All posts by Krissy Vick

2021-22 Division Calendar

2021-22 CCS Academic Calendar approved

Thanks for your response to our 2021-22 calendar survey. The 2021-22 Charlottesville City Schools Academic Calendar was approved by the School Board on March 4, 2021.

2021-22 CCS Academic Calendar

Please note that this calendar is subject to change due to the pandemic and local, state, and federal guidance.

A joint committee from Charlottesville Schools and Albemarle County Public Schools created the calendar, reviewed feedback from the community, and presented their recommendation to the School Board for review and voting.

Comments about the calendar:

  • Spring break: Our practice is to designate the first full week of April as our spring break. We are sometimes asked, “Can’t you align spring break with U.Va.’s?”   U.Va.’s spring break is typically near the beginning of March, which for K-12 students would make for a very long stretch without a break later in the spring. So while we recognize that this would be a good solution for U.Va. families, we feel that it doesn’t represent the interests of all our students and staff. A 2016 survey indicated that a majority of respondents favored keeping spring break during the first week of April.
  • Religious Holidays: Our practice is not to observe religious holidays as school holidays (but we do try to avoid scheduling evening events on major religious holidays). Students or staff who wish to be absent to observe a religious holiday are allowed to do so.
  • History about the calendar development: For over a decade, the Charlottesville and Albemarle County school divisions have worked together for a common calendar. A joint committee creates a draft calendar, and then we ask for input from students, teachers, administration, and parents. If necessary, the committee makes revisions to the draft before submitting a recommended calendar to the two school boards for approval.
Best Communitiies for Education Award 2021

CCS Music Education Program Receives National Recognition

Best Communitiies for Education Award 2021Charlottesville City Schools received the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The National Association of Music Merchants Foundation (NAMM) for outstanding achievement in providing music access and education to all students.

“This recognition is a tribute to our strong music educators, but it’s also a recognition of how much our school division values and supports the arts,” noted Fine Arts Coordinator Aaron Eichorst.

Among nearly 700 school districts nationwide, Charlottesville City Schools earned this distinction based on a variety of factors such as funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community programs.

Charlottesville City Schools, known for its strong commitment to the arts, offers a robust musical foundation for students beginning in elementary schools and continues through middle and high school. Beginning in fifth grade, students have the option to join band, choir, or orchestra. The middle and high school performing groups routinely earn top ratings on district and state assessments, including earning more than 11 Virginia Music Educators Association Blue Ribbon School Awards for achieving superior in band, choir, and orchestra in the same year. Programs such as the Charlottesville High School Orchestra, the Charlottesville High School Band, and the Choirs of Charlottesville High are regularly cited as exemplary, garnering top prizes in music festivals in the United States and participating in performance and learning opportunities abroad.

Leading research in music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for students, indicating that students who are involved in music are more likely to graduate high school and attend college, as well as develop better conflict resolution and teamwork skills. For more on this research, visit www.nammfoundation.org.

“Congratulations to our music staff — and by extension, our entire fine arts staff,” added Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins. “We know that these programs also depend on the commitment and support of our principals and classroom teachers along with students, families, and our community. Thanks to all of you for valuing the arts for their own sake as well as for the many ways the arts benefit our students.”

Related Resources

School Board Updates graphic

Notice of Electronic School Board Meeting

School Board Updates graphicOn Friday, May 14, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. the Charlottesville City School Board will hold a Superintendent Search Planning meeting with Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates (HYA) in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Performing Arts Center and via Zoom (for public viewing) in accordance with the Code of Virginia § 2.2-3707.  The meeting agenda can be found on the Board’s Electronic School Board website.

How can the public participate in a Virtual School Board?
Spring Quarter Energy & Water Management graphic

Spring 2021: Energy & Water Conservation: Your New Normal

Charlottesville City Schools and the City’s Energy and Water Management Team are working together to reduce the energy and water footprint of all City schools.

Spring Quarter Energy & Water Management graphic

In 2019, the School Board approved an Energy and Water Performance resolution, showing a commitment to achieving and maintaining high performing school facilities.

Continuing on past efforts, the City’s maintenance and development teams are specifying high efficiency building equipment, such as high-efficiency chillers and LED lighting, and are enhancing operational control through advanced building automation systems.

Charlottesville Schools and the City’s Energy and Water Management Team continue to investigate ways to accelerate the installation of high performance equipment throughout our schools.

The City is also working with each school to raise awareness about energy and water saving practices through education and outreach efforts that include distributing educational materials and providing tips and strategies that students and faculty can use to reduce the energy and water impact at our schools.

Each quarter a different theme emphasizes aspects of energy and water efficiency/conservation.

Spring 2021:  Make Your New Actions be your New Normal

Spring quarter Energy & Water Management tip: Make a Schedule Spring quarter Energy & Water Management tip: Set RemindersSpring quarter Energy & Water Management tip: Make it Easy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last quarter, we discussed Pick and Action! Do an Action!  Hopefully you have had time to develop your water and energy saving actions so far and are working hard to do these at home and eventually at school too! The Energy and Water Management Program wants to help you make this action be your new normal and remind you to do your actions each day. Try putting out physical reminders or making your new energy and water saving action the easy choice.

For example, if your water action is turning the water off while you brush your teeth, put a reminder sign on your mirror to turn off the tap. This small action might not seem like a lot of water savings, but you are saving up to 4 gallons of water each time you brush your teeth, which adds up to saving over 2,900 gallons of water a year (enough water to fill up 70 bathtubs)!

Over the next few months, work on doing your saving action and share your reminder strategy with your friends, classmates, and family. Each water and energy saving action can have a big impact when we do it each day.

Tips:

  • Reminders: Use reminders such as signs or notes where you need to do your action.
  • Schedule: Schedule your actions into your daily schedule and make sure you give yourself enough time to do them.
  • Make it Easy: Set yourself up to succeed by making it easy to do your action over the energy wasting or water wasting choice.

Resources

Have questions about this program? Contact the City’s Energy and Water Management Team at EnergyWaterTeam@charlottesville.gov and learn more at charlottesville.gov/EnergyWater.

Learn more about other green initiatives at Charlottesville City Schools here.


Winter 2021: Pick an Action! Do an Action!

Put your knowledge into action–pick an action that helps you save energy and water at home and at school!

We started off the school year strong with a new commitment to save energy and water. Now it is time to put your knowledge into action! The Energy and Water Management Program wants you to pick an action that helps you save energy and water and start to do it! Each time you do your action, you will help save more energy and water, and combined with all of your classmates, you all will have a positive impact helping Charlottesville be more sustainable! You can start small with just one action and work on repeating it each week or each day. Grow your action by getting your friends and family involved and see who can be the most consistent at doing your energy and water saving action! Together we will all have a big impact to save energy and water in Charlottesville.

Tips:

  • Start off small: Pick a small action like turning lights off as you leave a room or turning the faucet off when scrubbing your hands with soap (or choose your own!).
  • Repeat, repeat, repeat: Do your energy and water saving action over and over again, each day!
  • Grow your action: Expand your action to save more energy and water by including your family!

Resources:


Fall 2020: New school year, new commitment to save energy and water!

Whether we are at school or at home this fall, the City’s Energy and Water Management Team has some great tips to help us reduce our energy and water consumption.

Energy and water are essential resources we need to use everyday; however, they also require a lot of effort including money and hard work to make into electricity for our lights or clean, safe water to drink. In addition, the overuse of these resources can have bad impacts on our environment even here in Charlottesville.

So, let’s start the school year with a new commitment to save when we can by following some of these important tips and actions we learned last year.

If you see something, say something graphic. Report a water leak or an open door to an adult.Tips:

  • Only Use What You Need: Turn off the lights and faucet when you are done!
  • If You See Something, Say Something: Report a water leak or an open door to an adult.
  • Reduce Our Energy and Water Waste: Use a reusable water bottle and unplug electronics when not in use.

Resources:


2019-20 Education and Outreach

Summer activity packet for upper level grades

Summer Quarter: This summer the Energy and Water Management Team wants you to take what you learned around how to save energy and water at school and apply it at home!

Let’s first focus on reducing our energy waste at home. This can look like turning the lights off when you leave a room, making sure you power down and unplug electronics when you are not using them, and making sure doors and windows aren’t left open when your home’s heating or air conditioning is running.

When you look at water, there are some easy ways we can reduce our water waste at home. Remember to always turn the water off when not in use (like while we are brushing our teeth), don’t forget to fill up your reusable water bottle with tap water when you are thirsty, and if you see dripping faucet or running toilet tell an adult to fix it! Plus, if you help your family with some gardening projects outside, look to the weather to do the watering work or collect rainwater to use for watering later.

This summer let’s all commit to saving energy and water. Take this pledge and start implementing these easy steps at home today!

This summer I pledge to be an energy and water saver at home!

  • I pledge to turn the lights off when I leave a room,
  • I pledge to power down and unplug electronics when I’m finished with them,
  • I pledge to close windows and doors when my home’s heating and cooling systems are on,
  • I pledge to turn the water off when not in use,
  • I pledge to use a reusable water bottle instead of a single-use plastic bottle,
  • I pledge to report water leaks as soon I see them,
  • I pledge to come back to school in the fall ready to keep saving energy and water!

You are now ready to be an energy and water saver! Together we can all have a huge impact at home and at school.

Activity Sheets for Grades K-4

Activity Sheets for Grades 5-12

Paper copies of the activity sheets were included with our summer meal distribution program. Copies can also be found in the main office of each school building, or you can contact the Energy and Water Management Team, at EnergyWaterTeam@Charlottesville.gov.

Energy and Water Management Program: Spring Quarter Poster image discusses reducing water and energy wasteSpring Quarter: Reducing our Energy and Water Waste

This spring the Energy and Water Management Team is back with more reminders to help us trim up our energy and water use!

Help our school reduce energy waste! Make sure outside doors close behind you and tell an adult if propped open. This will help keep our cooled and heated air inside our school rather than letting it escape through open doors to the outside!

Don’t forget to bring your reusable water bottle along with you wherever you go! Fill it up from tap water, which comes from our rivers and is cleaned to make it safe and taste good. Before dumping out any left over water, think reusable by giving it to some plants that would happily enjoy that water.

Spring Quarter Tips:
1. Keep outside doors closed
2. Fill up your reusable water bottle with tap water
3. If you see a water leak or an open outside door, report it!

If we each reduce our energy and water waste at school and at home by focusing on these easy habits,together we can have a real impact.

Energy and Water Management Program Winter Quarter posterWinter Quarter: Understanding our Energy and Water Use

Did you know that the greenhouse gases produced from energy used at all 10 Charlottesville City Schools is equal to the greenhouse gases produced by 500 homes? We know our schools need resources to operate but what exactly uses energy and water in our schools every day?

We are asking students and faculty to try to identify what uses energy and water when you walk into your classroom each day. For energy, think about the overhead lighting, computers, electronics, and air conditioning/heating. For water, think about the water fountain in the hallway and sink in your classroom. What about at home?

There are also the items that aren’t as noticeable such as leaving your phone plugged in even when it’s fully charged or not paying attention to that dripping faucet. Even when a phone is plugged in and is fully charged, it still uses 2.24 watts of energy, and that slow drip…drip…drip of a faucet can waste 3,000 gallons of water a year!

Let’s reduce our energy and water impact at school and at home by focusing on these easy habits we can do each day.

Winter Quarter Tips:

  • Turn the lights off when you leave a room.
  • Make an effort to unplug personal electronics.
  • Turn the water off when not in use.
  • If you see a water leak or hear a running toilet, report it!

 

water and energy management posterFall Quarter: The Value of Energy and Water

The energy and water that we use at home and in our school are typically provided using finite resources. In Virginia, fossil fuels (coal, oil, and natural gas) are used to produce over 60% of the electricity that we use, with nuclear and renewables making up the rest. We also use natural gas directly to heat our school and to heat our water. The water we use is pumped from reservoirs fed by rivers and is treated before coming to our homes and school as clean, potable water.  Simply put, our demand for electricity, natural gas, and water (the amount we use) has a direct impact on these resources. We have a responsibility to manage what we use but we’re also empowered with the ability to make lasting change.

In many cases we use more than we need, so we already have simple opportunities to reduce our impact. The best place to start is just becoming aware of when and how we use energy and water throughout our typical day. As you do your normal activities, think about how long you leave your lights on, leave your phone plugged in, and leave the water running. Now think about how you can adjust your behaviors to trim that up a bit.  It’s a game of inches, not miles, and small changes add up to big savings.

Fall Quarter Tips:

  • Last one out? Flip the switch!
  • Turn the water off when not in use.

 

BME student shows her book choice.

April 2021 News & Highlights

April Newsletter header

A Message from the Superintendent

Dear staff and families —

Spring is here, and what a difference a year makes! Last year at this time, we were in the first stages of the COVID-shutdown. Now we are celebrating expanding access to the vaccine and the hope of restoring some of the routines and pleasures we have been denied. We have been so excited to welcome students back to school this month, and we are looking forward to bringing even more students back at Buford and CHS in April.

But let’s keep in mind that we are not hoping for a return to “the old ways.” The pandemic’s disproportionate impact on black, brown, and lower-income families has  motivated us to find new, better ways of seeing and serving each student. Furthermore, in this past year we have seen painful examples of racism and violence directed at Asian Americans, African Americans, and others — and we reject the long, dangerous history of White Supremacy. |

So as our schools and country begin to return to “normal,” let’s do better than normal. This pandemic taught us a lot about new ways to connect with every family — and we need to maintain those engagement practices. Let’s harness the pluses of the tech we learned to make learning more personal and to add new options to our communications toolbox. And let’s create spaces where everyone is safe, valued, and appreciated for both their commonalities and their differences.

As you know, this spring will be my last with Charlottesville City Schools — and I’m committed to making it a good one, marked by hope and concrete action for a better “normal.”

Dr. Rosa S. Atkins
Superintendent

 


Food Updates for Spring Break and Beyond

We have several meal-related announcements:

  • Thanks to Cultivate Charlottesville and other partners for providing student meals during spring break on Monday and Wednesday, April 5 & 7. They’ll be serving from 11:30 to 12:30 at Hearthwood, Friendship Court, Westhaven, Greenstone on 5th, and South 1st Street.
  • Also, our meal delivery routes will change after spring break. More info coming soon!
  • Finally, remember to apply for free/reduced lunch this year so you can qualify for Pandemic-EBT benefits. Please be advised that cards may be delayed this spring.

Find complete information at charlottesvilleschools.org/food.

 


Feedback on Proposed Model for School Safety

In March, after months of research, public feedback, and consideration, the Superintendent’s committee on school safety presented a draft model to the School Board. Find out more and submit your feedback by visiting charlottesvilleschools.org/safety. The Board will hear another update and vote on May 6. Watch video.

Screenshot of title page of New Safety Model video


Our Youngest Learners: Kindergarten Registration Coming Soon and Preschool Applications Available Now

Calling all future kindergarteners! It’s almost time to register for the fall. Our new student registration forms for the 2021-22 year are now being finalized, and links will be posted by April 13 at charlottesvilleschools.org/kindergarten.

Once you have registered your kindergartener, your school will make an appointment for you to bring documents such as proof of residency to the school.

Have a child who will be 3 or 4? Consider applying for preschool! Find more at charlottesvilleschools.org/preschool.

Graphic for preschool registration

 


Students Head to the Great Outdoors for Great Learning

Upon returning to face-to-face learning, our schools have leaped into outdoor learning. At Walker Upper Elementary, students have ample time outside everyday to learn in teams, participate in social emotional learning and sensory-based activities, and more. Each team of teachers has a wagon from which they can gather supplies, stools, medical supplies as needed, and other teaching materials. Then they head outside with kids every day.

“Research backs outdoor learning as a way to heal emotional and social pain and, given the pandemic, these are significant,” said Walker School Counselor John Kronstain. “The administrative team here should be given lots of kudos for getting this off the ground.”

Meanwhile, our lower elementary students are also maximizing time outside. Thanks to our staff for sharing the cute pics!

Clark students are enjoying the slack lines Physical Education Teacher Mr. Puie constructed to help them with their balance, spatial awareness, and body control. Photo Credit: Rolando Tillman
Greenbrier students reading in hammocks.
Greenbrier students enjoy “hanging around” among the trees while reading books. Photo Credit: Chantel Beverly

 


Transitional Update

Important InfoEarlier this month, Superintendent Dr. Atkins announced that she would be retiring from Charlottesville City Schools and accepting a top-level position with the Virginia Department of Education. Last week, the School Board voted to hire our former Associate Superintendent Jim Henderson as our Acting Superintendent, beginning on June 1. The Board also posted a request for proposals for a firm to help find our next Superintendent. Updates about this process will be posted to charlottesvilleschools.org/superintendent. Please join us in extending our deepest appreciation to Dr. Atkins and Mr. Henderson!

 


Golden Apple Nominations

Save the date for the Golden Apple Award Ceremony on June 23 at 4 p.m. This year, it’s more important than ever to show our teachers appreciation. Help us honor our teachers by nominating them for a 2020-21 Golden Apple Award! Sponsored by Better Living Building Supplies and Cabinetry, each recipient of a Golden Apple Award will receive a $500 grant to use in the classroom. Nominations are being accepted until Friday, April 30, 2021.  Nominate a teacher now!

Golden Apple nomination graphic

 


Buford Equity in STEM Program

Interested in iSTEM and want to learn more? Join the Buford STEM Equity Program, a 10-week course built by CHS students Jude Fairchild, Owen McKinney, Camden Baucom, and Kaymin Hester, who want to introduce more students of color to  to the world of engineering. Want to join? Contact Buford Engineering Teacher Brendan Martin at MartinB1@charlottesvilleschools.org.

flyer for Buford STEM Equity program


Fine Arts Update

Four CHS band students earned spots in the Virginia Band & Orchestra Directors’ Association All-State Band! Congratulations to Ella McLaren (3rd in the state on bassoon earning her a 2nd chair orchestra spot!), Alden Dent (earned 9th chair concert band on clarinet), Bob Kammauff (earned 3rd chair concert band on tuba), and Rebecca Fitch (earned 2nd alternate on the Eb clarinet). Congratulations and Go Black Knights!

Congratulations to the following students who placed in the 2021 VSBA Student Art Contest, which is held in conjunction with the Virginia School Boards Association Spring Regional Forums: First Place Elementary – Charlotte Dontanville, 5th; Third Place Middle – Levi Beling, 8th; Third Place High School – Luke Roberts 11th. Way to go, Charlotte, Levi, and Luke!

VSBA art contest winners

 

Earlier this month, CHS art students reflected on the concept of freedom in recognition of our local Liberation & Freedom Day holiday. Behold this beautiful art and reflections quilt that weaves both writing and visual creativity.

art and reflections quilt for liberation and freedome day

 

We are pleased to announce that for the second year in a row, we have a CHS student finalist in the annual City Art Bus Contest. CHS art student Nathan Kim is a finalist! Check out last year’s winner, CHS student Julia Bailey (known for the cat JAUNT bus) and cast your vote for this year here.


Black Excellence in the Community

Student leaders from Charlottesville High School Student Council and Black Student Union hosted “Black Excellence in the Community,” a live webinar featuring a panel discussion with Superintendent Dr. Rosa Atkins, as well as other communiy leaders.

After the event, ninth grade SCA President Je’Saun Johnson said, “We had 108 people tune in! We had amazing conversations and we definitely left people wanting more…so the webinar was very much a success!” See related news coverage here.

Earlier in March, community leaders and members of the local Alphi Phi Alpha Fraternity did virtual read-alouds for students at Clark Elementary School and then donated 205 books to the school.

Alpha Phi Alpha members donate books
Recognize some familiar CCS familiar faces behind those masks? Thank you, Hospital Ed Principal Eric Johnson, Clark Interim Principal Kenny Leatherwood, Nutrition Services Director Cecil Thompson, School Board Member Juandiego Wade, and Hashim Davis.

CHS Sports Roundup

Here are a few great moments in sports from March:

  • CHS Golf team member, Preston Burton, tied for first place against Western Albemarle at a recent match at Meadowcreek and remains undefeated this season! The team also took a big win against Albemarle HS at Old Trail.
  • CHS Cross Country team runner, Caroline Jaffe, won her first race vs. Orange County and William Monroe!
  • CHS Field Hockey hosts Monticello, Daily Progress Photo Album
  • CHS Football hosts Western Albemarle, Daily Progress Photo Album

For these and other athletics stories and photos, follow @cvillehs_athletics on Instagram.

Jaelyn Lynch plays field hockey
Senior field hockey player Jaelyn Lynch passes the ball during the game against Monticello HS.  Photo Credit: Andrew Shurtleff/Daily Progress

 


VDOE Seeking Input on Future Changes to Math Curriculum

VA math pathways initiative graphicThe Virginia Department of Education is holding information sessions about future improvements to the math curriculum via livestream on the VDOE YouTube channel. Each session will include a 20-minute presentation followed by responses to questions submitted in advance by parents and students. You can submit questions or topics you would like to have addressed during the session here. Here is the full schedule:

  • Tuesday, April 13 – How does the Virginia Mathematics
  • Pathway Initiative (VMPI) affect Virginia Children’s Futures?
  • Tuesday, April 27 – Essential Concepts in Grades 8-10
  • Tuesday, May 25 – Advanced Pathways in Grades 11-12

 


News You Can Use: COVID-19 Free Testing in April

COVID free testing april

COVID free testing espanol


Cville Schools to Host Virtual Job Fair

Are you interested in a career with Charlottesville City Schools? We invite you to attend our virtual job fair on April 14  from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and April 15 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. We are looking for talents in all positions including teachers, school psychologists, custodians, counselors, nutrition & technology staff, and more! Please register in advance using this link.

 


Upcoming Dates:

  • icon of calendar Calendar by MRK from the Noun ProjectSchool Board Meeting, April 1, 5pm
  • End of 3rd Quarter, April 2
  • Drive-thru COVID-19 Testing (FREE), April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 4-8pm, Buford Middle School
  • Spring Break, April 5 – 9, No school for students; Teacher holiday 4/5
  • School Board Closed Session Meeting, April 13, 5pm
  • CHS Graduation, June 5 – Learn more here!

Follow School Calendars

 


School Board Updates

School Board Updates graphic

At the March 4 School Board meeting, the Board voted to approve the 2021-22 CCS School Calendar. The Board also heard updates on gifted education, the health curriculum, transportation, and mental health supports.

On March 17, the Board met in closed session to approve the superintendent’s intention to retire, effective May 31, 2021. Read the media release.

The Board met once again on March 26 for a closed session in which they voted to appoint Jim Henderson as acting superintendent, effective June 1, 2021. Read the media release.

Follow School Board


#ICYMI: Read Across BME Campaign Encourages #bobcatsinbooks

Our elementary students at Burnley-Moran participated in a week of activities to promote reading including Book Talk Tuesday,  a school-wide read in, and a book chat with author Marc Boston as part of the school’s efforts to celebrate its school-wide identity as avid readers. What are YOU reading? Thanks for the cute photo, B-ME!

And, special thanks to The Soho Center for a generous book donation to all of our preschool students this month and our kindergarteners earlier this fall.  Read more about the Soho Center’s efforts to promote childen’s literacy here.

BME student shows her book choice.

 

Job Fair flyer

CCS offers virtual job fair on April 14 and 15

Are you interested in a career with Charlottesville City Schools? We invite you to attend our virtual job fair on April 14  from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and April 15 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

We are looking for talents in all positions including teachers, school psychologists, custodians, counselors, nutrition & technology staff, and more!

Please register in advance here.

Job Fair flyer


Learn more about Charlottesville City Schools!