Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Student's suicide last year sparked drive to bring suicide awareness and prevention program to high school.
One in four children in high school today is clinically depressed. Alexandria City Public Schools Superintendent Morton Sherman knows this firsthand—his own daughter, Rachel, attempted suicide in high school. “From a family point of view, we struggled a long time as a family, with guilt and questions, and was it our fault?” Sherman told the T.C. Williams High School PTSA Monday night. “… We as a country do not deal with this in a candid and forthright way, like we should.” Now, Sherman said, Rachel is doing “terrific,” is a principal at a preschool program and has two children of her own. His comments came as part of a presentation on a new program to de-stigmatize depression and suicide prevention, “More than Sad.” Seniors at T.C. …
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Alexandria City Public Schools Superintendent Morton Sherman along with the Alexandria Police Department and others discussed issues surrounding the arrest of a 10-year-old who brought a toy gun on a bus.
The Alexandria City Public School system acted appropriately with the information it had at the time when it heard a 10-year-old boy may have brought a gun onto a school bus, Superintendent Morton Sherman said. Speaking at a Tuesday evening event hosted by the Alexandria branch of the NAACP, which criticized the arrest of the Douglas MacArthur Elementary School student, Sherman said he believed a referral should have been made to the Alexandria Police Department regarding the incident. • See: NAACP Criticizes Arrest of MacArthur Student for Toy Gun Incident “I’m not sure from the school point of view that we acted inappropriately,” he told the audience sitting in the bleachers of the Charles Houston Recreation Center gymnasium. Sherman …
Friday, February 15, 2013
A bill pending in Virginia's General Assembly could give control of several Alexandria schools to a state body.
10:35 a.m. Saturday update — Alexandria School Board Chairman Karen Graf said the affected schools include Francis Hammond Middle School 2 and 3, not Francis Hammond 1. — — — — 4:41 p.m. Friday update — Senate Bill 1324 passed the House appropriations committee Friday on on a 17-5 vote. It will now be heard in the full House of Delegates. — — — — Changes to a Virginia education bill could increase the number of schools that a proposed state government body could control. The bill, which would amend the state constitution to allow the General Assembly to create a statewide schools division to take over schools at risk of failure, was amended in a Senate committee to include schools that have been accredited with a warning for three …
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Smell linked to smoking power line across from the school on Mount Vernon Avenue.
4:30 p.m. update — George Washington Middle School students did not re-enter the school following its evacuation, according to several students' parents. — — — — Fire crews from Alexandria and Arlington County responded to a report of an odor at George Washington Middle School around 2 p.m. Thursday that was later found to be related to a snapped power line in the 1000 block of Mount Vernon Avenue. The odor prompted someone in the school to pull the fire alarm and the children were evacuated from the building, according to ACPS spokesperson Kelly Alexander. Fire officials quickly cleared the building and allowed the children to re-enter. Maintenance crews were working on power lines across the street from the school throughout much of the…
Joint Long-Range Educational Facilities Program Group seeks to help the city determine just how big the public school system is getting.
City Council last fall formed the Joint Long-Range Educational Facilities Plan Work Group to help tackle the pressing problems of the public school system’s long-term enrollment growth and other issues. “The reason we created this group was that for years we’ve had this discord on what the numbers are — the schools had a projection for an enrollment estimate and the city had another view of it,” said City Councilman Justin Wilson, who is a group member. “The result has been inaction. We’ve kind of sat and we’ve had both sides pointing fingers. …There’s a desire to bring the two organizations together, agree on numbers and find a solution.” In October 2012 there were more than 13,000 students in Alexandria City Public Schools, up from the …
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
The School Board for Alexandria City Public Schools has decided to seek legal counsel regarding a grants foundation set up by the superintendent and others.
The Alexandria City Public School Board is seeking legal counsel in regards to a grants foundation set up by the school division’s superintendent and others. Several board members asked Superintendent Morton Sherman at a Jan. 10 School Board meeting why, if this foundation did not require board approval for its creation, does it use the ACPS name and keep an ACPS mailing address and contact phone number. At that meeting, board members asked for more details about the foundation to be presented at its next meeting, which was Jan. 24. The board received a stack of materials from the superintendent just prior to the 7 p.m. meeting on Jan. 24 and decided it did not have sufficient time to review it to enable effective discussion at that time. …
Monday, January 28, 2013
The fiscal year 2014 budget proposal is for $228 million and asks the city for about 5 percent more funds than last budget cycle.
Alexandria City Public Schools’ superintendent released a $228 million fiscal year 2014 operating budget, a nearly 5 percent increase over the last budget. The proposal asks the city to offer an appropriation of $188.7 million, a 5.1 percent increase from FY13. Per pupil, the requested budget shows a drop from $17,693 in FY13 to the requested $17,336 per pupil in FY14. ACPS noted in its release of the budget that the school division has the most diverse student population and the greatest number of students – 56 percent – who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals in Northern Virginia. Superintendent Morton Sherman’s FY14 proposed combined funds budget proposal is $247 million, a 3.3 percent increase from the prior fiscal year’s …
Saturday, January 26, 2013
American Institutes for Research has been awarded a $369,300 contract to help fulfill requirements by the Virginia Department of Education and federal law.
Alexandria City Public Schools has extended a contract to American Institutes for Research to help the school system close the achievement gap and address other issues at Jefferson-Houston School. AIR was chosen out of seven qualifying proposals submitted to ACPS after ACPS leadership and a Jefferson-Houston team reviewed them. The state funds the $369,300 contract through the school’s Title I designation reserved for poorly performing schools. The Virginia Department of Education designated Jefferson-Houston as one of the commonwealth’s bottom 5 percent lowest-performing schools based on its achievement levels of the Virginia Standards of Learning Assessments, or SOLs. Virginia was required to identify these 36 schools as part of its …
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Alexandria City Public Schools are on a two-hour delay; federal employees may opt for unscheduled telework or leave.
Alexandria City Public Schools are operating on a two-hour delay this morning due to snow that fell overnight. Several Alexandria-area private schools follow the Fairfax County Public Schools schedule for inclement weather. FCPS is also opening on a two-hour delay this morning. Federal employees have the option for unscheduled telework or unscheduled leave today. Snow showers began after midnight Thursday and continued on and off throughout the night. The sun is expected to peek out by 10 a.m. with temperatures rising to 29 this afternoon. Winds will come from the northwest, bringing the wind chill down into the teens all day. Check here for winter weather driving tips before you hit the roads this morning.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
ACPS-TV, the cable channel producing original content for Alexandria City Public Schools, is producing a series of video statements from new School Board members. Check out a conversation with board Vice Chairman Justin Keating.
School Board Vice Chairman Justin Keating says tell him when he's doing things wrong, tell him when he's doing things right and he'd also like to hear from residents who don't have kids in schools.