“Welcome back to ACPS and the beginning of another wonderful school year. Our year got off to a great start this past Tuesday and we were pleased to welcome back more than 15,000 students who represent the diverse student population of Alexandria City.
In light of the announcement from the federal government regarding the decision to end the program for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, ACPS wants to reaffirm that we believe all students have a right to an education that appropriately challenges them in a safe, caring and supportive environment.
ACPS believes that all students have this right, regardless of race, national origin, ancestry, disability, religion, gender, gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation. Our staff welcomes, teaches and provides for any student who comes through our doors, regardless of their immigration status. We are committed to supporting the emotional well-being of our students and strive to ensure that all students feel safe in our schools.
We also believe that the diversity of our community of students and families is a tremendous strength for Alexandria. It provides us with great opportunity to learn about one another and embrace our differences.
We want to make clear to our families and community that ACPS does not require any information about the legal status of any of our students. Not only is this practice required by federal law, it is morally and ethically correct and in sync with our mission to serve all students in our community. Our role at ACPS is to keep our students safe and able to learn at all times. In light of recent discussions, ACPS has been taking action to make sure that these values are upheld, in line with our policies on harassment, bullying, inclusiveness and equity.
In addition, ACPS does not share any confidential student information, including information relating to a student’s immigration status, with outside groups without parental consent. Any type of law enforcement agency that wishes to speak to a student at school is required to first notify ACPS and verify their credentials with the Department of Student Services.
Our School Board, school community and I believe strongly in the American Dream and that all our students are a critical part of that dream. ACPS will continue to support all students in their academic pursuits.
ACPS encourages all students to continue to come to school every day and continues to work to ensure that every student succeeds.”
Interim Superintendent Lois F. Berlin Ed.D., School Board Chair Ramee Gentry and Members of the Alexandria City School Board