Superintendent’s May 11 Return-to-School Update

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Dear APS Families,

As we begin our second week of APS Employee Appreciation Month, we recognize Extended Day staff and Bus Drivers and Attendants for their contributions to support students this school year. Here are updates on the next Employee Appreciation Month activities, the FY 2022 budget, vaccine clinics, and other reminders.

Employee Appreciation Video – I hope you will take a moment to watch this video, which shows how staff have come together to support and teach students in during the pandemic. Please join us this week in thanking the Extended Day staff working in your school. They have stepped up to learn new roles and have been instrumental in getting our schools ready, supporting student learning, performing health screening, and helping protect students’ health and safety. Later this week, we will highlight bus drivers and attendants, and their work to deliver meals and safely transport students to and from school.

School COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics This Week and Next – Arlington County’s Public Health Division is offering free, walk-in vaccine clinics to individuals ages 16 and up, no appointments required. These clinics will offer the Pfizer vaccine and are for first dose only. Walk-in clinics will be held from 4-8 p.m. at Montessori Public School of Arlington (5/12), Gunston (5/13), and Wakefield (5/17). The full schedule is available online. We strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated. Students who have received the COVID-19 vaccine will be exempt from quarantine in the new school year if identified in close contact tracing due to possible exposure. Arlington County is awaiting approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) on expanding the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12-15 years. Scheduling information for children ages 12-15 will be released soon after the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) is expanded and all necessary approvals are received.

Family Selection Process Results – At the May 6 School Board meeting, I presented the results of the family selection process for the 2021-22 school year. We have posted the results on our website. Nearly 95% of families selected in-person learning. As a reminder, we are unable to accommodate changes in family selections at this time because we are using this data to develop schedules and finalize staffing for the fall. We will provide a one-week window for families to change their selections one month prior to the start of the second quarter for elementary students, and one month prior to the start of the second semester for secondary students.

Have a wonderful week!

Dr. Francisco Durán
Arlington Public Schools