ACPS Participation in Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology Adele C. Morris Chair 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 education. TJ Location: 3 miles from the City of Alexandria 6560 Braddock Rd, Alexandria, VA All jurisdictions surrounding the City of Alexandria participate in TJHSST. City of Falls Church and Counties of Fairfax, Arlington, Loudon, and Prince William participate. 20% of TJHSST students come from outside Fairfax County TJ 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 Academic Year Estimated Tuition Per Student ($) Estimated Renovation Fee Per Student ($) Est. Maximum Number of Total Estimated Est. Total Per Students from Compensation Student ($) Alexandria to FCPS ($) 2014-15 13,237 1,847 15,084 14 211,172 2015-16 13,634 1,847 15,481 27 417,983 2016-17 14,043 1,847 15,890 40 635,594 2017-18 14,464 1,847 16,311 53 864,490 Assumes: • 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 math » 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 School” In the US, 2013 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 neuroinformatics. • Computer-aided design lab with latest design software. • Optics lab with a scanning tunneling microscope and several lasers. What’s the process/schedule for participation? Illustrative Timeline Date/Deadline Action 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 grade. » 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 services. • 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 schools. » Average general education cost per pupil in ACPS in FY 12 = $14,267. • All participating jurisdictions currently provide transportation. How does FCPS calculate tuition? Tuition has 4 components: Component 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 $ 12,160 $ 12,285 $ 1,898 $ 1,988 $ (874) $ (874) $ (548) $ (548) $ 12,636 $ 12,851 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 $1,847 Per Pupil Paid Annually for 33 Years • Option 2 $2,469 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 Academy? • 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, electronics » 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 TJHSST? • 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 Association. • Precedent: ACPS sends students to specialized schools that serve the deaf or disabled and does not have a representative on those schools’ boards.