Slide 0 - Alexandria City Public Schools

ACPS Participation in Thomas
Jefferson High School for
Science and Technology
Adele C. Morris
Talented and Gifted Advisory Committee
Alexandria City Public Schools School Board
June 4, 2013
Thomas Jefferson High School for
Science and Technology (TJ)
• Public high school, founded in 1985
• Funded by participating jurisdictions and state funds
• Administered by Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS)
Virginia Governor’s Schools
TJ is the only Academic Year Governor’s School available to ACPS. Governor's
Schools give gifted students opportunities beyond those at their home schools.
VDOE: Governor’s Schools
are “designed to assist
divisions as they meet the
needs of a small
population of students
whose learning levels are
remarkably different from
their age-level peers.”
Approaches center on best
practices in gifted
TJ Location: 3 miles from the City of Alexandria
Braddock Rd,
the City of
participate in
City of Falls Church and
Counties of Fairfax,
Arlington, Loudon, and
Prince William participate.
20% of TJHSST students come
from outside Fairfax County
What would “participation” mean?
• Annual contract with Fairfax County Public Schools, signed by
ACPS Superintendent.
» Contract for participation in 2014-15 is due June 28, 2013.
You could ask Dr. Sherman to request an extension.
• Would allow 8th grade students living in the City of Alexandria
(including home and private school students) to apply this fall
for entrance in 9th grade.
• ACPS compensates FCPS for educating City of Alexandria
residents who attend TJ.
TJHSST Participation:
Estimated Maximum Enrollment Scenario
Tuition Per
Student ($)
Fee Per
Student ($)
Est. Maximum
Number of Total Estimated
Est. Total Per Students from Compensation
Student ($)
to FCPS ($)
• Every ACPS freshman slot filled & one sophomore admission in 2014
• Current relative enrollment levels in ACPS and participating jurisdictions
• Annual tuition increase of 3%, starting from estimated 2013-14 tuition.
• Amortized (not lump sum) renovation fee option
• FCPS does not provide transportation for Alexandria students
• A separate cost would accrue if ACPS chooses to offer transport.
How is TJ different from a typical high school?
• “Blows off the ceiling” in science, technology, engineering, and
Advanced STEM-centric learning environment
e.g. Two DNA classes, quantum mechanics, numerical analysis, robotics
• Focus on research, including mentoring by scientists and engineers
in area laboratories
• Extracurricular activities for STEM enthusiasts, e.g.
Clubs for robotics and nanotechnology
Biology and Chemistry Olympiads
Physics team
Women’s science clubs
A math team
3 computer teams
Ranked 4th
“Best High
In the US,
Highly advanced lab facilities, such as:
• Prototyping lab w/ computercontrolled laser cutter
• Labs for supercomputer,
computer modeling, computer
architecture, machine learning,
and artificial intelligence.
• Lab for neurorobotics,
electrophysiology, and
• Computer-aided design lab with
latest design software.
• Optics lab with a scanning
tunneling microscope and several
What’s the process/schedule for participation?
Illustrative Timeline
May 17, 2013
June 4, 2013
Dr. Sherman received a FCPS letter inviting ACPS participation in TJHSST in 201415 academic year.
Tonight’s briefing
June 6-20, 2013
Further discussion/vote at ACPS School Board meeting(s).
June 28, 2013
Participation contract due to FCPS (unless ACPS gets an extension).
Fall 2013
Interested 8th grade students apply to TJHSST and take entrance exam.
Applications are due in October. Entrance exam is in December.
Spring 2014
ACPS adopts a budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year that includes estimated funds
for TJHSST costs.
March 29, 2014
Approximate date applicants learn whether they are accepted
Sept. 2, 2014
First group of ACPS students matriculate at TJHSST
December 1, 2014
First year payment due from ACPS to FCPS
Advisory Committee Recommendations
• Embrace the opportunity to blow off the ceiling. Offer students
this incredible option.
• If you need more time to deliberate, ask Dr. Sherman to request
an extension from FCPS.
• Take a tour of TJ and talk to students and teachers.
• Vote YES to participate in TJHSST.
• Offer an entrance test prep class, subsidized for students eligible
for free/reduced price meals.
Extra slides
TJ Renovation Underway Now
$90+ million
50% increase in space with no more students
130,000 sq. ft. addition, including new labs for oceanography, chemical analysis,
neuroscience, energy systems, and more.
How does FCPS determine the maximum cap on
attendance by City of Alexandria students?
• Total TJHSST incoming class size = 480.
ACPS cap = 480 x Number of 8th graders in ACPS
Number of 8th graders in all participating jurisdictions
• ACPS cap would be about 13 per class year
Alexandria students would comprise at most 2.9% of TJHSST’s student body
13 students = about 1.7% of ACPS’ 8th grade student body
• You can choose a lower cap (but no other jurisdictions do that).
• Sophomores can apply if you allow it ( for about 10 to 18 10th grade
slots total each year)
• Actual enrollment will depend on how many get in…
How competitive is admission to TJHSST?
• Very competitive.
» Application requires an entrance exam. Semi-finalists
submit teacher recommendations, grades, essay.
» Applicants must have completed Algebra 1 by the end of 8th
» Last year 3,423 students applied and 480 were accepted, an
acceptance rate of about 14%.
Arlington had 160 applicants for 30 slots, a 19% acceptance rate.
• Students do well once they’re in.
» Less than 4% leave TJ (for all reasons) from freshman to
sophomore year
» About 93% stay at TJ and graduate
Other Considerations
• Currently, some families avoid Alexandria to preserve their option
for TJ.
Participation in TJ would send a welcoming message to high achieving families.
• STEMbassadors program brings TJ students back to home districts
for STEM outreach to younger ACPS students.
• FCPS trains designated middle school counselors to shepherd
students through the admissions process.
• ACPS can offer an admissions test or send students to FCPS for
the exam.
Financial Details and Considerations
• ACPS compensates FCPS for any Individualized Education Plan
• ACPS cannot charge parents tuition.
• ACPS can establish a scholarship fund to defray its expenses.
• Less than 8% of TJ students come from private/home schools.
• Some savings could arise from not serving students in ACPS
» Average general education cost per pupil in ACPS in FY 12 =
• All participating jurisdictions currently provide transportation.
How does FCPS calculate tuition?
Tuition has 4 components:
1. FCPS Cost Per Pupil
2. Incremental Cost Per
Pupil for TJHSST
3. State payment
(20% of state aid per pupil)
4. Discount for FCPS not
providing transport
Total Tuition per Student
2012-13 Actual
2013-14 Estimated
Tuition rises each year with FCPS general education (high school) cost per pupil.
• The rise from 2012-13 to 2013-14 will be less than 1%.
• The rise from 2011-12 to 2012-13 was about 5.8%.
Earlier slide assumes 3% annual increase in tuition.
What is the renovation recovery fee?
Under the current FCPS proposal, ACPS would have two choices to fund the
costs of the renovation:
Option 1
Per Pupil Paid Annually for 33 Years
Option 2
Per Pupil x 20 Years, Lump Sum Payment
The actual fee could be different than values above if actual renovation costs
are different than projected.
Once the renovation is done, the capital fee will not increase.
What is the difference between TJHSST and a STEM
The Virginia Dept. of Education calls Academic Year Governor’s Schools and
STEM academies “complements.”
3 out of the 5 TJ-participating jurisdictions also have STEM academies
The two approaches serve different populations of students.
STEM academy goals usually include:
Workplace readiness
Head start on a community college credential
Training for skilled technical trades, such as automotive tech, medical tech,
Dropout prevention, increase college attendance, decrease need for remediation
in college
STEM academies and TJHSST are both valuable ways to promote individual
student achievement in STEM fields, but they serve very different purposes.
What input would ACPS have into the governance of
According to the contract, superintendents and/or their designees can serve
as an advisory board to the Division Superintendent of the Fairfax County
Public Schools.
ACPS teachers can help review admissions applications.
Parents and students can join the active TJHSST Parent Teacher Student
Precedent: ACPS sends students to specialized schools that serve the deaf or
disabled and does not have a representative on those schools’ boards.