School Board Approves Alice West Fleet as Name for New Elementary School
Staff Presents Update on One-to-One Device Initiative
The School Board approved the committee’s recommendation for the new school at Jefferson to be named Alice West Fleet Elementary School. Fleet was a long-time Arlington teacher. She was the first African-American reading teacher in Arlington and the first African-American teacher in an all-white school. During her career in Arlington, she taught at Hoffman-Boston, Drew, Woodmont and Reed elementary schools. The new school is slated to open in September 2019. The complete presentation is available online.
Instructional staff presented an update on the one-to-one device initiative. One of the many tools used by APS teachers to support learning includes the iPads and laptops provided to students as part of this initiative to ensure equal access to technology resources and extended learning opportunities for all students. Staff shared community feedback from the Advisory Council on Instruction, community meetings, and Engage with APS communication as well as future action steps related to this initiative. The full presentation is available on BoardDocs.
PUBLIC HEARING: The School Board held a public hearing to receive comments on the options presented for high school seats. The Superintendent’s recommendation is a hybrid, combining the Education Center site and the Career Center site options to provide 1,300 additional high school seats needed by 2022. A presentation about the recommendation along with the high school options analysis and ratings is available on BoardDocs. The School Board is scheduled to make a decision on a high school site option at the next meeting on June 29.
ACTION ITEM: The School Board approved instructional resources in English Language Arts, Science and Social Studies. The approved list of resources is available online.
- Annual Report of the Advisory Council on School Facilities and Capital Programs: Staff presented a response to the Annual Report on School Facilities and the Capital Program. Report highlights include identification of sites for adding 1,300 high school seats, the high school boundary adjustments, and capital construction projects at Abingdon Elementary, McKinley Elementary, the Career Center, and new schools at the Jefferson and Wilson site. Future priorities include completion of ongoing construction projects and close collaboration with the Joint Facilities Advisory Commission to plan for future facilities.
- Annual Report of the Budget Advisory Council: Staff presented a response to the Annual Report from the Budget Advisory Council. Key recommendations from the report include reviewing compensation to make sure APS remains competitive, monitoring the technology budget and related costs for the one-to-one device initiative, and ensuring high school site options are cost-effective and construction costs are carefully managed.
- Annual Report of the Advisory Council on Instruction: Staff presented the Annual Report and response to each of the recommended action items. The Advisory Council recommended change to the wellness policy, withholding of recess, use of personalized devices at the elementary level and solicitation of feedback from families, and uniform implementation of gifted services throughout the school division. The full presentation is available in BoardDocs.
- APS 3-5 Year Action Plan: The Superintendent provided a progress report on the APS 3-5 Year Plan, including a summary of projects that have been completed this year related to high school boundaries, policy updates, Drew Visioning process, and the new “Engage” web subsite. He highlighted current works in progress, including high school site options, K-12 instructional vision, resource adoption and the one-to-one device initiative. He laid out areas of engagement during the 2017-18 school year, which will include:
- Developing the Fall Annual Update on options and transfers; including lotteries and defining options;
- Developing the 2018-24 Strategic Plan;
- Middle school boundary process in the fall;
- Elementary boundary process in the winter/spring; and
- Developing the 2019-28 Capital Improvement Plan.
Local Plan for Education of the Gifted: Staff presented an overview of the local plan for gifted services. Updates were presented for screening, referral and identification; recommendations for service options; differentiated curriculum and instruction; and professional development. On June 29, staff will return to present the results of the program evaluation and how it informs and aligns with the local plan.
Introduction of New School Board Policy: Staff proposed a new policy, 25-3.11 Threat Assessment Team, which adheres to state requirements and establishes a process for assessment and intervention with students whose behaviors may pose a threat to the safety of students and staff at school. The policy components include establishment of an oversight threat assessment committee and threat assessment teams, provides expertise from both APS and County resources, provides expertise with students who have an Individual Education Plan or 504 Plan, and provides quantitative data on each threat assessment team.
Revision of School Board Policies
- 10-6.5 Student Advisory Board: The Student Advisory Board worked throughout the year on proposed changes to the existing policy with specific details shifting to Policy Implementation Procedures. The changes expand the Student Advisory Board by designating two high school student representatives from each grade level for Arlington Community, New Directions, Langston, and the Career Center. This representation is equivalent to the number of student representatives designated from each of the three comprehensive high schools. Additionally, information pertaining to membership, Board officers and procedures has been expanded to factor in anticipated growth in high school enrollment.
- 25-1.8 Home Instruction: Staff proposed policy revisions that meet a new state requirement to facilitate access for home instruction children to national standardized testing. The Appeals section of the policy is also updated to reflect the current language being used by the School Board.
- 30-2.2 Boundaries: The first draft of this revised policy was presented to the School Board on June 1. Staff proposed a revised draft that reflects feedback from the School Board and the community, to make the policy more consistent with other APS and School Board messages and to clarify some details in the policy.
- Select School Board Policies on Nondiscrimination: Staff proposed revisions for several School Board nondiscrimination policies.
- Policy 10-3, Human Relations, is broadened to include more protections and eliminate details covered in other policies.
- Policy 25-1.15, Student Equal Education Opportunities/Nondiscrimination, is a recommended name change and clarifies protection against discrimination and harassment on all protected classifications. It also adds a definition section, designates Compliance Officers for student complaints, and addresses remedies for complaints.
- Policy 35-4.4, Employee Relations-Equal Employment Opportunity, removes language related to student complaints, adds language for disability protections, and designates Compliance Officers for staff and applicant complaints.
- 25-3 Support for Students – Wellness: Staff proposed revisions that meet new requirements from the Virginia Department of Education, including physical activity and nutrition goals, a triennial assessment for all schools, and documentation requirements. The revisions also align with the APS strategic plan goal to meet the needs of the whole child.
- 25-4.3 Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973: Staff proposed minor revisions that align with the Individual Disabilities Act.
The School Board will consider the proposed policy revisions for approval at the June 29 meeting. The community is invited to share feedback on these proposed revisions at www.apsva.us/engage. The proposed revisions and full details about all changes to School Board policies are also available on BoardDocs.
Construction Contract Awards
- Gunston Middle School Internal Modifications: Staff recommends the approval of a contract in the amount of $650,958 to Bennett Group, Inc. for internal modifications at Gunston Middle School. This project will increase capacity by 72 seats, through the addition of four new classrooms, two of which will be jointly shared by the Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation.
- Early Work Package 1 for the New Elementary School at Jefferson: Staff recommended the approval of an Early Work Package in the amount of $5,487,913 to Whiting-Turner. This contract will ensure that timeline for the construction of the school building allows it to open by September 2019.
Conveyance of APS Property at Taylor Elementary School to Arlington County
Staff proposed that APS convey 4.78 acres of deeply sloped, forested land located on Taylor Elementary School property to Arlington County, to expand the size of Zachary Taylor Park.
First Amendment to License Agreement for Long Branch Elementary School
Staff requested School Board approval to modify the license agreement in order to expand the area of County-owned land that can be used for relocatable classrooms. The additional space will be used to replace two existing single relocatable classrooms with one larger 4-classroom relocatable structure that can accommodate increased student enrollment at the school.
RECOGNITIONS: The meeting began with a student performance from the Drew Model School 4th and 5th Grade Choir, who recently earned first place at a music festival held at Busch Gardens. Following the performance, the School Board recognized several groups of students for their academic, artistic, and athletic achievements:
- Students who were selected for the All Virginia Honors Chorus, Band, and Orchestra;
- Students who earned medals on the Latin Exam; and
- Students who competed and placed in state athletic events at Wakefield, Washington-Lee, and Yorktown High Schools.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Citizens who want to comment on any of the items discussed at the School Board meeting should email the Board at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703-228-6015. Citizens may call 703-228-2400 on the Monday after the School Board meetings to listen to a meeting summary. School Board meetings are also broadcast live on Comcast Cable Channel 70 and Verizon FiOS Channel 41; live-streamed on the APS website, and re-broadcast on Fridays at 9 p.m. and Mondays at 7:30 p.m. immediately following the meeting. All materials and minutes of the meeting will be posted to the website at www.apsva.us/schoolboard upon School Board approval at a subsequent meeting.