Progress Towards Reopening Schools

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This Week’s Headlines:

Dear ACPS Families and Community,

As we head into February, it is clear we are still only on the verge of turning the corner and are not quite there yet. 

We are working on the development of a new student reentry schedule which we had hoped to be able to share with you today. However, we are still in the process of finalizing this and it will now be available to you next Friday.  We have refined our decision matrix to include the new guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health (PDF) that will now be used every other week to determine our transition. 

We hope that the vaccination of ACPS staff will allow our school impact levels to move from strained to normal percentages so we can begin to experience some sense of normalcy in our school buildings. While the vaccine will definitely not resolve all of our reopening issues, it will afford our staff the ability to take initiative to make our school buildings as healthy and safe as possible. We are eternally grateful to all our staff for their dedication to our students and families at this time.

With gratitude for our staff at the forefront, I would like to remind you that this week is Virginia School Principals Appreciation Week. I have seen many messages of support come in and I am joining you today in thanking them for their tireless commitment to our staff, students and our equity work. Keep your messages coming!

Please stay safe, healthy and engaged. 

Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.

Latest Reopening Decision: Schools to remain 100% virtual for weeks of Feb. 1 and Feb. 8

Due to our current community transmission and school impact levels, the superintendent has made the decision to delay the reentry of students who were set to return to schools the weeks of Feb. 1 and Feb. 8.

We had been hoping to share our revised reentry timeline to staff and families today. However, we are still finalizing important details and we will share it with you in our next newsletter on Feb. 5.

As you may be aware, the number of positive cases and transmission rates in Alexandria have continued to remain at high levels. Our most recent data that drove our decision on Jan. 25 included: 

  • Percentage of RT-PCR tests that are positive during the last 14 days: 10.1% – Highest Risk
  • Total number of new cases per 100,000 persons within the last 14 days: 599.9 – Highest Risk
  • ACPS staffing and capacity level: strained (50-75%)

Updates to Reopening Decision: New schedule and revised matrix

Starting now, our reopening decision will be made every two weeks. You will receive the next update on Monday, Feb. 8. 

We have also refined our decision matrix to include the new guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health (PDF) and will begin using this matrix every other week to determine our students’ transition. We will be providing an update to the student reentry timeline next Friday, Feb. 5. 

VIDEO: Dr. Hutchings explains the revisions to the reopening decision matrix

Latest Opening Guidance from Virginia Department of Education

The Virginia Department of Education regularly updates information related to the COVID-19 pandemic and its guidance for public schools within the Commonwealth. Check out the latest in the Frequently Asked Questions page with the following new questions:

  • What is new in the January guidance? 
  • Are schools required to open in person under the new guidance? 
  • Are staff vaccinations a prerequisite for schools opening in person?
  • Are all school staff eligible for vaccines in Phase 1B?

Staff Vaccination Program Continues

ACPS employees have been continuing to receive their first dose of the Moderna vaccine thanks to the division’s collaboration with the Alexandria Health Department and the City. Each week at T.C. Williams High School and other locations, more and more of our staff are taking the crucial step in protecting themselves from COVID-19. Many have taken to social media to express their gratitude and excitement.

Lyles-Crouch Kindergarten Teacher Wanda Allen: “Received my 1st Covid vaccination today @LylesCrouch It was painless. @DrZissios Thank you Governor Northam and @ACPSk12!”

T.C. Williams Science Teacher Laura Simons: “You can’t tell because of the masks, but this is two very happy newly vaccinated Titan science teachers! #CovidVaccine @TCWTitans @tcwscience

Charles Barrett Band and Orchestra Teacher Erin Flynn: “So happy to have gotten my first vaccine dose today! Thank you to @ACPSk12 for the efficient and safe event today. So impressive!”

T.C. Williams Culinary Arts Teacher Craig Scheuerman: “Great Day. Very Thankful !!! Hoping it’s one step closer to getting back to school ! @TCWTitans @ACPSk12


Weather Alerts Reminder: Update Your Contact Information Today

boots in snow

In anticipation of winter weather, please make sure your school has your correct contact information, including cell phone number and email address. Please contact your school registrar to update this information. 

Families with correct contact information in PowerSchool will automatically receive weather alerts via ACPS email and text messages.

You can also find the announcements in multiple other places:

Title I Parent and Family Event Survey

The Title I Office and Title I schools are planning future family engagement events to help support student performance in school. Feedback from parents and caregivers is a critical part of ensuring students meet their potential. 

We are asking families attending Title I schools to fill out an anonymous, eight-question survey by Sunday, Jan. 31. The survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete:

Take the survey in English

Take the survey in Spanish

Take the survey in Amharic

Take the survey in Arabic

Thank you for providing your input. We will use the information to plan Title I-funded programs and events for families. 

Governor’s Health Sciences Academy at T.C. Williams to Benefit from State of the Art Mobile Facility 

Next fall, students of the Governor’s Health Sciences Academy (GHSA) at our high school will have the use of a spectacular mobile facility designed to develop real-life medical career skills.

Titans enrolled in the Academy will benefit from an Immersive Learning Center — a 40-foot-long classroom/laboratory on wheels that will provide state-of-the-art technology, simulation, and immersive virtual reality and augmented learning experiences.

The Immersive Learning Center comes thanks to a $700,000 grant from the Commonwealth of Virginia to The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, which partnered with T.C. Williams High School to establish the GHSA. The money will fund the new Community Medi-Corp Program of which this facility is the centerpiece.

Find out more about the GHSA Immersive Learning Center.

Walk The Block Next Week

Alexandria residents who want to start their day on the right foot are invited to join a socially distanced walk around the block in their neighborhood on the morning of Monday, Feb. 1 or any time next week. 

The goal of the Walk The Block event is to recognize the first day of the second semester, get in the habit of getting moving in the morning, and boost physical and mental health. 

Non-walking neighbors are encouraged to cheer for students they see walking by!

Share your Walk The Block photos with hashtag #ALXWalkTheBlock on Facebook or Twitter.

ACPS Promoting Racial Equity at the Heart of ALL We Do

ACPS recognizes Feb. 1-6, 2021 as the national Black Lives Matter at Schools Week of Action. 

Guided by our Strategic Plan Equity for All 2025 and the School Board’s Resolution Condemning Systemic Racism and Affirming a Commitment to Educational Equity for All Students, Families and Staff, ACPS continues to strive toward a future where disparities based on race and other inequities are eliminated.

We believe that equity can be achieved by promoting relationships and nurturing the capability of our students, families and staff.


ACPS has multiple distribution meal site locations throughout Alexandria for all ACPS students and children over the age of two. See a map of food distribution locations.


Grab and Go breakfast and lunch meals are available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 7:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. at the following locations:

  • William Ramsay Elementary School
    5700 Sanger Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22311
  • Francis C. Hammond Middle School
    4646 Seminary Road, Alexandria, VA 22304
  • Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology
    3600 Commonwealth Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22305
  • Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 IB School
    1501 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
  • Mount Vernon Community School
    2601 Commonwealth Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22305
  • Patrick Henry K-8 School
    4643 Taney Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304
  • T.C. Williams High School
    3330 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22304

And available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at our “Pop-Up” sites located at:

  • Mason Apartments at 75 South Reynolds Street, Alexandria, VA 22304
    10:45 to 11:15 a.m.
  • Brent Place Apartments at 375 South Reynolds Street, Alexandria, VA 22304
    11:20 to 11:50 a.m.
  • Ruby Tucker Family Center at 322 Tancil Court, Alexandria, VA 22314
    10:45 to 11:15 a.m.
  • Community Lodgings at 607 Notabene Drive, Alexandria, VA 22305
    10:45 to 11:15 a.m.
  • Old Towne West Apartments (parking lot) at 500 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
    11:20 to 11:50 a.m.
  • Corner of Florence Drive and Four Mile Road, Alexandria, VA 22305
    10:45 to 11:15 a.m.
  • The Fields at 4309 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22304
    10:45 to 11:15 a.m.
  • Bennington Crossing Apartments at 441 North Armistead Street, Alexandria, VA 22312
    11:30 a.m. to noon
  • 2727 Duke Street (behind Bank of America), Alexandria, VA 22314
    10:45 to 11:15 a.m.


NOTE: No food distribution will occur on Tuesdays or Thursdays. The limited days for distribution is to support the practice of social distancing and to limit social gatherings. Meals for two days will be provided on Mondays and Wednesdays, and meals for three days will be provided on Fridays.

Other Food Resources in the City of Alexandria:

For food pantry locations and schedules in Alexandria, visit or call ‪703-662-1067.

Questions? Or Need Translation?

Send us your question in Spanish, Arabic or Amharic:

  • Text ACPSMEALS to 797979 (English and Spanish)
  • Call or text 703-927-6866 (Amharic)
  • Call or text 703-927-7095 (Arabic)


Call the FACE Center’s Bilingual Parent Information Lines, available Monday-Friday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.:

  • For Spanish/English, call 571-775-9719
  • For Amharic/English, call 703-927-6866
  • For Arabic/English, call 703-927-7095

SAFETY REMINDER: Please remember to observe social distancing practices while at the food distribution site by maintaining six feet of personal space between you and other families or individuals.

Anyone exhibiting symptoms of a respiratory illness like fever, runny nose, sore throat, coughing or difficulty breathing on the day of food distribution or in the previous 24 hours should not visit a food distribution site but call a health care provider instead. If you do not have a primary care physician and are not enrolled in a clinic, you may CALL an urgent care center or emergency room.


For all updates, see


Don’t Feel Well?
Contact your primary health care physician. Don’t have insurance? Contact Neighborhood Health at 703-535-5568.


Have questions, concerns or feedback? Contact us.

ACPS, Coronavirus