Port City Notebook

News, views and random observations around Alexandria

Tag Archive for ‘ACPS’

A Parent’s Guide to the 2018-2019 Program of Studies

Welcome to Port City Notebook’s fifth annual Guide to the Program of Studies for parents of middle- and high-school parents. You might benefit from looking back at previous editions of this post (2014,  2015, 2016, and 2017) which contain general information that’s largely still current about course requirements and selections. At 115 pages, the Program of Studies resembles a college course catalog. Take a quick glance at it and you’ll […]

Continue Reading →

Three Easy-to-Remember Steps for Parents of New Undergrads

When my daughters were in preschool, the gifted and unfailingly patient teachers there taught their young charges the “STAR” method for dealing with challenges and frustrations: Stop, Take a Deep Breath, And Relax. There was even a little song that went with it. The somewhat-annoying little ditty had the (probably intended) effect of rubbing off on the parents. I confess that I still fall back on those simple instructions 15 […]

Continue Reading →

Who are our ACPS Students? An Update

A recent Facebook chat comparing Alexandria’s average cost of educating a student to that of neighboring school divisions was a helpful reminder to update a blog post from the fall of 2013. Especially during budget season, it’s important for city residents to understand the composition of our student population, and how it is similar to and different from our surrounding jurisdictions. About 15,000 students are currently enrolled in ACPS, up […]

Continue Reading →

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, […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →

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 […]

Continue Reading →