1426 N Quincy St
Arlington, VA 22207
703-228-6000
Sunday, June 26, 2016

2015-16 News Releases

NEWS
RELEASE

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For Immediate Release:
Nov. 6, 2015
For more information, contact the Dept. of School and Community Relations at 703-228-6004 www.apsva.us
  
 School Board Discusses Capacity Solutions to Address Growing Enrollment
 
At last night’s School Board meeting, the South Arlington Working Group provided a report on potential sites for a new elementary school and APS staff presented concept designs for the Wilson and Stratford sites. Each of these proposals are focused on providing APS with additional capacity for students as enrollment continues to rise.

MONITORING ITEM:

South Arlington Working Group Report
The South Arlington Working Group was charged by the School Board with examining locations for constructing a new elementary school that would be ready to open by 2019. They carefully reviewed 11 site options and presented their report on three preferred locations: (1) Thomas Jefferson site; (2) Drew Model School site; and (3) Gunston Middle School site. They also reviewed three sites in the Pentagon City neighborhood that would be available after 2019, and a site adjacent to Thomas Jefferson that would be available when the Dominion Arms Apartments property is redeveloped. The group’s final recommendations are:
  • Build a new Henry elementary school at the Thomas Jefferson site;
  • Move the Montessori elementary program from Drew to the current Henry school location, and then utilize the space at Drew to relieve overcrowding at Oakridge and neighboring schools; and
  • Plan for a new elementary school in the Pentagon City area after 2019.
More information, including the final report, is available on BoardDocs.

INFORMATION ITEMS:

2016 Legislative Session Priorities
The School Board discussed its priorities for the annual legislative package to be sent to the Arlington delegation in the Virginia General Assembly. The priorities include support for legislation that updates the state education funding formula to allocate additional resources for economically-disadvantaged students and English Language Learners. The Board also supports a mandate to establish a state-appointed School Health Advisory Board, development of a standardized approach for community college credits earned in high school, and state authorization to mail summons to drivers that pass school buses when the stop-arm is extended.

APS staff presented the concept designs for the Wilson and Stratford sites. They also presented an overview regarding historic designation of the Stratford school facility.

Wilson Concept Design
Staff presented the proposed design for the new building at the Wilson site. The space would house the H-B Woodlawn Program and the Stratford Program. Both programs would share a cafeteria, clinic, gymnasium, library and auditorium. Architect’s renderings of a fanning terraced building design with courtyards and outdoor recreational spaces were presented. Staff also presented concept options for classroom spaces, labs, arts programs, parking, school buses, building entrances and other interior spaces. The total proposed cost of the project ranges from $85.57 to $93.6 million, pending final design options approved by the School Board. The project will be funded through a combination of APS bonds, other APS funds, and joint funding from the County.

Stratford Concept Design
Staff also presented plans for the renovation and addition at the Stratford building to open it as a neighborhood middle school in 2019. The middle school is being planned to accommodate 1,000 students, provide 144 parking spaces, and include traffic and safety improvements. The school is projected to have a 35,000 square feet addition on three levels featuring new program space on the west end of the existing building. The design would leave the historic building intact and maintain the historic south facade. The total proposed cost of the project $31.6 million, but the preferred option recommended by the Building Level Planning Committee would add $5 million to the cost of the project to increase the area of the addition, increase the amount of interior renovations and allocate funds for historic interpretation. The School Board will make the final decision on a design and the project will be funded through a combination of APS bonds, other APS funds, and joint funding from the County.

Historic Designation of Stratford
Superintendent Dr. Pat Murphy made opening remarks about the historic designation of Stratford. He emphasized that four guiding principles are being used in evaluating the Historic Affairs and Landmark Review Board’s (HALRB) recommendation, including respect for the site’s history; the opportunity to educate current and future students about the Stratford history; being responsible in the use of available funding; and finding reasonable solutions for much-needed space while being good stewards of this historic property.

Staff provided an overview of the historic designation process; a summary of the existing Memorandum of Understanding related to historic designation; a current status report on the designation process for Stratford to date; the development of design guidelines within the context of historic designation; and a timeline for implementation pending the School Board’s decision on the matter. Staff concluded the presentation by highlighting the opportunities for incorporating and expanding instruction of Stratford’s history into the APS curriculum so that students understand the significance of the events that took place there.

Detailed information about each of these Information Items is available online in BoardDocs.

Recognition of Connect with Kids Champions
The meeting began with the recognition with two APS employees who were selected as Connect with Kids Champions by the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families. Yorktown High School Minority Achievement Coordinator Shari Benites and Drew Model School Extended Day Aide Conor O’Rourke were both lauded for their work with Arlington students.

Citizens who want to comment on any of the items discussed at the School Board meeting should email the Board at school.board@apsva.us or call 703-228-6015.

Citizens may call 703-228-2400 on the Monday after the School Board meetings to listen to a meeting summary. School Board meetings are also broadcast live on Comcast Cable Channel 70 and Verizon FiOS Channel 41; live-streamed on the APS website, and re-broadcast on Fridays at 9 p.m. and Mondays at 7:30 p.m. immediately following the meeting. All materials and minutes of the meeting will be posted to the website at www.apsva.us/schoolboard upon School Board approval at a subsequent meeting. 

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