State of the Division 2021
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Looking Forward: Turning Newly Developed Capabilities Into Higher Levels of Student Engagement & Learning
- Strategic Plan
- Our Division: 2020-21 Snapshot
- Equity Table
- Division-Level Outcome Measures
- Enrollment and Capacity Data
- Teacher Demographics
- Department Snapshots
- School Snapshots
- Terms and Abbreviations
Exactly 100 years ago, a new president of the United States was elected as our nation was beginning to exit a worldwide pandemic that claimed the lives of nearly 700,000 people. Coupled with the end of the “Great War to End All Wars,” our nation was desperate for recovery and renewal. The nearly universal desire to return to normalcy was so widely embraced that these very words became the theme of Warren G. Harding’s successful election campaign for the presidency.
In 2021-22, in the midst of yet another global pandemic, our communities again looked for reassurance and optimism, and they looked to the one institution that long has been the source of prosperity and growth in the United States—our public schools.
A year ago, this annual report was titled, “A Year Unlike Any Other,” describing the unprecedented disruption brought into our schools by another worldwide pandemic, introducing challenges so sweeping that they reached deeply into our homes and workplaces. Our parents, our teachers, our classified staff, and our students, were all called upon to manage through learning environments and family lives that were volatile, stressful, and anything but normal.
The educational impacts of such a difficult year are captured in this State of the Division 2021 report. Students and their families, our staff, and our institutions, including our schools, still are struggling to cope with the disruptions that were introduced into our daily lives.
In our division, the response in 2019-20 of parents, students, teachers, and support staff was heroic and revealed just how necessary and powerful the contributions of our public schools are to the well-being of our communities.
Looking back, the past school year put into place the foundation that made it possible to safely return more than 13,000 students to our schools this year. It also spawned new capabilities to fulfill a strategic plan promising Learning for All. These included a new virtual school, expanded summer learning opportunities, first-time community program partnerships, additional social and emotional learning coaches in every school, and health protection measures that will continue to promote wellness beyond the pandemic.
There were important areas in which our students exceeded what once had been normal. On-time graduation rates, college readiness and SAT scores, reduced class sizes, greater investments in resources to close opportunity gaps, an increase in our social and emotional learning services, and a more diverse faculty all signaled longer-term improvements beyond 2019-20.
While any report that looks back can tell you the path you traveled and your current location, its greater value, especially for a continuous improvement organization, is how it is used to redefine expectations to a higher standard. What was normal prior to the pandemic no longer is sufficient.
For Albemarle County Public Schools, the past year tells us that we have much work to do in deepening the academic progress of our students as measured in the state’s required Standards of Learning (SOL) tests. Especially in elementary school reading and math in our secondary schools, we need to set and achieve higher levels of excellence for all students.
The same is true in meeting our strategic plan commitment to equity by knowing every student. One encouraging sign that postdated the completion of this report is that the number of teachers who are pursuing culturally responsive teaching credentials in the coming year is nearly double the number of teachers who have earned these credentials since the program’s inception in 2016.
This past year also saw some impressive gains with regard to the engagement of our community with the school division, in both the numbers and the diversity. Participation in virtual school board meetings at times involved more than 1,000 people, and the pandemic itself increased the number of times we surveyed families and students for their opinions. I want to especially acknowledge those community and staff volunteers who have offered their wisdom to decisions on the budget, redistricting, school naming reviews, our strategic and long-range plans, and the numerous online surveys that influenced operations.
Family and community engagement lead to more informed and inclusive decisions and, as a newly-enacted school division value, should be a metric added to future state of the division reports. While increased numbers and diversity of voices are important, we also should continue to strive to invite our students, employees, families, and community members to offer their thoughts and wisdom on issues at the ground floor of their development.
As superintendent, it has been a personal requirement of mine to visit at least one school in our division each week. My time is devoted to focusing on classroom instruction with an eye toward continuous improvement of our students’ learning experiences and the results of those experiences. For me, it’s been a reaffirmation of what makes the performance of our schools so important to our families, our businesses, our civic life, and our future: Schools are the place where ambitions come to fruition, and it is the responsibility of every one of us to ensure that happens.
Dr. Matthew S. Haas
Superintendent of Schools
Since 2013, the Horizon 2020 Strategic Plan has guided the actions and decision-making of Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS). The plan, which was designed to unleash each student's potential and equip students for success, prioritized the development of essential competencies through engaging learning environments, hands-on learning experiences, and real-world learning opportunities.
In addition to defining the vision, mission, and core values of the school division, Horizon 2020 established one student-centered goal, five objectives, and three strategic priorities:
All learners believe in their power to embrace learning, to excel, and to own their future.
The core purpose of Albemarle County Public Schools is to establish a community of learners and learning, through relationships, relevance and rigor, one student at a time.
Excellence • Young People • Community • Respect
All Albemarle County Public Schools students will graduate having actively mastered the lifelong-learning skills they need to succeed as 21st century learners, workers and citizens.
- We will engage every student.
- We will implement balanced assessments.
- We will improve opportunity and achievement.
- We will create and expand partnerships.
- We will optimize resources.
- Create a culture of high expectations for all.
- Identify and remove practices that perpetuate the achievement gap.
- Ensure that students identify and develop personal interests.
Learning for All
Beginning in the 2021-22 school year, ACPS will implement a new strategic plan, Learning for All, which will guide the division over the next five years. For information about Learning for All and the development process, please visit our Strategic Plan web page.
- Address: 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville, VA 22902
- Phone: 434-296-5820
- Superintendent: Matthew Haas, Ed.D.
- Region: 5
- Virginia Quality Profile
In the 2020-21 school year, Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) served more than 13,500 students in preschool through 12th grade in Albemarle County, Virginia, the sixth largest county by area in the Commonwealth of Virginia. A diverse locality of 726 square miles in the heart of Central Virginia, Albemarle County is a blend of primarily rural, but also suburban and urban settings.
- 2,529 total employees
- 1,342 teachers (includes classroom teachers, speech pathologists, school counselors, instructional coaches, and librarians)
- 131 administrators (includes principals, assistant and associate principals, and central office and other leadership personnel)
- 1,056 classified staff (includes all non-teacher and non-administrative positions, such as teaching assistants, bus drivers, custodians, maintenance and food service staff, office associates, human resources staff, and other support staff)
- 69% hold advanced degrees
- 2% are National Board Certified
- Average years of teaching experience: 14
- Retirements (October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2020): 47
- Retention rate: 88.8%
- New hires (July 1 – September 30, 2020): 135
- Retirements (October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2020): 2
- Retention rate: 94.1%
- New hires (July 1 – September 30, 2020): 0
- Retirements (October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2020): 47
- Retention rate: 80.4%
- New hires (July 1 – September 30, 2020): 51
Student Enrollment: Fall Membership
- All Students: 13,532 (Grades PK-12)
- Economically Disadvantaged: 31.7% (4,287 students)
- English Learners: 10.1% (1,361 students)
- Students with Disabilities: 12.4% (1,677 students)
International Diversity of Our Student Population
- Countries of Origin: 95
- Home Languages Spoken: 75
Class of 2021
Students Earning an Advanced Studies Diploma
- Division: 64.4% (previously 62.5%)
- State: 52.8% (previously 51.8%)
On-Time Graduation Rate, 2020-21 Cohort
- Division: 96.5% (previously 93.6%)
- State: 93.0% (previously 92.5%)
- Division: 3.0% (previously 4.6%)
- State: 4.3% (previously 5.1%)
Advanced Programs Participation Among High School Students
- Advanced Placement (AP) Test Taken: 10.09% (previously 11.94%)
- AP Course Enrollment: 39.87% (previously 37.15%)
- Dual Enrollment: 22.76% (previously 21.15%)
- Average number of meals served daily, including breakfast and lunch: 7,758*
- School bus miles traveled daily: 14,109, including 2,732 for meal delivery*
- Average Class Size (Source: 2020-21 Class Size Report)
- Elementary – 17.88
- Middle – 20.3
- High – 20.9
- Student-to-Computer Ratio:
- 1:1 with tablets for Grades K-2
- 1:1 with laptops for Grades 3-12
*Based on Stage 3 of the division's Return to School plan, which offered a hybrid learning model including two days per week of face-to-face instruction to all students in pre-K through third grade, including students in Early Childhood Special Education, and a fully virtual learning model to all other students. Stage 3 also included and expanded optional in-person access to buildings to students in grades 4-12 who met certain criteria.
The shared mission of our schools is to end the predictive value of race, class, gender, and special capacities on student success by working together with families and communities to ensure each individual student's success.
One way ACPS monitors equity work is through our equity table. By looking for proportional representation within key metrics associated with student success, the equity table makes it possible to see where some groups are overrepresented or underrepresented. Then, as a division and working with families and communities, we can take steps to remove barriers that prevent proportionality.
ACPS developed our first equity table in 2016-17. At that time, it was evident that Black, Hispanic, and multiracial students were underrepresented in the gifted program, as compared to their overall representation in our student population. Through strategic work in the gifted program, now the talent development program, the 2020-21 Equity Table shows more representation by these students and a closer degree of proportionality.
The equity table also helps monitor larger trends related to division initiatives, such as using the short-term education program (STEP) to decrease the number of out-of-school suspensions (currently at a four-year low). Similarly, our middle schools are working to delevel, or detrack, math classes, a move that has resulted in higher numbers of students enrolling in a high school math course while in middle school.
Note: The 2019-20 Equity Table does not include data points for “Students Passing 3rd Grade Reading SOL” or “Students Passing 3rd Grade Math SOL” because SOL tests were not administered in the 2019-20 school year.
Student Count (PK-12): Number and percentage of students, grades PK-12, in each demographic group based on Albemarle County Public Schools’ End-of-Year Student Record Collection for the specified school year
Students Identified Gifted: ACPS provides gifted labels for General Intellectual Aptitude (GIA) and serves students in GIA as stipulated in the Local Plan for the Education of the Gifted
Students with Disabilities (IDEA): Students served with an individualized education plan (IEP) under the auspices of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) during the specified school year
Students/All Students Chronically Absent: Students who were absent from school 15 or more times during the specified school year
High School Students Chronically Absent by Period: High school students who were absent from an individual class 15 or more times during the specified school year
Students Suspended (Out of School): Students who received at least one out-of-school suspension during the specified school year
Suspension Incidents (Out of School): Total number of out-of-school suspensions assigned during the specified school year
Students Passing 3rd Grade Reading/Math SOL: Third-grade students who achieved a passing score of 400 or more on the Standards of Learning (SOL) test administered in the spring of the specified school year
Graduates Earning Five or More Math Credits: Graduating seniors in the specified school year who earned five or more math credits over the course of middle and high school
Middle School Students Enrolled in High School Math: Middle school students enrolled in a high school math class during the specified school year
Students Earning An Advanced Studies Diploma: Graduating seniors in the specified school year who earned an Advanced Studies Diploma after four years in high school
Students Graduating on Time: Percentage of graduating seniors in the specified school year who earned an Advanced Studies Diploma or Standard Diploma after four years in high school
Note: We transitioned from tracking “Graduates Earning Five or More Math Credits” to “Middle School Students Enrolled in High School Math” in 2018-19. The metric is similar, because in order to earn five or more math credits by graduation, a student must enroll in a high school math course while in middle school. The shift allows us to distinctly represent middle school students in the equity table.
- Advanced Placement (AP) Exams
- Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS)
- Standards of Learning (SOL)
- On-Time Graduation Rate
- Career and College Readiness
- Senior Exit Survey
The SAT is a commonly used assessment designed to evaluate the college readiness of high school students. Administered by the College Board, the exam measures skills in reading, writing and math. SAT scores are required for college entrance by many institutions of higher education.
Each year, the College Board provides aggregated SAT data for graduating seniors. The graduating class of 2021 continued to have extremely high percentages of students (87%) meeting both the critical reading and mathematics college readiness benchmarks, outperforming state and national averages by 24 and 41 percentage points, respectively.
The pandemic decreased participation on the SAT for this cohort of seniors, especially among specific membership groups. Typically 66-75% of graduating seniors will have at least one SAT test score. For the class of 2021, that was closer to 25% of graduating seniors. The decrease was most pronounced among Black students (9% down to 2% participation) and economically disadvantaged students (15% down to 1% participation). In response to decreased participation, ACPS will offer an SAT school test day to all high school juniors.
Advanced Placement (AP) examinations represent the culmination of college-level work in a given discipline in a secondary school setting. Administered by the College Board, AP exams test students’ ability to perform at the college level. Students who perform well can receive course credit and/or advanced standing at thousands of universities worldwide.
Even with approximately 70 more students enrolling in an AP course in the 2020-21 school year, students were less likely to take the AP test and potentially earn college credit. There were roughly 300 fewer test takers and 700 fewer tests compared to 2019-20, a continued downward trend. Additionally, the pass rate for all AP tests taken in 2020-21 was down over 5 percentage points from 2019-20, which is also down nearly 13 percentage points over the last four years. Black students were the only membership group to not lose ground; their pass rates were up 0.1% percentage points year-over-year and up nearly a full percentage point in the past four years.
The Standards of Learning (SOL) for Virginia public schools establish minimum expectations for student learning and achievement in reading, writing, mathematics, science, and history/social science. The scores are also used to determine the accreditation status for schools. In the spring of 2021 they were able to be administered to all students, after an absence in the spring of 2020, and all schools were assigned an accreditation status of “Accreditation Waived.”
Students were given the option of taking the SOL in person or remotely, or taking an exemption/deferment related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students who completed the assessment in person are displayed in the charts below as well as on the Assessments tab of the division's School Quality Profile. Students who completed the test remotely received individual feedback about their performance, but are not included in any reporting. Students who deferred will be able to complete their assessment at a later date to earn a verified credit. Finally, students who declined to participate were not given an assessment and have no data available.
Due to the transition from virtual to hybrid to in-person learning, there was an expectation that SOL scores would be lower than they had been in the past. The decreases in reading were relatively small overall, with the largest decreases for Hispanic students and English Learners. Math and science had larger decreases across most membership groups, which was a pattern observed across the state. These decreases and the uncertainty they create about unfinished learning are compounded by the percentage of students who did not complete an in-person test and therefore have little or no SOL information to guide their instruction. More complete information will be necessary to better understand the breadth of the unfinished learning and the best strategies for helping students.
SWD = Students with Disabilities Econ Disadv = Economically Disadvantaged
More than a decade ago, the state of Virginia adopted the on-time graduation rate. This rate follows a cohort of students through all four years of high school to determine how many students completed on time. As students move in and out of our schools, they are added to and removed from the cohort, and after four years, they are all given a completion status. Students who earn an Advanced Studies or Standard diploma are counted as graduates for the on-time graduation rate.
All membership groups saw a year-to-year improvement in the on-time graduation rate. These scores reverse a previous downward trend for Hispanic and special education students, as well as English Learners. In addition, the scores for all membership groups were at or exceeded their five-year highs.
During senior year, counselors meet with students to finalize their post-graduation plans. Students can select from attending a two-year or four-year college or pursuing other education, joining the military or entering the workforce, or undecided (no plans at this time). Most seniors (83%) indicated that they would continue their education, while 14.3% of students said they would join the military or begin a career. Only 2.7% were unsure of their plans following graduation. This is consistent with the historical trend for ACPS students.
When the data are disaggregated by race/ethnicity, Asian students and White students are more likely than average to report enrolling in college or another educational option. They are also less likely than average to report enlisting in the military or starting their career immediately after graduation. Black students, Hispanic students, and Multiracial students were the most likely to report not having a post-graduation plan.
Graduating seniors were asked to provide feedback about their experience in Albemarle County Public Schools prior to graduation. While fewer seniors completed an exit survey in 2020-21, they continue to feel confident that they are prepared for their next step. Students rated themselves at or above “Confident” in their planning for next year and in having the tools necessary to be successful in college or a career.
Fall Membership by Grade
Only through effective long-range planning for enrollment can the school division adequately prepare itself to meet the needs of its current and future student population. In order to strengthen our planning efforts, the school division continually monitors enrollment trends and studies the impact of enrollment on facilities.
One challenge our division faces is providing adequate learning spaces in the face of year-over-year enrollment growth. Between 2014-15 and 2019-20, K-12 student enrollment in ACPS increased by more than 700 students, a 5.3% increase in total enrollment. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant decrease in total enrollment for the 2020-21 school year. However, in the same time span, ACPS has experienced a significantly faster rate of growth in our most at-risk membership groups, including an 8.9% increase in the number of English Learners we serve and a 37.9% increase in the number of students served by special education.
Building capacity calculations are a critical metric in facility planning to guarantee sufficient space in which schools can deliver all aspects of their instructional program and meet the individual needs of every student. We continue to refine our capacity calculation methodology to ensure we are planning for and providing optimum learning environments.
Note: The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) annually collects statistics on the number of students enrolled in public school as of September 30. The data presented in this table may differ from other ACPS fall enrollment data due to the methodology used.
In the table below, a negative number in the “Capacity Status” column indicates that a school is over capacity by that number of students.
- “2020-21 K-12 Building Capacity” includes capacity for K-12 students only; it does not include capacity for art, music, pre-K, and auxiliary space, all of which vary by school.
- Broadus Wood and Stone-Robinson elementary schools currently host special education pre-K programs (two classes at Broadus Wood and three classes at Stone-Robinson), but the majority of students who attend these programs are from out of district. They are located at these schools due to the availability of space.
- High school enrollment figures are not adjusted for students attending Center I. Center I adds capacity for 150 high school students.
New teachers and prospective candidates alike state that they are attracted to ACPS because of the emphasis placed on innovation, project/passion-based learning, cutting edge technology, equity initiatives, and diverse programming to support the whole child. Establishing relationships, providing the necessary support for all staff, and ensuring that we utilize research-based best practices are the best ways to build a solid foundation for our number one resource—our teachers, support staff, and administrators—to achieve success. Facilities, technology, furniture, etc., are in place to support teaching and learning, and teaching and learning happen with people and relationships. Our budget development efforts will continue to address infrastructure needs as well as prioritize the hiring, development and retention of high-quality personnel.
In the 2020-21 school year, ACPS employed 1,342 teachers, including classroom teachers, speech pathologists, school counselors, instructional coaches, librarians, and other related service providers, with an average of 14 years of teaching experience. We continue to have a highly educated cadre of instructional staff. Sixty-nine percent of our teachers held advanced degrees, and 2% were National Board Certified, which is consistent with the national average of below 3%.
Having high-quality teachers working in our classrooms is key to increasing student achievement and enhancing the overall school experience for ACPS students. We also know that having students exposed to more diverse teachers in our classrooms positively impacts all students. According to research, teachers of color often serve as role models to all students (U.S. Department of Education, 2016); tend to have higher expectations; and are associated with better student achievement, lower absenteeism, and fewer suspensions for students of color (Bond, Quintero, Casey & Di Carlo, 2015; Carver-Thomas & Grayson, 2017; Holt & Gershenson, 2015). Students being exposed to and building relationships with diverse teachers can help eliminate stereotypes and facilitate positive attitudes across racial differences. Increasing the percentage of teachers of color in schools provides cultural knowledge and capital in which instructors can collaborate and share as they develop programs and curricula.
The charge of the ACPS Human Resources Department is to implement strategies focusing on increasing minority representation in the teaching ranks to match student minority representation. Three research-based strategies that have been used to increase hires of teachers of color include:
- Strategic hiring practices, such as extending early offers;
- High-retention pathways, such as teacher residency programs (e.g., African-American Teaching Fellows); and
- Targeted school supports, like mentoring, on-going professional development, and opportunities to consistently work in professional learning communities.
In addition, the Human Resources Equity Team, with support from the Equity Specialists Team, developed and promoted the following inclusive policies and procedures: revision of the teacher job posting language and infusion of the division's Anti-Racism Policy within job postings in the employer profile on Handshake and other job boards, and in job fair invitations. Candidates frequently mentioned the work that the division is engaging in around equity and culturally responsive teaching. This effort is assisting ACPS in recruiting candidates who are truly interested in and motivated by this work, educators who believe this is the best change we have for eliminating achievement gaps and creating an equitable environment for all students.
While there is still work to be done, we have seen progress over the past few years. The following chart indicates our progress toward increasing the diversity of our teaching staff since the 2017-18 school year.
Note: The State of the Division report is based on school years, spanning July 1 – June 30. The reporting period for the table above reflects a different period of time, spanning across two school years from October 1 – September 30.
- Building Services
- Child Nutrition
- Community Engagement
- Extended Day Enrichment Programs (EDEP)
- Fiscal Services
- Human Resources
- International & ESOL
- Professional Learning
- Special Education
- Strategic Planning, Accountability & Research, and Program Evaluation
- Student Services: Truancy and Safety
The mission of the Building Services Department is to clean, maintain and create learning environments for the students, staff and community of Albemarle County. Learning spaces should enhance the educational experience while maintaining the health, safety and comfort of the occupants. Our work is to be completed in an efficient, environmentally-friendly manner, with a student-centered focus and excellent customer service. Our work supports improving opportunity and achievement by creating and maintaining spaces where students and teachers can thrive. We create and expand partnerships on a daily basis by supporting community usage events in the school facilities with approximately 90 community groups. We optimize resources by efficiently managing our department resources.
- Improve customer service and procedures.
- Improve employee retention and recruitment.
- Support COVID operations and related improvements for safe facilities for staff and students.
- Implement Anti-Racism Orientation and Courageous Conversations.
Improve customer service and procedures:
- Plan and complete Learning Space Modernization projects on time and on budget
- Decrease reactive work orders by 5%
- Decrease the average response time for high priority work orders by 10%
Improve employee retention and recruitment:
- Employees taking classes at CATEC/PVCC to improve skills
- Number of employees working with their desired trade group
- Track exit interview data to determine if pay is reason for leaving
Support COVID operations and related improvements for safe facilities for staff and students:
- Track COVID-19 related projects, supplies, and special tasks
Implement Anti-Racism Orientation and Courageous Conversations:
- Number of employees completing orientation and follow-up conversations
- Major capital improvements and Learning Space Modernization projects completed on time and within budget
- Reactive work orders decreased by 30% from prior fiscal year
- Eleven maintenance employees currently or formerly attended CATEC classes
- COVID Supplies/PPE SOP developed, and items were procured, inventoried and distributed division-wide (masks, face coverings, gowns, face shields, goggles, air purifiers, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, disinfectant)
- Implemented COVID-19 HVAC Protocol at all ACPS facilities
- During shutdown, more than 100 custodial staff members were part of a painting project to improve facilities
- All employees attended an introduction and orientation to the Anti-Racism Policy
The future success of the Building Services Department will rely upon recruiting and retaining qualified employees to carry out our mission. The minimum wage increase that became effective on July 1, 2021, should increase our ability to hire and retain custodial staff. Competitive pay for maintenance technicians will continue to be a challenge for our department.
Supply chain issues have been a concern throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and they continue to affect our day-to-day operations and capital projects.
Restroom Upgrades at Greer and Agnor-Hurt
Red Hill Media Center
The mission of the Department of Child Nutrition is to provide high-quality, appetizing, and nutritious student meals in a cost-effective and caring manner, offering excellent service and promoting nutrition and wellness among students and team members.
- Ensure that nutritious meals are available and accessible to all students each school day.
- Recruit and retain personnel for all food service positions.
- Measure the percentage of meal participation, aiming to serve 80% of the free and reduced-price student population and 50% of student enrollment.
The Child Nutrition Program expects to see an increase in meal participation, as the USDA has provided a waiver for all students to eat free breakfast and lunch during the 2021-22 school year. In addition, meals will be more easily accessible as more students will be in school.
ACPS has one overarching goal: All Albemarle County Public Schools students will graduate having actively mastered the lifelong-learning skills they need to succeed as 21st century learners, workers and citizens. Through detailed analysis of school and division data sources, we seek to identify the programs, practices and experiences that are helping us make progress toward our goal and what programs, practices and experiences may be hindrances to that goal.
- Encourage outside organizations, the media, and volunteers to show a high interest in schools and to support and participate in their activities and improvement planning.
- Generate opportunities for outside organizations and volunteers to provide resources that promote greater access to education services and hands-on learning for all students.
These goals can be measured by assessing the:
- Percentage of community members who access ACPS messages, social media, and web content.
- Presence of our news releases, messages, interviews, and advertisements in local media.
As a result of working to meet these goals, from February 2020 to June 2021:
- Our 402 tweets saw over 875,000 views, and our Twitter account had over 31,000 visits.
- Our Facebook page averaged 125 interactions per month.
- Our YouTube channel had almost 95,000 views, equating to an average of over 426 hours of viewing time.
Looking forward, ACPS sees many ways to create opportunities for more robust community outreach and engagement. The implementation of a new, multilingual communications platform will increase engagement and open up communications paths to otherwise underserved members of the ACPS community, as will the increased use of media outlets at which English is not the primary language. We anticipate continued need for engagement with students, employees, families and community members and strive to see increases in the percentage of community members who access our messages or consult our web pages. We intend to support more informational sessions and community forums with the objective of ensuring that the populations we serve feel that they understand the work that ACPS is doing as well as the processes that are employed as our school division makes decisions.
The mission of the Extended Day Enrichment Programs (EDEP) is to engage each student in a journey of exploration and discovery to enhance and expand their individual knowledge, skills and abilities. Focusing on the concepts of wellness, happiness and balance, EDEP assists students in the development of their individual answers to the following essential questions:
- How do YOU define success?
- What does it mean to live a rich, full life?
- How do my choices impact my well-being?
- Recruit and retain personnel for all EDEP positions.
- Increase access to programs by reducing/eliminating waitlists.
- Collaborate with the Department of Technology to implement the EDEP coding curriculum, CodEd.
- Decrease staff turnover by 10%.
- Reassign staff to alternative positions.
- Provide professional development for CodEd to EDEP staff.
- Expand CodEd into at least one additional school in all feeder patterns.
- The Staff Child Care Program (SCCP) was offered in each of the three feeder patterns, with sites at Henley and Sutherland middle schools and Monticello High School, to meet the needs of ACPS staff.
- Lessons created in collaboration with the Department of Technology for the CodED coding curriculum were implemented in each of the staff child care programs.
- EDEP restored service to all elementary schools when schools reopened in March 2021 to include after-school care Monday through Thursday and full-day services on Friday.
EDEP evolves in the delivery of diverse, high-quality enrichment programming. As a result, EDEP provides a valued service for Albemarle County students and families and experiences increased demand from year to year. The 2021-22 school year presents the challenge and opportunity for rebuilding, renewal and revitalization as a result of the significant deviation from normal program operation. Meeting the demand, however, remains a challenge, due primarily to the persistent difficulty in recruiting and retaining high-quality staff. Additionally, operating primarily as a self-sustaining entity, EDEP is challenged to make services more accessible to disenfranchised populations while simultaneously meeting the needs of current registrants.
The mission of the Fiscal Services Department is to ensure that division leaders and stakeholders have prompt and accurate financial information and guidance in order to make resource decisions that affect the provision of efficient and effective services. The department is responsible for the development and implementation of the school system’s budget and long-range financial planning, as well as providing oversight and direction of the operating budget, special revenue funds, and grant management functions. The department is also responsible for oversight and direction in the development of the schools system’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) budget and serves as a liaison to the County of Albemarle’s Procurement Department.
- Meet the educational needs of the community through responsible and effective financial oversight of fee-based programs.
- Accurately manage and process state and federal grants in a timely manner.
- Develop and manage an annual school division budget that aligns with the division's strategic plan.
- Consistent communication for schools/division departments to ensure understanding of procurement, finance, payroll and accounting policies, procedures, and general best practices.
- Number of students served and actual dollars expended for fee-based programs
- Accurately post revenues
- Balance monthly financial reports
- Federal grant audits passed at the highest level
- Number of grants and actual dollars expended
- Balance monthly financial reports
- Receive a nationally recognized designation for the annual budget presentation
- Unanimous budget adoption by the school board
- Division leaders and stakeholders have prompt and accurate financial information.
- Schools and department financial staff have a sound understanding of procurement, finance, payroll and accounting practices, and policies.
- Annual budget and CIP are aligned with the school board’s strategic plan and their priorities.
Fiscal Services Department staff must work with several disparate sources of data and databases in order to conduct day-to-day operations. Team members spend significant time integrating, reconciling and analyzing data, as well as troubleshooting and working with complex and antiquated management systems. The department needs modern data systems and technology/programming support in order to operate more efficiently and effectively.
The mission of the Human Resources Department (HR) is to work as strategic partners supporting organizational goals and assisting employees—our number one resource—with all phases of their Albemarle County careers. The department is focused on continuous improvement; providing a high level of customer service; partnering with employees to obtain a deep understanding of their needs; and the recruitment, retention and development of the highest quality employees.
- Utilize a multifaceted approach to recruit, hire and retain high-quality instructors with a continued focus on increasing the diversity of teaching staff to become more aligned with the demographics and minority representation within ACPS.
- Promote workplace equity and inclusion throughout ACPS to align with the division’s anti-racism policy.
- Increase the number of qualified substitutes in the pool to serve ACPS.
- Meet market targets for the division’s total compensation strategy, to include evaluating market competitiveness of salary and benefit programs.
- Update personnel policies to ensure compliance, clarity and commonality with school board personnel policies.
- As part of the HR Redesign currently underway, understand the current state of the ACPS Human Resources Department; research best practices from other school divisions with separate human resources departments; develop and implement a transition plan resulting in a transformational human resources plan for both Albemarle County Public Schools and Albemarle County Local Government; and implement ADP, the Payroll Clarity Project, and a new Human Resource Information System (HRIS) (SY 2021-22 and launch 2022-23).
Recruitment and Retention:
- Increase the percentage of minorities by 20% each year.
- Target the minority retention rate at 90% or above.
- Strategies include:
- Identifying (unintended) biases and inequitable outcomes in recruitment/selection process and practices;
- Informing and sharing best practices around racial diversity with administrators and working with Assistant Superintendent for Organizational Development and Human Resource Leadership to ensure accountability in achievement of equitable outcomes;
- Increasing non-white candidate pool through building relationships with racially diverse teacher programs and other diverse higher education organizations (e.g., fraternities and sororities);
- Providing programming to expose candidates to teaching and the school division, and offer incentives to attract diverse candidates;
- Developing grow-your-own programs for aspiring educators; and
- Building on African American Teaching Fellows (AATF) and Albemarle Fellows programs to provide opportunities for diverse novice candidates.
Equity & Inclusion:
- Annually disseminate and analyze engagement survey (spring 2023).
- Strategies include:
- Increasing number of HR trainings as a result of qualitative feedback from focus groups (spring 2023);
- Analyzing Educators Professional Inventory (EPI) Screening Assessment Tool; increase percentage (20%) of minority candidates and decrease percentage (10%) of teacher turnover (SY 2021-22 and SY 2022-23);
- Restructuring of the EPA/APA with an equity lens (SY 2021-22 and SY 2022-23);
- Surveying new teachers regarding hiring and onboarding processes;
- Assessing data through a racial equity lens and POC promotions;
- Reviewing personnel policies with an equity lens; and
- Analyzing data to understand reasons for leaving and identify underlying equity issues (spring 2022 and SY 2022-23).
Teacher Licensure & Certification:
- Continue to ensure that teachers are on track for endorsement area and recertification.
- Provide self-service capability for employees to track professional development points and progress on recertification requirements.
- Decrease the rate of unfilled vacancies by 10% for SY 2021-22 and SY 2022-23.
- Increase utilization of internal staff for substituting (teaching assistants and teachers increase by 10% for SY 2021-22 & 2022-23).
- Maintain and increase competitive standing in the community and surrounding area.
- Continue to attract and retain high-quality employees.
The Human Resources Department will remain steadfast in its focus on managing the COVID-19-related demands of ACPS. Predominantly, our efforts will continue to focus on two broad areas:
- Helping our school and support services partners manage staffing levels while assisting staff with leave and accommodation requests through the conclusion of the federally-mandated Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) leave programs.
- Ensuring a safe and healthy work environment.
The Human Resources Department’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic will remain swift and effective to ensure proper implementation of testing mandates, vaccination clinics, and infection control practices and reporting.
Currently, the department provides multiple levels of support for schools, local government departments, elected officials, and partner agencies, including the areas of recruitment and staffing, benefits and leave, compensation and total rewards, professional development and training, employee relations, safety and wellness, and teacher licensure and certification. As ACPS continues to experience significant growth and need for increased staffing, the Human Resources Department will also need to have additional staffing to effectively address the needs of our employees. The department is currently undergoing a redesign that will result in separate human resources departments for local government and schools by the 2022-23 school year. In preparation for the separation, each division has hired directors to lead the work of the two Human Resources teams.
As part of this HR Redesign, the department will seek an HRIS system in support of our division’s ability to make data-driven decisions. The lack of an HRIS is a significant barrier to the effectiveness of the Human Resources Department, as current processes are manual and redundant. Additionally, an HRIS would offer benefits such as employee self-service and manager/administrator access to real-time, accurate data and staff reports.
The English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Program in ACPS recognizes the rich cultural, economic and intellectual resources that our multilingual students bring to the community. We welcome our linguistically and culturally diverse students and families and seek to ensure their academic, civic and economic success through a rigorous curriculum and engaging pedagogy.
- By June 15, 2021, 15% of English Learners (ELs) will demonstrate proficiency by earning a composite score of 4.4+ on a Tier C (the highest level) of the annual WIDA ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 exam. Additionally, 60% of ELs will demonstrate progress by making the VDOE-directed composite proficiency level gains on the annual WIDA ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 exam. The 2019 annual target was 46% and the long-term goal is 58%, which ACPS met.
- By June 15, 2021, 85% of world language students will earn a score of 3 or higher on the STAMP 4S in order to qualify for the Seal of Biliteracy on their diploma.
- Currently, ACPS has five elementary schools implementing FLES programs in Spanish and French. Due to budget constraints from the COVID-19 pandemic, Broadus Wood Elementary School's position was not funded. Our long-term goal is to have all elementary schools implementing a FLES program by the end of 2026.
- Currently, we have an immersion program at Mountain View Elementary School that has expanded to Burley and Walton middle schools. Our long-term goal is to have an immersion program in each feeder pattern, starting with at least one elementary school and bridging into the connecting middle schools.
- COVID-19 continued to impact school budgeting. As a result, Broadus Wood’s FLES program position still has not been funded. Our long-term goal is still to have all elementary schools implementing a FLES program by the end of 2026.
- The challenges of beginning the 2021-22 school year have also postponed plans for additional dual language implementation in other feeder patterns.
The Virginia Department of Education has reopened the 2020-21 WIDA ACCESS window, closing October 8. As such, composite gain percentages will not be available until mid-November.
The International and ESOL team welcomed a new family engagement and student support liaison and assistant director for the 2021-22 school year. The department is focusing this year on improved services to English Learners and their families who speak languages other than English. The department is also working to ensure standardized service model delivery across our schools. The department will continue its work in culturally sustaining practices with an emphasis on understanding diverse refugee and immigrant student populations and encouraging family literacy.
The mission of the Office of Professional Learning is to support teachers in expanding and improving their knowledge and skills to ensure that classroom pedagogy stays abreast of current research in the field of teaching and learning. Professional development experiences support all aspects of quality teaching and learning and are strategically aligned to division priorities.
- Align professional development programming to division-level priorities and current needs of individuals and schools. Focus areas include anti-racism, social-emotional learning, culturally responsive teaching (CRT), grading practices, deleveling, equity, and virtual learning.
- Expand format options and offerings for professional development as we work to support teachers working in all ranges of learning environments (face-to-face, hybrid, virtual).
- Implement an integrated professional development management platform that will support teachers and administrators as they engage in both optional and required professional learning. Procedures for developing, inviting and documenting professional development opportunities will be streamlined.
- Audit of offerings will show alignment to individual, school and division priorities and needs based on feedback tools and division-wide survey of teachers.
- Using survey data, results will show alignment of programming and an increase in quantity of offerings, variety of formats, and participation levels compared to the professional learning matrix from 2020-21.
- Evaluation of implementation of professional learning management platform using a logic model for the process will focus on improving efficiency, alignment and engagement in professional learning.
Teachers will have a range of new learning needs in order to be prepared to support students impacted by COVID-19. These needs are likely to require even more focus on social-emotional learning and wellness along with academic growth.
There have been positives to expanding our professional learning opportunities to include virtual and asynchronous learning. There will be a demand for professional learning to continue to be offered in these convenient formats.
Professional Learning’s support to our equity and anti-racism work will become more complex as we move from building awareness and common language to a focus on structural and organizational change. An equity lens will provide a through-line for a range of focus areas from grading practices to learning recovery.
The Special Education and Student Services Department is committed to working with students, teachers, administrators, and support staff using modeling and problem-solving, to make a positive impact on achievement, access and independence for all.
- Increase student achievement for students with disabilities.
- Implement progress monitoring as part of each child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) in order to inform instruction and improve achievement.
- Remove barriers and implement best practices to address overidentification for special education and related services.
- Collaborate with various ACPS departments to develop an accounting of existing school-based safety measures and structures that currently exist in our schools.
- Develop training programs to ensure that appropriate school staff are prepared to utilize, effectively and efficiently, the various safety measures and structures that exist within our schools.
- State Performance Plan Indicator Data
- 80% of IEPs have progress monitoring baseline and data for every IEP goal
- State Assessment Performance Data for Students with Disabilities
The Special Education and Student Services Department expects that achievement among students with disabilities will increase, especially at sites where teacher participation in professional development and commitment to progress monitoring is high. In order to maintain and continue to increase achievement for students with disabilities, the department will continue to reexamine the school calendar and prioritize staff development throughout the school year. The utilization of resources will be aligned to solidify an effective support system and staffing standard for students with disabilities to ensure children are educated in their least restrictive environment with the most appropriate level of access to typically developing peers and core content in the regular classroom.
ACPS has one overarching goal: All Albemarle County Public Schools students will graduate having actively mastered the lifelong learning skills they need to succeed as 21st century learners, workers and citizens. Through detailed analysis of school and division data sources, we seek to identify the programs, practices and experiences that are helping us make progress toward our goal and what programs, practices and experiences may be hindrances to that goal. The Office of Strategic Planning, Accountability & Research, and Program Evaluation supports the school division in the areas of short- and long-range strategic planning; school board policy development, review and revision; evaluation of division programs; research; and all aspects of local, state and national testing and accountability.
- Develop a new division strategic plan to be delivered in April 2021.
- Evaluate, report and advise on key division initiatives and programs and strategically examine outcomes of school division programs and initiatives in order to effectively inform decision-making.
- Develop, implement, monitor and assess division-wide and school-specific strategic improvement plans.
- Facilitate and support local, state and national testing.
- Continue to embed evaluation planning as programs and initiatives are implemented in order to promote an agile cycle of continuous improvement.
- New strategic plan adopted by the school board by May 2021
- Program evaluations scheduled for the next three years
- Additional program evaluations completed
- Development of school-level data dashboards and closing of existing achievement gaps
- Successful completion of all mandated testing
- Two projects offboarded and additional projects onboarded to PMOC
The Office of Strategic Planning, Assessment & Accountability, and Program Evaluation serves to develop, support and affirm the long-term goals and objectives of the school division. With the development of a new division strategic plan during the 2020-21 school year, we will need to continue to facilitate strong school and community partnerships to ensure diverse voices are represented in the plan. As the office facilitates and supports local, state and national testing, it will be necessary to keep up with the changes and regulations of state and federal accountability to support all schools in meeting requirements. Finally, as the department takes on more project management and policy work, additional resources to support these areas could be necessary.
The Truancy and Safety cadre of Student Services serves as a resource for schools by supporting efforts to provide an inviting, safe and secure environment where all students can reach their learning goals. Our work focuses on ensuring that all school leaders are aware of, understand, and are prepared to meet and exceed all federal, state and local standards regarding school safety, school discipline, and school attendance. Our work to ensure the safety and well-being of all students directly supports the third objective of our current strategic plan: We will improve opportunity and achievement.
- Collaborate with various ACPS departments to develop an accounting of existing school-based safety measures and structures that currently exist in our schools.
- Collaborate with various ACPS departments to develop an understanding of safety-related training needs in our schools.
- Develop training programs as needed to ensure that appropriate school staff are prepared to utilize, effectively and efficiently, the various safety measures and structures that exist within our schools.
- Implement student safety coaches in secondary schools to collaborate with school administration to build relationships with students and staff to improve physical and psychological safety.
- ACPS students completing the annual Virginia School Climate Survey will respond positively to the question, “I feel safe in this school,” at a rate that is equal to or exceeds the state average.
- ACPS staff completing the annual Virginia School Safety Survey will respond positively to the question, “I feel there is adequate safety and security in this school,” at a rate that is equal to or exceeds the state average.
Over the next three years, the implementation of new safety measures laid out in the currently proposed capital budget will drive a great deal of our work. Additionally, it will be critical for the cadre to have access to funding for professional development and for producing and distributing safety-focused materials.
The mission for the Department of Technology is to empower all members of our learning community to reach their highest potential by providing exceptional technology solutions and support that results from collaborative decision-making and effective, timely communication.
The department’s work supports all five of the division’s strategic objectives. Technology tools support educators to engage every student. They also enable the implementation of balanced assessments delivered via technology. Students can demonstrate their learning using technology tools, improving the ability of teachers to identify their students’ passions and areas of interest. The department’s efforts to ensure quality use of technology tools allows the division to optimize resources and utilize powerful communication avenues for developing partnerships. Additionally, technology tools and systems provide access to vital data and information, aiding both the instructional and operational goals of the division.
- Provide dashboards to teachers that include important benchmarks as identified by stakeholders through a collaborative process.
- Improve the division’s ability to provide internet connectivity to students at home who demonstrate need.
- Develop digital citizenship skills and digital safety awareness for our staff and students.
- Empower streamlined, division-wide website communications while improving accessibility of ACPS web content in alignment with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- Deliver exceptional and timely technology support for all division stakeholders.
- Acquire a custom reporting system that meets data industry standards for business intelligence software.
- By June 2020, deliver at least one administrator dashboard allowing teachers to measure themselves against Virginia Department of Education quality performance standards.
- Establish public-private partnership(s) to provide broadband connectivity to students at home that meet the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) definition of broadband.
- Provide internet access that meets 4G LTE standards to students at homes located in topographically challenged locations.
- Through an internal staff phishing email education campaign, we will see the numbers of staff victimized by phishing emails decrease over the course of the school year as a result of the awareness materials we provide.
- Proactively support students to meet the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards for Students for digital citizenship through the badging initiative, by ensuring they change their network passwords in accordance with information security standards and recommendations, and by publishing the Family Field Guide.
- Transition to a web content provider that meets federal requirements for ADA compliance.
- Following the launch of the division’s new website, track the number of visits to the division homepage to ensure they increase over the previous two years of visits to the prior homepage.
- Utilize Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) standards for developing the division’s Service Level Agreement (SLA) for technology support.
- Analyze service metric data to ensure the department is meeting the established SLA standards.
- Acquired a custom reporting system (PowerBi) that meets data industry standards for business intelligence software.
- Delivered four administrative dashboards to measure schools against Virginia Department of Education quality performance standards.
- Established a partnership with Kajeet and Comcast Essentials to provide broadband connectivity to students at home that meet the FCC definition of broadband.
- Provided internet access that meets 4G LTE standards to students at homes located in topographically challenged locations.
- Established an internal staff phishing email education campaign and saw the numbers of staff giving away credentials decrease during the course of the school year.
- Proactively supported students to meet the ISTE Standards for Students for digital citizenship through the badging initiative, by ensuring they change their network passwords in accordance with information security standards and recommendations, and by publishing the Family Field Guide (Spanish).
- Transitioned to a new web content provider (Finalsite) that meets federal requirements for ADA compliance.
- Developed and implemented a new SLA for technology support that meets ITIL standards.
The mission of the Department of Transportation is to provide safe, efficient, and customer-friendly transportation to ACPS students.
- Arrive on time in the morning at all 23 comprehensive elementary, middle and high schools 98% of the time.
- Arrive on time at all field trip departure points 99.8% of the time.
- Voluntary non-retirement turnover of less than 5% of total staff per year.
- Expand service to meet increased transportation needs resulting from higher attendance at and greater student interest in attending specialty centers and career pathways offered among ACPS secondary schools.
- The “on-time” arrival metric was suspended during the 2020-21 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The department was down countless drivers and schools ran very different schedules, with some students coming in one, two or four days a week while other students remained virtual. Buses worked to deliver meals to our students on daily routes throughout the school year.
- Last year, no field trips were conducted. During 2020-21, we had 1,220 trips, including 258 meal trips in the summer of 2020. Meal delivery runs were not entered as field trips, but there were approximately 11,000 meal runs associated with the division's school meal delivery program during the 2020-21 school year.
- Additionally, the specialty centers, including Center II, have been delayed at least one year. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, we have lost 21% of our driving staff (bus drivers, assistants, and van drivers).
Starting the 2020-21 school year, we continued to see challenges with driver shortages and driver retention, despite initial success with reductions in voluntary non-retirement and initial success with recruitment. This can be attributed to the work conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic and the changes to the job requirements. Eleven staff members have left the department since the start of the 2021-22 school year, including three after the vaccine mandate.
The department will reimplement the performance incentive programs and continue hiring. These programs are Skills Proficiency and the Perfect Attendance program. We started this school year by consolidating 12 bus routes and after the school year started, we consolidated further by asking parents to drive students and by enforcing walk zones at four schools. To summarize, the department has 236 FTEs budgeted, but only 177 positions are filled.
To further our COVID-19 mitigation strategies, all assigned home-to-school buses have HEPA filters installed. These units clean air inside the bus down to 0.3 micron (the size of most airborne pathogens). The filter has a 99.99% efficiency. Our standard operating procedure for usage is simply this: If the windows are up, the unit is on; if the windows are down, the unit is off.
Agnor-Hurt Elementary School is a comprehensive elementary school that serves children from 4.1 square miles of Albemarle County along the Rio Road/Hydraulic Road corridor between the city limits of Charlottesville and Albemarle High School. The school is committed to closing all achievement gaps by 2024 and has embraced the schools division's equity mission of ending the predictive value of race, class, gender, and special capacities on student success. We will achieve this by embracing culturally responsive teaching, employing best instructional practices in reading and math, and leveraging the effectiveness of the Professional Learning Community (PLC) model.
2020-21 Bright Spot: Agnor-Hurt has a long history of having a strong and supportive community. This shined through in 2020-21 as the school hosted numerous outreach programs ranging from car parades to home visits to whole school assemblies and events via Zoom.
Baker-Butler Elementary School is a National Blue Ribbon School where teachers are striving to create personalized learning experiences for students through engaging, passion-based, and data-informed approaches for instruction. Staff build individual relationships with students and families, and they utilize common pre- and post-assessments to ensure that each child is appropriately challenged, supported and empowered in their educational journey. Professional development for teachers focuses on (1) the effective use of Professional Learning Communities to better identify and monitor student performance levels with curricular expectations; (2) best practices for Culturally Responsive Teaching; and (3) short- and long-term Responsive Classroom goals and strategies.
Broadus Wood Elementary School is a community of learners and learning, through relationships, relevance and rigor, one student at a time. We are committed to creating a culture of high expectations for every student and removing practices that perpetuate the achievement gap.
2020-21 Bright Spot: Broadus Wood worked hard to increase family partnerships. For the second year in a row, we implemented student-led conferences. Each student at Broadus Wood worked with their teacher to create an academic goal that they worked toward during the school year. During the student-led conferences near the end of the school year, students and teachers shared bright spots related to the student’s growth during the year.
Brownsville Elementary School opened in 1966 to serve the public education needs of the Greenwood/Crozet community. The five objectives of the school division’s strategic plan—engage every student; implement balanced assessments; improve opportunity and achievement; create and expand partnerships; and optimize resources—can be observed through continuous improvement in leadership and instructional practices and student leadership opportunities.
2020-21 Bright Spot: A Video Tour of Brownsville Elementary School, presented by the Brownsville Welcome Committee, a group of fifth-grade student leaders
Crozet Elementary School holds this truth to be self-evident: that all students can learn. Our objective is to establish a community ethos of learning for all through authentic, challenging and relevant learning experiences, building relationships, and learning partnerships every day with every student and every family. We optimize our local community resources and business partnerships in Crozet/White Hall and surrounding areas to provide all of our students with sustainable, innovative and enriching learning opportunities in order to reach our objective.
With this spirit and belief, Crozet Elementary makes every effort to know each student; support their development; and maximize their potential and talents through a Responsive Classroom approach, Culturally Responsive Teaching, project/problem/passion-based learning, and environmental stewardship.
2020-21 Bright Spot: Our school-community learning partnership, based on a village approach with all hands on deck, involving students, teachers, staff, parents, families, and our Parent Teacher Organization working together to support our students’ learning at school, either virtually or in-person, and leaning into each other with much grace, care, love and understanding! Collaborations included school spirit events and weekly CRES News Now (morning news) student broadcasts to keep us all connected; curbside celebrations and sidewalk chalk inspirations; and our school- and community-wide Book of the Month Club to celebrate literacy. Visit our Crozet Book of the Month Club web page and check out our book selections, including themes around community, citizenship, assertiveness, perseverance, and confidence: Our Class Is a Family (Aug/Sept); Vote for the Future (Oct/Nov); Say Something (Dec/Jan); Stuck (Feb/March); and Ruby Finds a Worry (April/May).
At Greer Elementary School, we will change lives and our community. We will reach and challenge every student, every day. Just as we have become leaders in Responsive Classroom, our goal is to become leaders in eliminating gaps in our students’ achievement as we provide equitable outcomes and opportunities for all students.
2020-21 Bright Spot: We are proud that we strengthened our partnerships and connections with our families as we worked together to support our students’ academic and social-emotional needs.
Hollymead Elementary School is a PK-5 elementary school that utilizes student curiosity and an arts-integrated curriculum to improve academic and social outcomes for all students. Hollymead, along with its strong and diverse community, creates and expands partnerships, including those with local businesses and our families of military personnel.
2020-21 Bright Spot: Hollymead persevered to continue our mission, and we achieved full participation in the One School, One Book program. It was a great experience that highlighted the priorities of the school—love of reading, integration of the arts, and community involvement.
Meriwether Lewis Elementary School is a joyful and innovative learning community that values relationships, collaboration, and inclusion for all.
2020-21 Bright Spot: We worked on building relationships between our virtual and hybrid students. All staff embraced the new world of technology and students enjoyed learning through Zoom and Seesaw. Families were able to partner in new ways as well. We recognize how challenging the last year has been. This coming year, we will be very intentional about social-emotional learning and continuing to develop strong, positive relationships. One way we will do this is through a common reading project: Every member of our school community will read the same books throughout the year as we build unity and collaboration around common themes.
Mountain View Elementary School is deeply committed to equity and “doing whatever it takes” to connect with our PK-5 students and families so they are successful. We work together to support our goals of equity and educational excellence for all students through learning partnerships that build on our collective strengths.
Murray Elementary School works daily to develop high levels of cognitive growth and social-emotional well-being among the students in our learning community. We are committed to connecting deeply with each child and collectively owning student growth from grade to grade through regular vertical teacher sharing. Murray is also committed to developing a growth mindset in children and developing intrinsic motivation in each child.
2020-21 Bright Spot: In fall 2020, Virginia L. Murray Elementary began the Albemarle County name review process. A diverse advisory committee was appointed, and soon after, a parallel student committee was formed to ensure that all important stakeholders were a part of the process, including current students. The multi-age group of students included representatives from all grades K-5. The student committee work paralleled and supported the adult committee. Students participated in an exploration of the school’s history, including interviewing two alumni who were students when the school first opened as the community’s African-American school in 1960. Students also participated in outreach for survey participation and shared name review process updates with the greater student population. Student committee members engaged as active citizens in this work throughout the school year. The student committee continued their weekly meetings to research and uncover more of the school’s history, even after the school board approved the committee’s recommendation to keep the school name in April.
Together, the entire Red Hill Elementary School community engages the mind and heart of each student to become a lifelong learner with the necessary skills to be a contributing member of our world. Through the development of curiosity, imagination, intellect, love of learning, and respect for diversity, all learners reach their highest potential.
Scottsville Elementary School is a community where students, staff and families work together so that all learners excel and own their own future. We continue to love our setting and our natural resources. We value partnerships with Yancey School Community Center and the Town of Scottsville, as well as other organizations. Many Tigers, One Roar!
2020-21 Bright Spot: In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, our school community worked to overcome barriers associated with a rural community and online learning through a variety of creative means.
Stone-Robinson Elementary School's vision for students in 2020-21 is a bit unorthodox, but one that we keep at our fingertips: Rock, Paper, Scissors. Shoot – for the moon! The Rock represents a solid foundation where students know they are valued and they belong. Paper speaks to our commitment to develop confident communicators who excel in writing, speaking, and expressing new ideas, while Scissors cut to happy students equipped with tools to imagine, innovate, and create solutions. As a result, success for ALL.
Stony Point Elementary School is a creative community of learners who encourage each other to find and explore things about which they are passionate. It is our mission to foster an environment that allows our members to persevere to overcome challenges, to be unafraid to fail or innovate, and to believe that there is no limit to what we can accomplish.
Located in the urban ring of Albemarle County, Woodbrook Elementary School is a beautifully updated facility that doubled in size during the 2018-19 school year and went from serving approximately 350 to about 580 diverse students. With this change in size came a paradigm shift in Woodbrook’s instructional model. The newly designed space includes open classrooms where teachers and students can learn and grow together in multi-age settings. Woodbrook is a neighborhood school that thrives on community partnerships to support each child in their academic and social and emotional growth—working together to instill a lifelong love for learning.
2020-21 Bright Spot: Twelve staff members began their journey in the Culturally Responsive Teaching credentialing process. Four staff members were awarded full certification and two received their micro-credential. Additionally, despite the pandemic, the Woodbrook school community stayed connected and united as one through virtual school-wide events, such as the Family Author Night, the Magic Show, the Student Talent Show, the annual “Walk for Martin” event, and culminating with the “We are WES” family event celebrating the many diverse cultures represented in our school!
Jackson P. Burley Middle School, partnering with our families and our community, seeks to instill high educational and personal standards that allow us to continue to build and sustain a culture of achievement for all students. With our connection to a powerful and historical legacy of fortitude, our focus on equity and excellence will propel our Burley learners to gain a sense of purpose in order to lead meaningful lives.
Derived from the division’s strategic priorities, the Henley Middle School community has identified the following guiding principles:
- We are a community of educators, learners and families who work together to ensure all members are visible, safe, and achieve their fullest potential.
- We strive to build an inclusive environment that accepts and honors diverse cultures and perspectives.
- We are a community that takes risks, pursues passions, and fosters a growth mindset.
We use these principles to guide our decision-making. Henley emphasizes social-emotional learning for all. We believe tracking is an equity issue and have taken on specific practices to better support all learners.
Middle school is the most formative time in a child’s life, and we have the opportunity every day to shape how students feel about themselves as learners, citizens and adolescents. Our structures influence our practices, so we constantly evaluate our structures against our guiding principles to better create and maintain a student-centered environment.
2020-21 Bright Spot: Henley students and staff engaged in a pilot designed to have “courageous conversations” about topics related to identity, culture, community, race, and anti-racism. The setting for these facilitated conversations was our advisory structure, designed to build community and promote social and emotional well-being. After the pilot, students and staff gave feedback to a larger division-level team so that the lessons could be improved for the 2021-22 school year.
Jack Jouett Middle School serves 672 students in the urban ring and Earlysville area of Albemarle County. Our diverse students and families speak 27 different languages and make Jouett a special place to be. We maintain a strong focus on college and career readiness, as evidenced by our Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program. We are an AVID National Demonstration School, which indicates that we are among the top 3% of schools in the world that implement AVID to fidelity. Our core values at Jouett are growth, compassion, risk-taking, connection, and equity.
2020-21 Bright Spot: Jouett continued its efforts to strengthen the bonds between students, families, and the school community. Through increased phone calls, family Zoom meetings, and home visits, the staff at Jouett showed our commitment to all students and improved our understanding of the Jouett community.
Lakeside Middle School (formerly Sutherland Middle School) enrolls nearly 600 students in grades 6-8 and includes over 70 faculty and staff. Lakeside believes that striving for creative excellence today prepares students to succeed in the changing and challenging world tomorrow.
2020-21 Bright Spot: Lakeside made significant changes to its schedule options for students to increase their opportunities to explore a variety of courses. We eliminated several barriers to specific exploratory courses and worked to detrack many of our math courses as well as English courses. To support the work of providing equitable opportunities for our students, our staff worked continuously to improve our student experience. This year, we will be focusing on increasing our student engagement and providing meaningful learning opportunities in all of our courses. We will continue our partnership with Dr. Kristina Doubet from James Madison University in developing classroom environments that differentiate instruction to support rigor, relevance, and building strong relationships. Students are encouraged to participate in a variety of Albemarle Parks and Recreation sports, where they will be cheered on by their mascot, the Lakeside Shark. Additionally, students have opportunities to explore the fine and performing arts with orchestra, choir and band, drama, visual arts, and other elective offerings in the STEM field.
Walton Middle School serves learners in grades 6-8 in the Southern Feeder Pattern of Albemarle County by engaging students in authentic, challenging, and relevant learning experiences. We have three guiding principles:
- We are a community of safe, responsible and respectful learners. This means that we help each other to grow academically, emotionally and socially.
- We are welcoming, inclusive, and student-centered. We help ensure that doors of opportunity are open.
- We are a community that helps students to own their future through risk-taking, pursuit of passions, and a mindset of continuous improvement.
The oldest and largest high school in the division, Albemarle High School serves a diverse cadre of students by providing a quality education with enriching experiences for our students.
2020-21 Bright Spot: Albemarle High School’s on-time graduation rate was 96.1%, including a 96.8% rate for Black students and a 90% rate for special education students. The percentage of graduates awarded an Advanced Studies Diploma was 65, and the school’s drop-out rate was 3.5%.
Monticello High School is a school community that offers a comprehensive curriculum that stresses academics, but also includes ample opportunities for students to study fine arts, technical education, and vocational courses at the local Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center. Our program with Piedmont Virginia Community College allows students to enroll in college courses for dual credit. In addition, extracurricular opportunities through sports, activities, clubs, and honors societiesgive students a chance to get involved in the school and the community.
Western Albemarle High School enjoys a tradition of student success in academics, athletics, and the arts that is a result of a culture of high expectations, supported by the establishment of strong relationships with students and families. To help all students enjoy success, Western Albemarle has expanded its peer-tutoring program and teacher-staffed learning center. Furthermore, the addition of Warrior Period to the daily schedule provides time for intervention, enrichment, and the full implementation of seminar programming for all four grade levels.
2020-21 Bright Spot: 14th winning of the Wells Fargo Cup in recognition of year-long athletic success
Community Lab School
- Virginia School Quality Profile
- 2020-21 School Improvement Plan, Part 1
- 2020-21 School Improvement Plan, Part 2
Community Lab School, created through a 2020 merger of Murray High School (grades 9-12) and the Community Public Charter School (grades 6-8), aims to foster creativity and intellectual curiosity through art and design, experiential learning, mastery, and student agency. As an educational laboratory for student-centered learning, the school designs and pilots nontraditional and equity-focused approaches to learning that align to the ACPS mission, vision, and goals with the intent of informing practices more broadly. Community Lab School is also an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School, offering the Diploma Programme coursework in grades 11 and 12. A student-centered learning pedagogical approach emphasizes the following areas of focus:
- Interdisciplinary, arts-infused curriculum;
- Culturally sustaining pedagogy;
- Mastery learning and standards-based reporting;
- Inquiry, experiential, and project-based instruction;
- Self-directed learning and independent study;
- Experiential and community-based learning; and
- Elective pathway emphasis on creative arts, media, and design.
Partners in research have included the University of Virginia, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, Maker Education Initiative, and others. In July 2018, Community Lab School became the first public school in Virginia and one of the first in the country to join the Mastery Transcript Consortium.
2020-21 Bright Spots:
- Largest 6-12 enrollment to date since the Community Public Charter School relocated to the Murray High School facility in 2015
- First class of high school students able to fully participate in the IB Diploma Programme; new courses include IB Music and IB Dance
- Multi-level, multi-aged, and inquiry-based approach in high school math and English
Students with Disabilities (SWD): Student membership group including students who are eligible for special education and related services, as determined by the criteria adopted by the Virginia Department of Education. Related services are developmental, corrective or supportive services required for a child with a disability to benefit from special education.
Economically Disadvantaged (Econ Disadv): Student membership group including students whose households meet the income eligibility guidelines for free or reduced-price school meals (less than or equal to 185% of Federal Poverty Guidelines).
English Learners (ELs): Student membership group including students whose first language is other than English and who are in a special program for learning English.