ACDS Podcast on Grit and Perseverance

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Welcome to our new podcast series!  In each episode, members of the ACDS administration and faculty will be discussing educational best practices around teaching grit and perseverance and what these practices look like at ACDS.  In our first episode, Scott Bayotsh, Head of School, Ryan Woods, Head of Middle School, Meg Mosier, 7th & 8th… Read more »

November Day of Service

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The Tuesday before Thanksgiving, students, faculty and staff spent much of the day actively engaged in a myriad of service learning activities.  ACDS’s robust service learning program spans the entire school year with all students participating in both one-time activities and year-long class projects. On this day, students either participated in a hands-on activity or… Read more »

Scott Baytosh appears on News Talk

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On Friday, September 30th, Scott Baytosh appeared on News Channel 8’s News Talk to talk about how parents and educators can help children respond to what they see and hear about complex political and social issues by building skills of critical thinking, empathy, and respectful dialog.

NBC4 and ABC7 Visit ACDS’ Day of Service

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On April 29, ACDS held its annual Day of Service where students and faculty spent the day serving their local and global communities. Throughout the school year, students dedicate a significant amount of time to community projects as service learning is an integral part of ACDS’ curriculum. The Day of Service is a foundational piece… Read more »

Lower Schoolers Spend a Week Walking in the Shoes of Others

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Kindergarten through fourth grade students at Alexandria Country Day School (ACDS) spent the School’s Festival of Learning week walking in the shoes of others to learn empathy, compassion and more about themselves. They began each day “trying on a different pair of shoes” as they rotated through a variety of workshops. Through simulations and hands-on… Read more »

Alumnus Included in Forbes 30 Under 30

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Vlad Tenev ’00 is included in this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30.  30 Under 30 honors 600 of the brightest young entrepreneurs, breakout talents and change agents in 20 different sectors.  Vlad is included for building, Robinhood, a commission-free stock trading app available to anyone with a smartphone.  Congratulations, Vlad!  Click here to read the… Read more »

November Day of Service

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ACDS students spent the better part of today in service to others. Some grades performed hands-on acts of service, while others learned about and prepared for projects they will undertake later this year. Our kindergartners and first graders assembled 60 bags of food for blessings in a backpack. Second graders and sixth graders have begun… Read more »

ACDS’ Experience with Math in Focus Featured in Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Newsletter

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In 2013, ACDS was one of the first schools in the DC area to implement Math in Focus. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, an educational publishing company, recently interviewed Melissa Davis about our experience with the curriculum.  Read the full text of the article below. How Math in Focus is reshaping the classroom at Alexandria Country Day… Read more »

Baby Chicks Join the Kindergarten Class

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The kindergarten class has recently been joined by some very special guests, two baby chicks and seven chicken eggs.  On loan from a farm in Maryland, the chicks, named Jack and Sarah, and the eggs have joined the class for four weeks to complete a unit on farms and the life cycle of a chicken…. Read more »

ACDS Featured in Alexandria Times

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Exciting things are happening at ACDS and the local media is taking notice!  This week’s edition of the Alexandria Times features an article about our standing desks, and one about our new Innovation Lab.  Special thanks to Scott Lieberman, sixth grade science teacher and middle school technology integrationist, for authoring the Innovation Lab article. Alexandria… Read more »

Thank you, Mr. Rodriguez, Mr. Contreras, & Mr. Corando!

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Over the summer, our maintenance crew worked overtime getting our classrooms ready for the new furnishings and the school ready for the new school year.  In the classrooms alone, they painted and recarpeted; refinished all of the wood trim; removed, repainted and replaced radiators; hung white boards and forbo; and assembled furniture!  They knocked out… Read more »

ACDS “Takes a Stand” for Better Health & Education

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School Debuts Ergotron’s LearnFit™ Student Standing Desks for Active Classrooms This year Alexandria Country Day School (ACDS), a leading K-8 independent school, greeted middle school students upon their return from summer vacation with a unique addition to their classrooms: standing desks from Ergotron. ACDS’ integration of Ergotron’s LearnFit Adjustable Standing Desk was made in response to numerous… Read more »

6th, 7th, and 8th Grade Overnights

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Our sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students kicked off the year by heading out on exciting overnight adventures. The eighth graders spent two nights at Adventures on the Gorge in West Virgina where they went rafting and participated in other outdoor adventures. Seventh graders spent two nights camping on the Assateague National Seashore where they… Read more »

ACDS Teachers Spend their Summer Vacations Learning

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While their students were enjoying summer vacation, the faculty at Alexandria Country Day School engaged in a myriad of professional and curricular development activities designed to elevate their teaching and the School’s curriculum.  Twenty-two of the thirty-two faculty members attended at least one conference to further enrich their teaching, and nearly all spent time reviewing… Read more »

Join us for the Bobcat Classic

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Please join us on Tuesday, September 28th at Belle Haven Country Club for the annual Bobcat Classic Golf and Tennis Tournament!  Don’t miss this fun event for golfers and tennis players of all skill levels!  For more information, please contact Matt Sahlin at 703-837-1313 or msahlin@acdsnet.org. Golf Registration Form 2015  Sponsorship Details 2015

Congratulations Class of 2015!

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On June 4th, we celebrated the 28 members of the remarkable Class of 2015.  Articulate, playful, highly-intelligent, responsible, and kind, we know that they will each find great success at the 16 different independent, parochial, and public high schools they have chosen.  At the ceremony, Scott Baytosh, Head of School, spoke about each graduate, sharing… Read more »

The Turf Field is Ready for Play!

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Students have been excitedly watching the installation throughout the spring and were thrilled to have a chance to play for the first time this afternoon. Although landscaping and other finishing touches in the surrounding area remain, the turf installation is complete and received rave reviews from students and faculty alike.   New Turf Field from… Read more »

Celebration of the Arts

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Last night, ACDS students, teachers and parents gathered for the annual Celebration of the Arts.  After checking out all of the new art hanging in the main stairwell, attendees gathered in the Performing Arts Center for a fantastic program of music, theater, and art. Fresh off a successful performance in Alexandria’s Market Square, the 5th… Read more »

Students Celebrate Earth Day with Service

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On a beautiful spring morning, Alexandria Country Day School students, faculty, and staff hopped on buses and bicycles to begin a day of service.  Eighth graders led the way to Alexandria’s Founders Park on their bicycles where they met up with the third grade to plant over 1,200 flowers.  Picturesque Lake Accotink Park in Springfield… Read more »

7th & 8th Graders Shine in Annual Musical

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The talented 7th & 8th grade drama students treated students, faculty, and parents to a fantastic production of Middle School Musical on March 4th and 10th. Written and directed by our drama teacher, Valerie Issembert, the production also featured scenic art designed by the 7th & 8th grade art students and a pit orchestra comprised… Read more »

First Graders Make Their Own Toothpaste

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First graders ended their study of dental hygiene by learning about the ingredients in toothpaste and ultimately making their own.  In the first session, students learned about the four ingredients in toothpaste; calcium carbonate, ivory soap flakes, glycerin, and water.  Students then completed a feel test and foam test on each ingredient, and discussed their… Read more »

2015 Science Fair Showcases Student Ingenuity

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At the annual Science Fair, 27 seventh graders demonstrated the scientific method like true scientists, and our 28 eighth graders tested their understanding of some physics concepts by taking on the annual Egg-Car challenge, doing so with aplomb. It was exciting to watch and listen as each and every student proudly presented their work, providing… Read more »

ACDS has Selected its Mock Caldecott Winners!

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The 5th graders have been considering and analyzing pictures books in the library. The students worked in teams to advocate why their selected book was the best of the year. They used Explain Everything to present their arguments to the full grade. The students voted and the results are in. The winner of the ACDS Mock Caldecott… Read more »

Alumna Reflects on her ACDS Experience

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Dana Frantz Bentley ’94 is an accomplished educator and author who came back to ACDS  this November to speak about her experience at ACDS and her new book, “Everyday Artists: Inquiry and Creativity in the Early Childhood Classroom.” Dana is currently a preschool teacher and researcher at Buckingham, Browne and Nichols School in Cambridge, MA…. Read more »

Afternoon of Service

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Before departing for Thanksgiving Break, students, faculty, and staff spent the afternoon participating in service learning activities.  Our kindergarteners, along with their eighth grade buddies, sorted and assembled 50 packages of food for Blessings in a Backpack.  400 decorated treat bags filled with cookies for So Others Might Eat were made by first and eighth… Read more »

5th & 6th Grade Play is a Smash Hit!

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Congratulations to the cast and crew of “The One and Only Ivan” on two fantastic performances!  The play was performed by the 5th & 6th grade drama class with sets and costumes by the 5th & 6th grade art class.  Missed the show?  Watch it here!          

ACDS Students Serve their Community

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Whether volunteering for the Miracle League, collecting food for Blessings in a Backpack, or participating in numerous other activities, Alexandria Country Day School students have once again shown their outstanding commitment to community service.  From their first days of kindergarten through eighth grade graduation, ACDS students learn the importance of being community minded citizens and… Read more »

School Founders Visit ACDS

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In 1983, a group of visionary educators and committed parents who were dedicated to quality education and interested in providing an environment where children could develop their full potential began Alexandria Country Day School.  Today, many of those founders were welcomed back to their school for a luncheon and it was great fun to hear… Read more »

Sixth Graders Build Remotely Operated Vehicles

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There has been a flurry of excitement and activity in the middle school Science Lab over the past several weeks as the sixth graders built SeaPerch underwater remotely operated vehicles. This morning, they put their work to the test and successfully ran their vehicles through hoops, into crates, and all around a large pool.  

Bobcats were everywhere at Art on the Avenue!

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Alexandria Country Day students had a large presence Art on the Avenue, a large street festival in Del Ray.  The 7th and 8th grade band kicked off the festival’s Concert Band Stage with a fantastic performance. Mrs. Tacktill, Mr. Glaize, and middle school art students painted a DASH bus and helped hundreds of children place… Read more »

Middle School Learning Traits

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The Middle School is dedicated to placing an increased emphasis on the behaviors of a successful learner. To that end, significant thought was put into revising our Learning Traits categories and developing specific descriptors for each behavior. We believe that these behaviors are just as important as academic success. How we behave as a learner… Read more »

Author, Bob Shea Visits ACDS

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This afternoon, our kindergarten through fourth graders were visited by author and illustrator, Bob Shea. After reading several of his books aloud, Mr. Shea showed the students how to draw a dinosaur, unicorn and more.   Mr. Shea was introduced by three sixth graders who, as fifth graders, advocated for Mr. Shea’s Unicorn Thinks He’s… Read more »

Sixth Graders take the Marshmallow Challenge

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    Our sixth graders were challenged this week by their science teacher, Mr. Lieberman to create the tallest, free-standing structure out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of string, one yard of tape, and one marshmallow, which must be placed on top, in just 18 minutes. Sixth grade marshmallow challenge from ACDS on… Read more »

Mayor Euille Swears in Student Council

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Alexandria Country Day School celebrated the start of the new school year by swearing in its Student Council members on Wednesday, September 10th. Alexandria’s Mayor, William Euille joined Head of School, Scott Baytosh to perform the swearing in ceremony and discuss the importance of education and the responsibility of leadership. Mayor Euille has been performing… Read more »

ACDS Receives $3 Million Gift

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Gift is largest ever.  School will use the gift to build on recent successes and support ongoing advancement. Alexandria, Va., September 2, 2014 – Today, Alexandria Country Day School (ACDS), a leading K-8 independent school, announced a $3 million gift from an anonymous donor, the largest in the school’s 31-year history. The gift will be… Read more »

Join us for the Bobcat Classic!

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Please join us on Tuesday, September 9th at Belle Haven Country Club for the annual Bobcat Classic Golf and Tennis Tournament!  Don’t miss this fun event for golfers and tennis players of all skill levels!  Click here for more information and to sign up.  Bobcat Classic Registration 2014

Congratulations Class of 2014!

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Congratulations Class of 2014! We will miss you next year and wish you all the best in high school at Bishop Ireton, Edmund Burke, Emma Willard, Episcopal, Field, Foxcroft, Georgetown Visitation, Gonzaga, Langley, National Cathedral, Shady Side Academy, St. Anslem’s Abbey, St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes, T.C. Williams, and West Potomac.

First Grade Authors’ Tea

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Our first graders are authors! This morning, our talented first graders shared their books at the annual Authors’ Tea. The engaging stories, which were either a small moment in the author’s life or realistic fiction, were also illustrated by the first graders and included a dedication page and an author bio. Great job first grade!

12 Students Receive National Spanish Exam Recognition

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This spring, ACDS 7th and 8th graders took the 2014 National Spanish Examinations along with over 154,000 students across the United States.  Twelve of our students attained national recognition for their performance: Bella Hubble and Zoha Siddiqui, 7th grade, earned silver medals Hayden Katz, Mary Margaret Lehmkuhler, and Rachel Suleymanov, 7th grade, earned bronze medals… Read more »

8th Grader Wins Public Speaking Contest

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From its founding, ACDS has emphasized public speaking in its program.  It begins in Kindergarten where students share in morning meeting, and continues to the Author’s Tea in first grade, a public poetry reading in third grade, and our formal Speeches & Sweets program beginning in fifth grade.  In eighth grade, Speeches & Sweets becomes… Read more »

Day of Service

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After assembling 20,000 meals for Stop Hunger Now, each grade participated in another service learning project to complete our Day of Service.  Our Kindergartners planted a butterfly garden on campus.  The first and fourth grades volunteered at Buddie Ford Nature Center.  Second and fifth graders cleaned up three Alexandria playgrounds.  The third and sixth graders… Read more »

ACDS Packages 20,000 Meals for Stop Hunger Now

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To begin our Day of Service, ACDS students, faculty and staff worked together to package 20,000 meals for Stop Hunger Now.   The first step was to combine the ingredients into a bag.  Each package, which provides six meals, contains dehydrated vegetables, a soy protein, rice, and a vitamin packet.     Filled packets were then… Read more »

Kindergarten – 2nd Grade Open House on April 29th

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There’s no better time to nurture a child’s natural inquiry and love of learning than during the early years.  At Alexandria Country Day School, our K–2 classrooms burst with the delight of discovery as students actively engage in a challenging curriculum within a joyful and caring environment.  Additionally, a low student/teacher ratio allows the teachers… Read more »

7th Grader Places 2nd in County Science Fair

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Three ACDS seventh graders presented their science projects at Fairfax County’s first Engineering and Science Fair on Saturday, April 5th.  Kathryn Fronabarger’s project looked at Hydroponics, Shannon Ayres tested the effectiveness of lie detectors, and Kieran Donaldson examined the optimal angle of a trebuchet.  Among the over 100 students from Northern Virginia schools who participated,… Read more »

Festival of Learning 2014: Mythology

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Every culture has its own mythology and now ACDS does too!   Every year, the Alexandria Country Day School community comes together for a week-long Festival of Learning focused on a single topic.  This year we explored myths and legends from around the world.  Our students read, discussed, compared and contrasted myths in their classes… Read more »

7th & 8th Grade Musical a Hit!

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On Thursday evening and Friday morning, we were treated to a fabulous performance of Honk! by the 7th and 8th graders.  Students in the second trimester drama class did a fantastic job on stage and as members of the show’s running crew.  The music class learned and played some of the score, and the art… Read more »

Kindergarten Service Learning

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This year our Kindergarteners have chosen hunger as their service learning topic.  After organizing a food drive for the Backpack Buddies program, the Kindergartners took a trip to visit the Arlington Food Assistance Center to deliver their food.  Thanks to the help of the entire ACDS community, Kindergarten collected 460 pounds of single serving items… Read more »

Training Brains

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On a daily basis, schools across the nation attempt to help students understand how their words and actions have a significant impact on the lives of their peers. Many would expect that helping students learn this important lesson would be simple and straightforward. However, the reality is that the developing frontal lobes of children make… Read more »

Bullying Awareness Week

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This week was Bullying Awareness Week at ACDS. All week during Morning Meeting/Circle of Power & Respect, students participated in activities designed to raise their awareness of bullying and teach them how to stand up for themselves and others. Today, the entire school came together for an all school activity. The assembly began with the… Read more »

Technology Integration: Using Haiku to Enrich Learning

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At ACDS, the faculty has spent time discussing and exploring best practices in technology integration, and more specifically, how we can use technology to meet our school-wide goal of challenging all students. Earlier this week, our Middle School Spanish teacher, Mrs. Hernandez Basta, created and delivered a technology-laden lesson that is an excellent example of… Read more »

First Grade Engineers Build Apple Containers

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Design a container with a handle that will carry at least three apples for at least ten paces using only the materials provided: foam trays, paper plates, aluminum foil, paper, wax paper, yarn, straws, paperclips, scotch tape, index cards, popsicle sticks and sandwich bags. Doesn’t sound easy, does it? But our first grade engineers proved… Read more »

The Making of a Mascot

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Last spring, ACDS went through a marketing and re-branding effort that made some changes to the external look of the school.  A new logo, sign, refreshed letterhead, and even new school uniforms made their debut which has given the school a fresh look. As this process was underway, it became clear to me that there… Read more »

ACDS at Art on the Avenue

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On Saturday, ACDS provided a kid’s art activity at Art on the Avenue, a large street festival in Del Ray. Many of our fabulous Middle Schoolers came out and helped nearly 400 children decorate cookies.     

Effective Parent-Teacher Communication

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Effective communication between parents and teachers is essential to developing a full understanding of a student’s character and ways of learning.  It’s also a two-way street.  Here are three things teachers and parents should each keep in mind when engaging in this all-important endeavor: For Teachers: Strive to demonstrate to each parent the depth of… Read more »

Author Annie Barrows Visits ACDS

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Today, ACDS students were treated to a reading of the first two chapters of the newest “Ivy + Bean” book, “Ivy + Bean Take the Case”, by author Annie Barrows. She also took the time to answer students’ questions about the series and what it is like to be a writer.      

CPR: High Fives, Handshakes, and Hearty Discussions

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Strong relationships between students and teachers are one of the hallmarks of the ACDS community, and they allow our teachers to push students to excel in and out of the classroom. With this in mind, the Middle School uses Developmental Designs to help forge these strong bonds between students and teachers. A key component of… Read more »

ACDS Outdoor Education Program

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Each fall, ACDS Middle Schoolers embark on an outdoor, overnight adventure with their classmates and teachers.  A highlight of the year for many, the trips are designed to take students out of their comfort zone, broaden horizons, deepen sense of self, and build community.  Our seventh graders recently returned from their two-night stay at Environmental… Read more »

ACDS Outdoor Education Program Fosters Independence, Cooperative Learning, and Personal Growth

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Each fall, ACDS Middle Schoolers embark on an outdoor, overnight adventure with their classmates and teachers.  A highlight of the year for many, the trips are designed to take students out of their comfort zone, broaden horizons, deepen sense of self, and build community.  Our seventh graders recently returned from their two-night stay at Environmental… Read more »

The Best Way to Start the Day: Morning Meeting

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Lower School at ACDS uses Responsive Classroom to help teach the children to take care of themselves, each other, and the school environment so that everyone can do his/her best learning.  You can read more about the guiding principles of Responsive Classroom in my September letter to parents.  Today’s post delves more deeply into one… Read more »

Alexandria’s Mayor Euille Swears In Student Council

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ACDS celebrated the start of the new school year by swearing in its Student Council members on Monday, September 9th. Alexandria’s Mayor, William Euille joined Head of School, Scott Baytosh to perform the swearing in ceremony and discuss the importance of education and the responsibility of leadership. Mayor Euille shared that he got his start… Read more »