Superintendent’s Dec. 15 Return-to-School Update

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Dear APS Families,

As students complete their final week of school before the Winter Break, I want to remind you about changes to our meal services schedule, as well as next steps in planning for future hybrid/in-person learning transitions. Additionally, with snowfall in the forecast this week, I have provided updated information regarding our inclement weather procedures below.

Winter Break Meal Service
To ensure all families have access to healthy meals during the Winter Break we are modifying meal services as follows:

  • Friday, Dec. 18: We will serve three days of meals for Friday, Saturday, and Monday at all current locations, including 22 school sites and 7 drop-off locations.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 22: There will be no meals served on Monday, December 21. On Tuesday, Dec. 22, we will serve five days of meals for Tuesday – Saturday. Meals will be distributed at the following school locations: Barcroft, Barrett, Campbell, Drew, Gunston, Hoffman-Boston, Kenmore, Key, Randolph, Swanson, Wakefield, W-L and Yorktown.

Meals will be served on both days during the regular 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. service window. There will be no meal services provided during the week of December 28. We will resume regular meal service on Monday, January 4. This information will be communicated through School Talk and text reminders later this week as well. Thank you to our Food and Nutrition Services staff for their ongoing work to provide meals for students.

Updates on 2020-21 School Year and Hybrid/In-Person Learning Transitions
We will hold our final School Board meeting of the current calendar year this Thursday, December 17. During the meeting, I will present the 2020-21 School Year Monitoring Report, including updates on COVID-19 health and safety metrics, instruction, results of the Level 3 family selection process, operations, and financial projections. I am continuing to work with administrators and staff to monitor the health metrics and operating conditions, and to finalize timing for Level 2 and Level 3 transitions to hybrid/in-person learning for families and students who have selected that instructional model.

Specific details and dates for future in-person learning transitions for students in Level 2 and Level 3 will be communicated to staff and families in early January. We continue to evaluate all metrics, and to focus on effective mitigation strategies to ensure the health and safety of staff and students.

Winter Weather Procedures
In the event of a change in our operating status due to weather, we will alert all staff and families by 6 p.m. the evening before, with any morning updates communicated by 5 a.m. Distance Learning will continue for all students during inclement weather events providing there is no interruption in power or network connectivity. In the event schools and facilities need to close due to an inclement weather event, Level 1 students attending school in-person would temporarily revert to Distance Learning. Distance Learning will follow the normal schedule during inclement weather, with asynchronous instruction on Mondays and synchronous instruction on Tuesday through Friday.

A major storm causing a power or network outage may require us to cancel distance learning and call an official “snow day.” We will follow our inclement weather protocols on deciding if other school-based activities, such as meal services, in-person learning support or athletic practices can continue, and will keep you updated through School Talk messages, social media, text alerts, local media, and our website. Click here to view our winter weather procedures in full.

Additionally, as we head into the Winter Break, please note that this is the final Weekly Update message that I will be sending until the week of January 4. I look forward to providing additional updates and information as we head into a new calendar year.

I continue to appreciate your support and partnership in making this school year as successful as possible for all students. Stay safe, and I wish everyone a great break.

Dr. Francisco Durán
Arlington Public Schools