To the Editor:
Upon graduating from Louise Archer, sixth graders are split into several different middle schools, to reconvene back to two High Schools: Madison and Marshall (or three if you count TJ) .
Kids on the Eastern side of town tend to go to Kilmer Middle School, either for base or Advanced Academic Program Center (AAP) classes. Kids on the Western/Southern side of town have Thoreau as their base middle school, but those in the AAP program are sent out of Vienna into Falls Church (Merrifield) to Luther Jackson Middle School.
Since Luther Jackson opened as an AAP center for Louise Archer, more than half of the students have "opted out" of AAP at Luther Jackson and remained at Thoreau, taking an all honors curriculum. The kids who stayed at Thoreau and now attend Madison, Marshall and/or TJ take full loads of honors and Advanced Placement (AP) classes and do very well, the oldest group are now successful HS Juniors!
There are currently more than 55 AAP students at Thoreau in seventh grade and another 60 in eighth grade. This is a little more than the number of Madison-bound AAP kids who attend Luther Jackson AAP. With these AAP groups united at Thoreau, a vibrant program of about 100 AAP kids will emerge!!
If you walk the halls at Thoreau, you will see Vienna kids that you know everywhere, from baseball, softball, soccer, football, dance, lacrosse, pool: A wonderful Vienna Community thrives at Thoreau. There is wonderful diversity among the kids, dynamic staff members, and best of all, happy faces all over the place.
There is a motion to create a NEW AAP Center at Thoreau MS for students from Louise Archer and Vienna. Beginning in Fall 2013, this program would be a full-fledged AAP center, complete with trained teachers, engaging lessons and best of all, retaining Vienna Community Values. When passed, your kids can continue AAP learning with friends IN VIENNA.
How you can help:
The school board will vote Thursday on the Thoreau AAP program.
School Board members need to hear there is sufficient parental interest in opening a program at Thoreau. Thoreau leadership, PTA and staff all support the AAP program at Thoreau!
FCPS will actually save money by opening a program at Thoreau, as double bus runs will be eliminated.
Would you take a moment and send an email to the FCPS School Board and let them know how beneficial having a Vienna-based middle school AAP Center will be to our kids and our community?
You can reach all school board members using the address SchoolBoardMembers@fcps.edu. Let them know that you value Vienna as a community and that you would like an AAP Center opened at Thoreau in September.
A former Louise Archer gardner and parent of three AAP "Opt Outs" who attend or have attended Thoreau instead of Luther Jackson and have thrived!