Superintendent’s April 13 Return-to-School Update

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Dear APS Families,

I hope your week is off to a great start as we begin the fourth quarter. We are currently in the process of planning for summer and fall 2021-22. Our goal remains to resume instructional schedules that are as close to the normal school day as possible, while also providing a fully remote, K-12 distance learning program for students who need it. Here are important updates on the work in progress and upcoming dates to remember:

Family Surveys for the 2021-22 School Year – APS will be offering a five-day in-person instructional model and a separate, five-day K-12 distance learning program for students in the fall, while following health and safety guidelines. We are launching a family/student survey from Mon, April 19 through Fri, April 30, requesting each student’s preferred instructional model and transportation choices for the 2021-22 school year. The survey will launch in ParentVUE on Monday, and families will receive a School Talk providing instructions, FAQ, and general information on each instructional model. Families will be asked to make their selections in ParentVUE by April 30 so that APS can proceed with staffing and master schedule planning in both models.

Extended Day for SY 2021-22 – APS plans to offer Extended Day for the 2021-22 School Year. Registration is postponed to allow for Extended Day to review the data from Family Surveys and confirm modifications or health and safety measures needed to run the program safely for as many students as possible. New registration dates will be announced soon.

Expanding In-Person Instruction Opportunities – During last week’s School Board meeting, I reiterated our commitment to expanding in-person instruction to as many additional students as possible now, while following 3-foot distancing guidelines. Schools have been working to reconfigure classrooms to expand their capacity in accordance with the new guidance, and many have already admitted additional students. Principals are making those decisions for each school based on capacity. Many schools have successfully accommodated all students on their wait lists. I am also glad to report that the reduced distancing has allowed some elementary hybrid classes to transition to a single classroom, versus having classes split into two groups with the teacher and assistant rotating between the rooms. Those decisions are being made at the building level, and I encourage all families interested in transitioning to in-person instruction to reach out to your school for assistance.

Updated Enrollment by Instructional Model – We will continue to keep the community informed of our enrollment and any changes in each model on a weekly basis. The data, posted online and updated every Monday, shows the current enrollment and changes, with breakdowns by special populations, grade level, school, and ethnicity. I will also continue to share this information during my School Board Monitoring Reports.

Summer School Information – Parents of elementary students who are eligible for the elementary summer strengthening program will be notified starting on Fri, April 16, and will have until Fri, April 30 to opt out of summer school. Parents of secondary students who are eligible for summer school will be notified by their school in mid-May. They will have until May 28 to opt out.  Registration for Economics and Personal Finance (the only new work course that APS will offer this summer) will be conducted online through the Social Studies Office from May 3-14. Details are being finalized.

Thank you for your ongoing support and partnership.

Sincerely,

Dr. Francisco Durán
Superintendent
Arlington Public Schools