APS News Release

Update to APS Elementary School Planning Process

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Focus narrows to one proposal in planning process that explores moving some elementary schools before developing new school boundaries

During last night’s community meeting on Elementary School Planning for 2021, APS presented an update on two proposals for moving some elementary schools, and on stakeholder input received to date. Based on an analysis of the information received to date, staff recommended focusing on Proposal 1 and shared that Proposal 2 will not advance in this planning process. At the meeting, staff reviewed several ideas proposed by community members and explained the factors that kept those ideas from becoming new proposals.

APS will focus current efforts on Proposal 1 to address the urgent need for neighborhood seats in the Rosslyn-Courthouse area for 2021 and prepare for the Fall 2020 boundary process. Since the proposal would provide neighborhood seats in this high-growth area without construction of a new school, it would allow APS to continue working on the longer-term capacity needs in the Columbia Pike corridor in the upcoming Capital Improvement Plan FY2021-30 (CIP) process. The CIP will include a list of potential sites along the western end of Columbia Pike for APS to study site feasibility and costs of building additions, fully redeveloping existing schools, or building new schools, in order to address the need for elementary school seats in this area beyond 2021.

Staff is now gathering further community input to advance Proposal 1 for potential consideration by the School Board, which will take action on any proposal(s) in February 2020. If adopted, Proposal 1 will:

  • Keep more McKinley students together, moving a majority of McKinley students together to Reed with principal and staff members;
  • Allow boundaries that will maximize walking to neighborhood schools as much as possible and keep together more students from each school community;
  • Allow about 100 more students from the Arlington Traditional School (ATS) waitlist, including siblings, to enroll in ATS;
  • Place Immersion in a central location; and
  • Create neighborhood seats in the high-growth Rosslyn-Courthouse area.

A second Community Meeting will be held tonight, Dec. 10, from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Central Library with interpretation provided in Spanish, Amharic, Arabic and Mongolian. For more information and for details about Elementary School Planning Community Meetings scheduled for Dec. 9-16, visit Engage with APS; community members can also provide further input through Community Questionnaire #2, which is now available online at APS Engage through Dec. 18, 2019.

The School Board timeline in this process includes an Information Item at its January 9, 2020 meeting, a Public Hearing on January 30, 2020, and School Board action on February 6, 2020, on recommended proposal(s) recommended. For information about School Board meetings, agendas and signing up to speak at a meeting, visit www.apsva.us/school-board-meetings/.