This page provides information about Charlottesville City Schools’ equity goals and commitments in the 2020-21 school year.
Goal 1: Supported/Supportive Staff
This includes diversifying our staff and equipping our educators to succeed and help all students succeed.
- Continued anti-bias trainings such as human resources department working with Charlene Green and the PE Department working with SIDE by SIDE.
- “Lunch and Learn” PL sessions offered to all staff on topics such as asset-based thinking, LGBTQ+ Basics, and the Mapping Cville project. Future learning opportunities include a panels with Eddie Glaude and Ibram X. Kendi.
- Created five new Engagement Support Assistant positions to actively engage with students and families during virtual learning.
- HR processes refined/approved to better support issues related equity.
- Establishing a framework for anti-bias PL.
- Hosting focus groups among staff to lean more about equity needs and opportunities.
- Received Virginia Department of Education Teachers of Color Grant to cover the cost of teacher assessments for provisional license holders.
- Created partnership with Virginia State University to offer dual enrollment classes for future teachers (current CHS students) as part of an accelerated degree program.
Goal 2: Diverse, Inclusive, and Rigorous Learning Experiences
Let’s embrace our diversity—in classrooms’ student composition and in richly varied and challenging learning activities.
- Working within the pandemic to meet needs for food, technology, internet-connectivity, social-emotional needs, and more. All known needs for devices and internet connectivity have been met, from PreK through high school.
- Over the summer, we held extensive and expanded professional learning opportunities to prepare and support teachers for online learning, and learning has continued through PLCs.
- Worked with UVA in the summer of 2020 to pilot Charlottesville’s first Freedom School, which was highly successful (some of our students earned national acclaim!)
- Walker, Buford, and CHS are expanding the honors-option program developed at CHS. These courses allow different students in the same classroom to elect standard-level or honors-level credit for the course, depending on the student’s choice in the complexity and rigor of the readings and assignments. This promotes greater equity and diversity within a given classroom, which benefits all students.
- Our social science teachers continued to work with Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, Virginia Humanities, and other partners to include more diverse and local perspectives and stories in our history classes.
- Based on brand-new guidance (proposed 12/31/20) from the Virginia Department of Education, we are reviewing our practices to make sure that we are fully supporting our LGBTQ+ students and staff.
Goal 3: Growing Relationships/Community
As we help our staff and students feel connected, supported, and safe, we will learn from one another for our mutual gain.
- Continuously working with over 30 community partners to inform, organize and support equity, virtual learning and learning centers. Examples include Men of Color, Honor and Ambition/Women of Color, Honor and Ambition (MOCHA/WOCHA) Mentoring Program through UVA’s Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
- Held two “Response to Essential Needs” drive-through events to distribute food, household essentials, clothing, and more to families.
- Finding new ways to connect — even over Zoom– to meet academic, social, and emotional needs. From school counselors to teachers to our Books on Bikes team, we are still pushing out into the community and making connections.
- Charlottesville City Schools received a donation from an anonymous private foundation that will support five additional clinical social workers in our schools. There will be two new positions at CHS and Buford, and one at Walker. One goal of the new positions will be to create consistency and continuity of care between the three schools. Complementing the work of our other school-based mental health professionals, our social workers are always important, but in this unique and challenging time, this gift will allow us to offer trauma-informed care to students and families with acute needs.
Goal 4: Equity Foundations
We want to be systematic and proactive as we make positive change. Let’s follow—and establish—best practices.
- Our school-based equity councils are focused on establishing equity foundations on a school level including knowledge, awareness, and application of division mission statement, equity definition, and 4 key focus areas.
- They have also been asked to deep dive into an equity topic choosing from Institutional Bias, Implicit Bias, Asset-Based Thinking, and/or Culturally Responsive Teaching.
- The division-wide equity committee is also giving guidance on the creation of a data dashboard and working to align Charlottesville City Schools’ work within the state-wide “Inclusive Excellence” framework for equity.
T. Denise Johnson, Supervisor of Equity and Inclusion