Dear APS Families,
Here are several important updates for this week, including information about last week’s incident at Yorktown, masks and COVID-19 testing, and a new study to review APS school start and end times.
Mask Requirement: I know there are questions about next steps with our mask policy. Like other local school divisions, APS has been reviewing the latest health guidance and planning for when we can safely ease our masks requirements. We will present our plan and revised policy at Thursday’s School Board meeting. We have come far together as a community in maintaining safe, open schools, even during the Omicron spike, and we will continue that work together.
Yorktown Takeaways: I want to commend Yorktown High School staff and students for their coordinated response to last Thursday’s incident. While the Arlington County Police Department’s investigation found no real threat, our community is still processing this event. I remind everyone to report any suspicious activity you see or hear. We take every reported threat seriously, and every school has an established safety plan in place for responding when incidents occur. I encourage parents to talk to your students to make sure they know what to do when incidents do occur and if you have questions, reach out to the principal. In the wake of the incident, we are reviewing our procedures with ACPD to ensure we maintain safe, secure schools.
COVID Testing: We launched the Test-to-Stay program this week—testing times and information are available online. Also, we transitioned to a new vendor for weekly preventative, in-school COVID testing and encourage families to opt in online.
Bell Study: We are conducting a “bell study” project to review and reduce the variations in school start and end times across the division, to strengthen operations and improve transportation. Community engagement will begin in March. Read more about the study online.
Thank you for your partnership.
Dr. Francisco Durán