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Alexandria City Public Schools focuses on absenteeism as schools reopen

School is back in session, and this year Alexandria City Public Schools wants to make sure kids go to class.

That was the message from outside George Mason Elementary School (2601 Cameron Mills Road) this morning, where Superintendent Melanie Kay-Wyatt and School Board Chair Michelle Rief joined teachers and staff in welcoming back students. Kay-Wyatt said her priorities this year are on improving the welcoming culture within ACPS, academic achievement and absenteeism.

Kay-Wyatt said she didn’t get much sleep the night before school started.

“We really want to focus on making sure that all of our family and our students are welcome into our schools,” Kay-Wyatt said. “We’re also going to be focused on instructional practices and academic achievement. And then my third priority for the year is around absenteeism, and really focusing to get strategies and initiatives in place to make sure that our students are in school within school on time, so they can engage in all that we have to offer them.”

More than 15,000 ACPS students got up early for school today. In the wake of the pandemic, chronic absenteeism increased exponentially over the last several years within the school system.

It’s also the first school day for new George Mason Principal Christopher Finan.

“Our staff has been working very, very hard to get ready for this day,” Finan said. “Our teachers, our instructional assistants, our custodians, our cafeteria staff, our front office staff, everybody has been working very hard. I’m happy to say we are ready to go and excited to have students and staff back inside of our building. This year at George Mason we are focusing on our teams, leveraging all of the passionate, dedicated and skilled individuals, our staff, our families, our community members to ensure that we support student success across the board.”

Rief asked that parents reach out to the School Board as it embarks on next year’s budget.

“We welcome your input as your School Board,” Rief said. “We have a very full agenda this year and we want to hear from our parents.”

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Our first floor space is an open concept. Infants and toddlers share the same large classroom. Children ages 3-6 are in two classrooms on our second floor. Each classroom has one lead and assistant guide. We offer a year-round program, with intermittent breaks for Spring Break and Winter Break.

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Scholarship Fund of Alexandria Annual Gala & Auction

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