PTO Meeting info- 1/11/21

Ms. Kim Powell, Assistant Superintendent at Charlottesville City Schools

Please join us for the meeting. Zoom link
Teacher Appreciation drawing by Kathleen Druzba, PTO Teacher Liaison, for one free class at Front Porch Music School

BUDGET PRESENTATION  by Kim Powell with the following topics
Budget priorities and the budget development process
Student Demographics and Enrollment
The Governor’s proposed budget and what we know up to this point

We will have guests from CCS attending.

If you have questions, suggestions or concerns you would like to discuss, you can send them to

Next PTO Meetings
February 8, 2021 Agenda tba.
March 8, 2021
April 12, 2021

Please send an email to 
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CHS PTO Meeting Minutes- 12/14/20

Monday, December 14, 5:30 pm

The meeting started with presentations from the fine arts teachers. Teachers gave a summary of both how they have adapted to teaching virtually and shared student work.

Faculty presenters were:

Laura Thomas, orchestra

Samantha Pagni, art

Will Cooke, chorus

Rachel Wilson, photography

David Becker, theater.

Riley Lu Bancroft, a student leader from the theater department, also spoke, telling about the accomplishments of the different theater groups.

10 Sticks Gift cards were drawn by Kathleen Druzba, PTO Teacher Liaison, for Teacher Appreciation (including the school counselors). .  The cards were donated by CHS parents.

Nancy Hopkins spoke on the joint PTO reopening fund.  CHS has approximately $35,000, about 70% of this will be spent by the end of winter break, with the big push to spread holiday cheer through the CHS Cares drive-through event on December 17 – 18.  At this event staff will distribute groceries and other items to CHS families.   The joint PTO Reopening Fund Committee reports out to the CCS School Board at their monthly meetings.  The bulk of the funds provided to CCS schools will likely be spent by March-April 2021.

Volker Antes reported the Sticks fundraiser is continuing, and announced that the PTO will buy 13 Sticks cards with its own money to bring the cards that are donated to Families in Need up to 25.

Volker shared the PTO is proposing a new mission statement, “Building bridges.”  It hopes to have a competition for the arts classes to visualize the statement, with cash prizes of $100, $50 and $25.

The meeting adjourned at a few minutes past 7:00 pm

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PTO Minutes- Monday November 9, 2020

Charlottesville High School 

PTO Minutes

Monday November 9, 2020

Meeting began at 5:30pm

Speaker:  Dr Irizarry 

Dr. Irizarry summarized his presentation from last week.  

  • Students will not be changing teachers for virtual learning
  • Students staying with virtual option will be alternating synchronous/asynchronous days
  • Students are required to wear masks at all times
  • There will be temperature checks upon arrival to school, and before taking part in athletics

Kathleen Druzba, the new PTO teacher representative, was introduced and welcomed

Speaker:  Kalea Obermeyer, counselor for Senior students

  • Presentation attached
  • Kalea encourages all students and parents with questions to reach out to her individually
  • There are two seminars on the Federal Financial Aid process this week

Speaker:  Nancy Hopkins, Grants Coordinator

Gives an update on the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation’s Equity Fund

  • The fund was created to address needs created by the COVID pandemic
  • There is over $160,000 in the fund
  • Funds are no longer being raised, the CACF committee is focusing on distribution of monies
  • $34,754 has been given to CHS, roughly $9,700 has been spent so far for critical needs. Examples of items purchased are:  ChromeBook chargers, noise cancelling headphones, scientific calculators, styluses for ChromeBooks, grocery cards for families in need and 300 books for students to be distributed by Books on BIkes
  • Future needs knows at this time are for tutoring, warm clothing

Speaker:  Volker Antes, PTO President

  • The Sticks fundraiser has been successful, and is continuing
  • Cards can be purchased for individual use, to give to families in need and for teacher appreciation

The meeting adjourned at 6:35pm

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The PTO is offering Sticks Kebob Gift Cards (value of $20 each), and Sticks will donate $10 from every card purchased to the CHS PTO.

We will use this money to help families in need, as well as for Teacher Grants, Student Scholarships, and Teacher Appreciation.


  • Let us know how many cards you wish to purchase
  • We will follow up by sending you an order form where you can let us know how you want to use them and how you want to pay for them.

Thank you for supporting the CHS PTO

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October 12 CHS PTO meeting

5:33 Meeting comes to order.

Speaker:  Dr. Irizarry

Dr. Irizarry shared and went through his weekly update and video from last Friday.  Students should keep abreast of deadlines, use office hours and work throughout the time school begins at 9:00.  Black Knight Time teachers are growing in their role to include general student support.  The teachers have a relatively low number of students, 15, and will function as a first-stop for their students.  The BKT teacher will monitor their students’s schedules, check to see they are engaging in classes.   Fridays are full days and students must log in per state requirement.  School wide there has been a change so homework assigned Friday cannot be due before Sunday at midnight.  Dr. Irizarry serves on the CCS COVID second committee.  It has no new news yet, but will report back to the PTO after his meeting tomorrow with the committee.

Speaker: Shamika Terrell, chair of counseling.  She introduces a talk from the counseling department about strategies to support our students during virtual learning.  October is mental health awareness.  At the end of October there will be a panel with mental health professionals, available for teachers, staff and students.  Students will do things to improve connections, like eat lunch with their counselor and art therapy.  Spirit week will still take place.

Speaker: David Wilkerson, counseling department. To give perspective, our teenages have at least equal to the stress we do, but less ways to deal with it.  Loss of connection with virtual education  is a problem.  Students are connecting through social media.  This is what they have, but it does not give the same support as real interaction, or the real interaction with teachers.  To combat stress, the students need:

  1. Community
  2. Exercise (need oxygen debt, feel the wind!)
  3. Have a schedule and maintain it, including mealtimes with nutritious foods

Questions from the group:

What are warning signs of depression?

Stress itself is not bad, but necessary. When stress becomes counterproductive anxiety and depression can result.  If depressed, the child will shut down.  Generally they don’t know what is wrong, just that they are not feeling right. Eating and sleeping will change, and students stop enjoying hobbies and activities.

What kind of support will be given in BKT?

Social/emotional things like announcement of clubs.  The teachers will make calls to parents.  BKT is split by cohort and students stay together so they can grow in relationships in their CHS years.

What have students been concerned with lately?  There is a disproportionate amount of kids saying they can’t handle virtual school, and want to come back in person.

Students should use the 15 minutes between classes to talk with a real person, walk or get outside.

8 hours of sleep is recommended for students.  They need a gap between computer time to bedtime, and fresh air daily.

There are parent requests for a physical conditioning program for students, one they could do with other kids, and for teachers to be relaxed with deadlines to reduce student stress.  Also for school to create “virtual buddy” connections.

Walks together are a great way to connect with your student.  Don’t solve their problems for them, but help them find solutions they can carry out.

Next PTO meeting will have counselors speaking directly to support for Seniors

Speaker:  Nancy Hopkins, Grants Chair

PTO’s of all schools set up a Reopening Fund which includes matching funds, designed to meet critical student equity needs due to the COVID crisis.  It is done through Charlottesville Area Community Foundation (CACF).  The main fundraising campaign has ended, with around $150,000 raised from corporations, foundations, and individuals.  Funds are being distributed to each CCS school based on the proportion of student population receiving free and reduced lunch. Each school has a committee tasked with meeting equity issues particular to each school community.  CHS has received $18,000 so far, may get up to $25,000.  So far the CHS committee has purchased:

  1. Replacement chargers for chrome books
  2. High quality headsets to block out noise in homes
  3. For food security needs, 20 grocery cards in amount of $100 each

The next round of purchases will include:

  1. Scientific calculators that can stay home with the student.
  2. Styluses for the chromebooks
  3. Additional grocery cards

So far approximately $6,000 has been spent.  All purchased items will be distributed by CHS to students and families with the greatest need. Funds can be used through the end of the 2020-2021 school year, and new needs will continue to arise when we move to a hybrid model. Potential future plans for the funds being considered by the committee are:

  1. emergency rent support and clothing
  2. Wifi hot spots

Green screens for background where students can screen out distractions and have privacy

Tutoring (Madison House at UVA is still volunteering tutoring, is doing so virtually)

Speaker: Volker Antes, PTO President about Sticks gift card fundraiser

Within the first 10 days of the campaign100 gift cards for a total value of $2,000 have been ordered by the CHS parents, of which 28 cards were donated for families in need, and three cards for Teacher Appreciation.

A matching challenge to the parents was announced: If 10 more orders are received by midnight tonight, the PTO will buy an additional 10 cards for families in need.

Volker asks the body to vote yay or nay on accepting Nancy Hopkins to the PTO Board as Vice President.  The response is unanimously positive and Nancy is the new Vice President.

Steph Gist, PTO Secretary, asks people to send the PTO suggestions for speakers or subjects they want to hear about.  Shares that the December or January meeting will feature a professional to lead a discussion about race and the different experiences it creates for people in our culture.

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