What‘s Happening at School Division News

Response to White Nationalist Rally in Charlottesville in August 2017

The events of August 11 and 12, 2017, certainly provided challenges to the Charlottesville community, and in response to those challenges, our teachers provided incredible learning and reflection opportunities for our staff and students.

Collage of teacher convocation in Charlottesville
Collage from the Charlottesville City schools all-staff convocation on August 15, 2017.

Our response to the rallies began with our teachers, who returned to work just days after the rallies. We held an emotional and healing staff-wide convocation to address the events directly. Giving teachers time, space, and resources was one of our first priorities.

Even our elementary students have been given opportunities to process these events through conversation, counseling, community-building activities, and more. As a school division that embraces the arts, we have been heartened to see our schools bring the power of music, art, and literature to bear  as we facilitate crucial conversations about A12 itself and the deeper issues the events raised.

Musically, this includes an inspirational collaboration with Metro Nashville Public Schools using BeBe Winans’ song “Right Now (Need One Another).” (Do yourself a favor and watch the video now. More information can be found here.) Relating to the visual arts,  our schools have organized paint-ins and school-wide art projects that celebrate both commonalities and differences.

CHS students holding message "Hate has no home here."

CHS students engaged in a “Big Read.”

And we have drawn upon the power of literature by organizing a One Book campaign to promote the reading of Angie Thomas’s award-winning young adult novel, The Hate U Give. In addition to classroom discussions, Charlottesville High School invited parent, activist, and UVa professor Lisa Woolfork to lead a powerful conversation about the book with all of our ninth-graders.  This Big Read was complemented by what you might call a Big See — dozens of community screenings of the award-winning documentary, I’m Not a Racist, Am I?

Students at Jefferson School African American Heritage Center for Dialogue on Race
Students at Jefferson School African American Heritage Center for Dialogue on Race

In addition, throughout February, CHS students organized a series of community speakers who offered opt-in, in-school presentations to students for Black History Month, which concluded with the school’s annual assembly. This year’s  assembly speaker was Rashard Davis ’16, winner of a 2018 Super Bowl Ring with the Philadelphia Eagles!

Relatedly, a contingent of CHS students spent a day at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, working with the Charlottesville Youth Council  to make meaningful change as part of the community’s “Dialogue on Race.” For more on this important conversation, click here.

This conversation — and the larger work toward racial equity in our schools and in our country — continues. At Charlottesville City Schools, we are committed to this work.

Other links:

Johnson teacher sitting with student.

Open House Schedules

Johnson teacher sitting with student.

Come meet your teachers and see your classrooms! Open houses this year will be on Monday, August 20, 2018. School starts on Wednesday, August 22, 2018.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

CATEC Open House is Wednesday, August 15, from 5-7pm

Monday, August 20, 2018

  • CHS Freshman Orientation: 9am-1:30pm
  • Elementary Schools: 1–3pm
  • Walker Upper Elementary: 3-5pm
  • Buford Middle School: 4-6pm
  • CHS 5-7pm

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

First day of school. See school hours below.

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

Need a school supply list? Click here.

Need a summer reading list? Click here.

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

For CHS fall information (including senior portraits), click here.

For information about required vaccinations, click here.

School Supplies Lists 2018-19

School-Supply-Lists2School starts August 22.  Now is a great time to get your school supplies!

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

And if you need assistance getting school supplies for this year, contact your school counselor. People who registered for this year’s Back-to-School Bash can pick up their supplies at their school open house on Monday, August 20.  For more information about the Back to School Bash, including a link to register, visit www.cvillebacktoschoolbash.com/.

School Supply Lists for the 2018-19 School Year:

Need a open house schedule? Click here.

Need a summer reading list? Click here.

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

For CHS fall information (including senior portraits), click here.

Summer awards and recognitions collage graphic

Summer Awards and Special Recognitions

School may be out for the summer, but many of our students are busy at work making presentations at conferences and receiving awards and opportunities at the state and national level.

Cole Fairchild hallway picture
Cole Fairchild; Photo: Eze Amos

CHS student Cole Fairchild and engineering teacher Matt Shields were selected as part of the 2018 cohort of Bezos Scholars and recently attended an all-expenses paid trip to the Aspen Ideas Festival.

Each year, the Bezos Family Foundation selects rising public high school seniors who apply with an educator partner to the year-long leadership development program.  After attending the festival, scholars return home to organize their own community change projects, known as Local Ideas Festivals (LIFs). We can’t wait to see what Cole and Mr. Shields have planned.

Zyahna Bryant; Photo: Matt Eich
Zyahna Bryant; Photo: Matt Eich

Meanwhile, CHS student Zyahna Bryant is preparing to accept multiple awards for her student leadership on social justice issues.  In September, Zyahna will travel to Connecticut to accept the 2018 Harriet Beecher Stowe Foundation Student Stowe Prize and $1,000 for her essay on social justice. In October, she will accept the 2018 Yale Bassett Award for Community Engagement. In addition, this spring she was the recipient of the 2018 Princeton Prize in Race Relations for her advocacy work at CHS and recently attended a two-day conference at Princeton that included presentations, celebrations, and a $1,000 prize.

2018 VA Governor's School attendees
2018 VA Governor’s School attendees

In addition, the following CHS students are attending the 2018 Summer Virginia Governor’s School for Humanities and Visual & Performing Arts: Rachel E. Beling-Humanities, Talia Marshall-Humanities, Alyce Yang-Humanities, Davida Rimm-Kaufman-Agriculture, Adria Cafferillo-Instrumental Music (Flute), Sahara Clemons-Visual Arts, Sophia Greenhoe-Dance, Linnea Schenck-VA Governor’s Foreign Language Academies (French). Congratulations on earning this distinguished opportunity!

Jack Timmins and Adela Cervantes have been selected to present at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in San Francisco this summer.
Jack Timmins and Adela Cervantes will present at the 2018 International Space Station Research and Development Conference.

Jack Timmins and Adela Cervantes have been selected to present at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in San Francisco this summer. Way to go, Jack and Adela!



Buford engineers presenting work at STEM conference
Buford middle school students presenting at the National Museum of American History

And lastly, a group of Buford Middle School engineering students have been conference-hopping this summer, presenting their work with the Smithsonian Invention Kits at national conventions in Washington, D.C. and Chicago. The students have been sharing their projects, challenging audiences to make speakers out of every day items, and leading workshops to teach the teachers about using the invention kits in their own labs.


Graphic: Golden Apple Awards with border

An Apple for Teacher

2018 Golden Apple Award winners
Pictured left to right: Patrick Beale (GBR), Leslie S. Hunter (VEN), Latoya Brown (BUF), Sarah Lloyd (WLK), Harry Hill (LMA), Laura Schaaf (JON), Nicole Armstrong (CHS), Mary Johnston (BME), Jessica M. Taylor (CLK), Briana Barns (JV).

10 Charlottesville City Schools teachers were among area teachers recognized for their excellence in education at the 17th annual Golden Apple Awards ceremony on May 16, 2018.

Each year, one educator is selected from each public and private school in Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Our winners this year are:  Latoya Brown (Buford Middle), Mary Johnston (Burnley-Moran Elementary), Nicole Armstrong (Charlottesville High, Black Knights), Jessica Taylor (Clark Elementary School), Briana Barns (Jackson-Via Elementary School), Laura Schaaf (Johnson Elementary), Harry Hill (Lugo-McGinness Academy), Leslie S. Hunter (Venable Elementary School), Sarah Lloyd (Walker Upper Elementary School), and Patrick Beale (Greenbrier Elementary School). Ms. Schaaf and Ms. Taylor were also two of eight lucky winners of the $1,000 Golden Apple Grant Awards drawing!

The Golden Apple Awards were established by Richard and Nancy Nunley in 2001 to recognize creativity, passion, and effective communication in the classroom.

Related items:

What makes these teachers so special? Here is what those who nominated them had to say:

Latoya Brown, 7th grade English, Buford Middle: “The 7th grade English students are actively engaged in learning, discussions, and projects through blending both paperback hardcopies and technology-based literature and writing. They have tremendous respect for her and hang on her every word.”

Mary Johnston, 3rd grade, Burnley-Moran Elementary:  “Not only does she expect her students to perform academically, she also attends to the social/emotional development of students. Mary’s dedication is visible in her connections to families.”

Nicole C. Armstrong, 9th grade English, Charlottesville High: “Nicole holds high standards for her students. She expects them to live out the excellence she sees in each of them. Nicole is an all-star team member and her commitment to our school extends beyond her classes. She has been instrumental in launching the Link Crew freshmen mentoring program.”

Jessica M. Taylor, 2nd grade, Clark Elementary:  “On top of the motivation and caring that she brings to her work, my son is also really learning!”

Patrick Beale, 4th grade, Greenbrier Elementary:  “He asks thought-provoking questions so that the students may take the things that they know and apply them to other situations – above and beyond the standard.”

Briana Barns, 4th grade, Jackson-Via:  “In Bree’s classroom, the students are clear on the expectations. There is a peace and calm that one can feel just by entering the door. It is the peace and calm of a teacher who loves her students and wants them to grown and achieve.”

Laura Schaaf, 3rd grade, Johnson Elementary:  “When a new subject was being introduced that day, Laura always had a lead-in that heightened the kids’ enthusiasm. They truly got excited about learning, and it was obvious that Laura was excited about teaching.”

Harry Hill, Science teacher, Lugo-McGinness Academy:  “Mr. Hill’s approach to instruction is differentiated, meets student needs, and leads to academic success.”

Leslie S. Hunter, 1st grade, Venable Elementary:  “Leslie’s classroom is always quietly buzzing with joyful and purposeful learning. Her openness and generosity with her own ideas is inviting and inspirational to other teachers.”

Sarah Lloyd, 6th grade, Walker Upper Elementary Math:  “Mrs. Lloyd does not allow students to make excuses, get distracted, procrastinate, or give up. She provides the necessary support for each student to be successful without lowering standards and expectations. Failure is not an option in Lloyd’s classroom.” 

Graphic with live stream information and url.


As you make plans to attend commencement exercises for the Class of 2018 in just a few weeks, please keep in mind these important details:

JPJ Arena Clear Bag policyWhen: June 7, 2018, 7:00 p.m. Graduates should arrive by 5:30 p.m.

Where: John Paul Jones Arena. Free parking is available at the arena.

A live stream of the graduation ceremony will be available at www.facebook.com/cvilleschools. No Facebook account or password is needed to view.

Security Information: Please read the following UVA JPJ Arena security policies carefully, especially noting the bag policy.

  • Bags must be clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and cannot exceed 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches. Clear one-gallon plastic freezer bags (Ziploc bag or similar) are also permitted.
  • Small clutch bags, approximately the size of a hand and no larger than 4.5 inches x 6.5 inches (with or without a handle or strap) can be taken into the arena and will be subject to search. An exception will be made for items necessary for medical reasons after proper inspections at a gate designated for this purpose.
  • Prohibited bags include, but are not limited to: purses larger than a clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, luggage of any kind, computer bags and camera bags or any bag larger than the permissible size.
  • Items needed for small children must be in a clear bag that meet the stated dimensions.
  • Bags and purses that do not meet the above criteria cannot be held by staff or stored inside or around JPJ Arena. For clarity, diaper bags and backpacks are also prohibited.
  • Arrive early.  Our entrance procedures may take a few minutes and traffic is often heavy around JPJ Arena. Therefore, we request that all guests arrive at least 45 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. Please plan accordingly.
  • Wear as little metal as possible. Large metal jewelry/belt buckles, etc. are allowed, but can slow down the entrance process and/or delay your entry.
  • Understand prohibited items.  Balloons, flowers, umbrellas, outside food and beverage, artificial noise makers, and strollers are specifically prohibited inside JPJ Arena. Gifts for graduates may be presented when they meet families on the plaza after the ceremony.
Peer mentors give tours to rising fifth graders.

Highlights and News Spring 2018


April 25, 2018

Dear community members,

Original artwork by CHS 12th grader Mythryl Thomas
Photo by Mythryl Thomas ’18

I’ll keep my remarks brief for this newsletter. Simply put, I want to call your attention to two updates that are important to our community.

  • School safety: This post describes our past and current steps to promote safety. It also includes an update from the Charlottesville Police Department, which on April 30 will start staffing  a new elementary-based school resource officer to deepen the connection with our elementary communities.
  • School facilities: This post reflects back on what we heard from the community this winter and spring as we began a conversation about our growing enrollment and its impact on our facilities.

Thank you for engaging with us on these and other topics. We appreciate your partnership for the safety and education of our students, and for the health of our community.


Dr. Rosa Atkins

Division-Wide News

Community meeting on safetyThis spring, Charlottesville City Schools hosted two important events relating to school safety.  A community forum for parents and teachers featured comments from national school security expert Dr. Dewey Cornell, Police Chief Thierry DuPuis, and Assistant Superintendent Kim Powell. To see a recap, click here. The schools also co-hosted a “Trauma in the Context of School Safety” forum along with regional partners who are creating training and awareness opportunities to support coordinated, trauma-informed practices in our schools and community agencies. Finally, just this week, Del. David Toscano visited Greenbrier and CHS to glean staff and our community partners’ ideas about school safety for Virginia’s new House Select Committee on School Safety.

Thank you for keeping your student cafeteria accounts current. Families recently began receiving automated phone, email, or text alerts through School Messenger when account balances reach -$10. If you want to modify how you receive messages from us, log into PowerSchool and change your “contact manager” settings.

Band on the Run 5K logoRenovations are underway for the track at CHS. These improvements will allow the CHS track teams to resume hosting track meets and will better serve the school’s and the community’s needs. The track will be closed for use until renovations are complete (likely August).

Speaking of running, consider coming out for CHS’s annual Band on the Run 5K on May 5, which benefits the band and cross country team.

Keep your eyes open for a “Bus Stop Meet and Greet” with book give-aways from family engagement coordinator Velvet Coleman. She is also piloting Family Engagement On Demand, a mobile-friendly online tool that gives you great ideas and resources to support your child in the classroom.

Portrait of James BryantThe School Board named James Bryant, a Charlottesville Schools alum and long-time employee, to fill an interim Board membership created when Adam Hastings stepped down. Details can be found in “School Board News,” below.

School Board member Leah Puryear accepts technology award.For a second straight year, Charlottesville City Schools earned national recognition for tech innovations through the  2017-18 Digital School Districts Survey Award. In addition, our iSTEM programs were featured in EdTech Magazine’s “School STEM Labs Inspire Students, Power Innovation.”

Similarly, our division’s work in emphasizing social and emotional learning was highlighted by a report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Portrait of Dianna PoeDianna Poe of CHS’s “WALK” program was honored as the 2018 John L. Snook Child Advocate Award. Read more about the inspirational work of Ms. Poe and the WALK program here.

Assistant principals Ryan Devlin, April Douglas, Dina Fricke, and Brad Taylor successfully completed the 13th School Leaders Institute for Recently Appointed Administrators (RAA) program offered by Virginia Tech.

A powerful Clark duo–Principal  Anna Isley and Instructional Coach Elizabeth Korab — presented successful leadership strategies at the conference of Women Education Leaders in Virginia.

Cecil Thompson, Coordinator of Administrative Support Services,  visited neighboring schools as part of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity’s NextGen Project to enlighten, empower, and encourage youth through reading and excellence.

Patrice Harris of Greenbrier was named 95.1’s Teacher of the Month for March.

Alisha Demchack of Burnley-Moran qualified for the World Booktalk Championship! To see her  her “30 Second Booktalk,” click here and (start video at 5:34).

New Board Member Adam Hastings
Adam Hastings

Welcome Adam Hastings as Walker School’s next principal!

The annual All-City Chorus Concert was “lovely,” with uplifting songs such as “All You Need is Love” by the combined 4th-grade choir, and with the music teachers collaborating on  “Love Will Keep us Together.”

Virtual reality exhibit at ArtConnections 2018.
Virtual reality exhibit at ArtConnections

And Art Connections featured more than 2000 works of student art from all schools, including high-tech Virtual Reality art. Visitors could even become a human spirograph. and CHS engineering students developed an automated attendance tracker.

Schools across the division enjoyed speakers through the Virginia Festival of the Book. For some of our elementary students, the highlight was meeting UVa alum, astronaut, and author Leland Melvin.

Thirteen Charlottesville students were Bus Stop poetry winners, responding to  this year’s theme of  “Peace and Justice.” Look for the following students’ work on a bus near you:  W. Kahwaji (Burnley-Moran); U. Rai, A. Morrison (Greenbrier); N. Becker-Mantanbault (Jackson-Via);  Ms. O’Brien’s & Ms. Lee’s classes (Venable);  V. Santiago, P. Thompson, J. Weilar (Johnson); Q. Connaughton (Walker); M. Saxon-Green (Buford); Z. Bryant, J. Emery, I. Crickner, F. Newman, L. Keesecker, & D. Rimm-Kaufman (CHS).

Buford, Walker, and CHS parents and guardians are invited to take a survey about college-level classes sponsored by the CHS PTO and Counseling Department. The survey is part of a national conversation about college prep and high school stress.

Elementary News

PreK student enjoys Dogwood Festival carnival ride.
PreK students enjoy the Dogwood Festival carnival swings.

Our preschool students were treated to a fun and free day that included carnival rides, games, and a pizza picnic lunch thanks to the generosity of the Charlottesville Dogwood Festival and other sponsors. Find more (adorable) photos here.

Elementary schools — including Walker School — have wrapped up their season of iSTEM family nights, which invite families to an evening of hands-on experiments and building activities. At Clark, 3rd-graders even created their own flyer about the event as part of their unit on “functional texts.”

A movement is underway to honor a beloved Johnson student with an accessible community playground! To learn more about this tribute in memory of Bennett McClurken-Gibney, click here.

Walker students work on derby car.
Students at Walker prepping for the races.

Fourth-graders at all schools prepped mini derby cars for a first-ever City competition hosted at CHS. CHS winners qualified to compete in Culpeper, where Burnley-Moran student Harry Shullaw won the mini-derby race and Walker student Hazel Conklin won the stock car division!

African dance and drumming at Burnley-Moran.
Students enjoy the African drumming and dancing on stage at Burnley-Moran.

Like all of our schools, Burnley-Moran honored African-American history month, but they pulled out all the stops, with a history gallery, an African dance demonstration, and a vibrant career fair populated by African-American leaders throughout the Charlottesville community, many of whom are CHS alums or connected to Charlottesville City Schools.

Burnley-Moran color run participants.
Color participants enjoy the Burnley-Moran Color Run.

Burnley-Moran also hosted its second one-mile family color run for more than 400 runners!

After reading the novel Inside Out and Back Again, Clark fourth-graders extended their learning with a guest speaker from the International Rescue Committee of Charlottesville. Immigrants and refugees are an important part of our Charlottesville and Clark community!

Greenbrier Elementary School student artwork
Greenbrier 4th grade | Wilson

Expecto patronus!  And expecto beautiful art!  Greenbrier fourth graders connected art and literature by creating Harry-Potter themed animal portraits.  In addition, fourth-graders who met their academic goals got to celebrate their growth with a good old-fashioned pie-the-principal day.

Students rocked the annual “Jackson-Via’s Got Talent” show, and on a different night, they donned their pajamas for a well-attended “PJs and Popcorn” night in celebration of math and literacy.

Venable Women's History month celebration.
Bessie Coleman visits Venable School!

Johnson’s fourth-graders enacted their annual wax museum of historic figures who come to life for visitors. Henry “Box” Brown, Sacagawea, Alexander Hamilton, and many more were on hand to tell their stories. Younger social studies scholars created their annual Not-Quite-the-Fourth-of-July Parade, donning costumes such as the Statute of Liberty or the American flag to learn about our country’s symbols.

Venable All Stars celebrated Women’s History Month with visits from female trailblazers Jane Goodall, Pocahontas, Bessie Coleman, and more! Earlier in the month, suffragettes stood outside the school at arrival time with signs and posters demanding that women receive the right to vote. For more pics:

Walker and Buford News

Winner of the stockpile division at the regional soapbox derby race.
Hazel Conklin ready to race at the regional soapbox derby .

Walker student Hazel Conklin won the stockpile division at the regional soap box derby in Culpeper! She was assisted in this STEM project by Troy Brown, Elias Garcia, and Oliver Jackson (not pictured). Congrats also to their advisor, iSTEM teacher Chris Chamberlin. Hazel has qualified to compete in the Local Masters Race this June, also in Culpeper.

Students Hallie Goode and Allie Floyd have been awarded the Red Cross Youth Heroes Award for our region for their kindness and persistence in helping and befriending Walker’s functional skills students.  Way to model kindness and inclusivity, girls!

Ms. Washburg and students at the Walker Confidence Carnival.
Ms. Washburg and students enjoying the Confidence Carnival at Walker School.

This spring, Ms. Washburg and Ms. Woods’ 6th grade classes collaborated to host the Confidence Carnival! Positive affirmations, games, face painting, and a visit from a UVA Women’s Basketball player made for a great morning!

Peer mentors give tours to rising fifth graders.
Walker peer mentors prepare to give tours to future Wolverines.

Peer mentors at Walker not only welcomed the City’s fourth-graders for a visit, but they even wrote personalized letters to each student (delivered at the elementary schools) to express greetings!

The 3rd annual AVID College and Career Night at Walker brought many families and community representatives to the school for a fun-filled evening helping students peer into the future.

El Espectaculo band picture
Walker fifth grade band performs at “El Espectaculo.”

“El Espectaculo!” at Walker was spectacular. Fifth-graders in the event showcase what they’ve learned across the curriculum in the Elementary Spanish program. Here’s a nice recap: http://bit.ly/2Hs6RwT.

The Walker Peace Squad visited all six elementary schools to perform an original play and raise the question, “What are some ways you can stand up when you see someone being mean to someone else?”

Buford, Walker, and CHS parents and guardians are invited to take a survey about college-level classes sponsored by the CHS PTO and Counseling Department. The survey is part of a national conversation about college prep and high school stress.

Aiden Peters qualifies for VA State Geography Bee.
Aidan Peters qualifies for VA State Geography Bee.

Buford’s Aidan Peters qualified to compete at the VA State Geographic Bee at Longwood University.

Amanda, Eleanor, Ella, Emma, Harriet, Niharika, and Saba represented Buford in the  History Day regionals at UVA!  Ella and Emma will represent us at the state finals!

The Buford Middle School Orchestra earned a Superior rating for their beautiful performance at the District Orchestra Assessment.

17 Buford orchestra students made the 2018 Junior Regional Orchestra while 14 band students made the All-District Band—more than any other middle school in the area!

Buford students present at a STEM conference in Atlanta.
Buford students present at a STEM conference in Atlanta.

Buford’s Abby Paquette and Elisabeth Scharf shared their experiences in the Foundations of Engineering and Engineering 1 classes at the International Techology and Engineering Educator Association in Atlanta, GA.

Buford students performed well in the Virginia Mathematics League Contest–the 7th grade team came in fifth in the league and fourth in the region; Christian Millard was ranked in the top 35 7th graders in the league; The 8th grade team came in fourth in the league and third in the region; and Camden Baucom was ranked in the top 35 8th graders in the league!

Buford MathCounts team places 2nd in regional competition!
Buford MathCounts team places 2nd in regional competition.

In other math news, the Buford MathCounts team finished 2nd in regional competition.

Buford student Miya Anderson participated in the 29th Annual African-American Read-in on Sunday, February 18, 2018 at Buford Middle School. Students read excerpts from their favorite books and poems to celebrate Black History Month and African-American literature.

Buford engineering students get a virtual tour of MIT from the CHS BACON students.
Buford engineering students get a virtual tour of MIT from the BACON students.

Engineering 1 students at Buford Middle watched a live virtual tour of MIT let by the CHS BACON Zero Robotics team. The tour gave these 8th graders a glimpse into what opportunities are ahead in the Cville Schools iSTEM program!

Eight Buford girls participated in the Girls Excelling in Math Tournament run by the Village School. The 8th grade team of Abby Paquette, Lidia Shimer, Lucy Armengol, and Sylvie Bon-Harper finish is 1st place and Abby finished 2nd overall as an individual. The 7th grade team of Sarah Burns, Vicky Gonzalez, Elie Lewin, and Lowell Tolton finished in 2nd place and Sarah finished 5th overall as an individual.

Buford students present project at Public Education Foundation Luncheon at the Boar's Head Inn.
Buford students present project at Public Education Foundation Luncheon at the Boar’s Head Inn (not pictured, Sara).

Congratulations to eighth grader Silas McClellan who correctly spelled “subterranean” to become the 2017-18 school spelling bee champion for Buford Middle School.


Buford Middle School civics students Abby, Jaimin, and Kaia presented their project “Hate Speech vs. Right to Assembly and Free Speech (Permit or No Permit)” at the Public Education Foundation 2018 Luncheon at the Boar’s Head Inn.

Congratulations to our Fencing Team for hosting another successful tournament. Students competed fiercely on three different stages. Ms. Carney has sponsored our team for several years and continues to do a wonderful job.

CHS News

Zyahna Bryant; Photo credit Matt Eich.
Zyahna Bryant; Photo credit Matt Eich.

Junior Zyahna Bryant was selected as the winner of the 2018 Princeton Prize in Race Relations (DC Region) and the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center’s 2018 Student Stowe Prize! PC: Matt Eich.

On February 13, CHS hosted a ribbon-cutting to celebrate a new partnership, the CHS/CFA Institute Finance Academy. The partnership supports financial education and cultivates interest and awareness of the investment profession. The  CHS/CFA Institute Finance Academy will impact three programs at CHS: the Student Investment Group (see next item!), the AVID program (including a business-style renovation of the AVID seniors’ classroom, and the economics and personal finance classes required of all CHS students.

CHS logo with portraits of the Student Investment Group members
Student Investment Group

For the second time in three years, the CHS Student Investment Group (SIG) is one of six American finalists in the University of Pennsylvania Wharton Global High School Investment Competition! The team will join others from the U.S., China, India, Brazil, Norway, Canada and the United Kingdom in Philadelphia at the Wharton Business School in May. Team members are Lucas Higgins, (SIG founder),  Cole Fairchild, Whit Rudder, Maya Block, and Hunter Randle. SIG receives support through our partnership with CFA Institute.

A number of Black Knights participated in Charlottesville’s first Next Gen Peacebuilders program, sponsored by the Charlottesville Rotary Club.

CHS debaters won state competition and qualified for nationals! To read more, click here.

CHS debaters won state competition and qualified for nationals!

  • Fré Halverson-Taylor & Owen Fernandez took first place in Public Forum (4-0) while Junior Dani Szabo went 4-0 and placed 2nd in the Lincoln-Douglas category. Overall, CHS won 3rd Place Sweeps. Altogether, we had 11 qualify for states and 9 participated. Congrats to all students for their amazing performances: Julianna Brown, Cole Fairchild, Ellie Detert, Lena Keesecker, John Emery,  Alyce Yang, Evelyn McKenney.
  • Just prior to  the VHSL Super-Regional Tournament, our qualifier, Cole Fairchild, had a family emergency. Alternate Dani Szabo stepped in the day before and came up with an upset win!  Since his speaker points were so high (a perfect in the final), CHS also took 2nd place sweeps, an almost impossible feat with a single debater.  At states, he was part of a  three-way tie for 2nd!

Show Less Debate News

Students at Jefferson School African American Heritage Center for Dialogue on Race
Students at Jefferson School African American Heritage Center for Dialogue on Race

A contingent of CHS students spent a day at the Jefferson School African-American Heritage Center, working with the Cville Youth Council  to make meaningful change as part of the community’s “Dialogue on Race.” For more on this important conversation, click here.   The book "The Hate You Give."Other CHS news related to this topic includes area high schools’ “Big Read” of  The Hate U Give, which was read by CHS 9th-graders, who also participated in a group forum led by UVA professor and CHS parent Lisa Woolfork. In addition, throughout February, a series of community speakers offered opt-in presentations to students for Black History Month, which concluded with the school’s annual assembly. This year’s assembly speaker was Rashard Davis ’16, winner of a 2018 Super Bowl Ring with the Philadelphia Eagles!

The number of students enrolled in honors courses at Charlottesville High School is up 21 percent this year, with increasing diversity. This is in part due to greater use of “honors-optional” classes that allow students within a single class to elect assignments and readings that qualify for honors credit.  For Charlottesville Tomorrow’s reporting on this progress, click here.

Buford, Walker, and CHS parents and guardians are invited to take a survey about college-level classes sponsored by the CHS PTO and Counseling Department. The survey is part of a national conversation about college prep and high school stress.

CHS BACON: state and global qualifiers in Zero Robotics, FTC Robotics, Science Olympiad, and more. Click here for more.

CHS BACON: state and global qualifiers in Zero Robotics, FTC Robotics, Science Olympiad, and more:

  • #2 in VA at Jefferson Lab Science Bowl
    #2 in VA at Jefferson Lab Science Bowl

    After qualifying for the international finals of the elite programming competition Zero Robotics (again),  team leader Jonah Weissman received special recognition for developing a github interface for version control.

  • CHS BACON also qualified for state competition in FTC Robotics. (Again!)
  • As they prepped to send up their first satellite, the BACON ThinSat team toured labs at UVA today, including the Aerospace Engineering department.
  • Not only did CHS host the regional Science Olympiad tournament, but students also brought home (OK, they already were home) a team trophy. Jamie Nachbar and Clara  Stelow earned  3 medals each!
  • BACON came in 2nd place in Jefferson lab’s state Science Bowl competition, losing only to governor’s school and perennial champ, TJ High School for Science and Tech.
  • Seeing a need, students are creating an ID scanner to record when students come into the building. Their software is software ready for testing, and hardware in development. Look for the prototype!

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Fine arts acclaim in music, visual arts, creative writing, theatre! Click here for more.

CHS orchestra seniors with their Orlando trophies
Orchestra seniors with their Orlando trophies

State and local recognition and appreciation:

  • An ELEVENTH Blue Ribbon for all-around excellence in band, choir, and orchestra. High Schools ear blue ribbons from the Virginia Music Educators Association when all three of the schools’ top performing groups earn superior ratings (the highest possible).
  • Orlando Music Festival Excellence:  It was a clean sweep for the CHS orchestra, as they claimed first place  in the gold division for both 2A and 3A competition, PLUS the outstanding orchestra award, two adjudicators awards, and the instrumental sweepstakes award. Then at the airport heading home, the orchestra was invited to give a command performance — listen to the NPR story here.
  • State band and choir: Sharon Reitsma, Charlotte MacDonald, Clare Inlow, and Anna Bon-Harper performed with All-Virginia bands; and Adria Cafferrillo, Sarah Garretson, Victoria Kremer, Beau LeBlond, and Parker Nelson repped CHS at the all-state choir.
  • Art awards: Jane Ormsby won third place  in the 2018 VA School Boards Assoc. Regional Forum Art Contest; Tiara Strait and Aleena Haidari won awards in the Rumi Forum’s Annual Peace and Dialogue Art and Video Contest.
  • Creative Writing Winners:  Seven CHS students were winners in the Mirabella writing contest sponsored by Tupelo Press’s Teen Writing Center: Rachel Beling, Ryan Doherty, Sarah Hale, Fentress Lynch, Alice Owen, Elana West-Smith, and Gabe Yeargen. Their works will be published in an anthology.
  • Photo of CHS's 2018 "Rising Star" award-winners
    Rising Stars!

    Rising Star Awards: Congrats to the CHS winners of the  Arthur C. Greene Rising Star Awards: Rachel Beling (Poetry), Ashley Clark (Creative Writing), Kiki Dowell (Theatre), Parker Sullivan (Choir & Orchestra), and Deveny Watson (Visual Art).

  • After Theatre CHS’s stellar spring musical (South Pacific), the program goes quiet, right? WRONG: Next up? The Tempest on April 26-27, to be followed by a host of year-end performances such as Dessert Theatre. Plus, broadway performer Deon Ridley spent a day leading CHS theatre classes!
  • Congratulations to Margaret Lather, Ella Harrigan, and Florence Pinkston, who took 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, respectively, in the high school prose category for the UVA Fralin Museum of Art’s Writer’s Eye Contest!
  • Remember the beautiful and inspirational musical collaboration in August between students from CHS and Nashville? (If not, get a tissue and click here now.) CHS choir students recently visited Nashville to reconnnect and perform a new song, written by surviving students from Florida’s Parkland High.  Click here for more.

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Need a verbal hug? Visit the hallways of CHS and read the hundreds of encouraging post cards sent to Charlottesville students from people all over the world. Thanks to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Blue Ridge for your efforts to promote positivity through this #DearYoungPerson  campaign.

The CHS Model United Nations delegation met with a team of real-life ambassadors at the Nigerian Mission in New York while they attended the National High School Model United Nations, the world’s largest UN conference.

Model UN in New York
A large CHS Model UN contingent in New York
Spanish AP and 4 classes at UVA Architecture School
Spanish AP and 4 classes at UVA A School

Field Trips

How should we remember war? Students trekked to the Dogwood Vietnam Memorial to see the memorial in honor of the 28 local men who died in the Vietnam War.  One student reflected: “You figure out that not everything is a given.”

Spanish IV and AP students recently visited the UVA School of Architecture. Students toured the A School & heard from students who had studied abroad in Barcelona.

Traveling the globe with virtual reality…. CHS students took a trip with GoogleVR to the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

AVID students visited CFA Institute to learn more about their work and careers in finance.

Art students visited Second Street Gallery  for a workshop.

Public Presentations and Pitches

Two students pitching ideas behind a microphone for Project SERVE
Pitching ideas for Project SERVE

CHS students in general — and AVID students in particular — have had a host of opportunities to pitch ideas and present research.

  • Biology classes participated in a student symposium co-hosted by the UVa Medical Center. CHS students’ research was guided by medical professionals.
  • AVID students pitched community solutions — and received $10,000 to support them! — at CFA Institute’s Project SERVE. This pitch event is one of many ways that the new CHS/CFA Institute Finance Academy is promoting real-world skills and financial literacy.
  • CHS students presented a wide range of ideas at the Tom Tom Founders Festival. Topics and presentations included BACON, AVID’s Project SERVE winners, City Schoolyard Garden, AP Psychology, and more.
  • Students pitching on stage for Project Serve
    Students pitching on stage for Project Serve

    Students from CHS’s Becoming a Global Citizen class pitched their customizable t-shirt business at the TomTomFest Youth Summit – and won!

  • AVID students also presented their Project SERVE ideas at the Public Education Foundation luncheon.
  • Lugo-McGinness Academy students shared their stories and student perspectives on alternative education experiences during a round-table event for representatives from Newport News Public Schools who came to learn about the success of the program.
CHS Diversity Assembly

CHS celebrated its students’ commonalities and differences with another beautiful Diversity Assembly this March.

CHS Urban Farming & Entrepreneurship class is preparing for the spring with a student-built chicken coop to host the newest and smallest CHS Black Knights!

The CHS Amnesty Club hosted a “Hunger Banquet” to raise food, money, and awareness of local and global hunger issues.

CATEC's "Technical Eats" Food Truck (made from school bus)
CATEC’s “Technical Eats” Food Bus

CATEC students debuted their school-bus-food-truck called “Technical Eats” during the  Tom Tom Founders Festival’s Makerville Expo, and CATEC student Alonda Clark placed 3rd in the Skills USA competition for Nurse Assisting.

CHS AVID students organized a “Food for Hoops ” community 5v5 basketball tournament at Tonsler Park. Jerry Harris, Kajesha Taylor, and Jaquan Wood put in the organizational work and even paid for the event’s catering!

CHS athletes have been winning in sports AND sportsmanship! For more sports news, click here.

CHS athletes have been winning in sports AND sportsmanship!

CHS received a sportsmanship award from VHSL after the winter season since the school has had no player or coach ejections in the first two sports seasons. Thanks for keeping it classy! And spring athletes, let’s keep it going!

Golfer A.J. Stouffer, P/C Andrew Shurtleff, Daily Progress
Golfer A.J. Stouffer, P/C Andrew Shurtleff, Daily Progress

Senior golfer AJ Stouffer was named the Newsplex’s athlete of the week in March. Among other district and regional honors, Stouffer won this year’s community-wide Charlottesville City Championship, the youngest champ in its history.

The CHS softball facility continues to see improvement. Last winter, new dugouts were erected, and this year a new infield is being installed along with a new sound system courtesy of Crutchfield. A special thank-you to the City of Charlottesville and Parks and Recreation for aiding us in this process. Similarly, CHS Baseball’s facilities have seen major upgrades over the last few years thanks to the school’s partnership with the Tom Sox of the Valley Baseball League.

Five football players made commitments to continue their athletic and academic careers: Trejon Bryant (Glenville State), Rakeem Davis (JMU), Larry Henderson (Glenville State), Sam Neale  (Washington & Lee), and Jake Poe (Hampden Sydney).

Kennedy Wardlaw at states
Kennedy Wardlaw at states

Winter sports highlights:

  • Ella Reed and Zoe DeGuzman both qualified AND PR’ed at the Class 4A VHSL State Swim Meet. Ella dropped more than a second off of the 100m breaststroke, and Zoe dropped nearly 5 seconds off of her 200 m free.
  • Girls and boys basketball both completed fine regular and post-season runs before ending in round 2 of regional play.
  • Senior track athlete Kennedy Wardlaw qualified for states after placing 3rd in regionals in the triple jump.
  • Senior Isaac Kenner was named to the All Central Virginia Wrestling team, the first Black Knight to be so named since Wade Kammauff four years ago.

Alumni sports highlights:

  • Football’s Rashard Davis ’12 earned a Super Bowl ring with the Eagles (and came back to serve as the speaker at the CHS Black History Month assembly).
  • Golf’s Emmy Timberlake ’16 won her first college golf tourney this spring.  She shot a 77 to earn medalist honors for Dennison U. in the rain at the Wooster Spring Invitational.
  • Field hockey’s Kendall Ballard ’16 (Ohio University) played on Team USA when they recently scrimmaged against UVa. Kendall scored the two final goals!

Show Less Athletics News

CHS and WAHS cheerleaders marching together at Dogwood ParadeCHS counselors led a series of Stress-Less Week activities as the first semester wrapped up.

Walking under the banner, “United in spirit, united in cheer,” cheerleaders (and friends) from CHS and Western Albemarle appeared together in the Dogwood Parade.

And upcoming: consider coming out for CHS’s annual Band on the Run 5K on May 5, which benefits the band and cross country team.

School Board News

Dr. Rosa Atkins welcomes Mr. James Bryant to the School Board
Dr. Rosa Atkins welcomes Mr. James Bryant to the School Board

School Board Member Adam Hastings stepped down in March as part of a family move outside the City limits. Following the state’s processes, the School Board appointed James Bryant to serve as interim member. Mr. Bryant both graduated and retired from Charlottesville City Schools! For details on this process, click here. Thanks to both Dr. Hastings and Mr. Bryant for their service to the Board!

On April 10, the City of Charlottesville approved Charlottesville City Schools’ budget request of $54 million as part of the schools’ overall 18-19 budget of  $83.7 million.  One of the key features of the budget is support for teachers, with a 4 percent salary increase for teachers and increased salary supplements for teachers with advanced degrees. Other new initiatives in the budget call for planning for a specialized academic academy and an internal grant program to support teacher innovations.

Other recent topics discussed by the Board include:

  • A renewal of the school division’s 1:1 technology program that provides a Chromebook for every student in grades 3-12
  • Approval of the CLASS summer camp tuition schedule, with an eye to keeping the program affordable at all income levels
  • An update about Greenbrier’s pilot of classrooms with a particular emphasis on social and emotional learning
  • Discussion of school safety and student-led walk-outs in the wake of the Parkland shootings. For additional information, click here.
  • Approval of the 18-19 Program of Study for CHS, Buford, and Walker

Upcoming Events

Flyer for The Tempest, CHS Black Box, April 26 & 27 at 5pm. Student tickets $5, adult tix $10. For info, call 245-2410.
Art by Sahara Clemons ’18.


  • 25 CHS Choir concert, 7pm, MLKPAC
  • 26 Walker Orchestra concert, 7pm
  • 26 Theatre CHS presents The Tempest, 7pm, Black Box
  • 27 Theatre CHS presents The Tempest, 7pm, Black Box
  • 28 CHS Prom


  • 2 Buford Orchestra concert, 7:30pm
  • 3 School Board meeting, 5pm
  • 5 Band on the Run 5K, 8am (benefits CHS band and cross country team)
  • 6 CHS Band concert, 7pm, MLKPAC
  • 16 Walker/Buford Chorus concert, 7pm, Buford
  • 18 Walker Band concert, 6:30pm
  • 18-19 Theatre CHS presents Dessert Theatre
  • 22 Buford Band concert, 7pm
  • 22 CHS prospective student night
  • 23 CATEC completers’ ceremony
  • 24 CHS Orchestra concert, 7:30pm, MLKPAC
  • 25 Buford/Walker Stage Left Theatre, 6:30pm, Buford
  • 28 No school for Memorial Day
  • 31 Minds in Motion student dance performance, 7pm, MLKPAC


  • 5 CHS senior award night
  • 7 Last Day of School (early dismissal)
  • 7 CHS graduation, 7pm, JPJ Arena
  • 14 School Board meeting, 5pm

For sports schedules, check gocville.org.

Walker Orchestra

Spring Performances and Events at Cville Schools

Charlottesville City Schools has a full menu of opportunities to enjoy the fine arts for all ages this spring!


5/1 (Tuesday) Johnson Elementary PreK, 1st, 3rd, and 4th grades presents “Celebrating Friendship” Spring Performance, 6pm. 245-2417.

5/2 (Wednesday): Buford Orchestra Spring Concert, 7:30pm, Buford Auditorium. 245-2411.

5/3-5/5 (Thursday-Saturday) CHS Theatre presents Chicago, 7pm, Black Box Theatre at Charlottesville High School. http://bit.ly/CHSTheatreTickets. 245-2410

5/4 ( Friday) Greenbrier Elementary First Grade Spring Performance, 10:30am. 245-2415.

5/4 (Friday) Buford Band Spring Concert, 7pm, Buford Auditorium. 245-2411.

5/6 (Sunday) CHS Band Spring Concert, 7pm, Martin Luther King Performing Arts Center. 245-2410

5/7 (Monday) Venable grades 1 and 2 Spring Performance, 6 pm,  245-2418.

5/15 (Tuesday), Clark Elementary K-4 Spring Performance, 6pm. 245-2414.

5/16 (Wednesday) Walker and Buford Chorus Spring Concert 7pm, Buford Auditorium. 245-2411.

Walker Orchestra

5/17 (Thursday) Burnley-Moran K/1 Spring Performance, 6:30pm. 245-2413.

5/18 (Friday) Walker Band Spring Concert, 6:30pm, Walker Auditorium. 245-2412.

5/18-5/19 (Friday-Saturday): CHS Dessert Theatre, Black Box Theatre. Friday at 7 and Saturday at 3 & 7. Featuring comic sketches and musical performances. General admission $5, VIP seating $10. For tickets, visit http://bit.ly/CHSTheatreTickets. 245-2410.

5/23 (Wednesday) CATEC Completers’ Ceremony, 7pm, Martin Luther King Performing Arts Center. 434-973-4461.

5/24 (Thursday) CHS Orchestra Spring Concert, 7:30pm, Martin Luther King Performing Arts Center. 245-2410.

5/25 (Friday) Walker Stage Left Theatre Presents: Frumpled Fairytales, 6:30pm, Walker Auditorium, 245-2412.

5/25 Greenbrier Elementary Kindergarten Spring Performance, 10:30am. 245-2415.

May 28 (Monday) CHS Band performs for City’s Memorial Day Ceremony, Charlottesville Sprint Pavilion, 11am. 245-2471.

May 31 (Thursday) All CCS Elementary Schools Minds in Motion performance, Jamestown: A New World in Motion. Through a unique partnership with the Richmond Ballet and Charlottesville City Schools, Minds in Motion (MIM) is a year-long inclusive program that combines dance instruction with storytelling, academic lessons, and a large scale year-end performance. 7pm, Martin Luther King Performing Arts Center. 245-2671.

6/1 (Friday) Buford Stage Left Theatre Presents: The Actor Games, Buford Auditorium, 6:30pm. 245-2411.

6/7 (Thursday): Charlottesville High School Graduation, 7pm, JPJ Arena, 245-2410.

James Bryant portrait

James Bryant Appointed Interim School Board Member

James Bryant portraitOn April 11, the School Board appointed James Bryant, a graduate and longtime employee of Charlottesville City Schools, as interim School Board member.  Until a special election is held on November 6, Mr. Bryant will hold the position vacated by Adam Hastings, who resigned in March as part of a move outside the City limits.

Thanks to Mr. Hastings for his concluded service! Welcome and thank you to Mr. Bryant for his future service!

For more information about the process and Mr. Bryant’s service to our community, please see: