Dear APS Families,
Let me begin by thanking you again for all you are doing to support distance learning. Our teachers and students are doing incredible work to adapt to distance learning, and we are doing everything we can to support their efforts.
We are continuing to plan for returning to hybrid, in-person learning, and I know you are eager for details because there is a lot of work happening to finalize timing and to begin transitioning students back based on level of need. We have developed a dashboard for monitoring health and safety metrics that we will present on Thursday at the School Board meeting. The dashboard will be posted on the APS website homepage and updated weekly on Fridays to provide more clarity on how data is informing our plans.
As I have mentioned, we are working to bring in small groups of students based on level of need and will define that further at this Thursday’s meeting. Level One Return would bring students with disabilities who need direct support into school for help with distance learning, ideally in mid-October. Beyond this group, we are continuing to look at the possibility of beginning Level Two Return for English Learners, PreK-3rd grade students and Career and Technical Education (CTE) students in November for the start of the second quarter.
We will build in time to re-survey staff and families, based on the timing of return for various levels. More details will be shared this Thursday regarding the overall timeline and what to expect to ensure the health and safety of our school community. The health and safety of our students and staff, as well as the learning needs of our students, continues to drive our decision-making.
Elementary School Planning for 2021-22
Also, the School Board meeting on Thursday will include updates on the elementary school planning process and boundary adjustments which will take effect in 2021-22. Given the pandemic and the stress that our community is experiencing at this time, we are moving forward with this boundary process in a way that keeps as many students together as possible. We are focusing only on those schools affected by the opening of the new schools at the Reed and Key sites, the need to place Arlington Science Focus School within its attendance zone, and efforts to provide relief to schools that cannot manage enrollment even with relocatable classrooms. Community engagement for this process will begin on October 5, and we will present more on Thursday about our modified approach, revised community engagement timeline, and the opportunities to engage in this process. The School Board will adopt new boundaries for 2021-22 on December 3, 2020. For more information, visit www.apsva.us/engage/fall2020elementaryboundaries/.
Thank you for all you do and I will continue to keep you informed.
Dr. Francisco Durán