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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Schools That Work| Case Study

Albemarle County Public Schools

Grades K-12 | Albemarle County, VA

Innovation and Risk-Taking Across a District

From makerspaces and curriculum to the use of social media, flexible classrooms, and instructional coaches, Albemarle gives students the life-long learning skills they'll require to succeed as 21st-century learners, workers, and citizens.
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What This School Is Achieving

Girl with laptop laying on the floor with a pillow; other students in background working at tables

Albemarle County Public Schools is comprised of 26 schools in Albemarle County, Virginia. A blend of primarily rural but also suburban and urban schools, each one embodies the culture of innovation and risk-taking that is the core of the district's approach to teaching and learning. From makerspaces and curriculum to the use of social media, flexible classrooms, and instructional coaches, Albemarle gives students the life-long learning skills they'll require to succeed.

  • 95% graduation rate vs. 90% for the state
  • Dropout rate has decreased by over 10% in the last 10 years, now down to 2% district-wide
  • Consistently outperformed the state in reading, math, and science for the past 10 years
Girl with laptop laying on the floor with a pillow; other students in background working at tables

How They Do It

Instructional Coaching: Seeding District-Wide Innovation

Instructional Coaching: Seeding District-Wide Innovation

At Albemarle County Public Schools, teacher-driven instructional coaching supports teachers in their professional development, helps them to engage their students in authentic learning, and spreads innovative practices district-wide.

302 4,460 views
Maker Education: Reaching All Learners

Maker Education: Reaching All Learners

At Albemarle County Public Schools, maker education fosters student autonomy, ignites student interest, and empowers students to embrace their own learning.

2 861 6,780 views
Social Media: Making Connections Through Twitter

Social Media: Making Connections Through Twitter

At Albemarle County Public Schools, teachers use social media to get ideas for their classroom, for professional development, and to connect student learning to the real world.

2 1,176 6,601 views
Flexible Classrooms: Providing the Learning Environment That Kids Need

Flexible Classrooms: Providing the Learning Environment That Kids Need

At Albemarle County Public Schools, flexible classrooms empower student choice, increase student engagement, and improve student participation.

12 5,179 49,425 views

Voices From the School

Insight and Outsight: 8 Strategies to Catalyze District-Wide Learning

Pam Moran
Superintendent, Albemarle County Public Schools

Making the Case for Social Media in Schools

Jim Asher
Principal of Jackson P. Burley Middle School

The Basics of Open Technology

Ira Socol
Public School Educational Technology and Innovation Director, Researcher, UDL, SpEd, History, Motivations

Creating Space for Risk

Michael Thornton
Michael Thornton M.Ed., MAT

Librarians' Changing Roles Can Inspire School Communities

Melissa Techman
HS Librarian in Albemarle County Public Schools, VA

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