It’s Not Too Late to Join Our Virtual Gratitude Campaign!

Gratitude Campaign 2022 Header

Thank you to all of you who have participated in our Virtual Gratitude Campaign! Our Gratitude Jamboard is filling with such positive messages! Many of you have shared heartfelt thanks for special relationships, places, traditions, and more, and I have overheard colleagues talking about how joyous and therapeutic is has been not only to read the messages of gratitude, but to participate.

Our Gratitude Jamboard will remain open through the end of November. If you missed it, please check out our November 16 Compass post for more info about our gratitude campaign, plus some helpful guidance on letting go of thoughts that no longer serve you in order to make room for new growth.

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Fall Policy Updates (September, October & November)

Policy Updates

Albemarle County Public Schools has a number of policies that govern our operations in alignment with state code and our division vision, mission and values. Our policies must be reviewed once every five years, though we often review them more frequently due to changes in Virginia Code or the needs of our school system. As part of the review process, we use our Equity Checklist to ensure that our policies are having a positive impact on equity in the school division. So far in 2022, we have updated, revised or deleted 103 policies.

In September, October, and November, the following 23 policies were updated, most with minor changes: Continue reading

Public Invited to Visit Rotunda Planetarium on Nov. 25 & 26

Rotunda Planetarium logo

The Rotunda Planetarium at the University of Virginia will be open to the public, free of charge, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, November 25 and 26. The Office of the Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer has extended a special invitation to all ACPS staff and their families to come view the night sky Thomas Jefferson envisioned for the Rotunda’s Dome Room and enjoy a hot beverage and holiday treat. Continue reading

Spotlight on Equity Education, Issue 4

celebration of diverse cultures in education depicted in 3D image of graduate

Welcome to the fourth issue of Spotlight on Equity Education! In this issue, we’re talking about the January 6 “Intent to Pursue” requirement for those seeking certification or a micro-credential in Culturally Responsive Teaching; ideas to promote culturally responsive holiday practices in our schools; and the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Continue reading

Ready to Develop Your School Leadership Potential? UVA Offering Virtual Info Session on Nov. 30!

UVA School of Education and Human Development logo

Are you passionate about opportunity and access for all learners? Do you want to make a broader impact on your community? The UVA School of Education and Human Development’s Administration and Supervision Master’s program can help you become a well-prepared education leader, AND they are still accepting applications! Priority application review is currently underway; the Spring 2023 application deadline is December 8, 2022. Continue reading

Last Call: Open Enrollment Ends TONIGHT!

Open Enrollment origami banner

It’s not too late to complete your Open Enrollment session! As a reminder, ALL benefits-eligible employees are required to log in to the ADP Open Enrollment module and either waive or elect benefits (like medical and dental coverage) for 2023. Open Enrollment closes tonight at 11:59 p.m.

Failure to complete Open Enrollment will result in loss of coverage as of December 31, 2022, if you are currently enrolled in our medical or dental plan. Continue reading

Virtual Gratitude Campaign 2022: Join Our Gratitude Jamboard!

Gratitude Campaign 2022 Header

As we transition into fall, you may notice the weather is a little cooler, the days are a little shorter, and the trees and plants around us have begun to transform. They are shedding what they no longer need in preparation for new growth in the spring.

Fall is a symbolic time of year when we get to reflect on where we are in life, where we want to go, and how we want to get there. It’s also a time of acknowledgement. Sit with those feelings you are ready to release, similar to the way the trees gently let go of their leaves. Can you align yourself a little more with the environment around you and use this time to shed what no longer serves you? Is there something you need to work through in order to let go? Can you invite the intention of new beginnings?

As everything around us spins, feverishly transitioning and transforming, allow yourself some time and grace, just as you would do for your best friend, your child, your partner. May this guide be a gentle reminder to check in with yourself and a resource to refill your cup. After all, it’s almost the season of giving, and you can’t give from an empty cup! And remember, after a period of transformation, there is new growth.

Letting Go Can Be Beautiful

1. Reminisce


Something causing you trouble? Look back to the earliest time you can remember feeling that way.

Journal about it: What happened? Who was there? How did you feel? What conclusions did you come to?

3. Review


Examine the beliefs you have now identified. Try viewing the situations that led to those beliefs from other angles, other perspectives even. Were you unnecessarily hard on yourself? Did you absorb the beliefs of other influential people in your life without recognizing that YOU HAD CHOICES?

Re-View: Consider it from another point of view and give yourself some grace. Choose a new belief that works better/best for you.

5. Receive


Great! Now what?! Releasing thoughts renews your energy and allows you to receive that energy back. Imagine the leaves, released from the grip of spring and summer, resting on the forest floor. As they turn to compost, the once vibrant nutrients return to the soil, supporting the ecosystem within.

2. Reflect


Now, take those memories that you reminisced about and reflect. How would you sum up what you believed in that moment about yourself or about your life?

Write it down. Reflect on all the ways that belief has played out in your life. You may unearth other projections of that belief that branched out into other areas of your life and then reinforced it.

4. Release


Just as the trees release their leaves, consider releasing these thoughts altogether. It is SO much easier to let go of unhealthy thoughts and beliefs when you’ve gone through this process of Reminisce-Reflect-Review, because it takes the mystery and power out of them. Ultimately, there are simply just different ways to perceive and react.

Just like the leaves, at one point in your life, those feelings and beliefs probably served a purpose, but that time is long over. Thoughts should be used to serve a helpful purpose and then released so that new inspiration can flow. Rather than just telling your thoughts to go away, practice presence. Shift your attention to what is right here, right now.

When you let go of negative thoughts, you receive back all of the energy you were expending on keeping them alive. That’s some powerful thought composting! Everything in life offers us something in the present moment.


Now that we have some extra space, let’s start refilling that cup with positivi-tea! Being more grateful can lead to enhanced well-being, deeper relationships, improved mood, and better physical and mental wellness and more!

We welcome you to join us in sharing about some of the people, places, things, etc., in your life for which you are grateful or that bring you joy! You can tag a work friend or colleague as a public shout-out in a moment of gratitude, or you can leave an anonymous comment about something that holds value for you. Let’s hold space for one another as we enter into this holiday season:

Feel free to comment on more than one page if you’re feeling extra thankful! Our 2022 Gratitude Jamboard will be editable through the end of November 2022.

Stay safe, and happy writing!

School Board Grants Additional Thanksgiving Holiday Leave to All 12-Month Employees

Happy Thanksgiving

With appreciation and gratitude for everything you do each day for our students, their families, your colleagues, and our school community, the Albemarle County School Board has approved the superintendent’s request to grant a half-day holiday for all employees scheduled to work on Wednesday, November 23. This decision follows similar declarations by the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. All ACPS offices and facilities will now close four hours early on November 23. (This day was already scheduled as a non-student day.)

Best wishes to you all for a very happy Thanksgiving holiday!

Making Connections 2022 — It’s a Wrap!

Making Connections 2022

To all who participated in Making Connections this year: Thank you! As Superintendent Haas highlighted in his November 11 Weekly Check-in, we had a successful day of learning together at both Albemarle and Monticello high schools. Special thanks to all of our wonderful and talented staff who volunteered their time and efforts to present and share throughout the day. Without you, Making Connections 2022 would not have been possible! Please continue reading to watch a video of our day together, access materials from Making Connections presentations, and provide your feedback about the event. Continue reading

Open Enrollment Deadline Extended to Nov. 16

Open Enrollment Extension

Given the unexpected school closure today, we are extending the deadline for completing the Open Enrollment process (required for ALL benefits-eligible employees) until Wednesday, November 16. This one-day extension helps ensure that all benefits-eligible employees have sufficient access to the technology needed to complete their selections in the ADP Open Enrollment module. Continue reading