ACPS Exploring New High School Approach to Resolve Capacity Issues

ACPS has launched an initiative to redefine the high school experience for future generations of Alexandria students in efforts to solve capacity issues.

The initiative, known as The High School Project: Inspiring a Future for Alexandria, takes a new approach to the capacity problem by looking at the desired end goal before finding physical solutions to ensure that goal is attained. It will assess the skills that students with Alexandria City Public Schools will need to be successful in the workforce in the future, and anticipate business needs, not just of a global workforce but that of Alexandria and the D.C. metro area. This initiative will create programming aligned with those skill sets and workforce needs.

The initiative has the potential to not only redefine the high school experience for ACPS, but also inspire a direction for Alexandria as a whole. Students from Alexandria City Public Schools are the future generation of the city and their experiences and skills will ultimately define the city.

“Student enrollment at ACPS continues to increase each year to the point where we need to take action. Rather than simply looking at buildings, space and land acquisitions in isolation, we are using this opportunity to assess the skills that our students will need to be successful in the workforce in the future and create programming aligned with those skill sets and workforce needs. Only then can we look at the physical spaces need to deliver those programs,” said Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr., Superintendent of Schools.

Over the course of the next two months, ACPS will be holding a series of focus groups featuring students, business leaders, colleges and universities, ACPS families, as well as the wider community. There will also be multiple ways for students to make their voices heard, including a video voice box, classroom and lunchtime discussion sessions, and online as well as physical graffiti boards.

In November, the results of these focus groups and the recommendations for programming that come from them will be presented to the Alexandria City School Board.

The initial phase of The High School Project: Inspiring a Future for Alexandria takes place between now and May 2019, and is divided into four parts: Discovery, Engagement, Define, and Evaluate. All aspects of the project are expected to be complete by 2023.