Interim Superintendent’s Updates

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Video Messages

APS Provides Three Days of Meals at Distribution Sites Today, July 1

On Wednesday, July 1, APS will provide three days of meals to families visiting one of the nine food distribution sites, as there will be no food distribution on Friday, July 3, in observance of the Independence Day holiday.

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There will be no distribution of meals on Friday, July 3, in observance of the Independence Day holiday

On Wednesday, July 1, APS will provide three days of meals to families visiting one of the nine food distribution sites, as there will be no food distribution on Friday, July 3, in observance of the Independence Day holiday. Today’s distribution will offer free meals for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Meal services will resume on Monday, July 6.

Wednesday, July 1 meal distribution for children ages 2-18  Meals (three breakfasts and lunches per child) can be picked up Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at one of the following nine sites:

  • Barcroft Elementary School 625 S. Wakefield St.
  • Barrett Elementary School 4401 N. Henderson Rd.
  • Campbell Elementary School 737 S Carlin Springs Rd.
  • Charles R. Drew Elementary School 3500 S. 23rd St.
  • Glebe Elementary School 1770 N. Glebe Rd.
  • Hoffman-Boston Elementary School 1415 S. Queen St.
  • Kenmore Middle School 200 S. Carlin Springs Rd.
  • Key Elementary School 2300 Key Blvd.
  • Randolph Elementary School 1306 S. Quincy St.

APS continues to provide children aged 2-18 with access to meals in a safe and sustainable way while schools are closed. Meals are set up outside the nine school buildings for distribution from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday-Wednesday-Friday.

For more information about the distribution of APS meals and other resources for food assistance during the closure of the APS school, visit the APS Meal Services website..

COVID-19 Update: Framework for Reopening Schools

Interim Superintendent Cintia Johnson provides an update on the significant work taking place among the executive leadership team, administrators and staff to prepare for the return to school for the 2020-21 school year.

Dear APS Community,

I hope this message finds you safe and well. I want to provide you an update on the significant work taking place among the executive leadership team, administrators and staff to prepare for the return to school for the 2020-21 school year.

Like other school divisions, APS is continuing to plan for a variety of possibilities while awaiting detailed guidance from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), which we anticipate will be issued in early June. We are working in close coordination with neighboring Northern Virginia jurisdictions to discuss and coordinate on our plans. Our focus is on developing a plan that protects the health and safety of our students, staff and families, and provides consistent, reliable and equitable access to learning resources, technology and internet connectivity at home.

At last night’s School Board meeting, I shared a presentation that outlines key factors informing our plans; scenarios we are considering; anticipated challenges we are working to resolve; and the timeline for sharing and finalizing our plans, pending state guidance. That presentation is available online.The three planning scenarios are:

  • Starting the school year with distance learning, should public health officials advise us it is not safe to reopen. Based on current conditions, this is a likely scenario, and we are preparing for a distance learning model that includes synchronous instruction of new content;
  • Reopening schools with a hybrid of in-person and online instruction, including multiple contingencies to meet class size limits and social distancing requirements; and
  • Reopening schools as normal with in-person instruction, if social distancing requirements have been lifted and conditions are met to open school buildings safely. Based on current conditions, this is the least likely scenario.

For each scenario, APS is carefully considering training, communications and operational needs, and impacts on all areas including school health, instruction, facilities, special education, technology and access, transportation, food service, extracurricular activities and extended day.

Last night I also announced our plans to form a stakeholder Task Force focused on reopening plans, which I will co-chair with the new superintendent, Dr. Francisco Durán, who begins on June 1. The task force will include leadership and staff from various departments and schools, as well as designated staff, student and parent stakeholder representatives from established APS advisory groups.

Additional details about the task force and opportunities for community input will be announced in early June.

Community members with questions about reopening can send them to APS Engage, engage@apsva.us. As new information is received from public health officials and the VDOE, we will provide regular updates and engage with staff, students, parents and community members.

While in the process of planning for the fall, we are working to close the current school year during these unprecedented times. In the next few days, school principals will be reaching out to their school communities to provide information on year-end activities, how to retrieve belongings and other details.We are an excellent school system with incredible staff and a supportive, engaged community, and we are truly in this together. As we close out this school year and transition to the new superintendent in June, I want to thank you for all you continue to do to support each other and our community.

Take care and stay safe and well.

Sincerely,
Cintia Z. Johnson

APS to Provide Three Days of Meals at Grab-and-Go Sites this Friday

On Friday, May 22, APS will provide three days of meals to families who visit one of the nine Grab-and-Go meal distribution sites, since there will be no APS meals provided on Monday, May 25, the Memorial Day holiday.

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No APS meal distribution on Monday, May 25, Memorial Day holiday

On Friday, May 22, APS will provide three days of meals to families who visit one of the nine Grab-and-Go meal distribution sites, since there will be no APS meals provided on Monday, May 25, the Memorial Day holiday. Friday’s distribution will provide free breakfast and lunch for Friday, Monday and Tuesday. Meal services will resume on Wednesday, May 27.

Friday, May 22 Distribution for Children Aged 2-18
Meals (three breakfasts and lunches per child) can be picked up on Friday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at one of the following nine locations:

  • Barcroft Elementary
    625 S. Wakefield St.
  • Barrett Elementary School
    4401 N Henderson Rd.
  • Campbell Elementary School
    737 S Carlin Springs Rd.
  • Charles R. Drew Elementary School
    3500 S. 23rd St.
  • Glebe Elementary School
    1770 N. Glebe Rd.
  • Hoffman-Boston Elementary School
    1415 S. Queen St.
  • Kenmore Middle School
    200 S. Carlin Springs Rd.
  • Key Elementary School
    2300 Key Blvd.
  • Randolph Elementary School
    1306 S Quincy St.

APS continues to provide children aged 2-18 with access to meals in a safe and sustainable way while schools are closed. Meals are set up outside the nine school buildings for distribution from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday-Wednesday-Friday.

Reminder: Parents wishing to pick up meals without their children must provide the name(s), student ID number(s) and the location they would like to pick up the meals by emailing Food.Services@apsva.us or calling 703-228-2129 in advance.

Families receiving free and reduced-price meals can receive additional food assistance through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program. Families that are not currently enrolled to receive free and reduced-price meals can apply now by visiting https://www.myschoolapps.com/.

For more information on APS meal distribution and other resources for food assistance during the APS school closure, visit the APS meal services webpage.

APS Changes Grab-and-Go Meal Schedule to Three Days a Week

Beginning Mon, May 4, APS will change its grab-and-go meal schedule to three days a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday – rather than five days per week.

Shifts to Three-Day (Mon-Wed-Fri) Weekly Meal Pickup, Starting May 4

Beginning Mon, May 4, APS will change its grab-and-go meal schedule to three days a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday – rather than five days per week. Five days of meals will still be available each week, but families will no longer need to come to the meal sites daily. APS is making this schedule change based on feedback to make meal pickup more convenient for families and to limit the exposure for families and staff.

Under the new model, there will be no reduction in meals provided to families. Monday pickup will include meals for Monday and Tuesday; Wednesday pickup will include meals for Wednesday and Thursday; and Friday pickup will include meals for Friday.

Beginning May 4, the grab-and-go meals, for all children aged 2-18, can be picked up at the following locations on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Families can pick up meals at the grab-and-go site closest to them.

Safe, No-Contact Meal Service:
APS reminds the community that meal pickup is safe and there are procedures in place to ensure there is no contact during meal preparation or pickup. APS Food and Nutrition Services staff are taking every precaution to provide a safe environment for families picking up meals. Staff are wearing the proper PPE (masks and gloves) and social distancing measures are in place for staff and families. Surfaces are cleaned frequently and bags of food are placed on tables for families to pick up, limiting contact.

Designating Volunteers:
Families who are unable to get to the meal sites can also designate a neighbor or family member to pick up food for their child(ren) by providing the name(s) and student ID number(s) for their child(ren) as well as the location they will pick up their meal from in advance. Families can either email this information to food.services@apsva.us or call 703-228-2129. The same procedure applies for families wishing to pick up meals without children present. Families need only email or call one time.

Additional Information
For more information on APS grab-and-go meals and other resources, visit: https://www.apsva.us/coronavirus-covid-19-updates/free-lunch-breakfasts-and-other-resources/.

For a full list of Arlington County food assistance services, visit: https://health.arlingtonva.us/covid-19-coronavirus-updates/food-financial-and-medical-assistance/

COVID-19: A Message from the Interim Superintendent

I hope you continue to stay safe and healthy. I am so proud of our amazing teachers and staff working to support students and families, and of our students who are stepping up to the challenge to continue learning and stay engaged.

Dear APS Families,

I hope you continue to stay safe and healthy. I am so proud of our amazing teachers and staff working to support students and families, and of our students who are stepping up to the challenge to continue learning and stay engaged.

We are currently working on plans for the end of the school year, as well as options for summer school which depend on how the pandemic and health, safety and social distancing requirements evolve. More information and guidance will come soon on these. I have also been working closely with high school principals on ways to celebrate our graduating seniors. We are planning virtual ceremonies while also planning and hoping for in-person celebration events in August or when possible. I reached out to the Class of 2020 directly today. My full letter to seniors is available here.

As a reminder, 3rd quarter report cards are available for secondary students through ParentVUE, and elementary report cards will be available tomorrow. Please reach out to your teacher or principal with questions or issues related to report cards.

If your child is struggling with motivation, or needs social-emotional support, please contact your student’s teacher and or school counselor. You can find your school counselor through the school counseling webpages.

Be sure to follow APS on Twitter (@APSVirginia) to see some of our amazing staff, as we highlight the Principal, Teacher and Employee of the Year honorees from all our schools over the next several weeks. You can use #APSCelebrationofExcellence to share stories of teachers, principals and support staff who make a difference to your family.

Thank you for all you continue to do for our students, and please stay well.

Sincerely,

Cintia Z. Johnson
Interim Superintendent

A Message to the Class of 2020 from the Interim Superintendent

As I write to you in my role as your Interim Superintendent, I want you to know first and foremost, that I congratulate you, the Class of 2020, on your success!

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Dear Seniors,

As I write to you in my role as your Interim Superintendent, I want you to know first and foremost, that I congratulate you, the Class of 2020, on your success! You have accomplished so much over the past 12+ years and have much to be proud of!  At the same time, I share in your disappointment about the current situation. This was supposed to be a time for gathering with friends and families, not of social distancing. As a mother myself, I understand how trying this time can be for you and your families.

While we all recognize the end of the school year cannot be the same as in years past, it is my intent to ensure that you are all celebrated in ways that honor this major accomplishment. As a result, we have decided to move forward with graduation plans that will allow you and your family members to come together to recognize this significant milestone in a way that reflects the current reality we are living and uses the digital tools and social media platforms, which so many of you rely upon daily. That said, I have been working closely with your principals, and we are planning virtual graduation ceremonies for each of the comprehensive high schools and high school programs, which will allow us to continue adherence to Governor Northam’s stay-at-home order. You will be provided with more information soon, as we continue planning for this celebration. Please note that I am not ruling out any future opportunities to celebrate in person, however I do  feel it is important to plan for ways we can honor the Class of 2020 now. I understand principals have selected August dates for possible activities in hopes that conditions will have improved by then. I look forward to being a part of those upcoming celebrations.

I also want to take an opportunity to assure you that if you were in good academic standing when schools closed, you will graduate on time. Even if you were not, there is still time to reach out to your teachers, counselors, and administrators to create a plan of success to assist you to graduate on time. I want each of you to have a smooth transition from high school to whichever plans lie ahead for you. If we can help you with that transition, please let us know—your success is our main goal!

We are committed to the Class of 2020 and ensuring your senior year continues to be one in which you will have fond memories that will last a lifetime.  I have learned through my personal interactions with many of you over this past year that you are a resilient, adaptable, creative, and responsible group of young people.

I look forward to following your future success and to seeing what positive impact you have on our communities.

Sincerely,

Cintia Z. Johnson
Interim Superintendent

What's Up APS?

Listen Now: Ep. 32 K-2 Instructional Packet Discussion

Learn more about the K-2 Instructional Packet and how it was developed in the latest episode of the What’s Up, APS? podcast.

Join the creators of the K-2 Instructional Packet, Christina Chapuis, elementary math specialist, Kelley Hyner, interim supervisor of the Arlington Tiered Systems of Support and Dr. Donna McConnell, elementary English language arts specialist as they discuss how the packet was developed, what families can do if their child is working above or below the grade level in the packet as well as where to find additional resources. We also talk about the “At Home with APS” video series to supplement K-2 instructional content.

To ask a question about a previous podcast or to suggest a topic for a future episode, email apsnews@apsva.us. More episodes are available online. Download and subscribe today. We’re available on StitcherTuneIn,  iTunes and Google Play.

More Information on Continuous Learning Plans

As we begin the second week of the APS Continuous Learning Plan, we want to thank our teachers, staff and students who are working hard, as well as you, the families who are supporting them and sharing your input with us. I want to provide you with additional information and resources about our continuous learning […]

As we begin the second week of the APS Continuous Learning Plan, we want to thank our teachers, staff and students who are working hard, as well as you, the families who are supporting them and sharing your input with us. I want to provide you with additional information and resources about our continuous learning plans, as well as address some frequent questions from families.

I hope these resources are helpful as we move forward together to support students. Thank you for your support and engagement. Again, we encourage you to review the Additional Information on the Continuous Learning Plans, and contact your student’s teacher about specific instructional questions. Any additional general questions and comments can be sent to engage@apsva.us.

Please know that our students are our top priority. All of us at APS are committed to working hard to ensure that our plan is responsive to the diverse needs of our students, and we are committed to reflecting on the feedback that we receive as we move forward.

Sincerely,
Bridget Loft
Assistant Superintendent
Department of Teaching and Learning

What's Up APS?

Listen Now: Ep. 31 Continuous Learning Plan Discussion

Episode 31 takes an in-depth look at the Arlington Public Schools’ distance learning plan.

Episode 31 takes an in-depth look at the Arlington Public Schools’ distance learning plan. Join Interim Superintendent Cintia Johnson, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning Bridget Loft, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Arron Gregory, Dr. Charles Drew 1st grade teacher Sydney Mann and Wakefield math teacher Laurell Wiersma as they discuss how the plan was created; how it fits with the Strategic Plan; and how teachers are implementing it with their students.

To ask a question about a previous podcast or to suggest a topic for a future episode, email apsnews@apsva.us. More episodes are available online. Download and subscribe today. We’re available on StitcherTuneIn,  iTunes and Google Play.

A Message from the Interim Superintendent, April 15

I hope that each of you continues to remain safe and healthy. As we prepare now for the remainder of the school year, I want to thank you for all you are doing to support each other and our students in a time of monumental change. We would all prefer to be face-to-face, but this […]

I hope that each of you continues to remain safe and healthy. As we prepare now for the remainder of the school year, I want to thank you for all you are doing to support each other and our students in a time of monumental change. We would all prefer to be face-to-face, but this is where we are at the present time with everyone striving to do their best. We have amazing teachers, and I am incredibly proud of the work they are doing with students and families to provide the best learning experience possible given the circumstances.

As you may know, we released our division-wide plan for continuous learning last week, and we continue to make decisions that align with our Strategic Plan. During this public health emergency, our commitment is to engage students in learning activities that reinforce mastery of topics for the current school year, while lessening the impact of learning loss for our most vulnerable students.

Based on Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) guidance, we focused on delivering an equitable plan that:

  • Addresses students’ academic, social and emotional needs at each grade level;
  • Provides students a solid foundational knowledge of concepts introduced but not mastered in the first three quarters of the year;
  • Includes new learning activities in multiple formats – paper, online and video – as well as accommodations for our English Learners and Special Education students;
  • Aligns with our commitment to equity by ensuring all students have access to resources and new learning opportunities; and
  • Offers extension and enrichment opportunities designed to challenge and engage students at every grade level.

We have received questions and comments about the plans over the last few days and greatly appreciate your input. We ask that you review the materials posted on ParentVUE, connect with your child’s teachers, set expectations for school work, and allow a week or two to observe your child’s experience so that we can respond appropriately to individual needs.

Principals have shared additional details regarding how these plans will guide instruction for each school. Teachers will be able to guide families on specifics, including relevant extensions for each student, and can point to additional resources that can supplement the plans and expectations. They should be the first point of contact with questions you may have about your student’s learning.

We will continue to reflect on the plan and adjust as necessary, based on how students are responding. Many of the questions we have received are addressed in the FAQ on our website, and we will continue to update that section. Please visit the continuous learning webpage for additional information. General questions about APS operations during the closure can be sent to engage@apsva.us.

We know this is a challenging time for us all. To be a student, a parent, or a teacher—many of whom are playing several roles—during a worldwide health emergency is not something any of us have ever experienced. Thank you for all you continue to do to ensure our students stay healthy and engaged, and know that we are here to support you.  We will work through this together.

Sincerely,

Cintia Z. Johnson
Interim Superintendent

Continuous Learning Plans

The Department of Teaching and Learning has prepared Continuous Learning Plans to address the academic and social-emotional needs of your child during the remainder of the school year. These plans focus on previously introduced learning from the first three quarters to ensure that all our students have mastered key concepts. Students will also have opportunities […]

The Department of Teaching and Learning has prepared Continuous Learning Plans to address the academic and social-emotional needs of your child during the remainder of the school year. These plans focus on previously introduced learning from the first three quarters to ensure that all our students have mastered key concepts. Students will also have opportunities to enrich and extend their learning through a variety of activities.

The Virginia Department of Education has given each school district the freedom to develop its own continuous learning plan. You will note that each of our surrounding districts’ plans are distinctly different from one another. APS is fortunate that our students in grades 3-12 have their own devices, which allows us to deliver learning opportunities to them in a streamlined and efficient manner. As part of our commitment to ensuring equity of access to new learning for all students, concepts that students would have normally learned during the fourth quarter will be introduced in September, at the start of the 2020-21 school year.

Arlington Public Schools views the partnership that exists between families and schools as essential to success. We encourage teachers, students, and families work together to strengthen connections and ensure that students appreciate the importance of completing academic tasks as they close out this school year and prepare for the 2020-21 school year.

You may access the plans online at apsva.us/continuity-of-learning/, or

Download the plans in full here:

(These plans will be available soon in Spanish, Mongolian, Arabic and Amharic. We will notify families when the translations are available.)

Elementary: Students in PreK-5 will engage in learning activities focused primarily on literacy and numeracy. Additional choice activities related to Art, Music, FLES, Library, Physical Education, Science, and Social Studies can be found here: apsva.us/continuity-of-learning/elementary-choice-boards/ . Students in grades 3-5 will use their iPads to access digital instructional materials sent by their teachers. As students in grades PreK-2 do not have APS-provided devices, their plan is a packet of learning activities for the month of April. The materials will be available electronically through ParentVUE in the Documents section on Monday, April 13. Printed packets will also be available for pick-up at APS grab-and-go meal sites starting on April 13. The learning packet for May will be available later this month.

Secondary: Students in grades 6-12 will engage in teacher-led learning activities reinforcing previously introduced learning, using their APS-provided device (laptop or iPad).  Instructional activities will be designed to be completed asynchronously.

Guidance for Families: Both elementary and secondary learning plans include recommendations for parents and guardians regarding how to structure their child’s day, which can also be found on the APS website at apsva.us/continuity-of-learning. Teachers will engage with parents regularly to ensure that they are aware of and able to support the learning plans in place to support their child. Across all grade levels, teachers and other specialists will call or email students/families once a week for a check-in.

Answers to questions you may have as you review these documents  may be found online in the COVID-19 FAQ. You can also send questions to engage@apsva.us.

Our teachers, counselors and administrators will continue to serve as resources for your child and you during this unprecedented time. Thank you for your support as we all learn together.

Sincerely,

Bridget Loft
Assistant Superintendent
Department of Teaching and Learning

A Message from the Interim Superintendent

First, let me say how much we miss our students. I know I speak on behalf of our APS staff when I say that we love our students and are passionate and committed to doing our best for them now and in preparation for the future.

Dear Students and Families,

First, let me say how much we miss our students. I know I speak on behalf of our APS staff when I say that we love our students and are passionate and committed to doing our best for them now and in preparation for the future. Being in the presence of students has always kept me highly motivated! This time away, while essential​ to safety, has been hard on our educators and administrators. We are all in it together, and our commitment to our students remains our driving force as we navigate these unprecedented times.

I have heard from staff members and families how challenging this past week has been. I know that teleworking while having children at home creates multiple challenges, and we continue to work on ways to support families without creating additional burdens. This means ensuring we, APS staff, are being patient, flexible and ​supportive as new resources are introduced and work is assigned. For students with multiple teachers, this also means ensuring adequate coordination on scheduling and daily structure, and consistency in communicating information to families. During this time, we need to maximize learning opportunities and decrease stress in every way we can.

As we finalize our continuity of learning plans for the remainder of the year, we are striving to bring this balance. The current instructional plans established by your teachers will remain in place through Fri, April 3. Teachers will not assign any work next week. Beginning after Spring Break, on April 14, we will move forward with an adjusted model for each grade level. Those plans will be shared with parents during the week of April 6.

I’ll end this week’s message with a quote: “Joy is increased by spreading it to others,” by Robert Murray McCheyne. I have seen many examples of positive connections taking place among staff, students and families over the past week – PTAs holding food drives, schools organizing virtual spirit weeks, students participating in online theater and choral performances, and more.

Please continue to find positive activities to notice or participate in this week. Take a break, celebrate and create new opportunities during Spring Break. And, thank you very much for everything you continue to do during this time.

Sincerely,
Cintia Z. Johnson
Interim Superintendent

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