As the Alexandria City Public Schools community looks forward to the 2017-18 school year, I want to welcome both our new and returning students and their families.
The year ahead is an exciting one filled with transition, challenges and opportunities. We will be working with our staff and community to prepare to implement our new school boundaries, continue the construction and opening of the new Patrick Henry K-8 School, and finalize plans for a new school in the western part of our city.
Our schools are the heart of the community and very special places. Each one is representative of our richly diverse Alexandria community and residents. Our students hail from more than 80 different countries and speak more than 60 different languages. Our diversity literally brings the world into our classrooms and provides limitless opportunities to learn from each other.
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.
Students are at the heart of all that we do. That is why all our planning must be looked at through the lens of whether it will benefit students. We must ensure that our students are well, healthy and able to learn. One way to do that is with classrooms that have lots of natural light and enough room for our rapidly growing student population. We also know that a good teacher in every classroom is critical. That is why we strive to recruit and retain an exemplary staff.
ACPS is fortunate to have a highly active community that engages with our students, staff and schools as volunteers, advisory group members, members of parent teacher associations and booster clubs and as participants in community meetings and forums. We also partner with more than 100 community groups and organizations that help us toward our goal of success for all our students. Community engagement, from supporting children in after-school tutorial programs, volunteering as a mentor or participating in any of our many volunteer and partnership opportunities, is essential to our schools. Whether you have children in our schools or not, I encourage you to get involved. Your involvement is an investment in the future of our children.
I am so honored to be the interim superintendent while the School Board carries out its search for the next superintendent. The majority of my 40-year career as an educator was spent in Alexandria City Public Schools as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and associate superintendent for curriculum and instruction. I’ve worked with students, families and organizations throughout Alexandria and I’m delighted to return for this opportunity.
I invite you to stay up to date on our exciting year by signing up to receive our weekly e-mail newsletter via ACPS Express at www.acpsk12.org/news or following us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/acpsk12 or on Twitter @ACPSk12. We look forward to partnering with you to ensure that every student succeeds!