Charlottesville Tomorrow

Charlottesville Tomorrow is a non-profit community news platform covering growth, development, public education, and local politics. News about our public schools appears here through a partnership between C-VILLE and Charlottesville Tomorrow.

Buford Middle School students performed at the school’s International Night last week. Photo: Tim Shea

County schools’ health care costs on the rise

Our Education Beat coverage appears thanks to a partnership with Charlottesville Tomorrow. As a result of the University of Virginia’s recent decision to stop providing health insurance to the spouses of employees who are eligible to receive coverage through their own employers, officials say Albemarle County’s school division is facing higher health care costs. The […]

CHS 11th grader Tianna Washington works at a treadmill desk during class. Marketing teacher Megan Maynard won a grant from the school’s PTO to install treadmills, bikes, and yoga balls in her classroom as a way to promote student health. Photo: Tim Shea

Education Beat: County, city schools grapple with budgets

Albemarle County Public Schools parents and teachers spoke out in support of the school board’s $164.3 million funding request last week before the Albemarle Board of Supervisors. The division is $5.8 million short of what the school board says it needs. Cale Elementary principal Lisa Jones said failing to fully fund the schools could put […]

Albemarle students competed in the division’s spelling bee last week. Seven students will now represent Albemarle at the regional competition. Photo: Tim Shea

Education Beat: School funding amendment falls short in Richmond

Our education beat coverage appears thanks to a partnership with Charlottesville Tomorrow. Legislation to change the state’s funding formula for Charlottesville and Albemarle’s education budgets has failed in Richmond. Known locally as the “Bell Amendment,” for local sponsor and Albemarle Republican Delegate Rob Bell, the budget amendment would have taken into account the two communities’ […]

Henley Middle School student Cole Roberts introduces facilitator Bernard Whitsett at an M-Cubed etiquette workshop last week. Photo: Tim Shea

Education beat: SOL reform passes House and other school news

Our Education Beat coverage appears thanks to a partnership with Charlottesville Tomorrow. Students in Charlottesville-Albemarle are one step closer to taking fewer Standards of Learning exams during their academic careers. House Bill 930, which proposes a 23 percent reduction in the amount of state SOL tests students take between grades three through eight, passed the […]

Second graders at Baker-Butler Elementary last week celebrated the year of the horse with a festival of Chinese culture. Photo: Tim Shea

County School Board to Supes: Show us the money!

The Albemarle County School Board last week voted 6-1 to send a $164.28 million funding request to the Board of Supervisors. This funding request exceeds anticipated revenues by $6.76 million. Despite the decision to forward the request to the Board of Supervisors, the school board is expecting to make cuts and will now begin to […]

U.S. Olympian Alice Schmidt, who ran in the Beijing and London games, visited Greer Elementary to teach students about the importance of physical fitness. Photo: Tim Shea

Education Beat: School funding commission predicts $2 to $4 million shortfall

The Blue Ribbon Commission—a 13-member citizen panel charged with tackling the city schools’ funding woes —predicted a $2 to $4 million funding gap last week during its final report to Charlottesville’s City Council and school board. The report features near- and long-term “action alternatives” local officials could adopt to stem the division’s recent budget shortfalls. […]

Jackson-Via students respond to questions asked by a representative from the Museum of Frontier Culture. Photo: Tim Shea

Education Beat: Delegate seeks shift in state funding for schools

Legislation to change the state funding formula for Charlottesville and Albemarle’s education budgets has been introduced again before the General Assembly in Richmond. The proposed budget amendment, known as the “Bell Amendment” and named after its patron, local Republican Delegate Rob Bell, would take the two communities’ 1982 revenue sharing agreement into account when calculating […]

(Left to right) Local students Zyahna Bryant, Kim Wilkens, and Weedor Kollie building an app during a meeting of Tech Girls at Computers4Kids. Photo: Tim Shea

Education Beat: Albemarle predicts nearly $7 million deficit

Albemarle County Public Schools Superintendent Pam Moran presented the School Board with a $164.28 million budget proposal Thursday. The needs-based plan represents a nearly six percent increase from last year’s $155.3 million budget. However, with revenues projected to grow by only one percent, to $157.3 million, Albemarle is predicting a deficit of nearly $7 million. […]

Senator Mark Warner spoke via videoconference to a CHS class about global citizenship last week. Photo: Dan Hennicke

Education Beat: Officials debate future of Yancey Elementary

Our Education Beat coverage is the result of a partnership with Charlottesville Tomorrow. A year after elected officials charged a citizen work group to find additional uses for the chronically under-enrolled Yancey Elementary School, the group has proposed transforming the Esmont school into an “intergenerational learning center.” On Thursday, the Yancey Workgroup recommended that the school […]

Lindsay Snoddy, Environmental Compliance Manager for Albemarle County Public Schools, shows off solar thermal panels on the roof of Henley Middle School. Photo: Tim Shea

Education Beat: SOL reform tops schools’ legislative priorities list

Our Education Beat coverage appears thanks to a partnership with Charlottesville Tomorrow.  Officials from Charlottesville and Albemarle schools are hoping their students take fewer standardized tests in the coming years. At recent meetings with the area’s Virginia General Assembly delegation, representatives from both divisions cited reforming the Standards of Learning tests as a priority. Albemarle […]

CATEC Culinary Arts Director Bob Bressan (R) helps student Brandon Lamb make turkey gravy for CATEC's 12th annual Thanksgiving Fundraiser. Photo: Tim Shea

Education Beat: CATEC’s annual fundraiser a feast of opportunity

Our Education Beat coverage is the result of a partnership with Charlottesville Tomorrow.  Two days before Thanksgiving, Bob Bressan was in the throes of organizing the Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center’s 12th annual Thanksgiving fundraiser, rattling off orders for walnut stuffing and ham biscuits, reminding students to take turkey gravy off the stove, and running pots […]

Volunteers serve food during the City Schoolyard Garden and Buford Middle School’s Fall Harvest Festival. Photo: Tim Shea

Education Beat: School enrollment shows steady growth

Our Education Beat coverage is the result of a partnership with Charlottesville Tomorrow.  For the third straight year, school enrollment in Charlottesville and Albemarle is on the rise. Seven of Charlottesville’s nine schools grew, bringing the division total to 4,085 students—the first time the division’s enrollment has broken the 4,000-student threshold in the last six […]

Ned Gallaway (third from right, in orange polo) listens to Albemarle parents at a community meeting at the Stone Creek Village Clubhouse. 
Photo: Tim Shea

Albemarle parents criticize division for lack of rigor

Monticello High School parent David Blaine called it “the race to the middle.” At a community meeting with Albemarle School Board member Ned Gallaway Thursday, Blaine and others took the division to task for what they see as a lack of academic rigor, and inconsistency in course offerings in the middle schools. “We are foregoing […]

Buford science teacher Sarah Edwards talks to a student during a lesson about temperature. Photo courtesy of Charlottesville Tomorrow

Buford opens new science labs, and other school news

Students at Buford Middle School are now learning about science, technology, engineering, and math in four state-of-the-art labs that feature 3D printing capabilities. The ribbon-cutting ceremony last week kicked off the Buford Engineering Design Academy, a $1.4 million, 9,600-square-foot renovation at Buford. It also tagged Buford as the first public school in Virginia to become […]

Second graders at Meriwether Lewis Elementary doing “morning mover” dances. Photo courtesy Charlottesville Tomorrow

Officials brief families on historically black schools

Nearly 100 parents and students came together at Albemarle High School last week for a discussion about historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). University of Virginia Associate Dean of Admissions Valerie Gregory stressed that college preparation should start in middle school, when students should begin taking advanced classes to prepare them for more challenging high […]

The Charlottesville String Ensemble plays on the Downtown Mall to kick off fundraising for their summer 2014 trip to France. Photo courtesy Charlottesville Tomorrow

Albemarle schools revisiting class rank reporting

Our regular Education Beat reporting is the result of a partnership with the nonprofit community news platform Charlottesville Tomorrow, which covers growth, development, public education, and local politics. Albemarle County Public Schools announced last week that the division has been reviewing its policy of reporting class rankings to college admissions offices. The review is the […]

The Albemarle High School choir performs during a September 11 memorial service. Photo courtesy Charlottesville Tomorrow

Albemarle pushes back against new accreditation system

Our regular Education Beat reporting is the result of a partnership with the nonprofit community news platform Charlottesville Tomorrow, which covers growth, development, public education, and local politics. Virginia’s public schools have two accountability systems that determine whether a school and division become accredited. Accreditation by the state reflects pass rates in math, history and […]

The Charlottesville High School marching band practices in the parking lot before class. Photo courtesy Charlottesville Tomorrow

City schools oppose state takeovers, and other education news

Our regular Education Beat reporting is the result of a partnership with the nonprofit community news platform Charlottesville Tomorrow, which covers growth, development, public education, and local politics. The Charlottesville School Board unanimously adopted two resolutions last week, affirming its commitment to local control of Charlottesville’s public schools. The first resolution opposes the Opportunity Educational […]

Almost 300 people of all ages formed a human chain between the old and new libraries in Crozet last week, passing the last of the 33,000 volumes hand-to-hand to their new home. Photo courtesy Charlottesville Tomorrow

Crozet turns out for new library

Our regular Education Beat reporting is the result of a partnership with the nonprofit community news platform Charlottesville Tomorrow, which covers growth, development, public education, and local politics. Nearly 300 people formed a human chain through Downtown Crozet last week. Passing books from one person to the next, The Book Brigade, which snaked along Railroad […]

A teacher talks to students during an auto repair course on the first day of school at CATEC. Photo: Tim Shea.

City, County schools’ SOL scores fall

Our regular Education Beat reporting is the result of a partnership with the nonprofit community news platform Charlottesville Tomorrow, which covers growth, development, public education, and local politics.  Both Charlottesville and Albemarle schools saw pass rates drop on Standards of Learning exams in English and science, according to reports from the Virginia Department of Education. Albemarle […]

ACPS teachers gather on their first day back after summer break. Photo: Andrew Quarles.

County schools look for outside help for Walton

Through a recent request for proposals, Albemarle County Public Schools staff announced the division is looking to “rebrand” Walton Middle School. The request comes on the heels of numerous leadership and student conduct complaints, and the hiring of a new assistant principal, Rick Vrhovac, who came to Walton from Albemarle High School earlier this summer […]

Laura Floyd, Brandy Jenkins, and Matt Wilson take a bus tour of Charlottesville’s schools during new teacher orientation. Photo: Tim Shea.

Teachers and Google, the future of Yancey, and county test scores

Our regular Education Beat reporting is the result of a partnership with the nonprofit community news platform Charlottesville Tomorrow, which covers growth, development, public education, and local politics.  City teachers train on Google apps Eighteen representatives from each of Charlottesville’s schools last week participated in Google Boot Camp, a two-day professional development session aimed at integrating […]