Superintendent of Schools
- The Superintendent’s Mission
- About Melanie Kay-Wyatt, ED.D
- Submit a Question to the Superintendent
- ACPS Organizational Chart
The superintendent is the chief executive officer for the school division. The ACPS superintendent's mission is to ensure that:
- Every child in every classroom receives the highest quality education and instruction.
- Safe and secure learning and working environments are available for all students and employees.
- The Alexandria City Public School system attracts and retains the best possible employees.
- All employees are properly trained through ongoing staff and professional development to stay informed of current educational trends and to develop new skills in their areas of expertise.
- State of the art technology is readily accessible to all students and staff.
- Parent and community involvement in the educational process of our students is properly and continuously promoted and encouraged.
- All Alexandria City Public Schools are fully accredited.
Dr. Melanie Kay-Wyatt is a native of Virginia whose educational and professional background spans across a wide spectrum of experiences in the teaching and learning field and in a variety of roles and settings throughout the Commonwealth. On May 4, 2023, the School Board announced that Dr. Melanie Kay-Wyatt will serve as the new permanent superintendent for Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS), effective July 1, 2023. This followed the Alexandria City School Board’s appointment of Kay-Wyatt as the interim superintendent on July 28, 2022 which became effective Sept. 1, 2022.
This appointment followed her previous roles at Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS). On July 1, 2021, Kay-Wyatt began her journey at ACPS as the executive director for human resources of Alexandria City Public Schools where she quickly moved up the ranks, in recognition of her hard work and commitment to those she serves, with her appointment as Chief of Human Resources in just one year since starting at ACPS in 2021. Her excellent organizational, communication and customer service skills have successfully served the ACPS community in its work aligning School Board priorities and ACPS’ mission and vision to the 2025 Strategic Plan: Equity for All. Kay-Wyatt’s interdepartmental collaboration as well as with external stakeholders to support instruction and staffing feasibility for all schools has enabled the school system to ensure our students’ continued learning, especially throughout the challenging times presented by the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic.
Kay-Wyatt holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Mary Washington College, a master’s in science in education from Old Dominion University in addition to a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Mary Washington. Kay-Wyatt’s doctorate from Virginia Commonwealth University centered on an evaluation of early literacy groups and she has researched Title I schoolwide and targeted assistance programs’ impact on schools.
As an experienced educator and administrator, Kay-Wyatt started her career as a special education teacher in Culpeper Middle School and then went on to Fredericksburg, Va., where she later advanced to serve first as a middle school assistant principal followed by a principalship at Walker-Grant Middle School. She also has experience as a professor at the College of William & Mary and Shenandoah University where she provided instruction on classroom management techniques and human resource leadership with a focus on school improvement.
Kay-Wyatt’s strong administrative skills were sharply honed during her tenure as the director of human resources for Spotsylvania County Public Schools along with her presidency and as a former Board chair of the international education membership organization, ASCD. In her human resources director role in Spotsylvania, she successfully developed the Plan Implementation of the Future Educators Academy and supported Dual Enrollment programs, in addition to overseeing the recruitment and retention of highly effective licensed and support employees. Kay-Wyatt has also led strategic reorganizations of budget and staffing and demonstrated a working knowledge of financial and business acumen to accomplish strategic priorities at ASCD.
In all her years of public education service, Kay-Wyatt has exhibited a deep, clear understanding of student and staff needs as well as an enormous dedication to working closely with internal stakeholders, other school divisions, and outside agencies to promote comprehensive plans and policies that equitably address divisionwide needs. These qualities will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the ACPS community of students, families and staff as she leads the school division in her newly appointed role of permanent superintendent.
Kay-Wyatt is also the proud mom of two adult daughters.
Get in touch with ACPS Interim Superintendent Melanie Kay-Wyatt, ED.D
Submit questions or comments pertinent to ACPS to the superintendent using the form below. If you include your return email address, you can expect a reply by email, usually within two business days. You may also call the Superintendent's Office at 703-619-8001.
- Message to Families on Recent Bomb Threats
- Joint Statement on Policies Affecting Transgender Students
Dec. 5, 2023
Dear ACPS Families,
I am writing to ask Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) families for your help in addressing a recent uptick our school division has experienced with bomb threats made against our schools. We recognize that this is happening in school divisions nationwide, and the disruption to the school day and to peace of mind poses a concern about the impact these threats can have on our students’ learning and well-being and our staff.
We ask that families help us spread the message in the community and please talk to their students about the harm that a bomb threat–whether real or false–can potentially have on the social-emotional well-being and the academic success of all students. It is going to take a community approach to help all understand how these bomb threats disrupt overall school operations and may exacerbate existing mental health challenges that we are working to address with our students. In addition, the use of school and police resources to investigate such matters is costly for Alexandria City taxpayers. We are keenly focused on having a safe, inclusive and welcoming learning environment for all, and this is undermined by any threat made to the safety and security of our schools, staff and students.
At ACPS, we take every threat seriously. Our safety and security team works closely with the Alexandria Police Department (APD) to review the nature of bomb threats and to plan the appropriate response. APD uses various methods to investigate the credibility and risk of each threat we receive. Our schools only resume normal operations and permit students and staff to return to the building upon receiving an all-clear from APD. While investigations and disciplinary proceedings may take place outside of public view, please be assured that anyone involved with a bomb threat to a school will face arrest with criminal charges. A bomb threat is a Class 5 felony (statute 18:2-83) in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
This Thursday, I am sharing a video message with all secondary students that will be broadcast in our middle and high school classes. I also want our students to hear this message on the importance of complying with the law, understanding the impact of these threats and also ask for their cooperation in helping to keep our schools safe and secure. The ACPS anonymous reporting system is available online to receive tips in multiple languages and is open to all students, staff, families and community members to share any safety and security concerns related to a school, student or staff.
Thank you for your partnership in keeping our schools the safe and nurturing learning environments that we all want for our students, staff and families.
Dr. Melanie Kay-Wyatt
Dear ACPS Students, Staff and Families,
Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) prides itself on its diversity and a community that values our work to keep equity at the heart of all decision making. To that end, we were dismayed to learn last week that Governor Youngkin’s administration reintroduced “model policies” affecting transgender students. Since these policies were shared, we have heard from many community members expressing their disappointment and concern for student well-being as we embark on a new school year.
As we did last September, when a draft version of these policies was introduced, we want to reaffirm our commitment to all students, staff and families, including our LGBTQIA+ community, that ACPS will continue to both implement and develop gender affirming policies for all ACPS students. As a School Board and division, we stand by our mission, vision and core values, as outlined in our Strategic Plan: Equity for All, to support all students and staff, in particular our core value of ensuring that we provide a welcoming environment for everyone in our school community.
This commitment has long been a bedrock for all of our work. In December 1996 the Alexandria City School Board initially adopted a policy of nondiscrimination in education. Since 2013, the nondiscrimination policy has recognized gender identity and gender expression as protected classes for equal educational opportunities. School Board Policy JB: Nondiscrimination in Education protects students from discrimination due to gender expression, gender identity, sexual harassment and transgender status.
Our School Board will be discussing these newly released policies as we begin the new school year. Staff is currently reviewing how the 2023 guidance from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) on transgender students differs from the model policies introduced in September 2022. ACPS will continue to ensure that its policies are in alignment with the ACPS Strategic Plan while also complying with federal and state laws.
Our school division is dedicated to the fulfillment of our ACPS 2025 Strategic Plan: Equity for All, which was adopted by the School Board in June 2020. We intend to continue building upon the gains we have accomplished as a school division to place equity at the heart of our work. We will continue to review and develop all policies with an equity lens.
We care about the mental health and well-being of everyone in our community. There are supports in place for our students with the ACPS Department of Student Services and Equity, as well as the Employee Assistance Program for staff. We urge anyone who needs help to please reach out. Once school begins, students can always reach out to a counselor, administrator or any trusted adult in ACPS if they are in need of help. Additionally, our city has the Alexandria LGBTQIA+ Task Force; more information can be found at www.alexandriava.gov/LGBTQ.
Our students can also reach the Crisis Text Line and CrisisLink at any time of the day or night, seven days a week, through the contacts below:
- Text: CONNECT to 85511
- Call CrisisLink: 703-527-4077
- Text: HOME to 741741
Please know that ACPS is here to support our school community. For families who have any additional questions or concerns, please reach out to your child’s school or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team will continue to share any new updates with the ACPS community.
Dr. Melanie Kay-Wyatt
Superintendent of Schools
Dr. Michelle Rief
Alexandria City School Board Chair