APS News Release

School Board Discusses Proposed 2021-22 School Year Calendar

Honors Assistant Superintendent of Admin Services Cintia Johnson on Her Retirement
The Superintendent presented the proposed 2021-22 school year calendar at the Nov. 17 School Board meeting. The proposed calendar includes a pre-Labor Day start and will include four additional cultural/religious holidays.

Key dates include:

  • Aug. 19 – Staff return
  • Aug. 30 – First Day of School for K-12
  • Sept. 3-6 – Labor Day
  • Sept. 7 – Rosh Hashanah
  • Sept. 16 – Yom Kippur
  • Nov. 4 – Diwali
  • Nov. 11 – Veteran’s Day
  • Nov. 24-26 – Thanksgiving Break
  • Dec. 20-31 – Winter Break
  • April – 11-15 – Spring Break
  • May 3 – Eid Al-fitr
  • June 15 – High School Last Day
  • June 16 – Middle School Last Day
  • June 17 – Elementary Last Day and High School Graduation

Details on the proposed calendar are available online. The Superintendent also proposed adjusting this year’s calendar to make Inauguration Day a holiday for staff and students.

In addition, the Superintendent is proposing to align the Barcroft Elementary School calendar with the calendars of all other APS elementary schools, beginning in the 2021‐22 school year. Currently, Barcroft is the only APS elementary school that follows a modified school year calendar (MSYC). The recommendation to align the Barcroft calendar is based on the neutral impact the MSYC has had on student achievement, the significant budgetary pressures APS is facing, and long-term countywide planning demands.

The School Board is expected to act on the calendar proposals at the Dec. 3 meeting.

Additional details and the presentation are available here.

2020-21 School Year Update
The Superintendent provided his regular update on health, safety and operational metrics, noting that Arlington’s Case Incident Rate has entered into the highest risk category for the CDC’s primary indicators for school decision-making. Percent positivity rate has entered into a moderate risk category and several of the secondary indicators have also moved into higher risk categories.

The Superintendent shared initial academic data showing student performance in reading and math in distance learning during the first quarter. Even as APS plans for transitions to hybrid, in-person learning, staff are very focused on how students are doing in distance learning; how to best support them, and where interventions and additional support are needed to help students succeed in distance learning.

Currently, 99.18% of students participated in synchronous learning activities through Teams for an average of four hours through the day during last week and 95% of APS student devices actively engaged with applications such as Teams, Canvas and SeeSaw. ​There are 471 active Comcast sponsorships that support more than 925 students and 1,300 Mi-Fi’s (mobile hotspot devices) have been distributed to provide connectivity to students​.

A dashboard has been setup for each school to track individual student participation such as devices usage, Team Meeting Participation, Canvas usage times and other data that provide more insight to school administrators. This allows administrators to target outreach and to address individual challenges students are experiencing.

​​The Superintendent announced that this week, the Department of Teaching and Learning is facilitating six focus groups involving teachers, students, parents, ITC’s, administrators and Office of Student Services staff to learn what is working with distance learning and what is not. This information will help us better understand how to measure student progress and what supports, and resources are needed to ensure that distance learning is working for all students.

To see additional information on student progress, interventions, updates on Level 2 and 3, additional student and family supports, updated air quality details and more, visit BoardDocs or watch the presentation here.

Recognition
The School Board honored Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services Cintia Johnson who announced her retirement after 35 years at Arlington Public Schools. Johnson served in a number of roles including teacher, principal and Interim Superintendent during her time at APS. The Board shared a proclamation and video to recognize all that she has done for Arlington Public Schools.

Appointment
As part of their consent agenda this evening, the School Board appointed Dr. Jeannette Allen as Interim Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services, effective January 1, 2021. Dr. Allen previously served as Acting Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services while Cintia Johnson served as Interim Superintendent. Her appointment begins Jan. 1, 2021.

Information Items
The Board was provided update on the following items:

  • 2021 Legislative Package
  • Long Branch Elementary School Playground License Agreement

Details on these items are available on BoardDocs.

For More Information:
Citizens who want to comment on any 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 will be posted to the website at www.apsva.us/schoolboard upon School Board approval at a subsequent meeting.