Alexandria City Public Schools Closed Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Schools Closing for ‘International Women’s Day’ or ‘A Day Without Women’

Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) announced Monday that all schools will be closed on Wednesday, March 8, 2017 due to the observance of ‘International Women’s Day’ or ‘A Day Without Women’.

There is a large strike planned for March 8 and 300 ACPS staff members have requested Wednesday off to coincide with this, so ACPS decided to close for the day. The day will be a “teacher work day for ACPS staff” even though teachers are taking the day off.


Lyles Crouch Traditional Academy in Alexandria, Virginia

What many people don’t realize is that, not that long ago, Lyles Crouch was struggling with accreditation issues much like what Jefferson Houston is going through recently.

Via Core Knowledge Foundation

Students and teachers at Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy have something to celebrate. For this public school in Alexandria, Virginia—also a Core Knowledge School of Distinction—the latest State Report Card results put the school ahead of all other elementary schools in its district and overall ahead of the state as well.

The Report Card provides test score data at three levels: state, district (school-division), and school. On the 2015-2016 Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) tests, 95% of Lyles-Crouch students passed in Reading, compared to 73% in the district and 80% across the state. In Mathematics, 92% of Lyles-Crouch students passed, compared to 68% in the district and 80% across the state. The “passing” percentage includes students who scored at the Proficient or Advanced levels on the SOL tests. (For results by grade level, see Tables 1 and 2 (PDF).)

2015-2016 VA SOL: District, State, School Comparison (All Students)

2015-2016 VA SOL: District, State, School Comparison (All Students)

From 2014-2015 to 2015-2016, the passing percentage for Lyles-Crouch students overall is up six percentage points in both Reading and Mathematics. (See Table 3 (PDF)) Lyles-Crouch students also outperformed both the district and state in the SOL tests of History and Science, administered in grade 5. (See Table 4 (PDF))

Lyles-Crouch Elementary currently enrolls 438 students, with 26% eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, 10% receiving Special Education services, and 10% English Language Learners. One hundred percent of Lyles-Crouch students participated in the 2015-2016 SOL testing. Dr. Patricia Zissios, principal of Lyles-Crouch, reports that “we saw the largest gains with the Special Education students in Language Arts—from 53% [passing] in 2014-2015 to 81% in 2015-2016. We met all of our benchmarks and are again fully accredited.”

For Economically Disadvantaged students (defined by the state as eligible for free or reduced-price lunch or Medicaid), the data show Lyles-Crouch significantly outperforming both the district and the state. The Virginia Department of Education also disaggregates performance data for three student subgroups categorized as Proficiency Gap Groups. In all three Gap Groups, Lyles-Crouch students have higher passing percentages than both the district and state in Reading and Mathematics. (See Table 5 (PDF))

Congratulations to everyone at Lyles-Crouch for the hard work and outstanding performance!

John Adams Elementary School

(Image credit: ACPS)

John Adams closing early due to power issues Friday morning

UPDATE (10:40 AM): Update from ACPS
“Students can be picked up from the lobby of William Ramsay Elementary School after 11 a.m. today. No student will be dismissed during the regular school day without a parent or guardian present to pick them up. Please call Central Office on 703-619-8003 or see the website for further information, as the phone lines are down at John Adams.”

Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) John Adams Elementary will be closed at 10:00 AM TODAY due to power issues in the area which are affecting the school.


ACPS has been in touch with Dominion Power and the outage will not be fixed until later today. There is currently no air conditioning or means to prepare food in the building. ACPS is asking that where possible parents or guardians arrive at the school before 10 a.m. to pick up their child directly from the classroom. Where it is not possible to pick up a student, students may return home by bus, provided their parent or guardian has been contacted in advance and has given permission. All students need to be met by a parent or guardian off the bus. No student will be allowed off the bus unless there is someone to meet them. Students who are not able to return home will be taken to Ramsay Elementary School on Sanger Avenue. Please call Central Office on 703-619-8003 or see the website  for further information as the phone lines are also down at John Adams.

Via ACPSTV, a good roundup from the first day of school in Alexandria City Public Schools that included Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe visiting the International Academy at T. C. Williams High School yesterday (link) to help launch the 2016-2017 school year. Video includes the Governor’s remarks at T.C. Williams High School.

Matthew Maury Elementary School in Alexandria, Virginia

Join More Than 150 Volunteers This Weekend at Maury Elementary

National Nonprofit REAL School Gardens Launches in Alexandria

On September 10th, in a single day, more than 150 teachers, students, and community volunteers will work side-by-side to create a REAL school garden, an outdoor classroom, at Matthew Maury Elementary in Alexandria. Soon, Maury students will have a dynamic new learning laboratory where they can receive the experiential hands-on learning they need to succeed in school and in life. Leidos, a global science and technology solutions company, has stepped forward to provide both funding and the volunteers for the project as part of its commitment to support STEM education. This will be the fifth REAL school garden constructed in the Mid-Atlantic, and the first in Virginia.

REAL School Gardens is a national nonprofit that builds learning gardens in elementary schools and then spends three years training teachers to use them to improve academics. Partner schools have seen 12-15% increases in standardized test scores, especially in Science. The REAL School Gardens Teacher Training Program has also been proven to boost teacher effectiveness and job-satisfaction, and improve student engagement in their lessons.

This REAL school garden is one of the first components of the Maury Schoolyard Initiative, a multi-year, multi-phase renovation project to rehabilitate the school’s outdoor space, which has been plagued with drainage and runoff issues for years. To help fix those issues and design the new space, back in February, dozens of parents, teachers, administrators, and students came together to discuss past issues and share ideas on how to tailor the outdoor classroom to teachers’ and students’ needs.

Now that the design is finalized, REAL School Gardens is kicking things off with a “Big Dig” event, a fun, satisfying, and highly-visual day of community service. Construction is now underway at the site.

The first “Big Dig” in Virginia will be held:

Where: Matthew Maury Elementary, located at 600 Russell Rd, Alexandria, VA 22301
When: Saturday, September 10th, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

If you want to help with the ‘Big Dig’, RSVP to Zoe Gossett.

Maury 'Big Dig' invite (more…)

Taste of Del Ray 2015

Meet Michael Suppa – Master Teacher at ACPS

Via Del Ray Vibe, John Gagain, Jr. speaks with Michael Suppa, an award-winning teacher at Alexandria City Public Schools who discusses a BIG turning point in his life.

John runs a fantastic podcast. Do you subscribe? I do! Be sure to subscribe on iTunes to the podcast at this link.

Find out more about Del Ray Vibe at this link.

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