Virtual School Board Candidate Forum – October 14th

The Black Parents Association and the CCS Joint PTO (formerly the CCS Joint PTO Reopening Fund) have teamed up to present a virtual School Board Candidate Forum on Thursday, October 14 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

All five school board candidates have been invited and are, at this time, expected to participate.This is intended to be a parent/guardian, student and teacher driven forum. The CCS community is invited to submit questions for the candidates at or with this direct link to the question submission form. Questions will be reviewed, consolidated and finalized by the forum working group. If you would like to volunteer with the working group to finalize questions or handle forum tech needs, email community members may enter their email on the question submission form to receive the forum Zoom link or view the forum livestream on Facebook at @CCSJointPTO.Daniel Fairley, the city’s Youth Opportunity Coordinator focused on Black Male Achievement and a Youth Education Pipeline committee member at UVA’s Equity Center will serve as facilitator.

Please submit questions for the forum. There is a link to a Google Form on the website for people to note what they want to hear about and suggest questions. That form also doubles as the event RSVP.

Tech Support Needed for School Board Candidate Forum: October 14 6-8pmDue to COVID safety concerns, the event will be held virtually via Zoom and streamed live on Facebook. We are looking for a parent or community volunteer with Zoom/FB experience to provide technical support prior to and during the event. The forum, organized entirely by parent volunteers, is the only one scheduled and will be critical for Cville voters to hear from 5 candidates for 3 seats. Please spread the word, and anyone interested in helping us run a smooth event can contact

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CHS PTO Meeting this evening!


Please join us today, Monday, September 13, at 5:30PM, for the first PTO meeting of the year! We will hold this first meeting on Zoom again, and will be discussing how to hold the rest of the meetings this year.

See the end of this email for full invitation and dial-in options.


  1. Introduction and welcome by Will Greenland, CHS PTO
  2. Brief welcome remarks by Dr. Eric Irizarry, CHS Principal
  3. PTO process this year, including:
    • Role of PTO
    • By-laws
    • Meeting arrangements for the remainder of the fall
    • Call for volunteers
  4. Fundraising plan, including Sticks card update
  5. Teacher-staff grants and appreciation process and timeline
  6. Any other business

WE ARE LOOKING FOR MORE PARENTS TO TAKE ON PTO LEADERSHIP ROLES. Please send an email to if you are interested.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 811 9492 4722
Passcode: 341268
One tap mobile
+13126266799,,81194924722#,,,,341268# US (Chicago) +13017158592,,81194924722#,,,,341268# US (Washington DC)

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CHS PTO Meeting Minutes- March 9, 2021

Monday March 9, 2021

The meeting started at 5:30.  Kari MIller, the Executive Director with International Neighbors, presented.  

 International Neighbors is a 501(c)(3) volunteer organization that works to equip refugee neighbors with the network and skills needed to move from surviving to thriving In Charlottesville.  Her presentation to the group is attached:

Next was Dr. Irizarry’s update.

After substantial preparation, selected CHS students started back today.  Those students will be in the building daily during office hours from 9:00 am – 12:30 pm, and get designated services.  Dr. I looks forward to learning more about supporting them as the week progresses.  

This plan will change on April 12, and go to a hybrid plan.  This was newly decided by the School Board on the evening of March 4.  They are going to base their hybrid plan on the one presented to them in December 2020, with potential refinements by CHS as needed.  In this plan all CHS students have all of their classes concentrated in 2 normal-length school days with in-person instruction, either Monday and Wednesday or on Tuesday and Thursday.  The other 3 days are asynchronous.  Students that want to remain virtual will have those 2 full class days through Zoom.

Dr. I will send an Intent to Return Form to families by the end of next week so that CHS knows how to plan for the number of students, knows the needs of the students in the building and transportation needs.  There is a deficit of school bus drivers.

There are many COVID-specific things to still be figured for staff.  Such as, how to support those still working remotely, childcare conflicts, spreading student staff schedules fairly, and how to have enough adults physically present with the kids.

Many parents volunteered to help and want to actively support reopening, not just in volunteering but in donations.  There is a group of parents ready to start work now, as a reopening support committee of the CHS PTO, and membership on this committee will be open to any and all CHS parents and caregivers who want to assist. Dr. I expressed thanks for this and agreed there were many needs. He had some immediate suggestions.  One was to help to build the pool of substitute teachers, another to get parent volunteers to take student temperatures and help with other COVID protocols at arrival.  

He asked for time to get with his staff and plan.  He and the staff will create a prioritized list of needs, physical/financial as well as volunteer roles.  Dr. I will send this to the PTO Board, who will give it to the support committee to plan and enact. The PTO Board will continue to be the conduit for requests from Dr. I, and help the committee however is needed.  

Dr. I won’t have final figures to plan from until after intent to return forms come back (at least 2 weeks away), but wants to make use of these offers and will work quickly.  

Safe Routes to School is possible support for the lack of available buses.

Dr. I also took questions from parents. The responses are below:  

  • Summer school will not be traditional subjects this year.  Some virtual classes like PE may be the same.  But most classes this year will be remedial, helping the many struggling students repeat classes from this academic year
  • The foreign exchange student program may not be happening next year.
  • Office hours for virtual students will be the same as those for in-person students, only on Fridays.  Teachers are in class Monday – Thursday and not available for extra help. 

Nancy Hopkins had technical issues and had to drop off the call due to lack of internet access.  She will send the PTO Reopening Fund update with the minutes of this meeting.

The  successful Sticks fundraiser was about to close.  There are just a few gift cards left.

Parents also volunteered to help with teacher appreciation.  The PTO  will facilitate an inaugural committee meeting. In the meantime, Erica Uhlman volunteered to recreate a teacher appreciation she did at Walker and Buford for the returning CHS teachers this week.  Her work is appreciated by the PTO and all parents. 

Amended, March 11, 2021

Reopening Fund Report, Nancy Hopkins

Through the CCS Joint PTO Reopening Fund, CHS and Lugo-McGinness Academy received $35,743.55 out of the total $163,839 that was raised through this effort, which was launched in August 2020. A CHS Reopening Fund Grant Committee was formed to program these funds, including Nancy Hopkins (CHS PTO VP and Grants Chair), Nicole Armstrong (CHS Assistant Principal), Nikki Eubanks (CHS School Counselor), Jeanne Pfautz (CHS ESL Teacher), and Jane Evans (CCS Social Worker). As of March 2021, through bimonthly meetings and in consultation with Dr. Irizarry this committee has allocated $28,232 for high-priority needs at CHS related to virtual instruction and reopening:

Technology (headsets, chargers, styluses): $3,171

Materials to support classroom instruction and learning (calculators, books, art supplies, online language arts program): $4,504 

Food Security (grocery cards, CHS Cares event): $16,583

Emergency support to CHS families (rent, utilities): $3,974

In addition, Lugo-McGinness Academy spent $1,500 on Food Security, Technology, and Materials to Support Classroom Instruction and Learning. 

Around 83% of CHS Reopening Funds have been spent to date, with the remaining balance of around $6,000 to be spent by the end of April based on priority needs identified by the CHS Reopening Fund Grant Committee and CHS leadership.

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CHS PTO February Meeting- Monday, Feb. 8, 2021

The meeting started at 5:30 pm with Dr. Irizarry’s update.  

For teacher appreciation Kathleen Druzba and Volker Antes did a drawing for staff of Sticks gift cards.

The organization Sin Barreras (without barriers) gave a presentation.  Speakers were Edgar Lara, Director of Community Engagement and Franny Smedile, President.  Their mission is to educate, support and serve the immigrant community focusing on the Hispanic population of Charlottesville and the surrounding areas.  They provide a variety of services from social support to translation to legal guidance.  They have a wide variety of volunteer opportunities.

We can support clients of Sin Barreras who are CHS parents by making personal overtures, including invitations to meetings.  The PTO president is also investigating getting Spanish translation during meetings.

Assistant Principal Rodney Redd gave an update on the sports returning to CHS.  The Virginia High School League is permitting sports to resume with COVID protocols.  CHS’s sports are returning, with COVID safety protocols.  

This includes bussing to games where only a small amount of students are allowed on each bus.  Information on club sports will be coming separately by Canvas.

Calendar and policy specifics for sports can be found at when you hover over the “MORE” tab.  There are drop down menus with the information and a live schedule link

Volker Antes gave an update on the successful Sticks fundraiser, which is continuing.

The PTO is cosponsoring an upcoming workshop for parents, How to Speak To Teenagers About Race, Racism and Racialized Violence.  It will take place Tuesday, Feb. 23rd from  6:30 – 8:30 pm.  Dr. Joseph WIlliams of UVA Curry School of Education will lead.  Registration link will be coming electronically soon.

Due to time constraints the update on the use of the Joint PTO Reopening Fund was deferred to the next meeting.

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“Talking about Race, Racism and Racialized Violence: A workshop for parents and caregivers” 2.23.2021

Please see Google Drive doc below for link to presentation.

Shamika Terrell of CHS Counseling for questions or more information:–ZGqzK-hBe2IBwb/view?usp=sharing

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