Interim Superintendent’s Updates

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Video Messages

COVID-19: An Update from the Interim Superintendent — March 26

As we all continue to support each other during these challenging times, I want to provide a brief update on our plans, based on guidance we have received from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to date.  But, first I want to acknowledge the impact this is having on family routines and thank you for your continued partnership in working through our present set of circumstances due to the coronavirus.

Dear APS Families,

As we all continue to support each other during these challenging times, I want to provide a brief update on our plans, based on guidance we have received from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to date.  But, first I want to acknowledge the impact this is having on family routines and thank you for your continued partnership in working through our present set of circumstances due to the coronavirus.

I understand the emotions our students, families and our staff are feeling, and I am confident we will move forward through this in a way that continues to serve all our students. Below are a few updates I can share now, with more to come.

Continuity of Learning Plan:
Teachers will continue to engage in distance learning based on plans in place through Friday, April 3. Spring Break will proceed as planned the week of April 6-10. Monday, April 13 will remain a Grade Prep Day for teachers, and therefore APS will resume distance learning on Tues, April 14 with adjustments to our instructional model that will be announced prior to that time. Those plans are being shared with our advisory committees for input prior to sharing with families.

Graduation:
State Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane announced Tues, March 24, that high school seniors who were on track to earn a diploma later this spring will be able to graduate. We are currently exploring creative alternatives to celebrate the Class of 2020. These students have worked hard and have been looking forward to this moment for years, so we want to make sure we honor and celebrate their monumental achievement. This will take more time and is a priority for us all. Once a final plan has been reached, we will share it with students and families.

Grade-Level Placement:
Students who were in good standing as of the (end of the third quarter) closure of schools on March 13 will proceed to the next grade level while students in need of support or students with failing grades will receive the necessary help during the fourth quarter to make up work and grades in preparation for the next grade level. More information will be provided in the coming weeks.

Assignment Grading:
We are following VDOE guidance to develop a process to ensure grading is fair and equitable while schools are closed. While distance learning cannot replace the work that happens in the classroom, all students will have the opportunity to make progress and to learn and grow.

Special Education Support:
Special Education teachers are connecting with families via virtual video check-ins to provide students with the reassurance of a familiar face, as well as consultative support. Related service providers are collaborating with special education teachers to design accessible instructional activities or adapt existing activities for home learning.  Additionally, if individual students or parents are experiencing difficulties accessing instruction, related service providers will set up a consultation with the parents.

AP/IB Exams:
The May 2020 IB examinations have been cancelled, but students still must complete their required assessments. Students will take their AP tests online in place of the traditional face-to-face test. The College Board will release the AP test schedule in the beginning of April.

Standards of Learning:
SOLs have been canceled for this school year. The VDOE is currently in the process of officially applying for a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education, so additional information on SOLs will be released soon. Not having to take SOLs this year takes a lot of pressure off our students and teachers while allowing them to focus on instruction and essential skills during the closure.

Food and Nutrition:
On March 16, APS began serving free grab-and-go breakfast and lunch for children ages 2-18 at Kenmore Middle School and Drew Elementary. On March 25, APS added three additional sites at Barrett, Campbell and Randolph elementary schools. Meals are served from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Monday – Friday. To date, we have served 10,034 meals, just over 1,200 per day.

On the Friday before Spring Break, April 3, APS will provide a week’s worth of meals to families who come to one of the sites to ensure they have food during Spring Break.

We are currently evaluating plans for food distribution through the remainder of the year. Those plans are being developed based on state guidance and will be communicated when finalized. I want to extend my appreciation to the food services workers who have been coming in to prepare the food for our students, as well as the APS executive leadership team and administrators who are volunteering at each of these sites. Thank you to our custodians and facilities staff who continue to clean and prepare our buildings. We also want to thank school PTAs, community partners, non-profit organizations and business who are supporting families through meal distribution and food drives. We have them listed on our website under Meal Services.

Telework and Schedule Adjustments
The transition to distance learning and telework has made it easier for continuous contact at any time of day, so I am asking everyone to please try to limit contact with teachers and staff to the hours they have communicated they are available as much as possible.

We will continue to keep you informed through our website with additional resources and updates on services as they are finalized.In the meantime, please be safe and take care of yourself and your families.

Sincerely,
Cintia Z. Johnson
Interim Superintendent

March 23: Gov. Northam Closes Schools for the Remainder of Academic Year

Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam announced this afternoon at his press conference that all public schools in the Commonwealth will remain closed for the remainder of the school year.

Dear APS Families, Staff, and Community,

Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam announced this afternoon at his press conference that all public schools in the Commonwealth will remain closed for the remainder of the school year. This is not the news we were hoping for or expecting, but together we will get through this.

It was only 10 days ago that we announced our closure due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Unfortunately, since that time, the spread of the virus has only grown. Today’s announcement by the Governor will obviously impact our work going forward. Our administrative teams have already begun the conversation of what the remainder of the 2020 school year will look like. We all have questions and we are working diligently internally and with the Virginia Department of Education to get the answers. As we did with the first closure, we will share our plans with you very soon.

For now, we will continue to provide the continuity of learning plans in place through Canvas, Seesaw and other platforms through April 3. As mentioned in our School Talk this morning, we will be honoring Spring Break and no new assignments will be issued during that week. We will soon announce plans for programming for the weeks following Spring Break.

It is unfortunate it has come to this, but all of us, school administrators, staff, and parents, want the same outcome—keeping our kids and community safe. Give yourselves a moment to process and help your students as they hear this information for the first time. Support each other.

Thank you for your continued understanding, patience, and gracious space to work through this challenging time. We truly are in this together. APS will continue to keep you informed as additional decisions are made for the remainder of the year.

Sincerely,
Cintia Z. Johnson
Interim Superintendent
Arlington Public Schools

COVID-19 Instructional Update – March 23

As APS and our students head into week two of learning from home, we wanted to provide a few updates regarding teacher-family communications, Spring Break and the assignment of new work. We appreciate the collaborative work that continues to take place between students, parents and teachers during the APS closure and are committed to providing the educational support families need.

Dear APS Families:

As APS and our students head into week two of learning from home, we wanted to provide a few updates regarding teacher-family communications, Spring Break and the assignment of new work. We appreciate the collaborative work that continues to take place between students, parents and teachers during the APS closure and are committed to providing the educational support families need.

Teacher-Family Communication
Teachers are teleworking during the day. This time is used to prepare instructional activities for their students. This means that teachers may not respond to families during typical school hours. Teachers have been asked to communicate to families the specific windows of time when they are available to respond to questions or to contact parents. Additionally, families should not expect direct instruction via virtual meetings. Teachers are not expected to deliver small group interventions in person while schools are closed.  We encourage teachers to follow the social distancing directions given by Arlington County. 

Spring Break, April 6-10
Teachers will telework to provide distance learning for students until Fri, April 3. Teachers are not expected to work during Spring Break, which is scheduled for April 6-10. Teachers have also been asked not to assign any work to students during the week of Spring Break, with the exception of independent reading.

Introduction of New Content
Elementary teachers will not introduce new content within the time frame that schools are currently set to be closed. Secondary teachers may begin introducing new content the week of March 23. We recognize that all students do not have the same ability to regularly access and attend to learning new skills or content while at home. Secondary teachers who are introducing new content are mindful of the opportunity gap that this is likely to create and will plan strategies to address it.

While virtual learning can never replace classroom instruction, teachers are providing instructional activities meant to help students maintain their skills and knowledge and prepare for what’s coming next. We understand this comes with both challenges and perks as adults and students work to establish new routines.

Additional Contacts and Resources
The following are additional contacts and resources you may find useful:

APS continues to assess COVID-19 developments and will communicate any new information regarding school operations as necessary. Thank you again for your understanding and patience as we navigate this new reality together.

Sincerely,

Bridget Loft
Assistant Superintendent
Department of Teaching & Learning

COVID-19 Update: Social Distancing

During this period of school closing, APS hopes that you and your families are safe and adjusting to new routines. As COVID-19 changes daily, we are continuing to evaluate our school plans going forward with community health and safety remaining the top priority.

Dear APS Families:

During this period of school closing, APS hopes that you and your families are safe and adjusting to new routines. As COVID-19 changes daily, we are continuing to evaluate our school plans going forward with community health and safety remaining the top priority.

We are in daily contact with state and county officials to provide a coordinated response that keeps the health and well-being of our students, employees, and families, along with the continuation of essential services, at the forefront. Along with the Commonwealth of Virginia-declared state of emergency, Arlington County has now declared a state of emergency and urged bars and restaurants to close dine-in services.

In consideration of these developments, I want to share a few reminders to stress the importance of social distancing. Parents have asked – what does social distancing mean for me and how can I protect my family? Here are some reminders.

Social Distancing Reminders:

  • Avoid group gatherings, such as play dates, sleepovers, parties and visiting each other’s homes.
  • Those in need of childcare should limit the number of families involved as much as possible.
  • Get outside, take walks, ride bikes, or go on hikes, but maintain 6 feet of distance between individuals. Limiting germ exposure to your family’s is reasonable practice.
  • Cook meals at home, if possible.
  • Limit visits to stores and restaurants or coffee shops; try to plan grocery store trips during non-peak hours if/when possible.
  • Practice prevention like covering coughs, hand washing and social distancing techniques with children and have them practice among themselves.
  • Remember that there are many safe activities to explore – family game nights, reading books, listening to music, going for walks and spending time outside, checking on a friend and group video chats are a few.

As the weather continues to improve, outdoor gatherings of fewer than 10 are viewed as appropriate at the moment, but social distancing techniques must still be practiced. Teens are included in this group, and activities like bike riding and hiking/walking are viewed as better alternatives to gathering in groups.

For older students, there is an article from the Washington Post with simulations that show how social distancing can “flatten the curve” of the virus.

Please, please use these resources with your family. The priority is staying well and managing physical and mental health. Additional resources are available on the CDC website.

The APS COVID-19 web page also offers a wide range of resources on Learning at Home, Meal Services and updated FAQ.

As we continue to adapt our daily lives, let’s work to protect and care for one another as much as possible by taking every precaution necessary. Even from afar, we’re in this together.

Sincerely,
Cintia Johnson
Interim Superintendent

COVID-19 Update: Family Guidance for Closure

Earlier today, you received the update regarding the decision to close schools Monday, March 16, through Spring Break, with the current plan for students to return on April 14, 2020. I want to convey how challenging this decision was for our leadership team and staff.

 Dear APS Families:

Earlier today, you received the update regarding the decision to close schools Monday, March 16, through Spring Break, with the current plan for students to return on April 14, 2020. I want to convey how challenging this decision was for our leadership team and staff.

This is an unprecedented challenge for us all, and the impact on public education and our community is considerable. We know how significantly this impacts our families and the hardship it will cause for many. Up to this point, we made our decisions based on health guidance from the Arlington County Public Health Division and the experts who continue to advise us that the risk of COVID-19 remains low in Arlington. However, given the anxiety expressed by the community and information available now, including other closures throughout the National Capital Region that impact our staff and families, we believe this is the best decision at this time.

In preparation for this period of closure, the following are additional details about instruction, technology and meal services for families.

INSTRUCTION
We have prepared to deliver instruction to our students during this period. Please note the last day of the third-quarter grading period has been altered due to the school closure. All teachers will now complete their grading of third-quarter content by March 20, and it will only include student work submitted by that date. Report cards will still be sent home to families at the end of April as previously scheduled.

  • For Early Childhood and Elementary students (PreK-Grade 5), instructional materials have been prepared and should have been distributed by individual schools either in hard copy or electronically. If you have questions about how to access the instructional materials for your child, please contact your student’s teacher.
  • Secondary students (Grades 6-12) will be able to access assignments using Canvas. Teachers will spend the week of March 16 fulfilling their normal duties and working to transition course content, assignments and activities online.

We want to acknowledge that we can never replace the work our teachers do with students in our classrooms; no one expects learning to be as effective as what teachers accomplish directly with students. These activities are meant to help our students maintain their existing skills and knowledge, extend their learning, and prepare a foundation for topics and concepts to come in the fourth quarter.

During our school closure, teachers will provide instructional activities that both review previously taught information and introduce new topics and concepts. While teachers have been instructed not to grade assignments or quizzes of newly-introduced topics or concepts, they may offer assessments to inform their teaching. These formative assessments will be used to monitor student progress and evaluate the effectiveness of instructional activities.

Teachers will be able to grade assignments assigned prior to Friday, March 13, for use when calculating third-quarter grades. It is important to note that the last day for students to submit third-quarter assignments is Friday, March 20, unless otherwise arranged with the teacher.

Students Enrolled in Online Courses
Students enrolled in online classes will continue to progress through the course based on guidance from the specific provider being utilized. School counselors will be available to students throughout the closure and available to offer support and guidance, as well as provide passwords for assessments.

Students Enrolled in Dual-Enrolled Classes
Dual-enrolled students are enrolled concurrently with Arlington Public Schools and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA).  NOVA currently expects that course objectives be taught and assessed. APS and NOVA will work together closely throughout the closure to evaluate the situation and ensure that student assessments are appropriate given circumstances at the time.  Students or parents/guardians with questions or concerns should contact Tyrone Byrd at tyrone.byrd@apsva.us.

Students Enrolled in Advanced Placement Courses
While Advanced Placement teachers will continue to offer new concepts and topics throughout the school closure, they will not grade assignments or assessments.

International Baccalaureate
Washington-Liberty High School has worked closely with their International Baccalaureate counterparts and together, they have agreed to be flexible during any school closures. Fortunately students have submitted their Extended Essays and allowed us to amend our internal assessment calendar as needed.

For students who receive special education services, IEP teams will use student performance data to determine make-up services. Case carriers will collaborate with classroom teachers and related service providers to modify assignments and activities as appropriate for students. The Office of Special Education staff will work directly with teachers to identify activities for students should schools be closed for any length of time.

TECHNOLOGY
If students experience technical difficulties, they should contact their school. Each school has an email address for technology questions or issues related to internet connectivity (Global Protect), and our core student digital learning systems such as Canvas, Google and SeeSaw. This mailbox will be monitored by the school ITC. A list of email addresses can be found at https://www.apsva.us/digital-learning/digital-learning-device-help/

Comcast is now providing two months of free internet access for qualified families through its Internet Essentials program. This program is normally $9.95 a month. More information is available from Comcast at https://www.internetessentials.com/

Families that have requested MiFis (wireless internet cards) will be able to pick them up from Kenmore Middle School or Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School. Information Services staff will contact these families to determine the more convenient location and pickup date.

FOOD SERVICES
Beginning Mon, March 16, APS will provide free grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches at two school sites – Kenmore Middle School (200 S. Carlin Springs Road) and Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School (3500 S. 23rd Street).

Meals will be set up on a table outside the building for distribution from 11 a.m.to 1 p.m. Monday-Friday. We will provide one lunch for that day and one breakfast to take home for the following day. These meals will be free to any child aged 2 to 18. The child must be present to receive the meals; no meals will be given to parents without the child present. We will continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis and make adjustments as needed.

Meals will be provided to all children without charge and are the same for all children regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service.

COMMUNICATION
Stay connected with us. We will be providing updates as they happen on our COVID-19 webpage. Additionally, families will receive regular communication and updates through our normal APS channels.

Together, we will move forward and continue to serve our students and support one another.Thank you for your continued patience and support.

Sincerely,

Cintia Z. Johnson
Interim Superintendent

COVID-19 Update: APS to Close Beginning March 16, 2020

In response to growing concerns and anxiety in our community about the coronavirus (COVID-19), Arlington Public Schools and Falls Church City Public Schools have aligned, and in close collaboration with other Northern Virginia school divisions, will close beginning Monday, March 16, 2020.

Dear APS Families and Staff:

In response to growing concerns and anxiety in our community about the coronavirus (COVID-19), Arlington Public Schools and Falls Church City Public Schools have aligned, and in close collaboration with other Northern Virginia school divisions, will close beginning Monday, March 16, 2020. The present plans are to remain closed through Spring Break, with students scheduled to return on April 14, 2020. We will continue to evaluate and monitor the situation on a daily basis and will provide an update on our plans as new information is available.

Given all the information available now, including other closures throughout the National Capital Region that impact our staff and families, we believe this is the best decision to make at this time.

All of us, school administrators, staff, and parents, want the same outcome–keeping our kids and community safe. Each of our divisions will send additional logistical details of the closure to our staff and families later today.

Thank you for your continued understanding and patience.

Sincerely,
Cintia Z. Johnson
Interim Superintendent, Arlington County Public Schools

Peter J. Noonan Ed.D.
Superintendent, Falls Church City Public Schools

COVID Update March 12: APS-Sponsored Non-Essential Events and Trips Canceled

Per new Arlington County guidance for events and public gatherings, Arlington Public Schools is canceling all non-essential APS-sponsored events effective immediately, until further notice.

APS Families and Staff:

Per new Arlington County guidance for events and public gatherings, Arlington Public Schools is canceling all non-essential APS-sponsored events effective immediately, until further notice. Essential school events will continue in adjusted formats and participation. Additionally, APS is canceling all overnight field trips until further notice.

This decision is part of a coordinated Countywide response to help mitigate and contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community by reducing the number of occasions when people come together. Canceling non-essential events allows us to limit public gatherings, while also maintaining essential instructional activities, which aligns with the current decision to keep schools open. This situation is changing by the minute, and APS will communicate any decision to close or modify operations in any way to the community through our regular channels as soon as a decision is made.

Essential instructional activities may include day trips to the Outdoor Lab, Extended Day, limited-audience athletic competitions and fine arts performances, as well as events required for certifications or standards of learning.

In response to increasing cases of COVID-19 in the region, the Arlington County Public Health Division’s guidance for events and public gatherings is available here: Arlington County Government COVID-19 webpage. Outside organizations holding non-school-sponsored events and activities in a school facility are expected to follow this guidance.

Additional information on specific school events and activities that are being modified, postponed, or canceled as a result of this notice will be communicated by schools on school websites and in communications to families.

This continues to be a rapidly developing situation, and APS is working with health officials to keep our school community healthy and reduce the possible spread of illness. Please visit the APS COVID-19 webpage and access the Arlington County Government COVID-19 webpage for up-to-date information. If you have personal health questions, please consult with a medical professional.

Thank you for your understanding.

Sincerely,

Cintia Z. Johnson
Interim Superintendent

March 9 COVID-19 Update: First Presumptive Positive Cases in Virginia, Including Arlington County

March 9 Update: Arlington County announced that an Arlington resident has tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-2019).

Today, Arlington County announced that an Arlington resident has tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-2019). This is the third presumptive positive result, with the other two being a Marine Base Quantico resident and Fairfax City resident. All three cases were exposed through international travel. As this public health situation evolves, APS is working closely with the Arlington County Public Health Division (ACPHD) and following the recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We are monitoring COVID-19 developments on a daily basis and are in constant contact with health officials to assess any necessary changes to our procedures. As we shared in the community update on Friday, March 6, we are continuing to stress the importance of prevention in our schools through reminders about handwashing and other healthy behaviors, and we and are prepared in the event a closure or other change is required.

At this time, our schools remain open and there are no changes to school-sponsored activities. Any change to normal operating status would be based on a recommendation from health officials. We understand that the conversation surrounding COVID-19 is raising concerns for families and staff. We encourage all members of our school community to take care of your health and to consult a healthcare provider if you have any concerns. Continue to visit our website for the latest resources, information and updates.

Coronavirus Update: March 6

This week, APS continued to stay in close contact with local health officials for guidance and convened a COVID-19 planning and preparedness meeting with members of the School Health Bureau and APS leadership. The team reviewed the latest available information on the virus and discussed efforts to ensure the health and safety of APS staff and students.

Dear APS Parents and Guardians,

We are writing to provide you with additional information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the steps Arlington Public Schools (APS) is continuing to take to protect all staff and students.

This week, APS continued to stay in close contact with local health officials for guidance and convened a COVID-19 planning and preparedness meeting with members of the School Health Bureau and APS leadership. The team reviewed the latest available information on the virus and discussed efforts to ensure the health and safety of APS staff and students.

As we move forward, we are preparing for the possibility of school closures in the future, if necessary. Additionally, Arlington County hosted a Q&A with County experts on Wednesday night. We encourage all members of our community to watch it.

According to the CDC, risk to the general American public remains low. However, we have seen the first confirmed cases in the National Capital area. This situation is developing rapidly, and we are continuing to follow CDC guidance. Any future decision to change operations or close one or more schools due to COVID-19 or other health risks, would be made in close collaboration with the Arlington County Public Health Division (ACPHD) based on CDC guidance.

We have heard from families seeking additional information about the steps we are taking to prevent the spread of the virus in schools and to prepare to deliver essential services in the event of school closures. The following information highlights steps being taken by APS to safeguard students and staff, as well as a high-level summary COVID-19 plans.

APS Procedures in Schools and Offices

  • APS custodians continue to focus on cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and materials in schools and offices, using the CDC/EPA-approved chemicals for this virus.
  • School Health is monitoring student health and absentee rates at all schools to assess and respond to any change in illnesses occurring in schools.
  • APS continues to work with the ACPHD to reinforce effective preventative steps to reduce the spread of illnesses in school, such as:
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible.
    • Cover mouth and hands with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
    • Stay home when sick – and only return to school when children and staff are symptom-free for 24 hours, including without the use of fever-reducing medications.
    • Keep their distance from people who are sick – and encourage sick people they encounter to go home and seek care as needed.
    • Avoid non-essential travel
  • In consultation with ACPHD, updated guidance on proper handwashing, including expectations for students and staff, was shared with all schools on March 4, along with posters on handwashing to display prominently in their schools.

In the Event of School Closures

Any future decision to change operations or close one or more schools due to COVID-19 or other health risks, would be made in close collaboration with the ACPHD based on CDC guidance.

  • APS is preparing to provide instructional activities to all students in grades PreK-12, based on available tools, should we need to close school.
    • In order to meet the needs of all students and families, activities and tools will vary by grade level and will be provided online and in hard copy when possible.
    • Examples of options under review include providing book sets and materials for core subjects; using available devices, instructional apps and learning platforms (e.g., Canvas and Seesaw); and making educational materials and videos available on the APS website.
  • Depending on recommendations, APS will provide meals for students who receive Free or Reduced-Price Meals at designated locations. APS will communicate this information to families, if needed and available.
  • Families and staff will be updated through normal APS communications channels.

Travel Outside of the U.S. Educational and Staff Travel

APS will not approve any international field trips and short-term visitations to and from countries that are highlighted on the CDC’s list as destinations with an alert level of 2 or greater for travelers. APS will continue to monitor recommendations and information from the CDC and make any necessary changes based on updated information. 

Student/Family Travel

APS encourages families to avoid travel to countries that are highlighted on the CDC’s list as destinations with an alert level of 2 or greater for travelers. If families travel to any of these countries, please follow the CDC recommendations and guidelines upon reentry to the United States. 

APS continues to update the coronavirus webpage on our website, and we encourage families and staff to visit the page frequently.

We understand that this can be a stressful time for families, students and staff and we thank you for your continued partnership to help make sure the school community remains healthy.

Sincerely,
Cintia Z. Johnson
Interim Superintendent

Coronavirus Update February 28

Dear APS Families and Staff: We recognize continuing concerns in our community about the possible spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and want to remind families that APS is closely monitoring new developments and following the guidance of health officials to protect all our students, our employees, and our community. According to the Centers for Disease Control […]

Dear APS Families and Staff:

We recognize continuing concerns in our community about the possible spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and want to remind families that APS is closely monitoring new developments and following the guidance of health officials to protect all our students, our employees, and our community.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the immediate risk to the general U.S. public is considered low at this time. This is a rapidly developing situation, and we are taking necessary steps to ensure APS is ready and prepared to implement health recommendations as required. Additionally, APS continues to monitor student health and absentee rates at all schools. Staff frequently cleans and disinfects surfaces with CDC/EPA approved chemicals for this virus, and we are continuing to work with the Arlington County Public Health Division (ACPHD) to reinforce preventive steps to reduce the spread of illnesses in schools, such as handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, staying home when sick, and keeping children home when they are sick.

APS is reviewing our existing plans and procedures for communicable diseases and responding accordingly based on recommendations from health officials. Our planning for COVID-19 is focused on specific steps necessary to maintain a safe environment for students and staff and to ensure we are well equipped and prepared to continue to educate students, in the event of a change in operations.

Updated information and answers to commonly asked questions regarding APS steps related to COVID-19 are available on our website. This page will be updated as new information is available.

Thank you for your continued support and cooperation in staying home if you are sick, keeping students who are sick at home, and taking other recommended steps to stay healthy.

Sincerely,

Cintia Johnson
Interim Superintendent

Coronavirus Update February 12

Dear APS Staff and Families: We have received inquiries from families about our procedures for students who may be returning to the United States from China. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all travelers returning from Mainland China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) to the US after 5 pm on February […]

Dear APS Staff and Families:

We have received inquiries from families about our procedures for students who may be returning to the United States from China.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all travelers returning from Mainland China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) to the US after 5 pm on February 2, 2020, should remain at home for 14 days after their return date to the US. Therefore, APS students returning from Mainland China after the date above will not be allowed to attend school for 14 days. This will help us reduce the possible risk of coronavirus spread in our schools.

APS will provide support to any student who is unable to attend school by providing take-home educational materials. Please contact your child’s school to receive these materials by mail.

Based on Arlington County Public Health Division guidance, APS continues to take the following effective steps to prevent students and staff from becoming ill in schools:

  • Cleaning and disinfecting touched objects and surfaces frequently with materials that meet the criteria recommended by the CDC and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for control of coronavirus.
  • Reinforcing the following effective behaviors in schools with students and employees:
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
      • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible.
    • Cover mouth and hands with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
    • Stay home when sick – and only return to school when children and staff are symptom free for 24 hours.
    • Keep their distance from people who are sick – and encourage sick people they encounter to go home and seek care as needed.
    • Avoid non-essential travel.

To further protect all our students, our employees, and our community, we need your help to reinforce the messages above. Have your student(s) practice these behaviors at home – it will make it easier to follow these same recommendations in school.

APS will continue to work with Arlington County Public Health Division and the School Health Bureau as the situation evolves. This is a rapidly developing situation, and we will publish updated guidance as warranted.

For up-to-date information about the coronavirus, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html.

Cintia Johnson
Interim Superintendent
Arlington Public Schools

Reuben K. Varghese, MD, MPH
Health Director and Arlington County Public Health Division Chief

Coronavirus Update January 29

Dear APS Staff and Families: Given recent news coverage of the Novel Coronavirus, we recognize that you may have concerns about the health of your student(s) and how Arlington Public Schools (APS) protects students from becoming ill. APS shares these concerns and has consulted with the Arlington County Public Health Division (PHD) regarding their recommendations […]

Dear APS Staff and Families:

Given recent news coverage of the Novel Coronavirus, we recognize that you may have concerns about the health of your student(s) and how Arlington Public Schools (APS) protects students from becoming ill.

APS shares these concerns and has consulted with the Arlington County Public Health Division (PHD) regarding their recommendations to prevent students from becoming ill in schools. The following steps are being taken based on PHD recommendations:

  • APS will continue to clean and disinfect touched objects and surfaces frequently. The cleaning materials that are used meet the criteria recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for control of coronavirus.
  • APS will continue to reinforce the following effective behaviors in schools with students and employees:
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
      • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible.
    • Cover mouth and hands with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
    • Stay home when sick – and only return to school when children and staff are symptom-free for 24 hours, including the use of fever-reducing medications.
    • Keep their distance from people who are sick – and encourage sick people they encounter to go home and seek care as needed.
    • Avoid non-essential travel.

These practices are part of our standard procedures to promote healthy and safe environments, as outlined in the Policy Implementation Procedures (PIP), Support for Students- Wellness I-10.30 PIP-1.

To further protect all our students, our employees, and our community, we need your help to reinforce the messages above. Have your student(s) practice these behaviors at home – it will make it easier to follow these same recommendations in school.

APS will continue to work with PHD and the School Health Bureau as the situation evolves. This is a rapidly developing situation and as more information is shared about this virus, we will publish updated guidance as warranted.For up-to-date information about the virus, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html.

Cintia Z. Johnson
Interim Superintendent
Arlington Public Schools

Reuben K. Varghese, MD, MPH
Health Director and Arlington County Public Health Division Chief