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A Bold, Courageous Strategic Plan for Albemarle County Public Schools

June 27, 2022

“The result of this work is a strategic plan that will enhance our ability to have a meaningful impact on the students and communities that we serve in ways that they experience.” Dr. Matthew Haas | Superintendent

A community’s hopes for all students guide their strategic planning process

In July 2021, the Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) school board unanimously adopted the strategic plan after a thorough, rigorous, and rewarding development process that involved more than 100 students, employees, families, and community stakeholders. 

Superintendent Dr. Matthew Haas wanted to ensure that the strategic plan, which will anchor the district’s work in years to come, recognized the many ways students can thrive and succeed, well beyond their academic capabilities. 

The district used a systems approach to educational transformation by anchoring the strategic plan to ACPS’s Portrait of a Learner—a collective, local vision that articulates the community’s brightest hopes for all students. “It charts a path that provides our students with an educational experience that prepares them to be lifelong learners and to make positive contributions to society, while they are our students and in their future endeavors,” said Dr. Haas. “It helps prepare the leaders who will make it possible for each of us to benefit from a more equitable, inclusive, and prosperous world.” 

Equitable deeper learning outcomes

District leaders wanted to ensure that the strategic plan aligned with existing priorities, including their Anti-Racism Policy. Four years after the violent Charlottesville riots of 2017 that put a global media spotlight on the community, district leaders demonstrated courageous leadership on social justice. The decision to lead boldly continues to be deliberate and purposeful by the school board and district leadership. Anti-racism is articulated in Albemarle’s Portrait of a Learner and in the district’s strategic plan.  

“These are non-negotiables,” a district statement concluded following the board meeting, addressing its Anti-Racism Policy. “We are firmly committed to achieving these outcomes and to supporting the inclusive programs and activities that make this possible. We welcome all points of view in how best to strengthen our continuous growth model, and we reject all efforts that would have us resist positive change in favor of the status quo.” 

The creation of ACPS’s Portrait of a Learner and the Learning for All strategic plan were both school community-driven and ultimately supported the district’s mission to “establish a community of learners and learning through relationships, relevance, and rigor, one student at a time.”