APS News Release

Staff Present Proposed Revisions for the APS Enrollment & Transfer Policy

School Board Also Adopts APS Budget for FY 2018

At last night’s meeting, staff presented the recommended revisions for School Board Policy 25-2.2 “Enrollment and Transfers for Schools and Programs.” The goal for the changes are to provide a blend of neighborhood and option schools; ensure equitable access; simplify the policy; and standardize practices. 

The report summarized the community process and activities that were undertaken in February and have allowed families to participate in person and virtually. All information has been updated online on the “Engage with APS” page, including posting of all meeting presentations and reports, as well as feedback from all surveys, the online form and emails, video links and answers to Frequently Asked Questions. The revised policy:

  • Continues to provide a blend of neighborhood and option schools;
  • Guarantees admission to neighborhood schools;
  • Clarifies the option schools that provide specialized instruction;
  • Affirms that students with disabilities and English language learners have access to option schools;
  • Outlines a simplified and consistent process for admission to option schools;
  • Prioritizes the importance of keeping families together;
  • Explains the availability of APS transportation;
  • Defines a process for appeals;
  • Identifies immersion schools as option-only;
  • Removes guaranteed admission for some neighborhoods to option schools;
  • Allows for transfers to another neighborhood school that has capacity;
  • Includes provisions for an annual update with recommendations, as needed, for adjustments to achieve policy goals, and
  • Moves details about option schools, preschool programs, and the application procedures to two new policy implementation procedures (PIPs).

The policy revisions will apply to students entering an APS school or program in the 2018-19 and subsequent school years. The revisions do not move any students who are enrolled in a school/program at the end of 2017-18. The recommendations also propose that younger siblings who will be concurrently enrolled with an older elementary sibling be assured admission to the elementary school where the older sibling will attend.

A Public Hearing on the proposed policy changes will be held at the School Board meeting on May 18, and the School Board is scheduled to adopt the policy revisions on June 1. More information can be found online and the presentation is available on BoardDocs.

ACTION ITEM:
School Board Final FY 2018 Budget –
The Board adopted the FY 2018 Budget. More information is available in the news release. 

MONITORING ITEMS:
APS 3-5 Year Action Plan –
Staff provided the School Board with updated information on the three options being considered for 1,300 new high school seats.

  1. Education Center, where a 9th grade academy (smaller learning environment) would be developed for Washington-Lee students, with expansion of the International Baccalaureate Program and creation of a World Languages site;
  2. 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; and
  3. Career Center, where Arlington Tech would be expanded, a 1,300 seat high school would be built, and career academies could be added. This option would allow for the repurposing of the Education Center.

APS will host Open Houses at all three sites during the last two weeks of May that will include gallery walks to provide the public with a firsthand look at the proposals for each site. A virtual forum will also be held for participants who cannot attend an Open Houses. A final School Board Work Session will be held on Mon, May 15 at the Education Center and recommendations will be presented to the Board for discussion and adoption in June.

The update also highlighted instructional initiatives including information on the Instructional    Resources Adoption process for English Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies and the 1:1 Device Initiative. The public is invited to comment these topics online at www.apsva.us/engage. The May 18 School Board meeting will include a recommendation for instructional resources adoption. The full presentation is available on BoardDocs. 

Spring Enrollment Update – Planning staff presented the spring enrollment update, which updates projections for the 2017-18 school year so sufficient staff and funding is allocated. The update projects that APS enrollment will grow by 1,124 students, an increase of 4.3% over last year, and total enrollment is projected to be 27,276 students next September. Earlier this year, the APS projections and procedures were independently reviewed by Dr. Richard Grip of Statistical Forecasting, LLC, a nationally-recognized expert in school enrollment projections. He worked with APS to assess the data and to affirm the projections. The full presentation is available in BoardDocs. 

OTHER INFORMATION ITEMS:
Special Education Annual Plan – Staff presented an overview of the proposed Special Education Annual Plan, which is required by the Virginia Department of Education to provide detailed information about how federal entitlement funds are allocated for staff support and services delivered to students with disabilities. The full presentation is available in BoardDocs.

Schematic Design for the Relocation of Administrative Offices to Sequoia Plaza Two – Staff presented the schematic design, with detailed floor plans, for the relocation of the APS administrative offices to Sequoia Plaza Two, the location of the APS Syphax Education Center. Construction is scheduled to begin in July and administrative offices will begin a phased move-in after January 1, 2018. More information is available in BoardDocs. 

RECOGNITIONS:
At the start of the meeting, the School Board recognized several students and staff who have received awards:

NEXT SCHOOL BOARD MEETING:
The next School Board meeting will be held on Thu, May 18 at 7:30 p.m. The agenda will be posted one week before the meeting on BoardDocs.  

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.