An Achievable Dream is a unique public-private education model that partners with public school districts to co-operate schools. AAD works to bring equity to education for students who face a variety of social risk factors and is dedicated to the belief that all children can learn and succeed regardless of their socioeconomic background. Founded in 1992 as a summer and after-school tennis and tutoring program, it soon grew into a full K–12 program. Learn more about our history and founder here.

Today An Achievable Dream operates four schools in partnership with Newport News Public Schools and Virginia Beach City Public Schools, serving over 1,700 students in southeast Virginia. With a holistic approach to education, AAD integrates an array of research-based strategies into a unique program that yields significant results in academic achievement, positive behavior, and the development of critical life skills.

Our Approach

AAD’s trademarked SAME® (Social, Academic and Moral Education) framework is utilized in all AAD Academies, focusing on developing the whole child. The following unique elements enhance the traditional public school model and contribute to the success of our students.

Focus on the Whole Child

  • We believe success is more than just academics. We focus on the whole child through social-emotional and character development and a strong emphasis on relationships.
  • Morning Greetings – During on-site school operations, students enter the building and are greeted with a firm handshake and a “good morning” from staff, administrators, visitors, and law enforcement or military volunteers.
  • Morning Program & Positive Affirmations – Each morning, An Achievable Dream students participate in the morning program, a positive and uplifting start to the day. They recite the Banners, positive affirmations that remind them of the school’s beliefs and expectation, and receive uniform inspection.

Field Trips and Clubs

  • Field trips provide hands-on applications of academic concepts, leading to a fuller understanding and retention of the material. For students who may not otherwise receive exposure to cultural institutions, field trips and clubs present opportunities to explore new experiences. Virtually, students are able to attend field trips on a global level! Students also participate in clubs virtually.

Parent Relationships

  • Parent-student contracts – Parent or guardian involvement is key and AAD places a high value on relationships with the entire family. Students and parents sign a student-parent contract indicating their commitment to the programs additional requirements.
  • Wraparound Services – Recognizing that student success depends on the entire family’s success, AAD provides wraparound services including home visits, parent education, clothes closet, medical resources (when specific needs are identified) food pantry, holiday (extended-break) food baskets, anonymous services (housing, electric bill, groceries, etc.), and community outreach.

Enriching Partnerships

Partnerships are at the heart of our program! Click here to read more about our partners.

Extended Academic Time

  • Students receive extended academic time to focus on learning, with a 200-day school year, 8.5 hour day, 4-week summer intersession, and Saturday school for small-group interaction/engagement.

Uniforms and Dress Code

  • AAD students are required to wear uniforms to level the playing field, eliminate social issues, and strengthen the group identity. Students in kindergarten through 8th grade wear uniforms provided to families free of charge by An Achievable Dream. High school students adhere to a business-casual dress code.

Unique Curriculum

  • AAD students learn important life skills through a specialized curriculum, a SAME (Social, Academic and Moral Education) framework, that includes ethics, etiquette, ethics and conflict resolution, healthy living, financial know-how, and Speaking Green®. Click here for more information on implementing this curriculum in your school.

College Prep and Workforce Readiness Programs

  • Through “What it Takes,” a workforce readiness program, representatives from corporate partners including Riverside Health System, the City of Newport News, Ferguson Enterprises, Newport News Shipbuilding, W. M. Jordan Company, TowneBank, Smithfield Foods, Williams Mullen, Capital Group, and the Virginia Beach Police Department teach our students the soft-skills needed to be successful in the workplace.

Post-Secondary Support

  • We support our students not only to but through college. The majority of our graduates are first-generation college students and we provide scholarships, assistance with applications and financial aid, guidance through the process acceptance and move-in process, support and workshops for parents and guardians, and emotional, financial, and academic support as needed throughout our students’ college career. We also remain connected with our alumni after college, providing opportunities for engagement, career connections, and much more. Once a Dreamer, always a Dreamer!

Our Schools

Newport News

  • An Achievable Dream Academy 
  • An Achievable Dream Middle and High School 

Virginia Beach

  • Seatack Elementary, An Achievable Dream Academy 
  • An Achievable Dream Middle School & High School at Lynnhaven