In addition to its strong academics, ATS focuses on behavior and character as important foundations for elementary learning. Reading and loving to learn is valued in all aspects. The school community comes together weekly during assemblies and each class puts on a play for the entire school. These are some distinctive aspects that make ATS a special place. We love the teachers, its central location and its diversity bringing in kids from the entire county!
Whether it is the gifted program pushing otherwise bored kids to do a little more, or the extra attention for a struggling student, ATS has a proven track record of success. A blind lottery results in kids from all kinds of backgrounds and yet, year after year, they outscore their surrounding schools. They take kids in and teach them, no gimmicks, just learning.
The teachers whom I know and love the most, say the school wouldn't be what it is without the strong leadership at the top. The principal sets the expectations, the school lives up to them, something is working here at ATS!
Kindergarteners get homework and this is not the case in all APS schools (about 30 minutes a night). It seems like a lot for first-time parents, especially with little siblings running around, but it quickly becomes routine and when the siblings get to K, it seems way easier on everyone. Expectations are high, but results are, too!
Your kindergartener does not have a great chance to get into this lottery school, but if he or she does, chances are strong you will absolutely love it! The school takes kids from all levels and all backgrounds and teaches them with passion, kindness, and dedication. The teachers love their jobs, the kids take pride in their school and their education, and the school offers opportunities (like weekly assemblies and class plays) that are unique in the APS system. It's been ranked #1 in the entire state of Virginia on the Niche school rating system (niche.com) and it's no accident! Whether your child is a quick learner or needs a little extra help, ATS has a winning strategy to meet kids where they are and make them stars. As the mom of ATS kids, I've seen and loved the school first hand! There is a reason their waiting list exceeds 200 students per grade, people want their kids at ATS and there is nothing like having your kids around other kids with supportive and appreciative parents. It's a special program in a wonderful school system. Arlington is lucky to have this ATS option!
Homework isn't enough, they actively engage with the student on building character traits and demonstrate a strong interest in the long term well-being of the child. We're inviting them to our home for dinner and never did this at the previous school.
Our son recently started kindergarten at ATS and we've welcomed the engagement of his teachers. They believe strongly in character development and have provided great suggestions (we're open to ideas) to complement the practices we have in place (complete work first before playing, share with others, calm conflict resolution, empathy for others). They have ample opportunity to play, it being kindergarten, and that was important for our son.
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.