Updated Schedules for K-2 & Last Chance to Take the Renaming Survey

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Now that we have the School Board’s approval to pursue a phased-in approach for in-person learning for students in grades pre-K through 12, beginning with our most vulnerable Students with Disabilities and English Learners, it is time for us to make the vision a reality. The Board also included in its motion that we later consider expanding student in-person participation, contingent upon staffing and building capacity. 

After we concluded through our planning sessions and School Board meeting that bringing back students one day a week is not the most conducive approach for students, given that it presents significant disruptions that can impede teaching and learning, we have committed to work through these constraints to continue with our phased-in reentry plan. Also, we will continue to deliver and refine our Virtual PLUS+ Learning Model and explore innovative ways to make sure that all students are experiencing academic growth tailored to their individual needs. As we develop more details, we will share them with you and continue our successful collaborative feedback loop. 

We have teams working on every practicality, building out and testing multiple scenarios as we figure out how to incorporate the CDC guidelines into a school environment. Today, we are including a reminder about how we will be adjusting the schedules for our youngest learners to decrease the amount of time they need to spend on Zoom, to take effect on Tuesday, Nov. 10.

On Thursday, we will spend time at Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 IB School engaged in a simulation of how the school day will look with in-person learning while adjusting and refining as we go along and preparing for the most feasible options in an ever-changing landscape. As much as we all want to see our students back in class where they learn best, our plans depend on both the trends of COVID-19 in our community as well as our staffing resources and building capacity. As winter approaches, we are again in uncharted territory and nobody can predict the course of this virus. We always hope for the best and will continue to prepare for whatever we may face in these coming months. In the meantime, we can have every confidence in the Virtual PLUS+ program which continues to develop and grow.

In less than a month, the School Board will vote on whether to change the names of both T.C. Williams High School and Matthew Maury Elementary School. It is an important decision that has made us look inward at our history and our attitude on racial equity. As part of our continuing community outreach, this month our students at both Maury and T.C. are learning about their school history to allow them to be informed about their school’s namesake and past. You can discover more about this fascinating program below.

This is your final chance to have your say ahead of the renaming decision by the Board. The school renaming survey closes TODAY at 11:59 p.m.

Finally, please note that Election Day on Nov. 3 is a Teacher Work Day and there will be no school for students. For those of our students newly eligible to vote, this is a big moment and a privilege. Please make your voice heard and exercise your right to vote. 

Stay safe, stay healthy, stay informed.


Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.
Superintendent of Schools

Today is the Last Day to Take The Identity Project Survey!

Don’t miss out on having your say about whether ACPS should change the names of T.C. Williams High School and/or Matthew Maury Elementary School. ACPS has been conducting an anonymous survey in recent weeks to canvas community feeling on the subject. The survey will close TONIGHT at 11:59 p.m.

The Identity Project: The Importance of Teaching Our Own History

As part of the community engagement process around considering changing the names of T.C. Williams High School and Matthew Maury Elementary School, ACPS teachers have begun incorporating our own division history into the curriculum.

In class this week at both T.C. Williams and Maury, students are learning the facts about their school’s namesake in an age appropriate manner so they can come to an informed decision about the path forward.

In less than a month’s time on Nov. 23, following extensive community discussion, the School Board will vote on the issue. T.C. Williams history teacher Ra’ Alim Shabazz introduced Thomas Chambliss Williams to his students this week. He wants to make sure they have a clear grasp of their school’s namesake.

At Maury, Andrea Houston is encouraging her fourth grade students to consider how their city has changed over the decades and what their school represents today.

Read more about these history lessons.

What’s in a Name? Final Identity Project Community Conversation Tonight

Tonight is the last of seven community and student forums to discuss the renaming of schools.

The Identity Project: Community Conversation #3
Wednesday, Oct. 28, 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Join us on Zoom


  • Chris Harris ’92, President – Alexandria NAACP
  • Sindy Benavides ’00, CEO – League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
  • Margaret Lorber, School Board Member
  • Ashley Sanchez-Viafara, T.C. Williams student representative to the School Board

Watch last week’s final Student Conversation:
The third and final Identity Project student forum took place last week. Watch the recording.

Join the Public Hearing on Renaming of Schools

Tomorrow, Oct. 29 at 4 p.m., the School Board is holding a public hearing on the renaming of schools. If you wish to speak, please sign up to speak no later than noon today (Oct. 28).

Join the meeting live on Zoom.

Virtual PLUS+ Enhancements to K-2 Schedule 

After listening to feedback from our families and staff, the kindergarten, first and second grade schedules have been adjusted to decrease the amount of screen time that our students are experiencing and to provide additional opportunities for small group instructional support. The following enhancements have been made to the schedule:

  • Reduction of a minimum of 60 minutes of synchronous core content time
  • Integration of core instructional blocks 
  • Encore reduced to 30 minutes of synchronous time

School administration and teachers will provide school-specific schedules by Wednesday, Nov. 4. The new schedules will take effect on Tuesday, Nov. 10. 

Read more on the ACPS website.

Redesigned Patrick Henry K-8 School Building Wins Architecture Award

The design of the new Patrick Henry K-8 School building and adjoining City of Alexandria Patrick Henry Recreation Center has been recognized as a “Regional Best Project” by the trade publication, Engineering News-Record.

Reminder: Nov. 3 is a Teacher Work Day and Election Day — No School for Students

Tuesday, Nov. 3 is a Teacher Work Day. This means there is no school for students. This is not a food distribution day. Food distribution will continue as usual on Wednesday, Nov. 4. The Tech Help Desk at T.C. Williams will also be closed for in-person support. Support will still be available via email and forms.

ACPS Welcomes New Polk Assistant Principal

This school year, India Tillman joins James K. Polk Elementary School as assistant principal. Tillman comes to ACPS from Arlington Independent Public Schools in Texas, where she held the position of Testing Facilitator for Atherton Elementary for eight years. Welcome to ACPS!

Scholarship Fund of Alexandria Emergency COVID-19 Appeal

The Scholarship Fund of Alexandria (SFA) has been helping our city students fulfill their dreams of college since 1986.

The college scholarships support Alexandria students with financial need, and often extreme financial need. The families who are being hardest hit by COVID-19 are those who live near or below the poverty level. 

This year, there were a record number of applications for scholarships: 488 students applied for scholarships from the Class of 2020. SFA also saw a 25% increase this year in applications for renewal scholarships for former scholarship recipients entering sophomore, junior and senior years of college. 

Please help make college possible for bright, talented kids in Alexandria with financial need. If you have not had an opportunity to give to the COVID-19 Appeal for Scholarships, please consider making a donation and help SFA reach its $75,000 goal.

Learn more about the work of the SFA.

Donate to the SFA fundraiser.

City and AHD Guidance about Safely Enjoying Halloween and Dia de los Muertos

We are just days away from both Halloween and Dia de los Muertos and this year, we are being advised to adjust the way we mark these favorite annual celebrations in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department are strongly urging residents to choose activities identified as lower risk by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as shown below.

  • Carve a pumpkin 
  • Decorate your home
  • Virtual costume contest
  • Family movie night at home 
  • Decorate masks for loved ones
  • Make traditional family recipes
  • Treat scavenger hunt in your home

More guidance can be found on the City of Alexandria website.


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 www.hungerfreealexandria.com 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.


The Teen Wellness Center at T.C. Williams is open regular hours Monday through Friday for all Alexandrians ages 12-19. All services are provided in the clinic and if the teen is ill with an elevated temperature (100.0 or more) we will see them through our telehealth video format. Make an appointment over the phone by calling 703-746-4776.


The City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Health Department strongly urge everyone to follow state orders to STAY HOME except for essential trips such as food purchases and medical care, and keep 6 feet apart from others when in public. Your neighbors and loved ones are counting on you to stop the spread of COVID-19. For other questions about COVID-19, call the Alexandria COVID-19 Hotline at 703-746-4988, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Effective October 1, face coverings will be required in indoor and outdoor public places, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The City of Alexandria ordinance (PDF) expands on a state executive order (PDF) that has required masks in most indoor public settings since May 29. Read the news release.

Additional updates can be found at www.alexandriava.gov/Coronavirus.

Coping with COVID-19 Fear and Uncertainty

Check out the City of Alexandria webpage Coping with COVID-19 Fear and Uncertainty which includes the COVID-19 Wellness Resource Guide.


Continuity of School Support and Academic Advisement

School Student Support Team staff, including school counselors, school nurses, school psychologists, and school social workers will be available during school hours throughout the closure. Monday — Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. staff will be connecting with students and their families. The Department of Student Services, Alternative Programs and Equity staff members are also available during this time and can be contacted by voicemail and at student_services@acps.k12.va.us.

Emergency Supports

If there is a crisis or emergency during the time of the closure, students and families can access the supports below:

We know that this is a challenging time. ACPS will continue to share information through the ACPS website, social media, and email. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your student’s school counselor or school social worker with any questions.


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.

Stay Healthy!
Wash your hands regularly. Regular soap is OK.

ACPS, Coronavirus