2020-21 Strategic Plan Development

Under the leadership of Dr. Patrick McLaughlin, Chief of Strategic Planning, Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) has developed its new strategic plan, Learning for All. 

The first step in the development of the strategic plan was to create a new division-wide Portrait of a Learner. The Portrait of a Learner, once approved, acted as a guide in creating the division’s strategic plan, which will ensure that schools engage with and meet the needs of all students while preparing them with the knowledge and skills they need to thrive in a complex and rapidly-changing world.

Ultimately, Learning for All is a collective, local vision that articulates our community’s hopes for ALL of our students and enables the division to provide our students with an educational experience that prepares them to be lifelong learners and to make positive contributions to society, both while they are our students and in the future.

Portrait Design Team

With the help of Battelle for Kids, a national not-for-profit that partners with school divisions in their strategic planning efforts, ACPS met virtually over five meetings in September and October with a Portrait Design Team, including 112 community members who reflect a wide range of perspectives about future school division goals and priorities.

The Portrait Design Team was identified based upon the wide range of experiences, professional expertise, and personal identities of individual members. Many team members were teachers, support staff, and principals. Also represented were students, alumni and parents, as well as business leaders, community service organizations, and University of Virginia employees. The team met regularly to share their input on how the division can best design a Portrait based on several dimensions, such as:

  • The community’s hopes and aspirations for its young people;
  • The skills and habits of mind that children need for success;
  • The strategic plan’s impact on student learning experiences; and
  • The need for equitable access to learning resources for all students.

In alignment with the ACPS Anti-Racism Policy, the Portrait Design Team included points of view that have often been underrepresented in such efforts and brings together an intersectional group representing each of our students in a meaningful way. It also reflected the division’s mission of establishing a community of learners and learning, through relationships, relevance and rigor.

Design Team Schedule

The Portrait Design Team met virtually on five occasions, with a two-part kickoff meeting. In order to capture those efforts for anyone who was unable to join or is interested in understanding the process further, ACPS recorded those meetings in collaboration with Battelle and has made them publicly available to all shareholders. 

View the Design Team meeting summaries and video recordings »


Community Forums

Superintendent Matthew Haas and Chief of Strategic Planning Patrick McLaughlin facilitated virtual discussions, which were open for all, to gain input from the community regarding potential mitigating factors like changes to the school calendar and summer school options. 

  • Community Forum #1: November 17, 2020 | 6 to 7 p.m.
  • Community Forum #2: November 19, 2020 | 6 to 7 p.m.

View the Community Forum meeting summaries and video recordings »  

Community Survey: Portrait Competencies

The Portrait of a Learner is meant to be a collective vision that articulates our entire community’s aspirations for all of our students. We wanted our Portrait to be developed based on a local perspective, but with an eye toward the globalized society in which our students will live and work in the future.

In alignment with our Anti-Racism Policy, we collaborated with a broad range of community members representing diverse personal identities, professional expertise, and life experiences. Our primary objective was to provide our students with an educational experience that prepares them to be lifelong learners and to make positive contributions both today and tomorrow. In order to gather this feedback, we collected survey results in December. View the results here:

Click here to View Survey Results


The competencies adopted in our Portrait of a Learner will become focus areas that we develop in students over the course of their time with us from kindergarten through graduation. These eight rose to the top over months of working on a draft of the Portrait collaboratively with a diverse group of Albemarle County community members.

Strategic Plan Vetting/Writing Team

Beginning in January 2021, the Strategic Plan Vetting/Writing Team, made up of an intersectional group of ACPS staff, spent six weeks meeting. This team’s objective was to serve as a primary and dedicated deliberative body that reacts to and informs drafting language of ACPS’s unfolding strategic plan.

The scope of the Vetting/Writing Team’s work was to vet Goals, Objectives, and Strategies of the strategic plan. This team acted as gatekeepers for this work, and is meant to ensure our work is aligned with our existing division priorities, such as our Anti-Racism Policy.

Community Focus Groups

In May of 2021, ACPS held Community Focus Group meetings, open to all, which gave members of the ACPS community the opportunity to review a draft of the strategic plan and to give input to ACPS staff. Additionally, the Office of Strategic Planning, in partnership with Battelle for Kids, launched a survey to gather community feedback on a draft of the division's new strategic plan.

» Find the results of the survey here

Input from both the Community Focus Group meetings and the survey guided revisions to the strategic plan draft prior to submission to the School Board. 

The School Board approved the strategic plan at its July 8, 2021 meeting.