Alexandria, Va. — Alexandria City Public Schools will be holding a small private ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the official opening of the Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School this week.
The event this Thursday, August 30, will be for family and close personal friends of Ferdinand T. Day’s family. Members of the Day family will be invited to cut a ribbon and view the dedication wall about Ferdinand T. Day’s life and involvement in civil rights in Alexandria. The ribbon cutting event will be attended by Gwen Day-Fuller, Mr. Day’s daughter and her family. The small event will acknowledge the completion of the majority of the construction and the opening of the on-time opening of the building.
There will be an official public dedication ceremony on October 18 once students have had the chance to settle into the new school. The official public ceremony will involve student performances and musical celebrations.
“We are delighted to be celebrating the completion of this building in time for the opening of school next week, and to have Mr. Day’s family here with us to cut the ribbon. We look forward to celebrating this important event with the wider community in October,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.
The school, based at 1701 N. Beauregard Street, will be the first new school for Alexandria City Public Schools since 2000. The first four floors of the building will be used for the new 650-seat elementary school, while the top two floors will be used as office space by ACPS. The school will have outdoor play space, including a basketball court, on the roof of the adjacent parking garage at 1705 N. Beauregard Street, with a raised walkway to allow for easy student access.
As a STEM school, Ferdinand T. Day will offer an integrated curriculum emphasizing literacy, science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The school will grow students who are empowered learners, global collaborators, digital citizens, creative communicators, experiential inquirers and more.
In February 2018, the Alexandria City School Board voted to name the new west end school after Ferdinand T. Day. Day was a civil rights icon, education pioneer and trailblazer, who was appointed to the Alexandria City School Board just ten years after the Brown versus Board of Education decision. He became the first African-American to be elected chair of a public school board in Virginia. Day was highly active in working towards the desegregation of Alexandria and was named a Living Legend for his role in the integration of Alexandria schools and his work in obtaining rights and opportunities for African-Americans in the city.
Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School is the second school in ACPS to offer a STEM elementary program, following Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology. The STEM foundation will ensure that students are prepared for a range of STEM-related options at the secondary level and beyond.