Superintendent’s Dec. 1 Return-to-School Update

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APS Families,

I hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable Thanksgiving break. As we move into December, I would like to share a few brief updates and reminders:

COVID-19 Monitoring and Return Plans
As we continue to see rising COVID-19 cases in our community, we are working with the Virginia Department of Education and following public health guidance to make decisions regarding our operating status. In accordance with state guidance, we are continuing to provide in-person support for Level 1, students with disabilities, focusing on consistent implementation of health mitigation measures to protect staff and students. We have paused in-person return for students in Levels 2 and 3 through December as we continue to plan for future transitions. This is an evolving situation, and we will continue to adjust based on metrics, trends, and the guidance we receive.

Level 3 Family Selection Process
We initiated the Level 3 Family Selection Process on Monday, Nov. 30. Families of middle and high school students have until December 7 to select an instructional model. Principals are working with staff to ensure every family has the information they need to make a selection during this window. We also released a short video and overview to describe a hybrid day for middle and high school students, so that students and families know what to expect in the hybrid model. More details are available online.

Update on New School at the Reed Site
I also want to update you on the status of the new elementary school under construction at the Reed site. I am pleased to report that the project is on track and the school will open in August 2021. Additionally, in collaboration with the County, we are working to construct a large stormwater management facility under the playing fields at the new school. The school will open on schedule with access to the playground and courts. The fields will be available after the stormwater facility has been completed. We are collaborating with the County to complete the fields as early as possible. We will present more information on this project at Thursday’s School Board meeting.

Monitoring Report
I will also present the latest 2020-21 School Year Monitoring Report at this Thursday’s School Board meeting, focusing on health and safety metrics, air quality and ventilation, the new task force formed to continually enhance distance learning, and other next steps.

Sincerely,

Dr. Francisco Durán
Superintendent
Arlington Public Schools