Alexandria City Public Schools Announces Significant STEM Partnership with Virginia Tech

  • Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) is proud to announce a new STEM partnership with Virginia Tech that will bring world-class experts into its teaching and learning planning.

    The collaborative agreement aims to enhance science, technology, engineering and math opportunities that create potential pathways to higher education and support students as they identify their 21st Century career after graduation.

    ACPS will work alongside Virginia Tech teaching and learning experts to strengthen key areas of PreK-12 academics. These areas were identified through a year-long consulting process with the university.
    The four areas are:

    • Enhancing the science curriculum across elementary school years.
    • Providing support and professional learning to staff at Cora Kelly School for Math, Science and Technology and Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School to refine their STEM teaching. 
    • Middle School STEM exploration including alignment of after-school and summer programs.
    • The continuation of developing pathways from High School to college for low income, underrepresented and first-generation students.

    Both ACPS and Virginia Tech leadership share a goal of expanding college access to underrepresented, first-generation and low income students. 

    This alliance is a positive step to making that happen.

    A Memorandum of Agreement was signed last week by ACPS Superintendent,  Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr., President of Virginia Tech, Dr. Timothy Sands, Director of Virginia Cooperative Extension, Dr. Edwin Jones, and Virginia Tech Associate Vice Provost for College Access, Dr. Karen Eley Sanders.

    ACPS Superintendent of Schools Dr. Hutchings said, “This partnership increases equitable access to opportunities in the STEM field for children who may not have otherwise had those opportunities. Through it, our staff will be able to provide our students with even more engaging and creative learning experiences.”

    This official statement of partnership will guide ACPS and Virginia Tech in achieving mutual goals and objectives while also signaling a commitment to strengthening its long-standing relationship.

    “This agreement lays the foundation for a partnership that will be a model for PreK-12/ higher education collaboration in the commonwealth,”  Virginia Tech President Tim Sands said. “It’s an important step that will create pathways that increase college access and help expand the state’s tech talent pipeline. I’d like to thank Dr. Hutchings, and his team, for their commitment to these shared goals.”

    This latest venture comes eighteen months after Virginia Tech announced the development of a postgraduate Innovation Campus in Potomac Yard. Virginia Tech announced plans for the new campus as part of the state’s successful bid to attract Amazon to the region.

    The partnership with the Innovation Campus will increase investment in the tech-talent pipeline and give our students access to new resources related to computer science education. 

    These resources include ongoing professional development for current and future teachers, high-quality teaching and learning as well as related resources, summer and after-school programming for students, and meaningful career exploration and work-based learning opportunities in high-demand fields.

    Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus will be the global center of technology excellence and talent production and provide a place where highly-skilled students, world-class faculty, smart ideas, and forward-thinking companies will meet to propel the commonwealth and the region forward. 

    The university expects to break ground on the first academic building in 2021 and welcome students, faculty and staff into the completed building in fall 2024.