Superintendent's Welcome Letter
Welcome ACPS Community,
The start of each school year is always such an exciting time because of the positive energy our students, staff, parents and community members bring. It's a time when we collectively pour our thoughts and actions into ensuring our children are prepared to succeed.
Every ACPS staff member from the teachers and administrators, to staff who serve meals and those who maintain our facilities and fleets have been working hard for the opening of the new school year. We've all set very high expectations and made plans so that every ACPS student will enjoy a rigorous and relevant education.
This year, by virtue of our entire community's commitment to academic success, your children are attending a 2012 Magna Award-winning division. The National School Board Association and American School Board Journal bestowed this honor upon ACPS in recognition of the strategic plan the School Board and community co-created to guide the direction of the school division. You can be certain we take the honor as a commission to continually raise the bar and set the standards of the education our children receive. Visit http://www.acps.k12.va.us/board/strategic-plan/ to read the plan we created together.
We're also entering new territory now that Virginia has received a waiver from some of the requirements of the No Child Left Behind legislation. Gone are the terms you may be used to hearing, such as "School Choice" and "Adequate Yearly Progress." It's a new era. Although the law had been praised for holding schools more accountable, your teachers can attest that it placed a heavy focus on test results that, within the confines of a school day, made fundamental changes to the way instruction and other supports were delivered. The state has established new benchmarks that we believe are right on target for determining academic achievement of Virginia's students. You'll hear more from us in the coming weeks about what this means for ACPS.
Our commitment to our community is to serve and care about each and every student and to do all we can to ensure achievement.
Students, it matters to us that you also possess character and integrity and have help finding your life's purpose within our schools. We know that each of you will someday graduate and leave us. Consider it our duty that you move on with the confidence and preparation needed to be productive in college, your career and your community.
Parents, your children are going back to school, but so are you. Although you won't need a pencil pack or a backpack, you are an integral part of their success. We need you on our team, working with teachers, giving us feedback and making sure your children comes to school each day ready to work hard. We can't do this without you. It is, in fact, your interest and enthusiasm that will most inspire our students to do their best. And, ultimately your guidance and nurturing will help them develop a lifelong love of learning. Our new Family and Community Engagement (FACE) Center is available to you and offers workshops, activities and resources to help keep you engaged in student learning. Visit http://www.acps.k12.va.us/face-centers/ to learn more, or call 703-845-5314.
The new academic year brings many rewards, as well as many challenges. New friends to meet, new things to learn; exciting technologies and service-learning opportunities and higher academic goals. We're ready to take off! Thank you all for your continued support and for entrusting the education of your children to us.
All the best in the new school year,
Dr. Morton Sherman Superintendent of Schools