Elementary School Planning for 2021

Challenges | Goals | Proposals | Engagement | FAQs | Preguntas Frecuentes es español (FAQs) | Resources


If you would prefer to share your views and questions with staff via email, instead of completing this questionnaire, please write to us at engage@apsva.us. Also, please note that this questionnaire is not intended to serve as a way to count the “votes” of community members. It was designed for staff to gather stakeholders’ input, ideas, suggestions, concerns and questions about the many issues that factor into this complicated process as APS prepares for an expected 30,000 students in 2021.

Elementary School Planning Community Questionnaire – available through November 24, 2019

Elementary School Planning Community Questionnaire (printed form) – due to your elementary school’s front office by 9 a.m. on Nov. 25, 2019

Cuestionario para la Planificación de las Escuelas Primariasdisponible hasta el 24 de noviembre, 2019

Cuestionario para la Planificación de las Escuelas Primarias (formulario impreso) entrégalo a la recepción de su escuela primaria antes de las 9 a.m. el 25 de noviembre de 2019

Infographic about the Elementary School Planning Process
ES PlanningEn español
Spanish

infologo

Online Information Session, Nov. 5, 2019

 

Spanish Session

Sesión Informativa en lÍnea – el 5 de noviembre, 2019

 

Overview

As Arlington Public Schools (APS) expects to welcome more than 30,000 students in 2021, we need to use all available space at our schools. An Elementary School Boundary Process in fall 2020 will create an attendance zone for a new school at Reed and an adjusted neighborhood attendance zone around Arlington Science Focus School (ASFS). One challenge with creating attendance zones is that there are more seats than students in one area of the County, and more students than seats in other areas.To help manage growing enrollment and use all available space to full capacity, APS is exploring countywide solutions that involve potential option program moves in advance of the boundary process. Two proposals under consideration would move someoption schools so APS can use all schools to maximum capacity, keep together as many students in each school community as possible, and keep as many students as possible walking to ES in their neighborhood schools.

The Challenges APS Faces in the 2020 Elementary School Boundary Process

The first phase of the boundary process is a planning process to address the challenge of using all elementary schools to full capacity given the imbalance between where elementary school students live and the available neighborhood seats across the county. APS seeks to do this in a way that makes efficient use of resources and keeps the majority of students in each school community together.

  • Enrollment projections for 2023-24 show rapid growth of elementary school students concentrated along the major transportation corridors, including Rosslyn-Ballston, Columbia Pike andGap Between Projected ES and Future Seats in SY 2023-24 Route 1, where APS does not have enough neighborhood school seats.
  • The opening of the new elementary school at Reed will create a surplus of neighborhood elementary school seats in one part of the county (see map 2: Gap Between Projected Elementary Students and Future Seats in SY 2023-24).
  • The map uses 2023-24 enrollment projections to show where the numbers of elementary school students is expected to grow in comparison to where APS has neighborhood seats.
  • Zone 1 is projected to have more permanent seats than students (+116 seats) due to the additional 725 seats available with the opening of Reed in 2021.
    • Zones 2 through 4 are projected to have a combined need for 906 seats (Fall 2023-24).
    • Among these zones, the greatest need for seats (-399) are slated for the six schools in the vicinity of the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor (Zone 2), followed by nine schools in the vicinity of the Columbia Pike corridor (Zone 3), and the two schools in the U.S. 1 corridor (Zone 4).
    • Revisions to the Options & Transfers policy in 2017 changed the designation of a neighborhood/option school in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor (Immersion) to an option school (without the neighborhood guarantee).

What-If: Potential Impacts on the Upcoming Boundary Process

This Representative Boundary Scenario map (formerly the What-If Scenario for Planning for the 2020 Elementary Boundary Process) is a visual representation of a “what Elementary School Planning for 2021if” scenario that shows what boundaries could potentially look like in September 2021, given the challenges APS faces today. This map demonstrates, for discussion purposes, the long, extended boundaries that would be required if APS uses existing schools efficiently (to maximum capacity).

For example, under this scenario:

  • Approximately 4,000+ or 38% of all neighborhood elementary students would be reassigned to a new school;
  • Nearly half of neighborhood schools would lose some of their walkable planning units;
  • Almost 700 students who currently could walk to their neighborhood schools would be eligible for bus transportation, adding approximately 12 buses to our fleet of almost 200 buses.
  • No option schools would move

Observations:

  • Almost every boundary is changed except for Drew, Hoffman-Boston, Oakridge, Randolph
  • ASFS is located within its boundary
  • Ashlawn and McKinley have long & extended boundaries
  • Ashlawn’s boundary is split into two separate sections
  • Carlin Springs is located outside of its boundary

Goals for Elementary Planning and Preparing for 30,000 Students

  • Keep as many students together in each school community as possible;
  • Enable walking to neighborhood schools as much as possible;
  • Use all existing elementary schools to full capacity;
  • Meet needs for seats in high-growth areas;
  • Develop a plan that best utilizes existing school facilities located on available land in the county but not always matching where neighborhood seats are needed for current and projected growth; and
  • Consider options that will best address recent student enrollment projections, which indicate that up to three new elementary schools may be needed in the next 10 years.

What Can We Do Differently?

Two draft proposals explore moving some countywide option schools for 2021-22 school year. Decisions will establish framework and foundation for the Fall 2020 Elementary Boundary Process.

School Moves Proposal 1:Elementary School Planning for 2021

  • Majority of McKinley students moves to Reed
  • Arlington Traditional moves to McKinley building
  • Key Immersion moves to Arlington Traditional building
  • Key building becomes a neighborhood school

This proposal would:

  • keep more McKinley students together (40% of McKinley students live in Reed walk zone);
  • allows about 100 more students, including siblings, to enroll in ATS from its waitlist;
  • places Immersion in a central location;
  • creates neighborhood seats in high-growth Rosslyn area; and
  • allows future capital efforts to focus on Columbia Pike area.

If this proposal is adopted, then the following is expected in the 2020 boundary process:

  • More than 2,400 or about 23% of all neighborhood elementary school students would be reassigned to another school
  • About 18% of elementary neighborhood school students who live in a walk zone would become eligible for a bus
  • Two countywide option schools would be moved

School Moves Proposal 2:Elementary School Planning for 2021

  • Majority of McKinley students move to Reed
  • Arlington Traditional moves to McKinley building
  • Campbell Expeditionary Learning moves to the Arlington Traditional building
  • Key Immersion moves to Carlin Springs building
  • Majority of Carlin Springs students move to Campbell
  • Campbell building becomes a neighborhood school
  • Key building becomes a neighborhood school

This proposal would:

  • Keep more McKinley students together (40% of McKinley students live in Reed walk zone);
  • Allows about 100 more students, including siblings, to enroll in ATS from its waitlist;
  • Moves Campbell Expeditionary Learning to a central location;
  • Moves Immersion to an area with a high number of Spanish speakers;
  • Moves the majority of Carlin Springs students to a walkable neighborhood school at Campbell;
  • Creates neighborhood seats in high-growth Rosslyn area; and
  • Allows future capital efforts to focus on Columbia Pike area

If this proposal is adopted, then the following is expected in the 2020 boundary process:

  • More than 2,100 or about 20% of all neighborhood elementary school students would be reassigned to another school
  • About 13% of elementary neighborhood school students who live in a walk zone would become eligible for a bus
  • Three countywide option schools would be moved

Community Engagement – November 2019 Through January 2020

  • The proposals under consideration may be revised after APS gathers input from stakeholders, and any new proposals will be shared with the community.
  • Continuous updates to Engage page, including regular additions to FAQs and community input posts
  • Weekly updates to APS School Ambassadors
  • Social media posts with graphics, link to Engage page and video, featuring engagement dates
  • School Talk messages
  • Text messages for important, time-sensitive alerts
  • Video on APS Engage and AETV, social media (English with Spanish subtitles)
  • Visit www.apsva.us/engage to view the proposals, timeline, infographic, maps, handouts and other background information.

Community Engagement Activities

DATE ACTIVITY
Oct. 30 Fall Meeting with APS Ambassadors and PTA Presidents

Nov. 5 Online Information Sessions (English/Spanish) available via APS Engage, AETV, Facebook ​
Nov. 6 CIP Work Session​, 7-9 p.m. (Syphax Education Center, 2110 Washington Blvd)
Nov. 15, 22 “Friday Facebook Live” video with new FAQs
Dec. 6 “Friday Facebook Live” video with new FAQs
Dec. 9 “What We Heard” Community Meeting (Swanson, 7 p.m.—LIVE BROADCAST) ​
 Dec. 10 “What We Heard” Community Meeting (Central Library, 6:30 p.m.) ​
Dec. 13 “What We Heard” Online Webinar (12-1 p.m.) ​
Dec. 16 Spanish “What We Heard” Community Meeting (Kenmore, 7 p.m.)

School Board Action Timeline

  • Jan. 9, 2020: Staff will present final revised scenarios to the School Board for Information
  • Jan. 30, 2020: School Board Public Hearing on the final proposal(s)
  • Feb. 6, 2020: School Board is scheduled to take action on final proposal(s)

Frequently Asked Questions (Updated Nov. 11)

Frequently Asked Questions (English)

Preguntas Frecuentes (FAQs, por sus siglas en inglés)

Resources

Sept. 30 2019 enrollment data

Oct. 31 News Release

Analysis of Walk Zones for the number of elementary school students who reside in a planning unit within a school walk zone, even if they attend a different school

Analysis of Students Moving looks at the schools students currently attend, separated by neighborhood and option schools, and compares the change to students attending neighborhood schools based on each proposal, and adjusting the neighborhood schools in line with the proposal

Pre-K & Elementary Options & Transfers Application Data School Year 2019-20

Arlington Facilities and Student Accommodation Plan (AFSAP)

School Capacity (p.25) and Inventory of Relocatable Classrooms (p.56) in the 2019 AFSAP

Elementary School Expanded Walk Zones 

Transportation 101: Video Presentation on transportation system overview, ridership statistics and ongoing challenges (presentation in PDF)

2019-20 Bus Counts per School

Current 2019-20 Elementary Boundaries