ALEXANDRIA, VA–On Tuesday, March 1, before President Biden delivered his State of the Union address, ACHS Superintendent Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. delivered the first ever State of the Schools address.
At 6:30pm, Dr. Hutchings delivered the address to ACPS students, staff, parents, and community partners at Alexandria City High School’s King Street campus. The address expressed details of the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan Equity for All.
This strategic plan “creates a shared mission, vision, and core values across all staff. It confirms specific priorities and ensures alignment amongst school members. It provides a path for the removal of barriers to address long-standing inequities,” according to Dr. Hutchings.
In other words, the strategic plan is a “roadmap” or “playbook” to overcome the challenges introduced to students, staff, family, and faculty alike by the pandemic two years ago, challenges which include social and emotional learning challenges, online learning challenges, accessibility to online learning resources, literacy in grades K through 4, and math recovery.
The strategic plan sets goals to overcome these challenges. Dr. Hutchings mentioned some specific strategies to achieve these goals, like summer equity learning for leaders, creating established protocol to ensure consistency throughout curriculum, hosting creative, dynamic, and diversity focused events to recruit and retain staff, and strengthening partnerships with local entities, like Virginia Tech and other universities, to increase resources like applicants, funds, technology, and early college programs.
“These are exciting yet challenging times,” Dr. Hutchings stated. “We have made progress, yet are mindful there is still work to be done. How students have shown resilience.”
Some of those students had the opportunity to ask questions directly to Dr. Hutchings. Many addressed the status of masks; others addressed issues like the accessibility and understanding of technology; while others questioned representation of minority student groups.
Once again, Dr. Hutchings referred to the strategic plan to answer each of these questions. The plan is extensive, thorough, and has proven effective, with positive increases in each area of focus.
“Thanks to our communications team for organizing this first State of the Schools in Alexandria. We want this to be a continued legacy and something we do every year, a tradition of sorts. We enjoyed sharing our progress for 2021-2022,” Dr. Hutchings concluded.
For more information and statistics on the 2020-2025 Equity for All Strategic Plan, visit https://www.acps.k12.va.us/2025; for information on the 2021-2022 areas of focus, visit https://www.acps.k12.va.us/domain/1351.