Holiday message from Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty #
Team Chesterfield families and staff,
I shared with you last year that I wake up at night worrying about your children. Why? Because I consider them my children, too. I believe the 7,500 people I work with on Team Chesterfield feel the same way about our 60,000-plus students.
The School Board and I want our children to be successful – academically and in life. Our staff members work daily to make a positive difference in the lives of our students. This year, whether that relationship building and support has occurred virtually or in-person, has been no different.
This year, though, has been stressful for many.
So, for the next two weeks, I’m asking that students don’t focus on homework. That staff don’t check email every five minutes. That we pause to focus on what matters. My hope during the 2020 Winter Break is that our students, families and staff members can step back, take a break and take care of themselves and each other. The latter is important during stressful times.
While we hope that this season is full of fun and joy in your household, this week’s Friday Family Update is full of resources that may be helpful to families from a mental health and self-care aspect while the school division is closed for Winter Break. During this time of celebration, please take time to take care of yourself and others.
The School Board and I wish you peace, good health and happiness as we close out 2020 and look forward to a better 2021.
Dr. Merv Daugherty
Community-based resources for students and families in crisis #
At times, students and families face challenges that feel unmanageable. Our Mental Health Support Specialists developed a list of contacts families can call for help in different areas. Many of these contacts have after hours numbers to offer help to students and families at night and on the weekends as well.
Need assistance with free meals? #
Chesterfield Food Bank
The Chesterfield Food Bank helps to provide food for families, seniors and individuals in Chesterfield County that would otherwise go hungry. Whether you need assistance with food insecurity for a short or extended period of time, the Chesterfield Food Bank is available to all. Families struggling to make ends meet can access their food distribution schedule here.
Visit https://www.chesterfieldfoodbank.org/ to learn more about their program and volunteer opportunities.
Chesterfield Schools’ Winter Break curbside meals distribution schedule #
Chesterfield County Public Schools is grateful for our Food and Nutrition Services heroes who continue to serve
healthy and nutritious meals to our students during these unprecedented times. Since March, their flexibility and innovation have empowered them to support families with grab-and-go meals at curbside pick-up locations.
During the upcoming Winter Break, our Food and Nutrition Services team will be serving curbside meals to go. To see the Winter Break curbside meals distribution schedule or to see the regular meals distribution locations and times, visit bit.ly/CCPSMealsUpdates
Watch this video to see what our standout food service associates have accomplished during the pandemic and how these heroes are serving the children of Chesterfield County during these difficult times.
Assistance available for Chesterfield County residents #
Chesterfield County water/wastewater bills
Chesterfield County Utilities is providing financial assistance to customers who can’t pay their water or wastewater bills due to impacts related to COVID-19. Financial help is available to pay off qualified overdue balances with the funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Applying is fast and simple and the application is available online at: chesterfield.gov/utilities/assistance
The timeframe to administer this program is very short, so applying early is recommended. Applications are due by Friday, Jan. 15. Anyone needing assistance completing the form can email their name, address, and phone number to [email protected] or call Chesterfield Utilities at 804-748-1291.
Dominion Energy assistance
Did you know that Dominion Energy has implemented a balance forgiveness program to help families who are struggling due to the pandemic? Did you know that they have payment plans, extensions and assistance?
If you are behind on your bill, click here to learn more about these opportunities.
Comcast Internet Essentials
For our families who don’t have Internet service, Comcast has an Internet Essentials program for customers who qualify. You may qualify if you are eligible for public assistance programs such as the National School Lunch Program, Housing Assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, and others. Learn how to get connected today! More details can be found here.
Winter Break activities for families #
If you are looking for fun ways to connect with your children over Winter Break, take a look at the virtual events and activities that you can participate in for free.
“It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” #
Looking for something different to do with your children tonight? Join in the fun and watch Midlothian High School’s theater students perform their virtual fall play, “It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play,” at 7 p.m.
Based on the classic feel-good holiday movie, and filmed in the style of a 1940’s radio broadcast, this play is sure to raise your holiday spirit. This FREE radio style play will air Friday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m. and will be available for the community to enjoy until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 20.
Visit bit.ly/mdhstheatre to access the streaming page and watch this FREE production.
Common Sense Education #
Our partners at Common Sense Education have compiled a list of fun and creative gratitude and holiday activities on WideOpenSchool.org that you can do from the comfort of your own home. They have activities for children grades preK- 12, so there’s something for everyone!
CCPS Virtual Bookshelf #
Happy Holidays friends and families! We hope you take time to relax, enjoy family time and, of course, snuggle up with a good book! If you have a little one, visit the CCPS Virtual Bookshelf and enjoy a story read by a CCPS staff member. This month we are featuring:
- Hanukkah Bear by Eric Kimmel
- Pete the Cat’s Twelve Groovy Days of Christmas by Kimberly and James Dean
- Cozy by Jan Brett
- El árbol de Navidad by Alma Flor Ada
Grab a cup of cocoa and enjoy!
Safe Routes to School: December exercise challenge #
Are you looking for something to do at home with your child? Look no further! Safe Routes to School has created an exercise challenge to help our students get moving during the month of December. Join in the fun and share your pictures with us on social media!
Visit bit.ly/SafeRoutes-DecChallenge to access the Safe Routes to School December exercise challenge.
Get your free tickets for the CIS EXPRESS holiday light tour #
The CIS EXPRESS has been a big hit with Chesterfield families who want to enjoy a safe and fun holiday celebration. It’s not too late to get your free tickets and join in the fun too!
The CIS EXPRESS runs through Dec. 20 and includes 10 incredible holiday-themed stops along the way. From the comfort and safety of your vehicle, you will follow the interactive route using an event map, QR codes and your mobile phone.
Virtual Grand Opening: Baxter Perkinson Center for the Arts and Education #
Chesterfield County school families are invited to tune in for free to the Perkinson Center for the Arts and Education’s Virtual Grand Opening Show: Home. The live event is at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 19.
Register here for your instant download that is delivered straight to your inbox
This Grand Opening is exciting for CCPS as it features several current and former students, as well as current staff members. Included in the performances are:
- Shayy (American Idol finalist) accompanied by pianist Jamie Barrack (coordinator at the Specialty Center for the Arts at Thomas Dale High School)
- Les Harper (visual art teacher) and several of his students
- Broken Leg Theater Soloists featuring many CCPS students
Visit www.perkinsoncenter.org to see the entire list of performances and to learn more about this free event.