A Message from the Superintendent
It is difficult to believe the school division is quickly approaching the mid-year point! The weeks moving closer to the semester break have appeared to have flown by…with our young people working very hard!
The new Mentor Program at the high school has proved to be very effective.  This program takes upper class students (usually seniors), and over the summer trains them to be supportive mentors of in-coming freshmen. The mentors are given training in peer relations, team building, and the skills needed to be able to assist a fellow ACHS student with the information needed to “fit in” quickly to the new environment.  Feedback tells us the freshmen have felt more connected and better prepared for the demands of being a high school student. As adults, we have noticed a decline in typical concerns and problems related to the first year of high school. 
Attendance is a major issue for ACPS and all school in the Commonwealth now that the Virginia Department of Education is using the daily attendance rate as a factor in school accreditation.  Under the new state requirements, it is very possible for a school to lose its accreditation merely because students were absent.  The new rules take effect immediately, and are very clear—students must be in school.  The requirements have only two categories—in school or not.  All absences must be accounted for, so even illness now requires the school to follow up and document these issues fully.  Parents are very likely this year (and in the future) to receive phone calls, letters, text messages, etc. to seek information on absences, and to solicit the parents’ help in keeping young people in school.  Now, more than ever, we must work to keep everyone in school.  It reinforces the fact that we cannot provide an education to children who aren’t in school!
As we continue the race to mid-year, I am grateful for the service and dedication of the school employees, and am deeply appreciative of the help of parents and all members of our community to promote education. Should you have any question or need the school may fulfill, please do not hesitate to contact your local school or the Central Office.   Together we all make a positive difference in the life of a young person!

Dr Nichols Signature

Dr. Steven Nichols