Walker and Buford students have contributed to this art project (you see one tentacle of a giant sea creature) to be used in a play by Jennifer Hoyt Tidwell, artist in residence at The Bridge PAI.

This week at Buford

Some recent news from Buford… family reading night, guest violinist Eric Stanley, Gear Up VA contest winner Caroline McLellan, art-engineering collaboration, student work, and more…


Calendar Updates: 2-Hour Delay on 3/1, Snow Make-Up Days, 2016-17 Calendar

calendarRecent updates to our calendar include:  a 2-hour delay for all schools on 3/1 due to the primary elections, snow make-up days on 2/15 and 4/1, and the approval of the 2016-17 academic calendar.

Click here for more information:


March 1: 2-Hour Delay for Charlottesville Schools Because of Primary Elections

I-VotedOn Tuesday, March 1, Charlottesville City Schools will open on a two-hour delay because of the presidential primary elections. Voter turnout at the primary is expected to be higher than normal, particularly during the hours of 6-9am. Keep in mind that there may be more traffic at the schools that day for both drop-off and pick-up.

Charlottesville High School will NOT have their monthly one-hour delayed start on 3/10 since CHS teachers will have time to meet on the morning of 3/1 before classes start. This will avoid two separate delayed starts at CHS in March.

More information:

  • At many of our school election sites, parking for voters can be a problem when staff cars are in the lot. Peak voting hours are 6-9am, so a 2-hour delay avoids these hours (earliest start will be 10am).
  • The City Schools have never made a change for primary elections before, but the Charlottesville Office of Voter Registration and Elections asked us to modify our schedule in light of the higher voter turn-out that is expected this year.
  • Some school divisions in VA are closing altogether on March 1, but we are working closely with our colleagues at the City to allow us to open on a 2-hour delay.
  • At some schools, the room used for polling will change to minimize disruptions to learning.
  • Thank you for your patience!



A Day in the Life at Jackson-Via

Music, art, reading, a black-light experiment with friends from Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, games, dancing, some collaborative math learning…. That’s what was going on when a photographer visited Jackson-Via one day back in December. And that doesn’t even touch on the school’s “house system” for building community (think Harry Potter). Or consider its after-school clubs, such as the coding club that was recently profiled in Charlottesville Family Magazine.  Jackson-Via is a great place to learn.



Apply for Preschool in February

Apply now for fall preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds. Charlottesville City Schools offers a free preschool program for qualifying families. See application for more information. Si usted habla español, mira en la parte inferior de la página.

JVIAIMG_0721Preschool Facts:

  • Classes are Monday-Friday.  We provide school bus transportation.
  • Four-year-old hours are 8am to 2:30pm. 3-year-old hours are 9am to 1:45pm.
  • Classes start on the first day of school in August.

Who Can Participate?

  • Child must be 3 (or 4) by September 30, 2016.
  • Child must live in Charlottesville.
  • Child must be potty-trained.
  • Child must be in a low-income family or have other stressors.
  • Child must get vaccines up-to-date.

How to Apply to Preschool?

¿Cómo puedo aplicar?


STEAM Team at Johnson: The Maker Movement

img_1737Thanks to parents and community support (and the leadership of the school’s librarian), Johnson Elementary has a new after-school offering, the STEAM Team.  STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math.

STEM and STEAM are increasingly important in Charlottesville City Schools and in schools across the country. Librarian Sarah FitzHenry explains what makes Johnson’s club special:  “So here’s our recipe: take that STEAM mentality, add in Johnson’s brand new MakerSpace, toss in a few volunteers from the University of Virginia’s chapter of Alpha Omega Epsilon (a professional and social sorority composed of female engineering and technical science students), add a pinch of crazy librarian and shake vigorously: you’ve got yourself a STEAM Team.”

These beautiful pix are also taken by Mrs. FitzHenry, and if you want to read her inspirational blog about this or the other amazing things that unfold in her library, click here.


Make-Up Days and Closing Information

CHS 9 Peter CagninaMake-Up Days:

Following our calendar, snow day 1 will be made up on February 15. Snow day 2 will be made up April 1.  Snow days 3-4 will not be made up.

LeylyclosingClosing Information:

Images courtesy Peter Cagnina, Charlottesville High School, and Leyly, Jackson-Via Elementary.


buford top highlights

Buford Top Five Highlights Video

When some Buford students were asked to contribute to a School Board presentation about some recent school highlights,  the students developed a special edition of the  Trojan News Telecast, with their self-produced “Top 5,” including AVID, clubs, engineering/making,  academics,  and college readiness. (OK, that’s 6, but they just couldn’t stop themselves!)


Approved Calendar for 2016-17

2016-17-finalThe Charlottesville City School Board approved the official academic calendar for 2016-17. Developed in response to community feedback, this calendar includes a two-week winter break, along with a teacher workday on Monday, January 2.  Students will return to school on Tuesday, 1/3.  Because of this longer break, the calendar requires that the first day of school be moved up by one day to Tuesday, 8/23, and the last day of school is Friday, 6/9. Further information is below.

More Information

For over a decade, CCS and ACPS have worked together for a common calendar. We come together and draft calendars, asking for input from students, teachers, administration, and parents before a draft is submitted to the two school boards.

Feedback for the proposed 2016-17 calendar included the following and more: Start school after Labor Day (or start school earlier), take Veteran’s Day off, keep two work-weeks off for Christmas break, keep the winter break as initially proposed on the draft, align Spring Break with U.Va., and, above all, keep the school calendar the same as Albemarle’s.

Specific requests:

  • Veteran’s Day:  It is challenging to take Veteran’s Day off, as it falls on no set day. Consequently, many Charlottesville schools bring in veterans, provide a program, and make Veteran’s Day a great educational experience. If the federal government were to fix Veteran’s Day on, for instance, a Monday (as they did with President’s Day), then we would look at this.
  • Aligning spring break with U.Va.’s:   U.Va.’s spring break is typically at the beginning of March, which for CCS 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.
  • Winter break:  This was the most discussed element of the calendar, and it became clear that there would not be a solution to please everyone since Christmas and New Year’s Day both fall on a Sunday, and the federal/bank holiday will be Monday, January 2. While some community members wanted the traditional two-week break,  others did not want students to return to school on 1/2 when many parents will have the day off from work.  The approved calendar calls for winter break to be two weeks plus a teacher workday on Monday, January 2. Students will return to class on Tuesday, January 3.
  • The first day of school will need to be Tuesday, August 23 (not our usual Wednesday start).  The Tuesday start of the year in August would mirror the Tuesday start of school following winter break.
  • The last day of school  will be a half-day on June 9th.