Albemarle High School is a learning community that inspires all students to pursue their dreams, becoming lifelong learners and responsible citizens in a global society.
Diversity • Relationships • Mutual Respect • Learning for All • Enthusiasm for Albemarle High School
A Successful Past, An Innovative Future
Founded in 1953 with 850 students, Albemarle High School, home of the Patriots, is a dynamic community of learners who exemplify our school values: Diversity, Relationships, Mutual Respect, Learning for All, and Enthusiasm for Albemarle High School. AHS is located on a 40 acre campus that shares a boundary with Jack Jouett Middle School and Mary C. Greer Elementary School. We anchor the county’s northern feeder pattern; in addition to Jouett, students who attend Mortimer Y. Sutherland and Jackson P. Burley Middle Schools usually become Patriots. As the largest school in the ACPS system, AHS is able to offer a world-class array of educational opportunities to nearly 2,000 students who speak over 50 different first languages.
Despite its large size, Albemarle High School is known for fostering strong relationships between and among teachers and students. Roughly a quarter of our faculty have 20 years or more of teaching experience, and over half have a master’s degree. In the 2014-15 school year, AHS students took over 1,000 AP exams in 23 different subjects, passing at a rate of 81%. The Academic team was crowned state champion, and the Forensics team has placed first in the district and region for the past 13 consecutive years. AHS is home to a vibrant AVID (Advancement Via Academic Determination) program, which prepares disadvantaged but motivated students to achieve their dreams of attending and graduating from college. Following graduation, Albemarle High School students find many pathways to success. A few statistics about the class of 2015: 71% graduated with an advanced diploma with an average SAT score which bested the national average by more than 100 points. Over 50% of students graduated with 15 or more transferable college credits, 88% planned to attend a 2 or 4 year college or university, and 20 or more students planned to attend each of the following schools: Piedmont Virginia Community College, the University of Virginia, James Madison University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Virginia Tech after graduation.
Albemarle has quickly received recognition regionally, statewide and even nationally for the accomplishments of many of our programs, especially MESA, our cutting-edge Math, Engineering, and Science Academy. MESA students take an accelerated sequence of courses that enables them to tackle undergraduate-level STEM subjects by junior year. One of many tight-knit communities within the school, MESA students learn through a problem and project-based curriculum that requires them to work in teams, applying their learning to real-world challenges like constructing a working electric guitar from scratch. They take field trips to experience concepts in practice and regularly dominate local and state science fair competitions. MESA students have lots of opportunities for play, too, such as robotics teams, game nights, and the annual Llama Cake Day. Additionally, a pilot STEM Pathway in 2016-2017 will be available to all interested students at AHS.
In addition to the blending of MESA curriculum, AHS has also piloted a TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) concept for 60 of our 9th graders by combining the four core classes: Mathematics, English, Social Studies, and Science. The integrated curriculum has allowed the teachers to work together and implement problem and project-based learning experiences to engage students both in and out of the classroom. The teachers have worked with the music studio in order to provide the students with a fifth credit. The pilot has shown to be extremely successful and will continue to their sophomore year while introducing the concept to another group of incoming freshman.
Albemarle is also home to a vibrant community of artists. The school offers a variety of fine, performing, and digital arts courses. Our musicians, led by a team of five full-time instructors, compete and perform nationally, consistently bringing home superior ratings and earning us the prestigious Virginia Music Educators and National Association for Music Education Blue Ribbon Awards. The Matching Patriots have been named a Virginia Honor Band over a dozen times, and our choral ensembles consistently achieve superior ratings at competition. Each year, the drama program puts on a fall play and spring musical, the latter involving over a hundred student actors, singers, dancers, pit musicians, producers, and technicians. Writers have the opportunity to contribute to our school newspaper and yearbook as well as the creative writing program’s award-winning literary and arts magazine, The Lantern. Many of these creative students take advantage of the new Arts and Letters Pathway program, which allows them to hone their craft in a sequence of focused courses while also gaining professional experience through community service, internships, and a culminating capstone project.
The Charlottesville area claims three former presidents as its own -- Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe -- and is home to the University of Virginia and its vaunted student government and Honor Code. This legacy of leadership influences students at Albemarle High School, who accept responsibility for maintaining a school that’s safe, inclusive, and spirited. Students wishing to make a difference have opportunities such as taking the Leadership or Peer Tutoring classes, or joining the Stop One, Save One anti-bullying initiative. They can also become involved in our numerous community service clubs, such as iCare, Beta, and Key Club, which boasts a membership of several hundred students.
Thoughtful, relevant incorporation of technology is a hallmark of ACPS’s approach to educating students for twenty-first century citizenship. All AHS students are issued personal laptops that help them to deepen, personalize, and connect their learning in ways unimaginable a generation ago. A typical day might find a student creating a digital storybook in German as part of the innovative TPRS program, modeling sound waves in Trigonometry, perfecting a digital portfolio in Studio Art, collaborating on a topographical map in Geo-Informational Systems, and video conferencing with an author in English. Students are challenged to become active producers rather than merely passive consumers in the digital world through opportunities such as the Coder Dojo, Business and Marketing classes, as well as in unstructured “maker spaces” throughout the school. Each morning, students in the Special Education department’s CBIP program operate the beloved coffee cart, delivering caffeine and a smile to teachers throughout the building. Following the cart around, a visitor might encounter Engineering students constructing a trebuchet in the breezeway, Audio Production students mixing songs in the A3 House recording studio, Newspaper students uploading the newest issue to their website, World History students conducting a simulated archaeological dig, a group of friends designing spirit day accessories with the library’s sewing machines, and the filmmaking and broadcast media students creating a documentary to celebrate the talent that overflows our school.
Learning opportunities extend beyond the walls of Albemarle High School; the Charlottesville community is rich in resources. Our vibrant internship program facilitates pre-professional, community learning for upperclassmen. Students also have the opportunity to take courses the Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center. CATEC’s career development program has eleven different options, including automotive technology, cosmetology, and nursing. A partnership with Piedmont Virginia Community College enables students to be dually-enrolled at no cost, allowing them to transfer credits to participating two-year and four-year colleges and universities. Albemarle High School students may apply for admission to ACPS’s other high school academies: Health and Medical Sciences at Monticello and Environmental Sciences at Western Albemarle. The guidance department also facilitates opportunities for extracurricular learning such as participation in the Summer Residential Governor’s School and internships at Martha Jefferson and UVA Hospitals.
Albemarle’s 52 athletic teams “Pursue Victory with Honor” in 25 different sports as well as Forensics, Theatre, and Scholastic Bowl. During the regular season, they compete against the other member teams of the Jefferson District. The Virginia High School League classifies AHS as a 5A, Conference 16, school for post-season competition. Since 2010, AHS is proud to have captured VHSL State Championships in Boys Lacrosse, Boys Soccer, Girls Swimming & Diving, Forensics and Scholastic Bowl, with a number of other teams advancing deep into the play-offs. Boys Basketball, and Boys Swim have had State Final 4 appearances. The AHS Rowing team, a club sport, also competes nationally. We are proud of all of our Patriot student-athletes who have continued their athletic careers at the next level. Many have received Division I athletic scholarships or have been recruited as walk-ons to schools like UVa, William & Mary, Virginia Tech, Clemson, JMU, George Mason, Georgia, and Davidson. Still others are standouts at Division II, Division III, and NAIA schools such as Columbia, Radford, Longwood, Naval Academy, West Point, Washington & Lee and Mary Washington. All Patriot athletes learn teamwork and sportsmanship while competing for AHS.