Reopening Frequently Asked Questions

We are working to address all the questions being submitted via our online form.

See FAQ: By Topic | By School Level

Answers by Topic:

    • Return-to-School Plan

      • Will APS provide childcare for families who need it?

        Posted July 31

        APS is working with the County and partners in the community to identify childcare availability for families. This may take some time because of the need for providers to meet licensing requirements. Possibilities may include facilities provided through local nonprofits such as the YMCA or private childcare centers.

        How will APS provide meals to students when the school year begins with virtual learning?

        Posted July 31

        APS has provided a grab-n-go meals service to children throughout the summer. Once the summer meals program ends and the 2020-21 school year begins on September 8 with virtual learning for all students, the national school lunch program starts back up to provide free meals (breakfast and lunch) to APS students. As we continue to plan for the return to school, we will reassess students’ needs and school schedules, and consider adjustments such as expanding the number of meal distribution sites. More details will be shared in August.

        Could school buses and drivers be deployed to deliver food to homes or closer than the current distribution sites?

        Posted July 31

        As we update the meals distribution process for the fall, APS will consider adjustments to how we provide free meals to students, including potentially expanding the number of meal distribution sites and other operating logistics. More information will be shared with families in August.

        What will happen with Extended Day staff in the coming school year?

        Posted July 31

        The Superintendent has recommended that staff who cannot carry out their regularly assigned duties via telework, but have a regular schedule and pay, continue to be paid through the first quarter (which ends Nov. 2). This includes Extended Day staff, bus drivers and attendants, and food service staff. Dr. Durán stated that APS will try to find possibilities for these staff to work in different, temporary roles to meet student and family needs during full-time distance learning, potentially by providing direct support to connect with students and families regarding access and engagement, helping with childcare needs or virtual social-emotional learning student activities and support. More communications will be sent to staff soon.

        Can elementary schools assign students based on pods that families have created?

        Posted July 31

        APS cannot assign or reassign students based on pods that have been created by families. Given the disproportionate staff and student preferences, among other planning factors which are unique to each student, program, and school, APS will not be able to accommodate pod requests.

        What is the specific criteria that will be considered in making a decision to move to the hybrid learning instructional model?

        Posted July 28

        There is no single metric or data point, but rather a range of operational and health and safety criteria we evaluate daily. Those criteria include student instructional preference and employee work preference; global supply chain availability of essential health and safety equipment, including PPE and custodial supplies; local, regional and national COVID-19 health metrics, including positive case rates, hospitalizations, and death rates; and local, state and federal health guidance.

        Why did APS change the plan for the beginning of the year?

        Updated July 22

        APS has changed the start of the 2020-21 school year from August 31 to September 8, and will begin the year with all students in the full-time distance learning model, due to health and safety concerns and our monitoring of local and national trends in COVID-19 cases. APS is working closely with state health officials, the Arlington County Public Health Division, and neighboring Northern Virginia school divisions to use the most up-to-date information in planning for the return to school. Throughout our planning, the health and safety of our staff and students has been our top priority. Pausing the hybrid model and beginning the year with a virtual model allows us to continue to monitor the situation and devote all resources to strong full-time distance learning instruction for all students until we are confident it is safe to return. More information will be shared as details become available.

        When will APS begin to transition students into school as part of the hybrid model?

        Posted July 19

        APS is committed to honoring the needs and preferences of families who have selected the hybrid instructional model for their students for 2020-21, when conditions allow students and staff to safely return to school facilities. We will continue to monitor the health data in September, with the goal of beginning to transition some staff and students to in-person instruction in early October, which is the mid-point in the first quarter of the school year. Our goal is to have hybrid in-person instruction in place for all families that have selected that model by the beginning of the second quarter, based on health data and in consultation with health officials.  APS is working closely with state health officials, the Arlington County Public Health Division and neighboring Northern Virginia school divisions to use the most up-to-date information in planning for the return to school.

        How does the Full-Time Distance Learning model differ from the distance learning students received in the fourth quarter of the 2019-20 school year?

        Updated July 15

        The Full-Time Distance Learning model will be very different than what was offered in the spring. In this model in which all students will start the year:

        • Students will receive interactive, teacher-led/synchronous instruction four days per week, Tuesday through Friday. This means daily interaction with teachers.
        • Classes will follow a daily schedule similar to a normal school day.
        • New instructional content will be taught, work will be graded, and attendance will be taken.
        • Students will have opportunities for small-group work with teachers and peers.
        • All students in grades PreK-12 will be issued devices, and through our agreement with Comcast, the Comcast Essentials internet package is available to families who may not have had internet access.
        • Comprehensive specialized services for English Learners, Special Education and Gifted students will be provided, including robust special education services (counseling, speech, OT, PT).
        • Secondary students will have regular advisory periods (daily at middle school, weekly at high school).
        • Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) will be delivered through synchronous interaction with teachers and counselors.
        • English Learner students will be able to engage in four language domains – speaking, listening, reading and writing.
        • Parent Academies will be offered, with training and resources for parents to support learning at home.

        What is the date of the start of the second quarter?

        Posted July 14

        The first quarter ends November 2, and the 3rd is a grade prep day. The second quarter is scheduled to start on November 4.

        What will APS be doing during the time between August 24 and September 8?

        Posted July 14

        APS teachers and staff begin as planned on August 24 and will engage in continued professional learning and training during the two weeks leading up to the start of school, to further prepare for a strong full-distance learning start to the new school year.

        Will in-home instruction and support be provided to students?

        Posted July 20

        Due to the lack of control of all variables in the home setting, we are unable to implement a safe plan to send service providers into students’ homes at this time. In-home service providers include homebound teachers, nurses, one-to-one assistants, related service providers, etc. Students who are unable to attend in-person school due to medical needs, once the hybrid model has been implemented, will continue in the full distance learning model and receive instruction virtually.

        What if COVID-19 cases in our area increase or other factors change?

        Posted July 1

        The plan for resuming in-person instruction assumes that Virginia will be in Phase 3 for the start of school. If there is a resurgence of the COVID-19 virus that requires a closure of schools or an individual school, all students would participate in full-time distance learning. APS will continue to follow CDC, Virginia Department of Health and Arlington County Public Health Division guidance to determine future changes that are necessary.

        How will concepts that were not taught in the 4th quarter of 2019-20, due to school closures, be taught in the 2020-21 year?

        Posted July 8

        The essential content that was not covered during the fourth quarter in the spring will be incorporated throughout the 2020-21 school year for elementary school and secondary school sequential courses. (Sequential courses build from one course to the next, such as Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 or Algebra 2 to Precalculus.) Curriculum and pacing guides have been adjusted accordingly.

        What is the difference between synchronous and asynchronous instruction?

        Posted July 1

        Synchronous learning is interactive, two-way online or distance education that happens in real time with a teacher, whereas asynchronous learning occurs virtually online and through prepared resources, without real-time teacher-led interaction. Both instructional delivery models will incorporate a blend of these two delivery methods for distance learning.

        Why did APS choose Monday for teacher planning and distance learning, versus Wednesday, which would allow a full day for cleaning and sanitation in between student groups?

        Posted July 1

        Our custodial staff will be providing thorough cleaning every night that follows guidance from the CDC, Virginia Department of Health, School Health and the local health department. The recommended plan as presented was reviewed by our local health department, and health officials assured us it was in accordance with CDC and VDH guidance. All safety procedures for cleaning facilities will be submitted to the state for review. Additionally, since several federal holidays occur on Mondays, this is the least disruptive option and aligns with other school divisions in Northern Virginia.

        What is the status of high school sports for the upcoming school year?

        Updated July 27

        The VHSL executive committee voted to delay the start of the 2020-21 high school sports season by implementing a compressed sports schedule that would run, as of now, from Dec. 14-June 26. The schedule as posted below would begin with the winter sports season followed by the fall sports season and end with the spring sports season. The dates for each season are based on current Phase 3 information and guidance. Those dates could change if the guidance changes.

        • Season 1 (Winter) Dec. 14 to Feb. 20 (First Contest Date–December 28): Basketball, Gymnastics, Indoor Track, Swim/Dive, Wrestling.
        • Season 2 (Fall) Feb. 15 to May 1 (First Contest Date–March 1): Cheer, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Football, Golf, Volleyball.
        • Season 3 (Spring) April 12 to June 26 (First Contest Date–April 26): Baseball, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Track and Field.

        More information is available on the VHSL website at www.vhsl.org.

    • Selection Process

      • What were the responses from families to the survey about selecting an instructional delivery method?

        Posted July 31

        In response to the July 6-20 survey about instructional delivery preferences, APS received responses for 21,870, or 79%, of students. The responses were as follows:

        • Selected Distance Model = 25% (6,829)
        • Selected Hybrid Model =  54%(15,041)
        • Defaulted to Hybrid Model = 21% (the families of 5,924 students did not make a selection and were placed in the hybrid model as the default option)

        This information and a breakdown of family responses by student subgroup can be found in Dr. Durán’s Monitoring Report at the July 30 School Board meeting.

        What were the responses from teachers to the survey about selecting an instructional delivery method?

        Posted July 31

        APS received responses from 2,523, or 90%, of the teachers in the July 6-20 T-scale staff survey about instructional delivery preferences. The responses were as follows:

        • Selected Distance Model = 55% (1,396)
        • Selected In-person Instruction = 33% (836)
        • Indicated No Preference = 11% (276)
        • Indicated Would Leave/Resign/Retire = 1% (14)

        This information and a summary of responses from other school-based staff and Central Office staff can be found in Dr. Durán’s Monitoring Report at the July 30 School Board meeting.

        How is APS using the information from the ParentVUE selection process given the switch to a virtual start? Will students be grouped into classes in distance learning based on those selections?

        Updated July 24

        That information will be used now to build master schedules and plan staffing for the start of school. Principals plan to group students via the model selected by their parents and with teachers who have selected the same model (there will be instances when this will not be possible given the disproportionate staff and student preferences). Principals will also work to group students heterogeneously by academic skill and social-emotional needs as they have in previous years, as this is best practice. Our first priority is to ensure that students have rich and supportive learning experiences no matter what model they choose.

        How are student groups assigned in the hybrid model? Will siblings be paired together?

        Posted July 1

        Decisions regarding schedules and student group assignments for each school will be made centrally based on multiple factors. Siblings will be assigned to the same in-school schedule to simplify family arrangements, when possible. Details regarding student assignments and scheduling will be finalized and communicated in August once family selections are received and processed.

        How do I reset my ParentVUE password?

        Posted July 10

        Families are able to click the “Forgot your password? Click here.” Option on the ParentVUE login screen. You will then be prompted to enter your email address to receive the password reset link. The email should be received within 10 minutes and may be sent to your junk/spam folder. Try this process again if you do not receive the email after 10 minutes. If you still do not receive the email to reset your password or have issues resetting your password, please contact the main office at your student’s school. The ParentVUE Password Reset Guide shows how to reset your ParentVUE password.

        How can parents access ParentVue for rising Kindergarten students?

        Posted July 7

        All parents should have received a ParentVUE activation key from the school registrar at the time that they registered their student. If parents did not receive that activation key, they should contact the school’s registrar to get one.

        Will families that register after July 20 be able to select their instructional delivery method?

        Updated July 23

        Families that register after the July 20 deadline will have the opportunity to select their instructional delivery method during the registration process. When school registrars conduct the registration interview, they will ask a family to select their instructional delivery method at that time. If families would like to change their instructional delivery method, there will be an opportunity to do so when the window reopens for families to reconfirm or change their selection before school buildings reopen for students.

    • Full-Time Distance Model

      • How does the Full-Time Distance Learning model differ from the distance learning students received in the fourth quarter of the 2019-20 school year?

        Updated July 15

        The Full-Time Distance Learning model will be very different than what was offered in the spring. In this model in which all students will start the year:

        • Students will receive interactive, teacher-led/synchronous instruction four days per week, Tuesday through Friday. This means daily interaction with teachers.
        • Classes will follow a daily schedule similar to a normal school day.
        • New instructional content will be taught, work will be graded, and attendance will be taken.
        • Students will have opportunities for small-group work with teachers and peers.
        • All students in grades PreK-12 will be issued devices, and through our agreement with Comcast, the Comcast Essentials internet package is available to families who may not have had internet access.
        • Comprehensive specialized services for English Learners, Special Education and Gifted students will be provided, including robust special education services (counseling, speech, OT, PT).
        • Secondary students will have regular advisory periods (daily at middle school, weekly at high school).
        • Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) will be delivered through synchronous interaction with teachers and counselors.
        • English Learner students will be able to engage in four language domains – speaking, listening, reading and writing.
        • Parent Academies will be offered, with training and resources for parents to support learning at home.

        How will concepts that were not taught in the 4th quarter of 2019-20, due to school closures, be taught in the 2020-21 year?

        Posted July 8

        The essential content that was not covered during the fourth quarter in the spring will be incorporated throughout the 2020-21 school year for elementary school and secondary school sequential courses. (Sequential courses build from one course to the next, such as Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 or Algebra 2 to Precalculus.) Curriculum and pacing guides have been adjusted accordingly.

        Since students have been learning virtually since March, will APS consider offering synchronous instruction on Mondays as well, and expanding the school day to include more instructional time?

        Posted July 22

        Our first priority is to ensure that our students have a robust, engaging and supportive learning environment when they start in the full distance learning model in the fall. In order to do this, it important to recognize that the full distance learning model requires teachers to deliver synchronous instruction via an online platform while engaging young children and adolescents whose attention spans and developing executive functioning are not naturally equipped to learn in this manner. Teachers will need additional planning time in order develop strategies to engage their students in dialogue, build community and provide immediate interventions when they recognize their students need help or need extensions. Teachers will also need to use Mondays to prepare for the transition to the hybrid model.

        What is included in the full-time distance learning model?

        Posted July 1

        Students engage in synchronous, teacher-led instruction four times per week (Tuesday-Friday). Monday is designated for teacher planning and small group or individual interventions, which are provided synchronously. All students will participate in independent/asynchronous learning on Monday. Specific schedules for each grade level are in development and will be based on the input received during the family selection process taking place July 6-20. Learning opportunities by grade level include:

        • Elementary school: Teachers provide direct, synchronous instruction, in an amount similar to the hybrid model, in Language Arts, math, science, social studies, and specials (Art, Music, PE). Additional instruction will be provided for English Learners, as required. APS will provide additional support for Special Education students to meet IEP requirements. Students will also receive weekly Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons. Daily office hours with counselors, social workers and psychologists are available by appointment.
        • Middle school: Teachers provide direct, synchronous instruction, in an amount similar to the hybrid model. APS will provide specialized instruction for English Learners, as needed, and additional support to Special Education students to meet IEP requirements.
        • High school: High school students in this model will enroll in online courses taught by APS teachers and outside course providers. Instruction time will meet all VDOE graduation requirements. APS contracts multiple outside providers, such as Virtual Virginia and Edmentum, to broaden online learning opportunities for students. APS will provide accommodations for Students with Disabilities and 504 Plans. Special Education case carriers ensure accommodations are being provided. APS will provide specialized instruction for English Learners, as required. Designated APS teachers or site-based counselors will serve as course monitors to ensure appropriate pacing and assignment completion. Students receive weekly Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons, and daily office hours with counselors, social workers and psychologists will be available by appointment.

        How will APS support our youngest learners in the full-time distance model?

        Posted July 20

        We recognize that the full distance learning model presents challenges for our youngest learners. The Department of Teaching & Learning’s Early Childhood team is working with school leadership to review national models and research into best practices for virtual learning for young learners and build a schedule based on the developmental needs of pre-k-2 learners. The draft schedule presented will likely be tweaked but some of the elements of online learning will include:

        • Community building with a focus on connection with peers and the teaching staff with social-emotional learning built into the framework.
        • A routine and consistent structure for synchronous learning. The morning will begin with a Morning Meeting at a consistent time each day. The day will also have built in breaks for students to take movement/gross motor breaks, snack, lunch.
        • Literacy and math mini-lessons as well as small group instruction in order to provide formative information about student learning and subsequent instruction. We recognize our kindergarteners will come to us with various levels of preparedness for kindergarten.
        • Content time to address social studies and science in a fun and engaging manner virtually.
        • Specials will be provided during the day giving students a balanced day during their virtual experience.
        • Specific lessons at the beginning of the school year designed to teach young learners about how to use the IPAD during Teams and Seesaw as well as proper etiquette while engaging online (muting mics, taking turns, etc.) with their classmates. It is our hope that by doing these lessons, it creates more independence so that parents and caregivers can attend to work or other needed tasks.

        We are committed to providing a rich and engaging learning experience for our young learners as we return to school in the full distance learning model. A sample schedule is available online.

        Will APS reduce tuition fees for Pre-K Montessori and CPP?

        Posted July 23

        Primary Montessori and CPP fees help fund staffing and student materials. Students enrolled in these programs will receive 5 hours and 20 minutes of synchronous and asynchronous instruction Tuesday through Friday, as well as one hour of instruction on Mondays. A sample schedule is available online.  Because students enrolled in these programs will receive the same amount of instruction as students in PreK-5, APS cannot reduce tuition fees.

        What support will be provided for English Learners and Special Education students?

        Posted July 1

        For all grade levels, additional instruction will be provided to English learners as required and additional instruction and specialized services will be provided for Special Education students based on Individualized Education Plans (IEPs).

        Will students in the full-time distance learning program still be a part of the school they would normally attend?

        Posted July 1

        APS will make every effort to group students and teachers from their school of record. Final groupings and assignments will be based on available staff and student enrollment. For example, if a given school had only 5 staff elect to teach virtually, but a large group of students enrolled in full-time distance learning, staff from other schools may need to be assigned for some courses. More information will be available at the beginning of August, when we have student enrollment numbers and staffing selections, and can begin to create master schedules and student groupings.

        How will immersion be handled via distance learning?

        Posted July 11
        • Elementary school: In order to ensure that students are able to engage in the four domains of language learning -speaking, listening, reading and writing – the Dual Language Immersion learning and resources will be delivered by Claremont and Key teachers consistently via the two models – hybrid in-person and distance learning and full distance learning. This means that:
          • Teachers and students in both models will be able to access the same learning activities and resources via the same Canvas courses.
          • Students in the distance learning model will practice speaking and listening synchronously with their teachers just as students in the hybrid model will do so when they are in-person with their teachers.
          • Teachers in both models will plan with one another via Collaborative Learning Teams (CLTs) so that their lessons, assessments and interventions will be similar.

          This will allow consistency of experience for students in each model.

        • Secondary school: Staff will be able to deliver learning experiences focused on student engagement by speaking, listening, reading and writing in Spanish via both the hybrid and distance learning models.

        What specifically will be done for students in the full-time distance learning model to make and build connections in their school’s community, with their teachers, staff, and classmates?

        Posted July 11

        Each school will have orientation events for incoming students and families regardless of the model in which they are enrolled. Students in the full distance learning model will be enrolled in their school of record and will receive school-specific communications about upcoming events and activities – many of which may be virtual. As part of their back to school routine building, teachers will hep build community through morning meetings at the elementary level and through advisory periods at the middle and high school levels.

        Will CTE courses be offered in the full-time distance learning model?

        Posted July 20

        All Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses will be offered at the comprehensive high schools and other programs and at the Career Center per the 2020-21 program of studies. When we start the school year via full distance learning, students enrolled in full-time programs at the Career Center (Academic Academy, Arlington Tech, English Learner Institute, and PEP) and at the comprehensive high schools and other programs will be able to take the CTE courses offered by teachers based at the Career Center via distance learning.

        When we transition to the hybrid model, students enrolled in the comprehensive high schools and other programs taking courses at the Career Center will continue to take these classes via live streaming to their high school. Students will not be transported to and from the Career Center until it is safe to intermix students from different schools. The elements of lab work that are a required part of these courses will be addressed by teachers via their syllabus. Students enrolled in CTE courses that are offered at their high schools will continue to engage with these classes at their school and will be able to engage in lab work.

        The CTE office is working to find virtual options for CTE classes to enhance the distance learning experience. This information will be posted within the week.

        Will high school distance learning be provided by APS teachers or through an outside provider?

        Posted July 1

        Synchronous distance learning at the high school level will be offered primarily by APS high school teachers. Most high school students will be able to take their courses through APS teachers. We also contract with outside providers, such as Virtual Virginia and Edmentum, to expand the course offerings available to students. Some high school students may choose to take a course that is not offered by APS, through an outside provider.

        What is the difference between an APS-taught course for high school and one taught by an outside vendor?

        Posted July 20

        APS students enrolled in a course taught by an APS teacher during full-time distance learning will receive both synchronous and asynchronous instruction. Courses offered through outside vendors MAY include both synchronous and asynchronous instruction, but synchronous instruction is not guaranteed in these environments. We will work with families to identify the most appropriate outside vendor if we are unable to assign a student to an APS teacher.

        Will APS teachers from the students’ specific schools be the first and primary choice for teaching full-time distance classes for high school students, rather than Virtual Virginia and the other partners with whom APS works?

        Posted July 8

        Yes, we intend to have APS teachers teaching students from their building whenever possible. When it is not possible for students to be enrolled in a distance learning course taught by a teacher from their home school, we will attempt to assign the student to an APS teacher located at another school. In instances where we are unable to identify an APS teacher or the number of students enrolled is very low, we will seek to use an outside vendor.

        For classes delivered by Virtual Virginia or one of the other providers with whom APS partners, what specifically is the role that the “monitoring” teacher from their school will fulfill?

        Posted July 8

        The monitor will be responsible for helping students progress through coursework in a timely manner. Monitors, as well as parents, will receive regular notifications from vendors informing them of the student’s progress. If it is determined that the student is not progressing in a way that suggests that they will complete the course in the time allotted, the mentor will be expected to engage the student and the parent to devise a plan to improve their performance.

        Will intensified classes be offered for the full-time distance model for high school students?

        Posted July 8

        Yes. We will offer intensified, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate (to students enrolled at Washington-Liberty High School), and Dual Enrollment courses through our full-time distance learning program.

        What technology will be used to keep parents in the loop for full-time distance learners (e.g. will we still get ParentVUE updates)?

        Posted July 8

        APS students enrolled in distance learning courses with APS teachers will use the Synergy grade book and updates will be available to parents through ParentVUE just as they were when students attended in-person classes. In instances where courses are taught by outside providers, parents will be updated on their child’s progress through access to the provider’s grading platform and emails from teachers, as well as communications from their APS mentor (school counselor or designated APS teacher).

    • Hybrid Model

      • What is the specific criteria that will be considered in making a decision to move to the hybrid learning instructional model?

        Posted July 28

        There is no single metric or data point, but rather a range of operational and health and safety criteria we evaluate daily. Those criteria include student instructional preference and employee work preference; global supply chain availability of essential health and safety equipment, including PPE and custodial supplies; local, regional and national COVID-19 health metrics, including positive case rates, hospitalizations, and death rates; and local, state and federal health guidance.

        How will concepts that were not taught in the 4th quarter of 2019-20, due to school closures, be taught in the 2020-21 year?

        Posted July 8

        The essential content that was not covered during the fourth quarter in the spring will be incorporated throughout the 2020-21 school year for elementary school and secondary school sequential courses. (Sequential courses build from one course to the next, such as Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 or Algebra 2 to Precalculus.) Curriculum and pacing guides have been adjusted accordingly.

        What is included in the hybrid model?

        Posted July 1

        Students return to school with physical distancing measures two days/week. Students engage in asynchronous, self-directed distance learning on the other three days. In the hybrid model, elementary students focus on literacy, numeracy, Social Studies, Science, specials (Art, Music, PE). Middle & high school students will participate in all courses which they selected in early spring via block schedule. Special education services will be provided in-person and virtually. English Learners will receive direct support in-person and virtually. Transportation will be provided with physical distancing.

        How are student groups assigned in the hybrid model? Will siblings be paired together?

        Updated July 24

        Principals plan to group students via the model selected by their parents and with teachers who have selected the same model (there will be instances when this will not be possible given the disproportionate staff and student preferences). Principals will also work to group students heterogeneously by academic skill and social-emotional needs as they have in previous years, as this is best practice. Our first priority is to ensure that students have rich and supportive learning experiences no matter what model they choose.

        What types of activities will students engage in while at home in the hybrid model?

        Posted July 1

        Distance learning complements in-school learning using online curriculum resources and instructional tasks assigned by teachers. Students will engage in assignments and activities that explore new content on both in-school and distance learning days. On distance learning days, students will engage in a variety of dynamic learning opportunities, such as small group work, viewing the video introduction of new content, independent practice and purposeful interaction with peers.

        Will CTE courses be offered in the hybrid model?

        Posted July 20

        All Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses will be offered at the comprehensive high schools and other programs and at the Career Center per the 2020-21 program of studies. When we start the school year via full distance learning, students enrolled in full-time programs at the Career Center (Academic Academy, Arlington Tech, English Learner Institute, and PEP) and at the comprehensive high schools and other programs will be able to take the CTE courses offered by teachers based at the Career Center via distance learning.

        When we transition to the hybrid model, students enrolled in the comprehensive high schools and other programs taking courses at the Career Center will continue to take these classes via live streaming to their high school. Students will not be transported to and from the Career Center until it is safe to intermix students from different schools. The elements of lab work that are a required part of these courses will be addressed by teachers via their syllabus. Students enrolled in CTE courses that are offered at their high schools will continue to engage with these classes at their school and will be able to engage in lab work.

        The CTE office is working to find virtual options for CTE classes to enhance the distance learning experience. This information will be posted within the week.

        Will the in-school days still start and end at the regular times in the hybrid model?

        Posted July 1

        The instructional time for the hybrid model will be the same as a regular school day. However, distancing requirements on buses may require staggered start and end times, so the school day may start or end at different times than usual for some groups of students. More information will be available at the beginning of August, when we have enrollment numbers and can actually schedule the bus routes.

        Will Extended Day operate as usual for the hybrid model?

        Posted July 1

        The APS Return-to-School Task Force is continuing to create detailed plans for a safe return to school, including considerations regarding Extended Day. But, at this time no decision has been made regarding the operation of Extended Day.

        What is the maximum number of students in an in-person class, in the hybrid model?

        Posted July 7

        There is no set maximum number of students per classroom. Each classroom’s furniture will be set to maintain six-foot distances; due to variations in buildings and classrooms, some classrooms may have larger capacities than others.

        How will PreK Montessori be structured in this new environment since it’s very tactile and hands-on? Will tuition be prorated to reflect 2 days a week of in-person instruction?

        Posted July 7

        PreK Montessori will focus on use of materials in the two days of in-person instruction. On distance learning days, students will have follow-up work that can be done with at-home tools they will be given. Students will participate in recess and specials during in-person learning days. There will be more information to follow on Montessori tuition.

        For middle and high school, on the 2 days of in-person learning, will the students only have 1 class with each subject’s teacher? Does this vary by high school?

        Posted July 8

        Yes, students will have one in-person class period with each teacher on their schedule. While there may be slight differences at each school, this will be a consistent thread among all APS high schools.

        Will face coverings (masks) be required?

        Updated July 31

        All APS employees and students will be required to wear a face covering (mask) while inside the building unless medically exempt. These face coverings will be reusable and should be washed before each use to remain effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Circumstances will exist (i.e., eating, drinking, etc.) where face coverings/masks may have to be removed for a limited time. Six-foot distances must be maintained during these exceptions.

        What health screenings will be required?

        Posted July 1

        All employees and students will go through a daily health screening process, including temperature checks, before participating in any in-person activities at APS. This includes riding the bus, entering the school, or participating in a conditioning workout for VHSL sports. Employee screenings will be logged, using our visitor management system, and student attendance will be used as the log for students.

        Will APS provide transportation for in-school days in the hybrid model?

        Posted July 1

        Yes, APS will provide modified bus transportation to eligible students in the hybrid model. Bus service will look very different to accommodate reduced capacities to ensure social and physical distancing is maintained.

    • Special Education

      • How does APS plan to provide special education services with distance learning at the start of the school year?

        Posted July 16

        IEP and 504 teams will meet to adjust services and supports to align with the virtual instructional model, starting in August. Special education eligibility assessments and re-evaluations will be conducted in a virtual format starting in the fall. The student support process will continue virtually.

        For special education purposes, we are basing IEP hours of service on 24 hours of synchronous instruction a week – PreK-12. Individualized, specially designed instruction will be provided that aligns with students’ IEP services and goals, as well as small group instruction within the general education virtual classroom. Progress will be monitored on an ongoing basis to identify successes and opportunities to intensify support, if needed. Teletherapy and coaching models will be used to deliver related services such as counseling, speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy. Consultative sessions with parents and caregivers will be provided by related service providers and special educators.

        Will in-home instruction and support be provided to students?

        Posted July 20

        Due to the lack of control of all variables in the home setting, we are unable to implement a safe plan to send service providers into students’ homes at this time. In-home service providers include homebound teachers, nurses, one-to-one assistants, related service providers, etc. Students who are unable to attend in-person school due to medical needs, once the hybrid model has been implemented, will continue in the full distance learning model and receive instruction virtually.

        Will my child’s IEP be implemented?

        Posted July 1

        When school begins with all students using distance learning, students will receive virtual direct services to address their executive functioning IEP goals as outlined in the students’ IEPs. Instructional Assistants will provide additional support for students to address executive functioning skills, social-emotional support, and academic assistance. Identification of students who require make-up services will be done by assessing students and determining areas of regression.

        Once students are phased into the instructional model that their families selected, the services will be handled as follows:

        • Hybrid Model: IEP hours will be implemented in a combination of in-person and virtual support. The goal is to try and reserve to the extent possible in person instructional time to the core content areas. Related services will try to be provided via tele-therapy when appropriate. In some cases, it will be provided on the two days of in-person instruction.
        • Full-Time Distance Learning Model: IEP hours will be implemented virtually.

        Will I be able to have an IEP meeting to add services/accommodations to support Distance Learning?

        Posted July 1

        Yes, case carriers will be reaching out to families to schedule meetings in the fall to make any needed adjustments. If APS can, we will also offer summer meetings. That is still to be determined.

        How will my child’s executive functioning needs be met?

        Posted July 1
        • Hybrid Model: Students will receive direct services to address their executive functioning IEP goals as outlined in the students’ IEPs.
        • Full-Time Distance Learning Model: Students will receive virtual direct services to address their executive functioning IEP goals as outlined in the students’ IEPs.

        How will my child’s IEP goals on social emotional/behavioral needs be met?

        Posted July 1
        • Hybrid Model: Students will receive direct services to address their social emotional/behavioral IEP goals. Counseling as a Related Services (CARS) will be provided as outlined in the students’ IEPs.
        • Full-Time Distance Learning Model: Students will receive direct services to address their IEP goals. Counseling as a Related Services (CARS) will be provided virtually as outlined in the students’ IEPs.
    • English Learners

      • How will my child be identified for English Learner Services?

        Posted July 1

        All students who register for APS must fill out a Home Language Survey (HLS) as part of their registration process. The responses in the HLS help determine if a child should be screened with a state mandated English language proficiency assessment. The results of the assessment determine if a student is eligible for English learner services. Parents may opt-out of services. A plan is currently being developed for a safe manner of conducting the English language proficiency assessment for newly registered students.

        How will instruction be delivered at the start of the school year in the full-distance model for students who are English Learners?

        Posted July 16

        English Learners (ELs) will receive interactive, synchronous instruction four days per week, which will focus on English language development (based on WIDA Standards) and content attainment (based on Virginia Standards of Learning). Students will have opportunities to use four language domains (reading, writing, speaking, listening), will receive new instructional content, and student work will be graded. EL teachers will collaborate and co-teach with grade-level teachers. There will also be opportunities for peer participation for EL students and opportunities for synchronous pull-out instruction, based on language development needs.

        What can we do at home to help my child develop strong language skills?

        Posted July 1

        Reading in English and/or reading in the students’ home language is a way to improve their language and literacy skills. Once they have read, they can write their thoughts and reflections about what they read. If they are not yet writers, they can talk about what they read with you and explain how they felt about what they read. Asking them questions about it, also helps develop their oral and listening skills. For students who have not yet started reading, having them learn their letters in English or their home language is a great way to start. Always keep in mind that the skills students have in one language transfer to their new language. So, reading, writing, speaking and listening in their home language will help them learn English.

    • Technology

      • Where can students and families get help with a technology question or the APS devices they need for the 2020-21 school year?

        Updated July 31

        Each school will share information with families about how the school will distribute devices to students who do not yet have these. For technical questions, the school’s Instructional Technology Coordinator (ITC) should be the first point of contact. You can find a list of ITC contact emails, as well as information on devices, troubleshooting, internet access and more at: https://www.apsva.us/digital-learning/digital-learning-device-help/. For students who will begin in Grades 6 and 9 in September, please contact the ITC at your new school with technical questions.

        Will APS consider using Zoom instead of Teams during the 2020-21 school year?

        Posted July 28

        APS will continue to use Microsoft Teams for videoconferencing. The Microsoft Teams platform has remained stable despite unprecedented usage growth, and student information is securely protected. It also integrates with other APS tools/platforms like email, file-sharing and intranet.

        Microsoft has listened to the education market. They have rolled out several educational-focused enhancements and have more in the works. In the past few months, they’ve added the “hand raised” feature, the ability for the organizer to take attendance, and an expanded display grid. Microsoft has also added backgrounds and improved noise canceling. This fall they will also add “breakout rooms” to allow small-group work.

        Learn more here:  https://educationblog.microsoft.com/en-us/2020/06/20-updates-for-microsoft-teams-for-education-including-7×7-video-and-breakout-rooms/

        What steps is APS taking to ensure that all students have access to the needed technology for online learning?

        Updated July 31

        We are committed to ensuring all students have a device and reliable internet access at home. For the 2020-21 school year, APS is providing all students PreK–Grade 12 with a device before the new school year begins. In addition, APS will provide students in Grades 6-8 with keypads to use with the APS devices. For those who need Internet access, a grant from Arlington County will allow APS to provide qualified families with one free year of Comcast Internet Essentials. This partnership with Arlington County to provide free internet access to eligible APS families has been extended to include APS Adult Education Program students. All families will receive an information flyer in the mail in early August and schools will serve as the contact points for requesting codes for the free Internet access. APS will continue to provide MiFi’s to students who need internet access but do not qualify for Comcast Internet Essentials.

        What steps has APS taken to date in preparation for distance learning?

        Posted July 1

        Prior to the closure, APS had a 1:1 program for Grades 3-12 students. Throughout the closure, APS took several steps to expand the 1:1 program, beginning with our most vulnerable and highest-need students. First, we expanded the 1:1 device program to PreK-2 English Learner and Special Education students. We then further expanded the program to include Grade K-2 students not reading on grade level and students attending summer school. This fall, we will further expand the program so all K-12 students have a device. In addition, we expanded the MiFi program for students who did not have internet access at home. To date, we have provided 866 MiFis. We have also worked with Comcast and the Arlington County to provide one year of Comcast Internet Essentials to qualified families.

        What technology will be used to keep parents in the loop for full-time distance learners (e.g. will we still get ParentVUE updates)?

        Posted July 8

        APS students enrolled in distance learning courses with APS teachers will use the Synergy grade book and updates will be available to parents through ParentVUE just as they were when students attended in-person classes. In instances where courses are taught by outside providers, parents will be updated on their child’s progress through access to the provider’s grading platform and emails from teachers, as well as communications from their APS mentor (school counselor or designated APS teacher).

    • Social-Emotional and Mental Health

      • How will APS support students’ mental health and well-being as they return to school in the fall?

        Posted July 7

        Supporting the mental health and well-being of all students, whether they are re-entering the classroom or learning at home full time, remains a priority as we plan for the fall. APS will provide weekly Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons for all grade levels and will offer daily office hours with counselors, social workers and psychologists by appointment.

        How will SEL support differ for each learning model?

        Posted July 7

        Students will receive the same support under both models. Whether in the full distance or hybrid model the same lessons will be delivered with the classroom teacher conducting the same practice and reinforcement of social emotional learning. Direct supports to students will also be equally offered under the models.

        What will Social-Emotional Learning lessons entail?

        Posted July 7

        APS uses the Second Step Social Emotional Learning Program to deliver lessons in our elementary and middle schools. The elementary and middle school lessons planned under the models (hybrid and full-time distance) initially focus on emotion management (e.g., handling strong feelings, managing anxiety, and related topics.) Additional lessons will be delivered and are similar to those done during any school year; for example, we will continue to offer bullying prevention and child protection lessons. APS uses Sources of Strength to deliver lessons in our high schools. We plan to include mindfulness videos to supplement our Sources of Strength lessons. The high school lesson delivery will be similar to our plan for K-8.

        What additional services can I expect to be offered if my student struggles with social-emotional concerns?

        Posted July 7

        A site-based mental health team is provided at each APS school. Members of that team can provide individual check-ins when referrals are made by students, parents, teachers and building administrators. These check-ins will be conducted by the individual on that team or by another person in the school who has skills to support the student’s need. These check-ins are arranged by appointment only unless an emergency situation occurs that requires an immediate response. Additional student support services are anticipated such as short-term individual and small group counseling, as well as Tier 2 intervention groups; these services are based on referrals with the understanding that the site based mental health team has limited capacity to provide all services that may be required. In that case parents will be provided with contacts for outside resources. For students who receive counseling as a related service, those services will continue as indicated in the student’s IEP and are provided by the school psychologist or school social worker.

        Will more part-time or full-time social workers be hired at the start of the school year?

        Posted July 11

        While APS will be able to hire one additional social worker this year, we are confident that our social workers have the skill sets, professional knowledge and resources to continue to support our families’ needs during the 20-21 school year.

    • Health & Safety

      • What steps is APS taking to keep teachers, staff and students safe?

        Updated July 31

        The health and safety of APS staff, students and families is the number one consideration in planning for returning to school. APS is aligning our operations to local, state, and federal public health guidance and industry best practices for PreK-12 school operations during COVID-19. The APS health and safety plan for returning to school is being developed in consultation with the Arlington County Public Health Division. Schools and departments are using a template with the latest public health guidance to develop actionable plans for the return to work and school for staff. Health and safety plan highlights include:

        • Physical Distancing: Arlington Public Schools will maintain six-foot distances between individuals to the greatest extent possible for in-person instruction
        • Face coverings (masks) Required: Face coverings, or masks, will continue to be required unless there is a medical exception.
        • Training: All employees will be required to complete a COVID awareness training prior to returning to in-person operations.
        • Hand Sanitizer: Discontinue the practice of prohibiting hand sanitizer use in classrooms for the duration of the COVID pandemic.

        Will face coverings (masks) be required?

        Updated July 31

        All APS employees and students will be required to wear a face covering (mask) while inside the building unless medically exempt. These face coverings will be reusable and should be washed before each use to remain effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Circumstances will exist (i.e., eating, drinking, etc.) where face coverings/masks may have to be removed for a limited time. Six-foot distances must be maintained during these exceptions.

        Will facing coverings be provided?

        Posted July 1

        Yes, APS has purchased cloth face coverings that meet CDC guidance – two for each student and four for each employee. These three-layer cloth face coverings include a filter pocket for replacing filters as necessary; families and employees may purchase at their cost an additional filter to increase their level of protection. Specialized face coverings will be provided for Deaf/Hard of Hearing students and staff, and staff supporting Deaf/Hard of Hearing students. All employees and students will be expected to wear cloth face coverings/masks unless medically exempt while in school and at work.

        What health screenings will be required?

        Posted July 1

        All employees and students will go through a daily health screening process, including temperature checks, before participating in any in-person activities at APS. This includes riding the bus, entering the school, or participating in a conditioning workout for VHSL sports. Employee screenings will be logged, using our visitor management system, and student attendance will be used as the log for students.

        How is APS maintaining physical distancing requirements?

        Posted July 1

        Physical distancing will be maintained to the greatest extent possible. Furniture in classrooms will be set up to maintain ideal six-foot distances. On school buses, physical distancing will be maintained to the greatest extent possible and students will be seated one student per every other seat. APS will implement alternate school assembly methodology and other mass gatherings of non-school and school-based personnel (e.g., streaming, alternating groups). APS is taking measurements of each space now to determine capacities for each classroom and school based on physical distancing guidelines.

        If there is a diagnosis of COVID-19 in a building, what will happen?

        Updated July 10

        APS will work collaboratively with the Arlington County Public Health Division when, and if, a diagnosis of COVID-19 were to be identified in a school. The response to a new diagnosis will follow communicable disease response frameworks and be influenced by the specifics of the case. If notified of a confirmed or presumptive case of COVID-19, APS will follow the direction of the Public Health Division in notifying affected individuals, cleaning and disinfecting appropriate spaces, and providing data to public health to aid their investigation/contact tracing.

        Will parents be restricted from coming into the building and walking their children into their classrooms, the gym or the cafeteria?

        Posted July 10

        Yes. As a health and safety measure, all visitors are restricted to designated drop off and pick up areas until conditions relax further. Volunteer opportunities are also suspended.

        What will cleaning procedures be?

        Posted July 10

        APS is considering modifying schedules and extending the hours of current custodial staff on in-school days. This may include shifting to four ten-hour days in lieu of five eight-hour days to provide more time for cleaning on the days that the schools are occupied by students and staff. Per CDC guidelines, custodial staff will conduct enhanced daily cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (doorknobs, handles, fixtures, etc.) with approved products in school buildings and on school buses. Staff will be provided with a return kit including supplemental hand sanitizer and wipes. All other cleaning supplies are provided by APS. APS is finalizing the details of how best to comply with the guidelines from the CDC and Virginia Department of Health, and will communicate detailed cleaning procedure, including expectations for cleaning between classes, soon.

        What is APS doing to address the significant indoor air risks that increase with every additional minute spent inside a building, even WITH masks and physical distance? What will be done in classrooms where the windows can’t open? And what budget is available to implement substantial and needed changes?

        Posted July 10

        Arlington Public Schools recognizes the contribution of good indoor air quality to health and safety and to teaching and learning. Facilities & Operations staff perform routine preventive maintenance to ensure that Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems are performing optimally and that code required air exchange rates are being maintained. APS has hired a consultant to conduct an evaluation of ventilation in all 38 buildings in the division to confirm that they meet current ventilation code requirements prior to the start of school. The consultant will review existing documentation on HVAC systems including maintenance and replacement information along with Building Automation System (BAS) data on ventilation. If any schools do not meet the current code, APS will upgrade HVAC systems to current ventilation code requirements as soon as possible. APS will complete all preventive and maintenance repairs and replace all air filters at each facility before the start of school, upgrading from MERV-8 to MERV-13 where possible. Air filters will be replaced four times a year. Additionally, APS will follow CDC guidelines and recommendations for indoor air quality wherever possible, which include steps such as increasing ventilation rates, ensuring ventilation systems operate properly, and increasing outdoor air ventilation.

    • Transportation

      • Will APS provide transportation for in-school days in the hybrid model?

        Posted July 1

        Yes, APS will provide modified bus transportation to eligible students in the hybrid model. Bus service will look very different to accommodate reduced capacities to ensure social and physical distancing is maintained.

        How will bus transportation be modified?

        Posted July 1

        Due to the state’s physical distancing guidelines, buses will only be able to transport approximately 11 students at a time. As a result, buses may need to make several trips back and forth to school to get all students eligible for transportation to and from school. In order to reduce the number of students APS will transport, some elementary walk zones will expand to areas close to schools. APS will establish (distanced) walking school buses and bicycle trains at schools to support the expanded elementary walk zones.

        To help buses move quickly between trips to and from school, all option schools will start using hub stops and some bus stops for neighborhood schools will be consolidated. APS will also establish remote car drop-off locations near schools to give buses easy access to school entrances to drop off students quickly and begin the next bus trip to return students in time for their instructional day.

        Details are under development and will be released as they become available through APS Communications and ParentVUE.

        Because of limited bus capacity, will elementary walk zones be expanded, and what will that entail?

        Posted July 8

        Due to the limited carrying capacity of buses as a result of distancing guidelines, APS is working to reduce the loads on buses in areas closer to schools, so buses can focus on picking up students who live far from their school.

        This map shows potential ES walk zone expansion areas. Some of these areas will require additional crossing support. APS is working with the Arlington County Police Dept. and Arlington County Dept. of Transportation to identify and prioritize these areas. APS is encouraging families to walk or bike with their students from these nearby areas, as it will help reduce vehicular congestion around schools. APS will support these activities through walking school buses and bicycle trains. Note: Planning unit 13050 is an expansion area for both Ashlawn ES & ATS.

        With walk zones expanding, how will APS support students walking to school?

        Posted July 20

        In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, APS is encouraging walking and biking to school now more than ever, to support families in existing and expanded walk zones; help reduce demand on school buses; and discourage vehicular traffic around schools when in-school instruction resumes. Walking School Buses are one way to make walking to school easier for families while maximizing the health benefits of walking for students and reducing congestion and pollution in neighborhoods around schools.  A Walking School Bus is defined as a group of students walking to school with one or more adults.

        Learn more about Walking School Buses

    • Community Engagement

      • What is the best way to stay informed about reopening plans?

        Posted July 1

        Visit this website frequently for the latest information and updates on planning for reopening schools. The FAQ page will be continually updated with all the latest information and resources. Additionally, we will send School Talk weekly updates from Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán every Tuesday via email. (If you are not already receiving School Talk messages, please visit this page: apsva.us/schooltalk) Staff updates from the Superintendent will also be shared every Tuesday and posted on Staff Central. Follow APS on Twitter to receive notice when new updates are available.

        Who serves on the Task Force?

        Posted July 1

        On June 8, APS established the Return-to-School Task Force, chaired by Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán and composed of 35 principals, teachers, support staff, parents, students, and community leaders from APS advisory committees. The members represent a variety of different perspectives, school communities, grade levels and areas of expertise. The charge of the Task Force is to provide input on planning and decision-making for reopening in alignment with state guidance for reopening. The Task Force meets weekly with APS Work Groups focused on Instruction, Operations, Activities and Communications, to review and provide input as plans progress.

        How can staff, families and community members provide input?

        Posted July 1

        Staff and families are encouraged to submit all questions and comments about the plans by completing the Engage with APS online form. Community input is shared with the appropriate staff members. This input is being used to finalize details of the Return-to-School Plan so that it is as comprehensive as possible and addresses the concerns of families and staff.

        Families should direct questions and comments about a specific student or school matter to your school. Families should not send confidential or sensitive information through the Engage system.


Answers by School Level:

    • Elementary

      • For details on the Elementary learning models, visit the Elementary School Program page.
      • —–
      • Will APS provide childcare for families who need it?

        Posted July 31

        APS is working with the County and partners in the community to identify childcare availability for families. This may take some time because of the need for providers to meet licensing requirements. Possibilities may include facilities provided through local nonprofits such as the YMCA or private childcare centers.

        How will APS provide meals to students when the school year begins with virtual learning?

        Posted July 31

        APS has provided a grab-n-go meals service to children throughout the summer. Once the summer meals program ends and the 2020-21 school year begins on September 8 with virtual learning for all students, the national school lunch program starts back up to provide free meals (breakfast and lunch) to APS students. As we continue to plan for the return to school, we will reassess students’ needs and school schedules, and consider adjustments such as expanding the number of meal distribution sites. More details will be shared in August.

        Can elementary schools assign students based on pods that families have created?

        Posted July 31

        APS cannot assign or reassign students based on pods that have been created by families. Given the disproportionate staff and student preferences, among other planning factors which are unique to each student, program, and school, APS will not be able to accommodate pod requests.

        What is the specific criteria that will be considered in making a decision to move to the hybrid learning instructional model?

        Posted July 28

        There is no single metric or data point, but rather a range of operational and health and safety criteria we evaluate daily. Those criteria include student instructional preference and employee work preference; global supply chain availability of essential health and safety equipment, including PPE and custodial supplies; local, regional and national COVID-19 health metrics, including positive case rates, hospitalizations, and death rates; and local, state and federal health guidance.

        Where can students and families get help with a technology question or the APS devices they need for the 2020-21 school year?

        Updated July 31

        Each school will share information with families about how the school will distribute devices to students who do not yet have these. For technical questions, the school’s Instructional Technology Coordinator (ITC) should be the first point of contact. You can find a list of ITC contact emails, as well as information on devices, troubleshooting, internet access and more at: https://www.apsva.us/digital-learning/digital-learning-device-help/. For students who will begin in Grades 6 and 9 in September, please contact the ITC at your new school with technical questions.

        Why did APS change the plan for the beginning of the year?

        Updated July 22

        APS has changed the start of the 2020-21 school year from August 31 to September 8, and will begin the year with all students in the full-time distance learning model, due to health and safety concerns and our monitoring of local and national trends in COVID-19 cases. APS is working closely with state health officials, the Arlington County Public Health Division, and neighboring Northern Virginia school divisions to use the most up-to-date information in planning for the return to school. Throughout our planning, the health and safety of our staff and students has been our top priority. Pausing the hybrid model and beginning the year with a virtual model allows us to continue to monitor the situation and devote all resources to strong full-time distance learning instruction for all students until we are confident it is safe to return. More information will be shared as details become available.

        When will APS begin to transition students into school as part of the hybrid model?

        Posted July 19

        APS is committed to honoring the needs and preferences of families who have selected the hybrid instructional model for their students for 2020-21, when conditions allow students and staff to safely return to school facilities. We will continue to monitor the health data in September, with the goal of beginning to transition some staff and students to in-person instruction in early October, which is the mid-point in the first quarter of the school year. Our goal is to have hybrid in-person instruction in place for all families that have selected that model by the beginning of the second quarter, based on health data and in consultation with health officials.  APS is working closely with state health officials, the Arlington County Public Health Division and neighboring Northern Virginia school divisions to use the most up-to-date information in planning for the return to school.

        How does the Full-Time Distance Learning model differ from the distance learning students received in the fourth quarter of the 2019-20 school year?

        Updated July 15

        The Full-Time Distance Learning model will be very different than what was offered in the spring. In this model in which all students will start the year:

        • Students will receive interactive, teacher-led/synchronous instruction four days per week, Tuesday through Friday. This means daily interaction with teachers.
        • Classes will follow a daily schedule similar to a normal school day.
        • New instructional content will be taught, work will be graded, and attendance will be taken.
        • Students will have opportunities for small-group work with teachers and peers.
        • All students in grades PreK-12 will be issued devices, and through our agreement with Comcast, the Comcast Essentials internet package is available to families who may not have had internet access.
        • Comprehensive specialized services for English Learners, Special Education and Gifted students will be provided, including robust special education services (counseling, speech, OT, PT).
        • Secondary students will have regular advisory periods (daily at middle school, weekly at high school).
        • Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) will be delivered through synchronous interaction with teachers and counselors.
        • English Learner students will be able to engage in four language domains – speaking, listening, reading and writing.
        • Parent Academies will be offered, with training and resources for parents to support learning at home.

        What is the date of the start of the second quarter?

        Posted July 14

        The first quarter ends November 2, and the 3rd is a grade prep day. The second quarter is scheduled to start on November 4.

        What will APS be doing during the time between August 24 and September 8?

        Posted July 14

        APS teachers and staff begin as planned on August 24 and will engage in continued professional learning and training during the two weeks leading up to the start of school, to further prepare for a strong full-distance learning start to the new school year.

        What if COVID-19 cases in our area increase or other factors change?

        Posted July 1

        The plan for resuming in-person instruction assumes that Virginia will be in Phase 3 for the start of school. If there is a resurgence of the COVID-19 virus that requires a closure of schools or an individual school, all students would participate in full-time distance learning. APS will continue to follow CDC, Virginia Department of Health and Arlington County Public Health Division guidance to determine future changes that are necessary.

        How will concepts that were not taught in the 4th quarter of 2019-20, due to school closures, be taught in the 2020-21 year?

        Posted July 8

        The essential content that was not covered during the fourth quarter in the spring will be incorporated throughout the 2020-21 school year for elementary school and secondary school sequential courses. (Sequential courses build from one course to the next, such as Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 or Algebra 2 to Precalculus.) Curriculum and pacing guides have been adjusted accordingly.

        What is the difference between synchronous and asynchronous instruction?

        Posted July 1

        Synchronous learning is interactive, two-way online or distance education that happens in real time with a teacher, whereas asynchronous learning occurs virtually online and through prepared resources, without real-time teacher-led interaction. Both instructional delivery models will incorporate a blend of these two delivery methods for distance learning.

        How are student groups assigned in the hybrid model? Will siblings be paired together?

        Posted July 1

        Decisions regarding schedules and student group assignments for each school will be made centrally based on multiple factors. Siblings will be assigned to the same in-school schedule to simplify family arrangements, when possible. Details regarding student assignments and scheduling will be finalized and communicated in August once family selections are received and processed.

        How can parents access ParentVue for rising Kindergarten students?

        Posted July 7

        All parents should have received a ParentVUE activation key from the school registrar at the time that they registered their student. If parents did not receive that activation key, they should contact the school’s registrar to get one.

        Will families that register after July 20 be able to select their instructional delivery method?

        Updated July 23

        Families that register after the July 20 deadline will have the opportunity to select their instructional delivery method during the registration process. When school registrars conduct the registration interview, they will ask a family to select their instructional delivery method at that time. If families would like to change their instructional delivery method, there will be an opportunity to do so when the window reopens for families to reconfirm or change their selection before school buildings reopen for students.

        What is included in the full-time distance learning model?

        Posted July 1

        Students engage in synchronous, teacher-led instruction four times per week (Tuesday-Friday). Monday is designated for teacher planning and small group or individual interventions, which are provided synchronously. All students will participate in independent/asynchronous learning on Monday. Specific schedules for each grade level are in development and will be based on the input received during the family selection process taking place July 6-20. Learning opportunities by grade level include:

        • Elementary school: Teachers provide direct, synchronous instruction, in an amount similar to the hybrid model, in Language Arts, math, science, social studies, and specials (Art, Music, PE). Additional instruction will be provided for English Learners, as required. APS will provide additional support for Special Education students to meet IEP requirements. Students will also receive weekly Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons. Daily office hours with counselors, social workers and psychologists are available by appointment.
        • Middle school: Teachers provide direct, synchronous instruction, in an amount similar to the hybrid model. APS will provide specialized instruction for English Learners, as needed, and additional support to Special Education students to meet IEP requirements.
        • High school: High school students in this model will enroll in online courses taught by APS teachers and outside course providers. Instruction time will meet all VDOE graduation requirements. APS contracts multiple outside providers, such as Virtual Virginia and Edmentum, to broaden online learning opportunities for students. APS will provide accommodations for Students with Disabilities and 504 Plans. Special Education case carriers ensure accommodations are being provided. APS will provide specialized instruction for English Learners, as required. Designated APS teachers or site-based counselors will serve as course monitors to ensure appropriate pacing and assignment completion. Students receive weekly Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons, and daily office hours with counselors, social workers and psychologists will be available by appointment.

        How will APS support our youngest learners in the full-time distance model?

        Posted July 20

        We recognize that the full distance learning model presents challenges for our youngest learners. The Department of Teaching & Learning’s Early Childhood team is working with school leadership to review national models and research into best practices for virtual learning for young learners and build a schedule based on the developmental needs of pre-k-2 learners. The draft schedule presented will likely be tweaked but some of the elements of online learning will include:

        • Community building with a focus on connection with peers and the teaching staff with social-emotional learning built into the framework.
        • A routine and consistent structure for synchronous learning. The morning will begin with a Morning Meeting at a consistent time each day. The day will also have built in breaks for students to take movement/gross motor breaks, snack, lunch.
        • Literacy and math mini-lessons as well as small group instruction in order to provide formative information about student learning and subsequent instruction. We recognize our kindergarteners will come to us with various levels of preparedness for kindergarten.
        • Content time to address social studies and science in a fun and engaging manner virtually.
        • Specials will be provided during the day giving students a balanced day during their virtual experience.
        • Specific lessons at the beginning of the school year designed to teach young learners about how to use the IPAD during Teams and Seesaw as well as proper etiquette while engaging online (muting mics, taking turns, etc.) with their classmates. It is our hope that by doing these lessons, it creates more independence so that parents and caregivers can attend to work or other needed tasks.

        We are committed to providing a rich and engaging learning experience for our young learners as we return to school in the full distance learning model. A sample schedule is available online.

        Will APS reduce tuition fees for Pre-K Montessori and CPP?

        Posted July 23

        Primary Montessori and CPP fees help fund staffing and student materials. Students enrolled in these programs will receive 5 hours and 20 minutes of synchronous and asynchronous instruction Tuesday through Friday, as well as one hour of instruction on Mondays. A sample schedule is available online.  Because students enrolled in these programs will receive the same amount of instruction as students in PreK-5, APS cannot reduce tuition fees.

        Will students in the full-time distance learning program still be a part of the school they would normally attend?

        Posted July 1

        APS will make every effort to group students and teachers from their school of record. Final groupings and assignments will be based on available staff and student enrollment. For example, if a given school had only 5 staff elect to teach virtually, but a large group of students enrolled in full-time distance learning, staff from other schools may need to be assigned for some courses. More information will be available at the beginning of August, when we have student enrollment numbers and staffing selections, and can begin to create master schedules and student groupings.

        How will immersion be handled via distance learning?

        Posted July 11
        • Elementary school: In order to ensure that students are able to engage in the four domains of language learning -speaking, listening, reading and writing – the Dual Language Immersion learning and resources will be delivered by Claremont and Key teachers consistently via the two models – hybrid in-person and distance learning and full distance learning. This means that:
          • Teachers and students in both models will be able to access the same learning activities and resources via the same Canvas courses.
          • Students in the distance learning model will practice speaking and listening synchronously with their teachers just as students in the hybrid model will do so when they are in-person with their teachers.
          • Teachers in both models will plan with one another via Collaborative Learning Teams (CLTs) so that their lessons, assessments and interventions will be similar.

          This will allow consistency of experience for students in each model.

        • Secondary school: Staff will be able to deliver learning experiences focused on student engagement by speaking, listening, reading and writing in Spanish via both the hybrid and distance learning models.

        What specifically will be done for students in the full-time distance learning model to make and build connections in their school’s community, with their teachers, staff, and classmates?

        Posted July 11

        Each school will have orientation events for incoming students and families regardless of the model in which they are enrolled. Students in the full distance learning model will be enrolled in their school of record and will receive school-specific communications about upcoming events and activities – many of which may be virtual. As part of their back to school routine building, teachers will hep build community through morning meetings at the elementary level and through advisory periods at the middle and high school levels.

        What is included in the hybrid model?

        Posted July 1

        Students return to school with physical distancing measures two days/week. Students engage in asynchronous, self-directed distance learning on the other three days. In the hybrid model, elementary students focus on literacy, numeracy, Social Studies, Science, specials (Art, Music, PE). Middle & high school students will participate in all courses which they selected in early spring via block schedule. Special education services will be provided in-person and virtually. English Learners will receive direct support in-person and virtually. Transportation will be provided with physical distancing.

        How are student groups assigned in the hybrid model? Will siblings be paired together?

        Updated July 24

        Principals plan to group students via the model selected by their parents and with teachers who have selected the same model (there will be instances when this will not be possible given the disproportionate staff and student preferences). Principals will also work to group students heterogeneously by academic skill and social-emotional needs as they have in previous years, as this is best practice. Our first priority is to ensure that students have rich and supportive learning experiences no matter what model they choose.

        What types of activities will students engage in while at home in the hybrid model?

        Posted July 1

        Distance learning complements in-school learning using online curriculum resources and instructional tasks assigned by teachers. Students will engage in assignments and activities that explore new content on both in-school and distance learning days. On distance learning days, students will engage in a variety of dynamic learning opportunities, such as small group work, viewing the video introduction of new content, independent practice and purposeful interaction with peers.

        Will the in-school days still start and end at the regular times in the hybrid model?

        Posted July 1

        The instructional time for the hybrid model will be the same as a regular school day. However, distancing requirements on buses may require staggered start and end times, so the school day may start or end at different times than usual for some groups of students. More information will be available at the beginning of August, when we have enrollment numbers and can actually schedule the bus routes.

        Will Extended Day operate as usual for the hybrid model?

        Posted July 1

        The APS Return-to-School Task Force is continuing to create detailed plans for a safe return to school, including considerations regarding Extended Day. But, at this time no decision has been made regarding the operation of Extended Day.

        What is the maximum number of students in an in-person class, in the hybrid model?

        Posted July 7

        There is no set maximum number of students per classroom. Each classroom’s furniture will be set to maintain six-foot distances; due to variations in buildings and classrooms, some classrooms may have larger capacities than others.

        How will PreK Montessori be structured in this new environment since it’s very tactile and hands-on? Will tuition be prorated to reflect 2 days a week of in-person instruction?

        Posted July 7

        PreK Montessori will focus on use of materials in the two days of in-person instruction. On distance learning days, students will have follow-up work that can be done with at-home tools they will be given. Students will participate in recess and specials during in-person learning days. There will be more information to follow on Montessori tuition.

        Will face coverings (masks) be required?

        Updated July 31

        All APS employees and students will be required to wear a face covering (mask) while inside the building unless medically exempt. These face coverings will be reusable and should be washed before each use to remain effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Circumstances will exist (i.e., eating, drinking, etc.) where face coverings/masks may have to be removed for a limited time. Six-foot distances must be maintained during these exceptions.

        What health screenings will be required?

        Posted July 1

        All employees and students will go through a daily health screening process, including temperature checks, before participating in any in-person activities at APS. This includes riding the bus, entering the school, or participating in a conditioning workout for VHSL sports. Employee screenings will be logged, using our visitor management system, and student attendance will be used as the log for students.

        How is APS maintaining physical distancing requirements?

        Posted July 1

        Physical distancing will be maintained to the greatest extent possible. Furniture in classrooms will be set up to maintain ideal six-foot distances. On school buses, physical distancing will be maintained to the greatest extent possible and students will be seated one student per every other seat. APS will implement alternate school assembly methodology and other mass gatherings of non-school and school-based personnel (e.g., streaming, alternating groups). APS is taking measurements of each space now to determine capacities for each classroom and school based on physical distancing guidelines.

        Will parents be restricted from coming into the building and walking their children into their classrooms, the gym or the cafeteria?

        Posted July 10

        Yes. As a health and safety measure, all visitors are restricted to designated drop off and pick up areas until conditions relax further. Volunteer opportunities are also suspended.

        How will APS support students’ mental health and well-being as they return to school in the fall?

        Posted July 7

        Supporting the mental health and well-being of all students, whether they are re-entering the classroom or learning at home full time, remains a priority as we plan for the fall. APS will provide weekly Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons for all grade levels and will offer daily office hours with counselors, social workers and psychologists by appointment.

        What additional services can I expect to be offered if my student struggles with social-emotional concerns?

        Posted July 7

        A site-based mental health team is provided at each APS school. Members of that team can provide individual check-ins when referrals are made by students, parents, teachers and building administrators. These check-ins will be conducted by the individual on that team or by another person in the school who has skills to support the student’s need. These check-ins are arranged by appointment only unless an emergency situation occurs that requires an immediate response. Additional student support services are anticipated such as short-term individual and small group counseling, as well as Tier 2 intervention groups; these services are based on referrals with the understanding that the site based mental health team has limited capacity to provide all services that may be required. In that case parents will be provided with contacts for outside resources. For students who receive counseling as a related service, those services will continue as indicated in the student’s IEP and are provided by the school psychologist or school social worker.

        Will APS provide transportation for in-school days in the hybrid model?

        Posted July 1

        Yes, APS will provide modified bus transportation to eligible students in the hybrid model. Bus service will look very different to accommodate reduced capacities to ensure social and physical distancing is maintained.

        Because of limited bus capacity, will elementary walk zones be expanded, and what will that entail?

        Posted July 8

        Due to the limited carrying capacity of buses as a result of distancing guidelines, APS is working to reduce the loads on buses in areas closer to schools, so buses can focus on picking up students who live far from their school.

        This map shows potential ES walk zone expansion areas. Some of these areas will require additional crossing support. APS is working with the Arlington County Police Dept. and Arlington County Dept. of Transportation to identify and prioritize these areas. APS is encouraging families to walk or bike with their students from these nearby areas, as it will help reduce vehicular congestion around schools. APS will support these activities through walking school buses and bicycle trains. Note: Planning unit 13050 is an expansion area for both Ashlawn ES & ATS.

        With walk zones expanding, how will APS support students walking to school?

        Posted July 20

        In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, APS is encouraging walking and biking to school now more than ever, to support families in existing and expanded walk zones; help reduce demand on school buses; and discourage vehicular traffic around schools when in-school instruction resumes. Walking School Buses are one way to make walking to school easier for families while maximizing the health benefits of walking for students and reducing congestion and pollution in neighborhoods around schools.  A Walking School Bus is defined as a group of students walking to school with one or more adults.

        Learn more about Walking School Buses

        What technology will be used to keep parents in the loop for full-time distance learners (e.g. will we still get ParentVUE updates)?

        Posted July 8

        APS students enrolled in distance learning courses with APS teachers will use the Synergy grade book and updates will be available to parents through ParentVUE just as they were when students attended in-person classes. In instances where courses are taught by outside providers, parents will be updated on their child’s progress through access to the provider’s grading platform and emails from teachers, as well as communications from their APS mentor (school counselor or designated APS teacher).

        What is the best way to stay informed about reopening plans?

        Posted July 1

        Visit this website frequently for the latest information and updates on planning for reopening schools. The FAQ page will be continually updated with all the latest information and resources. Additionally, we will send School Talk weekly updates from Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán every Tuesday via email. (If you are not already receiving School Talk messages, please visit this page: apsva.us/schooltalk) Staff updates from the Superintendent will also be shared every Tuesday and posted on Staff Central. Follow APS on Twitter to receive notice when new updates are available.

    • Middle

      • For details on the Middle School learning models, visit the Middle School Program page.
      • —–
      • How will APS provide meals to students when the school year begins with virtual learning?

        Posted July 31

        APS has provided a grab-n-go meals service to children throughout the summer. Once the summer meals program ends and the 2020-21 school year begins on September 8 with virtual learning for all students, the national school lunch program starts back up to provide free meals (breakfast and lunch) to APS students. As we continue to plan for the return to school, we will reassess students’ needs and school schedules, and consider adjustments such as expanding the number of meal distribution sites. More details will be shared in August.

        What is the specific criteria that will be considered in making a decision to move to the hybrid learning instructional model?

        Posted July 28

        There is no single metric or data point, but rather a range of operational and health and safety criteria we evaluate daily. Those criteria include student instructional preference and employee work preference; global supply chain availability of essential health and safety equipment, including PPE and custodial supplies; local, regional and national COVID-19 health metrics, including positive case rates, hospitalizations, and death rates; and local, state and federal health guidance.

        Where can students and families get help with a technology question or the APS devices they need for the 2020-21 school year?

        Updated July 31

        Each school will share information with families about how the school will distribute devices to students who do not yet have these. For technical questions, the school’s Instructional Technology Coordinator (ITC) should be the first point of contact. You can find a list of ITC contact emails, as well as information on devices, troubleshooting, internet access and more at: https://www.apsva.us/digital-learning/digital-learning-device-help/. For students who will begin in Grades 6 and 9 in September, please contact the ITC at your new school with technical questions.

        Why did APS change the plan for the beginning of the year?

        Updated July 22

        APS has changed the start of the 2020-21 school year from August 31 to September 8, and will begin the year with all students in the full-time distance learning model, due to health and safety concerns and our monitoring of local and national trends in COVID-19 cases. APS is working closely with state health officials, the Arlington County Public Health Division, and neighboring Northern Virginia school divisions to use the most up-to-date information in planning for the return to school. Throughout our planning, the health and safety of our staff and students has been our top priority. Pausing the hybrid model and beginning the year with a virtual model allows us to continue to monitor the situation and devote all resources to strong full-time distance learning instruction for all students until we are confident it is safe to return. More information will be shared as details become available.

        When will APS begin to transition students into school as part of the hybrid model?

        Posted July 19

        APS is committed to honoring the needs and preferences of families who have selected the hybrid instructional model for their students for 2020-21, when conditions allow students and staff to safely return to school facilities. We will continue to monitor the health data in September, with the goal of beginning to transition some staff and students to in-person instruction in early October, which is the mid-point in the first quarter of the school year. Our goal is to have hybrid in-person instruction in place for all families that have selected that model by the beginning of the second quarter, based on health data and in consultation with health officials.  APS is working closely with state health officials, the Arlington County Public Health Division and neighboring Northern Virginia school divisions to use the most up-to-date information in planning for the return to school.

        How does the Full-Time Distance Learning model differ from the distance learning students received in the fourth quarter of the 2019-20 school year?

        Updated July 15

        The Full-Time Distance Learning model will be very different than what was offered in the spring. In this model in which all students will start the year:

        • Students will receive interactive, teacher-led/synchronous instruction four days per week, Tuesday through Friday. This means daily interaction with teachers.
        • Classes will follow a daily schedule similar to a normal school day.
        • New instructional content will be taught, work will be graded, and attendance will be taken.
        • Students will have opportunities for small-group work with teachers and peers.
        • All students in grades PreK-12 will be issued devices, and through our agreement with Comcast, the Comcast Essentials internet package is available to families who may not have had internet access.
        • Comprehensive specialized services for English Learners, Special Education and Gifted students will be provided, including robust special education services (counseling, speech, OT, PT).
        • Secondary students will have regular advisory periods (daily at middle school, weekly at high school).
        • Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) will be delivered through synchronous interaction with teachers and counselors.
        • English Learner students will be able to engage in four language domains – speaking, listening, reading and writing.
        • Parent Academies will be offered, with training and resources for parents to support learning at home.

        What is the date of the start of the second quarter?

        Posted July 14

        The first quarter ends November 2, and the 3rd is a grade prep day. The second quarter is scheduled to start on November 4.

        What will APS be doing during the time between August 24 and September 8?

        Posted July 14

        APS teachers and staff begin as planned on August 24 and will engage in continued professional learning and training during the two weeks leading up to the start of school, to further prepare for a strong full-distance learning start to the new school year.

        What if COVID-19 cases in our area increase or other factors change?

        Posted July 1

        The plan for resuming in-person instruction assumes that Virginia will be in Phase 3 for the start of school. If there is a resurgence of the COVID-19 virus that requires a closure of schools or an individual school, all students would participate in full-time distance learning. APS will continue to follow CDC, Virginia Department of Health and Arlington County Public Health Division guidance to determine future changes that are necessary.

        How will concepts that were not taught in the 4th quarter of 2019-20, due to school closures, be taught in the 2020-21 year?

        Posted July 8

        The essential content that was not covered during the fourth quarter in the spring will be incorporated throughout the 2020-21 school year for elementary school and secondary school sequential courses. (Sequential courses build from one course to the next, such as Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 or Algebra 2 to Precalculus.) Curriculum and pacing guides have been adjusted accordingly.

        What is the difference between synchronous and asynchronous instruction?

        Posted July 1

        Synchronous learning is interactive, two-way online or distance education that happens in real time with a teacher, whereas asynchronous learning occurs virtually online and through prepared resources, without real-time teacher-led interaction. Both instructional delivery models will incorporate a blend of these two delivery methods for distance learning.

        How are student groups assigned in the hybrid model? Will siblings be paired together?

        Posted July 1

        Decisions regarding schedules and student group assignments for each school will be made centrally based on multiple factors. Siblings will be assigned to the same in-school schedule to simplify family arrangements, when possible. Details regarding student assignments and scheduling will be finalized and communicated in August once family selections are received and processed.

        Will families that register after July 20 be able to select their instructional delivery method?

        Updated July 23

        Families that register after the July 20 deadline will have the opportunity to select their instructional delivery method during the registration process. When school registrars conduct the registration interview, they will ask a family to select their instructional delivery method at that time. If families would like to change their instructional delivery method, there will be an opportunity to do so when the window reopens for families to reconfirm or change their selection before school buildings reopen for students.

        What is included in the full-time distance learning model?

        Posted July 1

        Students engage in synchronous, teacher-led instruction four times per week (Tuesday-Friday). Monday is designated for teacher planning and small group or individual interventions, which are provided synchronously. All students will participate in independent/asynchronous learning on Monday. Specific schedules for each grade level are in development and will be based on the input received during the family selection process taking place July 6-20. Learning opportunities by grade level include:

        • Elementary school: Teachers provide direct, synchronous instruction, in an amount similar to the hybrid model, in Language Arts, math, science, social studies, and specials (Art, Music, PE). Additional instruction will be provided for English Learners, as required. APS will provide additional support for Special Education students to meet IEP requirements. Students will also receive weekly Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons. Daily office hours with counselors, social workers and psychologists are available by appointment.
        • Middle school: Teachers provide direct, synchronous instruction, in an amount similar to the hybrid model. APS will provide specialized instruction for English Learners, as needed, and additional support to Special Education students to meet IEP requirements.
        • High school: High school students in this model will enroll in online courses taught by APS teachers and outside course providers. Instruction time will meet all VDOE graduation requirements. APS contracts multiple outside providers, such as Virtual Virginia and Edmentum, to broaden online learning opportunities for students. APS will provide accommodations for Students with Disabilities and 504 Plans. Special Education case carriers ensure accommodations are being provided. APS will provide specialized instruction for English Learners, as required. Designated APS teachers or site-based counselors will serve as course monitors to ensure appropriate pacing and assignment completion. Students receive weekly Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons, and daily office hours with counselors, social workers and psychologists will be available by appointment.

        Will students in the full-time distance learning program still be a part of the school they would normally attend?

        Posted July 1

        APS will make every effort to group students and teachers from their school of record. Final groupings and assignments will be based on available staff and student enrollment. For example, if a given school had only 5 staff elect to teach virtually, but a large group of students enrolled in full-time distance learning, staff from other schools may need to be assigned for some courses. More information will be available at the beginning of August, when we have student enrollment numbers and staffing selections, and can begin to create master schedules and student groupings.

        How will immersion be handled via distance learning?

        Posted July 11
        • Elementary school: In order to ensure that students are able to engage in the four domains of language learning -speaking, listening, reading and writing – the Dual Language Immersion learning and resources will be delivered by Claremont and Key teachers consistently via the two models – hybrid in-person and distance learning and full distance learning. This means that:
          • Teachers and students in both models will be able to access the same learning activities and resources via the same Canvas courses.
          • Students in the distance learning model will practice speaking and listening synchronously with their teachers just as students in the hybrid model will do so when they are in-person with their teachers.
          • Teachers in both models will plan with one another via Collaborative Learning Teams (CLTs) so that their lessons, assessments and interventions will be similar.

          This will allow consistency of experience for students in each model.

        • Secondary school: Staff will be able to deliver learning experiences focused on student engagement by speaking, listening, reading and writing in Spanish via both the hybrid and distance learning models.

        What specifically will be done for students in the full-time distance learning model to make and build connections in their school’s community, with their teachers, staff, and classmates?

        Posted July 11

        Each school will have orientation events for incoming students and families regardless of the model in which they are enrolled. Students in the full distance learning model will be enrolled in their school of record and will receive school-specific communications about upcoming events and activities – many of which may be virtual. As part of their back to school routine building, teachers will hep build community through morning meetings at the elementary level and through advisory periods at the middle and high school levels.

        What is included in the hybrid model?

        Posted July 1

        Students return to school with physical distancing measures two days/week. Students engage in asynchronous, self-directed distance learning on the other three days. In the hybrid model, elementary students focus on literacy, numeracy, Social Studies, Science, specials (Art, Music, PE). Middle & high school students will participate in all courses which they selected in early spring via block schedule. Special education services will be provided in-person and virtually. English Learners will receive direct support in-person and virtually. Transportation will be provided with physical distancing.

        How are student groups assigned in the hybrid model? Will siblings be paired together?

        Updated July 24

        Principals plan to group students via the model selected by their parents and with teachers who have selected the same model (there will be instances when this will not be possible given the disproportionate staff and student preferences). Principals will also work to group students heterogeneously by academic skill and social-emotional needs as they have in previous years, as this is best practice. Our first priority is to ensure that students have rich and supportive learning experiences no matter what model they choose.

        What types of activities will students engage in while at home in the hybrid model?

        Posted July 1

        Distance learning complements in-school learning using online curriculum resources and instructional tasks assigned by teachers. Students will engage in assignments and activities that explore new content on both in-school and distance learning days. On distance learning days, students will engage in a variety of dynamic learning opportunities, such as small group work, viewing the video introduction of new content, independent practice and purposeful interaction with peers.

        Will the in-school days still start and end at the regular times in the hybrid model?

        Posted July 1

        The instructional time for the hybrid model will be the same as a regular school day. However, distancing requirements on buses may require staggered start and end times, so the school day may start or end at different times than usual for some groups of students. More information will be available at the beginning of August, when we have enrollment numbers and can actually schedule the bus routes.

        Will Extended Day operate as usual for the hybrid model?

        Posted July 1

        The APS Return-to-School Task Force is continuing to create detailed plans for a safe return to school, including considerations regarding Extended Day. But, at this time no decision has been made regarding the operation of Extended Day.

        What is the maximum number of students in an in-person class, in the hybrid model?

        Posted July 7

        There is no set maximum number of students per classroom. Each classroom’s furniture will be set to maintain six-foot distances; due to variations in buildings and classrooms, some classrooms may have larger capacities than others.

        For middle and high school, on the 2 days of in-person learning, will the students only have 1 class with each subject’s teacher? Does this vary by high school?

        Posted July 8

        Yes, students will have one in-person class period with each teacher on their schedule. While there may be slight differences at each school, this will be a consistent thread among all APS high schools.

        Will face coverings (masks) be required?

        Updated July 31

        All APS employees and students will be required to wear a face covering (mask) while inside the building unless medically exempt. These face coverings will be reusable and should be washed before each use to remain effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Circumstances will exist (i.e., eating, drinking, etc.) where face coverings/masks may have to be removed for a limited time. Six-foot distances must be maintained during these exceptions.

        What health screenings will be required?

        Posted July 1

        All employees and students will go through a daily health screening process, including temperature checks, before participating in any in-person activities at APS. This includes riding the bus, entering the school, or participating in a conditioning workout for VHSL sports. Employee screenings will be logged, using our visitor management system, and student attendance will be used as the log for students.

        How is APS maintaining physical distancing requirements?

        Posted July 1

        Physical distancing will be maintained to the greatest extent possible. Furniture in classrooms will be set up to maintain ideal six-foot distances. On school buses, physical distancing will be maintained to the greatest extent possible and students will be seated one student per every other seat. APS will implement alternate school assembly methodology and other mass gatherings of non-school and school-based personnel (e.g., streaming, alternating groups). APS is taking measurements of each space now to determine capacities for each classroom and school based on physical distancing guidelines.

        How will APS support students’ mental health and well-being as they return to school in the fall?

        Posted July 7

        Supporting the mental health and well-being of all students, whether they are re-entering the classroom or learning at home full time, remains a priority as we plan for the fall. APS will provide weekly Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons for all grade levels and will offer daily office hours with counselors, social workers and psychologists by appointment.

        What additional services can I expect to be offered if my student struggles with social-emotional concerns?

        Posted July 7

        A site-based mental health team is provided at each APS school. Members of that team can provide individual check-ins when referrals are made by students, parents, teachers and building administrators. These check-ins will be conducted by the individual on that team or by another person in the school who has skills to support the student’s need. These check-ins are arranged by appointment only unless an emergency situation occurs that requires an immediate response. Additional student support services are anticipated such as short-term individual and small group counseling, as well as Tier 2 intervention groups; these services are based on referrals with the understanding that the site based mental health team has limited capacity to provide all services that may be required. In that case parents will be provided with contacts for outside resources. For students who receive counseling as a related service, those services will continue as indicated in the student’s IEP and are provided by the school psychologist or school social worker.

        Will APS provide transportation for in-school days in the hybrid model?

        Posted July 1

        Yes, APS will provide modified bus transportation to eligible students in the hybrid model. Bus service will look very different to accommodate reduced capacities to ensure social and physical distancing is maintained.

        What technology will be used to keep parents in the loop for full-time distance learners (e.g. will we still get ParentVUE updates)?

        Posted July 8

        APS students enrolled in distance learning courses with APS teachers will use the Synergy grade book and updates will be available to parents through ParentVUE just as they were when students attended in-person classes. In instances where courses are taught by outside providers, parents will be updated on their child’s progress through access to the provider’s grading platform and emails from teachers, as well as communications from their APS mentor (school counselor or designated APS teacher).

        What is the best way to stay informed about reopening plans?

        Posted July 1

        Visit this website frequently for the latest information and updates on planning for reopening schools. The FAQ page will be continually updated with all the latest information and resources. Additionally, we will send School Talk weekly updates from Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán every Tuesday via email. (If you are not already receiving School Talk messages, please visit this page: apsva.us/schooltalk) Staff updates from the Superintendent will also be shared every Tuesday and posted on Staff Central. Follow APS on Twitter to receive notice when new updates are available.

    • High

      • For details on the High School learning models, visit the High School Program page.
      • —–
      • How will APS provide meals to students when the school year begins with virtual learning?

        Posted July 31

        APS has provided a grab-n-go meals service to children throughout the summer. Once the summer meals program ends and the 2020-21 school year begins on September 8 with virtual learning for all students, the national school lunch program starts back up to provide free meals (breakfast and lunch) to APS students. As we continue to plan for the return to school, we will reassess students’ needs and school schedules, and consider adjustments such as expanding the number of meal distribution sites. More details will be shared in August.

        What is the specific criteria that will be considered in making a decision to move to the hybrid learning instructional model?

        Posted July 28

        There is no single metric or data point, but rather a range of operational and health and safety criteria we evaluate daily. Those criteria include student instructional preference and employee work preference; global supply chain availability of essential health and safety equipment, including PPE and custodial supplies; local, regional and national COVID-19 health metrics, including positive case rates, hospitalizations, and death rates; and local, state and federal health guidance.

        Where can students and families get help with a technology question or the APS devices they need for the 2020-21 school year?

        Updated July 31

        Each school will share information with families about how the school will distribute devices to students who do not yet have these. For technical questions, the school’s Instructional Technology Coordinator (ITC) should be the first point of contact. You can find a list of ITC contact emails, as well as information on devices, troubleshooting, internet access and more at: https://www.apsva.us/digital-learning/digital-learning-device-help/. For students who will begin in Grades 6 and 9 in September, please contact the ITC at your new school with technical questions.

        Why did APS change the plan for the beginning of the year?

        Updated July 22

        APS has changed the start of the 2020-21 school year from August 31 to September 8, and will begin the year with all students in the full-time distance learning model, due to health and safety concerns and our monitoring of local and national trends in COVID-19 cases. APS is working closely with state health officials, the Arlington County Public Health Division, and neighboring Northern Virginia school divisions to use the most up-to-date information in planning for the return to school. Throughout our planning, the health and safety of our staff and students has been our top priority. Pausing the hybrid model and beginning the year with a virtual model allows us to continue to monitor the situation and devote all resources to strong full-time distance learning instruction for all students until we are confident it is safe to return. More information will be shared as details become available.

        When will APS begin to transition students into school as part of the hybrid model?

        Posted July 19

        APS is committed to honoring the needs and preferences of families who have selected the hybrid instructional model for their students for 2020-21, when conditions allow students and staff to safely return to school facilities. We will continue to monitor the health data in September, with the goal of beginning to transition some staff and students to in-person instruction in early October, which is the mid-point in the first quarter of the school year. Our goal is to have hybrid in-person instruction in place for all families that have selected that model by the beginning of the second quarter, based on health data and in consultation with health officials.  APS is working closely with state health officials, the Arlington County Public Health Division and neighboring Northern Virginia school divisions to use the most up-to-date information in planning for the return to school.

        How does the Full-Time Distance Learning model differ from the distance learning students received in the fourth quarter of the 2019-20 school year?

        Updated July 15

        The Full-Time Distance Learning model will be very different than what was offered in the spring. In this model in which all students will start the year:

        • Students will receive interactive, teacher-led/synchronous instruction four days per week, Tuesday through Friday. This means daily interaction with teachers.
        • Classes will follow a daily schedule similar to a normal school day.
        • New instructional content will be taught, work will be graded, and attendance will be taken.
        • Students will have opportunities for small-group work with teachers and peers.
        • All students in grades PreK-12 will be issued devices, and through our agreement with Comcast, the Comcast Essentials internet package is available to families who may not have had internet access.
        • Comprehensive specialized services for English Learners, Special Education and Gifted students will be provided, including robust special education services (counseling, speech, OT, PT).
        • Secondary students will have regular advisory periods (daily at middle school, weekly at high school).
        • Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) will be delivered through synchronous interaction with teachers and counselors.
        • English Learner students will be able to engage in four language domains – speaking, listening, reading and writing.
        • Parent Academies will be offered, with training and resources for parents to support learning at home.

        What is the date of the start of the second quarter?

        Posted July 14

        The first quarter ends November 2, and the 3rd is a grade prep day. The second quarter is scheduled to start on November 4.

        What will APS be doing during the time between August 24 and September 8?

        Posted July 14

        APS teachers and staff begin as planned on August 24 and will engage in continued professional learning and training during the two weeks leading up to the start of school, to further prepare for a strong full-distance learning start to the new school year.

        What if COVID-19 cases in our area increase or other factors change?

        Posted July 1

        The plan for resuming in-person instruction assumes that Virginia will be in Phase 3 for the start of school. If there is a resurgence of the COVID-19 virus that requires a closure of schools or an individual school, all students would participate in full-time distance learning. APS will continue to follow CDC, Virginia Department of Health and Arlington County Public Health Division guidance to determine future changes that are necessary.

        How will concepts that were not taught in the 4th quarter of 2019-20, due to school closures, be taught in the 2020-21 year?

        Posted July 8

        The essential content that was not covered during the fourth quarter in the spring will be incorporated throughout the 2020-21 school year for elementary school and secondary school sequential courses. (Sequential courses build from one course to the next, such as Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 or Algebra 2 to Precalculus.) Curriculum and pacing guides have been adjusted accordingly.

        What is the difference between synchronous and asynchronous instruction?

        Posted July 1

        Synchronous learning is interactive, two-way online or distance education that happens in real time with a teacher, whereas asynchronous learning occurs virtually online and through prepared resources, without real-time teacher-led interaction. Both instructional delivery models will incorporate a blend of these two delivery methods for distance learning.

        What is the status of high school sports for the upcoming school year?

        Updated July 27

        The VHSL executive committee voted to delay the start of the 2020-21 high school sports season by implementing a compressed sports schedule that would run, as of now, from Dec. 14-June 26. The schedule as posted below would begin with the winter sports season followed by the fall sports season and end with the spring sports season. The dates for each season are based on current Phase 3 information and guidance. Those dates could change if the guidance changes.

        • Season 1 (Winter) Dec. 14 to Feb. 20 (First Contest Date–December 28): Basketball, Gymnastics, Indoor Track, Swim/Dive, Wrestling.
        • Season 2 (Fall) Feb. 15 to May 1 (First Contest Date–March 1): Cheer, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Football, Golf, Volleyball.
        • Season 3 (Spring) April 12 to June 26 (First Contest Date–April 26): Baseball, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Track and Field.

        More information is available on the VHSL website at www.vhsl.org.

        How are student groups assigned in the hybrid model? Will siblings be paired together?

        Posted July 1

        Decisions regarding schedules and student group assignments for each school will be made centrally based on multiple factors. Siblings will be assigned to the same in-school schedule to simplify family arrangements, when possible. Details regarding student assignments and scheduling will be finalized and communicated in August once family selections are received and processed.

        Will families that register after July 20 be able to select their instructional delivery method?

        Updated July 23

        Families that register after the July 20 deadline will have the opportunity to select their instructional delivery method during the registration process. When school registrars conduct the registration interview, they will ask a family to select their instructional delivery method at that time. If families would like to change their instructional delivery method, there will be an opportunity to do so when the window reopens for families to reconfirm or change their selection before school buildings reopen for students.

        What is included in the full-time distance learning model?

        Posted July 1

        Students engage in synchronous, teacher-led instruction four times per week (Tuesday-Friday). Monday is designated for teacher planning and small group or individual interventions, which are provided synchronously. All students will participate in independent/asynchronous learning on Monday. Specific schedules for each grade level are in development and will be based on the input received during the family selection process taking place July 6-20. Learning opportunities by grade level include:

        • Elementary school: Teachers provide direct, synchronous instruction, in an amount similar to the hybrid model, in Language Arts, math, science, social studies, and specials (Art, Music, PE). Additional instruction will be provided for English Learners, as required. APS will provide additional support for Special Education students to meet IEP requirements. Students will also receive weekly Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons. Daily office hours with counselors, social workers and psychologists are available by appointment.
        • Middle school: Teachers provide direct, synchronous instruction, in an amount similar to the hybrid model. APS will provide specialized instruction for English Learners, as needed, and additional support to Special Education students to meet IEP requirements.
        • High school: High school students in this model will enroll in online courses taught by APS teachers and outside course providers. Instruction time will meet all VDOE graduation requirements. APS contracts multiple outside providers, such as Virtual Virginia and Edmentum, to broaden online learning opportunities for students. APS will provide accommodations for Students with Disabilities and 504 Plans. Special Education case carriers ensure accommodations are being provided. APS will provide specialized instruction for English Learners, as required. Designated APS teachers or site-based counselors will serve as course monitors to ensure appropriate pacing and assignment completion. Students receive weekly Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons, and daily office hours with counselors, social workers and psychologists will be available by appointment.

        Will students in the full-time distance learning program still be a part of the school they would normally attend?

        Posted July 1

        APS will make every effort to group students and teachers from their school of record. Final groupings and assignments will be based on available staff and student enrollment. For example, if a given school had only 5 staff elect to teach virtually, but a large group of students enrolled in full-time distance learning, staff from other schools may need to be assigned for some courses. More information will be available at the beginning of August, when we have student enrollment numbers and staffing selections, and can begin to create master schedules and student groupings.

        How will immersion be handled via distance learning?

        Posted July 11
        • Elementary school: In order to ensure that students are able to engage in the four domains of language learning -speaking, listening, reading and writing – the Dual Language Immersion learning and resources will be delivered by Claremont and Key teachers consistently via the two models – hybrid in-person and distance learning and full distance learning. This means that:
          • Teachers and students in both models will be able to access the same learning activities and resources via the same Canvas courses.
          • Students in the distance learning model will practice speaking and listening synchronously with their teachers just as students in the hybrid model will do so when they are in-person with their teachers.
          • Teachers in both models will plan with one another via Collaborative Learning Teams (CLTs) so that their lessons, assessments and interventions will be similar.

          This will allow consistency of experience for students in each model.

        • Secondary school: Staff will be able to deliver learning experiences focused on student engagement by speaking, listening, reading and writing in Spanish via both the hybrid and distance learning models.

        What specifically will be done for students in the full-time distance learning model to make and build connections in their school’s community, with their teachers, staff, and classmates?

        Posted July 11

        Each school will have orientation events for incoming students and families regardless of the model in which they are enrolled. Students in the full distance learning model will be enrolled in their school of record and will receive school-specific communications about upcoming events and activities – many of which may be virtual. As part of their back to school routine building, teachers will hep build community through morning meetings at the elementary level and through advisory periods at the middle and high school levels.

        Will CTE courses be offered in the full-time distance learning model?

        Posted July 20

        All Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses will be offered at the comprehensive high schools and other programs and at the Career Center per the 2020-21 program of studies. When we start the school year via full distance learning, students enrolled in full-time programs at the Career Center (Academic Academy, Arlington Tech, English Learner Institute, and PEP) and at the comprehensive high schools and other programs will be able to take the CTE courses offered by teachers based at the Career Center via distance learning.

        When we transition to the hybrid model, students enrolled in the comprehensive high schools and other programs taking courses at the Career Center will continue to take these classes via live streaming to their high school. Students will not be transported to and from the Career Center until it is safe to intermix students from different schools. The elements of lab work that are a required part of these courses will be addressed by teachers via their syllabus. Students enrolled in CTE courses that are offered at their high schools will continue to engage with these classes at their school and will be able to engage in lab work.

        The CTE office is working to find virtual options for CTE classes to enhance the distance learning experience. This information will be posted within the week.

        Will high school distance learning be provided by APS teachers or through an outside provider?

        Posted July 1

        Synchronous distance learning at the high school level will be offered primarily by APS high school teachers. Most high school students will be able to take their courses through APS teachers. We also contract with outside providers, such as Virtual Virginia and Edmentum, to expand the course offerings available to students. Some high school students may choose to take a course that is not offered by APS, through an outside provider.

        What is the difference between an APS-taught course for high school and one taught by an outside vendor?

        Posted July 20

        APS students enrolled in a course taught by an APS teacher during full-time distance learning will receive both synchronous and asynchronous instruction. Courses offered through outside vendors MAY include both synchronous and asynchronous instruction, but synchronous instruction is not guaranteed in these environments. We will work with families to identify the most appropriate outside vendor if we are unable to assign a student to an APS teacher.

        Will APS teachers from the students’ specific schools be the first and primary choice for teaching full-time distance classes for high school students, rather than Virtual Virginia and the other partners with whom APS works?

        Posted July 8

        Yes, we intend to have APS teachers teaching students from their building whenever possible. When it is not possible for students to be enrolled in a distance learning course taught by a teacher from their home school, we will attempt to assign the student to an APS teacher located at another school. In instances where we are unable to identify an APS teacher or the number of students enrolled is very low, we will seek to use an outside vendor.

        For classes delivered by Virtual Virginia or one of the other providers with whom APS partners, what specifically is the role that the “monitoring” teacher from their school will fulfill?

        Posted July 8

        The monitor will be responsible for helping students progress through coursework in a timely manner. Monitors, as well as parents, will receive regular notifications from vendors informing them of the student’s progress. If it is determined that the student is not progressing in a way that suggests that they will complete the course in the time allotted, the mentor will be expected to engage the student and the parent to devise a plan to improve their performance.

        Will intensified classes be offered for the full-time distance model for high school students?

        Posted July 8

        Yes. We will offer intensified, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate (to students enrolled at Washington-Liberty High School), and Dual Enrollment courses through our full-time distance learning program.

        What is included in the hybrid model?

        Posted July 1

        Students return to school with physical distancing measures two days/week. Students engage in asynchronous, self-directed distance learning on the other three days. In the hybrid model, elementary students focus on literacy, numeracy, Social Studies, Science, specials (Art, Music, PE). Middle & high school students will participate in all courses which they selected in early spring via block schedule. Special education services will be provided in-person and virtually. English Learners will receive direct support in-person and virtually. Transportation will be provided with physical distancing.

        How are student groups assigned in the hybrid model? Will siblings be paired together?

        Updated July 24

        Principals plan to group students via the model selected by their parents and with teachers who have selected the same model (there will be instances when this will not be possible given the disproportionate staff and student preferences). Principals will also work to group students heterogeneously by academic skill and social-emotional needs as they have in previous years, as this is best practice. Our first priority is to ensure that students have rich and supportive learning experiences no matter what model they choose.

        What types of activities will students engage in while at home in the hybrid model?

        Posted July 1

        Distance learning complements in-school learning using online curriculum resources and instructional tasks assigned by teachers. Students will engage in assignments and activities that explore new content on both in-school and distance learning days. On distance learning days, students will engage in a variety of dynamic learning opportunities, such as small group work, viewing the video introduction of new content, independent practice and purposeful interaction with peers.

        Will CTE courses be offered in the hybrid model?

        Posted July 20

        All Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses will be offered at the comprehensive high schools and other programs and at the Career Center per the 2020-21 program of studies. When we start the school year via full distance learning, students enrolled in full-time programs at the Career Center (Academic Academy, Arlington Tech, English Learner Institute, and PEP) and at the comprehensive high schools and other programs will be able to take the CTE courses offered by teachers based at the Career Center via distance learning.

        When we transition to the hybrid model, students enrolled in the comprehensive high schools and other programs taking courses at the Career Center will continue to take these classes via live streaming to their high school. Students will not be transported to and from the Career Center until it is safe to intermix students from different schools. The elements of lab work that are a required part of these courses will be addressed by teachers via their syllabus. Students enrolled in CTE courses that are offered at their high schools will continue to engage with these classes at their school and will be able to engage in lab work.

        The CTE office is working to find virtual options for CTE classes to enhance the distance learning experience. This information will be posted within the week.

        Will the in-school days still start and end at the regular times in the hybrid model?

        Posted July 1

        The instructional time for the hybrid model will be the same as a regular school day. However, distancing requirements on buses may require staggered start and end times, so the school day may start or end at different times than usual for some groups of students. More information will be available at the beginning of August, when we have enrollment numbers and can actually schedule the bus routes.

        Will Extended Day operate as usual for the hybrid model?

        Posted July 1

        The APS Return-to-School Task Force is continuing to create detailed plans for a safe return to school, including considerations regarding Extended Day. But, at this time no decision has been made regarding the operation of Extended Day.

        What is the maximum number of students in an in-person class, in the hybrid model?

        Posted July 7

        There is no set maximum number of students per classroom. Each classroom’s furniture will be set to maintain six-foot distances; due to variations in buildings and classrooms, some classrooms may have larger capacities than others.

        For middle and high school, on the 2 days of in-person learning, will the students only have 1 class with each subject’s teacher? Does this vary by high school?

        Posted July 8

        Yes, students will have one in-person class period with each teacher on their schedule. While there may be slight differences at each school, this will be a consistent thread among all APS high schools.

        Will face coverings (masks) be required?

        Updated July 31

        All APS employees and students will be required to wear a face covering (mask) while inside the building unless medically exempt. These face coverings will be reusable and should be washed before each use to remain effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Circumstances will exist (i.e., eating, drinking, etc.) where face coverings/masks may have to be removed for a limited time. Six-foot distances must be maintained during these exceptions.

        What health screenings will be required?

        Posted July 1

        All employees and students will go through a daily health screening process, including temperature checks, before participating in any in-person activities at APS. This includes riding the bus, entering the school, or participating in a conditioning workout for VHSL sports. Employee screenings will be logged, using our visitor management system, and student attendance will be used as the log for students.

        How is APS maintaining physical distancing requirements?

        Posted July 1

        Physical distancing will be maintained to the greatest extent possible. Furniture in classrooms will be set up to maintain ideal six-foot distances. On school buses, physical distancing will be maintained to the greatest extent possible and students will be seated one student per every other seat. APS will implement alternate school assembly methodology and other mass gatherings of non-school and school-based personnel (e.g., streaming, alternating groups). APS is taking measurements of each space now to determine capacities for each classroom and school based on physical distancing guidelines.

        How will APS support students’ mental health and well-being as they return to school in the fall?

        Posted July 7

        Supporting the mental health and well-being of all students, whether they are re-entering the classroom or learning at home full time, remains a priority as we plan for the fall. APS will provide weekly Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons for all grade levels and will offer daily office hours with counselors, social workers and psychologists by appointment.

        What additional services can I expect to be offered if my student struggles with social-emotional concerns?

        Posted July 7

        A site-based mental health team is provided at each APS school. Members of that team can provide individual check-ins when referrals are made by students, parents, teachers and building administrators. These check-ins will be conducted by the individual on that team or by another person in the school who has skills to support the student’s need. These check-ins are arranged by appointment only unless an emergency situation occurs that requires an immediate response. Additional student support services are anticipated such as short-term individual and small group counseling, as well as Tier 2 intervention groups; these services are based on referrals with the understanding that the site based mental health team has limited capacity to provide all services that may be required. In that case parents will be provided with contacts for outside resources. For students who receive counseling as a related service, those services will continue as indicated in the student’s IEP and are provided by the school psychologist or school social worker.

        Will APS provide transportation for in-school days in the hybrid model?

        Posted July 1

        Yes, APS will provide modified bus transportation to eligible students in the hybrid model. Bus service will look very different to accommodate reduced capacities to ensure social and physical distancing is maintained.

        What technology will be used to keep parents in the loop for full-time distance learners (e.g. will we still get ParentVUE updates)?

        Posted July 8

        APS students enrolled in distance learning courses with APS teachers will use the Synergy grade book and updates will be available to parents through ParentVUE just as they were when students attended in-person classes. In instances where courses are taught by outside providers, parents will be updated on their child’s progress through access to the provider’s grading platform and emails from teachers, as well as communications from their APS mentor (school counselor or designated APS teacher).

        What is the best way to stay informed about reopening plans?

        Posted July 1

        Visit this website frequently for the latest information and updates on planning for reopening schools. The FAQ page will be continually updated with all the latest information and resources. Additionally, we will send School Talk weekly updates from Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán every Tuesday via email. (If you are not already receiving School Talk messages, please visit this page: apsva.us/schooltalk) Staff updates from the Superintendent will also be shared every Tuesday and posted on Staff Central. Follow APS on Twitter to receive notice when new updates are available.