On Thursday night, the School Board held its last meeting of the school year.
They heard a summary of the year and next steps from Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. as well as updates on Talented and Gifted (TAG) services and the 2025 Strategic Plan.
A Snapshot of the Year
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. gave a snapshot of the 2018-19 school year that included a summary of the progress made, the work done and lessons learned.
Virginia Board of Education Awards
The Virginia Board of Education announced on Thursday that Patrick Henry K-8 School and James K. Polk Elementary School have been recognized for exemplary performance. Alexandria has two of the 52 schools in the commonwealth to earn the 2019 Board of Education Highest Achievement Award. Francis C. Hammond and George Washington middle schools were awarded 2019 Board of Education Continuous Improvement Awards. These awards are aligned with the Board of Education’s revised accreditation standards and replace the Virginia Index of Performance recognition program. These awards recognize schools that produce consistent gains in academic achievement and successful efforts to reduce absenteeism and dropout rates. You will be hearing more about this later in the year.
Talented and Gifted (TAG) Evaluation Update
In the 2019-20 school year, ACPS will be making some adjustments to the delivery of TAG services.
1. Introduction of new identification pathways through:
- Creation of a talent search team
- Focus on growth factors
- Use of a variety of culturally sensitive instruments to help identify English Learners
- Design of an identification process for students receiving specialized instruction
- Official designation of Young Scholars as part of the TAG program
2. Adjustment of the screening process:
- Move screening from the first semester to the first quarter
- Move the main identification window to spring
- This will reduce the number of students placed in new classes in the middle of the school year.
3. Adjustment of placements:
- Cluster students based on General Intellectual Aptitude and Young Scholar identification in classes with select teachers
4. Strengthen professional development options:
- This includes creating a local gifted endorsement
- ACPS will be exploring alternative options for the future
5. The push-in and pull-out (separate service) models for delivering fourth-/fifth-grade language arts will be evaluated
6. Middle school offerings will begin a redesign and will be aligned with high school programming
ACPS 2025 Strategic Plan Update
The development of the 2025 Strategic Plan will be developed through a lens of equity.
A diverse group of 2025 Strategic Planning Committee representatives have now been finalized and details of the committees can be found on the ACPS website and a kick-off event was held on June 19 to:
- Build community
- Develop a shared understanding of equity
- Develop and understand the importance and process of strategic planning within ACPS
The School Board will be asked to revisit ACPS’ vision, mission, core beliefs, and values in the coming months.
Identified Board members will serve on the Steering Committee.
Facilities Summer Projects
Facilities will be carrying a number of projects this summer. See the full list of projects (PDF) for work at all schools.
Graduation by the Numbers
Celebrate our Class of 2019 graduation with us!
- 757 students graduated from T.C. Williams High School on June 15
- 204 received English Learner services during their time as a student with ACPS
- More than 80% of the Class of 2019 have said they will be going on to college in the fall
- 474 students have reported confirmed college places
- 331 graduated with an advanced diploma; 406 with a standard diploma
- 47 additional students will be eligible to graduate this summer
- 18 students are pursuing careers in the military
- 8% will engage in apprenticeship or industry programs
- 57 plan to head directly into the workforce
Strong results are due to an amplified focus on ensuring all students get the needed support — programs such as Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) provide support for students who may be the first in their family to go to college — and the start of a concerted focus on equity (including an equity audit and equity training) to ensure all students have access to higher level courses and a rigorous curriculum.
- The graduation ceremony earned 14,203 engagements on social media
- There were 1,692 engagements (12% of total graduation ceremony engagements) for social media posts in Spanish/Arabic/Amharic
- The ACPS en español Facebook page gained 109 followers over graduation weekend
Congratulations to all our graduates!