Parent Intro Letter

January 1, 2016

 Dear Parent/Guardian:

With the beginning of the new semester, it is also time to start thinking about courses for the next  school year.  As a piece of this process, a Program of Study is made available to you and your student to provide an opportunity to consider the course offerings that might best suit your child’s needs.  In an effort to keep up with our electronic world, the Program of Study will be posted on the Charlottesville City Schools website along with the Walker Upper Elementary, Buford Middle, and Charlottesville High websites under the Program of Study link. 

The program planning process will follow a six-step approach: 

1.       Programs of Study:  These will be made available to parents and students to study and to make preliminary selections.  Remember to select two alternate choices for electives. (January)

2.       Teacher Recommendations:  Teachers will enter recommendations for each student in the student data base. (January)

3.       Course and Elective Fair:  Students and parents will have an opportunity to speak with representatives about course offerings and course selection.  (January)

4.       Parent Input: Following the curriculum fair, parents can make course recommendation requests (January, one week window)

5.       Classroom Presentations and Small Group Program Planning Sessions: Counselors will visit English classes to explain the Program Planning Process, and to meet with students individually to review the teacher recommendations, their four-year plans, and their transcripts. (January –February)

6.       Copies of courses selected will be mailed home.

7.       Schedule Adjustments:  Teachers, students, and parents with concerns about the courses selected may make appointments with counselors to make adjustments.


To ensure the best choice of courses, especially elective courses, all selections should be given the most thoughtful consideration.  As the master schedule is designed around students’ choices early in the process, alternate courses may not be available at a later date. 

 We are looking forward to a successful program planning season, with your assistance.  Our optimistic view is to have schedules ready by May so that conflicts and adjustments may be reconciled well before the school year begins.

 Thank you for your attention to this letter and for your assistance in helping us plan for the next school year.



Jill Dahl                                                   Eric Johnson                                          Vernon Bock

Principal                                                 Principal                                                     Principal

Charlottesville High School                Buford Middle School                         Walker Upper Elementary School


The Charlottesville City Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual 
orientation, age, religion, national origin, marital or veteran’s status, physical or mental disability, or any classification protected by applicable law in employment or its education programs or activities.



This Program of Study outlines courses and options of study from Walker Upper Elementary School, transitioning through Buford Middle School, and through Charlottesville High School. 


To be truly educated in the twenty-first century, students must achieve high academic standards and be able to apply what they have learned. New technologies and international competition have redefined employment. Fewer and fewer jobs require repetitive, assembly-line processes. Rather, proficiency in technology, information acquisition and processing, problem solving, teamwork, and effective communication are the new requisite job skills. Students must combine their academic knowledge with technical skills to function in existing and emerging professional careers. 

This Program of Study provides an overview of Charlottesville City Schools’ academic offerings (grades 6 -12) and career information to help students make wise curricular decisions that will benefit them academically and prepare them for future work and training in an increasingly technical world. Information about career families may help students identify careers, plan career pathways, determine educational options, identify related elective courses, and acquaint themselves with a variety of work-based learning activities. 

The career information in this guide is organized around Virginia's Sixteen Career Families representing the local and state workplace of the twenty-first century. Career families are a way of grouping occupations that have a core of common knowledge and skills. Using this information will enable students with different abilities and aspirations to see and learn about appropriate career options and opportunities. The occupations within each career family represent those requiring specific technical training and education required for success. Thus, students who share interests with workers in a specific career family can be employed in related occupations whether they decide to attend college or acquire skills and technical training on-the-job. 

Placement of students in most academic courses is based on individual achievement in prerequisite classes, needs, and interests. Students are urged to read course descriptions carefully and select the level that best suits their achievement, needs, and interests in each subject. The student, parent, school counselor, and teacher decide placement in a subject area or level of a subject cooperatively. This decision includes a thorough review of student progress, results of standardized test scores, and teacher evaluation of student performance on formative and summative assessments. 


Students should select courses that best suit their abilities and interests based on a combination of logical and sequential courses of study. Students register for courses during small group and individual program planning sessions with their counselors to review selections and discuss future plans. All students must schedule seven courses, one for each period in the day, and two alternates. Some students may wish to select eight courses, one for each period in the day plus an early morning period. Exceptions to this policy are students enrolled in approved work/study programs, such as Marketing Education or CEWAT. Every attempt is made to offer appropriate courses of study for students. Some courses, however, may not be offered due to insufficient enrollment, and/or the lack of teacher availability. 


The School Counseling Department's policies, procedures, and curriculum are based on the American School Counseling Association’s National Model of providing a planned, sequential, and comprehensive school counseling program. The school counseling standards defined in the ASCA model ensure a program that is integral to the school, proactive, and developmental in nature. Each student is assigned to a counselor based on the first letter of the student's last name in high school with the exception of English Second Language students, and by grade level in the middle grades. Counselors provide students with vocational and career information, college and financial aid advising, written recommendations and references, academic advising, and assistance with personal problems. In addition, they help students define goals that reflect personal interests and abilities. Students may see counselors by appointment or walk-in during their lunch. Appointments may be made before school, between classes, at lunch, or after school.