Dear Charlottesville families, staff, and students–
The School Board and Dr. Gurley met this morning during a closed session to discuss student matters as related to school safety at CHS. As part of our discussions, we agreed to cancel classes at Charlottesville High School on Monday and Tuesday, November 20-21 to allow administrators and staff to continue planning for a “reset” of school policies, procedures, and culture so that we can return to our core purpose – offering a safe learning environment in which our students will grow and thrive. This will be especially important in light of this Monday’s announcement of the interim leadership for CHS. On Monday and Tuesday, all CHS teachers and staff will be present at the school during bell schedule hours (no zero period). All other Charlottesville schools will maintain their regular schedule on Monday and Tuesday.
Charlottesville High School Teacher Workdays on Monday and Tuesday (11/20-21)
The goals for the two teacher workdays will be to allow for further review and improvements of safety protocols, better understanding of the expectations and disciplinary procedures within CCS’s Student Rights and Responsibilities, increased clarity around the division’s accountability expectations, and continued attention to staff wellbeing.
Meals for Students on Monday and Tuesday
We appreciate the community partners and individuals who worked to ensure students had access to meals due to Friday’s closure. We will be in touch with details about meal service for CHS students on Monday and Tuesday.
Student and Family Expectations
The Board encourages everyone to review the Student Rights and Responsibilities, which are grounded in state disciplinary policy and to which the Board will strictly adhere. In particular, the Board asks families to reinforce the expectation that students will attend class on time and will participate in all learning activities; in short, the student will be ready to learn.
We call upon the community to step up and work with us, and we’ve been heartened by how many individuals have reached out with offers of assistance. While parents and other adults are welcome partners when they visit our schools for productive purposes, we will not tolerate adults who do not follow the standards that we set for our students and visitors.
Board Commitment to Safety
The Board will be working with school and division staff to collaborate on strategies to strengthen safety and security protocols, including attention to security at doors (including side doors) and seriously exploring weapons detectors (as discussed at the Board work session on October 19). In line with our response to the recent incident involving an unauthorized adult on campus, we will take legal action to emphasize our dedication to maintaining a secure environment at CHS and other buildings of Charlottesville City Schools.
The Board expressed confidence and support for Dr. Gurley as well as CHS staff, students and families. In summary, we want every child to succeed, but we can’t accomplish more for any of our students than the children want for themselves.