What‘s Happening at School Division News

Secretary Qarni receives tshirt from two Venable students

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of an African-American graduate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Starting line at Buzz by Belmont Race 2017

Buzz-by-Belmont: Clark 5K Family Fun Run/Walk Registration Open

Charlottesville-area residents can now register to participate in the 13th Annual Clark Elementary School “Buzz by Belmont” 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, October 6.

Starting line at Buzz by Belmont Race 2017
2017 Buzz by Belmont Race, Photo credit: Bart Isley

“The race is a celebration of fitness, student achievement, and family fun that starts and finishes at Clark Elementary School and has become a tradition in the neighborhood and Charlottesville fitness community,” said Clark Elementary PTO President Mike Poncy.

The race starts at 8:00 a.m. and takes participants along a rolling course through the diverse neighborhoods that comprise the Clark Elementary School district. There will also be a free Kids Dash for elementary students (Pre-K to 4th grade) which will start at 9:00 a.m. on the Clark Elementary Field. The dash will be run by age group and contained to the Clark field.

Fees range from pay-what-you-can donations for Clark Families to a $10 youth fee or
$20 for adults 18-and-over for early registrations. Prices increase $5 after 9/15. Race tshirts
are guaranteed for all early registrations.

2018 Buzz by Belmont sponsorsThis year’s event is being sponsored in part by a Virginia Department of Transportation Safe Routes to School mini-grant. The Safe Routes to School program aims to encourage students to walk to school regularly and safely. In addition to providing built-in exercise for students, the program seeks to reduce traffic congestion and emissions around
schools.

The race is officiated by the Charlottesville Track Club, and is part of the C-ville-athon
running circuit. All proceeds benefit the Clark Education Opportunity Fund. Post-race
activities will be held at Clark and will include cheering for the kids dash, Safe Routes to
School bicycle rodeo, a raffle featuring local business gift cards, and race prizes.


When: Saturday, October 6, 2018 starting at 8am (check-in at 7:30am).
Who: Runners, walkers, and strollers are welcome.
Where: Start and finish at Clark Elementary School, 1000 Belmont Avenue.
Registration:  Sign up now!  Early Bird pricing until September 15. Tshirts guaranteed for all early registrants.
Sign up to Volunteer: Sign up here. There are many ways to help and have fun!

Thanks to our Sponsors:Safe Routes to School, Ting, The Local, Stanley Martin, ACAC, Nest Realty, Three Notched Brewing Company and Craft Kitchen, Stony Point Design/Build, Ragged Mountain Running Shop, and Charlottesville Track Club.


2014Clark5k_KM034_lo

Logo badge for 2019 Best Schools-Niche

Charlottesville Schools Ranked #6 in Virginia

Logo badge for 2019 Best Schools-NicheThe 2019 Niche.com K-12 rankings are out, and Charlottesville City Schools earned an A+ , placing #6 overall among Virginia school districts and landing in the top 3% in the nation.

Niche ranks nearly 100,000 schools and districts based on statistics and millions of opinions from students and parents. Additional recognition for CCS from a variety of Niche categories include:

  • #2 of 133 – Most Diverse School Divisions
  • #3 of 132 – Best Places to Teach in Virginia
  • #6 of 132 – Districts with the Best Teachers in Virginia.
  •  A+ ranking in College Prep and Diversity categories and A in Academics and Teachers.

We’re proud of the good work of our students and teachers, and we appreciate the support of our community. While any given ranking system has its limitations, Charlottesville City Schools has done so well by so many measures, that the combined feedback paints a portrait of excellence. Three other indicators would include:

Venable student with tshirt

Back-to-School Nights

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

As Yom Kippur approaches, we note that we accidentally scheduled some back-to-school nights on 9/18. We apologize & will develop better systems to prevent a recurrence. If you can’t attend but want to meet with your teacher or get school updates, please contact your school.

  • Burnley-Moran:  Tuesday, September 18, 5:30-7pm
  • Clark: Tuesday, September 18, 5:30-7pm
  • Greenbrier: Tuesday, September 18, 6-7:30pm
  • Jackson-Via: Tuesday, September 18, 6-7:30pm
  • Johnson: Tuesday, September 18, 6-7:30pm
  • Venable:  Thursday, September 20, 5:30-7:30pm (Welcome Back Pot Luck to follow)
  • Walker: Tuesday, September 11, 6-8pm
  • CHS: Monday, September 17, 5-7pm
  • LMA:  tba
illustration of raised hands with a computer search bar

Help Nights for Back-to-School Forms

illustration of raised hands with a computer search barHaving trouble creating your PowerSchool account? Need to add a child to the account? Want a hand finishing up your back-to-school forms? Working on your free/reduced lunch application?

Call or stop by during our Help Nights on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 4-5.  All Charlottesville families are welcome to attend either event. iSe habla español!

  • On Tuesday, 9/4, from 5-7pm, we’ll be at Clark School (1000 Belmont Avenue).
  • On Wednesday, 9/5, from 5-7pm, we’ll be at CHS (1400 Melbourne Rd).
  • Just need a student ID or a password reset? For student IDs, you can call your school. For password resets or other questions, call either 245-2943 or 245-2962. During the help nights, you can also call 245-2943 from 5-7pm.

Image says "translation -- see top of page" in Spanish, Chinese, Nepali, Arabic, and English.These important back-to-school forms are required for all returning students every year. (If you completed forms for a new student this spring or summer, you do not need to do them again.) Most of the answers are pre-completed for you. These forms help with:

  • health and emergency information
  • field trip permissions
  • authorizations for a friend or relative to pick your child up from school
  • accurate bus information
  • and much more!

Thanks to all who have completed them, and if you need any assistance, please call us or join us for the Help Nights for Back-to-School Forms.

Members of the Charlottesville 12 and School Board stand with first Charlottesville 12 Scholarship recipient Kely Oufoula Kossi

Charlottesville 12 awards $5000 scholarship to CHS student

Members of the Charlottesville 12 and School Board stand with first Charlottesville 12 Scholarship recipient Kely Oufoula Kossi
Members of the Charlottesville 12 and School Board present first Charlottesville 12 Scholarship to CHS graduate Kelly Oufoula Kossi.

Recognized for her high grade point average, leadership, and community work, CHS Class of 2018 graduate Kelly Oufoula Kossi received the first Charlottesville 12 Scholarship at the June School Board meeting where several members of the original Charlottesville 12 attended and received commendation by Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins.

“We have before us representatives of the Charlottesville 12, the courageous 12 students who integrated Venable Elementary and Lane High School in September, 1959 after being denied both equal access and even any access to our schools during Massive Resistance,” said Dr. Atkins.

Read Dr. Atkins complete remarks here.

Remarks by Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins
June 14, 2018 School Board Meeting

We have before us representatives of the Charlottesville 12, the courageous 12 students who integrated Venable Elementary and Lane High School in September, 1959 after being denied both equal access and even any access to our schools during Massive Resistance.

Present with us today are Roland Woodfolk, Ronald Woodfolk, Donald Martin, Marvin Townsend, Mr. Alex-Zan (Charles Alexander) and Sandra Lewis. Are there any other members of the Charlottesville 12 with us today?

Today, we wish to express our grief and apology for the loss and discrimination you faced during your time in Charlottesville City Schools. We wish to express our admiration for the way you persevered in the face of such challenges, and for your courage in being first and few in otherwise all-white schools. We wish to say thank you for sharing your experiences with our community and our students through interviews, panels, school visits, and even publications. And finally, we wish to offer our gratitude for your generosity in establishing a scholarship earlier this year to honor the Charlottesville 12.

The first recipient of that scholarship, Kelly Oufoula-Kossi, who will be attending George Mason University this fall, is with us tonight. Kelly, please join us.

To the members of the Charlottesville 12: where many people might have responded with bitterness, you have chosen generosity. Where others might have responded by getting stuck in the past, you are investing in the future. Where some might point fingers, you extend open arms. May we all learn from your model.

Thank you for joining us tonight so that we might honor you and thank you.

Of the 12 African American children who were the first to integrate Charlottesville Schools, six attended the school board meeting including: Roland Woodfolk, Ronald Woodfolk, Donald Martin, Marvin Townsend, Mr. Alex-Zan (Charles Alexander) and Sandra Wicks Lewis.

Slide showing pictures of the Charlottesville 12 and list of their names.

Lewis, who organized and helped fund the $5,000 scholarship, made brief remarks commending Kossi for being a standout applicant and also noted the power of a college education.

“We were absolutely astounded by these kids that applied. Of course, they had great accomplishments and high GPAs, but the thing that was really apparent to all of us is that a college education to these kids would be life-changing,” Lewis said.

A refugee from the Republic of Congo, Kossi moved to the USA when she was 10 years old with her uncle. While attending CHS, she participated in volleyball, dance, theatre, and helped organize the student walkouts to protest gun violence. Kossi plans to attend George Mason University and study criminology.

Related links:

feature image of kids and bus

Back-to-School Information

feature image of kids and busWe look forward to welcoming our students back on August 22, 2018 for the first day of school. See below for important dates such as back-to-school open houses, and school supplies lists.

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

Back-to-School Information:

 

Regular School Hours:

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

CHS students holding The Hate U Give

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.

In November 2018, the Charlottesville City Schools School Board unanimously passed a resolution that bans students from wearing clothing that depicts symbols “associated with racial hatred and violence.” Their resolution specifically cited the violence in Charlottesville and the Confederate and Nazi imagery displayed during the violence.  Read the full resolution 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.