APS News Release

School Board Receives Update on Return-to-School Plan and Secondary First-Quarter Grades

Honors Outgoing School Board Members Nancy Van Doren and Tannia Talento

During the Dec. 17 School Board Meeting, Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán presented the 2020-21 School Year Monitoring Report, noting that dates and details regarding Level 2 and Level 3 transitions to hybrid/in-person learning are being finalized and will be communicated to staff and families in January. The Superintendent also presented the highlights of a newly published APS Secondary First Quarter Grades Report, which provides a comparison of middle and high school students’ first quarter grades in the 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years. The data is disaggregated by ethnicity; Students with Disabilities; English learners; economically disadvantaged students; and students accessing supports through a 504 plan.

The report closely examines both changes in students earning As well as those earning failing grades, or Es. ​Overall, all student groups showed increases in the percentage of “E” grades earned during Q1 of the current year in distance learning, compared to the prior years. ​Additional findings noted in the report include:

  • The percentage of students earning Es at the end of Q1 increased in SY 2020-21 for all student groups when compared to SY 2019-20 Q1.​
  • Overall, middle school Es increased from 0.7 percent of all grades to 2.1 percent of all grades, a 1.4 percent increase. ​
  • High school Es increased from 4.3 percent of all grades to 5.4 percent of all grades, a 1 percent increase. ​
  • Among racial/ethnic groups, the increase in Es was highest among Black English Learners (7 percent) and Hispanic English Learners (15 percent). ​

In response to the findings, the Superintendent outlined several solutions and next steps to strengthen distance learning and support student progress. The full report is available here.The Superintendent’s presentation also included updates on COVID-19 health and safety metrics, instruction, results of the Level 3 family selection process, operations, and financial projections.

The full Monitoring Report is available online and you can watch the presentation here.

Recognitions
The School Board honored members Nancy Van Doren and Tannia Talento who participated in their final meeting as School Board members. School Board Chair Monique O’Grady and other members thanked them both for advocating to improve outcomes for all students and acknowledged the many contributions each has made to the Board during their tenures. Van Doren has served on the Board since 2014 and Talento has served since 2017.

The School Board also heard a virtual holiday music performance by the chorus for Washington-Liberty and Yorktown.

Action Items
The School Board approved the following items:

Information Items
The Board heard updates on the following items.

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.