Alexandria, Va. — The Alexandria City Public School system issued a press statement this morning proudly exclaiming, “All schools within Alexandria City Public Schools are fully accredited for the 2019-20 academic year for the first time in 20 years.”
On Monday morning the Virginia Department of Education announced the results that all ACPS schools met the state benchmark for the first time since the accreditation system first began in 1999. Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 IB School will be fully accredited for the first time since 2008. T.C. Williams High School, which has missed accreditation benchmarks in recent years, will also now be fully accredited.
“This kind of success doesn’t happen by chance, nor does it happen overnight. It happens through planning, preparation and dedication for all students to experience success regardless of their life circumstances. It has taken the hard work and commitment of six superintendents and many staff over the course of 20 years to get ACPS to where it is today. We are delighted to see the progress of our work validated. This will benefit our entire Alexandria community,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.
The accreditation results are presented through the new state accountability system introduced in 2018 which measures student growth over the course of a school year as well as overall achievement.
While the accreditation results are positive for ACPS, the school division is also aware that it still has much work to do to ensure all students are engaged in a high quality education. Reading in particular will be a key focus area for ACPS this school year. Although achievement gaps have narrowed, ACPS continues to see achievement gaps within math and English among Hispanic students, Black students, economically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities.
This past school year, ACPS has been deliberate and intentional about developing and implementing improvement planning for all schools, with a particular focus on math. This has included analysis of data in quarterly meetings, monthly professional learning, and intensive equity training for instructional leaders to ensure the needs of all students are being met.
ACPS is currently focused on tackling inequities within the school division that can have an impact on the academic outcomes that students achieve. ACPS will continue to work towards removing barriers for students and providing them with the necessary supports and enrichment to achieve within ACPS and beyond.
“Congratulations to all of the students, parents, staff, teachers, and leaders in Alexandria City Public Schools on meeting and exceeding the commonwealth’s accreditation standards in every school for the first time. Alexandria’s accomplishment is especially noteworthy given how far the division has come. The journey to accreditation has been strategic due to a great team of teachers, educators, and leaders who have an equitable and innovative focus on every child. We have followed the growth trajectory in Alexandria for the past few years with excitement and know it has taken the entire community and many partners to make this moment of celebration possible,” said Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. James Lane.