Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI)

Update Sept 22, 2022:

APS will stop accepting late applications for the Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) on Friday, September 23, 2022.

The Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) is a high-quality Pre-K program for four-year-old children at Arlington Public Schools and is free to all eligible families. View a recording of our Pre-K Virtual Information Night to learn more about VPI.

Northern Virginia Family Services’ free Head Start program also serves families of children ages 3-5 years old that meet income requirements, to help children toward educational literacy as they prepare to enter public school. Please contact Anisah Bailey at 571-748-2793 for Head Start enrollment and information.

VPI Application Timeline for School Year 2022-23

Feb. 1 to April 15, 2022: Application Window
Feb. 1 Families are able to upload documents and submit an online application.
April 15 at 11:59 p.m. The application window closes.
April 28 at 12 p.m. Pre-K and Montessori (including Primary Montessori) live lottery online.
May 5 by 4 p.m. Families are notified of their acceptance or placement on the waitlist.
May 13 Families who have been offered a space for the following school year must confirm or decline attendance.
May 16 The application window reopens for programs with open spaces or for families that would like to get on a waitlist.

HOW TO APPLY:

  1. Complete an application through our online application portal
    • View a short video to help you create an online account and apply to the VPI program (English) (Spanish) (Mongolian) (Amharic)
    • We can help! If you need assistance or do not have access to a computer, contact the APS Welcome Center at 703-228-8000 (option 3) or schooloptions@apsva.us
  2. Upload the following documents to the online portal with your application.
Proof of Income
A copy of a 2020 or 2021 federal tax return showing adjusted gross income

OR

Three most recent paystubs

OR

A letter of employment stating salary

OR

If the child’s parents are not working, the following can be submitted: Current Unemployment Benefits Statement, Disability documentation, TANF, SNAP, Housing Assistance documentation, and Child Support Statements

Proof of Arlington Residence

Parents/legal guardians are required to show proof that they live with their child in Arlington County.

If a family owns or rents property If a family lives in shared housing (the residence of someone else)

ONE of the following documents must be provided:

  • Deed showing that the student’s parents/legal guardians own the property in Arlington.
  • Current lease agreement signed by the lessor and lessee or tenant and landlord.
  • Settlement documentation from a new home purchase if the deed has not been recorded.
THREE documents must be provided:

  • Residency Form A (English) (Spanish) – Parent/Legal Guardian Residency Affidavit.
  • Residency Form B (English) (Spanish) – Statement of Arlington Resident Affidavit.
    • And a deed or lease agreement.

AND

Any TWO supporting documents that include the parents/legal guardians name and address:

  • Current federal, state or property tax returns
  • Current payroll or withholding statement
  • Vehicle registration
  • Current utility bills (Gas, Electric, Water)
  • Valid Virginia driver’s license with current address
  • Financial assistant documentation from Arlington County
Proof of Age
  • Birth certificate
  • If the birth certificate is not available, families can submit the Proof of Student Identity and Age Affidavit (English) (Spanish).
Proof of Parent Identity and Relationship to Student
Any valid Government issued Photo Identification

OR

Driver’s License

OR

Passport

LEARN ABOUT VPI

Campbell VPI student uses a microscope to explore a worm.

The Virginia Preschool Initiative is a high-quality Pre-K program for four-year-old children at Arlington Public Schools and is free to all eligible families. Children engage in enriching educational experiences, explore learning materials and new ideas, and build their skills as they prepare to enter kindergarten. The Pre-K curriculum is research-based, fosters the development of literacy and math skills, and builds social-emotional foundations for lifetime learning. Each class has up to 18 children with a certified teacher and full-time instructional assistant. The program follows the elementary school schedule Monday through Friday.

  • Note: Parents are encouraged to have their child toilet trained at the time of entry to the program.

ELIGIBILITY

  • The child has to be 4 years old on or before September 30th.
  • The 2022 Federal Poverty Guidelines are used to determine financial eligibility.
  • Families with income at or below the values in the green column are eligible.
    • Example: A family of 4 that earns up to $55,500 annually qualifies.
  • Families with income at or below the values in the yellow column may also qualify, based on local eligibility criteria, and are encouraged to apply.
    • Example: A family of 4 that earns up to $97,125 may also qualify based on local eligibility criteria.
    • For questions about income eligibility, call 703-228-8000 (select option 3) or email schooloptions@apsva.us.
Number in Family/Household

Annual Income

(200% Federal Poverty Level)

Annual Income

(350% Federal Poverty Level)

2 $36,620 $64,085
3 $46,060 $80,605
4 $55,500 $97,125
5 $64,940 $113,645
6 $74,380 $130,165
7 $83,820 $146,685
8 $93,260 $163,205

*For families/households with more than 8 persons, add $4,720 for each additional person.

**Annual household income is determined by completing an Income Verification form.

ADDITIONAL APPLICATION INFORMATION

  • Applications received between Feb. 1 and April 15 (application window) are placed together in one pool of applicants and are then divided according to the percentage of federal poverty noted on the application. Priority is given to families at the lowest income levels.

WHAT VPI LOCATIONS CAN MY CHILD APPLY TO?

  • VPI is offered at 12 neighborhood elementary schools and 4 option schools (See table below).
  • The VPI program is open for all eligible children who live in Arlington regardless of whether your neighborhood school offers VPI.
  • Students can apply to more than one school based on their home address. 
  • All home addresses in Arlington are assigned to an APS neighborhood school.
  • Enter your address in the Boundary (Attendance Area) Locator to determine your neighborhood school. For questions about boundary zones, call 703-228-6005.
  1. If your assigned neighborhood school offers VPI:
    • Apply to VPI at your neighborhood school, and if interested, VPI at the option schools.
  2. If your neighborhood school DOES NOT offer VPI:
    • Apply to VPI at Hoffman-Boston Elementary, and if interested, VPI at the option schools.
Neighborhood schools that offer VPI:
  • Abingdon
  • Alice West Fleet
  • Ashlawn
  • Barcroft
  • Barrett
  • Carlin Springs
  • Dr. Charles R. Drew
  • Hoffman-Boston
  • Innovation
  • Long Branch
  • Oakridge
  • Randolph
Option Schools that offer VPI: Arlington Traditional Campbell

Dual Language Immersion Programs at Escuela Key and Claremont

Note: Families can only apply to ONE Dual Language School based on their assigned neighborhood school.

Countywide option for families whose assigned neighborhood school DOES NOT offer VPI: Hoffman-Boston

PROGRAM INFORMATION

1. How many students are in each class?

  • VPI classes have a maximum of 18 students.
  • Each class has a full time certified teacher and instructional assistant.

2. What schedule do the children follow?

  • The VPI Pre-Kindergarten program follows the APS school year calendar.
  • The hours are the same as the elementary school day for each specific site.
  • VPI Pre-Kindergarten students begin on the second day of the school year.

3. What is the curriculum in the VPI Pre-Kindergarten program?

  • The VPI Pre-Kindergarten program curriculum is based on Virginia’s Early Learning and Development Standards. The standards cover approaches to Play and Learning, social and emotional development, communication, language and literacy development, health and physical and cognitive development.

4. Why is there a home visit?

  • The purpose of the home visit is to help the child make a smooth transition from home to school and to create a positive connection between the teacher and the child’s family.
  • A home visit is a special time that families can share about their child and their family.
  • Teachers will also share valuable information during the home visit that will help a family prepare their child to be successful in school.
  • Home visits are an opportunity to build relationships between home and school. When there is a positive and open relationship, children succeed!
  • Home visits will likely be scheduled virtually for School Year 2022-23.

5. Will my child attend specials offered at the school?

  • Yes, VPI Pre-Kindergarten children participate in art, music, physical education and library.
  • VPI Pre-Kindergarten children also participate in other school wide activities and special offerings as appropriate.

6. Will my child be able to take a nap?

  • Yes, VPI Pre-Kindergarten children have a rest time in the afternoon.

7. Do you have any resources on toilet-training?

  • Parents are encouraged to have their child toilet trained at the time of the entry of the program.
  • Toilet training guidelines and resources are available here.

8. Is transportation provided for VPI students?

9. How do I learn about my child’s progress in VPI?

  • Teacher parent conferences are held twice a year. You may request a conference with your child’s teacher at any time. Pre-K progress reports are written and distributed at conferences in March and sent home in June. View a blank Pre-K progress report in English or Spanish.