Planning for School Moves 2021


On Feb. 6, 2020, as part of Phase 1 of Elementary School Planning for 2021, the School Board adopted the Interim Superintendent’s recommendation to move three schools for the 2021-22 school year. The School Board adoption includes moving:

  • The majority of McKinley students to the new school at the Reed site
  • The Arlington Traditional School (ATS) program to the current McKinley site
  • The Key Immersion program to the current ATS site
    • Note: This recommendation will repurpose the Key site, which currently houses the Key Immersion school, into a new neighborhood school.

More information about Phase 1 of Elementary School Planning for 2021 is available at

Planning for School Moves Transition

A cross-departmental team has begun planning for the school moves transition. All staff are dedicated to making these transitions as easy as possible for students and families. Throughout this school moves process, information will be shared about next steps. Below are details about how APS will keep the community informed. Please note that this web page will be updated to include site-specific information when available.

Between Spring 2020 and Fall 2021, Planning & Evaluation will coordinate the school moves process  that involves all APS departments, as well as the Principals and school staff of the schools involved: Administrative Services, Design & Construction, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Facilities & Operations, Finance, Human Resources, Information Services, School & Community Relations, and Teaching & Learning.

Overall Timeline for School Moves Transition

This timeline is tentative and subject to change

Date  Activity 
Spring 2020
  • Initial planning on overall timeline and logistics with principals for all schools involved in moves for 2021-22, staff experienced with previous school moves, and central office departments supporting school moves transition
  • Development and adoption of the FY 2021 CIP (
  • Data Review for Fall 2020 Elementary School Boundary Process
 Summer 2020
  • Internal cross-departmental planning continues in support of school moves transition
  • Principal approves principal for new neighborhood school at Key site
  • Start of scope of work for each school facility refresh and kitchen expansion project
Fall 2020
  • Internal cross-departmental planning continues in support of school moves transition
  • Fall 2020  Elementary School Boundary process
  • For option schools, determine adjustments to enrollment that will impact admissions lottery for 2021-22
Winter 2020-21
  •  School Board to adopt new elementary school boundaries that will take effect in 2021-22
  • APS information on 2021-22 boundaries will be updated before Kindergarten Information Night (Jan. 2021); families impacted by boundary changes will be notified
  • Jan. 2021: School staff will receive information on logistics for school moves
  • Internal cross-departmental planning continues in support of school moves
  Summer 2021
  • Internal cross-departmental planning continues in support of school moves
  • Construction/refresh of buildings completed per scope of work determined for each site
  • School administrations are relocated to new sites
  • School moves completed (furniture, academic materials, staff boxes, etc.)
Fall 2021
  • Schools open at new sites and new boundaries take effect for 2021-22 school year


The four phases of the Elementary School Planning for 2021-22 are:

Details about this process and each phase is available at

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Considering the Covid-19 crisis, are the school moves still happening and how will they be funded?  

School Moves 2021 is proceeding as planned. These moves are part of the overall Elementary School Planning Process for 2021-22, which includes the Fall 2020 Elementary School Boundary Process (beginning in Sept. 2020). School principals are already meeting with the departments that will implement the moves, and a principal search is currently underway for the new neighborhood school at the Key site.

The Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for FY 2021 and Future CIPs has funds specifically identified to support the necessary school refreshes and kitchen expansions for the school moves, while construction continues for the new school at the Reed site. More information about the CIP will be available at

How will the community receive updates?

This APS Engage webpage will be updated regularly with information about the overall school moves planning process for 2021-22. Principals of the schools involved will take the lead in sharing communications with their school communities. Members of each school community are asked to submit any questions they may have about the process/timeline to their respective PTAs. Responses sent to the PTA will be posted on this webpage in as feasible a timeframe as possible.

Why was it necessary to make School Moves? 

During Phase 1 of the Planning Process, the School Board adopted a proposal to move three schools, allowing APS to make strategic decisions about adjusting school boundaries and creating new attendance zones. This allows APS to do the following:

  • Open a new neighborhood school in an area where seats are most needed
  • Develop an adjusted neighborhood attendance zone around Arlington Science Focus (ASFS)
  • Address urgent capacity needs that may narrow the list of competing priorities as we prepare for the upcoming Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) process
  • Look for operational efficiencies, so future budgets have some room to address direct student support.

More information about the imbalance between seats and students countywide is available at 

Site-specific Information for each school site involved in the School Moves transition

Coming in Fall 2020