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Schools, Virginia

UMW announces academy for ninth-graders with interest in science, computers

Rebecca Barnabi
teen on laptop
(© apichon_tee – stock.adobe.com)

The Virginia Department of Education approved the Academy of Technology and Innovation at the University of Mary Washington (ATI-UMW) to open in fall 2024.

AIT-UMW’s goal is to “provide an innovative experience merging the high tech skill needs of today’s economy with the robust, critical thinking of a liberal arts and science foundation.”

The academy will serve high school students in Stafford, King George and Caroline counties, as well as Fredericksburg City Schools and possibly other areas of the Commonwealth. The expertise of local school districts and UMW’s College of Education will blend to create a one-of-a-kind public high school focused on computer and data science, teaching excellence and career readiness.

“It’s exciting to be at the point where the school has been approved and is recruiting students. It’s a testament to the commitment and hard work of the many individuals across the region who have come together to create the vision for ATI-UMW, and we’re happy to be collaborating with them on this and so many other opportunities to improve K-12 education in the Fredericksburg region,” said UMW Provost Tim O’Donnell.

The academy will enroll up to 100 9-graders from partner school districts. A lottery in January 2024 will select students. Applications are open and the application period will close in early January. Current eighth-graders interested in computer science, data science, cybersecurity, digital design and related fields are encouraged to apply online. No experience or courses are necessary.

Students and families are invited to an Open House at ATI-UMW on UMW’s Stafford Campus on Tuesday, Dec. 5, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.