At a work session on May 15, the School Board reviewed site options for the location of new high school seats. Due to growing enrollment, APS will add 1,300 high school seats by September 2022.
Each site for a new high school is being considered, while the instructional focus will continue to take shape once the options become clear. The high school site and educational options discussed at the work session include:
Option A: Education Center, where a new building would replace the current Education Center and house a 9th grade academy (smaller learning environment) developed for Washington-Lee students, with expansion of the International Baccalaureate Program;
Option B: Kenmore, where the current middle school would remain and adjacent property would be used to build a new high school with a possible focus on the arts;
Option C: Career Center, where Arlington Tech would be expanded, adding 1,300 high school seats; and
Option D: Hybrid of Education Center and Career Center, in which the Education Center would be renovated to add approximately 600 seats and the Career Center would be renovated to add approximately 700 seats (in addition to the 800 seats already being added to expand the Arlington Tech program). This hybrid option came out of the May 3 analysis by APS and Arlington County staff. Details about the 700 seats at the Career Center are being prepared for the next round of discussion.
Staff has been collaborating closely with the community to obtain feedback that helps identify the best option for a site for the 1,300 high school seats. The community identified the following considerations that shaped the criteria in the analysis for selecting a site:
- Number of seats produced,
- Instructional program,
- Complexity of the move,
- Potential to address long-term growth, and
- Maximum use of the site.
Staff presented a comprehensive analysis for each option, based upon the selected criteria, and presented overall ratings for each site.
Gallery Walks are scheduled at all three sites for the public to review the proposals along with the detailed analysis for each option. Each Gallery Walk will provide the same information about all three sites, so interested community members only need to attend at one location OR can review the same information on the Gallery Walk webpage.
The Gallery Walks will be held:
- May 22, 5 – 8 p.m. at the Education Center
- May 22, 5 – 8 p.m. at Kenmore Middle School
- May 25, 5 – 8 p.m. at the Arlington Career Center
A detailed analysis of criteria and ratings calculations for each of the sites; all work session presentations and background materials; and an online feedback form, which closes May 26; are available at https://apsva.us/instruction/new-high-school. The video of the May 15 work session presentation and School Board discussion is also posted online.
The Superintendent’s recommendation for a new high school site will be presented at the School Board meeting on June 1, and the School Board is expected to make a decision at its meeting on June 29. A public hearing will be held on June 15.