APS Friday 5 Archive


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

APS Friday 5 for April 23, 2021


school year 2021-22

RESPOND BY APRIL 30: Family Selection Process for 2021-22 School Year

APS is asking all families to choose by May 3 [edit: originally April 30] between two instructional models for the upcoming school year: full-time in-person instruction five days per week or a separate K-12 Distance Learning Program five days per week.

  • The K-12 Distance Learning Program is different than the current distance learning model. Students are in a separate program with a dedicated administrator and staff and maintain connection to their school of record for reporting, school counseling and extracurricular activities. The curriculum, pacing and school day schedules are aligned with in-person school.
  • The in-person option includes five days in the classroom at the student’s school of record with a teacher present and following normal bell schedules and normal start/end times.
  • Lunch and school day activities will be conducted in accordance with CDC and VDH guidance, with COVID-19 mitigation measures to protect the health and safety of students and staff.

For information on the ParentVUE process and instructional choices, and for FAQ, visit our website.

teacher wearing mask in classroom

1. APS PreK Students Move to Four Days In Person Per Week Starting May 3

APS continues to expand in-person learning. At last night’s School Board meeting, the Superintendent announced that all PreK students in the hybrid model will shift to four days per week starting the week of May 3. APS has been providing four days of in-person learning for students enrolled in Countywide Special Education Programs since November. The Superintendent reiterated ongoing work by Facilities and schools to maximize capacity with 3-foot distancing to serve as many students in person as possible this school year and noted that nearly 1,000 students have been admitted off of waitlists for hybrid instruction in April so far. View the presentation from last night’s meeting. Enrollment in each model and latest waitlist information is updated regularly online.

COVID-19 Testing graphic

2. APS is First in the State to Open Free COVID-Testing Sites at Schools

Walk-up COVID-19 testing sites are now open at Glebe, Kenmore and Wakefield for students and staff who are symptomatic or have had close contact with a person with COVID-19. The testing is after school hours only, from 3:30-7:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, and Saturdays at Kenmore only, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Consent must be completed beforehand, using the consent forms available on the APS website.

RISE logo

3. APS Announces Partnership with the AAKOMA Project & RISE to Win Organization

APS is partnering with the AAKOMA Project and the RISE to Win organization. The AAKOMA project will provide mental health supports for students on the Wakefield Football Team and training for school counselors across the school division to provide culturally relevant supports to students who experience racial trauma. The RISE to Win organization will provide training to equip students, athletes, coaches, and administrators with the tools to be culturally competent, effective advocates for racial equity, and leaders in addressing racism, diversity, and inclusion. Both partnerships align with the APS Strategic Plan Student Well-Being Goal to provide students with healthy, safe, and supportive environments. More information about the APS response to the March 5 incident is available on Engage.

APS Summer School logo

4. Update on Summer School Fees

Last week, we incorrectly informed families that students taking summer school strengthening courses would be required to pay a fee for those courses. APS will not charge fees for summer strengthening courses offered as part of the 2021 summer school program. Additional details are available online.

Students putting coins into savings jar

5. Nottingham Knights Give Back to A-SPAN

Last week, students in the Nottingham SCA encouraged all Knights to donate spare change for their annual Jar Wars event. The students raised over $153 for A-SPAN to help a community member affected by illness and job loss during the pandemic. A-SPAN President Betsy Frantz joined the students and their SCA sponsors, 3rd grade teachers Shannon Brandt and Kate Gallagher, virtually to receive the donation. She thanked them with a quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.” Kudos to the fifth grade students who raised the most money, and to all the Knights!

Other News & Notes

APS Friday 5 for April 16, 2021


Family Selection Proces






1. Student and Family Selection Process for the 2021-22 School Year Opens on Monday

On Monday, APS will launch a two-week student/family selection process in ParentVUE. Families will be asked to select a model—full-time in-person learning or full-time distance learning—for each student for the 2021-22 school year by Fri, April 30. The selection process also asks families to provide information regarding Transportation and Extended Day services. This information is important for planning, staffing and scheduling for a strong start in fall 2021. Details on the instructional choices and services will be provided on Monday when the selection process opens. Stay tuned!

Summer School





2. Important Summer School Dates and Information

Summer School begins July 6 for eligible students. Information updated on our website includes times and locations, as well as information on fees, food service, transportation, and eligibility in strengthening programs. Learn more about summer school.

Covid Testing







3. Consent Forms for COVID-19 Testing at APS Sites

Beginning Monday, APS will provide free testing after school hours for students and staff who are symptomatic, or who have been exposed to COVID-19. Walk-up testing sites are located at Glebe Elementary, Kenmore Middle and Wakefield High School. Parent/guardian consent will be required in advance of student testing, via forms on the APS website.

Vision Conference




4. Tues, April 20: NOVA Vision Conference for Students with Disabilities

APS and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) are offering an opportunity for students with with IEPs or 504 Plans to learn about accommodations in college. The virtual conference will include a presentation from NOVA Disability Services, a student panel, and a parent Q&A session. Registration for students and parents/guardians is available online.

SRO Work Group






5. Mon, April 26: SRO Work Group Community Engagement Session

The APS School Resource Officer (SRO) Work Group will host a second virtual community engagement session on Mon, April 26 at 6:30 p.m. The session will be an opportunity for the community to provide feedback and recommendations on the relationship between APS and the Arlington County Police Department. Individuals interested in providing public comment during the community engagement session should complete the Speaker Request Form by Friday, April 23 at 12 p.m. The session will be streamed live online.

Other News & Notes

APS Students Earn Honors at Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair

Information about 2021 Graduations and Promotions

Open Office Hours for School Board Chair Monique O’Grady

APS COVID-19 Dashboard

Get Vaccinated!

The Friday 5 is now archived on the APS website

APS Friday 5 for April 9, 2021


Covid testing







1. APS to Provide Free COVID-19 Testing at Three School Sites

Beginning April 19, APS will provide free COVID-19 testing for students and staff who are symptomatic, or who have been exposed to COVID-19, in partnership with ResourcePath. Walk-up testing sites will be located at Glebe Elementary, Kenmore Middle and Wakefield High School. Trained staff will assist in mid-nasal swab testing using the RT-PCR test. Additional details about the testing program and ResourcePath are available online.

Career Fair







2. Virtual Career Exploration Fair for Students

Do you have a student who is interested in exploring in-demand fields like cybersecurity? Do they need help with their resume or need interview tips? In this virtual career exploration fair hosted jointly by APS and FCPS, high school students will be able to connect with over 100 local industry professionals from in-demand career fields. The virtual fair takes place from April 19-30. Additional details and registration information are available on the Career Center website.

NAMM Award







3. APS Music Program Earns National Recognition

For the fifth consecutive year, APS has been honored with the “Best Communities for Music Education” designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. This award recognizes APS as leader in providing access to exemplary music and education opportunities for all students. Learn more online.






4. School Board Adopts Proposed FY 2022 Budget

The School Board adopted its FY22 Proposed Budget totaling $699,919,805 at its April 8 meeting. The School Board amended the Superintendent’s FY22 Revised Proposed Budget by reducing the budgeted expenditures by $6.7 million and replacing the 2% cost of living adjustment with different compensation models by employee scale to ensure that every employee in the school division receives a compensation increase. There will be a Public Hearing on the School Board’s Proposed Budget on April 29. Visit our website to read more on the School Board’s proposed FY22 budget and a summary of the April 8 School Board meeting.

Thank you





5. “Thank APS Heroes” Deadline Approaching  

Is there an APS teacher or employee you’d like to thank? APS is honoring all teachers and support employees for their contributions to supporting students throughout this pandemic school year. Make a short video, record a message, draw a picture or sing a song and we will post them on social media in May for APS Employee Appreciation Month. Upload your submissions by April 15.

Other News and Notes

APS Friday 5 for March 26, 2021

FridayFive logo - spring break

Here comes Spring Break daffodils against blue sky

1. Spring Break is Here

Spring break is March 29-April 2. APS wishes all students, families, and staff a safe week. Please practice health and safety precautions while on break and review the travel guidance from VDH and CDC. Thank you to all the families who placed your trust in APS and helped to make in-person returns successful and safe. We continue to work to expand in-person opportunities to additional students as capacity allows, while keeping safety at the forefront. For those who continue in full-time distance learning, we remain committed to serving your needs.

girl with mask giving thumbs up

2. Response to Updated CDC Distancing Guidelines

During the March 25 School Board meeting, the Superintendent provided an update on work underway to admit additional students for hybrid/in-person instruction based on updated CDC distancing guidance. Schools are contacting families on waitlists for in-person instruction, based on capacity and distancing guidelines. English learners, special education students, and students struggling with distance learning will be given priority. Families interested in having your student(s) begin reporting in-person should contact your school. APS is preparing to reopen with five-day schedules for summer school and the 2021-22 school year. Watch the Superintendent’s presentation.

School Meals for all Students logo

3. Spring Break Meals Distribution

Families can pick up five days of meals on Tue, March 30 at the following 11 locations: Abingdon, Barrett, Barcroft, Campbell, Drew, Gunston, Hoffman-Boston, Key, Swanson, Washington-Liberty and Yorktown. Parents and guardians may pick up meals for children between 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Regular meal service will resume on April 5.

APS summer school logo

4. Summer School Updated to Provide Full In-Person and Virtual Options

Due to the recent update on social distancing recommendations for students in schools, APS will be shifting from the summer school cohort model announced on March 19 to a model in which students will have a choice to either participate in a full in-person model or in a full distance learning model for the summer strengthening program. Additional details are available online.

careercenterstudent in online class

5. Career Center Students—Out of this World!

How cool! Arlington Tech 9th grader Sam Watchman is featured in the National Radio Astronomy Observatory blog for a radio receiver he built in his backyard for a science fair project. Using his radio telescope, Watchman looked at the hydrogen line signal in various parts of the sky hypothesizing constellations that are on the plane of the Milky Way galaxy would have higher signal levels than ones that are not on the galactic plane, and this hypothesis was supported.Arlington Tech 9th grader Ananya Sinha met with Arctic Ice Project founder Dr. Leslie Field about Climate Change. Impressed by Sinh’s research and science fair project, Dr. Field is using her procedures for a discussion at the 3rd Annual YCAS (Youth Climate Action Summit) which has over 1,000 attendees.

Other News & Notes

The Friday 5 will be on Spring Break and will be published on Fri, April 9. Have a great Spring Break!

APS Friday 5 for March 19, 2021



1. Update on CDC Distancing Guidelines

Today, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance to permit for 3 feet of distancing for elementary students, with universal mask use. This is an encouraging step, as APS plans for five-day, in-person schedules this fall. APS is reviewing the guidance to determine how the changes may impact our ability to serve additional students in person and improve transportation in the current school year. An update will be provided at the March 25 School Board meeting. The revised CDC Guidance identifies conditions in which middle and high school students should be 3 or 6 feet apart based on levels of community transmission. It also outlines other circumstances when 6-foot distances should be maintained, including at all times between adults (teachers and staff) and students, when eating, and in common areas.

No Place for Hate

2. APS Response to Recent Events and Support for our Asian American Community

Arlington Public Schools condemns racism and all expressions of hate, bias and discrimination. The horrific shootings in Atlanta earlier this week are a tragic reminder of the increase in violent attacks, hate speech and discrimination targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We grieve with the families of the victims of the shootings in Atlanta on March 16 and share the sorrow of all who stand against hate and discrimination. Read the full statement here.

Show Your Thanks logo

3. Thank Your APS Heroes!

During the pandemic, APS employees have worked around the clock to help support our students and families. They are true heroes in the APS community. Join us in saying thank you! Take a moment to share your personal story about an APS teacher or support employee by April 15. Send video messages, photos, poems, letters, songs, or any other expression of appreciation. We will curate the messages and share highlights on our website and social media channels in May as we celebrate our teachers and support employees and all they do. Details on how to submit are available online.

womens history month logo

4. APS Celebrates Women’s History Month

This year, APS has celebrated Women’s History Month by highlighting the leadership of amazing principals and assistant principals. APS is honored to have the opportunity to recognize these women for their dedication and commitment to APS students and their families. We asked them a questions and their responses were inspiring. Visit our website to read about the women highlighted and the additional APS principals and assistant principals that will be added to the webpage throughout the month. Join us on social media using #APSWomensHistory

School Meals for all Students logo

5. Spring Break Meal Schedule and Update on P-EBT Cards

APS will provide spring break meal service to ensure students have access to meals while school is on break. Three days of meals will be provided on Fri, March 26 at all current locations. Five meals will be distributed on Tue, March 30 at 11 locations: Abingdon, Barrett, Barcroft, Campbell, Drew, Gunston, Hoffman-Boston, Key, Swanson, Washington-Liberty and Yorktown. Parents and guardians may pick up meals for children between 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Regular meal service will resume on April 5.

P-EBT UpdateStudents who attend public school 100% virtually AND students attending public school under a hybrid model (a combination of in-school and virtual instruction) are eligible to receive P-EBT. The release of P-EBT benefits will continue through the end of the 2020-21 school year. New benefits were loaded on P-EBT cards on March 17.

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.