Project Updates

High Schoolers jumping
  • June 5, 2019 - Minnie Howard Lunch 

    On Wednesday, June 5, the Superintendent had lunch with more than 50 students at Minnie Howard to discuss the High School Project. Students were told that we are considering whether to have two high schools or expand T.C. Williams into a Connected High School Network, and it was explained that in either case 9-12 graders will learn together. The students were asked for their ideas, concerns and thoughts on the future of high school for Alexandria.

    Superintendent Lunch at Minnie Howard

    June 4, 2019 - High School Project Open House

    On Tuesday evening, June 4, the Superintendent held a Chat for the public on the High School Project at T.C. Williams. The topic: whether to develop a Connected High School Network at T.C. Williams or build a second high school for Alexandria. There was also an open house that provided factual information on the two options as well as how the education design team, site search and facilities are working together to find ways to expand capacity for secondary students while giving them more curriculum choices. Public feedback was encouraged through the use of comment cards.

    May 29, 2019 - T.C. Williams Lunch

    On May 29, the Superintendent had lunch with more than 50 students at T.C. Williams to discuss the High School Project.  Students were informed that we are considering two ways forward, one would keep one high school and expand it onto other campuses and the second option would create two distinct high schools. Students were also told that with either option, all students in grades 9-12 would be learning together.The students were invited to weigh in with their ideas, thoughts and concerns over having two high schools in Alexandria or expanding T.C. Williams into a connected high school network.

    May 23, 2019 - School Board Meeting

    On May 23, staff updated the School Board on The High School Project and detailed work that will run through the summer months. The Educational Design Team (EDT), responsible for developing course offerings, will soon meet for the first time and in the coming weeks, local business, community, and higher education leaders will be asked to join the conversation. At the same time, the team is engaging both the students and wider community to provide them with information about a T.C. Williams Connected High School Network as well as what it would take to build a second comprehensive high school in the city.

    May 20, 2019 - Meeting with Student Leadership

    On May 20, the Superintendent met with student leadership at T.C. Williams high school to discuss the High School Project. The students provided feedback and ideas on what they would like the future of high school to look like in Alexandria.

    April 25, 2019 - School Board Meeting 

    On April 25, the school board was brought up to date on the High School Project. Work on the High School Project going forward will continue with two main focuses – defining the programming and defining the construction/site requirements.  This update includes progress in the planning and outlines the Educational Design Team, Industry Advisory Boards and work going forward.

    Next Community Meeting - March 22, 2019

    The next chance to hear about the High School Project will be March 22nd. The Ethiopian & Eritrean Alliance for Education will hold a dinner and meeting at Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School. A traditional Ethiopian dinner will begin at 5:30 and the program and discussion starts at 6pm.

    Word Cloud for Ethiopian Meeting

    February 12, 2019 - Community Meeting at Francis C. Hammond Middle School

    The Family and Community Engagement team had coffee with Hammond parents to fill them in on the high school project plans and hear their ideas. Some of their thoughts are captured in the word cloud. Originally, this meeting was scheduled in January but was postponed due to weather. The discussion was led by our consultants, Stantec Architecture.

    Word Cloud

    February 21, 2019 - School Board Meeting 

    The Board was updated on the next steps in the High School Project, including an outline of the timeline to design programming and assessment of potential sites.

    February 21, 2019 - Announcement of Early College (EC) program 

    ACPS announced an innovative partnership with Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) to launch an Early College High School program for 400 students from T.C. Williams High School.

    January 24, 2019 - School Board Meeting

    At the January 24, 2019 School Board Meeting, Dr. Hutchings recommends that the School Board approve the connected high school network strategy to allow staff to continue to explore site and program options.

    January 18, 2019 - The High School Project Recommendation FAQ and Executive Summary

    See the The High School Project Recommendation Frequently Asked Questions, which explains the benefits of a connected high school network model and the importance of the Board's anticipated vote on January 24.

    See the Executive Summary (PDF) being provided to the School Board.

    January 17, 2019 - The High School Project Podcast Ep. 3: What the January 24 Vote Means for ACPS

    Dr. Hutchings makes his recommendation for a vote in favor of the connected high school network at the January 24, 2019 school board meeting. Listen to Episode 3 to understand what this means.

    rss Subscribe to The High School Project podcast to listen to updates on the project.

    January 16, 2019 - Upcoming School Board Community Meeting

    On January 24, the School Board is scheduled to vote on the superintendent’s recommendation for a connected high school campus model. They are hosting a final community session where you can come out to learn more and express your views about this proposal.

    School Board Community Meeting on the High School Project
    Wednesday, January 23, 2019
    7:30-8:30 p.m.
    Charles Houston Recreation Center
    901 Wythe St, Alexandria, Virginia 22314

    January 11, 2019 - Upcoming Community Meetings

    January 11, 2019 - High School Project Background

    To help the new School Board members — inducted on January 7 — make an informed decision on January 24, ACPS has collected all background research documents from the project into one place (PDF).

    January 10, 2019 - Dr. Hutchings Presents Recommendation for a "connected high school network"

    At the January 10, 2019 School Board Meeting, Dr. Hutchings presented his recommendation for a "connected high school network."

    January 7, 2019 - The High School Project Podcast Ep. 2: Is Alexandria ready for a "connected high school network"?

    This week Dr. Hutchings is recommending a "connected high school network" as the solution for the future of high school in Alexandria. Find out what this means and why it is recommended.

    rss Subscribe to The High School Project podcast to listen to updates on the project.

    December 20, 2018 - School Board Meeting: Cost Estimates and Site Discussion

    December 13, 2018 - Op Ed and Poll in Alexandria Times

    Read Dr. Hutchings' op ed article in the Alexandria Times, "The future of the high school should be more than a fleeting holiday wish." (PDF).

    Vote in the Poll of the Week, which asks, "What should the school board's priority be when it votes on the T.C. Williams capacity issue?" We are interested in the results and encourage you to vote.

    December 10, 2018 - Meeting with Minnie Howard Staff

    Superintendent Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. met with Minnie Howard staff to discuss the proposed educational vision and strategy for The High School Project.

    Superintendent Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. meeting with Minnie Howard staff

    The Superintendent also met separately with teachers from the International Academy.

    Superintendent with International Academy

    December 6, 2018 - The High School Project: Update to Discover and Engage Phase

    Since the November 26 work session, the Superintendent and administrative staff have held two TC Williams staff conversations to obtain feedback and provide an update on the project status. Also, the administrative staff has conducted an evening community workshop, and met with students at Francis C. Hammond Middle School. Numerous community and school engagements at every level are being scheduled through January 2019. Discover more

    December 3, 2018 - Chief Operating Officer Mignon Anthony on The Kojo Nnamdi Amazon Roadshow

    Chief Operating Officer Mignon Anthony was invited to appear as a guest on the WAMU Kojo Nnamdi Roadshow on Amazon's New headquarters in Northern Virginia where she talked about The High School Project as an integral partner in the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus project.

    Discover more.

    The edited roadshow will air on Thursday December 6 on WAMU from 12 to 1 p.m.

    Chief Operating Officer Mignon Anthony on The Kojo Nnamdi Amazon Roadshow

    November 27, 2018 - Community Workshop

    Community WorkshopAround 30 parents, staff and community members attended a community workshop on The High School Project onNovember 27 at the King Street Campus of T.C. Williams High School. With the arrival of Amazon, and the announcement of the Virginia Tech partnership with ACPS to create opportunities as a result of the new Innovation Campus, this project just gets more and more exciting and this was an opportunity for community members to hear about where we are up to in the process, the new opportunities that are on the table, and design a model that they think would work for the future of the high school.

    Community Workshop

    November 27, 2018 - Dr. Hutchings on The Kojo Nnamdi Show

    Listen to Dr. Hutchings on The Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU 88.5 FM discussing the opportunities for future high school students, thanks to our partnership with Virginia Tech and the arrival of Amazon.

    Computing Sciences outreach program for high school students

    November 26, 2018 - School Board: The High School Project Work Session

    During the work session, the School Board made a decison to move the date of the vote on the educational vision for The High Schoo Project to January 24, 2019. They expressed concern that the December 6, 2018 date on which the vote was scheduled was too soon to vote on such an important decision. They also felt that the decision would be best made by the new School Board, which is sworn in on January 7, as they would be the Board to carry the project forward.

    November 20, 2018 – Meeting with staff from T.C. Williams High School, King Street Campus

    Superintendent Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. discussed the research and options on the table that were previously presented to the School Board with T.C. staff. Staff wanted to ensure the high school maintains diversity in any future academic programming; separate campuses will not mean increased alienation; we can continue to offer the variety of options that we currently offer; the costs associated with smaller campuses would not be prohibitive; and we can continue to recruit good staff for any campus or academy.

    Dr. Hutchings meeting with TC staff

    November 13, 2018 - Partnership with Virginia Tech's Innovation Campus

    ACPS is proud to be part of a historic partnership with Virginia Tech, as part of the deal to bring Amazon’s new headquarters to Northern Virginia. The partnership with Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus will increase investment in the tech-talent pipeline and give ACPS access to new resources related to computer science education. These resources include ongoing professional development for current and future teachers, high-quality curriculum and related resources, summer and after-school programming for students, and meaningful career exposure and work-based learning opportunities in high-demand fields. Read more.

    Virginia Tech announcement

    November 8, 2018 - Presentation to the School Board

    See the Memo (PDF) and Presentation (PDF) to the School Board on November 8, 2018. Watch the video of the presentation and discussion.

    School Board meeting

    November 5, 2018 - The High School Project Podcast Ep. 1

    rss Subscribe to The High School Project podcast to listen to updates on the project.

    October 9th & 10th, 2018 - Town Hall Meetings

    On Tuesday, October 9 and Wednesday, October 10, community members and parents were invited to attend four town hall listening sessions to give input around their vision for the skills needed in the future high school graduate.

    Presentation (PDF)

    Town Hall Meeting word cloud

    September 27th & October 3rd, 2018 - Business and Higher Education Focus Groups

    On Thursday, September 27 and Wednesday, October 3, business leaders and members of higher education institutions gathered at in Old Town to take part in two focus groups around their vision for the future of the high school, the future needs of the workforce and the skills they wanted to see in future graduates.

    Here's what they had to say.

    Word cloud

    September 17, 2018 - High School Staff Feedback

    On September 17, staff from T.C. Williams High School took part in five separate sessions, including a survey around their hopes and fears and their vision for the future high school. The superintendent met staff to discuss their collective vision drawn from this survey data on November 1.

    Here is what staff had to say.

    High School Staff Feedback (PDF)

    Word cloud image

    September 13, 2018 - Dr. Hutchings on The Kojo Nnamdi Show

    Kojo checks in with the school district’s new superintendent –– an Alexandria native and T.C. Williams graduate –– to discuss his approach.

    Dr. Hutchings on The Kojo Nnamdi Show

    August 14, 2018 - Student Focus Groups

    On Tuesday, August 14, 61 students from T.C. Williams High School and other high schools in Alexandria took part in five focus groups around their vision for the future of the high school.

    Here's what they had to say.

    August Word cloud image

    We will be following up with these students at two more focus groups between now and January to see if we are meeting their expectations.

    August 13, 2018 - Public Launch

    On Monday, August 13, 2018, The High School Project: Inspiring a Future for Alexandria was launched publicly.
    View the announcement.

    July 2018 - Staff Visioning Session

    The High School Project: Inspiring a Future for Alexandria kicked off in July 2018 with a visioning session with principals and administrators. It included drawing up guiding principles for The High School Project and brainstorming the What, Why and What Could Be.

    Work Session Notes