Thursday, May 23, 2013
Alexandria City Public Schools officials hope new building will help spur turnaround at struggling school.
Alexandria officials broke ground on a new Jefferson-Houston School on Cameron Street on Tuesday, in what Alexandria City Public Schools Superintendent Morton Sherman believes will be “a new chapter” for the struggling school and its surrounding community. City Council approved a $44-million proposal to rebuild Jefferson-Houston School in December 2012. The new school is expected to open in fall 2014. “I think that the whole design of the old school was old school,” said School Board member Ronnie Campbell. “When we looked at the cost of renovating, redesigning the exterior of the building as well as the interior of the building, it only made sense to start fresh and start new.” ACPS cited rising maintenance costs, student population …
Monday, May 20, 2013
Ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday behind current school building.
Alexandria is breaking ground on its new Jefferson-Houston School at 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 21 at 1501 Cameron Street and the public is invited to attend the event. City Council approved a $44-million proposal to rebuild Jefferson-Houston School in December 2012. Alexandria City Public Schools cited rising maintenance costs, student population growth and a need for modern learning facilities as reasons to rebuild the struggling school, which serves pre-K through 8th grade and has been marked as one of six chronically failing schools in Virginia. Governor Bob McDonnell plans to create a body in July that would have the ability to intervene in the state’s lowest performing schools. Neighborhoods including Old Town, Del Ray and the new Potomac …
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
State lawmakers rejected amendments requested by Virginia's governor.
The General Assembly has rejected Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s changes to an education bill affecting Alexandria's Jefferson-Houston School. “This leaves him with the option of signing a very problematic bill and hoping the General Assembly will fix it next year,” said Del. Rob Krupicka (D-45th). He hopes the governor will veto the bill. “I’d like to see the governor veto this bill and put in a place a commission to develop a proposal for the next General Assembly session for the best way to help these schools,” Krupicka said. He highlighted that the General Assembly convening in January will “have one more crack at this before any takeover can happen,” he said. McDonnell signed legislation creating the Opportunity Educational Institution…
Thursday, February 7, 2013
Measures that have passed the state House and Senate would allow a newly created body to take over schools that have been denied state accreditation.
The Virginia House and Senate have passed separate but similar legislation that would create and empower a body to take over any school that has been denied state accreditation, such as Alexandria’s Jefferson-Houston School. Del. Rob Krupicka (D-45th) is staunchly opposed to the measures for their failure to include input from localities housing such schools. “There’s no due process. This board has unilateral power to take a school over from a school district,” Krupicka told Patch. “There’s no check on that power, no obligation to meet with the community. …The board is created to be the judge, jury and the executioner.” House Bill 2096 creates the Opportunity Educational Institution to be administered and supervised by the Opportunity …
Thursday, January 31, 2013
The public is invited to hear about plans for the soon to be revamped school.
Alexandria City Public Schools is hosting a conversation about the new Jefferson-Houston School. The public is invited to engage in dialogue about updates on the school’s construction timeline, budget and approvals as well as view the latest design. The school is scheduled to be completely overhauled and rebuilt. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Feb. 11 in the school’s multipurpose room. Light refreshments and child care will be available.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
ACPS staff confident school construction will go smoothly.
Alexandria City Council approved a $44-million proposal to rebuild Jefferson-Houston School on Saturday. Alexandria City Public Schools cited rising maintenance costs, student population growth and a need for modern learning facilities as reasons to rebuild the struggling school, which was designated a priority school by Virginia’s Department of Education in October and has failed to meet accreditation standards. “This is the school that has received the least amount of capital investment of all our facilities,” School Board Chairman Sheryl Gorsuch said. “It needs to be brought up to the 21st century.” The plan calls for replacing the current school with a 130,000-square-foot L-shaped building framing a new turf athletic field. The …
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Recommendation allows families to opt in to some focus schools.
Monday, December 10, 2012
Recommendation allows families to opt in to some focus schools.
The Alexandria School Board is considering placing elementary school-aged children living in the Potomac Yard area in the Jefferson-Houston School attendance zone. The School Board is planning to vote at its Dec. 20 meeting on a recommendation from Alexandria City Public Schools staff to send children to the Old Town school. The Potomac Yard area, which includes new development along Route 1 and E. Monroe Avenue as well as the Potomac Greens neighborhood (see the attached chart), had not been previously zoned to an elementary school, contrary to belief of many school board members and ACPS staff. “I think we thought all of Potomac Yard was elementary zoned for Jefferson-Houston,” Superintendent Morton Sherman said at Thursday’s board …
Friday, December 7, 2012
Planning Commission sends proposal for new school with improvements to the Durant Center to City Council.
Alexandria’s Planning Commission approved Tuesday a $44-million proposal to rebuild Jefferson-Houston School. The proposal will go before City Council on Dec. 15. The final plan calls for a 130,000-square-foot L-shaped building framing a new turf athletic field. The majority of the school will not exceed 48 feet in height, with the exceptions of a stair tower and an observatory located at the primary entrance of the school. Neither of these structures will exceed 60 feet. “The proposed height increases are minimal and are not found to create any negative impacts on the surrounding properties,” reads a city document describing the project. The field will be constructed at the site of the existing school along Cameron Street. The plan also …
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
T.C. Williams High School and Jefferson-Houston School must work with state-approved partners on improvement plans. Several schools are now considered focus schools as well as some that must offer improvement plans.
Alexandria’s only public high school as well as Jefferson-Houston School, serving kindergarten through 8th grades, have been designated by the Virginia Department of Education as priority schools. Priority schools such as T.C. Williams High School must utilize state-approved partners to help design and implement school reform models meeting state and federal requirements. An Alexandria City Public Schools spokeswoman said T.C. Williams likely will not be considered a priority school next year if it continues making the progress it has made during the last two years. “The waivers from NCLB mandates granted by the Obama administration to Virginia and other states mark a dramatic shift in federal education policy,” said state Superintendent …