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November 2021 News & Highlights

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A Word from Dr. Gurley

Dr. Gurley photoDear families,

If you know me, I believe that I must say the most important thing first. What’s the most important thing to me? Building trust in our partnership to keep your children safe, learning, and growing.

What’s the most important thing to you? From my conversations with families, I have learned that “Knowing key dates and calendar changes in a timely manner” ranks among high importance. For your planning purposes, I have included key information about the school calendar:

  • Changes to THIS SPRING’s calendar (Jan-April 2022): Schools across the country are making changes to this year’s calendar in response to staff and student needs during the pandemic. See below for the changes or learn more here.
    • 1/21/22 will become a full day in school for students
    • 2/21/22: All schools and offices will be closed (President’s Day)
    • 3/18/22 will become a teacher workday (student holiday)
    • 4/1/22 will become a teacher workday (student holiday)
  • Survey about NEXT YEAR’s school calendar (fall 2022-2023): We have developed this draft calendar in partnership with Albemarle County Public Schools. Now we want to hear from you — complete our survey!
  • Reminder: Thanksgiving Break is Wednesday-Friday, November 24-26.

Thank you, and know that as we look ahead to the holiday, we are thankful for you!

Dr. Royal Gurley

  • I got my covid-19 vaccine graphicNow that our students age 5-11 are eligible for the COVID vaccine, we have been partnering with Blue Ridge Health District to host and promote vaccine clinics. Our next clinic is Friday, and the one after that is 11/23. Sign up for vaccines here! We also offer free, opt-in, individual PCR COVID testing as a proactive measure. You set the frequency of testing (as often as weekly). Sign up for testing here!  And remember, once students are fully vaccinated (2 weeks after 2nd dose) they do not need to quarantine following exposure.

  • Hand-written notes from Dr. GurleyWhen Dr. Gurley arrived in Charlottesville and started visiting schools, he received hundreds of cards, signs, and letters, including the question, “Why do you want such a big job?” Now, Dr. Gurley has written back with all the deets, including favorite subject (math) and favorite animal (his dog Cooper).  As for his “why”? “The answer is YOU! I want to make sure you have every opportunity to learn, make friends, and be healthy so that you can be the leaders of tomorrow!“

  • CCS early childhood center renderingAs you likely know, the City and the Schools have approved further planning for a long-overdue renovation of Buford Middle School (to serve grades 6-8), convert Walker into a City-wide preschool center, and return 5th-graders to their elementary schools. Work is beginning now to flesh out the plans.

    Get the big picture in this two-part series by Katherine Knott in the Daily Progress:  Part 1 (Middle School)  |  Part 2 (Preschool)

  • Substitute Teaching FlyerTo address the substitute teaching shortage being felt locally and nationally, the School Board voted to raise the pay for substitute teachers to $20/hour. We are also using our college networks to recruit students at places like PVCC and UVA. Want to be part of the solution? Consider applying or passing along the information to someone who would be a good fit! Find more information at

  • School BusesThe City of Charlottesville continues to seek solutions to expand the number of students who can ride the bus to and from school. The wait list has shrunk from about 1000 to less than 700. The City is hoping to expand routes again (perhaps modestly) in January. If you know of potential drivers, please direct them to the City of Charlottesville’s application.

  • Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging blocksOur division-wide equity committee has drafted two key documents to guide our work moving forward, and they’d like your feedback. The first is their recommendations for our data dashboard; the second is a plan to align our work with the state’s “Inclusive Excellence” framework so that partners across the state can work toward common goals. Take a look and let us know how it can be better using this quick feedback form.

  • EngageFamCCS Event remindersUpcoming “Response to Essential Needs” events are this Saturday 11/20 and 12/4 at CHS from 11-1. These drive-thru events give away family essentials, including coats on 12/4. Learn more here. And check out this video from partner and Super Bowl winner Chris Long with a word of appreciation to our families — we appreciate our families during Family Engagement Month and all year long.

More Looks at Cville Schools

Photo collage of Sports and Theater students

Congratulations to our Buford and CHS students who have excelled this fall! CHS boys cross country were regional champs and, along with Caroline Jaffe (upper left), competed at states. Buford runners Elaina Pierce and Jacoby Lynch (upper right) competed at middle school NATIONALS and placed 7th and 37th! CHS placed first in Jefferson District VHSL competition. At the Virginia Theatre Association virtual state conference, CHS’s submission earned superior, Buford earned excellent, and two actors won individual awards, Buford’s Leo Abrahamson and CHS’s Cole Lyman (who was also honored at the VHSL competition).

Buford Band

So good to see students performing again — here’s the Buford Band at Highland’s Veterans Day ceremony. Notice the special masks (and there are instrument covers, too).

Greenbriar 2nd graders making games with magnets

These Greenbrier 2nd-graders have designed games that use magnets as part of the games’ mechanics thanks to Cville Schools’ iSTEM program. To see more, follow on Twitter at @CCS_iSTEM.

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

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