New principal named for Jefferson-Houston School

New principal named for Jefferson-Houston School
MScott Berkowitz (Photo courtesy Alexandria City Public Schools)

Alexandria City Public Schools Interim Superintendent Lois Berlin has appointed a D.C. Public Schools principal and former ACPS employee as principal of Jefferson-Houston Pre-K-8 School, according to a news release.

MScott Berkowitz, a resident principal at DCPS’ C.W. Harris Elementary School through the Mary Jane Patterson fellowship program, will start his new position on July 1.

Berkowitz isn’t new to Jefferson-Houston or ACPS. He spent nine years with the school system as a middle school math and science teacher and as an instructional coach between 2004 and 2013. He spent one of those years at Jefferson-Houston.

Before becoming a Mary Jane Patterson fellow in 2017, he spent time as the assistant principal of Hybla Valley Elementary School within Fairfax County Public Schools, vice principal of instruction at Cesar Chavez Public Charter School for Public Policy on Capitol Hill, assistant principal of Hardy Middle School at DCPS and summer school principal of Walker-Jones Education Campus at DCPS.

Jefferson-Houston was denied accreditation for the sixth year in 2017. It, however, made progress in its SOL scores last year, with its pass rates increasing for reading and writing. Its 8th grade English reading score jumped by 27 points, from 54 percent to 81 percent passing, and its 8th grade writing pass rate increased by 24 points, from 40 to 64 percent passing. 

Berkowitz has experience improving performance metrics, including during his time at Hybla Valley. He led a double-digit percentage improvement in science, math and writing SOL scores for the school’s fifth grade team, according to the ACPS news release.

“I am looking forward to continuing the positive academic trends at Jefferson-Houston and am excited to build on the foundation that has been laid over the last four years,” Berkowitz said in a statement.