State of the Division

Through the annual State of the Division report, Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) provides information to the school board and the community about our successes and challenges from the previous school year. The report serves as an accountability tool, whereby the school division seeks to track our progress toward meeting our goals and to identify and improve our weaknesses. The report also informs our decision-making, whether we are evaluating an instructional method, shaping a systemic practice, or considering budget priorities.

Each year, ACPS shares the State of the Division report as another opportunity to engage our stakeholders, including our students and their families, our employees, and our community members. We consider stakeholder feedback to be an essential part of the continuous improvement process, and we encourage community members to contribute to our ongoing efforts to learn, adapt and grow through participation in school board meetings, community meetings, and online surveys.

Virginia School Quality Profiles​​

For every school division and school in the Commonwealth, the Virginia Department of Education provides a School Quality Profile containing information about student achievement, college and career readiness, program completion, school safety, teacher quality, and other topics of interest to parents and the general public.

Access the school-based School Quality Profiles for Albemarle County Public Schools »

State of the Division 2023

Learning For All: Year 2
A Greer student plays on the school's playground during recess.
Two Greer students chat while they wait for the rest of the students to fill in for an assembly.
A student gets lunch in the Woodbrook cafeteria on the first day of school.

Dear Members of our School Community:

It is my distinct pleasure to welcome our students, employees, families and all other members of our school community to our 2023 State of the Division Report.

As outlined in Policy AF, Commitment to Accomplishment, our School Board is responsible for delivering an annual report to the public detailing how well we are meeting the objectives of our strategic plan. This State of the Division report is a transparent view of both the accomplishments of our division this past school year and those areas in need of improvement.  It shapes the decisions, investments and actions that will determine how well we meet the commitments outlined in our strategic plan.

Our future will be measured by how well we prepare all students to be lifelong contributors and leaders in our diverse and dynamic society. 

Among the most significant developments this past year was the engagement of an outside education organization to conduct an Instructional Practices Audit.  The audit focused on reading and math in grades K-5 and on Algebra I at the secondary school level. Bellwether Education Partners provided five recommendations on how we can close academic achievement gaps between various student demographic groups, which will have the effect of raising the performance of all students.   

As we close out the books on the 2022-23 school year, here are three examples of sustained improvement for our schools:

  • During the 2022-23 school year, our newly implemented Human Resources Department partnered with Segal, internationally recognized consultants in the evaluation and improvements of Human Resources policies, practices and programs,  to develop compensation models that enable us to compete effectively for talent.  After designing a new competitive market that more accurately represents our competitors, our Human Resources’ compensation study team worked with Segal to create a phased approach to increasing compensation of employee groups that were being paid below market. This was completed in April 2023, positioning the division to increase employee retention rates and attract and hire the best qualified candidates.
  • Learning for All instructs staff to develop and implement employee recognition programs to highlight the dedication, hard work and engagement of our staff. This new recognition program selected teacher of the year and a classified staff member of the year for each of our 25 schools.  In April of 2023, the division recognized Jessica Eisenhauer, chair of the Monticello math department, as our 2023 Teacher of the Year and Pecolia Conner, a teaching assistant and Extended Day Enrichment Program Facilitator at Agnor-Hurt Elementary School as our Classified Staff Member of the Year.
  • In order to increase feedback from staff and create a formal line of direct, two-way communication, our division created the Employee Voice and Action Committee (EVAAC). Comprised of licensed and classified staff, this committee addresses issues related to working conditions.  Membership is open to all employees and meetings have been well-attended, purposeful and collaborative.  Employees have been thoughtful in providing their contributions to discussions and decisions around  policy and operations tied to student needs, workplace climate and performance improvement.   

This past year, however, also reminded us that much remains to be done:

  • Although on average we outperform the state on various achievement measures, there persists a wide gap among all students and students of color, special education students, students in our English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and economically disadvantaged students.  Work already is underway on how best to implement the five recommendations in the Bellwether report and this work will continue to have a high degree of urgency throughout the current school year. These recommendation include:
    • The organization and delivery of instruction around rigorous tasks that deeply engage students with challenging, standards-aligned content and demonstrate learning in authentic ways.
    • The development of a systematic approach to adult learning that continually improves instruction by combines workshop-based professional development, job-embedded coaching, and Professional Learning Communities (PLCs).
    • Investment in high-quality instructional materials to fill gaps in content, including a consistent math curriculum for Algebra 1 and middle grades, a comprehensive system of interventions, and a state-recommended literacy program.
    • Clarification of how division actions lead to student outcomes; articulate and communicate beliefs about both why and how each role within the division is designed to contribute to strengthening the instructional core.
    • Strengthen active engagement of  students, families, teachers, school leaders, central office staff, and community members with school division decisions through improved systems that facilitate robust participation, feedback and input.  
  • Reading assessment scores of our third grade students are unacceptable. At the end of the 2022-23 school year, nearly 30% of our third graders were not reading at grade level. During the 2023-24 school year, we — along with the rest of the Commonwealth — will begin implementing ALL In Tutoring, a high-intensity tutoring program. Funded by the state, this new program will benefit thousands of our students with its concentration on students who have struggled to earn a passing score on the state’s standards of learning exam for reading. 
  • Similar to school divisions across our nation, many of our schools have seen a disturbing spike in chronic absenteeism. Spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic and persisting still, many students within our division are on track to miss more than 10 percent of the school year. Research validates the consequences of students being absent from school. Continually missed instruction increases the risk of failure and dropout, falling behind in critical reading and math skills, fewer opportunities for healthy social interactions and development, higher rates of stress and anxiety and an increased likelihood of substance abuse. We implemented this current school year a new education campaign for families around the theme of “Relationships Matter,” emphasizing that “Every Day Matters, Every Moment Counts.” Our schools are actively working with parents to flag potential absenteeism before it becomes a serious problem, designing attendance plans and providing more current guidance on when a child should stay home with an illness.

As you take time to read and review the facts, figures, and data in this 2023 State of the Division report and review our strategic plan, I invite you to share your thoughts on topics, measures, areas of success and improvements by contacting me at the Superintendent’s Office Email to share your views, suggestions or questions. Your feedback not only is enthusiastically welcome abut essential if we are to join together in our joint purpose to fulfill the commitments in Learning for All.

Thank you for your time and support of our school division.  

Signature Matthew S. Haas

Dr. Matthew S. Haas
Superintendent of Schools

Keep Reading: Open the full State of the Division 2023 report »