As the ACPS community heads into a new school year, I want to welcome both our new and returning students and their families.
I am very proud to be serving in the role of Interim Superintendent for ACPS, where I spent 24 years of my career in education as a special education teacher at John Adams, assistant principal at Cora Kelly, principal at Jefferson-Houston and George Mason and associate superintendent at Central Office. During my years in ACPS, I developed a strong connection to and affection for this school division and city.
The year ahead is an exciting one filled with transition, challenges and opportunities. We will be working with our staff and community to prepare for the implementation of our new school boundaries, we will continue the construction of the new Patrick Henry K-8 School and we will finalize plans for a new school in the west end. The School Board will continue its search for a permanent superintendent and will seek community input on the characteristics that you want to see in the next ACPS leader. I encourage you to participate in this process.
Our schools are the heart of our community and are very special places. Each one is representative of our richly diverse community and residents. Our students hail from more than 80 countries and speak more than 60 languages. Our diversity literally brings the world into our classrooms and provides limitless opportunities to learn from each other.
I know firsthand the challenges our school division faces in making sure EVERY student succeeds, no matter what individual or unique path each student took that brought him or her to ACPS. While I recognize the challenges, I believe that we are often faced with great opportunities brilliantly disguised as seemingly impossible situations. I will work with our staff and community to seize those opportunities and keep our focus on a steady march to improvement.
Our school division will continue its focus on nurturing and supporting our students in every way. That is reflected in our ACPS 2020 Strategic Plan, which emphasizes both student achievement and student wellness. We are striving to be a high-performing school division and that can only occur through a supportive learning environment, high expectations for all students, a clear focus, a strong instructional program that is aligned with state standards, effective collaboration and communication, and ongoing staff training.
I look forward to the privilege of serving the ACPS community during my time here. I wish you and your family all the best for a great school year. I also invite you to stay up to date on ACPS happenings by signing up to receive our weekly e-mail newsletter, ACPS Express, and following us on Facebook and @ACPSk12 on Twitter.
Interim Superintendent Lois F. Berlin