ACPD & APS Cares is a new collaborative effort between the Arlington County Police Department and Arlington Public Schools to promote safety, awareness and education among all APS students. This work supports our ‘Whole Child’ initiative and demonstrating to students that we all care about their health and well-being.
APS is fortunate to have our School Resource Officers (SROs) as well as APS Substance Abuse Counselors, who focus on building relationships with students to educate them and keep them safe. When we hear things that worry us, we want our students to know we care.
ACPD and APS believe that reintegrating our SROs as guest educators in classroom settings will provide a systemwide approach to safety and will benefit our students, staff and community as a whole. Providing a consistent and coordinated approach in all schools will help us ensure the best results for our students.
Our goal is to coordinate efforts to create and co-deliver curriculum at every elementary, middle and high school. In addition to the specified curriculum, a comprehensive approach will be utilized to institute the following best practices seen in many schools across the nation to ensure the safety and awareness of our students:
- Scheduling SROs to be in our buildings at least a half day and up to a full day every two weeks.
- Inviting the SROs to attend the Outdoor Lab 5th grade trip on the first day of each school’s two-day trip.
- Scheduling the SROs to co-teach with staff during the 4/5th grade health units to help address topics including prescription drugs, bullying and refusal skills.
Middle & High Schools
- Collaboration among SROs, Middle School Counselors, substance abuse counselors and student activity coordinators to address topics such as how to avoid risky behavior, decision-making, substance abuse prevention, communication, emotion management and bullying prevention.
- Collaboration between SROs and staff during health units to address topics including substance abuse trends, gangs, cyberbullying, prescription drugs, avoiding risky behavior and/or developing refusal skills. SROs will participate for a full period in Health & Physical Education (HPE) classes for 1-2 days each session. Classes will include activities such as a “stations format” with SRO role-play; the Substance Abuse Counselors “Jeopardy” game; an interactive session with school counselors; and goal setting and building self-esteem with the HPE teacher. Students will complete a reflective journal assignment the day after the event.
- New Police Camp – Arlington County Summer Enrichment Program (AC S.T.E.P.) a camp for rising 8th & 9th graders – five students from each school with two weeks before summer school (June 26th– June 30th and July 3rd, 5th, 6th & 7th) and one week after (August 14th-18th ).
- Community Service activities (activities that various clubs host; school sponsored activities; Team Kids)
- Back to School class meetings (explain the role of SROs in schools)
- Prom Promise activities (Schools ask students to sign an agreement not drink or do drugs during the Prom season)
- Town Hall Meeting – including SROs in discussions that include safety
- Staff meetings with SROs and Substance Abuse Counselors so that SROs can share the latest trends in juvenile behaviors that are linked to risky activities.