Frequently Asked Questions: Fall 2020 ES Boundaries

Initial Proposal | Process  | Enrollment Data and Projections | CapacityEngagementReturn to Main Page 

 

INITIAL PROPOSAL 

  1. How are the FY 2022 CIP and the PreK-12 Instructional Program Pathways (IPP) being used to drive this process?  (Added 10/19/20)
  2.  Where can I find detailed information about the proposal?
  3. How many boundary proposals will there be in this process and how will community input be used? (Added 10/13/20)
  4.  Now that APS has a budget deficit, why not redirect funds being used to complete the New ES at Reed or the kitchen renovations for school moves to other things like PPE or teacher salaries? (Added 10/5/20)

PROCESS (Updated Nov. 12)

  1.  Why did you limit this boundary process and what schools are involved?  (Added 10/5/20)
  2. Will APS commit that the affected PU’s in this process will not be part of the next boundary process? (Added 10/8/20)
  3. What is the plan for transfer students when the new boundaries take effect in Fall 2021? (Added 10/13/20)
  4. Will you go into more detail about the idea of targeted transfers? Will they be targeted to help provide more socioeconomic integration? (Added 10/13/20)
  5. Will grandfathering be considered for 2021-22? (Added 10/8/20)
  6. .Can families opt out of the boundary change and instead provide their student with their own transportation? Will there be an appeal process? (Added 10/13/20
  7.  How will specific populations—in particular, students in the VPI program and students enrolled in countywide special needs programs—be affected in your limited-scope boundary scenario? Which programs will be moved, and to where? (Added 10/13/20)
  8. Because Key immersion is moving closer to Claremont, will this boundary process include new feeders for the immersion schools, and when will the decision be made? (Added 10/8/20)
  9. Will schools be renamed during this process? (Added 10/13/20)
  10. Are you reconsidering community maps submitted during the school moves process? (Added 10/13/20)
  11. Why not move the ASF school with all its faculty and administration to the new school at Key to give continuity and assurance to families currently attending ASF and then come up with a new faculty and school at the current ASF school? (Added 10/19/20)
  12. What is the difference between moving to another school and being reassigned to another school? (Revised 11/5/20)
  13. Why not move students who will likely be reassigned in two years now? (Revised 11/12/20)
  14. At the start of the process, you said that every school should be in its attendance zone. So why isn’t 16061 assigned to Reed? (Added 11/12/20)
  15. My PU can currently walk to ASFS. Why will that be different in 2021? (Added 11/12/20)
  16. Why are you not honoring the stated purpose for these boundary changes, to allow all PUs within a walk zone to attend that school? (Added 11/12/20)
  17. Why are students who could walk to ASFS assigned to Taylor? (Added 11/12/20)

ENROLLMENT DATA AND PROJECTIONS – (Updated Nov. 12)

  1. What data was used to develop the proposal? (Added 10/5/20)
  2. Will you share information about the racial/ethnic composition of the schools involved in the boundary change process? (Added 10/8/20)
  3. Will you share a table of the data of the school capacity utilization as a result of these proposed boundary changes? (Updated 11/12/20)

CAPACITY

  1. If you say this process was undertaken to balance capacity and enrollment, can you tell us how you plan to achieve balance without being willing to redraw boundaries across the entire county? (Added 10/13/20)
  2.  How will you address overcrowding in the schools not included in this boundary process? (Added 10/8/20)
  3.  If my child is being placed in an overcapacity school will they be given preference when applying to an option program as a means of helping alleviate capacity issues? (Added 10/13/20)
  4. What are the current and projected rates for free and reduced lunch and for capacity utilization at the schools involved in the boundary process?
  5. Will any schools that are part of the boundary process, including the new neighborhood school at Key, have relocatable classrooms included in their total classroom count that determines maximum school capacity?(Added 10/19/20)

ENGAGEMENT 

1. How can the community participate in the community engagement process?

INITIAL PROPOSAL

1.How are the FY 2022 CIP and the PreK-12 Instructional Program Pathways (IPP) being used to drive this process? (Added 10/19/20)

On June 25, 2020, the School Board adopted the FY 2021 Capital Improvement Plan.  Within its motion, the School Board directed the Superintendent to provide in the FY 2022 CIP an instruction-driven analysis of “capital and/or non-capital solutions that:

  • Meet the projected need for seats at all levels based on the Fall 2020 projections
  • Potentially include additions, modifications, program moves, leased space, new construction, and/or other solutions that fit within the projected 10-year CIP funding
  • Consider creative solutions for sizes, grade levels, and locations of all option schools, to include consideration of Pre-K thru 8 and/or Grades 6-12 models of instruction for some schools
  • Provide the appropriate facilities to accommodate the full-time high school students on the Career Center campus
  • Examine creative solutions for more efficient use of the Career Center campus
  • Consider creative solutions to meet accessibility and short-term parking needs at The Heights

A draft summary document begins to build the Superintendent’s response to this direction from the School Board. The PreK-12 Instructional Program Pathways (IPP) is an instructional visioning framework that began in 2018-19 to ensure a structure with multiple pathways for student success. The Dept. of Teaching and Learning is working this year to further shape this framework that will be used to guide future planning decisions. The IPP and the next CIP must provide a solution to meet the elementary school capacity needs on the western end of Columbia Pike. Considerations may include

  • Options schools located on the western end of Columbia Pike (Campbell EL and Claremont Immersion), and could include a move, a suspension of the lottery or some other change proposed through the instructional visioning work.
  • Excess capacity north of Lee Highway at Tuckahoe, Nottingham, Discovery, Jamestown and Taylor)

The information in this draft summary document will continue to be updated as we move through the boundary process. The boundary process details will evolve to add information on all secondary schools, new projections, capacity update, and priorities that come from the instructional visioning process.  There will be a virtual School Board Work Session on the instructional visioning process that will be held at 6 p.m. on Oct. 27, 2020

Note: The draft  ES Boundaries Summary  was updated on Oct.17.

2. Where can I find detailed information about the proposal?

The initial boundary proposal is available at www.apsva.us/engage/fall2020elementaryboundaries/#ESProposal and the data is available at Initial Boundary Proposal-Data Table – 10.5.2020Summary of Initial Boundary Proposal – Draft 1- 10.5.2020 (www.apsva.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Summary-of-Initial-Boundary-Proposal-Draft-1-10.5.2020.pdf ) is a new resource for the Fall 2020 Elementary Boundary process. It includes an overall summary of the initial boundary proposal, followed by details used for each elementary school. Note, neighborhood and options schools are all included because making decisions about one school impacts all others. Details will be added to this document during the boundary process and changes will be noted.

3. How many boundary proposals will there be in this process and how will community input be used? (Added 10/13/20)

Staff posted the initial boundary proposal on Oct. 5, 2020. Community input is being gathered in various ways and will be reviewed before the Oct. 29 School Board Work Session. At this session, staff will share the input and key themes that have emerged and will seek direction from the School Board to incorporate changes into the Superintendent’s Recommended Elementary School Boundaries, which will be presented to the School Board on Nov. 5. Refinements may be made to the initial boundary proposal according to School Board direction.

4. Now that APS has a budget deficit, why not redirect funds being used to complete the New ES at Reed or the kitchen renovations for school moves to other things like PPE or teacher salaries? (Added 10/5/20)

There are two primary budgets for Arlington Public Schools (APS). One is the School Board’s Adopted Budget, also known as the operating budget, which provides for the day-to-day operations and maintenance of our schools, personnel, and programs. The second is the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) budget, which addresses facility needs, including major infrastructure projects (including HVAC, roofing, and utility improvements) and major construction projects (including new buildings, additions and renovations). Regardless of the category, all CIP projects have a useful life of 20 years or more. Most CIP projects are funded by general obligation bonds, but they may also be funded with supplemental funding or current revenues set aside in the Capital Reserve, which are one-time funds and not a continuing source of revenue.

The current budget deficit of between $19.1 and $26.2 million is in the operating budget, not the CIP. The FY 2021 CIP was approved by the School Board in June 2020 and uses a combination of general obligation bonds and Capital Reserve to fund the projects. Funds from general obligation bonds and certain capital reserve funds (those from bond premiums and excess bond funding for projects that came in under budget) can only be used for capital projects. They cannot be used to mitigate operating budget deficits. This is why the projects funded both in the current CIP (including the kitchen renovations and building refreshes for school moves) and in prior CIPS do not need to be halted.

The FY 2021 CIP uses $9.9 million from the Capital Reserve to provide funding to certain projects, including the new elementary school at the Reed site as well as building refreshes and kitchen renovations at Arlington Traditional School, Key School, and McKinley School. While it might be possible to use some funds from the Capital Reserve (those not legally required to be used for capital projects) to help close the current shortfall in the operating budget, because these funds are only available to be used one time, this would result in an even greater shortfall in the next budget cycle.  In addition, using the Capital Reserve funds for operating costs would leave fewer funds available to complete much-needed renovation projects at schools.

With our school division’s focus on the whole child, APS has sought to provide access to food for all students, but a staff analysis determined that this is not possible with all of our school kitchens. Staff from the Dept. of Facilities and Operations worked with the Office of Food and Nutrition Services to assess the status and function of all APS elementary school kitchens.  A decision was made several years ago to shift from preparing food at a central kitchen to, instead, preparing food at each school, which has greatly improved the quality of meals.

In planning for the priority capital investment needs for APS infrastructure, staff identified the elementary schools most in need of kitchen renovations. These capital improvements would create additional space for food storage and preparation and add common space for more effectively managing lunch lines, serving food, and seating more students during the typical three lunch cycles. With an expanded kitchen and choice, more students would opt to eat school-prepared lunches, reducing the concern that many students who bring food are not storing their lunches properly. APS requested funding in the FY 2021 CIP for three kitchen renovations at the ATS, Key and McKinley sites as part of the approved School Moves, as well as funding over the next three years for renovations on four additional kitchens.

PROCESS

1. Why did you limit this boundary process and what schools are involved?  (Added 10/5/20)

We are limiting the scope of this boundary process due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the strain it has placed on our school community. During this challenging time, the focus for the Fall 2020 Elementary Boundary process is on making those boundary changes required to use our new school facilities opening in Fall 2021 at the Reed and Key sites and bring enrollment to manageable levels.  Using a narrow scope in this boundary process means making boundary adjustments for only seven elementary schools​ and creating an attendance zone for the new elementary school at the Key site.  The boundary proposal minimizes student reassignments in a way that keeps more students together​​. The only boundary adjustments made in this process will be those needed due to opening of a new school, need for adjusted neighborhood attendance zones for ASFS and McKinley at the Reed site, and the need to bring enrollment to more manageable levels​. With boundary adjustments only at seven elementary schools, APS is managing enrollment in other ways:​

  • Continuing to use relocatable classrooms for some schools
  • Moving, or postponing moves, of some PreK and countywide special education classes​
  • Continuing long-term planning for elementary school enrollment, especially on the western end of Columbia Pike, as we develop the  FY 2022 Multiyear Capital Improvement Plan that the School Board will adopt this year​
  • Preparing for another boundary process within the next two years​

2.  Will APS commit that the affected PU’s in this process will not be part of the next boundary process? (Added 10/8/20)

If APS conducts an elementary school boundary process within the next two years, then the Planning Units reassigned during this process will not be reassigned in the next boundary process

3. What is the plan for transfer students when the new boundaries take effect in Fall 2021?  (Added 10/13/20)

Staff recommends that students who are transfers in a school during 2020-21 must attend their assigned neighborhood school starting in Fall 2021 or reapply for a transfer. In past boundary processes, transfer students were not addressed, and they remained at the school while students residing in the boundary were reassigned.  The Options and Transfers Policy (J-5.3.31 ) states the School Board may change decisions about transfers as part of a boundary change adoption. Provisions are being explored to allow students with instructional needs and their siblings to continue with the transfer. Clear language will be included in the Superintendents Proposed Boundaries on Nov. 5.

4. Will you go into more detail about the idea of targeted transfers? Will they be targeted to help provide more socioeconomic integration? (Added 10/13/20)

For students who attend specific neighborhood elementary schools that have capacity utilization that is not manageable, APS may be able to offer targeted transfers that would allow some students to transfer to a (nearby) school that has capacity. The number of seats available will vary across schools and grades. In considering transfers, APS will prioritize administrative transfers in grades where there are lower class sizes and will ensure that enrollment does not exceed teacher staffing for 2021-22. Targeted transfers will be announced starting January 2021 to the schools that will have this opportunity available to them.

5. Will grandfathering be considered for 2021-22? (Added 10/8/20)

Staff is proposing no grandfathering in the 2020 Boundary Process. In past processes, staff has recommended various approaches to grandfathering, and the approach has differed according to circumstances in each process. Since grandfathering any students can impact capacity, the decision to do so in this process may require additional boundary adjustments and/or additional relocatable classrooms at a given site.Another concern is transportation costs and equity. Past transportation decisions made by the School Board to reduce the impact of boundary changes on families have increased the costs of transportation, reduced system efficiency, and made it harder to get students to school on time:

  • Grandfathering with transportation provided would require two routes to be provided for students from the same planning unit for at least one year: one for students to the newly assigned school and one for the original school.
  • In previous processes, siblings have, in some circumstances, been allowed to stay for longer than a year at the original school with transportation provided, which has further intensified the demands on transportation and capacity
  • Bus fleet and driver and attendant position increases to serve additional grandfathering and transfer routes are unlikely to be possible in the FY 22 budget.
  • Offering grandfathering without transportation provides opportunities to some students and not others.

6. Can families opt out of the boundary change and instead provide their student with their own transportation? Will there be an appeal process? (Added 10/13/20)

Families cannot opt out of a boundary process and there is no appeal process established to address boundary adjustments. When a Planning Unit is reassigned to another neighborhood school, then that school becomes the assigned neighborhood school for all students residing in that Planning Unit.

7. How will specific populations—in particular, students in the VPI program and students enrolled in countywide special needs programs—be affected in your limited-scope boundary scenario? Which programs will be moved, and to where? (Added 10/13/20)

Now that the focus of the boundary process is limited, some of the PreK and program adjustments planned for 2021-22 will be delayed, while some existing programs will move to make space available for Grade K-5 classes until the next elementary school boundary process. Once the School Board adopts boundaries on Dec. 3, P&E will do the following to determine the space available in schools:

  • Rerun the projections with the new boundaries
  • Share with principals and departments the following:
    • Enrollment projections using new boundaries
    • Where APS has existing capacity and needs to create capacity

The Annual Update will include the specific space available in all schools and the Department of Teaching and Learning will help determine any movement of programs needed to accommodate Grades K-5 enrollment. Impacted families would be notified of the decision starting in Jan. 2021.  All changes will be documented in the Annual Update and the allocations will be part of the Spring Update to projections for 2021-22.

8. Because Key immersion is moving closer to Claremont, will this boundary process include new feeders for the immersion schools, and when will the decision be made? (Added 10/8/20)

A new immersion feeder structure will be created for Key and Claremont before Kindergarten Information Night in Jan. 2021. There is likely to be some realignment to the feeder structure since Key Immersion will move to the ATS site, which is located within the area currently zoned for Claremont Immersion. As the feeder structure is changed, information will be shared with families. The Annual Update (anticipated Feb. 2021) will document the work on the immersion feeder structure, capacity for Key Immersion at the APS site, and the plan for managing enrollment at the two schools for 2021-22.

9. Will schools be renamed during this process? (Added 10/13/20)

There will be a naming process that will begin in January for the new neighborhood elementary school at the Key site. After APS returns to normal operations, the School Board may consider renaming for the other schools involved in the school moves process, including Arlington Traditional, Key, McKinley, and Arlington Science Focus School.

10. Are you reconsidering community maps submitted during the school moves process? (Added 10/13/20)

No. The School Board adopted the school moves in February 2020 and this process takes that into account in focusing on school boundaries for the 2021-22 school year. The initial boundary proposal published on Oct. 5 provides a starting point, and revisions will be made as part of the Superintendent’s recommendation for elementary school boundaries.

11. Why not move the ASF school with all its faculty and administration to the new school at Key to give continuity and assurance to families currently attending ASF and then come up with a new faculty and school at the current ASF school? (Added 10/19/20)

Moving ASFS to the Key Site was not part of the Feb. 3 School Moves decision, and APS did not budget for the move and a refresh of the ASFS building.   In Jan. 2020, after the boundaries are established, Claire Peters, the Principal of the New Elementary School at the Key Site will reach out to the families of students who will attend the school and begin to build the new school community. These suggestions will be shared with Ms. Peters and can be included in the community building process.

12. What is the difference between moving to another school and being reassigned to another school? (Revises 11/5/20)

If a Planning Unit remains with its current school, and moves with that school to a different building, this is considered a move and not a reassignment.

  • A Planning Unit that is not reassigned to a different school in the 2020 boundary process could be considered for reassignment in the next process.

If a Planning Unit is reassigned from its current school to another school, this is considered a reassignment.

  • APS will seek to avoid reassigning those Planning Units in the next boundary process.

  School of attendance 2020-21 

 What constitutes a reassignment in the Fall 2020 Boundary Process? 

 

If a Planning Unit remains with its current school—including when the current school moves to a new site—then it is not a reassignment and that PU can be reassigned in the next boundary process

If a Planning Unit is reassigned to another school in this boundary process, then this is a reassignment.
ASFS ASFS Any other school  Including new neighborhood school at Key site which has a new principal, will be named in 2021, etc.
Ashlawn Ashlawn Any other school
Glebe Glebe Any other school
Long Branch Long Branch Any other school
 McKinley New facility at the Reed site McKinley administration will move with staff and majority of students to the Reed site  Any other school
Taylor Taylor Any other school
Tuckahoe Tuckahoe Any other school

13. Why not move students who will likely be reassigned in two years now? (Added 11/12/20)

The Superintendent’s boundary recommendation makes the minimal adjustments needed for 2021-22 boundaries as a result of the Fall 2021 opening of a new neighborhood school at the Key site and the construction of a new building at the Reed site. In addition, the pandemic has impacted APS enrollment this school year and APS has sought to keep more students together and preserve the needed flexibility for a broader, countywide elementary school boundary process in 2022.

14. At the start of the process, you said that every school should be in its attendance zone. So why isn’t 16061 assigned to Reed? (Added 11/12/20)

In the staff’s initial boundary proposal and in the Superintendent’s recommendation (option A), every school is located within its attendance zones, including the Reed building in PU 16061 and the new neighborhood school at the Key site in PU 24031.

15. My Planning Unit can currently walk to ASFS. Why will that be different in 2021? (Added 11/12/20)

Due to the pandemic and social distancing requirements, APS temporarily expanded walk zones at several schools to reduce the demand on our buses, as they can only carry 11 students at a time, and this will allow for buses to focus on trips farther from the school. Under the Superintendent’s recommended boundaries, the two planning units that are in ASFS’s regular walk zone, 23170 and 23190, were reassigned from Taylor to ASFS. The planning units that are east of Kirkwood Rd, while close to ASFS, are not part of the ASFS regular walk zone due to safety concerns related to crossing Kirkwood Rd. APS has been able to secure crossing support across Kirkwood Rd at the stairs leading to ASFS for this year, but due to crossing guard shortages, we will not likely be able to secure one for next year, so will revert back to the regular walk zone. 

16. Why are you not honoring the stated purpose for these boundary changes, to allow all Planning Units within a walk zone to attend that school? (Added 11/12/20)

The initial boundary proposal maximized walkability and proximity. Based on direction from the Superintendent, the recommended boundaries further reduced the number of planning units reassigned to keep more students with their current school communities and preserve flexibility for a broader, countywide boundary process in 2022. This did result in some PUs within a walk zone not being assigned to that school. All PUs not reassigned in the 2020 boundary process will be considered for reassignment in the 2022 boundary process, including those PUs within a school’s walk zone.

17. Why are students who could walk to ASFS assigned to Taylor? (Added 11/12/20)

Under the Superintendent’s recommended boundaries, the two planning units that are in ASFS’s regular walk zone, 23170 and 23190, were reassigned from Taylor to ASFS. This places the school within its attendance zone, as is the case with all APS schools. The planning units that are east of Kirkwood Rd, while in close proximity to ASFS, are not part of the ASFS regular walk zone and will remain at Taylor, their current school of attendance, in this boundary process.

ENROLLMENT DATA AND PROJECTIONS

1.What data was used to develop the proposal? (Added 10/5/20)

In Spring 2020, APS invited community members to review data that will be used in the Fall 2020 Elementary School Boundary Process. This review of data by Planning Unit—the geographic building blocks APS uses to establish school attendance zones— will help ensure that the final data reflects what you know about your neighborhood, is accurate, complete and ready for use in adjusting boundaries across neighborhood elementary schools this fall. Detailed information about that process is available at www.apsva.us/engage/data-review-for-fall-2020-boundary-process

2. Will you share information about the racial/ethnic composition of the schools involved in the boundary change process? (Added 10/8/20)

With this boundary proposal, APS is providing demographic summary information that includes the proportion of students receiving Free or Reduced Cost Lunch (F&RL). The F&RL rate is a consideration used for developing the boundary proposal, however, race and ethnicity cannot be used when developing boundary proposals. The racial/ethnic data is provided in the planning unit level data but is not used as a consideration for developing boundaries. APS shared this same data in the 2018 Elementary School Boundary process.

3. Will you share a table of the data of the school capacity utilization as a result of these proposed boundary changes? (Updated 11/12/20)

Yes. You can find this data at www.apsva.us/engage/fall2020elementaryboundaries under Update: Nov. 5, 2020 School Board Information Item on Elementary School Boundaries,  Data Table – Superintendent Recommendation, Nov. 5, 2020.  Note: The link to the Excel file is located under the Nov. 5 Update. 

CAPACITY

1. If you say this process was undertaken to balance capacity and enrollment, can you tell us how you plan to achieve balance without being willing to redraw boundaries across the entire county? (Added 10/13/20)

Staff has not stated that this process was undertaken to achieve balance between capacity and enrollment. Our objectives in this boundary process are to develop attendance zones for our new school facilities opening in Fall 2021 at the Key and Reed sites and bring enrollment to manageable levels at our elementary schools. This process seeks to manage enrollment as part of a long-term process to address the imbalance across the county between where elementary school students live and where APS has neighborhood school capacity. The narrow scope in this boundary process means that adjustments are being made in a way that keeps as many students together as possible and, in most cases, in closer proximity to their neighborhood school so that more students can walk to school or have shorter bus ride distances. For schools that are not part of this boundary process and remain over capacity, enrollment is and will be managed through the use of relocatable classrooms, program moves, and possibly via targeted transfers for some schools. This information will be documented in the Annual Update and likely communicated by February 2021.

2. How will you address overcrowding in the schools not included in this boundary process? (Added 10/8/20)

The boundary process has been narrowed in scope because of current circumstances. For schools that are not part of this boundary process, APS will manage enrollment for 1-2 years through the use of relocatable classrooms, program moves, and/or targeted transfers for some schools, and will determine whether to undertake an additional elementary school boundary process within the next two years. Details will be provided in the Annual Update (anticipated Feb. 2021.) A decision about the next boundary process will be informed by the FY 2022 CIP and a return to normal operations.

3.  If my child is being placed in an overcapacity school will they be given preference when applying to an option program as a means of helping alleviate capacity issues? (Added 10/13/20)

School Board policy on Options and Transfers does not include preferences for specific students to enroll in an option school. All admissions to option schools are via the lottery process.

4. What are the current and projected rates for free and reduced lunch and for capacity utilization at the schools involved in the boundary process? (Added 10/19/20)

The School Data table provides information for the schools involved, including capacity utilization rates and percentage of enrolled students who receive Free/Reduced Lunch (As of 9/30/2019 for the current boundary and the initial boundary proposal), PreK-5 % Building Utilization (Actual for 2019 & Projected for 2021 and 2023), and more: https://www.apsva.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Initial-Boundary-Proposal-Data-Table-10.5.2020.xlsx

5. Will any schools that are part of the boundary process, including the new neighborhood school at Key, have relocatable classrooms included in their total classroom count that determines maximum school capacity? (Added 10/19/20)

Relocatable classrooms provide supplemental capacity when enrollment exceeds the permanent capacity of the building. The initial boundary proposal does include use of relocatable classrooms to help manage enrollment at schools that continue to remain over capacity. Based on the community’s input and concerns about capacity utilization, staff will propose and seek School Board input on boundary adjustments that aim to bring enrollment to more manageable levels without use of relocatable classrooms for schools included in this process. This information will be shared at the Oct. 29 school board work session.

6. Why are you adding planning units to schools that are already over capacity when there are neighboring schools that are under capacity that could take those students/ planning units? (Added 10/20/20)

The initial boundary proposal posted on Oct. 5 provides a starting point. When reassigning planning units, we sought to reassign them to proximate schools. At times, these reassignments placed some schools further over capacity and required use of the existing relocatable classrooms they had on site.

We are hearing concerns about capacity utilization in this process. Proposed revisions and refinements that address capacity concerns at each of the schools will be provided for discussion at the School Board Work Session on Oct. 29. This will include adding Planning Units at some of the schools that are under capacity in the initial boundary proposal and provide relief to some of the schools that are over capacity. The Superintendent’s recommended boundaries presented on Nov. 5 will include the refinements made to the initial proposal.

Engagement

1. How can the community participate in the community engagement process?  

Elementary school planning for 2021-22 has been a multi-year process and the community has provided input throughout each phase. Phase 1 concluded with the adoption of school moves in February 2020. The decision to move three schools helps address the imbalance across the county between where students live and where APS has neighborhood elementary school seats available. More information about school moves are available at www.apsva.us/engage/planning-for-2020-elementary-school-boundary-process.Phase 2, the Planning Unit (PU) Data Review, took place in Spring 2020. This was a new phase that replaces the “Getting Started” portion of an APS boundary process. This new phase separated the data review from boundary adjustments to allow more time for community to review data and staff to use community input to make any needed revisions to data before boundary adjustments During the Planning Unit Data Review, staff  gathered input from the community about their neighborhoods. After reviewing community input from the virtual meetings, questionnaire responses and Engage email, staff applied a methodology approach for kindergarten projections, extended projections to include one additional year to 2024, and worked with Arlington County staff to review and verify questions and make some adjustments to data on housing developments. The final outcome is Planning Unit data that is accurate, complete, and ready for use in adjusting boundaries across neighborhood elementary schools this fall. More information about the PU data review is available at www.apsva.us/engage/data-review-for-fall-2020-boundary-process We recognize that the pandemic has put a strain on families. We are moving forward with this process as we must continue to manage our growing enrollment.Phase 3, the Fall 2020 Elementary Boundary process, focuses on making those boundary changes required to use our new school facilities opening in Fall 2021 at the Reed and Key sites and bring enrollment to manageable levels while minimizing student reassignments to keep more students together. Information about the community engagement opportunities is available at www.apsva.us/engage/fall2020elementaryboundaries/#ESCommunityEngagement. We understand that during this time, families need multiple opportunities and formats to get information and share their input. Our engagement is aligned with recommendations the CCPTA provided last year.

  • Information is being shared with all stakeholders in a countywide manner and allows for participation at any point in the process.
  • The data review was separated from the boundary adjustment process, which allowed more time for the community to review data, and staff more time to make revisions based on community input.
  • We’re sharing information with Elementary School PTAs, School Ambassadors and other APS Advisory Groups to share with their constituencies.
  • Information will be available in five languages and families will have the ability to share their input with staff in these languages.
  • A handout in five languages will be distributed at the APS meal distribution sites.
  • A phone line will allow people to share input in Amharic, Arabic, Mongolian and Spanish.
  • Input will also be gathered through several virtual community meetings, an online questionnaire and the Engage email address. Two virtual community meetings will have simultaneous interpretation in four languages.

Summaries for the Engagement process can be found here: Boundaries Handouts: English | Amharic | Arabic | Mongolian | Spanish

See older FAQs (Oct. 5-Nov 11).