APS News Release

Superintendent Presents Middle School Boundary Recommendation

Board Approves Next Steps for the Education Center
Joint Career Center Working Group Charge Approved

The Superintendent presented his proposed middle school boundary recommendation to the School Board at the Nov. 14 meeting. APS is projecting a middle school population of 6,613 students by the 2022-23 school year. The proposed boundaries create an attendance zone for the new middle school at the Stratford Site, relieve crowding and better balances enrollment across all middle schools. Williamsburg will have available seats that could be considered for transfers and an optional instructional program in the future.

The boundary recommendation aligns with community priorities for proximity by having 55% of middle school students eligible to walk to school, strengthening efficiency by increasing the number of potential walkers. In addition, all middle schools are under 111% capacity by 2022-23 school year. The proposal reassigns an estimated 1,545 students by the 2022-23 school year and moves 84 of the 346 total planning units.

A public hearing will be held on the recommendations at the School Board meeting on Thu, Nov. 30, and the School Board is scheduled to act on the recommendations on Dec. 14.To see the full recommendation, including a map with street names, visit https://www.apsva.us/engage/middle-school-boundary-change/staff-recommendation/.

ACTION ITEMS:

  • Education Center Instructional Focus: The School Board approved the staff recommendation that the Building Level Planning Committee (BLPC) be convened to move forward with the process for repurposing the Education Center as an instructional location, and to align the specific instructional focus with the new Strategic Plan vision that will be determined next spring.
  • Joint Career Center Working Group Charge – A group is being established and charged by both the Arlington School Board and Arlington County Board, and will focus on evaluating the Career Center site and recommend how it can be developed in phases to accommodate additional high school capacity and other facility and community amenities. The charge to the group delineates site and facility specific goals, and identifies stakeholders that will be represented in the group’s membership. The County Board is scheduled to approve the charge at its session on Tue, Nov. 28, at 3 p.m.

MONITORING ITEMS:

  • Superintendent’s 2017-18 Action Plan Update – Dr. Pat Murphy brought the Board up to date about the efforts underway on the action plan to support the Board’s work this year. Key highlights from his report include the following:
    • 1:1 Devices: APS will hold a community engagement meeting on Wed, Nov. 15 to discuss the interim guidance for the Acceptable Use policy on the 1:1 device initiative. Community engagement will continue through early January 2018, and School Board action is scheduled on Jan. 18. More information is available on the Engage website.
    • School Naming Criteria – Surveys are going out to gather input from staff, students, families, alumni and the community. A staff committee will review the final report and present a recommendation for the Naming Policy Criteria to the School Board in January 2018.
    • Montessori Working Group – The group is continuing to meet and discuss plans for its move to the Patrick Henry Elementary School site in Sept. 2019. The working group will present a monitoring report update to the School Board on Dec. 14.
    • Strategic Plan – The Steering Committee has several meetings planned to discuss best practices, the current state of schools, and the APS mission, vision and core values.
    • FY19 Budget – The process to develop a budget for the 2018-19 school year is underway, with plans for community engagement and input over the next few weeks. Budget forums are scheduled in the community for Spanish speakers on Nov. 16 and for the whole community on Nov. 28. In addition, the Superintendent and County Manager will discuss the FY19 Budget at the Arlington Civic Federation meeting on Dec. 5. For more information, view the Budget Development Calendar here.

The full presentation of the Superintendent’s Action Plan update is available on BoardDocs.

  • Summer School Report – Staff reported on course offerings and programs that have been offered in summer school as well as SOL results for those students who participated in the courses. The report also highlighted goals for moving forward. The full report is available online.

INFORMATION ITEMS:

  • Legislative Package – The School Board reviewed this year’s proposed state legislative priorities. The 2018 priorities include urging full funding for the Standards of Quality (SOQ) and all mandates to public schools; establishment of a School Health Advisory Board; supporting a one-year delay in implementing the redesign of high school graduation requirements; and continued advocacy for returning control of the public school calendar to local school districts. Complete details are available in BoardDocs.
  • Middle and High School Program of Studies – The Board reviewed recommended updates to the program of studies for middle and high school.
  • Gunston Supplementary Heating Work and Controls – Staff reviewed a proposal to award additional HVAC bond authority for up to $300,000 for work in advance of the main project budget proposal.

STUDENT SHOWCASE:
Students reported on their recent participation in the annual Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN) Student Conference. APS is a founding member of MSAN.

Next School Board Meeting: 
The next School Board meeting will be held on Thu, Nov. 30 at 6:30 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.