Ready – Set – LEARN!
School Starts Aug. 30!
Aug. 30: First Day K-12
Aug 31: First Day Pre-K and VPI
School Year Calendars
- School is Five Days Per Week, In Person
- Normal Start and End Times
- Extended Day Offered on normal schedule – Register Online
- Students in the Virtual Learning Program will have virtual instruction 5 days per week
Watch a Replay of the Back-to-School Virtual Town Hall on August 11
- Sessions in both English and Spanish
- Watch the replay
New to APS? Register NOW!
- Only students new to APS need to register!
- Register online, or in person at school or the Welcome Center
- More information
- Will be posted in ParentVUE the week of August 23
- APS is using Hub Stops for option schools to improve service and efficiency: Learn more about Hub Stops for option schools
- Call Center: 703-228-8670/6640
- 6 a.m – 4:30 p.m. weekdays through Aug. 28
- The call center will be open every day students are in school
- Starting Aug. 30, it will be open 6 a.m-6 p.m. The Call Center will not be open over the Labor Day weekend. For questions and assistance with ParentVUE, call your child’s school.
- You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance
FREE MEALS will continue for all students. Although school meals will be provided free to all children, school funding and eligibility for other programs depends on completed meal applications.
Health Forms & Immunizations
- New elementary students need:
- Rising 7th graders need:
- Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis (Tdap)
- Meningococcal (MenACWY)
- First dose HPV vaccine
- NEW: Rising 12th graders need:
- Meningococcal (MenACWY) booster (given after age 16)
News & Updates
(The Superintendent’s updates will be posted weekly during the school year)
Superintendent’s Sept. 8 Update: COVID Testing Begins Next Week
We look forward to the second week of school and hope you enjoyed the holiday weekend. Here are updates for this week and the month ahead.
Dear APS Families,
We look forward to the second week of school and hope you enjoyed the holiday weekend. Here are updates for this week and the month ahead:
- Virtual Learning Program Changes: Yesterday, VLP staff and families received a message informing them of changes in leadership and staffing to address the issues that some VLP students experienced last week. Many students in the program had a successful first week joining their classes and connecting with their teachers and peers; however, that was not the consistent experience across the board. We are taking immediate steps to address the issues and remain committed to providing a positive and engaging experience for all students. To that end, Amy Jackson, Supervisor of Educational Technology & Programs, will lead the program with additional staff support until a new administrator is appointed. We will host a virtual town hall for VLP families this evening at 7 p.m. and have sent the details for the event to those families.
- COVID Testing Starts Next Week: Our no cost COVID testing program will begin at all school locations the week of Sept. 13. To date, nearly 5,000 students and staff have signed up to receive the testing. Due to a nationwide shortage of the rapid antigen nasal swab test, ResourcePath staff will be primarily using a pooled PRC-RT test method to begin with. We are finalizing logistics today for each location and those details will be communicated by your school or work location. Each location will have a dedicated two-hour time block during which ResourcePath staff will administer tests on a weekly basis. Individuals who miss their time window will be eligible to go same day or next day to Kenmore’s dedicated site. Unvaccinated employees must participate in weekly testing. The latest information is available online.
- Schedule Reminders: Tomorrow, Thursday, September 9, is the first School Board meeting of this school year, and I will present the first day of school report as well as a video highlighting first day arrivals. Additionally, elementary back-to-school nights are taking place virtually this week. Key dates below:
- Back-to-School Nights in September
- Sept. 9 Thu Elementary School
- Sept. 14 Tue Middle School
- Sept. 22 Wed High School
- Sept. 23 Thu H-B Woodlawn / ACHS
- Sept. 30 Thu Career Center/ Arlington Tech
- September Holidays
- Sept. 16 Thu Holiday – Yom Kippur
- Sept. 29 Wed Early Release for Elementary/Middle/High School (School-Based PL for Staff)
- Back-to-School Nights in September
Thank you for your continued partnership in making this a safe, successful school year for students.
Dr. Francisco Durán
Arlington Public Schools
Superintendent’s Sept. 1 Update: Welcome Back
We’re off to a great start! Thank you to everyone – students, families and staff – for pulling together to make it a successful start to the new school year.
Dear APS Community:
We’re off to a great start! Thank you to everyone – students, families and staff – for pulling together to make it a successful start to the new school year. There were many great moments on the first day of school, and it was clear to see the emotions, hope and excitement. Let’s continue working together to make sure we’re adhering to safety protocols and doing everything possible to support student learning and growth this school year. Here are some reminders as we head into the long weekend for Labor Day:
- First Day Photo Gallery: Here is a collection of photos from the opening day submitted by students, staff and families. We will be sharing a video capturing some first day moments at next Thursday’s School Board meeting when I present the first day report, which will also include initial enrollment statistics and other updates from our first day of school. The agenda for the Board meeting is available online.
- COVID Testing Starts in All Schools the Week of Sept. 13—Opt In Now: Our asymptomatic/symptomatic COVID testing program is set to begin at all school locations the week of Sept. 13. We are working with our partner, ResourcePath, to finalize the schedule for each location. This testing will be available to students whose parents/guardians complete the consent form online. If you completed the form this summer or last school year, you do not need to complete it again. This testing is offered at no cost on a weekly basis and is one way we are working to keep our schools safe and open. Testing is already underway after school hours for those with symptoms at Kenmore Middle School. The latest information is available online—parent/guardian consent is required for students to participate.
- Daily Health Symptom Screener: Thank you to all the families that consistently completed the Qualtrics symptom screener on the honor system this week—we had a great response rate on the first two days of school. We kept the tool in place with a daily reminder to reinforce the importance of checking your student’s health and keeping students who are ill at home. There are symptoms to look for posted on our website.
- Transportation Updates: We have received questions about transportation through email and the call center, mostly related to reports of late buses, the hub stops for option schools, and requests to change stops. There are some schedules being updated and other route adjustments to be made, as there always are at the start of the year.
- Our transportation team is working very hard to respond to a high volume of calls and will get back to all callers in the order they were received.
- Thank you to every family for planning ahead to arrive 10 minutes early and stay at least 10 minutes after the set time, as drivers get used to the new routes. Please continue to remind your students to wear their masks on the bus.
- In response to questions about our windows open policy – every bus driver is instructed to put all windows down at least to the midpoint when students are on board to help increase outside air circulation. We will conduct regular monitoring to ensure this is happening consistently.
- Vaccination Requirements for Student Athletes: APS is currently exploring mandatory vaccinations for high school student athletes who are eligible to be vaccinated, starting with the winter sports season. We are reviewing this and will follow up when more information is available.
- Upcoming Holidays: APS is closed Sept. 3 – Sept. 7 for the Labor Day and Rosh Hashanah holidays. Per APS policy, no school-based activities will be scheduled on staff and student holidays, including religious observances. View the full calendar for the school year online.
Thank you for your continued partnership in keeping our students safe and in school. Have a wonderful rest of the week, and a great long weekend.
Sincerely, Dr. Francisco Durán
Arlington Public Schools
Superintendent’s Aug. 25 Update: Welcome to the 2021-2022 School Year!
Welcome back! The new school year starts next week, and we cannot wait to welcome your students back to school. It is going to be a great year of reconnecting, learning, growth, and new beginnings.
Welcome back! The new school year starts next week, and we cannot wait to welcome your students back to school. It is going to be a great year of reconnecting, learning, growth, and new beginnings. Our schools are ready and looking forward to providing a safe, strong start to the school year for all.
Here are a few important reminders in preparation for the first day of school on Monday:
- Our 2021-22 Priorities—Accelerated Learning, Mental Health Support, and Health and Safety: Everything we do will revolve around these three priorities this school year.
- Accelerated Learning: We will be conducting assessments at the start of the school year to evaluate individual student needs, and target resources and interventions to support and accelerate their learning. Read more about the plan online. In the instances when quarantine is necessary, we strive to ensure learning can continue. View our plans for learning in quarantine. Updates will be provided as plans evolve.
- Mental Health and Social Emotional Learning (SEL): APS is taking a tiered approach to ensure our students have the SEL supports they need. School counselors, psychologists and social workers will be engaging and checking in with students in a variety of ways.
- Layered Approach to Safety – Please Do Your Part: We are using layered prevention measures to provide the safest learning environments possible, including universal mask requirements, symptom screening, testing, and response procedures. Please do your part by screening your student’s health daily by completing a temperature check and Qualtrics symptom screener before leaving home. Keep students home if they are sick, and reinforce the importance of consistent mask use and handwashing with your student.
- Opt-In for Free Weekly COVID-19 Testing: We are pleased to provide both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for students at all school locations. Testing schedules will be communicated by your school and posted on our testing website. In order for your student to receive weekly COVID-19 testing, parents/guardians must opt-in by filling out an online consent form. Families who completed the consent form last school year do not need to opt-in again. Details are available online.
- Outdoor Lunch: Every school has health and safety protocols in place to ensure indoor dining is as safe as possible when masks are removed. Additionally, every school has either a full or partial outside lunch plan in place. We are working with the County to obtain more resources, such as tents, to further expand outside lunch opportunities. Individual plans for student dining will be posted on your school’s website this week.
- Apply for Meal Benefits – Free and Reduced Meal Applications: School meals are available at no cost to all students this school year. Even though meals are free, applying for meal benefits is still very important! By applying for meal benefits, families that qualify may be eligible for additional resources. Applications are available in ParentVUE, on the APS Food Services Webpage or online at myschoolapps.com.
- Bus Information: Bus information has been posted in ParentVUE under the student information tab. Families of bus-eligible students will also receive a School Talk message today with their student’s bus information.
This school year I will send my weekly updates every Wednesday, highlighting important news and information about division-wide priorities. Additionally, information and resources for the new school year are posted on our website and updated regularly. I wish your family a successful start to the school year and look forward to staying connected.
Transportation Updates for the 2021-22 School Year
Here are important updates regarding transportation services and what to expect on the school bus when school starts on August 30.
As final preparations are being made for the start of the 2021-22 school year, Transportation is finalizing bus routes and stops for all eligible students. Here are important updates regarding transportation services and what to expect on the school bus when school starts on August 30.
Bus Schedules Available on Tues, Aug. 24
- Final bus schedules will be posted in ParentVUE on Tuesday, Aug. 24.
- Schedules are located in the Student Information Tab in ParentVUE, under Instructional Choice. Under Instructional Choice, scroll down to pick-up and drop-off information. Click here for details on how to access ParentVUE. A School Talk will be sent next week to notify families when the schedules are available.
- To check your student’s eligibility for bus transportation, please view our bus eligibility zones and maps online. If you have additional questions about eligibility, please call the transportation call center for assistance.
What to Expect on the School Bus
- APS will operate with normal bus capacity and follow normal procedures. Properly fitted masks are required for everyone on school buses and inside schools.
- There will be no temperature checks or verification of health screening completion upon arrival at the bus or school. Families will continue to receive the daily Qualtrics Symptom Screener as a reminder to complete health screening with their children prior to arrival at the bus, and to check temperatures daily. Please keep students home if they are sick.
- Plan to arrive at the bus stop 10 minutes early and plan to stay 10 minutes after the planned pickup time. Thank you for your patience during the first week back as drivers adjust to the routes.
Hub Stops for Option Schools
As a reminder, APS will be using hub stops for option schools to shorten trips to and from school and improve efficiency and reliability. Read more about hub stops.
Stay Safe Out There!
Watch the video message below from APS and the Arlington County Police Department with safety reminders for drivers and the community as students head back to school and there are more vehicles on the road and more pedestrians in the crosswalks.
Transportation Call Center
For questions, contact the call center at 703-228-8670 or 703-228-6640. Call center hours are 6 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays excluding holidays. Families can also contact Transportation by email at email@example.com.
Transportation Services is committed to providing safe, reliable bus service to all eligible students in the upcoming school year. Thank you for your cooperation and patience as we return in person and resume normal schedules, starting on Monday, August 30.
APS Universal Mask Requirements and Back-to-School Updates
The new school year begins August 30, and we look forward to welcoming students back to school for in-person learning, five days per week. As we prepare for the start of school, here are important updates on masks, health and safety, and plans for the 2021-22 school year.
Dear APS Community,
The new school year begins August 30, and we look forward to welcoming students back to school for in-person learning, five days per week. As we prepare for the start of school, here are important updates on masks, health and safety, and plans for the 2021-22 school year:
- Universal Masks to Start the School Year – To help ensure a safe start to the school year, masks will be required for all students, staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, when inside APS buildings and on school buses. This is consistent with our current practices for in-person summer school. Masks will not be required when eating or during outside recess, PE, athletics, or other outdoor activities. Universal masks are part of a layered approach to help our schools stay open and safe, and to ensure all students can safely return to our buildings, especially when physical distancing is not possible at all times and not all our students are eligible yet for vaccinations. Key points:
- We will continue to regularly review our masking practices and other health and safety measures to keep them in line with national, state and local health recommendations. As guidance changes, we will keep the community informed of any changes to our practices. Learn more about our masking requirements and health and safety measures.
- Masking helps to reduce the number of students who may be excluded or miss school due to exposures to COVID-19. Per the guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a student who is within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student is not considered a close contact as long as both students are wearing masks and the school has other prevention strategies in place.
- Universal masking for the start of the school year aligns with the latest CDC guidance, and the recommendations of local and state public health authorities, to help ensure all students can safely return to school buildings.
- The Arlington County Public Health Division, in alignment with other regional health departments, recommends universal masking at the elementary level and in specific situations at the middle and high school level. Read the Northern Virginia Public Health Directors’ Interim Recommendations for School Reopening.
- Get Vaccinated! – The most effective tool for protecting our school community and preventing the spread of COVID-19 is vaccination. Vaccination appointments are widely available in Arlington for anyone age 12 and older. If you and your student are eligible for vaccination and have not yet had your shot, visit a vaccination clinic or make an appointment to be vaccinated as soon as possible. APS will continue to keep our community informed when vaccination opportunities are expanded to students under the age of 12.
- Stay Informed – APS is updating back-to-school information regularly, so visit our 2021-22 school year page for information on calendar dates, registration, health and safety, transportation, immunizations, and back-to-school town halls and events. There will be two virtual town halls for families in English and Spanish on Wed, Aug. 11, to provide information and answer questions about the upcoming school year. More information
Here is a short video message as we look ahead to school starting. Thank you for helping us start the 2021-22 school year safely together, back in the classroom.
Dr. Francisco Durán
Changes to APS Grab-and-Go Meal Locations Beginning the Week of August 2
Arlington Public Schools is making changes to meal service locations for the week of August 2 and August 9. For the week of August 2, grab-and-go meals will be available for all students at seven locations, Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. – noon
Arlington Public Schools is making changes to meal service locations for the week of August 2 and August 9. For the week of August 2, grab-and-go meals will be available for all students at seven locations, Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. – noon:
- Arlington Career Center (816 S. Walter Reed Dr.)
- Barrett Elementary School 4401 N Henderson Rd.)
- Drew Elementary School (3500 S. 23rd)
- Gunston Middle School (2700 S. Lang St.)
- Kenmore Middle School (200 S. Carlin Springs Rd.)
- The Heights (1601 Wilson Blvd.)
- Yorktown High School (5200 Yorktown Blvd.)
APS will hold a final Summer Meal Pickup for all APS students at the seven locations listed above on Monday, August 9, from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. to distribute a week of meals for the week of August 9.There will be no APS meal service the week of August 16 or August 23, as APS Food Services staff prepare for the 2021-22 school year. For additional food assistance resources, visit Arlington County’s Food Assistance website.
School meals will resume for the new school year on Monday, August 30. Breakfast and lunch will be provided to students attending school in-person and virtually. Meals will continue to be free for all students at all schools. For more details, please visit the meal services page.