Word from Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins
Dear staff, family, and community:
Recently, CHS celebrated “I’m First Day,” a nation-wide initiative to support students who will be the first in their family to graduate from college. The event included hand-written notes of encouragement and a photo wall featuring CHS staff and students who were (or will be) first in their family. As a first-generation college student myself, I am proud that our schools prepare so many of our students to be trailblazers in this way, and I was touched to learn that so many of my colleagues on the staff are themselves first-generation college students. First-gen staff members like Dr. Eric Irizarry (CHS principal), Kim Powell (Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations), and Dr. Jesse Turner (Buford principal) have cleared a path, and they in turn can encourage our students to take those first bold steps toward college, career, or adulthood.
Speaking of trailblazers, in October we honored the families and students who desegregated Johnson School in 1962. The City and City Schools installed a historic marker and hosted a ceremony recognizing Eugene and Lorraine Williams along with the four black students who integrated the school. For photos, video, and more information about this powerful event, click here. And to learn how we are incorporating diverse and local voices into our history classes, please click here. As one small piece of this project, we have created an annual Trailblazers Day to tell our students about our own school history.
Together, let us blaze a new trail toward equity and excellence in our schools.
Dr. Rosa Atkins
At the Virginia Theatre Association’s high school festival, CHS earned the first-ever “Spirit of Theater” award. The new award recognizes collaboration and positivity in the face of challenge. CHS won for its complex and well-received presentation of “Failure,” directed by senior Jack Heaphy. The one-act, which relied on technical effects, also won top technical honors. In addition, students earned awards in the Tech Olympics and for improvisation, and many seniors earned college call-backs and scholarships. Visit TheatreCHS on Facebook.
The draft academic calendar for the 2020-21 school year has been posted to our web site for community comment. The proposed calendar is nearly identical to this year’s. A joint committee from Cville Schools and ACPS will review the feedback and then present a recommendation to the School Board in December. After School Board consideration, a vote will be held in January. Click here for the draft calendar and a link to the survey.
The Dejua behind “Dejua’s Creationz” at Fifth Street Station is a CHS senior who followed her mother’s footsteps to bring her dreams to life. When she’s not at CHS, Dejua Lewis offers desserts and smoothies in a space that she shares with her mother’s restaurant. The restaurant was recently featured on NBC29, and Dejua was also interviewed in the CHS Knightly News, where she told her classmates, if they “invest their time, love, and patience into their craft, they can be just as successful.”
October brought National Bus Driver’s Week, and we honored those who transport our students safely between school and home each day. At an appreciation breakfast, we thanked our drivers for their part in Charlottesville City Schools’ mission– “Every Learner. Every Day. Everyone!” The City has openings for additional regular and substitute drivers. For more information, click here.
Eighth-graders in Dr. Venable’s math classes have been treated to several guest speakers who have reflected on their journey from young person to community leader. (In the photo at left, Mr. Marcus Carter, a counselor and athletic director at Fluvanna Middle School, is leading students in a teamwork exercise.) “Voices from the Village” is a similar program that offers speakers at CHS and Lugo-McGinness Academy.
A new partnership with UVA Engineering’s Link Lab will connect high school engineers with graduate student mentors. The UVA students will guide CHS students in year-long, team projects like engineering of drones, windmills, oscillators and autonomous systems applications. The launch event included a group discussion, tour of the CHS Sigma Lab, and problem-solving sessions. To learn more, visit UVA Engineering on Facebook.
In October, the School Board approved new equity and anti-racism policies and heard an update about “Changing the Narrative,” which aims to include more diverse and local voices in social science classes. The Board also approved the calendar of budget development meetings. In other news, Juandiego Wade will receive the 2019 Paul Goodloe McIntire Citizenship Award. And the recent elections returned James Bryant, Dr. Sherry Kraft, and Jennifer McKeever and brought Lashundra Bryson Morsberger for a first term. Congratulations to all and thanks for your service. For School Board information, including agendas, minutes, and livestream video, read more here.
11/13 Special Education Advisory Committee, Johnson, 5:30pm
11/15 Starry Knight Telescope Star Party (open to all Cville Schools families), 7-8:30pm, CHS Curtis Elder Track & Field Complex
11/18 CHS Band Fall Concert, 7pm
11/19 Buford Orchestra Fall Concert, 7:30pm
11/19 Lugo-McGinness Student/Family Celebration, 12pm
11/19 Parent University, 5-7:30pm, Jackson-Via Elementary (open to all)
11/27-29 Thanksgiving Break
12/2 Gifted Advisory Committee Meeting, 7-8:30pm, Division Annex Offices at CHS
12/4 CHS Orchestra Winter Concert, 7:30-9pm, MLKPAC
12/5 School Board Meeting, 5pm, CHS Media Center
12/5 Harvest of the Month Snack Program (thanks, City Schoolyard Garden)
12/6 City of Charlottesville Grand Illumination, begins at 4:30pm, Downtown Mall
12/10 All-City Band Winter Concert, 7pm, MLKPAC
12/11 Walker Orchestra Concert, 7pm, MLKPAC
12/12 CHS Holiday Pops Choir Concert, 7-8:30pm, MLKPAC
12/18 Walker Chorus Concert, 7-8pm, Walker Auditorium
12/19 Walker Stage Left Performance of Peter Pan, 6:30pm, Walker Auditorium
12/23-1/3 Winter Break (classes resume 1/6)
Minds in Motion: same great program, new season. Our partnership with the Richmond Ballet continued in a new format. Elementary schools hosted two-week intensive residencies, culminating in a fall performance. This year’s program was the “Journey of the Monarch,” combining dance with biology, plus teamwork, confidence, and fun.
Sixth graders enjoyed a hip hop writing workshop with Grammy-award winning artist Secret Agent 23 Skidoo. Students found courage to share their own original raps to professional background beats. The next day, students saw the artist perform at the Paramount.
The Class of 2022 is this year’s Powderpuff champions of Charlottesville High School! With the help of assistant Principal Rodney Redd, who also oversees athletics, the CHS Student Council revived this popular tradition two years ago.