This Week’s Headlines:
- A Heartfelt Thanks to ACPS Staff
- Welcome Back to Our School Buildings!
- VIDEOS: A Day in the Life for Our Hybrid Middle and High School Students
- Daily Symptom Checklist Instructional Video
- COVIDWISE App: Help keep our school community safe
- Latest Community Health Metrics
- Transition Back into School Buildings Virtual Support Circle
- Finding Fit: March is National Nutrition Month
- The Identity Project: The Superintendent’s Picks and Other Finalists
- ACPS Athletic Hall of Fame: 2020 Recipients Announced; Nominations Open for 2021
Dear ACPS Staff,
This Tuesday was one of those very special days that will stay with me forever. After almost a year, our elementary schools safely reopened the doors to some of our students. We were welcomed with a gloriously sunny day and smiling faces were everywhere to be seen.
I made a whistle stop tour to many of our elementary and K-8 schools across our City. It was a joy to have our school buildings with students inside them once again and to see our health and safety measures being implemented diligently. I am happy to report that the months of methodical and strategic planning paid off and the first week was a great success. Thank you to all who helped make this long-awaited moment happen. We are #Reunited2021 and on the road to recovery. I am very much looking forward to next week when we welcome our second returning group of middle and high school English Learners and Students with Disabilities back into the classroom.
In other important news, I have submitted my recommendations for the new names for T.C. Williams High School and Matthew Maury Elementary School to the School Board for their final consideration on April 8. My recommendations are Alexandria High School and Naomi Brooks Elementary School to reflect the community’s preferred choices. It is so fitting that we would honor one of Alexandria’s very own phenomenal women during Women’s History Month by recommending that her legacy lives on at one of our schools. Brooks, who passed away last year, was a phenomenal Alexandrian matriarch, a schoolteacher and a sporting star. I am delighted to give my support for the Naomi Brooks Elementary School.
Stay safe, healthy and engaged.
Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.
In this week’s Staff Update, Superintendent Dr. Hutchings thanks employees for all they have done this school year.
Superintendent Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. spent Tuesday traveling across our city, as he welcomed back many of the 1,291 students who returned to school buildings. This group of students with disabilities and English Learners are some of our most vulnerable and were prioritized for return in the first phase.
Speaking at Mount Vernon Community School, he said, “I want to thank our team for all their hard work that they have done over the past year to prepare for this moment. We are back. I am glad that we finally got to this part.”
Mount Vernon Principal Liza Burrell-Aldana added, “We have been looking forward to this day since March of last year. The teachers and students are our ‘why’ so just watching them today learn in their classrooms safely and smiling … they are just so happy to be back. This has been a great day and we really appreciate the fact that we can see them again.”
Please enjoy these back to school photos on the ACPS Facebook page.
Next Tuesday, our second group of hybrid students return to school buildings, followed by all remaining hybrid students on March 16.
What will the day look like for a hybrid middle or high school student attending learning in school buildings? Take a look!
Each morning before students leave home for in-person learning at school buildings, their parents/guardians should complete the online Daily Symptom Checklist. This can be accessed on the ACPS and school website homepages, on Clever, or in the ACPS mobile app. Parents/guardians will also receive a link through text message each day their child is scheduled for in-person learning.
The Daily Symptom Checklist is just one way we are keeping our community safe.
Parents/guardians can find out how to complete the Daily Symptom Checklist in the following video:
In preparation for their return to school buildings next week, ACPS is encouraging all secondary students with mobile devices to download Virginia’s free COVIDWISE Exposure Notifications app to assist contact tracing efforts in the event of exposure to the virus.
COVIDWISE is Virginia’s official exposure notifications app that lets you know if you’ve likely been exposed to another COVIDWISE user with a positive COVID-19 test result.
Here are the most current community health metrics, connected to our ability to keep schools open.
See Alexandria’s latest K-12 school health metrics on the Virginia Department of Health website.
The ACPS Department of Student Services and Equity will hold a Virtual Support Circle for ACPS staff on Wednesday, March 10 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. The Friday, March 5 session has been moved to Wednesday, March 10.
The purpose of the circle is to provide a virtual safe space to support staff as we transition back into the school buildings. The guest facilitator is Dr. Sarah Federman.
Dr. Sarah Federman is an Assistant Professor of Negotiation & Conflict Management within the College of Public Affairs at the University of Baltimore. She is also a Fulbright Peace and Conflict Specialist and an instructor at the Foreign Service Institute. She has additional training in restorative justice, mindfulness and suicide prevention.
Stay safe, stay healthy, stay informed! Did you know March is National Nutrition Month? Check out the ACPS Finding Fit March newsletter for nutrition tips and eating on a budget! Also, whether it is in the classroom, office or home, stretch it out and relax with some chair exercises!
You can find this month’s newsletter on the ACPS Finding Fit website or through the Wellness Champion at your school/location.
Through a robust community engagement process, we have been able to narrow the selection of new school names to three finalists each for T.C. Williams High School and Matthew Maury Elementary School.
The last set of community polls ran Feb. 5 through Feb. 19.
These polls revealed 14,947 entries from students, families, alumni, staff, and community members. Careful consideration in solidifying the top three names came from public support, suitability to the campus and student population and met the ACPS School Board policies.
Three Finalist Names for T.C. Williams High School:
Alexandria High School (34.20% from public poll)
Titan Community High School (21.26% from public poll)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg High School (10.13% from public poll)
Three Finalist Names for Matthew Maury Elementary School:
Naomi Brooks Elementary School (30.46% from public poll)
Rosemont Park Elementary School (20.72% from public poll)
Jean Reid Elementary School (9.36% from public poll)
After careful consideration and aligned with public input, Superintendent Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. recommended the following names at the March 4, 2021 School Board meeting:
- T.C. Williams High School to be renamed Alexandria High School
- Matthew Maury Elementary School to be renamed Naomi Brooks Elementary School
There is one more opportunity for the community to have a say in the final naming decision during the Alexandria City School Board Public Hearing on March 18, 2021. Individuals must register in advance to speak at this hearing.
The Board will vote on April 8, 2021, and the new names will be implemented on July 1, 2021.
With each generation, friends and supporters from the Alexandria community look for ways to honor the successes of athletes, coaches or teams by memorializing their achievements to inspire the current students of ACPS to strive for excellence.
Given that the pandemic delayed our process of confirming 2020 nominees, the final voting process took place at the March 4, 2021 School Board meeting. The following honorees were voted in and will be inducted into the ACPS Athletic Hall of Fame (AHOF).
2020 ACPS Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees:
- Katherine McAdoo, Swimming, T.C. Williams High School, Class of 2000
- Roberta Elliott Speight, Track and Field, T.C. Williams High School, Class of 1984
- Bob Kessler, Basketball, George Washington High School, Class of 1952
- Cedric Matterson, Track and Field, T.C. Williams High School, Class of 1984
- Craig Harris, Basketball, T.C. Williams High School, Class of 1977
- Lynwood Robinson, Football, George Washington High School, Class of 1971
- Mike Hynson, Basketball Coach at T.C. Williams High School and George Washington High School; Francis C. Hammond High School, Class of 1959
- 1971 T.C. Williams High School Football Team
In 2014, the Alexandria City School Board established the AHOF to honor eligible athletes, coaches and teams of the past, present and future. The AHOF may also honor members of the community who have made significant contributions to the ACPS athletic program.
Make a Nomination for the 2021 ACPS Athletic Hall of Fame
Nominations for the 2021 honorees will be accepted for the ACPS Athletic Hall of Fame until March 31, 2021, for a fall 2021 induction. Current students in ACPS and young alumni will not be considered until five years past their date of graduation. The Athletic Hall of Fame Advisory Committee evaluates each nominee to determine its recommendations for induction into the ACPS Athletic Hall of Fame and submits its recommendation to the School Board for approval in June.
When filling out the nomination form, it is important to have specific information related to your nominee’s accomplishments. If not, you may receive a reply that your nomination does not have enough information in order to evaluate the candidate. The more specific information you provide, the more helpful it is for the committee.
Selections to the ACPS Athletic Hall of Fame are not selected based on the number of nominations received. However, you may submit additional information or documentation through an additional nomination form.
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