Charlottesville High School

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Charlottesville High School opened in 1974 as the replacement for the city's Lane High School. The school serves more than 1,200 students in grades 9 through 12. [1] The mascot is the Black Knight. The school has 152 faculty members. [2] Charlottesville High School's motto is “Embrace Diversity and Inspire Dreams.”[3]

BLAST, an initiative that gives students tablet computers to use in school and at home, was implemented sometime in the 2012/2013 school year.[3]

CHS will offer an urban farming course in 2017. [4]


Term started Term ended Term Name
2022 - 2023 Rashaad Pitt
2016 - 2021 Eric Irizarry
2013 - 2016 Jill Dahl
2013 Aaron Bissonnette
2008 - 2012 Thomas Taylor
2003 - 2008 Kenneth Leatherwood

Jill Dahl stepped down as principal at the end of the 2016 school year. [5] [6] She succeeded Aaron Bissonnette who only held the position for a matter of weeks. [7] Eric Irizarry took over in the summer of 2016. [8]

School Population September 2016

  • Enrollment: 1196
  • Asian/Pacific Islander: 6.4%
  • Black: 33%
  • Hispanic: 11.2%
  • White: 45.0%
  • Other/Unspecified: 4.4%
  • Students with disabilities: 12.8%
  • Economically disadvantaged: 52.6%
  • English learners: 10.7%

Planning history

Planning for the school began in 1970 when City Council agreed to spend $7.2 million. When a site was identified at McIntire Park, it was soon learned that the deeds of the land restricted its usage to "white people as a park and playground." The site had to be moved outside of park limits. [9] Construction of the school was delayed and the fall semester had to be moved up to September 16, 1974.


Solar panel installation

Location of solar panels on CHS roof

The city installed a solar photovoltaic array on the high school's roof in the winter of 2012. [10]

Some of the funding for the project comes from the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy as part of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. When installed, the panels will provide a minimum of 64 kilowatts and will be used for experiments by CHS students, Piedmont Virginia Community College students and the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The school system has contributed $98,000 for the project. [11]

The city hopes to save $316,000 in utility fees over the 25-year lifespan of the system. [11]

African-American student athlete study

Paul C. Harris, a professor at the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education, will conduct in the fall of 2013 a study on the academic performance of African-American male student athletes at CHS. [12]


  1. Web. About Charlottesville High School, City of Charlottesville, retrieved June 6, 2011.
  2. Web. Staff Directory, retrieved 1 June 2012.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Web. Charlottesville High: Extraordinary Students, Extraordinary School, retrieved 1 June 2012.
  4. Web. Charlottesville High adds urban farming entrepreneurship class, Aaron Richardson, Charlottesville Tomorrow, December 1, 2016, retrieved December 13, 2016.
  5. Web. Dahl becomes 4th CHS principal to quit in 8 years, Aaron Richardson, Charlottesville Tomorrow, April 14, 2016, retrieved April 15, 2016.
  6. Web. Jill Dahl, Charlottesville City Schools, Charlottesville Tomorrow, November 9, 2013, retrieved November 12, 2013.
  7. Web. New leadership coming to Charlottesville, Western Albemarle High schools, Aaron Richardson, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, May 5, 2013, retrieved May 6, 2013.
  8. Web. Irizarry named as new CHS principal, Aaron Richardson, Charlottesville Tomorrow, May 25, 2016, retrieved December 13, 2016.
  9. Print: The Seventies: Central Virginia Ends Decade of Joy and Tragedy, Doug Kamholz, Daily Progress, Worrell Newspaper group January 1, 1980, Page .
  10. Web. June 2012 Construction Report, Department of Public Works, City of Charlottesville, retrieved June 28, 2012.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Web. [1], retrieved June 6, 2011.
  12. Web. Curry School professor tackles academics with CHS athletes, Tim Shea, Charlottesville Tomorrow, retrieved June 25, 2013.

External Links