Assessment and Grading Study

Matthew Haas, Ed.D.Greetings Colleagues:

Thank you for an excellent opening to the school year. Your students and families appreciate you, and so do I!

Whether you are just starting out as a teacher in Albemarle County Public Schools or you have been with the system for decades, you probably recognize that you work in a progressive school division aiming to provide the highest quality learning experiences for all students. Our mission “to establish a community of learners and learning, through relationships, relevance and rigor, one student at a time” is your mission, as we cannot accomplish it without you. Continue reading

Grade Precision: PowerTeacher Pro & Calculating Grades

Matthew Haas, Ed.D.Greetings, Teachers:

I am writing to advise you of a central decision regarding how the PowerTeacher Pro gradebook will calculate grades. This decision was based on an operating principle for ACPS that we will have fair and equitable grading practices.

With the introduction of the PowerTeacher Pro gradebook, PowerSchool has moved the control of rounding/truncation and rounding precision from the teacher level to the school level. Continue reading

Mark Your Calendar: Community Meeting on Jan. 17

Matthew Haas, Ed.D.Dear Members of our School Community:

I’d like to invite you to a community meeting on Tuesday evening, January 17, at Monticello High School to talk about the future of Albemarle County’s high schools.

We will provide a brief overview of state-mandated graduation requirement changes on the horizon, as well as our designs. In addition, we will host a viewing of the film, Most Likely to Succeed. During an intermission of the film, we will have brief information sessions in the theater foyer as well as opportunities for you to share your ideas. We want you to be a part of this important ongoing conversation, one that will lead to changes in the high school experiences of all students, beginning with those who will be freshmen in 2018. Continue reading

A Message From Deputy Superintendent Matt Haas

Matthew Haas, Ed.D.Dear Colleagues:

News outlets across our nation continue to carry reports of people who have strong feelings about the presidential election and what it may portend for their future and the future of our country. Presidential elections often generate an inward focus because they usually signal change.

Our own school community is not immune to such personal concerns. Continue reading

Homework Policy Update

Matthew Haas, Ed.D.Greetings ACPS Students, Parents, Teachers, and School Administrators:

I hope that you have had a great start to the school year and that you are enjoying the many learning opportunities that ACPS and your school offers. We could not make these opportunities available and successful without you!

You likely are aware that during last school year, we had a committee working on revising our homework policy (Policy IKB) based on concerns raised by the ACPS School Health Advisory Board about student stress and sleep needs. Continue reading

March 1 is “My Choice ACPS” Day for Students

Matthew Haas, Ed.D.Dear Colleagues:

What do Post-It Notes and Gmail have in common? Both products were invented during a time that 3M and Google set aside for employees to follow their passions during the workday. On their ‘time off,’ employees of 3M developed many of their 22,000 patents, and Googlers came up with other lucrative products such as AdSense and Hangouts.

On March 1, the day when schools will be closed for the presidential primaries, we’ve declared a My Choice ACPS day for all students. We’re encouraging students, while they are at home, to choose a challenge or problem to solve, an idea to explore, or a dream to turn into reality as part of an independent learning experience for that day.

Continue reading

Assistant Superintendent Matt Haas Responds to Questions About the Paris Terrorist Attacks

Matthew Haas, Ed.D.Dear Colleagues,

We’ve had a couple of questions about how or whether schools should acknowledge the terrorist attacks in Paris this weekend. Of course, we are all saddened by this horrible incident, the lives that were lost, and the negative impact it will have on our world, especially our children. Continue reading

Classified Staff Performance Competencies Review

Matthew Haas, Ed.D.Dear Classified and Support Staff,

A few years ago, we updated our Teacher Performance Appraisal (TPA), and more recently, we revised our Administrator Performance Appraisal (APA). As a part of our continuous improvement work, we are now focusing on our performance competency and appraisal model for classified staff. Continue reading

Recent Court Decision That Impacts Student Information

Matthew Haas, Ed.D.Greetings Albemarle County Educators:

I want to make you aware of a recent Circuit Court decision that impacts student information in school divisions across the Commonwealth, including our own. The following is a message from the Virginia Superintendent of Instruction, Steve Staples, regarding the court decision described in this article: Judge Rules Against VDOE, In Favor Of Loudoun Parent Seeking Student Progress Data.

Before you read on, I want to assure you that Albemarle County Public Schools has no plan to use Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) student growth data for teacher evaluation. Keep reading »