Port City Notebook

News, views and random observations around Alexandria

Setting the Record Straight on the Proposed New Chinquapin Pool

An editorial column in the February 11, 2016 edition of the Alexandria Times argues that the proposed new 50-meter pool at Chinquapin should not be built unless it is undertaken by a public/private partnership or paid for in full by a nonprofit organization. As a matter of fact, the Chinquapin project began as a public/private partnership three years ago. The Advocates for Alexandria Aquatics (AAA)—a group of private citizens interested […]

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A Parent’s Guide to the 2016-2017 Program of Studies

With the second quarter ending, it will be time once again for middle- and high-school students to make their course selections for the coming school year, and there are some notable additions to the 2016-2017 Program of Studies that families should know about. If you are new to the Port City Notebook, you might want to first read previous posts from 2014 and 2015, which contain general information about course […]

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Five Favorite Books of 2015

This year’s list is heavy on nonfiction. Even though I read a few novels that I enjoyed, most of them weren’t superb enough to make my top five for 2015. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates This winner of the 2015 National Book Award for nonfiction is the most important book that I read this year. Ta-Nehisi Coates writes so elegantly and lyrically that this slim volume reads […]

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Time to Rotate School Board Leadership

On January 7, the new school board, consisting of four incumbents and five newly-elected members, will be sworn in. The first vote that the board will cast is to select its leadership—chair and vice-chair. The current chair, Karen Graf, has served since she was first elected to the board three years ago. Clearly, it is the board’s prerogative to choose its own chair and vice-chair. However, I believe that this […]

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News You Can Use

$50 for 50 Years of TCW In honor of the 50th anniversary of T.C Williams High School, the T.C. Williams PTSA has launched a $50 for 50 years campaign. Please help us celebrate this milestone by raising $5,000 for teacher grants and student programs.  Your $50 (or more) gift will help support creative educational activities and supplies that our teachers at T.C. have requested. The PTA also donates thousands of […]

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An Interview with Outgoing School Board Member Marc Williams

By John Ladd, guest blogger At the end of this year, Marc Williams will be stepping down after 7-1/2 years on the Alexandria School Board. As a fellow parent and a good friend who appreciates Marc’s desire to make Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) the best school division it can be, I asked him to share with me his thoughts on lessons learned, on how the board functions, and what […]

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What is ASO Sympatico?

Think about what you’re doing at 6:50 a.m. on a typical weekday. At that hour about 50 John Adams Elementary School students are tuning their violins or sitting around a circle of Orff instruments. Every day. Another 50 or so stay after school until 4:00 p.m. for choir or bucket band. Every day. These students participate in the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra’s (ASO) Sympatico program, which was born out of the […]

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