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Our School

Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy (LCTA) is a K-5 public school located in Old Town Alexandria. Our diverse and dynamic student body is composed of students from southeast Old Town and many other neighborhoods throughout Alexandria.

LCTA's educational philosophy and curriculum are unique within the Alexandria City Public School system. Our school is certified as a Core Knowledge School, and is one of only ten (of over 1200 schools nationally and internationally) Core Knowledge Schools who have attained the highest level of academic rigor and assessment to be deemed a Core Knowledge School of Distinction.  This distinction was awarded again in 2021 and will remain in place for 5 years.

The Core Knowledge teaching model builds upon core learning concepts (reading and math) through an integrated and creative learning approach. Students study the arts, science and social studies thematically and learn specific knowledge in each subject area that increases in complexity year by year. Our multicultural curriculum incorporates both world and American history, and then further reinforces learning and understanding through corresponding art and music instruction. Some of the Core Knowledge Sequence topics include Native American Cultures (kindergarten), Early Civilizations - Mayan, Incan, Aztec (second grade) and The Middle Ages - Europe, China and Africa (fourth grade). A detailed grade-by-grade Core Knowledge Sequence brochure is available in the front office.

Parents and community volunteers play a key role in the education of the children at LCTA. Volunteers tutor students, arrange special events, chaperone field trips, and lend their expertise to class projects. Currently, our parent volunteers manage more the 25 individual educational and enrichment programs throughout the year.

In support of educating the whole child, LCTA prides itself on providing different opportunities for all students. LCTA has earned gold status for seven years for the Governor's Award for Best Practices in Nutrition and Physical Fitness. It is also recognized as a "green school" by the Commonwealth of Virginia through the "Virginia Naturally" Program. The school is a two-time winner of Virginia's State School of Character and is a 2012-2014 National School of Character, as designated by the Character Education Partnership.

Lyles-Crouch is a unique and vibrant community of teachers, students and parents. Our mission is to foster a love of learning and to provide each of our students with the skills necessary to successfully meet the challenges of a changing society.

What is a Traditional Academy?

As Alexandria's only traditional model school, Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy offers children a structured yet nurturing environment where they can move beyond the bounds of ordinary achievement to reach the highest levels of learning. Embraced by a caring family of teachers and professionals, each child receives extraordinary individual attention to build a strong foundation in academics and character building.

By following the research-based Core Knowledge curriculum, each child is intensively instructed in reading, writing, math, science, social studies, and technology in accordance with the Virginia Standards of Learning. Moreover, mandatory uniform dress promotes a sense of orderliness and respect.

Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy’s goal is to create productive citizens for the 21st century.  Learning extends beyond academics by interweaving community service, character building, physical activities, and leadership opportunities throughout the educational process.

  • Unique features of Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy include:
  • Core Knowledge curriculum (K-5)
  • CKLA (language arts) phonics (K-2)
  • Project based learning
  • Character education focused on community service and service projects
  • Student Ambassador Program
  • Supplemental science lessons taught by science teacher; emphasis on problem-solving skills to live and work in a changing world
  • After-school activities that include band, orchestra, and  tutoring/remediation support.

School Climate

At LCTA we believe that it is our responsibility to create a safe, welcoming school where students and staff are eager to come to school each day. To that end, we are a “traditional” school, and students follow a specific dress code. Uniforms help to create a positive, egalitarian atmosphere where the focus is on learning and not social hierarchy. The PTA maintains a free “uniform locker” which supports all LCTA families in making sure their students are dressed for success, and this resource helps our school nurse, social worker, and staff level the playing field by providing uniform pieces whenever there is a need, no questions asked.

LCTA uses a hybrid combination of Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) and the 11 “Principles of Character” from Character Education (, incorporated within the acronym ROARS (Respect, Ownership, Attitude, Responsibility, and Safety). We have been recognized as a National School of Character. The foundation of our program begins with the explicit teaching of behavioral expectations (ROARS); taking the time to teach and to use common language as teachers, school staff, students, parents, and community members. Color-coded signs are posted in every classroom and throughout the building that use this specific language so that students see and hear it no matter where they are. Additionally, in September we have a community involvement evening called our “Nuts and Bolts” where these expectations and this language are shared with LCTA families. Taking the time at the beginning of each school year lays the foundation for a positive, healthy school community where there are no “gotchas” other than the ones where we recognize students on the morning announcements for making positive choices. As we move through the year, students do receive these individual shout-outs, and classes receive recognition as well. Classes who earn all five letters of ROARS in a quarter receive dress-down days, extra recess, and even a dance party with a professional DJ!; these structures help motivate students to reflect on our ROARS behavioral expectations. The ROARS program promotes a positive and safe atmosphere for academic and social learning.

Administrative leadership works hard to protect teacher planning and instructional time and to communicate healthy respect for the professionalism of the staff. Too, monthly staff meetings include a staff “Shout Out” item on the agenda, and teachers receive certificates and even small trophies based on acknowledgments submitted to administration by peers.

Special Events

  • American Education Week
  • Annual Animal Benefit Concert
  • Anti-Bullying Program
  • Back to School Night
  • Core Knowledge Curriculum Celebration
  • Educational Assemblies Each Month
  • Family Fun Nights
  • Heart Healthy Event
  • Kindergarten Open House
  • Parent Academy (Language Arts and Math)
  • PTA Book Fair
  • Veterans Day Program
  • Winter Holiday Program

Lyles-Crouch in the News

Lyles-Crouch Data

Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy is fully accredited and meets Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). To learn more, review the Virginia School Report Card on the Virginia Department of Education Web site or review recent test scores.

Student Body Demographics

Enrollment: 440

  • American Indian or Alaska Native: 0%
  • Asian: 3%
  • Black or African American: 35%
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 0%
  • White: 52%
  • Hispanic: 10%
  • Multi-racial: 0%

Special Programs

  • Eligible for free or reduced price meals: 19.4%
  • Students requiring English Learners (EL) services: 11.4%
  • Students receiving special education services: 8%

School Faculty

Number of Licensed Staff: 45

With post-graduate degrees: 84%

Awards and Honors