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First day of school at Alexandria City High School briefly derailed by fire alarm

The Alexandria City High School marquee (staff photo by James Cullum)

First days back at school are always bumpy, but Alexandria City High School had a particularly rough start with an evacuation first thing in the morning.

Fortunately, the evacuation didn’t last long, but students and staff were outside of the building for around 25 minutes on their first day.

According to a message from Principal Alexander Duncan:

I want to inform you that the fire alarm at Alexandria City High School (ACHS) King Street Campus sounded at 9:40 a.m. today, resulting in students and staff evacuating the building for about 25 minutes. The evacuation was conducted in an orderly and safe manner, and the school resumed normal operations, with students and staff beginning to re-enter the building at 10:05 a.m.

The Alexandria Fire Department (AFD) responded to the alarm immediately and, once the AFD determined that it was safe for students and staff to return to the building, they provided the all clear to school administrators. The normal school schedule is in place.

In other news, both Alexandria City High School leadership and Alexandria City Public Schools leadership at large have said a major goal this year is combatting absenteeism and keeping students in their seats at school — particularly after issues in recent years at the nearby Bradlee Shopping Center.

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If you had a chance to enhance a child’s future with a time commitment of less than 2 hours a week, how would you respond? You have that opportunity right now to join over 200 Alexandrians as a reading tutor volunteer with the Alexandria Tutoring Consortium (ATC).

ATC tutors work with one child in kindergarten, first, or second grade in Alexandria public schools who need extra help with reading. Tutors meet with their Book Buddy 1-2 times each week for 30 minutes October-May at school, during school hours. Many struggling readers only receive one-on-one instruction through this program, and it makes all the difference. Last year, ATC served 195 children, of whom 82% ended the year reading on grade level and 96% made substantial reading gains. But the need is great, and we are still seeing learning lags from the pandemic.

This year, ATC plans to significantly increase the size of the program to reach over 250 students and to serve every elementary school in Alexandria. This is very exciting news, but we will only succeed if we can recruit more tutors. ATC trains you, matches you with a child, and provides ongoing lesson materials and support.

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If you have been thinking about buying your first home or haven’t owned one in the last three years, THIS IS FOR YOU!

In the DMV area, it can be difficult to save the downpayment necessary for you to get into your own home. We have a solution. The Funder’s Summit!

We have assembled a summit with different municipalities to tell you how to access their funds for your home purchase.

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Family Fun Fall Fest

Mark your calendars and join us for the Family Fun Fall Fest on Saturday, October 7, 2023, from 11am – 2pm!

This FREE in-person event will be held at the Shoppes at Foxchase, located at 4641 Duke St, Alexandria, VA

2023 Alexandria Fall Festival

Food trucks, bounce houses, pony rides, magic shows and more at the 2023 Alexandria Fall Festival, an Alexandria Living event presented by The Patterson Group. Join us at River Farm on Sunday, Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.


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