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About Us

Our Philosophical Approach

Murray's philosophical approach is grounded in student-centered learning based on the progressive education movement that began in the late nineteenth century. Murray students are encouraged to pursue personal interests through the curriculum and independently. 

Admission is open to all Albemarle County residents on a lottery basis

Our school provides Albemarle families a small, liberal arts high school option for students who wish to maximize intellectual curiosity and creative potential.  We provide a challenging, student-centered, inquiry-based approach to learning with emphasis on creativity, international understanding, cultural identity and the taking of multiple perspectives. 

It is a school that emphasizes rigorous academic standards in disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge with the arts integrated throughout the curriculum. Through a combination of academic courses, visual arts and design projects, Murray students obtain real-world skills and hands-on experience to be well-prepared for college or a career in the creative arts.

The Choice is Yours

Murray is designed to provide students with more control over their education than traditional comprehensive schools permit. We prize self-motivation and self-discipline in our students, for we know that these characteristics are vital for success here. We also work hard to inculcate these habits in our students and support them with skill development to meet their goals.  The central focus of our system is student choice.  Students make choices in three general areas: use of time, personal behavior, and educational goals.

Designed to Lead: An ACPS Lab School

The Original Intent of Charter Schools

In 1988, education reformer and teachers union leader Albert Shanker proposed the concept of a “charter school"— a school model which would allow teachers to experiment with innovative approaches and be empowered to draw on their expertise to create educational laboratories from which the traditional public schools would learn.

As an Albemarle County Public Schools charter school, Murray designs and pilots evidence-based approaches to student-centered learning for possible scale to other ACPS secondary programs.  In 2017, Murray became one of twenty schools in the country to partner with MIT to develop open educational resources to help schools implement maker learning.  In July 2018, Murray became the first public school in Virginia and one of the first in the country to join the Mastery Transcript Consortium

Code of Virginia § 22.1-212.5

(i) encourage the development of innovative programs; 
(ii) provide opportunities for innovative instruction and student assessment; 
(iii) provide parents and students more choices; 
(iv) provide innovative scheduling, structure, and management; 
(v) encourage performance-based educational programs; 
(vi) establish high standards for teachers and administrators; and
(vii) develop models for replication in other public schools

ACPS School Board Policy LC

“The primary objective of charter schools within ACPS is to serve as “labs" to improve educational opportunities and enhance student achievement for all schools…. to inform the Division through the research, development, and implementation of programs that align with Division mission, vision, and goals."

Co-Located Middle SchoolCPCS_SEAL_WEB_(White_Background).png

Also an ACPS lab school for student-centered learning, Community Public Charter School (“Community Middle”) offers Albemarle families a middle years option that aims to foster creativity and intellectual curiosity through art and design, experiential learning, mastery, and student choice. Admission to CPCS is open to any Albemarle resident on a lottery basis and students leave our school prepared for any academic high school pathway or program they choose to pursue.

To learn more, visit the Community Middle website.

Feeder Pattern & Attendance Area

Public schools in Albemarle County are divided into three “feeder patterns” according to geographical area: Northern, Southern and Western. A feeder pattern consists of the elementary, middle and high schools through which students progress.

Murray High School serves high school students from all three feeder patterns through an admissions process.

View attendance area maps for our district »


Chad Ratliff Chad Ratliff

Principal History

Chad Ratliff

Ashby Kindler

Vicki Crews Miller

Harriet Morrison

Deborah Cooper

Rochelle Friedman

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