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Friday, November 16, 2012

FCPS Plans Community Meetings to Discuss Expansion of Advanced Academic Program Centers

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) will hold three community meetings in November to gather public input about the timing of expanding advanced academic services to all pyramids within FCPS, ensuring that all students have access to advanced academic programs (AAP).
           
The meetings will run from 7 to 9 p.m. on the following dates at these locations:
·         Tuesday, November 27, in the Westfield High School cafeteria for Clusters 6, 7, and 8.
·         Wednesday, November 28, in the Lee High School cafeteria for Clusters 4 and 5.
·         Thursday, November 29, in the Kilmer Middle School cafeteria for Clusters 1, 2, and 3.            

The Advanced Academic Placement Task Force, which began its work in the spring, is recommending that the number of AAP Level IV centers increase so that each FCPS pyramid has a center. Currently, six pyramids are without an AAP center, requiring students to travel out of their pyramid—and sometimes to a different cluster—to receive these services. The Task Force recommends establishing new AAP centers in the Annandale, Edison, Falls Church, Marshall, South County, and Robinson pyramids. It is also recommending that the 15 FCPS middle schools without an AAP Level IV center should establish one.

Parents, principals, staff members, and citizens are being asked to provide input about whether their schools might be ready for these changes during the 2013-14 school year or if the changes should be deferred to the 2014-15 school year. Considerations include space availability, facility readiness, teacher training, quality of the new program, timing, and community readiness. 
           
FCPS staff members have recommended some parameters to help in the transition:
·         Implementation of changes at the elementary level will begin with incoming third grade students. Elementary students currently attending an AAP Level IV center will not be moved unless parents opt to do so.
·         New AAP Level IV centers at middle schools will begin with incoming seventh grade students (except for middle schools with grades 6-8 which will begin with incoming sixth grade students). Middle school students currently attending an AAP Level IV center will not be moved unless parents opt to do so.
·         Pupil transfers and sibling placements will continue to follow the process outlined in Regulation 2230.
 

Recommendations from parents and citizens will be presented to the Fairfax County School Board at its December 10 work session.

 
           
FCPS cluster information is available at http://www.fcps.edu/clusters/index.shtml.
           
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Note: For more information, contact the FCPS Department of Communications and Community Outreach at 571-423-1200.