Tag Archives: Mount Vernon Community School

Sep 28, 2016

When my husband and I moved to Del Ray, the last thing on our mind was the school system. We had two dogs and no children on the horizon. Thirteen years later, we have two children in Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) and we are thrilled with our experience. I frequently have new parents ask how my children are doing in Mount Vernon Community School and now GW Middle School. Both have proven to be excellent schools and my children’s education has been top notch. I’m happy with the teachers and administrators, but I also think a crucial factor to educational success is a high level of community and parental involvement. This brings me to introduce my guest author for this post!

I first met Karen Graf as she spearheaded the organization of the MVCS bookroom. Karen’s tireless dedication ensured that ALL children at MVCS have access to books that were at their reading level. Karen has catapulted on from the MVCS bookroom to become the Chair of the Alexandria City Public School Board.

I asked Karen recently if she would do a guest post on ‘Why Alexandria City Public Schools’ since it’s such a common question. Without further ado, here is her piece:

The first month of school has passed. I’m often asked by new and prospective parents why people send their children to ACPS and why they choose to stay. Based on the last several years, we know that something has shifted in a positive direction in the City of Alexandria. In fact, I have heard the dialogue change around ACPS. This benefits the whole community in many ways.

I informally surveyed a group of parents who have children in the division between kindergarten and eighth grade. I ask them why they send their children to ACPS. Most everyone gave “community” as the reason.

A common story is that they moved to Alexandria City before their children were at school age. Many were interested in living in neighborhoods where they could meet neighbors, walk to school and participate in their community. The community connection is strong in Alexandria City and they were betting on that being in the schools. They found that the schools served as a community gathering place. Playgrounds were seen as a way to meet people and many felt that that were make lifelong friends through participating in the schools.

Many parents felt strongly about wanting to be in a functioning, urban school district in a city that felt like a small town. They welcomed ACPS’ diversity. The workplace is global and having kids experience diversity at such a young age helps them develop skills for adapting to the world at-large. There was a belief that this helps them build resilience and grit, which are emerging concepts in the education community.

They also like that each school has a different “personality” and they felt that this led to similar values in the school populations. When I asked them to clarify values, they said that most people have a deep believe in the public education system and enjoy the benefits of a diverse staff and student population.

There’s also a strong time and money investment in the schools. Many community partners, nonprofits and parents across the city are giving their time, money and energy to better our school system. This serves as a capstone to divisions becoming high performing.

All of these reasons might be enough for someone to start at ACPS, but why do they stay? The general thought was that people want to help their city and their neighborhoods progress. They also recognize that TC Williams has some of the best offerings in the state. The high school provides the most AP courses in the Commonwealth, has a robust Career and Technical education program and the counseling department is committed to assisting students towards realizing their college goals. With such a large student population, there are exciting opportunities for students to experience successes and science, arts and music.

The parents also cited the dedicated, committed staff. As I listened to them, I realize that education is complex. Every student learns differently and every teacher teaches differently. However, through the differences, ACPS is committed to creating equitable opportunities for every child in the school system. What struck me was that these parents have pride in their children, their school experience and the city of Alexandria. And this combination is what is helping the focus on high-performance.

I’m excited for this school year. And I’m really eager to continue to observe the successes of our staff and our students in the coming year. With a community like ours, success is defined by those making a difference in people’s lives. And in our city, Alexandrians give and receive that in bucket loads.

May 13, 2015

This Saturday, May 16 come to Mount Vernon Community School with the whole family for a plant seedling sale, potted plants, floral bouquets, bake sale, live music, an advice table with straw hat gardeners, pour over coffee, and more! All to benefit the MVCS Playground Fund.
From 8 am-2 pm at Mount Vernon Community School Playground

Jan 29, 2014

This Friday, Jan. 31st, the Mount Vernon Community School (MVCS) PTA will host a community bingo night in the school cafeteria. The cost is $20 per person to play between 6:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Dinner, catered by Pork Barrel BBQ, will be available for $5.

There will be a free movie and pizza for kids in the school auditorium.

Spread the word, all are invited! Come for fun, cash prizes and community and help support the PTA!

To help with planning and logistics, please reserve your spot at http://delraybingo.eventbrite.com/


Jul 31, 2013
Tomorrow, August 1st from 6-9 p.m. is First Thursday – Did You Know
The Del Ray Business Association will be sharing interesting facts about local businesses and Del Ray through a scavenger hunt and educational demonstrations.  For the Scavenger Hunt, pick up the clues and map at 6pm at the Farmer’s Market. Find the answers by visiting local businesses and their tables along the Avenue. Seichou Karate, Del Ray Variety, Rich Rosenthal Brincefield Manitta Dzubin & Kroeger, A Shot in the Dark, The Plannery, Nanny Next Door, Jason Fuchs of Wells Fargo Advisors, Del Ray Artisans, and Sediment Press will be participating.
Mount Vernon Community School will be the featured non-profit of First Thursday and will have a booth at the Farmers Market. At the booth you can:
■Purchase MVCS t-shirts
■Sign up to join/renew your PTA membership
■Drop off “Boxtops for Education“
■Register your Giant, Target, Safeway and Harris Teeter cards so MVCS can earn money with each purchase
■Get the latest on the MV Big Flea and other PTA programs and activities
■Learn how to become a community partner
■Donate school supplies
There will also be demonstrations at the Farmer’s Market Lot starting at 6:30 Turn Your Favorite Bar Soap Into A Liquid Soap (Truly Life) 6:45 Karate Student Demo (Seichou Karate) 7:15 A Skit (Del Ray Variety)
Many businesses will have tables set up along Mt. Vernon Avenue. Many will have fun activities and demonstrations. Get your face painted at Nanny Next Door’s table near A Show of Hands. Watch Meghan from A Shot in the Dark demonstrate the rule of thirds at A Shot in the Dark’s table near the Farmer’s Market.
First Thur
May 03, 2012
Please join us for the first of the “First Thursdays” on The Avenue here in our hometown of Del Ray slated for Thursday, May 3rd 2012 from 6 – 9 pm.  This year’s theme for May is “Health & Wellness” which is sponsored by the neighboring health & wellness centers throughout Del Ray. Fun and interesting demonstrations throughout the evening at the Farmer’s Market with live music courtesy of our own bands from Rock of Ages Music, terrific raffle prizes for children and adults, and some surprises along the way.
Bring the kids, grab the dog and your bicycle and join us for a fun night!
In conjunction with First Thursday, don’t miss Mount Vernon Community School’s Bike Rodeo from 6-8 p.m. at the school. Practice bicycle street smarts by going around obstacles and over ramps in a fun, safe setting. The rodeo is designed for children who already know how to ride a bike. Experienced instructors will guide participants, and bikes and helmets will be on hand for borrowing. Free helmets and safety equipment will be available to those who need them on a first-come, first-served basis. Children also may bring their own bikes for inspection by Velocity. The rodeo is funded by a grant from the Alexandria Be Safe Coalition and VITAL Wellness Center. In the event of poor weather or lighting conditions, rodeo times may change. For more information, contact the school at 703-706-4460.
Nov 25, 2011

The Capital Christmas Tree is stopping at Mount Vernon Community School on Saturday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.  There will be fun activities for kids.  Highlights of the event also include a Share the Road Highway Safety Tractor-Trailer that allows kids and the community to get up in the cab of the truck and see firsthand what a truck driver can and cannot see and a tractor-sized inflatable Mack Bulldog with which kids can pose for photos.