in DC.
Rodney Redd, CHS Athletic Director
Rodney Redd, CHS Athletic Director.

Rodney Redd was named athletic director at Charlottesville High School, bringing broad experience as an athletic director, coach, and teacher.  Welcome!

Our adult education programs were featured in a nice piece in the latest edition of the Virgnia Foundation for the Humanities’ magazine. 

In November, the Special Education Advisory Committee hosted a community discussion about how to prepare your child for “Life After High School, Now.”

Multi-aged kids coding at Johnson for "hour of code"
Multi-aged coders at Johnson for “Hour of Code.”

Across the division, Charlottesville Schools participated in the international Hour of Code, a event designed to expose students to computer programming. Charlottesville Schools has extensive and growing support to help students learn to code.

At its fall conference, the Virginia Board of Education honored Charlottesville City Schools for receiving a 2016 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools District Sustainability Award.

 

CHS News

16-17 Zero Robotics programming team from CHS
16-17 Zero Robotics programming team from CHS.

The Zero Robotics programming team of the CHS BACON science club has coded their way to the top (again). At the end of round three of the competition, the team finished #2 (US) and #4 (world). For round four, they are partnered with teams from the UK and Australia. Good luck!

CHS’s pilot of a “double robot” allows student Ashton Ryan to attend his math class from home. Thanks to Ashton for working with us to see if this technology would be a good solution for students in the hospital or with other situations that keep them out of school. In addition to Charlottesville Tomorrow (see first link), NBC29 featured the story.

Alaijah Ragland. Image courtesy Ryan M. Kelly/Daily Progress.
Alaijah Ragland. Image courtesy Ryan M. Kelly/Daily Progress.

Basketball season’s underway, and the boys’ and girls’ teams are off to a strong start. In the first game of the season, Alaijah Ragland reached the rare milestone of scoring more than 1000 points in her high school career; she was also named Schewels Athlete of the Week.

Signs of unity and appreciation:  Link Crew, the CHS mentoring program, created a “Wall of Thanks” for students & staff. Click here to see a few of their notes.  And the “Becoming a Global Citizen” class created a unity display of posters reminding students that “we are black, white, Muslim, Christian,” (and more), and “we are unified, Americans, together, Black Knights.”

Matt Savage piano workshop
Matt Savage piano workshop.

Piano students enjoyed a workshop with sixteen-year-old prodigy Matt Savage. Savage, who is on the autism spectrum, has toured the world and performed for heads of state. Thanks to the Charlottesville Jazz Society for the opportunity!

The CHS marketing and finance department hosted a panel discussion with Union Bank reps to discuss financial planning as part of their EverFi programs. Students Maia Shortridge and Dyshe Smith and spoke as part of the event.

Ever Fi financial literacy event and Theatre CHS at LiveArts.
EverFi financial literacy event and Theatre CHS at LiveArts.

At this year’s one-act play conference and Virginia Theatre Association conference, Theatre CHS earned a variety of awards. Emma Strock was honored as “best actress” at the former, and at the latter, Elliot Craft got a nod for best actor, Patrick O’Shea earned 1st and 2nd in costume and scene design. CHS earned a shout-out for sound/music design, placed 2nd in Improvathon, and won an honorable mention for best one-act play for “The 39 Steps.” Finally, all six seniors earned college callbacks. You can see “The 39 Steps” at CHS from 12/9-11.

Senior night for volleyball
Senior night for volleyball.

Congratulations to the CHS football team, who ended their season in the regional semi-finals, after earning their first home play-off game in more than a decade.  Sabias Folley (for both offense and defense), Trejon Bryant,  Rakeem Davis, Larry Henderson,  Lorenzo Louderback, and Shandon Pritchett earned first-team all-conference honors. Davis was also named Falcon Club Player of the Week in November.

The volleyball team also qualified for the play-offs, and both the boys’ and girls’ cross country teams qualified for regionals.

DE environmental sciences analyzing data about the school's solar energy harvest
DE environmental sciences analyzing data about the school’s solar energy harvest.

Environmental science students at CHS have been busy, whether they are heading outside to do water testing in McIntire Park or analyzing the data of for the energy gained from the school’s solar panels.

Mr. Bullock’s history students “visited” the Great Wall of China thanks to Google Virtual Reality, while Mr. Deegan’s students explored history by way of Broadway, examining lyrics from Hamilton.

Coding artists.
Coding artists.

Art students have been using scratch programming to add sound  to their art.  Does that maken them enginartists?

Kibiriti Majuto ’17 was featured in an article in The Atlantic, titled “The Refugee who Became Class President.” Kibiriti is a native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and serves as the CHS senior class president, among other leadership roles in the school and community.

Choir singing national anthem. Courtesy Ashley Thornton/ScrimmagePlay
Choir singing national anthem. Courtesy Ashley Thornton/ScrimmagePlay.

The CHS choir sang the national anthem at the last home (regular season) football game, and the Sirens (an all-female a cappella group) sang at U.Va.’s annual Lighting of the Lawn. In addition, the band performed at the City’s Veterans Day celebration.

Opening of the CHS student-run writing lab.
Opening of the CHS student-run writing lab.

Need help writing a paper?  You’re in luck, because there is now a student-run CHS writing lab operating during lunch hours.

CATEC students continue their successful launch of their new CISCO partnership for IT certification. Culinary students also held their annual Thanksgiving fundraiser, offering pies and other holiday dishes, and nursing students hosted a blood drive.

Walker and Buford News

Marco Lopez with his award-winning art
Marco Lopez with his award-winning art.

Eighth-grader Marco Lopez won the middle-school category of the Charlottesville Public Works’ “Imagine a Day without Water” art contest. Congratulations!

Seventh-graders were able to enjoy a performance “Black Angels Over Tuskegee” at the Paramount Theatre, telling the story of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Buford students volunteering at Johnson Elementary
Volunteering at Johnson Elementary.

The waiting list is long for Buford students who want to spend their lunch going to neighboring Johnson Elementary to help young friends read. The weekly program is so popular that a once-per-quarter limit has been implemented for Buford students.

Buford students explored a wide variety of futures on career day, with visits from more than 20 professionals ranging from video game programmer, radio talk host, police officer, lawyers, real estate agent, human resource officer, public relations staffer, UVA softball coach, former pro athlete, ACAC fitness trainer, and even a UVA scientist who brought in some human brains!  Thanks to all who offered their time.

Career day at Buford
Career day at Buford — games, brains, and more!
Students meeting with military re-enactors on Veterans Day
Learning about history on Veterans Day.

Buford students celebrated Veterans Day three ways. Civics students attend Veterans’ Day events at the Jefferson School African American History Center.  The school held a program with area vets who shared their stories of military service. And the band performed in the celebrations at Highland.

The National Junior Honor Society was able to attend the Charlottesville TedEx program in November, exploring the “Power of One,” which happens to be the Buford group’s theme, as well.  How will you be the one to stand up for others?

Walker and Buford students in the schools’ Stage Left Theatre are preparing for their family-friendly winter production of Beauty & the Beast, which has been rescheduled for January 24 at 6:30pm at Walker.  Break a leg!

Colonial Day at Walker Shcool
Colonial Day at Walker School.

History students in sixth grade enjoyed a colonial market activity.  As seen in the photo, Connecticut offered maple syrup, apple cider, and smiles.

Walker teachers prove that it’s not all-work-and-no-play. Prior to the Thanksgiving Break, they offered a staff talent show for students, ranging from music to comedy. Outside, the students showed their own talents by conquering some obstacle course-like challenges set up by the Charlottesville Police Department.

Peace Squad teaching the power of "One"
Peace Squad teaching the power of “One.”

The Walker Peace Squad hit the road to all six Charlottesville elementary schools, presenting their own adaptation of the award-winning picture book One.  After their play, Walker students led their elementary friends in a discussion of the book and ways to stand up for kindness in their schools. Continuing the theme of kindness, back at Walker, students and teachers celebrated a wacky, tacky dress-up day to show that it’s wacky to be mean.

Walker School’s annual Bingo Night included some new faces — the school invited future Walker families to join in the fun.

hand-made cards sold by functional skills class
Cards from the functional skills class.
Students testing a green roof design
Testing a green roof design.

Students in the functional skills classroom have started a small business called Hands-On greeting cards. They make and sell cards for holidays, birthdays, and general notes.

Walker students have been hanging out with U.Va. athletes lately, including tickets to the November 21  women’s basketball game, for which Walker students designed the team’s warm-up gear and participated in half-time activities.

Elementary News

Children at the elementary tailgate party at CHS
Friday Knight Lights: future CHS cheerleaders.

The first-ever all-elementary tailgate was a success.  Their cuteness and cheers propelled the CHS football team to a big win. Thanks to the Burnley-Moran PTO for organizing the event.

Second-graders across the division enjoyed their annual field trip to Monticello, filled with history, beauty, gardens, and even math.  Visiting Monticello’s “edible laboratory,” students guessed the weights of pumpkins, recorded weather, and tasted fennel.

Monticello magic -- something for each of our second-graders.
Monticello magic — something for each of our second-graders.

Thanks to a partnership with Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, students in the after-school CLASS program have new, fun options for staying on the move and healthy, as profiled by the Newsplex.

Students building a structure to protect lettuce from frost
Protecting lettuce from the freeze.

As part of the new iSTEM program, third-grade engineers in every school designed, built, and are testing frost-covers for their schools’ lettuce plants. Who can keep their lettuce healthy this winter?

Students from Burnley-Moran, Johnson, and Venable went to see a national production of “Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters” at the Paramount Theater.

Students conducting a science experiment with cabbage in the garden
Experimenting in the garden at BME.

Burnley-Moran students used their garden for both history and science this fall. Kindergartners studied “long ago” by “hunting” with arrows made with the garden’s corn cobs (using baskets as targets).  First graders boiled cabbage leaves to see how adding either a base or an acid will change the color of the purple cabbage water to either blue or red.

Multiplying with cookies
Multiplying with cookies at Clark.

Clark third-grade bakers practiced their math skills twice, by measuring ingredients and then laying out the cookies in even rows for multiplication practice.  Students also held their own Thanksgiving Day parade (with floats) after reading Balloons Over Broadway.

Loading the truck for the food drive at Greenbrier
Loading the truck for the food drive at Greenbrier.

Greenbrier students collected 1,199 cans of food for the Salvation Army, and students have been watching the progress of their new garden shed’s living roof.  All that’s left is the planting! Thanks to City Schoolyard Garden and volunteers!

Family collecting kale from the garden's harvest
Sharing the garden’s harvest with families at Jackson-Via.

Jackson-Via welcomed Virginia’s First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe to lunch in recognition its school-wide free & reduced lunch program.  And the school celebrated  “Family Harvest Day,” sharing fifteen pounds of kale, lettuce, and baby spinach from their garden with families, students, and teachers.

International Day at Johnson
International Day at Johnson.

Johnson hosted a number of special events, from an art workshop hosted by the Embassy of Oman, to their annual International Day celebration honoring their students’ varied backgrounds, to a kindergarten and pre-k soup supper, and a Thanksgiving pow-wow with kindergarten-aged native Americans.  Plus, the students earned a school-wide dance party by earning so many compliments!

Students working together with Legos
Working together at Venable.

As part of their celebration of International Education Week, Venable students practiced saying hello non-verbally in the style of different cultures.  And then they made a mannequin challenge to document those greeting poses! Venable students have also been using their voices (singing the national anthem for UVA women’s soccer), their hands (making useful objects out of gourds from the garden), and their ears and eyes (finding matches during bingo night).

School Board Update

Student demonstrating double robot to School Board
Ashton Ryan demonstrating the double-robot system to the School Board. Image courtesy Cville Tomorrow/Aaron Richardson.

At their November meeting, the Board voted to renew Dr. Atkins’ contract as superintendent.  They heard updates on the long-term facilities planning, reviewed key measures of academic success, and learned about the process for developing the school division’s 2017-2023 strategic plan (see Superintendent’s letter, above for ways to get involved).  They also participated in a demo of the school division’s piloting of a “double robot” system to allow students to attend class virtually.  In their December meeting, the Board discussed a possible raise to the rates of the CLASS program’s summer program, possible new course additions at CHS for 2017-18, a draft of the 2017-18 school calendar, and more.

Upcoming Events

CATEC's new tech labs to support its partnership with CISCO
CATEC’s new tech labs to support its partnership with CISCO

Upcoming events include:

  • CHS Holiday Pops Concert, 12/8, 7pm, MLKPAC
  • Multiple elementary concerts, 12/13 (Burnley-Moran’s is on 12/15)
  • CATEC Open House, 12/14, 5pm
  • Multi-School (Walker, Buford, CHS) Band Concert, 12/14. Walker beginner band at Walker at 6:30pm; the other Walker, Buford, CHS bands will be at MLKPAC at 7:30pm
  • Engineering Expo at Buford (for current and future students & families), 12/15, 6pm
  • Winter Break and Teacher Workday, 12/19 through Monday, 1/2
  • Classes resume, Tuesday, 1/3
  • School Board Meeting, 1/5, 5pm, CHS Media Center
  • CHS Curriculum Fair, 1/10,  5-7, CHS Atrium
  • Community Budget Presentation, 1/10, 5:30pm, CHS Media Center
  • No School for Martin Luther King Day, 1/16
  • End of 2nd Quarter, 1/20
  • CHS Orchestra presents Peter and the Wolf, 1/21,  3pm, MLKPAC
  • No School for Teacher Workday, 1/23
  • Stage Left Theater presents Beauty and the Beast, 1/24, 6:30pm, Walker Auditorium
  • Community Strategic Plan Listening Session (open to all), 1/25, 7pm, CHS
  • Buford offers Parent University, 1/26, 6pm

Curious about next year’s calendar? Review the draft!

Remember that you can subscribe to our Google calendar of school holidays and as well as Google calendars for school-specific events. Instructions are at charlottesvilleschoools.org/calendar.