APS News Release

Changes to Instructional Model for 3rd-5th Grade Students


Dear Elementary Families,

As return-to-school planning continues, we want to update you on changes to the instructional learning model for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade elementary students, which will take effect once in-person learning transitions begin.

Over the past several weeks, APS elementary principals and the Department of Teaching & Learning have engaged in discussions and scheduling to prepare for student transitions to in-person learning. Discussions have focused on how to best serve all students in the model of their choosing, while addressing 3rd-5th grade staffing limitations.

Based on those discussions, we have decided to transition 3rd- 5th grade students to the “concurrent instruction” model, similar to the model adopted for secondary students. In the concurrent model, all 3rd-5th grade students will be able to continue in their current class, with their current teacher, regardless of the model they selected. Teachers will instruct both groups of students – those attending school in person, and those participating online – simultaneously, whether the teacher is in the classroom or working remotely.

Concurrent Instruction Model for 3rd-5th Grade Students
The concurrent model changes detailed below ONLY apply to 3rd-5th grade students and will take effect once it is determined that hybrid/in-person learning transitions can begin (return dates to be announced). All other elementary students (PreK-2nd grade) selecting hybrid/in-person model will follow the elementary hybrid/in-person learning model as already described.  In the concurrent instructional model:

  • Students will participate in a combination of synchronous and asynchronous instruction four days (Tues.-Fri.) each week, regardless of the delivery model selected.
  • Students continue in their current class, with their current teacher, regardless of the model they selected.
  • Students will be divided into three concurrent groups—full-time distance, Hybrid A (in-person Tues/Wed), and Hybrid B (in-person Thurs/Fri).
  • Both Full-Distance and Hybrid students will interact with each other and their teachers four days each week. Hybrid students will attend school in-person two days each week.
  • Teachers will instruct both groups of students simultaneously, whether the teacher is in school in person or teaching remotely. This may mean that some students in school will receive instruction from a teacher who is remote; these students will be monitored and assisted in-person by classroom assistants.
  • Mondays will continue as asynchronous learning days for all students, with time for teacher planning and small group interventions.

This change applies to 3rd-5th grade students at all elementary neighborhood schools and option programs, except for Montessori Public School of Arlington (MPSA), Claremont Immersion and Key Immersion.

  • All MPSA students will participate in the original hybrid/in-person model.
  • All Claremont and Key Immersion students, PreK-5th grade, will follow the concurrent model described above.

Professional learning for 3rd-5th grade teachers will take place on Friday, Feb. 5, in the afternoon, to support the skills needed to teach in these unique environments concurrently. To accommodate this training and other professional learning for elementary teachers and staff, Fri, Feb 5 will be an early release day for elementary students.

Thank you for continued patience and cooperation as we work to navigate these changes. If you have questions about this adjusted model, please reach out to your principal. We will update all families as additional details and student return timelines become available.

Bridget Loft
Assistant Superintendent
Department of Teaching and Learning