CHS PTO 2017-2018 Teacher-Staff Educational Grants

Urban Farm Upgrades. Purchase of weed fabric and stakes, hoes and rakes, and Earthway Seeder to reduce weeds and increase crop productivity ($582.00) (Peter Davis)

Arts Afterschool. Purchase of supplies to start a new textile art and fiber arts after-school club ($250.00) (Amy Gawtry)

Wall Mount Art Display System for Visual Arts hallway.  Purchase of system for rotating display of student art ($100.00) (Rachel Mclaughlin)

Man One Inspired! Culture, Identity & Family. Purchase of canvas, paints, brushes for a street art-inspired project ($233.00) (Jennifer Kett Mildonian)

Art Entrepreneurs. Purchase of leather paint, acetone, and support for art show for sneaker art project ($375.00) (Sarah Sweet)

School Counseling Retreat and Student Wellness Activities. Two-day off-site retreat for counseling team to assess, strategize, and plan around issue of student anxiety ($450.00) (David Wilkerson)


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PowerPoint File- “Disrupting Connections: Teens, You & Today’s Technology”

AdamsBassDisrupting ConnectionsTeensYou &Today’s Tech.pptx [Autosaved]

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AP Study Group- Meeting Notes

1.       We agreed that we would hold AP Study Group meetings immediately after every regularly scheduled PTO meeting. We acknowledged we might need additional meetings beyond those regular sessions.    (I recommend we find a time to meet in December since there is not PTO meeting scheduled.)

2.       We agreed that the focus of the Committee is to provide guidance to the CHS administration on whether the school should limit the number of AP classes any student can take  (e.g., a limit of 4 APs per academic year).   We acknowledged that there might not be unanimity on any answer to that question, and we would endeavor to reflect the diversity of opinions presented in any final report from the Committee.

3.       We agreed that for our next meeting, we would have a discussion on the positives and negatives of limiting AP classes.  To structure the discussion, we agreed that the first 30 minutes would address the “cons” of AP limits.  The next 30 minutes would focus on the “pros” of AP limits.   I’ll prepare five minutes to tee up the “cons” of limiting APs.  Joshua Greenhoe will prepare 5 minutes to tee up the discussion on the “pros” of limits.

4.       We agreed that in a future Committee meeting, we would want a presentation from CHS administrators on what the alternative to the status quo would look like. I.e., if we limited APs, what other options would students have?  Expanding dual enrollment? Expanding honors classes?  More un-leveled options?

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PTO Meeting Minutes September 10, 2018


  • The PTO is forming a AP Study team to possibly make a recommendation to the Dr. Irizarry regarding whether to limit the number of AP classes students can take.
  • The slide show on Canvas presented at the last PTO meaning is available.
  • Lois Burke will be coming back to other meetings, in particular to discuss student stress.

Dr. Irizarry:

  • Presented info on the new Profile of a Virginia Graduate requirements from the state and the decrease in required SOLs.
  • Discussed the exam exemption policy. Because fewer students will be taking SOLs, there will be more final exams.  For 9-11th graders, the same policy for exam exemption that currently applies to seniors will apply to them.  BUT, to be exempt from an exam for a particular course, the student cannot miss more than 10 periods of that class.
  • No change in general attendance policies: if miss more than 15 classes, can lose credit for the class.
  • Student ranking: CHS no longer ranks students or reports deciles (this change already went into effect)
  • Parking: Cost is $20 per car, must provide proof of insurance, license and registration and must display the parking pass.


Topic for the day: College Essays

Two presenters: Mary Flo Stephens and Jane McGuire

Stephens’ advice: to teen

  • Tell a story only you can tell
  • Speak from your heart not from your head
  • Don’t just assert things, give examples to show them
  • Spelling and grammar is important
  • Try to present a holistic picture of yourself, your interests, etc.
  • Only use humor if it suits you

To Mom and Dad: don’t read the essay to peek inside your teen’s head and don’t insert yourself in your kids essay.

McGuire’s advice:

  • Only bad essay is a wasted essay – i.e. discuss something that doesn’t already show up on your application.
  • Let the essay show your own voice.
  • Ways to get started and brainstorm ideas: make a list of what make you, you including concerns, habits, worries, etc.
  • There are two kinds of essays: the story and the close-up. The story is very hard to pull off unless you have a very unusual story to tell.  Better to go with the close-up if you do not.

What is the close-up:

Start by making a list of the traits that a friend would use to describe you.

Showing yourself rather than telling the reader who you are.

Uses senses.

Be personal and creative.

Be careful about writing about travel, can make you sound entitled.

The Writing:

  • The first draft will be “crap,” be prepared to rewrite many times.
  • Throw out the rules of writing (break them for effect).
  • Vary rhythm of sentences.


Other advice on college application: the Activity section

This is the only other section where you get to chose what to put there.  Take the time to fill it out.  Don’t stress re hours, just estimate.  Be creative.  Don’t limit this to school activities (like to read, etc.).



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CHS PTO- Meetings for 2018-2019 School Year

Please join us for PTO Meetings this year!   All meetings are at 5:30pm in B Commons, unless it changes closer to the meeting date.

Monday, September 10th

Monday, October 8th

Monday, November 12th

January- Date TBD

Monday, February 11th

Monday, March 11th

Monday, April 8th

Monday, May 13th


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PTO Meeting Minutes August 27, 2018


What is the PTO about?

The purpose of the PTO is to help parents talk about their concerns. PTO is meant to provide an interface among administrators, teachers, and families.


  1. Invites teachers to apply for grants and PTO funds what it can
  2. Oversees scholarships for seniors
  3. Organizes teacher appreciation (breakfasts for teachers, lunches for teachers, etc.)

The PTO doesn’t have traditional fundraisers. But, PTO did sell shirts at the Open House. Plus, PTO sends out a solicitation letter to receive funds.

Jennifer sends out announcements about each PTO meeting. If you didn’t get an announcement this AM, let Jennifer know and she’ll add you to the list.

Introductory comments from Dr. Irizarry

Welcome and thanks for the great turnout.

Announcement of dates – photos, no school on Labor Day, PSAT testing and senior meeting on Sept 10, etc.

The school is currently working through instructional side of Profile of a Graduate. This new state policy applies primarily to Freshman but has some implications for other CHS students in terms of number of verified credits required.

The PTO influences school decisions. For instance, last year, the school removed deciles because of the PTO efforts. Dr. Irizarry sees PTO as an important organization. The administrators get to share updates out and they also get to hear the concerns of parents.

Today’s Focus: How to use PowerSchool and Canvas. (Eventually, everything will move to Canvas but that’s a process that will take time.) The decision to focus on this emanated from parents’ interest.

This year, topics will include: anxiety and stress among our students and changes in the school as a result of the state-established Profile of the Graduate

Parent Q: Is there a single hub for communication here at CHS?

No. Everything is on the google calendar, as much as possible. But, orchestra will send out some communication. Theater – another set of communication, etc.

Parent Q: What is Profile of a Graduate?

Freshman parents – this is most relevant to you. We will let you know more about the accountability model and the state graduation requirements. Profile of a Graduate is a new set of state guidelines. Bottom line — it involves fewer tests for your students. For instance, we’ll go from 9 to 5 SOLs for your students.

Discussion of Canvas and Power School

Introduction of Ms Burke who used to teach Algebra and is now involved with testing and scholarships, among other activities.

Goal of Today’s Meeting: To help families get on Powerschool and Canvas and see what’s there so they can figure out what to do to support your student.

Canvas champions: Lois Burke, Jess Brantley, Megan Maynard

Power school lead: Dave Durrer

If you have problems with Canvas or PowerSchool, contact them via email.

What is the difference between Power School and Canvas?

Powerschool is a student information system (SIS) that has grades and attendance only. (SIS means that this is the system used to get information conveyed to the state.) Last year, they moved to a year-long grade (instead of grades for each quarter). There’s only one grade per year and that’s it. There are a few reasons for this. It helps with programs that do standards-based grading (focuses on a competency that may be demonstrated at any point in the year), and provides and even distribution of weighting for assessments (every quiz is worth the same of every quiz – all year long).

Canvas has: grades, calendar, content, messaging (private, immediate, through email), a student site (including announcements and information, a school calendar, and student forms). The Canvas grade section has a “what if” section for grades (e.g., you can put in a zero and see what happens at the end of the year). Canvas automatically puts assignments on the Canvas calendar. Students can create a “to do” list on Canvas.

Getting a Canvas Account

You can log in using your child’s Canvas account. Alternatively, you can create a parent account and pair your account to your child’s account.


Go to the Cville schools website (and scroll to the bottom to Canvas login for parents or go here:

Either log in with your students’ password or use a student pairing code so that your account gives you access to your students’ account

Consider what notifications you want:

Under account settings (top left): put in the email address that you’d like used for notifications.

Go to notification preferences and indicate when you’d like notifications. You can set it up so you get sent a notification if the score is below a certain level.

Q: How does it work if you have more than one kid?

You should be able to see information for both students.

For the rest of the meetings, families logged into their Canvas accounts and reviewed the materials.

Notes taken by Sara Rimm-Kaufman;


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PTO Meeting Recap

The second PTO meeting was held September 26th. Dr. Irizarry presented the results of the AP surveys that parents participated in last spring. Ms. Meagan Maynard presented information regarding the Personal Finance and Economics class students are required to take to graduate. She talked about the year-long class taught in the classroom and the virtual class available online. Finally Mary Kay Campbell from the UVA Community Credit Union gave a presentation about the student run bank branch located here at CHS. Students can open an account right here at school with a picture ID, a social security card and $5.00.  Teachers and staff use the bank for regular banking needs.
Please join us for our next PTO meeting, Tuesday, October 24, 5:30 PM. David Wilkerson, Head Counselor, CHS will address the “AP Conversation & Teen Stress”.
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