Instructional Philosophy

Welcome to Albemarle County Public Schools. We are one of the top 15 highest performing school divisions in the Commonwealth of Virginia. We are proud to serve more than 13,000 students through a network of community-based schools and state of the art learning environments. Our highly qualified teachers bring hands-on, concept-based lessons to the classrooms every day, so that students are challenged to understand beyond memorization. Our students distinguish themselves in the visual and performing arts, in academics and athletics, and leadership and community service. Here in Albemarle County Public Schools, we believe that all learners must believe in their power to embrace learning, excel and own their future. We welcome the opportunity to help your child achieve. We measure our success one child at a time.

Preparing Our Students to Succeed

In Albemarle County Schools, we teach and assess students according to the approved Virginia Standards of Learning, as is required for public school accreditation. However, we believe that to prepare a student to succeed as a member of the global community and compete well in our global economy, we must educate students beyond standards that can be measured on a single test.

Framework for Quality Learning

Our Instructional Philosophy is based on our Curriculum Framework, known as the Framework for Quality Learning (FQL). Our teachers design lessons using a central concept or “big idea” that students may encounter in various content areas. “Change and continuity,” for example, might apply to science, history, Language Arts, mathematics, art, music and physical education. Teachers determine not only what students must know, but also what they must understand and be able to do in a larger sense beyond recall. They create concept-centered lessons that meet the standards and skills set by the state and that extend learning through opportunities to create, solve problems and develop projects and portfolios. All lessons also target one or more of the Division’s Lifelong-Learner Competencies, broad-based essential skills that prepare students for higher education and the workplace.

Our Division uses an assessment model that determines what knowledge a student already brings to a new unit or lesson, so that instruction can be appropriately matched to challenge each student. Learners are supported through a variety of instructional activities that approach the essential standards and skills in ways that allow for student choice and interest. Students take teacher and division-based assessments of learning to determine whether they have mastered what has been taught and are on track for their learning. Those who need additional instruction are given remediation and additional opportunities for success. In many cases this additional instructional time is available during the regular school day.

For more information, please review our video, An Introduction to the Framework for Quality Learning, the FQL document, and our curriculum standards for each subject area.