CCAC Meeting – February 2019 | Schools, and Recycling

This should be an interesting meeting, seeing as how most everyone in Crozet benefits from having a great school system. I’ll reserve my cynicism for my in-meeting tweets.

#CCAC0219

Crozet Library 
Wednesday, February 13, 2019 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. 

Agenda 

1.    Introductions and Agenda Review (Allie Pesch – CCAC chair) 

2.    Approval of Minutes 

3.    Recycling in Western Albemarle (Trudy Brement, Emma-Caroline Avery, and Maren Eanes, Henley Middle School – 20 min) 

Due to illness, the recycling discussion will be postponed. Instead, our neighborhood planner Andrew Knuppel will be presenting the county’s new development dashboard and giving us an overview of Crozet developments currently “in the pipeline.”

4.    Western Albemarle Feeder Pattern School Capacity and Enrollment (Rosalyn Schmitt, ACPS Chief Operating Officer – 60 min) 

5.    Items Not Listed on the Agenda 

6.    Announcements 

7.    Future Agenda Items 
        –  Joel DeNunzio, VDOT (March) 
        –  Chesterfield Landing Phase III Review 
        –  Albemarle County Development Pipeline Dashboards (Andrew Knuppel) 
        –  The Square and Barnes Lumber Updates? 

WAHS with a Cause

via email. Great to see this kind of motivation from our kids.

The Western Albemarle High School Leadership Program is putting on the first ever “WAHS with a Cause,” which is our community service day.

In the past, Western Albemarle has put on service projects, but they have been contained within our school. The goal of WAHS with a Cause is to get our entire school involved in civic engagement not just in the school, but within the entire Crozet/Charlottesville community. We would love both monetary donations or supplies. Additionally, if you are aware of a local organization that could use a group of volunteers, please contact [email protected]

Thank you so much,

WAHS Executive Council

Upcoming Albemarle County School Board Meetings

Last week’s CCAC meeting yielded some interesting and, candidly, troubling, thoughts about the future of Crozet schools. If you haven’t read the linked story and tweets, please do so.

If you don’t have kids in the schools, you’re still impacted as property values are directly tied to (perceived) quality of schools. 

Economically, we would say that above average school quality as a flow of service is capitalized into value, just like an income stream. There is a broad consensus in the academic literature that school quality matters (Black, 1999, Brasington, 1999), and it seems that elementary school may matter even more than high school in driving locational preferences of home buyers with children. Empirical research has found that a one standard deviation increase in school quality (measured by test scores or school rankings) increases the value of a single family property by 1 to 3 percent. (source; bolding above is mine)

Get educated, and get involved

The next meetings (with the exception of joint Board meetings and meetings with Legislators) are September 27; October 11 & 25; November 8; and December 6 & 13.

Here is a link to the meeting calendar, that might be helpful, as it takes the scheduled meetings out further.

Related posts

Superintendent Listening Tour at Western Albemarle 31 July

via email (I changed some of the bolding to focus on Crozet)

Dear Community Members,

My summer listening tour is underway! I’ve already met with several groups of students and teachers. It has been very helpful to hear so many ideas about bright spots in our schools, opportunities for improvement, and your advice for me. I’m looking forward to my first community session this week on Wednesday evening, July 25, 6 to 7:30 at Albemarle High School.

If you’re planning to attend, please remember to register, which helps us with planning.

Last school year, our 14,000 students represented 89 countries and spoke 74 home languages! Demographically, our students were 10.5% Black, 12.8% Hispanic, and 65.4% White. Ten percent were English Learners; 30.4% received free and reduced price meals; 11.9% were identified for special education services; and 9.8% were identified as gifted.

Albemarle County Public Schools is becoming a more vibrant community, offering continued opportunities to be enriched by our diversity and to grow stronger together.

My summer listening tour is an opportunity to hear about the needs, challenges, hopes and ideas from community members who bring a broad range of life experiences to our school division.

I hope you can join me at one of the following Listening Tour opportunities:

  • Wednesday, July 25 | 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. | Albemarle High School | Register

 

  • Tuesday, July 31 | 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. | Western Albemarle High School | Register

 

  • Wednesday, August 8 | 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. | Monticello High School | Register

If you are unable to attend, I encourage you to share your thoughts and ideas through the Online Feedback Form. You also may follow the progress of my first 100 days as Superintendent online at www.k12albemarle.org/First100Days.

I look forward to working with you to shape the future of our school division!

Sincerely,

Matt

Dr. Matthew S. Haas
Superintendent of Schools

Letter from Western’s Principal

This is an important conversation for us to have in schools, at homes, in coffee shops, and pubs. Posting with permission.

via email 

Dear Western Families:

It has been almost two weeks since I issued a statement in response to a controversy over a student project related to the study of To Kill a Mockingbird in one of our English classes. This incident elicited many emotions, from anger among our visiting girls’ basketball team to surprise and then concern among our own students who were unaware of the situation. It is important for us to understand how our visitors felt about what was displayed on the student project as well as our own students’ feelings.

While the conversation began because of the historic images used in a student project, this situation has sparked a larger dialogue around issues of racial equality, respect, tolerance and inclusiveness in our relationships with one another in our community. We see this as an important opportunity which should be seized.

We are now at a point in time when, collectively, we can address, head-on, many of the issues that concern us. This is an opportunity to listen, learn and work together for the benefit of our community. We already have many mechanisms in place to support this discussion. We must use these structures and others to increase dialogue and build understanding.

Last year we created the Western Feeder Pattern Diversity Focus Group comprised of elementary, middle and high school teachers, parents and administrators. This group was formed to address issues within our own community around diversity and to help all of our schools provide a more supportive atmosphere for all kids.

We have an Equity and Diversity team of teachers and staff at Western who are focused on understanding biases in our school and in our practices and is working with staff and students for equality, equity and success for all of our kids.

Our school improvement climate goal this year is focused on empowering all kids to have voice and agency and to be comfortable in stepping up when they see things that are harmful to others. We want our students to develop and actively use bystander awareness strategies to support each other and a healthier school community.

As principal, I see our students achieving in many areas as part of our school and division. Academically, students regularly challenge themselves to take many of the most rigorous classes offered. On the stage and athletic fields, our students compete at the highest level and challenge themselves and their teams in competition.

We must remind ourselves that achieving these goals should never be in the absence of qualities that best exemplify us as learners and leaders: sportsmanship, character, and integrity.

I care deeply about each one of my students, as does every member of our staff. We have and will continue to accomplish great things. If we are to continue to move forward as a caring, supportive, high-performing community, we must work together to better understand the contributions each of us will make. We need more honest conversations about school culture and student experiences.

Such conversations often are not easy, but they are necessary if we are to ensure that racism, bigotry and all forms of harassment will have no place in our schools. I know we can create the most respectful and best learning environment for every one of our kids. In the near future, I will be reaching out with information on opportunities for parents, students, and community members to join us in this work. I hope that you will partner with us as we move forward.

We will continue to find ways to improve. For your child. For every child.

Best,

Darah Bonham

Principal



Background from the Daily Progress

A homework assignment depicting racist themes in the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” sparked controversy Monday when the English classroom at Western Albemarle High School was used that evening as a changing room for the Fluvanna County High School girls’ basketball team.

“So after our game we found a poster in the locker room we [were] in and it said ‘negros sit in the back of the bus,’” one player wrote on social media after the game. “That is very disrespectful and racist.”

The post angered others, including one parent who said that Western Albemarle should voluntarily forfeit the game it won, 45-34, to “voluntarily stand up to racism.”

Western Albemarle Principal Darah Bonham said the poster was part of a project on Harper Lee’s novel set in 1930s Alabama that asked students to analyze themes such as racial tension, injustice and poverty, and then draft written and visual depictions of them.

 

 

Planning for School Growth

Read the whole thing at Charlottesville Tomorrow.

 

An architectural consulting firm told the Albemarle County School Board on Thursday that the county would soon need new high school facilities to accommodate growing enrollment and implement innovative educational programs.

“We have to look at what the competition is doing around the world and around the country, and do what makes sense for the benefit of our kids and their education,” said Board member Jonno Alcaro.

The division forecasts much more rapid growth at Western Albemarle High School  in Crozet. Enrollment at WAHS is expected to increase by more than 21 percent, reaching a high of 1,335 in 2024.

A planned 10,000 square-foot addition of science classroom space at WAHS, scheduled for completion in 2019, was not factored into the study’s capacity calculations.

WAHS Crew Win Virginia State Regatta Championships

 

 

Western Albemarle Crew had a fantastic showing at the Virginia State Regatta Championships this weekend in Occoquan.

From The Beaver Creek Sculling blog: (read the whole thing)

Western Albemarle’s Crew team entered ten boats in the Virginia State Rowing Championships hosted this past Saturday by the Virginia Scholastic Rowing Association and brought home eight medals: four gold, two silver and two bronze.

Both the women’s and the men’s senior quads dominated their races; a particularly satisfying accomplishment for the WAHS men’s quad as they had never won that event. Peter Dister, Noah Davis, both juniors, and seniors Spencer Hale and Wiley Martin rowed the quad to the win, automatically qualifying to compete at the Scholastic National Championships later this month.

The women’s senior quad had quite a legacy to uphold; it had not only won the State Championships, but had gone on to row to gold in the 2016 Scholastic National Championships. Two of the members of the 2016 quad graduated, but team captain Carrie Smith and Maggie Vidal, both seniors returned and the team added senior Grace von Elten and junior Hannah Carter to continue the quad’s winning tradition.

 

Results –

5 Gold, 2 Silver, 2 Bronze, 2 Fourth!!

The men’s team won in the men’s quad, scored a 3rd in the men’s double, a second in the men’s junior double, won in the men’s lightweight single and men’s junior single.
The women’s team won in the women’s quad, were also 3rd by .1 seconds with women’s junior quad, 2nd and 4th in the women’s lightweight double, 4th in the women’s junior double and won in the women’s junior single.

Continue reading “WAHS Crew Win Virginia State Regatta Championships”

Chalk Kindness at Brownsville Elementary

Sent by email:

Here are a couple of photos from Kindness In Chalk at Brownsville this morning.

Holly Grimm brought it to our school last year and we fell in love with it. This year, she and Kim Nicoletti chaired the event. It’s such minimal effort for maximum benefits to the students. It was started in 2014 by a mom in Minnesota. You can find more info here.
There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the faces of the kids light up as they get off the bus. I watched a 4th grade boy walk slowly down the sidewalk, reading aloud each positive message. That boy walked into the doors this morning with a smile on his face. Letting these kids know how loved they are and surrounding them with messages of encouragement was what this was all about. 🙂

Albemarle County School Bond Referendum – 2016

There’s a bond referendum coming up in this year’s election (November 8, for those of you paying attention). Best to get educated on it now.

If interested, make plans to attend the bond referendum open house on 4 October at Western Albemarle High School.

Importantly – what questions do you have about the referendum?


Explanation of the County of Albemarle Public School Bond Referendum

Continue reading “Albemarle County School Bond Referendum – 2016”