APS News Release

Superintendent Reports on the First Day of School

Board Presents 2020-21 Action Plan and Approves Revised 2020-21 School Calendar 

Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán delivered a First Day of School Report, including enrollment figures and other 2020-21 back-to-school updates, during the Sept. 10 School Board meeting. The Superintendent discussed the technology challenges many students and families experienced while trying to connect using APS devices on the first day of school. He explained it was due to a firewall issue related to the increased traffic accessing Microsoft Teams. The Superintendent noted that Information Services has addressed the known network issues with APS devices and continues to monitor and provide support.

In addition, the Department of information Services identified a software issue that was causing some further challenges for high school students using MacBook Airs. This was addressed and fixed as of Thursday morning. He encouraged students to resume using their APS-issued devices so teachers can effectively leverage the resources and applications available on those devices.

The Superintendent also discussed First Day Enrollment. As of Sept. 8, 27,109 students were enrolled. That is 911 less students than last year’s official September 30 count of 28,020. The official enrollment will be counted on September 30.

The report also included details on meal service provided during the school day. Food service staff served 4,356 students served on Tuesday and Wednesday. Meals are available for all children 18 and under at 21 school sites as well as 10 drop-off locations across Arlington. Locations and additional details are available online.

The full presentation is available on BoardDocs and the back-to-school video is available here.

Monitoring Report
2020-21 School Year Monitoring Report: The Superintendent also provided an update on the metrics used to determine if it is safe to begin opening schools. The report included Virginia Dept. of Health and APS metrics as well as state and local COVID-19 data. The full presentation is available online. You can also watch the video here.

Information Items
The School Board discussed the following items at last night’s meeting.

  • 2020‐21 School Board Action Plan – School Board Chair Monique O’Grady presented the Board’s 2020-21 Action Plan that included overarching goals that focus on excellent education and a continued focus on equity. The Action Plan also includes goals on student success and well-being as well as operational planning. The full action plan is available on BoardDocs.
  • Transportation Staff Facility Construction Contract Award – Staff presented the proposed construction contract award for the Transportation Staff Facility Renovation project. Staff recommends awarding the contract to The Matthews Group, Inc. in the amount of $1,847, 427 as well as approving a transfer of $1.2 million from the Capital Reserves. The full presentation is available online.
  • New Elementary School at Reed Temporary Change to Project Funding – Staff proposed a temporary change to funding for the Reed project. Additional details are available online.
  • License Agreement for School Bus Parking at the Trades Center West LotDetails are available on BoardDocs.

Action Item
The School Board approved the 2020-21 revised school calendar that includes the elimination of early release Wednesdays and transfers the professional learning time from the early release Wednesdays to Mondays on the same week.

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.