On Monday morning, the Virginia Department of Education announced that all ACPS schools met the state benchmark for the first time since the accreditation system first began in 1999. Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 IB School will be fully accredited for the first time since 2008. T.C. Williams High School, which has missed accreditation benchmarks in recent years, will also now be fully accredited.
“This kind of success doesn’t happen by chance, nor does it happen overnight. It happens through planning, preparation and dedication for all students to experience success regardless of their life circumstances. It has taken the hard work and commitment of six superintendents and many staff over the course of 20 years to get ACPS to where it is today. We are delighted to see the progress of our work validated. This will benefit our entire Alexandria community,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.
The accreditation results are based on a new set of standards, new state accountability system introduced in 2018, which measures student growth over the course of a school year as well as overall achievement.
While the accreditation results are positive for ACPS, the school division is also aware that it still has much work to do to ensure all students are engaged in a high-quality education. Reading in particular will be a key focus area for ACPS this school year. ACPS continues to see achievement gaps within math and English among Hispanic students, Black students, economically disadvantaged students and students with disabilities.
This past school year, ACPS has been implementing improvement planning for all schools, with a particular focus on math. This has included analysis of data in quarterly meetings, monthly professional learning, and intensive equity training for instructional leaders to ensure the needs of all students are being met.
ACPS is currently focused on tackling inequities within the school division that can have an impact on the academic outcomes.
"Alexandria's accomplishment is especially noteworthy given how far the division has come. …We have followed the growth trajectory in Alexandria for the past few years with excitement and know it has taken the entire community and many partners to make this moment of celebration possible," said Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. James Lane.
Superintendent Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. was joined for the accreditation announcement by six former superintendents, all of whom contributed to today’s results: Superintendent Dr. Herb Berg (1995-2001), Superintendent Rebecca Perry (2001-2008), Superintendent Dr. Morton Sherman (2008-2013), Superintendent Dr. Alvin Crawley (2013-2017) and Interim Superintendent Dr. Lois Berlin (2017-2018).