Achievable Dream Academies

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

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 into the 2017-18 school year.


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 the new Achievable 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.

Besides a new Achievable Dream program director at the school, Highland Springs also has a new student enrichment coordinator to help shepherd the important changes. Highland Springs got a physical makeover to go with its new educational program: besides fresh paint, visually consistent signs and colorful inspirational banners, a STEM lab is new for 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 educations and go on to successful careers; alumni 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 four 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 Achievable Dream Academy at Highland Springs ES?
The program is only open to students enrolled in grades K-2 at HSES. If any Highland Springs students elect 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 Highland Springs ES. Does (s)he have to attend the Achievable Dream Academy?
No. Participation is optional. Students not wishing to participate will be transferred to Fair Oaks Elementary School instead.

What will the 2017-18 school hours be for students in grades K-2 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.

Please check back for new details as information becomes available about the new An Achievable Dream Academy at Highland Springs Elementary School.

An Achievable Dream Academy at Highland Springs Elementary School held its grand opening celebration in September 2017.