Dear APS Families:
During this period of school closing, APS hopes that you and your families are safe and adjusting to new routines. As COVID-19 changes daily, we are continuing to evaluate our school plans going forward with community health and safety remaining the top priority.
We are in daily contact with state and county officials to provide a coordinated response that keeps the health and well-being of our students, employees, and families, along with the continuation of essential services, at the forefront. Along with the Commonwealth of Virginia-declared state of emergency, Arlington County has now declared a state of emergency and urged bars and restaurants to close dine-in services.
In consideration of these developments, I want to share a few reminders to stress the importance of social distancing. Parents have asked – what does social distancing mean for me and how can I protect my family? Here are some reminders.
Social Distancing Reminders:
- Avoid group gatherings, such as play dates, sleepovers, parties and visiting each other’s homes.
- Those in need of childcare should limit the number of families involved as much as possible.
- Get outside, take walks, ride bikes, or go on hikes, but maintain 6 feet of distance between individuals. Limiting germ exposure to your family’s is reasonable practice.
- Cook meals at home, if possible.
- Limit visits to stores and restaurants or coffee shops; try to plan grocery store trips during non-peak hours if/when possible.
- Practice prevention like covering coughs, hand washing and social distancing techniques with children and have them practice among themselves.
- Remember that there are many safe activities to explore – family game nights, reading books, listening to music, going for walks and spending time outside, checking on a friend and group video chats are a few.
As the weather continues to improve, outdoor gatherings of fewer than 10 are viewed as appropriate at the moment, but social distancing techniques must still be practiced. Teens are included in this group, and activities like bike riding and hiking/walking are viewed as better alternatives to gathering in groups.
For older students, there is an article from the Washington Post with simulations that show how social distancing can “flatten the curve” of the virus.
Please, please use these resources with your family. The priority is staying well and managing physical and mental health. Additional resources are available on the CDC website.
The APS COVID-19 web page also offers a wide range of resources on Learning at Home, Meal Services and updated FAQ.
As we continue to adapt our daily lives, let’s work to protect and care for one another as much as possible by taking every precaution necessary. Even from afar, we’re in this together.