ACPS Begins Creation of New Strategic Plan


Dear Colleagues,

We are very excited to announce that we have begun the process of creating a new strategic plan for ACPS. On September 3, we will convene the first meeting of the Design Team that will help us develop a new division-wide Portrait of a Graduate. The Portrait will act as a guide in creating the division’s strategic plan, which will aim to ensure that schools engage with and meet the needs of all students while preparing them with the skills and habits they need to thrive in a complex and rapidly-changing world.

The Design Team has 112 members, all of whom are a part of the ACPS community and reflect a wide range of perspectives in order to capture those of the students they represent. We are also partnering with Battelle for Kids, a national not-for-profit that works with school divisions in their strategic planning efforts, on this important work.

This collaborative approach to creating the new strategic plan means we will develop a portrait that better represents the perspectives of as many members of our school community as possible.

The Design Team was invited to participate in creating the Portrait of a Graduate based on their lived experiences, professional expertise, and personal identities. Many are teachers, support staff, principals, and other members of the ACPS employee community. They also represent ACPS current students, alumni and parents, as well as area business leaders, community service organizations, and UVA employees. They will meet regularly to share their input in an ongoing way to help the division design a portrait based on several dimensions. Some of those include the hopes and aspirations that the community has for its young people; the skills and habits of mind that children need for success in a rapidly-changing and complex world; the implications for the design of the learning experiences in the school division; and equitable access to those for all students.

This plan is meant to be a collective, local vision that articulates our community’s hopes for ALL of our students. In alignment with the ACPS Anti-Racism Policy, we have worked to form an intersectional group that represents each of our students in a meaningful way. Our objective in using such a team-oriented process is to provide our students with an educational experience that prepares them to be lifelong learners and to make positive contributions in society both while they are our students and in the future.

The team will meet virtually on five different occasions, with a two-part kickoff meeting to begin the process. Those meetings are scheduled for:

  • Kickoff Meeting: September 3 and 9, from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.;
  • Meeting 2: September 21, from 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.;
  • Meeting 3: October 15, from 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.; and
  • Meeting 4: October 29, from 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

ACPS holds as its mission to establish a community of learners and learning, through relationships, relevance and rigor, one student at a time. This mission will factor greatly into the creation of the strategic plan as well.

Meetings of the Design Team will be recorded and posted so that community members can engage in the process used to create the Portrait of a Graduate. All interested community members will also have the opportunity to participate in the process of creating the new strategic plan later this year when we hold related Community Forums, tentatively scheduled for November 17 and 19. More details about how to join ACPS at those points will be communicated as soon as details are available.

Upon completion of these community-oriented sessions, the division will launch a community survey on strategic planning, followed by community feedback sessions in winter of 2020-21.

A draft of the strategic plan should go before the Albemarle County School Board in May of 2021, and ACPS hopes to implement its new strategic plan starting in the 2021-22 school year.

We are very excited to begin the process of designing a strategic plan for our school division that encompasses our hopes for ALL members of the ACPS community.


Patrick McLaughlin

Dr. Patrick McLaughlin
Chief of Strategic Planning