Family Force: Family Engagement in Education #
As we begin the season of gratitude and thankfulness, we’d like to start by thanking you, our families. Families come in all shapes and sizes and are our most crucial partners in education this year more than ever. Our teamwork is making everything work. November is National Family and Community Engagement month, and our relationships play an integral role to the success of Chesterfield County students. Active engagement between our schools and our families ensures that our students achieve the level of success for which Chesterfield has come to be known.
We understand that this is a complicated time and that parents and families are doing “heavy lifting,” working with teachers in a new way, while maintaining their familial roles. We appreciate the time you spend mentoring, organizing, speaking, teaching, and leading our children. We thank you as well for helping us build strong community relationships and a collaborative network of partners that support our students both academically and in life.
We are grateful for our family partnerships. You truly make a positive impact in the lives of our students.
November is Family Literacy Month #
- Did you know that November is National Family Literacy Month? It’s important to make reading part of your family’s daily routine. Children who read 20 minutes a day will be exposed to 1.8 million words each year.
Strengthen your family relationships and foster a love of reading within your family by taking time to read together. Whether you’re flipping through a picture book with a toddler or sitting in the same room immersed in a piece of literature with an older child, you are modeling a love of reading all while making memories.
Looking for tips on setting a strong reading foundation for your young children?
- Here are some tips from RVA Basics about reading and discussing stories with your infant and toddler.
Not sure how to engage your teenager in reading?
- Listen to this Engage Chesterfield podcast to learn more about Supporting Your Teen’s Reading.
Is your family looking for more books to read?
- Chesterfield County Public Libraries has a curbside book pick-up service, so you can check out books from the comfort of your home. Here’s how you use the curbside book pick-up services at Chesterfield County Public Libraries.
College Application Process Assistance #
College applications can be challenging. There is a great deal of information to review, transcripts and letters of recommendation to organize, and forms to complete.
During the month of November, your focus should be on applications and your essay. By now you should know what schools you’re applying to, five or six ideally. You’ve had a few months to look over the various applications and think long and hard about your essay.
Give yourself ample time in November to complete all the applications and get feedback about your essay. Have parents, teachers and other adults in your life read your essay and try to keep an open mind to their constructive criticism.
Visit the Chesterfield County Public Schools College Application Assistance website for more guidance and tips for the college application process during the month of November.
Specialty Center Virtual Open House Events #
In addition to the broad spectrum of programs in each comprehensive high school, Chesterfield County Public Schools offers students the opportunity to participate in optional academic programs related to special academic interests. During their eighth-grade year, students can decide whether or not they wish to apply to a specialty center or Governor’s school.
To help students and their parents learn about the variety of high school options, Chesterfield County Public Schools encourages families to visit this resource on the district’s website, as it will share information about all 13 specialty centers, both Governor’s schools, and CodeRVA. Families are also encouraged to visit each of the specialty center websites that interest their child to learn more about each program.
Want to see what virtual open house events are coming up next week? Here is the specialty center open house calendar: bit.ly/2020CCPSSpecialtyCenterOpenHouse
Want to learn more about a specific specialty center? Specialty center applications, the student events calendar, links to each specialty center’s website, and more detailed information are all available here: bit.ly/2020CCPSSpecialtyCenterInfo
National School Psychology Week #
November 9-13, 2020 is National School Psychology Week (NSPW)! School psychologists are vital members of our student support teams who apply expertise in mental health, learning, and behavior to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally.
This year’s theme is “The Power of Possibility,” which conveys hope, growth, resilience and renewal. Possibility suggests that something as small as a seed can grow into something magnificent.
Every day our school psychologists are focused on connecting with students and staff to highlight how focusing on possibilities can help lead us to our goals, our interests and our positive growth. They help empower children to grow in areas of skill such as social skills, empathy, and compassion for others, as well as individual or intrapersonal skills such as problem solving, goal setting and study skills.
CCPS School psychologists are committed to the positive growth of our students in the counseling room, the classroom, the community and beyond. Please feel free to reach out to your CCPS school psychologists, click here to read more about their profession, and/or watch this previously recorded Engage Chesterfield about the profession.
And if you see one of our school psychologists this week, thank them for the outstanding work that they do to support our students!
Face coverings and masks #
Face coverings/masks will be required for all students and staff in schools and on school buses, and each school will take steps to monitor expectations associated with social distancing guidelines.
Students who are unable to wear a face covering/mask for health or other reasons must have a doctor complete an Individualized Healthcare Plan form. This form can be located here. Accommodations will be made for a student with a health plan. If this form or a comparable letter from the student’s licensed healthcare provider is not on file, a student will be expected to wear a face covering/mask during the school day.
The wearing of face coverings/masks will be enforced while in school and on a bus.
Social distancing guidelines will reduce capacity on buses by nearly 50 percent for secondary students. As a result, we have developed planned second waves of arrivals/dismissals, as some buses will need to do multiple routes for a single school.
Students may ride the bus to school this year. However, we encourage families who are able to assist us with transportation during this time. If a family is able to transport their child to and from school, it would be appreciated and would help support reducing bus ridership numbers and meeting social distancing guidelinesBus routes for students are available here.
Daily student health assessment #
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the risk of exposure to other students and staff members, Chesterfield County Public Schools asks families to make sure that students perform a daily self-assessment of their health before leaving for school. (The form DOES NOT need to be returned to your child’s school.)
Students must not go to school if they are sick or answer yes to any of the questions on the attached document. Parents should seek guidance from their child’s health provider if the student answers yes to two or more questions or has a temperature of 100.4 degrees F or higher.
By reporting to their school, a student is attesting that they have answered NO to the questions listed on the self-assessment. (As a condition of their employment, school division staff members are required to conduct the same self-assessment.)
Hybrid Model #
The Public Health Committee recommended that students in Cohort No. 4 are now eligible to return to in-person learning via the hybrid model starting the week of Nov. 9. Cohort No. 4 includes all middle and high school students.
Like Cohort Nos. 2-3 earlier, Cohort No. 4 will return starting Nov. 9 to in-person learning in a hybrid model. Some students will attend Monday/Tuesday; others will attend Thursday/Friday. Wednesday will be a cleaning day in between in-person groups, with students connecting online via their normal Advisory Period and then working primarily asynchronously the rest of the school day.
The school division will continue to monitor data moving forward.
Meals Update: Location updates beginning Nov. 9 #
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Congress recently extended all Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) waivers through the end of the 2020-21 school year.
That means all Chesterfield County youth age 18 and under are eligible to receive free meals through June 18, 2021. The USDA previously had extended school nutrition waivers through December 2020.
Beginning Monday, Nov. 9, there will be changes to curbside pick-up locations. Please click here to see the latest updates to meals service locations and times.
Technology Supports Update: Location updates
beginning Nov. 9 #
Chromebook support and repair for Nov. 9-13
As students return to school, we are bringing more of our curbside services back into schools as well. This includes Chromebook support and repair services.
Students participating in in-person instruction will be able to receive Chromebook support within their school. This includes elementary, middle and high school students.
For students who are continuing with 100 percent virtual instruction, the school division will provide two support opportunities next week:
- Tuesday, Nov. 10 from 3-4:30 p.m. at the Chesterfield Career and Technical Center, 13900 Hull Street Rd (Park in the rear parking lot and come to the Fulghum Center entrance.)
- Thursday, Nov. 12 from 3-4:30 p.m. at the Chesterfield Career and Technical Center, 13900 Hull Street Rd (Park in the rear parking lot and come to the Fulghum Center entrance.)
Additional information can be found on the Chromebook Basics website, which also is available on your school’s website home page.
Beginning Nov. 16, Chromebook support will be available for all students at the home school. Additional information will be provided next week.
To help bridge the digital divide and support student learning, Chesterfield County Public Schools’ Technology Department is making free hotspots available for families in need. Contact your child’s school if you need a device.
If you have a Chromebook, Canvas or log-in question or concern that previously would have gone to the Technology Help Desk, please start with the Instructional Designer at your child’s school. The front office staff can connect you. If they are unable to resolve your concerns, they will put you in touch with a member of our Instructional Innovation team.