On Thursday, March 5, Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) unveiled the draft Strategic Plan which will be used to steer ACPS towards its goal of becoming a high-performing school division. The aim of the citizen-led plan is to create a learning environment in which every child can succeed.
The final 2020 plan, when approved, will replace the former five-year strategic plan that expires in June. The draft has been developed via the leadership and guidance of a 25- member committee comprised of representatives of various segments of the Alexandria community including business leaders, non-profit organizations, religious institutions, civic associations, teachers and parents.
The plan is significant in that it recognizes that the condition of school buildings and learning environments is the primary concern of the public, as shown in a survey conducted before work on the draft plan began. One of the key goals of the plan is to create optimal and equitable learning environments over the next five years.
The draft Strategic Plan also extends this concept of equity in facilities to all aspects of a child’s education. The academic excellence and educational equity goal states that every child will be academically successful and career ready.
“We take pride in our schools and we want to see our students become well-rounded critical thinkers with a real passion for learning. We want to make sure that we have a plan which is aligned with our goals as we move toward a high-achieving school division over the next five years,” said Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley.
The plan makes a clear commitment to early childhood education and care and has tied its goals closely to Alexandria’s Children and Youth Master Plan.
It also makes student health and wellness a priority. The draft says that ACPS will provide access and support that enables students to be physically, emotionally, and socially healthy and ready to learn.
“ACPS is a vital part of the fabric of Alexandria’s community and I am certain that all of Alexandria’s citizens want to see our school division reach its goals. As a community we are working to prioritize what ACPS needs to be good at. No school district can excel at everything. We must focus on the things that matter most,” said Stakeholder Committee co-chair Janet Eissenstat.
The current schedule calls for the initial draft plan to be discussed at two public forums in March and the public is also invited to give feedback on line.
During April and May, the committee will continue to craft the plan using input from the community forums, online data and several smaller presentations that will occur to groups including teachers, staff and Parent Teacher Associations. In June, the School Board will adopt the final plan. There is clear recognition in the draft plan that ACPS must be accountable to its stakeholders if it is to hold their trust.
The draft Strategic Plan incorporates six areas of ACPS. These are academic excellence and educational equity; family and community engagement; a superior staff; facilities and learning environment; health and wellness; and accountability.
The community is invited to review the draft Strategic Plan and provide feedback by visiting this link.