Achievable Dream Academies

In summer 2017, Highland Springs Elementary School got a new name and a unique educational program, becoming: An Achievable Dream Certified Academy at Highland Springs Elementary. 

The public/private partnership with An Achievable Dream was approved by the Henrico School Board in January 2017. The nonprofit group brought its nationally recognized program to Highland Springs for the summer intersession, and the program continues.

During the summer of 2021, the first cohort of students at An Achievable Dream Certified Academy at Highland Springs Elementary transitioned to An Achievable Dream Certified Academy at Fairfield Middle School for summer intersession.  A new Director of Operations for the middle school program was hired to begin the program expansion.

Under the agreement, Henrico Schools provides basic curricula and staffing, student services, transportation, food service, and maintenance. An Achievable Dream, Inc. operates programs to create a unique learning environment. Faculty and staff members of AnAchievable Dream Certified Academy provide students with a well-rounded education using the “SAME” curriculum (Social, Academic, and Moral Education) along with extensive extracurricular, experiential, and cultural activities. Students learn important life skills through a specialized curriculum that includes ethics, etiquette, peaceful conflict resolution, and healthy living. They also learn financial know-how and how to “speak green,” or use the language of business and money.

In addition to an Achievable Dream program director at the school, AADCA at Highland Springs also has a student enrichment coordinator to help shepherd the important changes. The school also received a physical makeover to go with its new educational program: fresh paint, visually consistent signs and colorful inspirational banners, and a STEM lab in 2017-18.

The Achievable Dream program, founded in 1992, also operates in public schools in Newport News and Virginia Beach and is dedicated to the idea that college and successful careers are achievable for everyone. An Achievable Dream graduates continue their education and go on to successful careers to include lawyers, teachers, engineers, and naval officers.

Questions and answers about An Achievable Dream:

What is An Achievable Dream?

An Achievable Dream is a nonprofit that works with school divisions to create and manage a school program designed to foster learning and success among all students, regardless of socioeconomic background. The program began in 1992 and has grown to include six schools in Virginia. Community and business sponsors help the program become a reality.

What is the program for An Achievable Dream?

An Achievable Dream uses the SAME model – Social, Academic, and Moral Education – to integrate research-based educational strategies into a coherent program designed to yield gains in achievement and positive behavior.

Can my child attend the An Achievable Dream Certified Academy at Highland Springs ES or An Achievable Dream Certified Academy at Fairfield Middle School?

The program is only open to students enrolled at AADCA at Highland Springs Elementary who decide to continue the program at the secondary level. If any AADCA student elects not to participate in the program, those spots in the academy will be open to students from Fair Oaks Elementary School. If spots open up at the academy, families of eligible students will be notified.

My child is enrolled at AADCA at Highland Springs ES. Does (s)he have to attend the An Achievable Dream Certified Academy?

No. Participation is optional. Students not wishing to participate will be transferred to Fair Oaks Elementary School instead.

What will the school hours be for students at AADCA at Highland Springs ES?

Monday-Thursday: 8:10 a.m. to 4:25 p.m.
Friday: 8:10 a.m. to 2:40 p.m.

My child is enrolled at AADCA at Fairfield MS. Does (s)he have to attend the An Achievable Dream Certified Academy?

No. Participation is optional. Students not wishing to participate will be transferred to their zoned middle school.

What will the school hours be for students who attend An Achievable Dream Certified Academy at Fairfield Middle School?

Monday-Thursday: 7:50 a.m. to 4:20 p.m.
Friday: 7:50 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Will AADCA at Fairfield Middle School have sports?

Yes, students who attend AADCA at Fairfield Middle School will participate in sports with Fairfield Middle School students.

Will AADCA at Fairfield Middle School have extracurricular activities?

Yes, students who attend AADCA at Fairfield Middle School will have extracurricular activities.