APS Friday 5 Archive

Friday5

APS sends the “APS Friday Five” each Friday to update the community on important news, events and highlights across the division.

Friday 5 for May 20, 2022

Friday 5 header image

outdoor lab logo
1. Explore and Support the Outdoor Lab This Weekend
Have you experienced the Outdoor Lab? This popular destination for APS student field trips and summer camp is hosting an Open House this Sat, May 21. Arlington families are invited to explore the mountain trails, streams and pond, and enjoy fishing, hiking and nature. Tickets are available from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. or 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Additionally, tonight (Fri, May 20) OneMorePageBooks is hosting an online and outdoor fundraiser and will donate 15% of all sales to the Outdoor Lab. Proceeds support the lab and its wildlife, which rely on donations and volunteers.  Learn more online. 

digital device return graphic with laptops
2. Student Device Collection and Return
APS is collecting all student devices during the final week of school to provide students with a tech break and update the devices for use in the summer and next school year. Knowing that high school students use their devices for applications and other purposes, all students entering grades 9-12 in fall 2022-23 will receive their updated devices back beginning July 5 and throughout the summer during designated distribution days. Additionally, all students will continue to have access to their MyAccess account to work on instructional programs and applications. Students attending Summer School will also receive a device. More information about device collection and return dates will be communicated by your school. Learn more online. 

school meals update graphic with apple, banana, orange drink and bag with APS logo
3. Meals Update for Summer and Next School Year
APS has been offering free meals for all since the onset of the pandemic as part of a USDA waiver. Congress has not extended the waiver past June, meaning that meals will no longer be provided free of charge for all students in Summer School and for the upcoming school year. APS is awaiting details on the cost of meals and will send additional information when available. Families with children attending summer school, who believe they may qualify for free or reduced-price meals, are encouraged to apply online for meal benefits by June 30. Learn more online.

staff helping students create 3d
4. Inclusive Classroom: Drew Students Learn to
Help Peers with Limited Verbal Capabilities
Fourth-grade students at Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary have begun a project with the Office of Assistive Technology to learn about how Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) helps students and adults with language problems communicate effectively. The students are not only learning about AAC tools like gestures, symbols and drawings, but are also creating and printing the 3D symbols and giving them to Drew students who need language support.

space force activation students
5. Kudos! Space Force JROTC Program Activated at Arlington Career Center
This week, students in Arlington Career Center’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Program (JROTC), VA-821, officially activated as one of the first Space Force JROTC programs in the nation. Last year, VA-821 was one of the ten units selected worldwide from the almost 900 Air Force JROTC units to move to the Space Force. The activation ceremony this week featured keynote speakers Space Force Col Matthew Allen and Career Center Principal Margaret Chung, and culminated in Space Force leaders pinning the Space Force lapel pin on four cadets to symbolize the official activation.


Other News & Notes

Friday Five for May 13, 2022

Friday 5 header image

budget fy 2023 graphic
1. School Board Approves FY 2023 Budget

Last night, the School Board adopted the FY 2023 budget totaling $749,919,963. The FY23 budget for Arlington Public Schools prioritizes resources to foster student well-being and academic success. It also invests in compensation and the school division’s commitment to hire and retain high quality staff to serve diverse student needs. Read more about the approved budget online.

extended day program logo
2. Extended Day Registration for the 2022-23 School Year

Extended Day registration for the 2022-23 school year opens for returning families on May 24 and continues through June 7.  Summer School Extended Day registration is ongoing. Additional details are available online. 3

video of social studies classroom, teacher working with students on assignment
3.
Inside the Classroom at TJMS—Social Studies Program Highlight

This week’s Crosswalks video provides a look inside an eighth-grade World Geography class at Thomas Jefferson Middle School and highlights Social Studies in APS. The Social Studies Office is focused on supporting inquiry-based practices, equity and inclusion, and performance assessments for all students. Thank you to TJMS teachers Rachel Payne and Brittany Wiltrout, and Kerri Hirsch, Supervisor of Social Studies, for highlighting your work with students.

tassel with 22 year on - congratulations class of 2022
4. It’s Time to Celebrate Proms and Graduation—Congratulations to the Class of 2022!

APS looks forward to a season of celebration as students gather for year-end events. View the schedule for high school graduations and middle school promotion ceremonies. For those who cannot attend high school graduations in person, live streaming links will be available. APS asks families of teens reaching these milestones to help ensure celebrations are safe for all. View tips for safe, alcohol-free celebrations. We encourage students and their families to share graduation stories using #APSGrad22 across social media.

photo of yvonne pettiford, congratulatory image
5. ACC’s Yvonne Pettitford Wins 2022 Heart of Service Lifetime Achievement Award

Congratulations to Ms. Yvonne Pettiford, Arlington Career Center’s Alternatives for Parenting Teens Infant Care Center coordinator/director, for being awarded the Child Care Aware 2022 Heart of Service Lifetime Achievement Award! Ms. Pettiford was selected from 462 nominees throughout Virginia. Recipients of this annual award are nominated by colleagues, students, family, and friends for displaying “longevity and overall excellence in the field, with 20+ years of service, and a demonstrated commitment to a career of caring for children.”


Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for May 6, 2022

Friday 5 header image

group photo of teachers
1. Gallery: Teacher Appreciation Week
We would like to thank everyone who helped show our teachers how much we appreciate them, both in our schools and online using #ThankAPSTeachers. Our staff, PTAs, partners, families and students found many ways to say thank you to the teachers who make Arlington Public Schools a great place to learn. View this collection of social media posts that recaps how teachers were celebrated all week long

students posing at skills usa
2. Arlington Career Center TV Production Students Win State Awards
A team of Arlington Career Center students earned top honors at the 57th annual State Leadership Conference and Skills Championships in April. SkillsUSA is a national organization that focuses on leadership skills for high school students. Students are given the opportunity to compete against their peers at the local, state, and national levels, and are judged by industry experts. Congratulations to the student winners.

5 day calendar graphic
3. Change in COVID Protocols for Students
APS has moved to a 5-day isolation period for students who test positive for COVID-19. Previously, isolation for students was for a period of 10 days. This change aligns with the recommendations of the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health. Students may return to in-person instruction on day six, if on day five the student has no symptoms (or symptoms are improving), AND has been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, AND is able to wear a well-fitting mask for days 6-10. Read more on our website.

photo of cafeteria staff making food
4. APS Recognizes School Lunch Hero Day
Today is School Lunch Hero Day! Between preparing healthy meals for APS students, adhering to strict nutrition standards, navigating student food allergies, and offering service with a smile, school nutrition professionals are true heroes. Please take a moment to thank our school lunch personnel for their hard work and dedication to APS. Follow along on social media using #SchoolLunchHeroDay. View the photo gallery on our website.

group photo of celebration of excellence awardees
5. View Highlights from the 2022 Celebration of Excellence
The Annual Celebration of Excellence took place on Wednesday evening at Washington-Liberty High School. The event recognized the Principal of the Year, Teachers of the Year and Support Employees of the Year for the school division. Watch videos highlighting the winners and how they make a difference for students, and view a photo gallery on our website.


Other News & Notes

  • Happy Mother’s Day!

Friday 5 for April 29, 2022

Friday 5 header image


2022 best communities for music education graphic
1. APS Music Education Program Receives National Recognition for the Sixth Year in a Row

APS has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. The designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement to provide music access and education to all students. Read the full release on our website.

teacher appreciation week may 2-6, 2022
2. Say Thank You: Next Week’s Staff Recognitions

Teacher Appreciation Week (May 2-6) – We look forward to the chance to thank our wonderful teachers next week for Teacher Appreciation Week! Please join us next week in thanking them for all they do! Use #ThankAPSTeachers on social media.
School Nurses Day (May 4) – Our nurses have been on the front line during the pandemic. Let’s take a moment to thank them on Wed, May 4.
School Lunch Hero Day (May 6) – Our cafeteria workers play a crucial role in keeping our students fed with delicious and nutritious meals. Take a moment to thank them on Fri, May 6.

walk bike and role to school graphic
3. Join the 2022 Bike, Walk and Roll to School Day Celebration on Wed, May 4

To promote the great health, environmental, community-building and transportation benefits of biking, walking and rolling to school, Arlington Public Schools will take part in Bike, Walk and Roll to School Day 2022 on Wed, May 4. Help build momentum while you plan, and then tweet/share your story when the big day rolls around, with our 2022 hashtag #APSBike2SchoolDay!

students and staff at the mental health fair
4. Mental Health and Wellness Fairs
Two important mental health fairs took place this week. At the Arlington Career Center’s evening Wellness Fair, students shared wonderful projects and skills that promote wellness in the community. H-B Woodlawn’s daytime fair hosted over 14 community-based service providers, with student volunteers providing information to their classmates. Students visited different tables to learn about the mental health resources available, from healthy nutrition to addiction and suicide prevention. Save the date for another Mental Health Resource Fair to launch virtually on May 25!

secretary photo
5. Celebrating Extended Day Staff & Administrative Assistants

This week, APS celebrated its administrative assistants and Extended Day staff.
– This week is National Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week. APS is proud to celebrate the Extended Day Program staff. Extended Day staff plays a critical role in the development of students’ social, emotional and academic skills.
– Wednesday was also Administrative Professionals Day. These individuals from around the school division work tirelessly to ensure APS carries out its mission, vision and values. View the photo gallery of some of our administrative assistants in action on our website.


 

Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for April 22, 2022

Friday 5 header image

volunteer helping student with science
1. Video: Developing Future Scientists and Engineers in APS

APS students receive hands-on science instruction from professional scientists and engineers through the APS Scientist in the Classroom program. Watch this video featuring scientists of diverse backgrounds who provide our students with hands-on opportunities to explore science using all their senses. The goal is to inspire students of all backgrounds to pursue careers in science and engineering.

va state science & engineering fair logo
2. Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair Awards Announced

Congratulations to the six APS students who represented the Northern Virginia Region at the Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair, which was hosted virtually by Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA on April 9. To see a list of the winners and their awards, visit our website.

photo of teacher dan paris
3. APS Educator Nominated for National History Day Teacher of the Year

Dan Paris, a teacher at H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program, is one of two teachers from Virginia to be nominated for the Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year award in the National History Day (NHD) National Contest. The award is sponsored by Patricia Behring in recognition of the pivotal role teachers play in the lives of students. The national winner will be selected by a committee of experienced teachers and historians and announced in June at the National History Day National Contest Awards Ceremony. Read more on our website.

engage with aps logo
4. Seeking Volunteers to Serve on the VLP Task Force

The Virtual Learning Program (VLP) Task Force is being convened to explore virtual learning options and develop a comprehensive instructional model to propose for implementation. Anyone interested in joining the Task Force to help develop a future virtual program is asked to complete the online VLP Task Force application by May 6 at 4 p.m. For additional information on the VLP Task Force and the application, please visit the Virtual Learning Program webpage. 

student holding up reusable bag
5. APS Celebrates Earth Day

Today is Earth Day! Events are taking place throughout the division to mark the day. H-B Woodlawn celebrated by building birdhouses and seeding the school gardens. Wakefield High School completed a social media challenge focused on sustainability in food, transportation, and waste. Wakefield also hosted a campus clean-up and Earth Day poster campaign. At Langston, students analyzed their ecological footprint, researched and created reusable bags in an effort to cut down on using single-use plastic bags. Visit our website to view all the sustainability projects this year, from cleanup days to hydroponics to guest speakers. We encourage families and staff to share what they are doing on Earth Day using #APSGreen.


Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for April 8, 2022

FridayFive logo - spring break

Arlington Public Schools wishes you a wonderful, relaxing and safe Spring Break! APS schools and offices will be closed for the break, April 11-15, and Mon, April 18 for Grade Prep. We will see you back on Tue, April 19!

national assistant principals week graphic
1. APS Celebrates Assistant Principals!

This week, APS celebrated National Assistant Principals Week. APS would like to thank and honor each of our assistant principals for their consistent contributions that make a difference in the lives of our students and the overall success of each of our schools. You can view a photo gallery to honor the assistant principals on our website and see a recap of social media posts using #APSAPWeek.

odyssey winners in photo
2. APS Teams Take Home Top Prizes at Odyssey of the Mind Tournament
Eight APS teams took home the top prizes at the Virginia Odyssey of the Mind tournament. These outstanding, talented teams worked throughout the school year solving an Odyssey of the Mind problem and were judged as having the most creative solutions. The teams will move on to participate in the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals in May. View the press release on our website for details about the winning teams.

your voice matters logo
3. Your Voice Matters Survey Deadline Extended
The APS Your Voice Matters survey deadline has been extended to Sun, April 24. APS relies on feedback from students, staff and families to improve services that support safe, supportive school environments for our students and staff. Survey links were sent to families and staff via email by Panorama Education on March 14. If you need assistance with your link or need the link resent to you, please email support+arlingtonva@panoramaed.com. Learn more about the survey on our website. 

QR code with link to Cigna help line
4. Need
Help? The Cigna Support Line is Open for APS Students, Families and Staff
If you or a family member 14+ are dealing with anxiety, depression, abuse, eating disorders, bullying, self-harm, addiction, peer pressure, suicidal thoughts or anything else, the Cigna Support Line is open throughout spring break. You do not have to be a Cigna customer to get support. This is a no-cost, confidential service that puts students and families in touch with mental health professionals who know how to listen, ask the right questions and offer advice. Call 833-MeCigna (833-632-4462) 24 hours a day.

Arlington career center logo
5. Arlington Career Center to Host Wellness Fair April 27
Arlington Career Center students will host a Wellness Fair for the APS and neighboring community on Wed, April 27. Students will demonstrate their CTE (Career & Technical Education) skills and how CTE promotes health and wellness for the community. Stations include healthy activities for children, CPR demos and healthy snack tastings, among several other offerings. Visit the Career Center website to see a full list of event offerings.


Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for April 1, 2022

Friday 5 header image

2022 Celebration of Excellence Graphic

1. APS Announces Employees of the Year!

Congratulations to the 2022 Principal, Teacher and Support Employee of the Year award winners! This prestigious honor is awarded annually to employees who demonstrate outstanding leadership and commitment to student success and well-being. They are:

  • Principal of the Year – Dr. Jessica Panfil, Claremont Immersion
  • Teachers of the Year – Iris Gibson, Langston High School Continuation Program; Katie Willet, Williamsburg Middle School; and Brittany Oman, Arlington Science Focus School
  • Support Employees of the Year – Aurelia Sicha, Instructional Assistant, Thomas Jefferson Middle School; Estela Reyes, Food Services, Carlin Springs Elementary School; Mariflor Ventura, Bus Attendant, Trades Center; Dr. Keith Reeves, Instructional Technology Coordinator, Discovery Elementary; Jonathan Martinez, Administrative Assistant, Special Education, Syphax Education Center; Rosaura Palacios, Custodian, Trades Center; and Irma Sierra, Extended Day, Arlington Science Focus

View the press release and click here to view a gallery of photos from surprise visits and more information about each staff member.

Month of the Military Child Graphic
2. Celebrate Military Students and Families in April

April is the Month of the Military Child, a time to reaffirm our commitment to supporting APS students and families who are connected to the nation’s military. There are currently over 1,500 military-connected students in APS, and they are an important part of the school community. Our schools are committed to welcoming and supporting our military families to ensure student success. Wed, April 20 is PurpleUp for Military Kids Day, and APS encourages everyone to wear purple in support of military kids and post photos using the hashtag #purpleup4militarykids. View a video message from the Superintendent and check out our new Military Families web page.

two students - the 2022 FBLA Winners
3. Gunston Middle School Students Win FBLA Competition

Congratulations to the 2022 Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) middle school level state competition winners, eighth-grade student Sophia Stidman and seventh-grade student Alexis Tapia Rodriguez! Sophia came in first place for the Commonwealth of Virginia in the “Middle School Exploring Computer Science” competition. Alexis came in second place in the Commonwealth for the “Digital Citizenship” competition. Both students will move on to participate in the National Leadership Conference held in Chicago in June. The FBLA program inspires and prepares students to become future business leaders.

families at STEM Night at Innovation
4. Families Participate in STEM & Math Night at Innovation Elementary

Students and their families at Innovation Elementary School participated in a STEM and Math Night this week. The gym was filled with six math stations, with activities for students to do alongside their family members. APS middle and high school students facilitated stations. Afterward, volunteers and participants received a complimentary pizza dinner. The National PTA and Mathnasium have awarded Innovation PTA with a $1,000 grant to engage families in math education. The Innovation PTA is one of only 35 PTAs nationwide selected to receive a grant.

students at library table with librarian
5. APS Celebrates School Library Month

April is National School Library Month, and April 4-10 is National Library Week. The National Library Week theme for 2022 is “Connect with Your Library,” as librarians help connect students and learning in so many ways. One of the most important jobs of a school librarian is to connect students with books that will turn them into readers and lifelong learners. Families are encouraged to support their students’ literacy skills by taking them to the local library to explore books and the resources libraries offer, as well as encouraging students to visit their school libraries. Thank you to APS School Librarians for everything they do.


Other News & Notes 

Friday 5 for March 25, 2022

Friday 5 header image

student writing on white board
1. APS Launches Student Progress Dashboard

The new online APS student progress dashboard is now live, showing student progress in reading and math over time. The dashboard compiles academic data from three primary division-wide assessments: DIBELS (K-5), Reading Inventory (grades 6-9) and Math Inventory 3.1 (grades 2-8). Results can be viewed by academic year, school, grade(s), and subgroups including race and ethnicity, students with disabilities, English Learners (Els), and ELs by proficiency.

student artwork
2. National Scholastic Art Awards 2022 Winners Announced

Congratulations to the APS National Medalists in the 2022 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards!More than 100,000 teens from across the country and Canada entered more than 260,000 works of art and writing to the 2022 Scholastic Awards. Twelve Arlington students received national awards, including the Gold National American Visions Award, which is the highest award achievable. These students will be recognized in June at the National Scholastic Ceremony in New York City.

  • Marceline Castrillon – Wakefield, Gold Medal
  • Roman Diascro – Yorktown, Gold Medal
  • Katerine Velasquez – Wakefield, Gold Medal
  • Morgan Andrews – Washington-Liberty, Silver Medal
  • Celeste Boyer – Yorktown, Silver Medal
  • Mary Frances Dempsey – Yorktown, Silver Medal
  • Roman Diascro, Yorktown, Silver Medal
  • Rachel Hocker – Washington-Liberty, Silver Medal
  • Anne-Sophie Kagan – Washington-Liberty, Silver Medal
  • Madeleine Kenny – Washington-Liberty, Silver Medal
  • Spencer Strebe – Yorktown, Silver Medal
  • Mason Taylor – Wakefield, Silver Medal

Mary Lockwood Historical Marker unveiling with staff and community members
3. Women’s Suffrage Marker Unveiled at ASFS

This week, APS held a commemorative plaque dedication ceremony at Arlington Science Focus School, at the site of the former home of Mary Morris Lockwood. Lockwood was an Arlington resident and Virginia suffragist who was actively engaged in civil reform and dedicated to securing the vote for women. The unveiling of the marker coincides with Women’s History Month. Arlington Science Focus students performed during the event and students Neeri Jossan and Iroha Fuse spoke about women who have made a difference and paved the way for others.

student and teacher looking at science project
4. Arlington Tech Physics Teacher Co-Authors Article in Top-Ranked Publication

Dr. Ryan Miller, a physics teacher in the Arlington Tech program at the Arlington Career Center, co-authored an article, “Evidence in favour of density wave theory through age gradients observed in star formation history maps and spatially-resolved stellar clusters,” on which he collaborated with colleagues at NASA and the University of Arkansas in his field of Astrophysics. The article is published in the top-ranked journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Students from Arlington Tech had the chance to talk with Dr. Miller about his article on the Arlington Career Center Podcast.

aps summer school graphic
5. APS Summer School Registration is Open for Eligible Students

The upcoming APS Summer School Program for students meeting specific eligibility criteria begins July 5, and will provide in-person strengthening support, intervention, credit recovery, and Extended School Year services. Elementary families who have been notified that their students are eligible need to register by March 31. The middle and high school registration deadline is May 31; families will be notified of eligibility during May. More information and registration forms are available on the summer school website.


Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for March 18, 2022

Friday 5 header imagephoto of two aps student delegates
1. Swanson Students Complete Page Program with VA House of Delegates

Two students at Swanson Middle School recently finished an 11-week program as pages with the Virginia House of Delegates. This selective program welcomes eighth and ninth-grade students to Richmond from across the Commonwealth to learn about the legislative process and assist the House of Delegates. Chandani Rathod and Jacqueline Ake were the only two students chosen from Arlington County. Both students said the experience was amazing and that they came away from the program with in-depth knowledge of the legislative process. Read more on our website.

screenshot of students writing and using stickers
2. VIDEO:
Student-led Substance Abuse Task Force at Williamsburg

In this video, learn how the Substance Abuse Task Force at Williamsburg Middle School is a student-led effort that helps take the stigma away from talking about dangerous substances. The task force’s mission is to promote positive choices and optimism.

aps summer school logo
3. Summer School Registration and Job Listings

Summer is just around the corner! APS is recruiting teachers for summer school now. View the job listings here. Elementary families with eligible students were notified during March Parent-Teacher Conferences and need to register by March 31. More information and the registration forms for both elementary and secondary students can be found on the summer school website. The middle and high school registration deadline is May 31; families will be notified of eligibility during May.

graphic of computer with survey
4. APS Needs Your Input

APS is seeking community feedback on three surveys. Your feedback is important to us and helps us gather actionable data to strengthen student services, operations and more.

–  2022 Your Voice Matters Survey (Deadline: Apr 10): Families received an email from Panorama Education with a personalized survey link on Mon, March 14. This is the biannual survey APS conducts to gather input on family engagement, student well-being, school climate and other vital areas. Responses are confidential. Details online 

– School Bell Times Study Survey (Deadline: Mar 28): The APS Bell Times Study Survey has been revised and reissued based on community feedback. Changes were made to the staff, student and family surveys. If you already took the survey in its original form, we kindly ask that you take it again because your feedback is important to us. Take the survey.

– 2022 SEL Survey (Mar 21-April 8): The Panorama Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Survey for students (grades 3-12) opens next week on Mon, March 21. This is administered online in a classroom setting on topics such as well-being and sense of belonging. Details, including the sample surveys, are available online.

APS all stars logo
5. February APS All Stars Winners Announced

APS is excited to announce the March 2022 APS All Stars, selected out of several hundred outstanding staff nominees! These individuals demonstrate excellence in collaboration, equity, inclusivity, integrity, innovation and stewardship. They are members of the APS team who are the first to pitch in, who bring a positive attitude to their work, and go above and beyond to serve students.

Chris McDermott, Teacher, Williamsburg
Kristen Patterson, Extended Day Staff, Discovery
Alam Lainez, Bilingual Family Liaison/Instructional Assistant, Kenmore
Lyzbeth Monard, Bilingual Family Liaison, Carlin Springs
Morgan Payne, Pandemic Response Coordinator, Trades Center

Congratulations to these individuals. Read more about what makes them shine. Nominate an APS All Star today!


Other News & Notes

School Board Member Cristina Diaz-Torres to Host Virtual Open Office Hours on Mon, March 21

Friday 5 for March 11, 2022

Friday 5 header image

photo of students at Real Food for Kids challenge
1. Kenmore Students Win Real Food for Kids Challenge

A talented group of 7th grade students in Kenmore’s Family and Consumer Science program won the 10th Annual Real Food for Kids Culinary Challenge. The students won first place in the lunch category for their Quinoa Crust Quiche and Apple, Arugula, Walnut Salad. The theme of this year’s competition was “Buy Local, Eat Local” and asked students to source 50% or more of their ingredients locally or regionally. A version of the recipe created by Kenmore students may soon be featured on the Silver Diner menu and will be adapted for school lunch menus throughout the DMV area. Congratulations to these young chefs! Details online.

teacher teaching two students
2. VIDEO: Washington-Liberty Students Using Math to Drive Change

The way students use, think and learn about math is different today than it was a generation ago. Students must think critically, make logical decisions and communicate clearly, and think about new ideas and innovation. In this video, see how secondary mathematics instruction has evolved. The video highlights Timica Shivers’ math class at W-L and how teachers are preparing students to think critically, problem-solve and engage these skills after high school.

faces collage
3. Register: Northern VA School Divisions Hosting Inclusive History Panel Discussion

Arlington Public Schools, in coordination with Alexandria City, Falls Church, Loudoun, and Fairfax School Divisions, is participating in a virtual discussion on Inclusive History on Mon, March 28, at 7:30 p.m. An inclusive history benefits all students by providing opportunities to appreciate the complexity of the past, while encouraging them to think critically about possibilities for the future. The first hour is a panel discussion with students and teachers from local school divisions, followed by a 30-minute virtual information session for the APS community, hosted by School Board Chair Dr. Barbara Kanninen and Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán. Register online to participate in these events.

Your Voice Matters Logo for 2022, multicolor megaphone with the words Your Voice Matters, 2022, Take the Survey
4. Your Voice Matters: Survey Opens for Families Monday; Open Now for Students & Staff

The 2022 Your Voice Matters (YVM) survey opens for families on Mon, March 14. Parents either receive an email invitation or instructions through the mail about accessing the survey from any internet-connected device. The survey administration process is managed by Panorama Education, an independent educational survey research company. Learn more on our website.

honored citizens graphic with APS logo
5. Arlington School Board Now Accepting Nominations for 2022 APS Honored Citizens

Every year, the School Board recognizes volunteers who have made outstanding contributions to Arlington Public Schools. This honor recognizes individuals who have committed significant time and energy to a broad range of volunteer activities throughout the Arlington school community. Details about this award and nomination information, including nomination forms, can be found online.


Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for March 4, 2022

Friday 5 header image

Friday Five for March 4, 2022

students in class with teacher wearing a Dr. Seuss Hat for Read Across America Week
1. APS Celebrates Read Across America Day

Arlington elementary students celebrated Read Across America Day this week. Schools from around the division celebrated by reading books, participating in fun activities and hosting special guest readers. Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán made a surprise visit to Innovation Elementary School to be a guest reader. Check out more coverage on social media using #ArlingtonReads.

Women's History Month - March 2022 logo
2. March is Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month and APS is celebrating by recognizing several outstanding women-owned businesses in our community. Throughout the month we celebrate the contributions of women to history, culture and society and highlight those who make a difference in the Arlington community. Join us on social media using #APSWomensHistory. We also encourage families to play along with our weekly “Tuesday Women’s Trivia” on our social media platforms. For a special bonus question, click here.

social work week 2022
3. Highlighting APS Social Workers!

Next week, APS is celebrating its social workers for their hard work and dedication to ensuring student success. The theme for National School Social Work Week 2022 is “Time to Shine.” School Social Workers shine brightly for their students, families, and school communities. Watch this video to see how social workers support our students.

Your Voice Matters Logo for 2022, multicolor megaphone with the words Your Voice Matters, 2022, Take the Survey
4. Your Voice Matters! Survey Launches Next Week

The 2022 Your Voice Matters (YVM) survey of students and staff opens on Mon, March 7, and the family survey opens Mon, March 14. APS and the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families (APCYF) conduct the Your Voice Matters survey every two years to provide a snapshot of APS students, school climate and engagement. Look for an email from our survey partner, Panorama Education, with a personalized link to the survey. Responses are confidential and used to support student success and strengthen partnerships between families and schools. For additional information, please visit the 2022 Your Voice Matters Survey webpage.

scholastic art award exhibit photo of a young girl holding a phone taking a selfie

5. Scholastic Arts Awards Ceremony and High School Gold ExhibitArts Education will host the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Ceremony honoring student artists who received regional recognition for their artwork at Kenmore Middle School on Mon, March 7 at 6:30 p.m. Arts Education is also hosting theHigh School Gold Exhibit at the Syphax Education Center through March 25. This year, there were close to 1,500 pieces of artwork submitted. The work was judged digitally, and the judges awarded over 1,000 pieces of work. All Gold awards were sent to New York City for national judging and results are expected later this month. View the online gallery of Awarded Scholastic Artwork.


Other News & Notes 

Friday 5 for February 25, 2022

Friday 5 header image

mask guidance graphic
1. Further Mask Guidance Coming Next Week

As you may be aware, the CDC published updated mask guidance for indoor settings at 4:00 p.m. We are reviewing the new guidance and will provide further updates on Monday.

FY23 Superintendents Proposed Budget Graphic
2. Superintendent Proposes Budget for Fiscal Year 2023-24

Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán proposed a $746.1 million needs-based FY 2023 budget on Feb. 24. View the presentation and FY 2023 Budget-at-a-Glance. The budget focuses on the school division’s core priorities and prioritizes resources needed to directly serve students, hire and retain excellent staff, and maintain excellent schools. The School Board is set to adopt the proposed budget on April 7 and act on the final budget on May 12. View the budget calendar, the budget release and additional information on the budget process.

Your Voice Matters 2022 Logo
3. Coming Soon: Your Voice Matters Survey

APS will conduct the 2022 Your Voice Matters survey of students, families, and staff in early March through April. The survey is conducted biannually in partnership with the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families (APCYF) to provide a snapshot of APS students, school climate and engagement. The data will provide APS with new benchmarks for measuring progress on 2018-24 Strategic Plan goals. Results will be available in Summer 2022. For additional information, please visit the 2022 Your Voice Matters Survey webpage.

art work graphic
4. Celebrate Arts in the Schools Month!

Join us this March for Arts in the Schools Month. This is a great time to enjoy student performances and learn more about our school arts programs. This annual celebration highlights the value of arts education and encourages support for quality arts programs in schools. Visit the APS website to see a full list of events. We hope to see you out enjoying these student performances.

Halls Hill graphic - AETV documentary
5. Halls Hill Finale: Fire Station 8

We conclude the APS Black History Month celebration with the final episode in the “Halls Hill” video series, recognizing one of Arlington’s oldest neighborhoods. The final episode features the history behind Fire Station 8. Thank you to the John M. Langston Citizens Association & AETV for their contributions to this project.


Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for February 18, 2022

Friday 5 header image

APS all stars logo
1. First Five APS
All Stars Announced!

APS is excited to announce the first APS All Stars, selected out of over 200 outstanding staff nominees! These individuals demonstrate excellence in collaboration, equity, inclusivity, integrity, innovation and stewardship. They are teachers and the members of the APS team who are the first to pitch in, who bring a positive attitude to their work, and go above and beyond to serve students.  

  • Mariflor Ventura, Bus Attendant
  • Claire Peters, Principal, Innovation Elementary
  • James Sample, Teacher, Washington-Liberty High School
  • Christina Smith, Teacher, Yorktown High School
  • Guillermo Moran, Maintenance Supervisor, Randolph Elementary Congratulations to these individuals.

Read more about what makes them shine.
Nominate an APS All Star today!

mask guidance graphic with mask photo
2. APS Mask Update

At the Feb. 17 School Board meeting, the Superintendent presented updates to the APS mask policy and guidance moving forward, based on the current CDC guidance and health metrics. The mask requirement remains in place at this time based on the level of transmission in Arlington. Beginning March 1, in accordance with Senate Bill 739, families who wish for their students not to wear a mask in school will be able to opt out. Additional details will be communicated next week.

student drawing on white board
3. VIDEO Roundup
: Elementary Math in Action, MLK Winners and Halls Hill

  • Math in Action: APS elementary students are engaging in Math Workshop lessons that are interactive and fun! Math coaches and teams are working together to create positive math communities with a focus on student growth. Watch this video showing Randolph Elementary students and teachers at work. 
  • MLK Literary and Visual Arts Contest Winners: Watch MLK contest winners share their art and the famous quotes that inspired their winning entries. 
  • Halls Hill: Throughout February, APS is celebrating Black History Month. We are celebrating the history of our schools in a four-part video series, “Halls Hill,” recognizing one of Arlington’s oldest neighborhoods. This week, we show you how the churches of Arlington brought the community together.

bell study graphic
4. APS Begins Bell Study

APS has begun a project to review the school bell schedules, start and end times, and instructional minutes across schools. The goal is to maximize instructional time and reduce the variations in start and end times to operate more efficiently. This study will result in proposed changes to school start and end times that will be presented to the School Board in late April and voted on in May. Visit our website to learn more.

3 students holding cards about kidness
5. APS Celebrates Kindness Week

Today wraps up APS Kindness Week! Events took place division-wide to celebrate kindness. Campbell Elementary School is celebrating APS Kindness Week through its Upstanders Club – the school’s No Place for Hate student group for 4th and 5th-grade students. In January, the Upstanders Club began nominating peers who are especially kind and helpful for the”Be the ‘I’ in Kind” campaign. In all, 23 nominations were received! Students had their photos taken in front of the giant poster, were given a postcard and a small award.


Other News & Notes 

Friday 5 for February 11, 2022

Friday 5 header image

national school counseling week graphic
1. VIDEO: Thank You, APS Counseling Team

As we close out the week, we recognize the 124 talented and professional counselors helping to meet our students’ needs and ensure their success in the future. Watch this video featuring APS school counselors sharing why they do what they do and highlighting the services students are receiving.

summer activities fair graphic

2. Get Ready for Summer—Summer School and Activities Update

APS will hold its virtual Summer Activities Fair on Wed, Feb. 16, providing families information about Summer School and the camps and enrichment activities available through Arlington Dept. of Parks and Recreation and other local providers.  Full details and a video overview are available online.

covid-19 in school testing graphic

3. COVID In-School Testing Vendor Update

Over the past several weeks, APS has been working with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to address challenges with CIAN Diagnostics. VDH has advised APS to transition to a new provider, Aegis Solutions. Aegis will begin providing the weekly in-school COVID testing on Mon, Feb. 14. Families already opted in with CIAN received a text and email with a link to update their consent. Families wishing to opt-in can also complete the form online.

mascot of drew elementary school dragon

4. New Mascot Flies into Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School

Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School welcomed a new friend to the school: their new mascot, Drew the Dragon! Take a peek at the moment students saw the first sighting of Drew the Dragon and watch this video to see how it all came about.

black history month february 2022 graphic

5. Black History Month – Halls Hill Video Series: Langston School

Throughout February, APS is celebrating Black History Month. This year, we are celebrating the history of our schools in a four-part video series, “Halls Hill,” recognizing one of Arlington’s oldest neighborhoods. Last week we showed you the walls built to segregate neighborhoods in Arlington. This week, we’re taking you in-depth with the history of Langston School.


Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for February 4, 2022

Friday 5 header image


Halls Hill graphic
1. APS Celebrates Black History Month & Releases Halls Hill Video Series

Join our schools in celebrating Black History Month in February! Watch this introduction from the Superintendent as we celebrate the history of our schools and the trailblazers who paved the way for others. Throughout the month, we’re recognizing one of Arlington’s oldest neighborhoods, Halls Hill, in a four-part video series. The first video features Halls Hill residents sharing the walls built to segregate the neighborhood. Next Friday, we’ll tell you the story behind Langston School. Follow along on Twitter using #APSBlackHistory.

graphic with COVID-19 vile that reads Test to Stay
2. Test-to-Stay Program Begins Feb. 14

APS is launching the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Test-to-Stay program to help ensure students identified as close contacts can stay in school as long as they test negative. Beginning Feb. 14, free proctored testing will be provided for unvaccinated, asymptomatic students meeting VDH eligibility requirements, at the Syphax building from 2:30-7 p.m. on school days. Program details and quarantine guidance are available online.

WINNER Shashu GEBRE at Long Branch
3. Fleet and Long Branch Crossing Guard Named One of Virginia’s Most Outstanding for 2021

Congrats to Shashu Gebre, Crossing Guard at Alice West Fleet and Long Branch Elementary Schools! She has been named one of Virginia’s Most Outstanding Crossing Guards for the 2021-22 school year by the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program. This is part of Crossing Guard Appreciation Week, Feb 7-11. Schools will be celebrating crossing guards all next week, so be sure to follow their directions and give them a shout out to thank them for being there to keep students safe, rain or shine. Read the full release.

NASA TECHrise Student  challenge graphic
4. Washington-Liberty Students Win NASA STEM Challenge

Imagine having your science experiment sent into space on a suborbital rocket! That is the case for 10 Washington-Liberty students whose science experiment was selected as a winner in NASA’s first-ever TechRise Student Challenge. The challenge inspires students to seek a deeper understanding of Earth’s atmosphere, space exploration, coding, and electronics, as well as an appreciation of the importance of test data. You can learn more about the experiment and see who is on the team on our website. Congratulations to these W-L students and their teachers.

graphic of fruit with APS logo and lunch bag
5. Emergency Meal Pick Up for All Students Next Wednesday

APS will hand out emergency meal kits for ALL APS families at Kenmore, Gunston and Yorktown from 2- 3:30 p.m. on Wed, Feb. 9. These kits will contain three shelf-stable meal kits to ensure that every student has healthy meals at home if APS must transition to virtual learning due to inclement weather. The kits contain all the items required for the school meals program including a serving of fruit (apple sauce) or a vegetable, whole grain breakfast items and shelf-stable milk.


Other News & Notes 

Friday 5 for Jan. 28, 2022

Friday 5 header image

barret students running with orange barret on the run shirts
1. Crosswalks Video Highlights Barrett Runners This week’s “Crosswalks” video showcases the Barrett Runners program. Barrett Runners began 10 years ago to motivate students to get out and get active, build community and develop lifelong healthy habits. Watch this week’s video to learn more.

APS graphic that reads virtual learning
2. Virtual Learning During
Inclement Weather

Read our guide for what to expect and how to prepare for the transition to virtual learning during inclement weather closures as conditions allow. Virtual instruction will follow the normal school day schedules and will include a combination of live instruction via Teams and independent (asynchronous) work.

kindergarten and pre-k information night graphic with students smiling
3. WATCH: Kindergarten Information Night Mon, Jan. 31
Do you have a rising kindergarten student? Join us virtually on Mon, Jan. 31 at 6:30 p.m. for the annual Kindergarten Information Night. Learn about neighborhood schools, option schools, student registration, Extended Day, and the application process for the 2022-23 school year. Following Kindergarten Information Night, there will be a special presentation on the Extended Day program. Additional details are available online.

gray circle with green check mark and syringe
4. Vaccine Verification as Test-to-Stay Program Launch Nears

APS will begin to collect voluntary student vaccine information in anticipation of launching the Test-to-Stay program, to reduce disruption to students’ learning. Families are encouraged to complete student vaccine verification by uploading their documentation and completing the online questionnaire. Access the portal here. Please ensure you enter an “S” before your student’s ID number to ensure that their record is updated appropriately. Families who need support can contact the APS COVID Response Team at covid@apsva.us.

crossing guard appreciation week graphic with man holding stop sign in orange vest with students crossing the street
5. Crossing Guard Appreciation Week is Feb. 7-11

Arlington Public Schools’ 2022 Crossing Guard Appreciation celebration will take place during the week of February 7-11. During Crossing Guard Appreciation Week—and every other week of the school year—APS depends on the Arlington County Police Department’s Crossing Guard Unit to help students get to school safely. To honor our hard-working Crossing Guards as part of Crossing Guard Appreciation Week 2022, APS elementary and middle school students, families and staff are encouraged to find a way to celebrate your school crossing guards this February, from creating cards to writing thank you notes. Read the entire release.


Other News & Notes 

Friday 5 for Jan. 21, 2022

Friday 5 header image

Health & Safety 2021-2022 Holding Hand and Heart Graphic
1. School Board Votes to Maintain Mask Requirement in APS

The School Board voted Thursday to support the current mask requirement within Arlington Public Schools. Students and staff are required to wear masks indoors and on school buses, as part of a layered approach to help prevent COVID-19 transmission, following CDC guidance in accordance with Senate Bill 1303. We recognize that wearing masks and adhering to COVID-19 mitigation measures is not ideal or easy; however, these measures have been vital to maintaining in-person learning, so APS can meet our students’ social, emotional and academic needs and abide by Virginia law. Thank you for your cooperation in making sure every student arrives at school with a well-fitting mask. Read the Superintendent’s full update.

Logos of posse and questbridge
2. Ten Seniors Earn Four-Year, Full-Tuition College Scholarships

Congratulations to the 10 APS seniors who earned a prestigious Posse Foundation Scholarship or QuestBridge Scholarship. Posse Scholars receive a four-year, full-tuition scholarship from The Posse Foundation to attend a partnering institution, and QuestBridge Scholars earn a full, four-year scholarship to the nation’s most selective colleges. Watch this video of the scholars talking about how important this scholarship is to them.  

test to stay covid-19 graphic
3. Test to Stay Program Launching Soon

APS has received authorization from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to implement the Test to Stay program in Arlington, using approved VDH materials and requirements.  Once APS receives the full supply of test kits purchased for staff and students, the remaining kits will be used to implement the program. As part of the process, APS is preparing to launch a portal for families to document the vaccination status of their students. More information will be shared soon regarding program eligibility, enrollment procedures and testing compliance. Read more about the Test to Stay Program.

photo of students in hydrogarden

4. Green Scene Video Highlights Discovery’s Hydrogarden

Since the 2015-16 school year, Discovery Elementary has focused on sustainability and hydroponics. Currently, students are actively engaged in maintaining three indoor hydrogardens and one outdoor garden. These gardens provide hands-on learning and enrichment for students. Each grade level has a role from planting the seeds to monitoring the pH levels of the water, and students get to enjoy the lettuce they grow. Discovery donates some of the lettuce to local organizations such as A-SPAN. Watch this Green Scene video showing students working on the hydrogarden.

APS all stars logo
5. APS All Stars: Highlighting the Best of APS

APS has a new way to recognize our outstanding staff all year long! These individuals demonstrate excellence in collaboration, equity, inclusivity, integrity, innovation and stewardship. They are the individuals who help students succeed, make positive contributions in our schools, and go above and beyond to serve their students, families and colleagues. Recipients of the APS All Star award will be highlighted each month on our website and social media channels. Staff can be nominated by colleagues or anyone in our community. Nominate an APS All Star today!


Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for Dec. 17, 2021

Friday 5 header image

graphic that says happy holidays and happy new year with students in background
Happy Holidays from Arlington Public Schools!
Thank you for the opportunity to serve Arlington students and thank you for your partnership and support for Arlington Public Schools. In the spirit of the holiday season, watch this video message about kindness from some of our students and staff. Have a wonderful break and Happy New Year! We look forward to seeing your students back at school on January 3, 2022.

photo of students learning
1. Crosswalks: Reading and Math Intervention Groups at Carlin Springs
Arlington students needing extra support in reading and math are receiving a variety of individual and small-group lessons to help them achieve their goals. Student intervention and enrichment plans are based on the beginning-of-year assessments to identify learning needs and measure progress. To show an example of the support students are receiving, last week AETV filmed teachers working with students at Carlin Springs Elementary during their “Cardinal Time” last week. This is a team effort to help students gain confidence and build their academic and social-emotional learning skills. Watch the video.

photo of colorful bag
2. Congratulations to Arlington’s 2021-22 Reflections Contest Winners
Each year, the Arlington County Council of Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) highlights the many talents of Arlington students in the annual Reflections contest. Reflections is a nationwide arts contest that encourages students to create works in dance choreography, film production, literature, musical composition, photography, and visual arts, based on a common theme. Visit our website to see the complete list of Arlington’s 2021-22 Reflections winners.

calendar graphic
3. School Board Approves 2022-23 School Year Calendar
The School Board approved the calendar for the 2022-23 school year at its Dec. 17 meeting. The 2022-23 school year will start on Mon, Aug. 29. For a complete list of holidays and to see the presentation, visit our website.

crossing guard appreciation day graphic
4. Nominations are OPEN for Virginia’s Most Outstanding Crossing Guard of 2021
Do you know an amazing crossing guard? If so, nominate them for the Virginia’s Most Outstanding Crossing Guard today! APS is fortunate to have many outstanding crossing guards helping students travel safely to and from school. Details about the nomination process and ways to celebrate Crossing Guard Appreciation Week in February are available online.

national board certified teacher logo
5. Fourteen APS Teachers Earn National Board Certification
Congratulations to the 14 teachers who earned their National Board Certification and to the 10 teachers who successfully renewed their certification. National Board Certification is a voluntary assessment program that recognizes, encourages and rewards teachers who strive for excellence. To date, there are more than 220 APS National Board Certified teachers, and APS ranks second in Virginia for the number of National Board Certified teachers.


Other News and Notes

Friday 5 for Dec. 3, 2021

Friday 5 header image

covid 19 testing graphic
1. APS to Change In-School COVID Testing Provider

Effective Jan. 1, 2022, APS will partner with CIAN Diagnostics to administer weekly in-school COVID surveillance testing as part of a CDC grant through VDH. This change applies to the preventative testing (surveillance) program for staff and students via opt in only. APS staff and families who are currently participating in weekly testing will receive a notice about the change soon and in January when new forms are available. All staff and families who wish to opt in for weekly in-school testing after Jan. 1 must complete a new consent form. Additional details are on the APS website.

quarantine graphic
2. Quarantine and Contact Tracing Updates

Quarantine Exemption for Vaccinated 5-11 Year Olds: Two weeks after receiving a second dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, students will be considered exempt from quarantine requirements unless they develop COVID-like symptoms during the 14-day quarantine period. Student vaccination status is not required by APS at this time and will be confirmed only when and if your student is identified as a close contact by the school and public health.Contact Tracing: APS is in the process of transitioning contact tracing from schools to a healthcare-based call center. Call center staff will be well-versed in APS protocols and procedures when contacting families and students. During the transition, we anticipate that there may be some additional fine tuning that needs to occur, suggestions and feedback should be provided to the COVID Response Team at covid@apsva.us. Procedures and protocols will be updated and reflected on the School Year 2021-22 health and safety webpage prior to the transition.

sounds of the season graphic
3. Sounds of the Season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The annual APS Sounds of the Season event is underway with events taking place throughout December. From concerts to one-act plays, our students are putting on a show this December and January. Check out the schedule for our winter concerts and enjoy the Sounds of the Season!

students and teachers interacting for stem activity
4. STEM Activities Take Spotlight as Hour of Code Nears

Next week (Dec. 6-10) is the Hour of Code! This year’s theme is “Let’s Code.” At APS, many virtual coding activities are taking place throughout the week. There are also  exciting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities happening in APS. Five elementary schools are piloting a robotics program. Students use Ozobots or Sphero’s to learn the directional color codes to program their bots to achieve the desired outcome. During Taylor Elementary’s STEAM Cardboard Challenge Day, students at all grade levels created interactive activities out of cardboard and took turns demonstrating and interacting with each other’s projects.

Teacher of the Year 2022 Graphic
5. Time is Running Out to Nominate a Teacher or Principal of the Year 

The nomination window closes next Wed, Dec. 8. Help us spread the word to your friends and neighbors to nominate a teacher or principal who meets the criteria for this award. This is a chance to help highlight some of the heroes who make a huge difference in the lives of students in Arlington. Nominate a teacher or principal today.

Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for Nov. 19, 2021

Friday 5 header image

Happy Thanksgiving Graphic

1. Wishing You a Wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday
Next week will be a short week as all schools and offices are closed Wed, Nov. 24 through Fri, Nov. 26. APS wishes everyone an enjoyable, safe and healthy holiday break. The Friday 5 will resume on Fri, Dec. 3 and is moving to a biweekly format.

Martin Luther King Jr. Literary & Visual Arts Contest Graphic
2. The 2022 MLK Literary and Visual Arts Contest is Open
Does your student love to write essays or poems, draw, sculpt or take photographs? APS is seeking entries for the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Literary and Visual Arts Contest.  Students are asked to submit artwork or writing that incorporates a quote from Dr. King and represents how they can support Dr. King’s vision and inspire a more equitable, inclusive, and peaceful Virginia. Entries are due by 5 p.m., Thu, Dec. 16. Learn more

Screenshot of high school students
3. Crosswalks: Secondary Literacy
There is a lot of great work happening in literacy in middle and high schools! View the next video in the Crosswalks series showing how Wakefield High School teachers are working with students on English content, reading and writing. Thank you to Wakefield English teachers David Sharp, Fabian Tomala, Muktaru Jalloh, Doug Burns, Celeste El Hashem, Diana Dempsey, and Secondary English Language Arts Specialist Lauren Johnson, for sharing their expertise.

APS Snow Days Graphic
4. Weather Procedures: Snow Days Return for 2021-22 School Year
APS has announced updates to our inclement weather procedures, including up to six days built into the current calendar for traditional snow days, and a series of closure codes to help explain how the weather has affected schools and activities. Families should have a plan in place in the event of an APS closure, delay or early dismissal due to weather. To learn about the weather codes and how APS determines and announces decisions, visit the APS website.  

Teacher of the Year 2022 Graphic
5. Teacher of the Year Nomination Process Is Open
The nomination process for Teacher and Principal of the Year is open through December 8. There are many beloved teachers and administrators in APS, and this is one way to recognize individuals who are making a difference! The nominations are open to students, staff and families.   


Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for Nov. 12, 2021

Friday 5 header image

 school psychologist talking to student
1. APS Celebrates Our School Psychologists

This week, APS celebrated National School Psychology Week! APS thanks all our hard-working, talented and caring school psychologists who have devoted themselves to helping students throughout the pandemic. This week, APS highlighted our school psychologists on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, Instagram and Twitter.

into the future - Friday 5 graphic
2. Help us Plan the Future of the Friday Five!

As part of our effort to continue to refine and streamline communications, we want to hear your thoughts on how you’d like to receive the Friday Five. Please consider taking this 10-second poll to help us plan for the future of the Friday Five. Your feedback is invaluable to us and we appreciate your time!

students walking in parade at Drew
3. Drew Students and Staff Show Their Pride

Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary students and staff held their Quarter 1 Project-Based Learning Showcase last week. A parade through the Green Valley community highlighted student work that had been completed throughout the first quarter, showing students’ understanding of the school-wide driving question: How can I use (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) PBIS character traits to show Drew pride? Read more about the event and see the photo gallery on our website.

graphic with APS and ACPS logos
4. APS & ACPD Memorandum of Understanding Available for Public Comment

APS is currently reviewing and updating the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Arlington County Police Department. The purpose of the MOU Development Process is to redefine and reimagine the relationship between APS and ACPD. The MOU is currently available online for public comment until Tuesday, November 23.  Visit the APS website to view the MOU and to provide feedback.

graphic with children receiving covid-19 vaccine
5. Vaccinations for 5-11-Year-Old Students Now Available

Every student age 5 or older is now eligible for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine! Appointments can be made at nearby pharmacies and clinics by visiting Vaccines.gov (www.vacunas.gov), or by checking with your pediatrician’s office. Additionally, Arlington County Public Health is holding clinics specifically for 5-11-year-old children this weekend, Nov. 13 and 14, from 9 a.m.–5 p.m., by appointment only. Make your appointment online by visiting VAMS and clicking the “Schedule a Pediatric COVID-19 vaccine appointment” icon or by calling the County’s COVID-19 hotline at 703-228-7999.  Check Vaccines.gov regularly to see updated appointment availability and make an appointment for your child’s free vaccine as soon as possible.


Other News & Notes: 

 

Friday 5 for Nov. 5, 2021

Friday 5 header image

vaccines for children
1. 5–11-Year-Old Children Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine

Children ages 5-11 are now eligible for a free COVID-19 vaccine. Arlington County Public Health is will begin currently offering vaccines by appointment  starting on Sat., Nov. 6, and will hold clinics specifically for this age group on Nov. 13 and 14. Families are also encouraged to reach out to their child’s pediatrician or primary care doctor for potential vaccine availability as vaccine supply is limited in the early weeks of distribution. More information regarding locations, times and scheduling assistance is available on our website.

covid-19 testing graphic
2. Updated
COVID Testing Requirements APS has updated its testing requirements for students who have COIVD-like symptoms and have not been identified as a close contact by a public health agency or Arlington Public Schools. Students are now able to provide laboratory results from a negative antigen or PCR test to return to school, helping to decrease the potential days a student must remain out of school while awaiting results. Additional information is available on the APS website.

staff and community members cutting ribbon at Escuela Key
3. Escuela Key Celebrates Opening with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Escuela Key Elementary held a ribbon-cutting event today to celebrate the start of a brand-new chapter—with a new name and a new location. During his remarks, Superintendent Dr. Durán highlighted the strength of the dual language immersion program and the school’s strong sense of community. Joining Dr. Durán were Escuela Key Principal Marleny Perdomo; School Board Chair Dr. Barbara Kanninen; Counselor Don Jesús Fernández from the Spanish Ministry of Education; PTA President Erin Lester; and Escuela Key staff, students and families. Escuela Key students sang Amazing Grace and read a poem about how everything was big when they were small.

students counting coins
4. Randolph Students Collect Coins to Benefit Non-profit

Students at Randolph Elementary raised more than $1,700 collecting coins to benefit Path Forward, a nonprofit benefitting Arlington’s homeless population (formerly A-Span).  Fifth graders kicked off the coin drive on Oct. 29 with a campaign to teach other students about Path Forward and the logistics of the coin drive.  As of the campaign conclusion today, Randolph students raised more money in this year’s coin drive than ever before in the school’s 20-year partnership with the non-profit organization.

graphic thanking voters for bond approval
5. Thank You, APS Community, For Your Support!

Thank you, APS community! More than 78% of voters approved this year’s School Bond, which allows APS to invest in future facility and infrastructure improvements to meet the needs of students. The $23.01 million bond will be used for improvements such as required kitchen renovations and safety and security projects. Thank you to this year’s Bond Chairs, Rebecca Hunter and Alistair Watson, for their support in raising awareness about the importance of the school bond.


Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for Oct. 29, 2021

Friday 5 header image

mark your calendars graphic
1. Month Ahead – November Dates to Remember

Here are some calendar reminders for November. Note that there is no school for students on Tue, Nov. 2, which is a grade prep day for staff. Many staff will be working remotely on that day, so please be aware that responses to inquiries may be delayed.

  • Mon, Nov. 1 – End of First Quarter
  • Mon, Nov. 1 – High School Information Night
  • Tues, Nov. 2 – No School – Election Day and Grade Prep (Most School Staff Working Remotely)
  • Thu, Nov. 4 – No School, Holiday – Diwali
  • Tue, Nov. 9 – Report Cards (Grades 6-12)
  • Thu, Nov. 11 – No School, Holiday – Veterans Day
  • Fri, Nov. 19 – Report Cards (Grades 1-5)
  • Wed-Fri, Nov. 24-26 – Holiday – Thanksgiving Break​​​​​​​

students at Barcroft reading on carpet
2. Spotlight on Literacy: The Science of Teaching Students to Read
This week’s Crosswalks highlights literacy instruction, and the strategies teachers are using to strengthen reading proficiency. The English Language Arts Department has shifted its model to teach foundational skills and phonics more systematically. Watch the latest installment of Crosswalks video here.

ATS student with hula hoop
3. ATS Reading Carnival Inspires Young Readers

Arlington Traditional School (ATS) held its annual “Reading Carnival Day” on Wednesday. Reading Carnival Day is a celebration of the ATS summer reading challenge where every student reads 50 books and performs 10 good deeds. This year’s theme was “ATS Readers on the Move!” as the school transitioned from its building on Edison Street, to a new location at the former McKinley Elementary School.  The day was filled with reading, moving and grooving dance parties, class pictures, sidewalk chalk, popsicles, choosing a free book to take home, and more.  Learn more about the Reading Carnival Day and see the photos.

substitute teacher working with student
4. APS Increases Pay for Substitute Teachers

Arlington Public Schools continues to have a need, like other school divisions, to find substitute teachers to cover classes when teachers are not in school. To increase the substitute pool of candidates, the School Board approved a plan at its Oct. 28 meeting to increase the rate of pay for daily, permanent school daily, and long-term substitutes. The increase in pay will place APS as a frontrunner in the Northern Virginia Region for substitute pay rates with these changes that will take effect on November 1. To see the new rates and to apply, visit the APS website.

High school information hight graphic
5. Join us for
High School Information Night on Mon, Nov. 1!

Attention 8th grade families! High School Information Night is set for Mon, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. The event will be virtual this year and families will be able to watch the event on Livestream, with a recording available online afterward. Families of students entering high school in the fall of 2022 will learn about APS high schools, school options, application deadlines and procedures, school-based information sessions, available student resources, and more.


Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for October 15, 2021

Friday 5 header image

APS Think Big Space Construction
1. APS and Amazon to Launch Think Big Space

APS and Amazon are launching a Think Big Space at Wakefield High School! This innovative educational space will provide interactive learning experiences, grounded in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) and robotics, for students at Wakefield and across Arlington. Wakefield High School is the second AWS (Amazon Web Services) Think Big Space in Virginia. Construction has begun on the AWS Think Big Space and this new educational space for students is expected to launch by the end of the year. Learn more about the new space here.

APS Fall 2021 Boundaries Procedure Graphic
2. APS Kicks Off Boundary Process Community Engagement This Weekend

APS is preparing for a limited boundary process to balance enrollment and utilize instructional spaces across neighboring school facilities. Adjustments will be made between Abingdon and Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary Schools, Gunston and Jefferson Middle Schools, and Wakefield and Washington-Liberty High Schools for the Fall of 2022. APS will hold Virtual Community Meetings beginning Sat, Oct. 16 for families starting at 11 a.m. For additional details and times, visit the Fall 2021 Boundary Process Engage webpage.

social-emotional learning graphic
3. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Opportunities – Student Services Newsletter

Check out the October Newsletter from the Office of Student Services here. In October, APS staff will continue to focus on the SEL theme of Relationship Skills through activities and lessons. We also recognize October as Bullying and Substance Abuse Prevention Month. We are offering several free trainings for parents to learn more about the new marijuana laws in Virginia, how to help prevent child abuse, and how to best support the mental health of youth.

Student holding apple at lunch
4. What Do You Love About School Lunch?

This week was National School Lunch Week and the theme for this year is “Wild About School Lunch!” Students from across the district were featured on our social media platforms sharing their favorite school lunch meals. Students at our elementary schools report they love APS school lunch sandwiches, chicken nuggets, fresh fruit, mac and cheese, grilled cheese, apples, and more! APS serves well over 19,000 meals per day on average. To see more, follow APS on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

two teachers next to the cardinal mascot
5. VIDEO: Watch the Cardinal Elementary Student Performances and Ribbon Cutting

Cardinal Elementary School celebrated its ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 1! Students, staff and members of the APS community attended the event. Dr. Durán said during his remarks that the occasion marked more than just opening the building, rather it is the celebration of new beginnings for the students and staff at Cardinal. Students from each grade level performed chants and songs during the ceremony before the red ribbon was officially cut. Watch the event here.   


Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for October 8, 2021

Friday 5 header image

Global Citizenship Project screenshot of kids
1. This Week’s Crosswalk Feature: Empowering Global Citizens
This week, AETV launched Crosswalk, a new video series that features the great work schools are doing to support students and highlights connections across Arlington. This week’s video spotlights Ashlawn’s Global Citizenship Project and how it helps students develop skills in respecting different cultures, the environment, social justice and leadership. Watch the video here.

bullying prevention
2. Bullying Prevention – Recognize, Report, Refuse!
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. APS teaches bullying prevention to educate and empower students to help create safe and supportive school communities. Throughout this month, counselors will engage in various bullying prevention efforts such as reinforcing the three Rs of bullying prevention, Recognize, Report and Refuse; participating in Wear Orange Unity Day (Oct. 20) to show unity for kindness, support, and inclusion; and spreading the Upstander Pledge, a commitment to standing up for others. Everyone can do something to help prevent bullying; individuals, schools, and communities each have an important role. Learn what you can do.  APS provides a host of resources and helpful FAQs surrounding bullying. View this short video about our effortshttps://www.apsva.us/student-services/bully-prevention/ 

Portrait Of Male And Female Students Building Robot Vehicle In After School Computer Coding Class

3. Middle School Information Night Set for Oct. 25
Attention 5th grade families! Middle School Information Night is set for Mon, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. The event will be virtual this year and families will be able to watch the event live on Livestream. Families unable to watch the event live will be able to view a recording after. Families of students entering middle school in the fall of 2022will learn about APS middle schools, school options, application deadlines and procedures, school-based information sessions, available student resources, and more. Families will hear an overview about APS middle schools, school options, application deadlines and procedures, school-based information sessions, available student resources, and more.

100 Years Arlington Logo
4. Celebrate the Latino Experience in Arlington!
Come out on Sat, Oct. 16 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Barbara M. Donnellan Auditorium to celebrate the Latino experience in Arlington. Enjoy cultural expressions, food trucks and a moderated panel discussion featuring Latino Arlington Leaders and citizens. Registration is required for the panel discussion. The dance performances, exhibits by artisans and food trucks do not require advance registration to attend. Learn more and register for the panel discussion now.

students in classroom with superintendent
5. Forty Schools in Thirty Days—Superintendent’s Recent School Visits
The first month of school was filled with great moments as students reconnected with friends and schools focused on instruction, student wellbeing, and health and safety. Dr. Durán visited every school to observe classes and meet staff and students. View the photo gallery featuring dozens of photos from across the schools. Be sure to follow Dr. Durán on Twitter to view highlights of these visits and his future visits to schools throughout the school year.


Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for October 1, 2021

 

Friday 5 header image

Students graduating
1. Congratulations to the Class of 2021! 

APS On-Time Graduation Rate for Class of 2021 Highest EverThis week, Virginia released its On-Time Graduation (OGR) Rates for the Class of 2021. The APS OGR for the Class of 2021 was 94%, (1,648 students). This represents the highest OGR since Virginia began reporting this in 2008. In 2021, 70% of APS students who graduated earned an Advanced Studies or IB diploma, and 92% of graduates responding to a survey reported that they plan to continue their education with a post-secondary experience. 

Elementary schoolboy in class

2. View the APS Quarantine Learning Plan

APS is committed to continuing instruction for students who are quarantined due to COVID-19. If the Arlington County Public Health Department requires a student to quarantine, APS will provide distance learning opportunities for students through limited livestreaming, recorded lessons and other methods. If a whole class quarantines, the class will engage in synchronous distance learning during the quarantine period. View the updated plan online.

3. It’s Official! Celebrating the Opening of Cardinal Elementary

Today, APS students, staff and families gathered outside at Cardinal Elementary School to mark the opening of the new school with a ribbon-cutting and back-to-school assembly. Students in each grade level performed songs and dances about safety, respect, friendship and community, concluding with a special rendition of the Cardinal School Song. The video of the event will be posted online next week.

Hispanic Heritage Month graphic
4. APS Celebrates Students During Hispanic Heritage Month

In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re honoring outstanding Latinx high school student leaders for their standout achievements. Students from each APS high school were nominated by their principals for accomplishments such as advocating for social justice, supporting classmates during the pandemic, and serving as role models and mentors. Read about these students on our Hispanic Heritage month webpage. They will be recognized at the October 14 School Board meeting.

Thank you Custodians
5. Thank You to APS Custodians!
Tomorrow, Oct. 2, is Custodian Appreciation Day! APS is thankful for the dedicated and hardworking individuals who help to keep our facilities clean and optimal for student learning. They have worked especially hard during the pandemic to maintain safe, healthy learning environments and to ensure all schools were ready to welcome back students and staff. Check out this photo gallery we’ve put together to honor these employees.

Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for Sept. 24, 2021

Friday 5 header image

Niche best school districts
1. APS Ranks Second Best District in Virginia by Niche

Arlington Public Schools ranked second best school division in Virginia in the 2022 Best Schools Report by Niche, a company specializing in K-12 school analysis and ranking. Arlington earned high marks for great schools, teachers, academics, health and safety, diversity and other categories. Niche also rated APS the number one place to teach and the second safest school district in Virginia. To learn more about Niche and read the full APS report card, visit our website.

swanson 8th grader Henry Stievater
2. Swanson 8th Grader Named to Broadcom MASTERS Top 300 List

Congratulations to Swanson eighth grader Henry Stievater and his teacher, Courtney Seavolt! Henry has been named one of the Top 300 MASTERS in the 2021 Broadcom MASTERS®, the premier Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) competition for middle school students. The program seeks to inspire young scientists, engineers and innovators to solve the grand challenges of the 21st century. The Top 300 MASTERS were selected from 1,841 students from 48 states, Washington, DC and three US territories.

communication bubbles
3. How to Contact APS

There are several ways to contact APS for help with your questions or to provide input. Who to call and how to engage depends on what you need.

  • NEW Family Information Line (703-228-8000) APS now has a central Family Information Line to assist families with questions concerning transportation, Virtual Learning Program, registration, Extended Day food services, technology, or general questions. This line is open on school days. Transportation will take calls from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you call and are sent to voicemail, leave a message and someone will respond to you within 24 hours.
  • Engage with APS – engage@apsva.us remains the contact for providing input on current APS initiatives.
  • Contact Your School For specific school-based issues or concerns regarding students, families are encouraged to contact their child’s school directly so the issue can be quickly resolved.

For more information on who to contact, please visit the  Contact APS webpage.

picture of bikes
4. Celebrate Your Muscle-Powered School Commute on Walk, Bike and Roll to School Day 2021

On Wed, Oct. 6, all APS schools are taking part in the annual Walk, Bike and Roll to School Day, which teaches students about safe routes to school and the benefits of active transportation. APS has been taking part in this worldwide celebration for nearly two decades, as part of our commitment to sustainability. While this year’s event falls on Wed, Oct. 6, schools may host an event any day in October. Additional details are online.

Blue Star families week
5. Join APS Next Week to Celebrate Blue Star Families

APS is proud to participate in Blue Star Welcome Week, a nationwide initiative to build a better sense of belonging and community for military families. Blue Star Families empowers military families to thrive by connecting them with their civilian neighbors to create strong communities of mutual support. Join us next week as we celebrate the many military families and students in Arlington and help them feel welcome in our schools. APS will highlight Blue Star Families Welcome Week next week via our social media channels. Feel free to share your own welcome messages by replying to and retweeting APS posts. To support military and veteran families all year long, become a free Blue Star Neighbor member.


Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for September 17, 2021

Friday 5 header image

national hispanic heritage month graphic
1. Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!

This week kicks off the annual National Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, Sept. 15 – Oct. 15. View this kick-off video to learn why this month is so meaningful in APS. We honor our Latinx students and the many Hispanic Americans who have enriched and made a positive difference in our schools, community and culture. Each week, we will be celebrating two high school Latinx student leaders for their outstanding achievements. They will be featured on the APS website and on social media.


national merit scholarship program graphic

2. Twenty-One Seniors Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

Earlier this week, the National Merit Scholarship Program announced that 21 Arlington students are semifinalists in the 67th annual National Merit Scholarship Competition. These students will have the opportunity to compete for approximately 7,500 Merit Scholarship awards, totaling $30 million, that will be announced this spring. Congratulations to these Seniors!


picture of green check mark in circle

3. Do Your Part to Keep Schools Safe!

It takes everyone to keep our schools safe and open. We ask everyone to take the daily health screening seriously, answer the questions honestly, keep students at home when they are ill and do not come to work or school if you are ill or have COVID-like symptoms. When there are confirmed COVID cases in schools, individuals identified as close contacts receive detailed instructions on quarantine procedures, and school-wide notices are sent to the school community. Thank you for doing your part. View some of the symptoms to look for and general health and safety information.


W-L Football players on football field

4. Mandatory Vaccinations for Student Athletes

APS will require all students participating in high school sports to be vaccinated, effective November 8 (start of Winter Season). Student athletes who cannot be vaccinated will be required to be tested daily. Additional information is available online, and APS will provide additional details about this requirement in the coming weeks. For additional information and to find a vaccination site, visit the Arlington County website.


student support line from cigna
5. September is Suicide Prevention Month

Arlington Public Schools continues to provide the School Support Line at 833-Me-Cigna (833-632–4462) for crisis and referral support. It is available 24/7/365 to students, staff and parents.  The Office of Student Services is also launching a monthly newsletter offering resources and information for social-emotional and mental health support. You can read the first issue on our website. In addition, APS offers helpful resources and local crisis links for parents on our In Crisis/Need Help Now? and mental health resources webpages. If you or someone you know is suicidal, get help immediately via 911, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or the Crisis Text Line (text “HOME” to 741741). View additional suicide prevention resources from the Virginia Department of Health.


Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for September 10, 2021

Friday 5 header image

first day of school
1. First Day of School Video
Last week, students returned to classrooms and normal school schedules and activities, greeted by warm welcomes from teachers, bus drivers, food service employees and all staff. AETV produced this video featuring Superintendent Dr. Durán and highlights from first-day arrivals across the school division.  

covid testing
2. COVID-19 Testing at School Starts Next Week!
Thank you to the nearly 5,000 students and families who opted in for weekly student COVID-19 testing. The schedule for each school’s allotted testing window is now posted online, along with more details on how the testing is conducted, which allows all opted-in students at each school to be tested weekly in a short timeframe. ResourcePath conducts this testing safely and efficiently and it is a crucial strategy for early detection and response to possible cases. Opt in today for weekly testing or sign up for a test following symptoms or exposure

national hispanic heritage month
3. APS Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
Join APS as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15. We invite the community to follow us on social media as we celebrate generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively enriched our schools, culture and society. APS will highlight eight Latinx high school students chosen by their principals for their character, leadership and outstanding successes in school and life. More information will be posted online next week.

ready set learn
4. “Like” our New Spanish Facebook Page
A brand new Facebook page for Spanish-speaking families has launched!  Visit facebook.com/APSenEspanol or search for Escuelas Públicas de Arlington directly on Facebook. The page features news and updates in Spanish, as well as a multitude of exclusive content and Q&A using the chat feature. Las Escuelas Públicas de Arlington ha lanzado una nueva página de Facebook en español: @APSenespanol 

toni stone
5. APS Families Invited to Watch
Toni Stone at Nats Park
APS families are invited to watch a performance of the new hit play Toni Stone on the videoboard at Nats Park, on Sun, Sept. 26. Pioneer Toni Stone was the first woman to play baseball in the Negro Leagues, also making her the first woman to play professionally in a men’s league in the 1950s. Details on how to get tickets is available online.


Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for September 3, 2021

Friday 5 header image

student on first day of school
1. Thank You for a Great First Week Back!

Thank you to everyone – staff, students and families – for helping to make this a great first week of school. Many of you sent us great photos of the first day and you can view them all on our website’s First Day Gallery. Stay tuned for a first day video capturing many touching moments. As a reminder, schools and offices are closed Sept. 3, 6 and 7 and classes resume Wed, Sept. 8.

Virtual Screener
2. Remember to Complete Your Health Screener

Thank you to all the families that consistently completed the Qualtrics symptom screener on the honor system this week—we had a great response rate on the first two days of school. We kept the tool in place with a daily reminder to reinforce the importance of checking your student’s health and keeping students who are ill at home. There are symptoms to look for posted on our website.

AVOP
3. Review Your Info in ParentVUE – Fill out the AOVP

Have you reviewed your information in ParentVUE as part of the Annual Online Verification Process (AOVP)? We need every family to verify the information we have is accurate and current. This requires you to log into ParentVUE. More information about the process, including videos and letters in English and Spanish, is available online. Contact your school for help accessing ParentVUE if you need it.

COVID-19 vaccine viles
4. Volunteering at APS

Thank you to everyone who volunteers in our schools. As part of our vaccination requirement for staff, COVID-19 vaccinations are now also required for those who want to volunteer in our schools. For those who were already approved to volunteer, you should have received a notice via email to renew your application and provide verification of your vaccination status. You can fill out the application online and find additional information regarding volunteering on the APS website.

Happy Weekend
5. Enjoy the Long Weekend!

Remember that school is closed tomorrow through next Tuesday in observance of Labor Day and Rosh Hashanah. See you back at school on Wed, September 8!


Other News & Notes
Superintendent’s Weekly Message
School Year Calendar
Special Education Records Destruction Notice

Friday 5 for August 27, 2021

 

Friday 5 header image

Ready Set Learn graphic

1. Welcome Back! See You on Monday

Ready, set, learn! We can’t wait to see students back in the classroom this coming Monday, Aug. 30. Superintendent Dr. Durán and Chief of School Support Ms. Graves give us a glimpse of what to expect this school year and highlight the three top priorities for the upcoming school year. Families are encouraged to share photos of their students on the first day of school by uploading them here and use the hashtag #APSBack2School when posting to social media.


Student meals graphic

2. Apply for Meal Benefits – Free and Reduced Meal Applications

School meals are available at no cost to all students this school year. Even though meals are free, applying for meal benefits is still very important! By applying for meal benefits, families that qualify may be eligible for additional resources. Applications are available in ParentVUE, on the APS Food Services Webpage or online at myschoolapps.com.


Free COVID-19 testing graphic

3. Opt-In for Free COVID-19 Testing at School

APS is partnering with Resource Path to provide both symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 testing at all school locations for the 2021-22 School Year. This is an expansion of the symptomatic testing APS provided last school year. Parents/guardians must complete the consent form online, per Virginia Code, for students to be included in weekly COVID-19 testing at their school. If you do not complete the form, your student will not receive testing.


Student eating lunch picture

4. Safe Dining and Outdoor Lunch Plans—Check Your School’s Website

We remain committed to protecting the health and safety of our students during lunchtime and throughout the day. All APS schools are providing partial or full outdoor lunch opportunities for students this school year. The plans for student lunch vary by school, so check your school’s website for details. APS is continuing to expand opportunities for outdoor lunch by providing additional staffing and working in partnership with Arlington County to obtain needed resources. Additionally, every school is implementing prevention measures during student dining to keep students as safe as possible. The FAQ on the APS website provides further information.


Calendar graphic

5. Upcoming Calendar Reminders & Back-to-School (BTS) Nights

Families are reminded of the following holidays and back-to-school nights:
–Fri, Sept. 3 and Mon, Sept. 6 Labor Day Holiday
–Tue, Sept. 7 Rosh Hashanah Holiday
–Thu, Sept. 9 BTS Elementary Schools
–Tue, Sept. 14 BTS Middle Schools
–Wed, Sept. 22 BTS High schools, except:
–Thu, Sept. 23 BTS H-B Woodlawn & Arlington Community High School
–Thu, Sept. 30 BTS Career Center/Arlington Tech
–Thu, Oct. 14 BTS Langston HSCP
The exact times of back-to-school nights vary by building.

Please check with your students’ school for an exact time. There will be no school for students or staff on Fri. Sept. 3 (Labor Day weekend), Mon. Sept. 6 (Labor Day) and Tue. Sept. 7 (Rosh Hashanah). School resumes on Wed. Sept. 8.


Other News & Notes:

Please check ParentVue over the weekend for some updates to bus assignments. Stop times may have minor schedule adjustments based on driver feedback from practice runs this week.

APS Friday 5 for August 20, 2021

Friday 5 header image

kids elbow bumping

1. Welcome Back! School Starts Mon, Aug. 30

The first day of school is just around the corner! Arlington Public Schools is excited to welcome teachers and staff back this week in preparation for students returning on Mon Aug. 30. School will be held in-person, five days a week. The 2021-22 school year calendar is available online. There will be no school for students and staff on Fri Sept. 3, Mon Sept. 6 (Labor Day) and Tue Sept. 7 (Rosh Hashanah). Learn more about the school year on our website.


health & safety image

2. Health and Safety Information

APS continues to make health and safety a top priority. Masks will be required for all students and staff in school buildings. Staff must be vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. Contract tracing and quarantine protocols are ready and there are plans in place to ensure that learning continues if a student is quarantined. More detailed information is available on the APS website.


aerial photo of buses

3. Transportation Updates

Bus schedules will be posted in ParentVUE on Tue, Aug. 24, located in the Student Information Tab under instructional choice. APS will operate with normal bus capacity and follow normal procedures. Properly fitted masks are required for everyone on school buses and inside schools. Bus windows will be cracked as a health and safety measure. Important updates and reminders for families with bus-eligible students are posted online.


student raising hand in class

4. New Family Registration & AOVP Assistance Day Set for Aug. 25

APS is hosting a New Family Registration Day on Wed, Aug. 25, at all schools and the APS Welcome Center. In addition, both new and returning families can receive help accessing ParentVUE and completing the Annual Online Verification Process (AOVP), the annual verification of student information. At the Welcome Center, families and students 12 and older will be able receive a free COVID-19 vaccination through the Arlington County Health Department. Additional details on the Registration and AOVP Assistance Day are available online.


county fair graphic

5. Visit APS at the Arlington County Fair!

The Arlington County Fair is back! While you’re at the fair, come in and say hi to APS administrators and staff, tonight through Sunday.  APS will have back-to-school flyers, registration information and more available for families. The Fair is located at the Thomas Jefferson Middle School Community Center. Details online. See you there!


Other News & Notes:


 

APS Friday Five is sent via School Talk to all parents and staff, and community members who have signed up to receive APS School Talk.