Filling in the Blanks with Melanie Kay-Wyatt: Make an impact and join the ACPS team

Filling in the Blanks with Melanie Kay-Wyatt:  Make an impact and join the ACPS team

By Melanie Kay-Wyatt, Ed.D

In choosing “one team, one journey” as a mantra for Alexandria City Public Schools, I reflected on the importance of a staff working together to fill vital roles that impact the lives and futures of our students. In essence, that is why staff recruitment and retention are key ingredients to efficiently run a school division. 

The ACPS recruitment team is actively seeking candidates to fill open positions in our classrooms and transportation department, among other staff openings. The team has already attended or hosted various virtual and in-person events, with more to follow. This includes our Licensed Staff Hiring Fair for eligible candidates this month at Alexandria City High School or virtually via Zoom. 

We have traveled across the country to connect candidates with ACPS school leaders as we continue our marketing and partnership efforts across multiple workforce groups and domains. 

I am asking our community members to join in helping us find the best candidates to fill staff positions. Let us get out the word about how ACPS is a place for employees to grow professionally and thrive. 

ACPS is an educational community that is committed to living up to the high standards that are set forth in our Equity for All 2025 Strategic Plan. The school division is one with a diverse and international student body that brings an exciting array of perspectives and experiences to our classrooms. Alexandria’s close proximity to the nation’s capital provides the opportunity for extraordinary and world-class partnerships. ACPS also offers its staff opportunities for robust professional learning and mentoring programs. 

Our “Live. Impact. Grow” video series emphasizes the benefits of being an ACPS staff member and is aimed at attracting top talent to join the school division. These recruitment videos share ACPS’ successes and highlight our student programs. They also focus on the benefits of living in Alexandria and have reached a wide audience. These videos take candidates on a virtual journey, illustrating why they should consider joining the ACPS team. 

The first in the series, “Join Our Equity Journey,” showcases ACPS as a place where its employees can live in a vibrant and diverse community, grow professionally and make a positive impact. This video serves as a recruitment tool to help our Human Resources team ensure ACPS stands out in a competitive marketplace during a national teacher and bus driver shortage. 

The “Welcome to Alexandria City Public Schools” video highlights our schools and also takes prospective job applicants on a tour around the City of Alexandria and all it has to offer. Six ACPS employees narrate “Make a Lasting Impact with ACPS” which focuses on the effect of the division’s support staff on the entire school community. This video helps viewers to experience what a typical day is like for an ACPS bus driver, food and nutrition services manager, instructional assistant, family liaison, custodian and building engineer. 

We need a great staff for ACPS to provide a nurturing and supportive environment where all students can thrive. A fully staffed ACPS means all students receive regular and robust instruction. Hard to fill positions where there is the greatest need include special education teachers and instructional assistants, dual language elementary teachers, STEM teachers and bus drivers. 

Every member of our team plays an essential role in impacting the lives and futures of our students. Our staff is a diverse team and we value their expertise, dedication to our students and teamwork. Our staff has access to ongoing professional learning, a competitive salary and benefits as well as opportunities for career growth. Consider joining the ACPS team and help to make a lasting impact on the Alexandria community. 

The writer is superintendent of Alexandria City Public Schools.