Developments during the past two weeks regarding our schools have been fast and furious, and will have important ramifications for our students and families. I’ll be providing my take on four issues that have been in play lately, starting in this post with the appointment of a new school superintendent, and followed in subsequent posts by the change in middle-school structure, the debate over the program for the new Jefferson-Houston school, and the city manager’s budget as it relates to schools.*
On Friday, the School Board announced that Dr. Alvin Crawley, who has served as Interim Superintendent since October, had been selected for the permanent Superintendent position. The announcement was not a surprise; School Board members were clearly very comfortable with his leadership style and had even begun in recent weeks to refer to him as “Superintendent” rather than “Interim Superintendent.”
Those who are familiar with his work as an Arlington County Schools administrator and with whom I’ve spoken hold him in high regard. In the three meetings that I have had with him, I’ve found him to be thoughtful, engaging, articulate, and well-prepared. And unlike the family that shares his name in the popular PBS series, Downton Abbey, his calm demeanor lends an air of “no drama.”
Dr. Crawley has a number of factors working in his favor. He’s a parent of a high-school student, so he understands the kinds of concerns that parents have and he relates well to them one-on-one. He has also worked for neighboring school divisions—Prince George’s County in addition to Arlington—so he’s familiar with the unique demographic challenges that our schools face.
I predict that Dr. Crawley will have a very successful tenure at ACPS, provided the School Board resists the temptation to micromanage our schools, gives him the latitude to implement the reforms that he believes are necessary, and exercises enough patience to await the results.
*These opinions are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Alexandria PTA Council.
On Thursday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m. in Schlesinger Concert Hall on the NOVA campus, the NOVA Alexandria Band will be presenting their annual Children’s Concert. They will be joined by the John Adams Elementary School Orff Ensemble and area elementary and middle school band and orchestra students. In addition, PTA Reflections Program finalists for the city of Alexandria will be recognized. The music that will be performed by the band will appeal to children, and families (especially those with music students) are invited to attend this free concert.