Port City Notebook

News, views and random observations around Alexandria

Now is the Time to Rebuild Minnie Howard

Note: This is Part 2 in a series about meeting the challenges of increased enrollment and too little school capacity. Read Part 1 here. This week the School Board will vote on the 2018-2027 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) budget that has been proposed by the superintendent. Assuming that it will be approved with just a few tweaks to Dr. Crawley’s proposal, ACPS will be asking City Council to fund about […]

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Five Myths About ACPS Overcrowding

Note: This is Part 1 in a series about meeting the challenges of increased enrollment and too little school capacity. Whenever I listen to or participate in conversations around the city on the topic of overcrowding in our schools, several myths often crop up. Myth 1: Students whose families live in neighboring jurisdictions are part of the problem. In order to enroll a kindergartener or a transfer student in ACPS, […]

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A Post-11/8 Letter to My Daughters

Many parents are asking each other this week: What do I say to my children? We strive to raise them to embrace empathy and acceptance, and to reject name-calling and bullying. We teach them the importance of taking responsibility for their actions, being prepared in the classroom and the athletic venue, and using scientific methods, facts and reason in their intellectual pursuits. We teach our daughters, in particular, that they […]

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News You Can Use

A wide range of worthwhile programs are happening this fall around town.  Here are a few: Saturday, September 24: Family Fall Festival sponsored by the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra at Fort Ward Park (4301 W. Braddock Road) from noon until 4 p.m. Featuring music and dance ensembles comprised of Alexandria area students; food trucks; activities for children and more. Adult admission (which includes $5 food and drink tickets) is $20; children […]

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Oh, the Places They’ll Go!

One of the most heart-warming aspects of the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria’s annual awards ceremony, which was held earlier this week, is witnessing students from so many backgrounds, cultures, races and ethnicities being recognized for their academic achievements. It’s equally gratifying to see how a broad swath of our local community—businesses, individual and family donors, nonprofit organizations, etc.—comes together to reward them financially for their hard work. Those in the […]

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Homelessness in our Schools

Social workers in Alexandria City Public Schools are tasked with helping students and families overcome a wide range of barriers to education, from family crises and child abuse to truancy and mental health issues. Every ACPS elementary and middle school has at least one full-time social worker.  At T.C. Williams, among their other duties, a team of social workers also works diligently to give students the support that they need […]

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Build for the Future

Most Alexandria residents by now are aware of the capacity constraints facing our public schools—a predicament that parents and teachers have been warning city officials about for many years. There are currently 14,670 students enrolled and there are seats available for 14,122. Moreover, even if our school buildings could accommodate all of the students streaming through the doors, some of the WWII-era and older structures are crumbling and in dire […]

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