APS News Release

School Board Discusses Framework, Process and Timeline for Proposed High School Boundary Refinements

respect-picBoard Approves 2016-17 Priorities

Sept. 23, 2016 — The School Board continued discussions on a framework for engaging the community to develop refinements to the high school attendance zone boundaries at last night’s meeting. Staff presented a proposed framework for developing refinements to the high school boundaries that will balance enrollment and achieve better utilization of available instructional spaces at the three comprehensive high schools. The plan outlined a broad range of communications and outreach that will be used to inform stakeholders about the process.  An online boundary tool will be one resource to allow community members to provide suggestions for recommended refinements to the boundaries. Feedback from the community will help shape the staff recommendation to the School Board.

Implementation: The refinements will take effect in September 2017 and apply to the current eighth grade students who will be entering high school next fall and then for each freshman class in the next three school years. The refinements will not affect any current high school students and the recommendations will include options for siblings of current high school students.

Process & Dates: The Online Boundary Refinement Tool will be available for stakeholders to share proposals from October 12-24. In addition, APS will host a series of “Getting Started” community meetings to help inform families and community members about the process and to explain how to use the tool. The same information will be presented at each “Getting Started” meeting. The four sessions will be held:

  • Wed, Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Washington-Lee High School Cafeteria
  • Sat, Oct. 15 at 10 a.m. in the Jefferson Middle School Library (Spanish presentation)
  • Mon, Oct 17 at 7 p.m. in the Yorktown High School Cafeteria
  • Wed, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Wakefield High School Cafeteria

After the Boundary Tool closes, APS will host a “What We Heard” Community Meeting on Thu, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. in the Washington-Lee cafeteria to discuss the responses received and hear final recommendations from the community before the recommendations are developed.

Additional Feedback Options: Staff will also be providing a paper Boundary Tool option for those who do not want to use the online tool.  Then beginning next week, a boundary webpage will be available at www.apsva.us/APSboundaries and comments or questions will be accepted by email at apsboundaries@apsva.us or by telephone (in English and Spanish) at 703-228-6310. Community ambassadors will also be recruited to assist as liaisons with schools and community throughout the process. All of the feedback will help to inform the final recommendations.

School Board Deliberations: Recommendations will be presented to the School Board at the meeting on Nov. 3. The Board will review the recommendations during a Work Session on November 9, and there will be a public hearing during the Nov. 15 School Board meeting. The final high school boundary refinement plan will be approved on Thu, Dec. 1 before High School Information Night on Mon, Dec. 12.

ACTION ITEMS:

School Board 2016-17 Priorities – The Board approved its 2016-17 Priorities, which assist in keeping its work focused, effective and aligned with Strategic Plan goals. This year’s priorities place emphasis on initiatives that advance growth in academic achievement for all students and that meet the social and emotional needs of the whole child. Additional priorities include staff development efforts, school capacity expansion, and collaboration with County government on shared interests.The Board will initiate visioning processes to address instructional opportunities at Drew Model School and the redesign of high school and graduation requirements. Academic initiatives will focus on development of personalized learning experiences, growth of the Arlington Tech program, improved literacy for all students, and implementation of recommendations from the Whole Child Working Group. The complete list of priorities is available in BoardDocs.

Stratford Middle School Project Architecture/Engineering Fees Change Order – The Board approved a change order to the fee structure, based on additional time that was necessary for the public engagement process and increased scope of the project.

Revision of Select Finance School Board Policies – The Board approved recommended changes to the following financial management policies: 40-1.01 General; 40-1.02 Revenue Sharing; 40-1.03 Additional County Revenue; 40-1.04 Budget Savings; 40-1.05 Reserve Funds; 40-1.06 Budget Direction; 40-1.07 Budget Development; and 40-2.1 Extended Day. More information is available in BoardDocs.

The Board made several appoints during the meeting:

  • Tameka Lovett-Miller was named Budget Director. She previously served as a budget analyst.
  • Carl Seward was named assistant principal at Gunston Middle School where he currently serves as a math coach.
  • Tara Woolridge was appointed as the Director of the Employee Assistance Program.
  • Kelly Mountain was named supervisor of Student Services. She is currently a school psychologist.

INFORMATION ITEMS:

Waiver of School Board Policy 25-2.2: Enrollment and Transfers for Schools and Programs – Staff is recommending that the Board waive Policy 25-2.2: Enrollment and Transfers for Schools and Programs for middle and high schools. Waiving the policy will provide an interim solution to balance over-capacity at Gunston, Swanson and Williamsburg middle schools and Washington-Lee High School. It will also provide a short-term solution to manage increased enrollment during the 2017-18 school year. The transfers are based on 120% building occupancy over a three-year period for middle schools and a four-year period for high schools and will be reevaluated annually.

During the 2017-18 school year, there will be voluntary transfers for Kenmore and Jefferson middle schools as well as Wakefield and Yorktown high schools.

Revision of School Board Policy 25-3.2: Homeless Education Services – Staff recommended changes to the policy to ensure compliance with the McKinney-Vento Act, including provision of services for homeless youth, including transportation and social services; coordinating services identification, and providing services for homeless students who live outside of Arlington County.

MONITORING ITEM:Graduation Requirements and ESSA Update – Staff provided the Board with an update on graduation requirements and the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The report included a summary of new elements in the ESSA as well as information on the high school redesign process. The full presentation is available online.

RECOGNITIONS

At the beginning of the meeting, John Milliken, a co-chair of the recent Arlington Community Facilities Study, presented the School Board with the Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association’s 2016 award for Community Outreach and Engagement for the Community Facilities Study which was a joint effort with Arlington County.

FOR MORE INFORMATION Citizens who want to comment on any of the items discussed at the School Board meeting should email the Board at school.board@apsva.us 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.