Alexandria Mom's Calendar of Events

Thursday, August 22, 2013


This is our first sighting of a cicada.  Really!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Goodbye little tree

Did they really need to cut down this little tree for the Giant renovation/expansion??

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

ACPS - Preliminary 2012-13 SOL Results


Preliminary 2012-13 SOL Results
Preliminary SOL results for 2012-13 were released today by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). The 2012-13 state assessments brought several “firsts” to ACPS students and students across the state. SOL assessments were administered online across all ACPS schools in accordance with the new state-level requirement. This completed a four-year roll-out of online testing at the elementary level with seven schools transitioning to online testing for the first time in spring 2013. New and more rigorous SOL assessments in reading, writing, and science were administered to students across the Commonwealth for the first time in spring 2013. This completed the three-year state level implementation of new, more rigorous SOL assessments in mathematics (spring 2012) and history (2011) being released in recent years. Math results showed improvement across the division in the second year of the new assessment. Math SOL results provide the baseline information for taking an in-depth look at the makeup and structure of math classes within ACPS to ensure resources and efficacious interventions are in place for all students.

Federal Annual Measurable Objectives
Virginia, under the No Child Left Behind Act flexibility waivers granted by the U.S. Department of Education, established annual measurable objectives (AMOs) for reducing proficiency gaps between students in the commonwealth’s lowest-performing and highest-performing schools. These objectives in reading and mathematics have replaced the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) targets schools were previously required to meet under the federal education law.
To be designated as meeting all Federal AMOs, targets must be met for both English and mathematics for all nine subgroups containing 30 or more students. All schools, excluding those with a graduating class, must meet 36 targets to receive the status “Met All Federal AMOs.”
With the VDOE release of a new and more rigorous Reading SOL assessment in spring 2013, comparisons to prior years under a different assessment are not valid.

The Big Picture
Preliminary results indicate that ACPS as a division met all 18 Federal English AMOs
and 17 out of 18 Federal Mathematics AMOs.
Mathematics scores across the division improved seven percentage points for all students compared to the prior year. All subgroups also saw increased performance, with the largest performance gain of nine percentage points in Gap Group 2 (Black/African-American) students.
Eight ACPS schools (Charles Barrett, Douglas MacArthur, Cora Kelly, James K. Polk, Maury, Lyles-Crouch, Samuel Tucker, and George Washington 1) met all 36 Federal AMOs in both English and Mathematics. This represents an increase of two schools when compared to last year’s results.
• Across all schools ACPS saw improvement from the previous year’s Mathematics performance on 109 out of a possible 136 indicators (indicators with fewer than 30 students were not included).
Preliminary results indicate that 13 ACPS schools are Fully Accredited for the 2013-14 school year: John Adams, Charles Barrett, Cora Kelly, Lyles-Crouch, Douglas MacArthur, George Mason, Maury, Mount Vernon, James K. Polk, William Ramsay, Samuel Tucker, George Washington 1, and T.C. Williams.
Five ACPS schools are Accredited with Warning: Patrick Henry, George Washington 2, Francis Hammond 1, Francis Hammond 2, and Francis Hammond 3. It is anticipated that Jefferson-Houston will remain in Accreditation Denied status.
Note: The Accreditation benchmarks for schools are: English (Reading and Writing SOL results combined) - 75%, Mathematics 70%, History 70%, and Science 70%. Schools must meet all of these benchmarks in either the current or three-year average to be considered “Fully Accredited.”
Preliminary Advanced Placement (AP)
AP participation in the 2012-13 school year represented the largest number of AP test takers (n=870) and AP tests taken (n=1,772) in the history of TC Williams, and continued a four year trend of marked increases in AP participation.
Overall AP performance either maintained or increased upon the historic achievement results seen in recent years.
For 2013, the proportion of the ACPS graduating class who earned an AP test score of “3” or greater at any point during their high school career (38%) was at an all-time high for the nine comparison years, and has increased each year since 2009 by a total of 10 percentage points.
8/20/13 ACPS
Summary Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) and Scholastic Mathematics Inventory (SMI)
Two years of SRI data received from Curriculum and Instruction show sustained growth across both elementary and secondary schools when analyzing the percentage of students scoring in the proficient or advanced proficient score bands.
Two years of SMI data received from Curriculum and Instruction displayed an increase in the percentage of students scoring in the proficient to advanced proficient ranges from fall to spring for both school years.

Summary Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS)
In a division cohort analysis, ACPS eliminated any performance gaps to state level performance at the kindergarten, first grade, and second grade level. The analysis, provided annually by the PALS Office, compared fall 2012 kindergarten to spring 2013 kindergarten, spring 2012 kindergarten to spring 2013 first grade, and fall 2012 first grade to spring 2013 second grade.
First and second grade reading growth from fall 2012 to spring 2013 showed gains as measured by a cohort analysis of instructional oral reading levels for students. At the first grade level, 51% of students were identified at or below the pre-primer level in fall 2012. By spring 2013, for the same cohort of students, 7% of students fell at or below the pre-primer level. Growth was also seen when looking at students performing above grade level moving from 28% of students in fall 2012 to 59% of students in spring 2013.

The Reading Story
Preliminary results indicate that ACPS met all AMOs in Reading in 2012-13. With a new test being administered this year, it is difficult to make valid comparisons to previous test years. Results released today by the state show that reading performance declined across the state and within ACPS. ACPS will continue to focus on reading as a division priority both at the elementary and secondary levels. By using targeted interventions at the individual student level and tracking progress throughout the year, ACPS expects to see similar increased results in the second year of the new reading assessment as were realized this year in the area of mathematics.

The Math Story
Preliminary results for this second year of the new Math test indicate that ACPS students met all but 1 AMO in 2012-13. Results show all test takers improving by 7 percent across the division. Students improved by 5 percent in Geometry and 10 percent in Algebra II. Although Algebra I results declined by 5 percent, participation in Algebra I continues to grow and more students are being prepared for success in higher level math courses than ever before.

The Assessment Update: 2012-13 Preliminary Results report is provided by the Department of Accountability to apprise stakeholders to both preliminary division and school level performance on key assessment results during the 2012-13 school year. These data are preliminary and are subject to change over the course of the coming month (s). As additional results become available (e.g. SAT, WIDA, additional AP analyses, and VA On-Time Graduation rates), supplementary analyses will be provided culminating in a formal 2012-13 assessment results report.
Preliminary SOL, AP, SRI/SMI, and PALS data are presented in the update. SOL results are presented through the lens of both the federal AMO and the state Accreditation accountability systems. Read the entire report here for complete testing results.

More specific information and SOL results will be made available in September with the release of VDOE’s division and school report cards

First Colors of Fall

Monday, August 19, 2013

Planetarium Community Show Dates


The 2013-14 season of monthly programs at the Planetarium at T.C. Williams High School, 3330 King St., Alexandria, will open on Tuesday, Sept. 24, with a “Reasons for the Seasons” show about summer. Planetarium Director Bob Nicholson will lead the program, which will run from 7-8:30 p.m. and include September highlights in manned spaceflight and a walk across the fall sky. Registration for the show will open at noon on Monday, Sept. 2. Enrollment is limited to the first 35 people who register online or by calling the planetarium at 703-824-6805, extension 6300. To allow more people access to the planetarium shows, please note that we cannot honor bulk requests for tickets. Please order only the number of tickets you need for your family. For additional information, please email or call Bob Nicholson at 703-824-6805, extension 6300. Other upcoming dates for the school year include Oct. 29, Nov. 19, Dec. 17, Jan. 28, Feb. 18, March 25, April 29, May 27 and June 17.

TC PTSA Needs some help

Can you help in the office over the next few days?

Help is needed to stuff all the back to school packets at TC! Come to the conference room in the main office. Times are:
9:30am - 12:00pm 
1:30pm - 4:00pm

We start Monday, Aug. 19 in the AFTERNOON.

Special night stuffing times are from 6:30 -8:30 pm on Tuesday, Aug. 20 and Thursday, Aug. 22. RSVP for these  to so we know to have the office open.