My child was 113 on the lottery, got bumped up to 70 then 20 then I found out the VPI which gets the first 20 spots doesn't verify income so you can just sign up for VPI and be assured one of the first 20 spots.
We transferred here from another public school, but have also experience from a private school. Our two children love ATS, and we are very pleased. It is excellent academically, but what we most appreciate is the focus on character and international atmosphere. Students are for example actively involved in helping their sister school in Uganda. It is worth trying the lottery.
ATS is a wonderful school that emphasizes a very structured and positive learning environment for the students. The staff and teachers are excellent, very dedicated, hard working and committed to the community. The turnover rate among staff and teachers seems to be very low and there is a great sense of community and loyalty to the institution among the families. When we were told that our daughter had a spot in the kindergarten class, we thought we won the jackpot. Now our son is in kindergarten at ATS and our daughter is in 2nd grade-we still feel like we won jackpot.
I just graduated and I miss this school. Along with being great it has a lot of fun activities you can get involved in. You are a lot of time in one classroom but you have awesome teachers with you! I like it because there is an assembly every Friday where you learn about other cultures or find out news about upcoming events. They also have a GREAT music department. Every 4th and 5th grader has to be in the chorus and participates in band or chorus. I love the concerts!
We live in the neighborhood and really wanted to send our son to ATS, but when we visited the school, we decided against it. When visiting the Kindergarten class we watched in horror as the teacher snapped her fingers and the kids jumped out of their seats to stand "at attention"to sing the ATS school song. It's almost like they were trained like Hitler's Youth. How many times were they forced to practice it? It's something you would expect to see at a military high school but not in a public school kindergarten. I have met some of the parents on the PTA. It's like they are all brainwashed. They seem to be the types that force their kids to study all the time and don't allow them any time to play and be kids. Parents there have told me their fist graders have an hour of homework a night and don't have much time to play after school. They brag about how diverse the school is but according to the Arlington County Public School information that is published, the school is almost 80% white. While the parents and staff make it sound like the school is so much better than other elementary schools, the ciriculum is the same as other Arlington elementary Schools.
ATS is a great school, but it isn't for everyone. And that is what makes it so special. The unifying force at ATS is not only the principal, awesome though she is. It is instead the fact that every student at ATS has parents who choose to send their child to ATS and who believe that education and involvement are important. In terms of skin color and ethnic origin ATS is quite diverse, but the emphasis on learning that comes from every home is not diverse at all; we all believe in it or we wouldn't send our kids here. So if you don't believe that academic achievement is important, ATS is not for you. If you don't believe that character and respect are important, ATS is not for you. And if you re hoping that anyone will, or should, have a soft spot for your low-achieving "darling" at ATS, think again. It's not that kind of school. This is a school where smart kids, even REALLY smart kids, can achieve and not be held back by constant focus on the lowest common denominator. ATS is a stunning achievement, basically a high-performing private school in the public system. If your child is up to the task - and they don't have to be brilliant, just motivated - there is no better school.
My son started school (Pre-K and K) at an exclusive, very expensive private school in Bethesda, Maryland. We were extremely pleased with the school, but because of the expense began looking at public schools. We live in the Jamestown school district, but were only marginally impressed with the school during the tour. We toured ATS and were very excited. My son got in to ATS from the lottery. The principal, Holly Hawthorne, is phenomenal. It is obvious that her vision of the school extends to her selection of the faculty and their teaching of the students. We are confident that our son is getting as good, if not better, education at ATS than the private school he previously attended. ATS puts a lot of emphasis on core values and academic performance. Although it is a structured and formal environment (dress code and strict behavior), it is executed with spirit and enthusiasm.