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Arlington Traditional Named 2012 Blue Ribbon School

by ARLnow.com | September 10, 2012 at 11:50 am | 3,573 views | 92 Comments

U.S. Secretary of Education and Arlington resident Arne Duncan was on hand Friday to personally present Arlington Traditional School (855 N. Edison Street) with one of the Department of Education’s top honors: the designation of Blue Ribbon School.

The elementary school was named a 2012 Blue Ribbon School — one of only 269 schools in the country and one of seven elementary schools in Virginia this year — based on its “overall academic excellence.”

Duncan presented the Blue Ribbon School award to ATS Principal Holly Hawthorne at a school-wide assembly Friday morning. Also in attendance were Rep. Jim Moran (D), School Board Vice Chair Sally Baird, School Board member Abby Raphael, County Board member Libby Garvey, State Sen. Barbara Favola (D), Del. Patrick Hope (D) and State Board of Education President and former Arlington School Board member Dave Foster.

Arlington Public Schools issued the following press release (excerpted) about the recognition.

“This is a tremendous honor for us. Great schools don’t happen by chance, they happen by design,” said Hawthorne. “We know the quality of the education at ATS is the result of the efforts of our talented and dedicated teachers, our hard-working and focused students, and our involved and caring parents. The strong partnerships ATS has forged with families and the community help foster each child’s whole development. Students leave ATS with the skills and attitudes of lifelong learners, prepared to become caring and contributing citizens.”

This is the second time in eight years that ATS has been recognized as a Blue Ribbon School.

“I want to congratulate the entire ATS community on receiving this prestigious honor,” said Superintendent Dr. Pat Murphy. “This recognition rewards the time that teachers spend each day making sure that their students have the tools to help them succeed in the classroom. It recognizes the time that students put into learning as well as the time that parents spend supporting their child’s education. The staff at ATS is to be recognized for building a strong foundation for its students to learn and grow.”

Since 1982, the U.S. Department of Education’s National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has honored America’s most successful public and private elementary, middle, and high schools. The National Blue Ribbon Schools award honors schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students’ levels of achievement. The award acknowledges and validates the hard work of students, staff members, families, and communities in reaching high levels of student achievement.

The US Department of Education will honor all of the nation’s 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools during a conference and awards ceremony November 12-13 in Washington, D.C. A list of the 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools and more information on the Blue Ribbon award is available at www.ed.gov/nationalblueribbonschools.

Video from today’s ceremony is available online at http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/25243604.

Photo courtesy Frank Bellavia / Arlington Public Schools

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  • JimPB

    Congratulations, Arlington traditional.

    The report is incomplete in that the nature of the Arlington Traditional program and especially the specifics of student achievement that resulted in this recognition were not provided.

    I am especially interested in student achievement that is above what one would predict based on personal and family characteristics and the prior (pre-Arlington Traditional) rate of learning.

    • ATS Parent

      I’d like to know as well!

    • Anon

      Agreed.

    • dk (not DK)

      Since we know that family income is strongly associated with school performance, it should be noted that ATS has a much lower share of children receiving free or reduced lunch than most elementary schools in Arlington. Only Tuckahoe, Nottingham, Jamestown, Taylor, and McKinley have lower shares.

      • dk (not DK)

        Share of elementary school students receiving free/reduced lunch, October 2011

        TUCKAHOE–1.76%
        NOTTINGHAM–1.95%
        JAMESTOWN–2.86%
        TAYLOR–3.55%
        MCKINLEY–8.70%
        ARL. TRADITIONAL–13.97%
        SCIENCE FOCUS–17.50%
        GLEBE–18.63%
        ASHLAWN–19.00%
        LONG BRANCH–27.66%
        OAKRIDGE–29.61%
        KEY–32.05%
        CLAREMONT–36.51%
        HENRY–46.00%
        DREW–50.51%
        ABINGDON–53.27%
        BARRETT–53.61%
        CAMPBELL–56.42%
        BARCROFT–59.64%
        HOFFMAN BOSTON–66.15%
        RANDOLPH–74.00%
        CARLIN SPRINGS–85.37%

        • CW

          From that list you would think Arlington was a severly economically depressed area…

          • drax

            From the list, certain parts are.

          • Josh S

            Why?

            More than half the schools are at less than 33%.

            Of course, it all depends on how “severely economically depressed” corresponds to percentage of schoolkids receiving free or reduced lunches.

            And beyond that, it depends on what you mean by “severely economically depressed.”

          • CW

            While I realize the difference between mean, median, and mode, I would not look at that list and think “125k median family income, top 10 riches counties in the nation”. That’s all.

          • drax

            Well, even 33% seems huge.

    • MM

      not the ‘prior rate of learning’ you’re talking about but what i found during my research is that ATS has one of the smallest ‘achievement gap’ amongst its students sub-groups.

      • dk (not DK)

        Perhaps, but again–all the students in every sub-group have highly motivated parents.

        • MM

          well then what do you expect to see here:

          “…student achievement that is above what one would predict based on personal and family characteristics and the prior (pre-Arlington Traditional) rate of learning…”

          since you’re talking about the same parents.

  • CW

    What exactly is this “traditional school?” anyhow? I’ve looked it up before but not actually found anything that explains the name. Do they teach solely Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic? Is there Bible Study? Does the schedule revolve around the planting/harvest season so the students can work the fields? Corporal punishment? Segregation by gender?

    • cranky crankypants

      Things that make it traditional:
      1. There is heavy (HEAVY) emphasis on reading. The phrase that I heard too many times was “learn to read so you can read to learn.”
      2. Parental involvement is built in to the operation.
      3. Good homework habits build students who have clear expectations of how to get things done.
      4. Weekly assemblies. Meh.
      5. Dress code is enforced.
      I would love to see more of the structure exported, even with the caveat that it works mostly because of the parental involvement. Then there is the whole self-selection bias that comes with crazy helicopter parents pushing their children to academic success.

      • Arl for Now

        When I visited the school last year, the principal said that some musical instrument instruction is required too, but I don’t remember the specifics.

        This is a great school for a lot of kids–and they seem to succeed no matter their family circumstances. My son didn’t get in per the lottery, but we’ve loved our neighborhood school more than we could have ever expected. No complaints here.

        • Mary

          Another thing that makes it “traditional” is that is has one teacher/one classroom. ATS was established at a time when “open classrooms” and using different teachers for different subject was the fashion. Arl for Now is correct about music: Every child has chorus time from kindergarten; all 3rd graders learn recorder; and all 4th and 5th graders take either band or string orchestra.

        • Just wondering

          Are the musical instruments good learners? What fraction of them receive free/reduced price lunch?

      • CW

        So basically it runs on common sense? Interesting,

      • dk (not DK)

        It “works” because:

        (1) The only requirement for application for a high performing blue ribbon is that the school is ranked among VA’s highest performing schools as measured by performance on state assessments in both reading (English language arts) and math. And given the HEAVY emphasis on reading that cranky describes, it certainly makes sense that ATS has high reading scores.

        (2) As pointed out by cranky, THE key to successful elementary school education is parental involvement, and this is a very self-selected group of parents–they are not just inclined to go out of their way to find a “choice” school for their children, they are ABLE to satisfy the heavy parental involvement requirement.

        It should be noted that there is no evidence anywhere that finds that student success is associated with homework in elementary school.

        My personal opinion is that the reason this model is not exported to other schools is that there is nothing special about the model itself, it is the fact that the children come from families that are very interested in their kids education and that those families tend to be headed by well-educated, upper income parents. Note, for example, that HB Woodlawn, the other pride of APS, touts the exact opposite model of ATS. Also note the irony that many ATS parents would give their eye teeth to get their children into HB.

        • Regis

          Interesting.

        • drax

          Proof that if you make something hard to get, people will value it more even if it’s not special.

          • John Fontain

            +100. That sums it up nicely.

          • SoFi

            Borne out by parents I’ve met who put their kids in ATS “because Johnny needs structure” and later put in for HB “because Johnny needs freedom to learn”.

        • Former ATS Parent

          You are misinformed. There is no “heavy parental involvement requirement” at ATS. If a child’s parent(s) never show up at the school, the child will still be enrolled there.The amount of or lack of homework was driven by the teacher-not a school mandated policy.

          • cranky.crankypants

            Like you, I am a FATSP. I believe you are misinterpreting the comment. ATS is a school that draws heavy parental involvement both in the school and in the home. How do you think I got to be cranky in the first place?

        • Josh S

          I’d quibble a little bit with your wording about “THE key to successful elementary school education is parental involvement.” I think it’s being in an environment where doing well in school and learning in general is valued and encouraged. This does not necessarily mean active parental involvement in the school itself or even in the child’s schoolwork. For example, my own personal memory is of no homework at all until sixth grade. So there was no schoolwork really for my parents to be involved with.

      • I.P. Daly

        traditioal means all kids in one room not moving to other rooms to learn other topics with exception of music qnd recess. The major point is the class being taught doesnt end because the end of a period. the teacher teaches until everyone gets it then the whole class moves on.

  • Astoria442

    Murphy was not present? hmm….

    • Warwick Von Steuben

      He’s next to Moran in the picture.

      • Astoria442

        i see, tks.

        did the APS news release forget its own boss???

        “…Also in attendance were Rep. Jim Moran (D), School Board Vice Chair Sally Baird, School Board member Abby Raphael, County Board member Libby Garvey, State Sen. Barbara Favola (D), Del. Patrick Hope (D) and State Board of Education President and former Arlington School Board member Dave Foster…”

  • Chris M.

    If it works so well, why is this model not replicated in more schools in Arlington?

    • I.P. Daly

      because arlington cant have functional schools or the minorities will stand out, Asians and East Asians excluded.

  • Willy

    Its a nice school, but as someone has pointed out its a self-selected group of parents and students. So the results are not surprising. It has severed essentially as Arlington’s “white/asian” flight school for those parents who couldn’t trust the regular public schools.

    Another thing that has helped is that until recently, APS never had to face any of the neighborhood school overcrowding that others did. For some reason, in all of the discussions, APS was always left it off the board in terms of letting the number of students increase to uncomfortable levels. One would think that it, of all schools would have been able to deal with the overcrowding.

    • drax

      Until a lawsuit ended the policy in 1999, Arlington used racial quotas to assure that a certain number of ATS students were black. So your white flight claim is shaky. Perhaps that’s how it works now though – though I think now admission is only by lottery (though perhaps whites enter the lottery at a greater proportion than blacks.)

      • SoFi

        Well, white flight can still be described as such as long as the white percentage at ATS is greater than the percentage at the home school. Even when there was a “certain number” that was black at ATS, that number was likely pegged to the overall county percentage. So white parents in the, say, Hoffman-Boston district would still be performing relative white flight by shipping their kids to a racial-quota ATS.

        • drax

          Yes, like I said, if whites are seeking entrance to ATS in greater numbers – like you said, self-selected. Just pointing out that they weren’t entirely self-selected until a decade ago.

  • John Fontain

    Here is a three page article in Arlington Magazine that was written to explain why ATS is so sought after.

    http://www.arlingtonmagazine.com/November-December-2011/Old-School/index.php?cparticle=1&siarticle=0#artanc

    After reading the full three pages, you won’t walk away with much in the way of real answers. As best as I can tell from the article, the school is ‘unique’ because the elementary students have one classroom rather than multiple classrooms (note, this is true of most of the ‘regular’ elementary schools in Arlington), the teachers focus on teaching the kids to read in the early grades (just as all of the other ‘regular’ schools do in Arlington), and they kids where uniforms so they can be more serious in their studies.

    So aside from the uniforms, doesn’t seem like there’s much difference. The drawback, of course, is that your kid’s friends will largely be kids from outside of your neighborhood (noted in the article).

    • Cherrydaler

      Correction: No uniforms but a dress code (tuck in shirts, etc.).
      The differentiator is that each and every parent had to decide to make the effort to apply to the school, attend the tour, get their neighborhood school principal’s signature and get lucky in the lottery. That means that each and every parent has made an extra effort above and beyond what is needed to go to public elementary school. Thus, parents are that much more invested in their students’ success. It’s amazing what a difference that makes.

      • John Fontain

        So besides a dress code, the only difference is that you have to apply to get in?

      • drax

        I took a tour of my kid’s school and filled out forms and stuff too. Big deal.

        • John Fontain

          Well, you and I are obviously not as ‘invested in’ or ‘committed to’ our kids’ success. Shame on us.

  • Former ATS Parent

    2002: In Nottingham hood and heard they’d be bussing to the Wilson Bldg in Rosslyn while renovating Nottingham. It was right after 9/11, my first kid, I was anxious. Also knew we wanted to move so I put my kid’s name in the lottery-got in. I’ll admit, it had nothing to do w/ATS per se, except I liked the central location and if we moved, my kids could stay there. We did move (Taylor) but my kids remained at ATS (their choice). I’m explaining this b/c there’s a misconception that ATS parents walk around w/this private school uppitiness-couldn’t be further from the truth. People are motivated to choice schools for many reasons. btw: Lots of parents do NOTHING there. Like every school, there is a small % that DO. I know, I was one of them. It was a struggle to find volunteers many times. The school is lauded b/c Holly Hawthorne runs a tight ship but that doesn’t mean it’s a great school for every kid. It depends on the specific teacher that year. My kids mostly had awesome teachers AND a couple of dogs. In hindsight, my 2nd child may have been better off going to Taylor-c’est la vie.
    What ATS isn’t: It isn’t religious, it’s a public school, isn’t that against the law? No they don’t wear uniforms-boys have to tuck their shirts in, no obscene tshirts, camouflage or girls walking around like tarts. APS policy: the principal of a school decides.
    What ATS is: A LOT of reading and writing-from kindergarten onward. Science fair mandatory 3rd grade and up. Public speaking: every class has to do a play in front of the school EVERY YEAR. 4th and 5th grade winter and spring concerts and individual recitals-MUSIC-BIG there. Character-behavior and respect for others, a constant focus. Were there out of control children at ATS who had no regard for others? UH YEAH-it’s a public school! And no they don’t get kicked out, they’re dealt with. Our child had psycho kid in 1st grade. Yes I have photos of said weirdo, just awaiting that big nat’l news story in 10 years. We requested they never be in a class together again and it was honored.
    I can’t compare ATS to anywhere else. I do think it’s nice to have options. If ATS has to change to a neighborhood school b/c of overcrowding, Arlington will survive. My prediction: nothing will change about ATS until Mrs. Hawthorne retires.
    FINALLY BIG KUDOS TO ATS! NICE JOB! Special shout out to Mrs. Jacobs-the rockiness kindergarten teacher evah!

    • drax

      Do they teach you about writing with multiple paragraphs at ATS?

      • Former ATS Parent

        Sorry – just trying to save space since I was long-winded.

        • OldYeller

          Thanks for the consideration, my monitor’s pixel tank is running low and I won’t be able to fill up until after work.

  • Marine1Parent

    Does anyone have any updated information on how many kids apply for the ATS lottery and how many get in from the lottery (as opposed to siblings of current students or VPI students)?

    • SoArl

      I can say that my kid is number eighty-something on the waiting list for kindergarten. She’s at another “choice school” now instead. I guess I’m in the minority but I wasn’t too upset that she didn’t get in. The principal really rubbed me the wrong way during the school visit. She seemed to focus more on going over her own credentials than explaining about the school. Obviously, the principal is doing a good job, though.

    • Dean Martin

      My boy was 101 on the waitlist. So, my son has to wait before 101 families plus the people on previous years waitlist get asked to attend. Read Tuttle vs Arlington Public Schools. APS cant use race to implement preferential treatment so they build subsidized housing next to schools to make sure the poor, usually minorities can get preferential treament.

      • DeportEmAll

        Yup.

      • drax

        Oh, come on.

  • Dean Martin

    The first year the sol standards were recorded ATS was second in the State of Virginia. They changed no part of their teaching ways.

  • Narlington

    Way to go ATS good job. Now can we please get the other 30+ schools in the county on the same page.

    • John Fontain

      No thanks. My kids’ neighborhood elementary school is already excellent and my kids love it. No need to change something that isn’t broken.

    • dk (not DK)

      What county are you living in? County-wide, about 90% of elementary school students in Arlington passed the SOLs.

      • Dean Martin

        Passed? ATS is rated 10 out of 10. Some of the Arlington County Schools rate 3, 4 and 6. You are just parroting what the spin has set you up to parrot. They don’t do exposes on the bad schools. That info is just not spoken about. The problem is most of the schools are bad. They have to be given waivers to continue being accredited as a public school. “Just Passing” is something the schools can dream for. The schools are in fear of losing accreditation and may shut down.

        • dk (not DK)

          I’m actually parroting what the published stats say. Can you link to your information, and I’ll be glad to parrot that instead. :-)

          Although I will say (again) that the real difference between ATS and other elementary schools is Arlington is not the curriculum, it is the students who all come from homes where education is highly valued.

        • drax

          I’d like to see where you got that information too, Dean. Which schools failed or got waivers?

  • CW

    So basically what we have collectively determined is that if you take the way any American elementary school was 50 years ago (back when American led the world in innovation) and fill it with a carefully selected group of kids with obsessed parents you will get good academic performance. Whereas everywhere else they are trying this and that and the other educational model du jour with whatever kids they get stuck with who walk through the door, and it doesn’t always work out. A real shocker.

    • Kyle

      But do they have a talent show? We had talent shows in elementary. What about sitting around in a PE class under a big parachute? That’s what really made our school great. And scooter boards.

      • drax

        And making animal masks with paper plates.

        • WeiQiang

          finger painting

        • nom de guerre

          stink bombs/pens, spitballs, wedgies and wet willies.

      • Arl for Now

        Can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic, but yes, my son’s elementary school (not ATS) has an end of year talent show.

    • Astoria442

      I know you’re half-joking but that’s the best way to get parents involved at home because, well, that’s how they (we) were taught. There’d be no more head scratching from the parents trying to help little Johnny with his math homework.

      And help with reading homework too. Every parent could do it..

      Simplicity is the key.

    • Former ATS Parent

      ding ding ding – you hit the nail on the head CW. ATS does not “carefully select” particular students though-it’s a double-blind lottery process. Wouldn’t most parents in Arlington be considered obsessed? Lol

      • CW

        Fair, but there’s certainly some selection bias I’d think. The point is, the parents have to be forward-thinking enough to try to get the kids in, which means they will probably stay involved, which is a bigger indicator of potential success than anything else.

        Also, does ATS weed poorly-performing kids out? Just curious.

        • Dean Martin

          At this age the content isn’t demanding, particularly in a US school. So, teachers don’t move on to the next topic until all kids get the lesson. So, no, they don’t weed out kids. The only selection bias is the ACB giving preferential treatment to minorities while making whites go through a lottery. A sort of allowed reverse discrimination that nobody has the spine to fight.

          • drax

            So you want to fight the Board putting affordable housing in white neighborhoods that happen to have good schools, Dean?

          • Former ATS Parent

            ATS does not weed out poor-performing kids. There was a child in my child’s class who had an IEP. The child’s mother told me that during IEP meetings, there could be over 10 special ed, teachers and personnel there to address her child’s issue. It was overwhelming.

            APS is full on w/kids who are having difficulties. It’s the child that is 2-3 grade levels ahead of the grade material that suffers in ATS (and APS). The principal is not interested in “gifted education.” The part-time gifted resource teacher was usually an after thought and for several years, not hired. When people accuse ATS of being elitist, I chuckle-far from it… ATS motto: “Everyone Is a Star!” We use to finish that statement with…”So No One Is!” Individual achievement is not celebrated unless it’s within a overall communal format.

            It is NOT the school for the kid that requires rigorous, out of the box teaching. People think a kid that is ahead is a good problem to have but it’s just as much an issue as a child who is behind. Boredom, teaching to SOL’s, standardization is the death knell of the american educational system. Even ol’ blue ribbon ATS can’t escape it.

          • SoArl

            This is very scary to me and unfortunately supports my impression of my kid’s first week of kindergarten (not at ATS). Her work seems to be comprised of things she was doing when she was two and three. If they teach to the lowest common denominator, she is going to be bored out of her mind. Any other parents out there that have had a similar experience?

          • Arl for Now

            Yes, last year my son’s kindergarten started slowly until around October. Then they focused more on to reading, writing, some math. Not sure the reasoning behind the pace, but I was pleased overall. It seemed to work.

          • SoArl

            That’s a relief! Its been nice not having to pay for preschool this month that I couldn’t stomach paying for private school, at least for a few years! I’ll just tell the kid to enjoy the slow pace while she can :-)

      • dk (not DK)

        Of course the students are carefully selected–they are selected by the parents themselves, who go out of their way to seek admission rather than simply show up at the local elementary school. (And I’m not casting aspersions on those who just show up–I’m one of them myself.) Among the ones who just show up are plenty who simply aren’t that invested (for whatever reason) in their children’s education. I’d venture to guess that there is not one student at ATS whose parent(s) aren’t invested.

  • John Fontain

    If Arlington County changed the rules and made parents “apply” to get into their regular neighborhood elementary schools with those not accepted having to go to ATS, Key, etc., I guarantee you’d see all of the overeager helicopter parents breaking down the doors trying to get their kids into the neighborhood schools instead.

    As drax stated yesterday,it’s all about the perception that limited availability means something is better.

    I know a family with a kid at ATS and the kid is no smarter and reads no better than my kid in the same grade level. But he is good at tucking in his shirt.

    • CW

      Yep. It’s really that simple, no joke. The difference is people who care vs. people who don’t care. It’s really amazing what a little motivation can do when it comes to results. Make them jump through hoops and you have a self-selecting group which is generally bound to outperform. Why? They have the drive.

      • dk (not DK)

        Not just the drive, the interest in & ability to educate their children. And that doesn’t mean enrolling them in ATS, it means doing things like *talking* to them (do you know how many people don’t really talk to their children? Most people talk AT their children.), reading to them, supplying them with plenty of books and reading materials of their own, taking them to museums and cultural events and to hear music, playing games with them, etc etc etc. THESE are the things that create good learners and which are predictive of success in school. These things take time and other resources, which is why so many people living in or on the edge of poverty can’t/don’t provide them to their children, which in turn is why their children don’t perform well in school. The advantages that these things convey to the children who receive them are HUGE. Children who aren’t raised in homes like this are at a huge disadvantage, and it is almost impossible for schools alone to close that gap. So there should be no surprise when a school filled with students who come from education-rich homes has higher test scores than a school filled with students who come from education-poor homes. How could it be otherwise?

        • drax

          Good post, dk.

          Sorry if I took yours wrong, CW, if I did.

        • John Fontain

          Nicely said.

          • Really?

            r the 4 of you basically saying the school makes no difference in its student’s achievement?

          • John Fontain

            No.

          • Really?

            well…

            “John Fontain:
            September 11th, 2012 11:21 am

            …I guarantee you’d see all of the overeager helicopter parents breaking down the doors trying to get their kids into the neighborhood schools instead.”

            CW:
            September 11th, 2012 1:24 pm

            “Yep. It’s really that simple, no joke. The difference is people who care vs. people who don’t care. It’s really amazing what a little motivation can do when it comes to results. ”

            dk (not DK):
            September 11th, 2012 3:51 pm

            “…So there should be no surprise when a school filled with students who come from education-rich homes has higher test scores than a school filled with students who come from education-poor homes. How could it be otherwise?”

            drax:
            September 11th, 2012 4:10 pm

            “Good post, dk.”

          • John Fontain

            I not following the connection between saying perceived scarceness creates demand and your assertion that I said the school makes no difference. Please explain.

          • Really?

            can explain without a Reply link…

          • Really?

            CW just added two more posts to say school don’t mattah

          • dk (not DK)

            Not at all. I’m saying:

            (1) that schools that educate large numbers of kids from “education-poor” homes (I don’t like that term but I’m not sure what else to call it) are always going to struggle to match the average test scores of schools that predominantly educate children from “education-rich” homes, and they may never be able to match them, thus

            (2) those lower scores are not necessarily indicative of poor teaching (although of course they could be).

            (3) Which is why using standardized test scores to judge schools is fraught with difficulty and may even be doing more harm than good, especially in that it appears to be causing more and more “poor performing” schools to focus predominantly on non-stop drilling of reading and math, rather than provide the rich and varied educational/life experience that children may be lacking at home.

          • CW

            All squares are rectangles but not all rectangles are squares. If you take kids from motivated, education-rich homes with parents who look out for their best interests, you can put them in just about any system and they will succeed – the parents will see to it. Take a kid who doesn’t have that and maybe a really good school model with a lot of resources can help turn them around, but there is more uncertainty because they’re fighting uphill.

      • drax

        Um, plenty of students and parents at the other schools have motivation and drive, and don’t need to have it artificially implanted into us, thanks.

        • CW

          Absolutely – see what I just posted now above. That’s my whole point. Kids and parents with lots of motiviation and drive will succeed just about anywhere. I was just pointing out that when you get a school and fill it with them, then that school is, as a whole, going to look better on paper than a school filled with some motivated kids and a whole bunch of kids who might not be similarly advantaged.

    • Astoria442

      I see the same thing at ASFS.

      I think you just found the best solution to fix Hoffman-Boston. Make it a lottery school and you’ll have all the motivated parents lined up and ready to turn it around or even outperforms ATS.

  • Amy

    Congrats to ATS, a great achievement. We should be celebrating the success of the only Northern VA school to make the blue ribbon list. On admission to ATS, no one has mentioned that 1/3 of the entering kindergarten class is from the VPI preschool, which serves at risk 4 year olds, they gain automatic admission. So after those students and siblings the remaing slots are given out by lottery.

  • Melissa

    One thing that helps ATS succeed is that it isn’t allowed to get severely overcrowded like most of the neighborhood schools in north Arlington. We are at Tuckahoe, the most crowded Arlington ES, and it gets harder and harder every year.

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