Let’s keep our fingers crossed for the new Jefferson-Houston

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By Jennifer Topping, Alexandria
(File Photo)

To the editor:

As the new Jefferson-Houston school building gets rave reviews and prepares to open its doors to students, I watch with anticipation to see whether over the coming years a new building is enough to attract families, diversify the student body and turn the tide of the past 10 to 11 years of failing to meet testing benchmarks.

The Alexandria School Board would counter that it is not just the new building. Jefferson-Houston recently became an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme school and the superintendent has hired a new lead principal to help guide the institution to new heights.

My prediction is that the majority of parents and students will not take a chance on Jefferson-Houston unless it gains accreditation, which may involve shaking up the student body, rebalancing student assignments and potentially re-growing the school. We all have a vested interest in helping our community school become a high-achieving institution for years to come. It is a $44.2 million investment in a new building and the next generation of students.

I welcome wider community involvement and the extra scrutiny that inevitably will result from the new building as efforts to improve Jefferson-Houston and student achievement continue.