City Youth Master Plan

During the 2019-20 school term students from Mr. Parks and Mr. Perkins classes were able to be actively involved in the development of the next iteration of the City Youth Master Plan for Alexandria City.  The CYMP is the city’s guide for “people can come together to create the conditions in Alexandria for all children and youth to thrive today and tomorrow”.  Our students began by participating in workshops to share ideas of what they would like Alexandria to look like for young people.  After the workshop students that displayed interest were able to participate in city work groups to develop the CYMP.  As time went on our students broke into more focused groups to work on three sub-projects for our school.  One group conducted research into proposed goals and strategies while continuing to attend city work groups.  Another group began to plan a “services fair” with the intention of having a day at school where representatives from various city agencies and nonprofits to connect with students.  The third group began planning to organize an office space in the school that city or nonprofits groups could use to better connect with students.  The students have been involved in all levels of planning including the data collection phase, data analysis and discussion, as well as compiling research to support the finalization of focus areas that the plan will eventually adopt and that will be operational through 2025.  This work has been an authentic lesson for our students confronting questions around the use of power and the influence of public policy.

Cohort Members: Dana Parks and Javaughn Perkins

Students: 8th grade Civics students from George Washington Middle School

Essential Question: What issues are facing young people in Alexandria?  How can we address those issues that have been identified?


  • Civics and Economics
    • CE 1 The student will demonstrate skills for historical thinking, geographical analysis, economic decision making, and responsible citizenship by
      b) analyzing how political and economic trends influence public policy, using demographic information and other data sources;
    • CE 3 The student will apply social science skills to understand citizenship and the rights, duties, and responsibilities of citizens by
      d) examining the responsibilities of citizenship, including registering and voting, communicating with government officials, participating in political campaigns, keeping informed about current issues, and respecting differing opinions in a diverse society; and
      e) evaluating how civic and social duties address community needs and serve the public good.
    • CE 4 The student will demonstrate personal character traits that facilitate thoughtful and effective participation in civic life by
      f) practicing thoughtful decision making; and
      g) practicing service to the school and/or local community.