The High School Project: Inspiring A Future for Alexandria
The High School Project aims not only to resolve the issues around growing student enrollment and space at the high school, but it will also attempt to redefine the high school experience for future generations of Alexandrians, thereby delivering a future for Alexandria.
As student enrollment continues to increase, ACPS is aware that we need to resolve the capacity issues at the high school level in order to continue to be able to offer a high quality education for every student who walks through our doors.
Rather than simply looking at buildings, space and land acquisitions, we are choosing to see this as an opportunity to assess the skills that our students will need to be successful in the future. We want to focus on which programs to offer in order to fulfill those needs in the long-run.
If we do this successfully, we will be not only redefining the high school experience for ACPS, but also delivering a direction for Alexandria. Our students are the future; their experiences and skills will ultimately define our city.
This project will include a focus on the future business needs of Alexandria, Northern Virginia and the D.C. metro area — as well as the United States — and create programming aligned with those future needs. Our multifaceted issues may call for multiple solutions. Any solution is also likely to involve public-private partnerships — the direction in which public education is heading. This high school project must stand the test of time.
During Phase I, we held a series of focus groups featuring students, business leaders, colleges and universities, ACPS families and staff, as well as the wider community. At the same time, ACPS staff and Alexandria City stakeholders worked with consultants who combined research with the results of this community engagement process. Three powerful themes emerged:
- Community Connected - people want the future high school program, culture and experience to be rooted in partnerships across our community.
- Diversity is a Strength - Alexandrians’ value access for all and want to integrate our differences into future programs.
- Experiential learning - students and the community want more hands-on learning experiences and internships.
The vision that emerged from this process resulted in a connected high school network or a multiple campus approach as the way to add capacity to Alexandria’s future high school that is adaptable, flexible and allows for significant growth in choice and opportunities for students.
In November, a new school board with four incumbents and five new members was elected. The decision was made to delay voting on continued planning for the CHSN approach for a few weeks to give the new Board time to meet. Then on January 24, Board Members agreed to set the second phase in motion for the CHSN.
As we move through Phase II, we continue to want your input. As we hold more meetings we strongly encourage all to attend.
Keep an eye on this website during Phase II for updates, meeting dates, documents, research and other information as we move through this process together.
In addition, you can receive updates through the following channels:
- Sign up to receive regular email updates in ACPS Express
- Attend a town hall meeting
- Connect with us on Facebook or Twitter in English, Spanish Arabic or Amharic
We are very excited about the opportunities this project brings, not just for ACPS but for our city as well. Thank you for getting involved!
Leading our community in a ‘What’s best for students’ conversation
Asking “What CAN it be?”
Making the connection between past and future
Aligning ACPS goals with city and region-wide aspirations