APS Friday 5 Archive


APS sends the “APS Friday Five” each Friday to update the community on important news, events and highlights across the division.

Friday Five: Students Celebrate AAPI Month with Special Reading (May 5, 2023)

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text: mental health awareness month; take care of yourself with watering can and flowers in the background

1. May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. APS is committed to supporting positive mental health and wellness. APS is committing to adding intervention counselors in all secondary schools. Additionally, the Arlington County Board approved additional clinicians to work in APS high schools to increase access to services. Moreover, APS students receive instruction in positive wellness strategies through the health and social-emotional learning curriculum.

APS provides and recommends a range of resources to support students and staff:
988: If you or someone you know is in emotional distress, 988 is a free resource available 24/7 by phone, text or online.
School Support Line: This line provides support for bullying, isolation, suicidal thoughts and other mental health issues and is available 24/7. Dial: CALL 833-Me-Cigna (833-632–4462)
Additional local and national resources are available online. To learn more about Mental Health Awareness Month and how you can help to spread the word, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Sassan Fiske 2023 national Chinese Speech contest

2. W-L Student Wins National Chinese Speech Contest

Congratulations to Washington-Liberty senior Sassan Fiske, who won the Honorable Award from the National Chinese Speech Contest. Around 1,400 students from all over the United States competed. Sassan was one of the 30 students who won the high school group, and the only student from Virginia. We are so proud of him!

text: happy teacher appreciation week with text books, apple and globe in the background

3. Celebrating APS Teachers!

Next week (May 8-12) is Teacher Appreciation Week! We encourage families to share messages of gratitude on social media using #ThankAPSteachers. We’ll be highlighting videos and other submissions from students sharing about their most inspiring teachers throughout the week on social media. Send a free eGreeting to a fellow teacher or staff member to celebrate this special week. Don’t forget to celebrate National School Nurses Day on Wed, May 10 and School Communicators Day on Fri, May 12.

group of students with teacher Erin Kowalevicz

4. Randolph Teacher Selected to Attend Fulbright-Hays Seminar Program in Jordan

Erin Kowalevicz, a first-grade teacher at Randolph Elementary School, is selected by the US Department of Education to participate in the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program in Jordan. Erin will improve her understanding and knowledge of Jordan’s culture and history through firsthand, immersive experiences, workshops, and discussions. She will return home with an expanded network of connections in Jordan and create curriculum materials for her students and learning community. Congratulations, Erin!

author Michelle Li

5. Barcroft and Drew students participate in AAPI Reading Event

Students at Barcroft and Drew Elementary Schools celebrated Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in the library with new children’s books featuring Asian Americans and a special reading. The Very Asian Foundation, started by Michelle Li, co-host of the Today Show in St. Louis, donated 50 books to Barcroft and Drew with the help of corporate partners such as Avalon Bay. Two St. Louis high schoolers approached the foundation with the idea of donating high-quality children’s literature to school libraries to give a window into Asian American life and build connections and empathy. Other visitors included Georgetown football player, Talati Polamalv, who impressed the students with stories of auditioning for the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

Other News & Notes

Equity Profile Dashboard Community Conversation: Engaged Workforce takes place Wed, May 31 at 6:30 p.m. virtually. Register | Learn More (English) (Spanish)

School Board Member Mary Kadera to Host Virtual Open Office Hours on Tue, May 9.

Escuela Key In the News: Secretary Cardona Shows Off Dual-Language School to International Education Leaders

Friday 5 for April 28, 2023

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school board recognizing 50 years of service
1. APS Celebrates Employees’ Years of Service

At the school board meeting on Thursday, employees with 30, 35 and 50 years of service were recognized and thanked for their dedication to APS. Yorktown teacher and football coach Bruce Hanson was honored for his 50 years of service to APS. Coach Hanson mentored and inspired generations of students, achieving nearly 300 wins so in his coaching career, so far.View the entire list of employees’ years of service online.

students engaging in project
2. VIDEO: Every Student Counts – Tuckahoe Students Engage in Engineering & Sustainability Project

In this Every Student Counts video, go inside Tuckahoe Elementary to see Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) in action as students build arcade games out of cardboard. This embeds hands-on lessons and content areas into one and is just one of the creative ways schools immerse every APS student in science.

students engaging in stem
3. Innovation Hosts STEM Night

This week, Innovation welcomed all families to its 2nd annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Night. Local restaurant Troy’s Kitchen and the Kona Ice Truck offered dinner and treats. Third graders provided baked goods to raise money for their community giving project. Students and their families participated in engineering activities, science and math challenges, and various robotics activities. Station 4 of the Arlington County Fire Department helped by using their ladder truck to test out engineering inventions.

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4. What APS is Celebrating in May

May is another busy month to recognize the cultural contributions many students, staff and families make to APS. We also recognize several employee groups for their hard work and dedication to APS. Throughout the month of May, APS will celebrate:

– Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
– Jewish American Heritage Month
– Mental Health Awareness Month
– Better Speech and Hearing Month– Physical Education Week – May 1-7
– Teacher Appreciation Week – May 8-12
– School Lunch Hero Day – Fri, May 5
– National School Nurses Day – Wed, May 10
– School Communicators Day – Fri, May 12
– National Speech Pathologist Day – Thu, May 18

there's always a second chance clip
5. APS Students Create Public Service Announcements on Opioid Crisis

APS students worked with school-based staff and Arlington Education Television (AETV) to produce their own messages on the opioid crisis affecting the country. APS will share these peer-to-peer student video series on social media and through the substance abuse coordinators. View the first video message, produced by Williamsburg students.

Other News & Notes

Learn about the important role occupational therapists play at APS as we conclude Occupational Therapy Month.

May Schedule of Board Meetings, Work Sessions, and Advisory Council and Committee Meetings

Tomorrow: APS Robotics Day – 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at W-L. Learn More

After April 30: All Students Must Have iRide Card to ride the ART Bus for Free. Learn More

Friday 5 for March 24, 2023

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student artwork

1. Several APS Students Receive National Scholastic Art Awards
More than 260,000 works of art and writing were entered into the 2023 Scholastic Awards. Nearly 2,000 works received National Medals this year and only 8 portfolios were awarded Gold nationally. Wakefield senior Marceline Castrillon received the first National Gold for Portfolio for APS, which included a scholarship. View the entire list of winners and their artwork online.


honorzed citzens around aps logo

2. APS Announces 2023 Honored Citizens

Since 1975, the Board has established the memorable tradition of recognizing special volunteers who have made extraordinary contributions to APS. The Honored Citizen Award recognizes the countless hours—over many years—that community members spend dedicating their time to a wide variety of school activities and supporting our students and staff. For 2023, the School Board has named three outstanding volunteers as Honored Citizens:
– Janna Dressel
– Dr. Rick Jackson
– Carmina Sinani
The Board will recognize the 2023 Honored Citizens at the April 27 School Board Meeting. Read more online.

student artwork

3. Congratulations to Arlington’s 2022-23 Reflections Contest Winners
Each year, the Arlington County Council of Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) highlights the many talents of Arlington students in the annual Reflections contest. Reflections is a nationwide arts contest that encourages students to create works in dance choreography, film production, literature, musical composition, photography and visual arts, based on a common theme. Visit our website to see the complete list of Arlington’s 2022-23 Reflections winners.


student talking to adult about feelings

4. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Screener for Grades 3-12 Coming Next Month

Beginning April 24, APS will conduct a universal SEL screener for students in grades 3-12. The screener collects information about students’ SEL skills and well-being and the results will be used to support our student’s academic, social and emotional growth. Families can opt out by Wed, March 29 if they do not wish for their student to participate. Individual schools will be setting a specific date for the screeners during a three-week period. More information is available online.

website user testing logo

5. Volunteers Wanted: Test the Refreshed APS Website

The refreshed APS website is coming in July 2023. Our developers are nearing the end of building the new functionality so that we can move into user testing. We need your help! If you would like to help us test the site, please fill out this form to sign up to be a website tester.
– In-Person User Test: There will be an in-person event on Thu, April 13 at the Arlington Career Center. This is a drop-in event; you may come at any time from 4-7 p.m. to complete the approximately 15-minute user test.
– Online User Test: The user test will also be available as an online activity from April 13-21, if you prefer to complete it at your convenience.

Other News & Notes

National Walking Day – WalkArlington

After April 30: All Students Must Have iRide Card to ride the ART Bus for Free. Learn More

Friday 5 for March 17, 2023

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TSA students winning award

1. Wakefield Student Places Second at TSA Competition

Dr. Tiffany Casey, engineering instructor at Wakefield high school, and several of her students attended the Technology Student Association (TSA) Regional competition at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. APS congratulates Milton Cruz Batres as he placed second at Regional for Video Game Design for Wakefield High School. This is Wakefield students’ first year attending the regional competition and having a chapter. Congratulations to all the members who attended: Esam Abdelaziz, Winter Flynn Hansen, Bryant Gultom, Fabiola Matas Lopez, Marcos O’Connor, Samuel Surafeil, and Kevin Velasques-Lazaro.

food service staff at carlin springs receiving award

2. Carlin Springs Food Services Wins Virginia School Breakfast Award

Carlin Springs Food Services staff were honored last week for receiving the 2023 Virginia School Breakfast Club Award. Representatives from the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) presented the award! We are SO proud of the cafeteria staff and the outstanding job that they do at our school every day! Click here for more details. Congratulations!

national drug and alcohol facts week logo

3. Next Week is National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

March 20-26 is National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW), an annual, week-long health observance that inspires dialogue about drug use and addiction among youth. Substance Abuse Counselors will sponsor NDAFW in schools and help students understand the myths about drugs and alcohol. During this week, SACs will provide drug and alcohol facts to help keep APS community safe. Click here to learn more.

students winning spelling bee

4. APS Spelling Bee Winners!

The following 5 students won the spelling bee at their school. They also passed another spelling test round and qualify for another regional round that takes place this weekend virtually. We wish them luck to advance to another round!- Ruby Kadera, Kenmore- Zoe Kilronomos, Arlington Traditional- Ben Marshall, Tuckahoe- August Spadola Jolley, Arlington Science Focus- Charles Thomson, Montessori

March 2023 APS All Stars inside APSVA

5. March 2023 APS All Stars Announced

Members of the Superintendent’s cabinet and a team of School & Community Relations staff surprised five employees with the APS All Star award for March. This monthly recognition program awards staff who go above and beyond to serve students and schools. There have been several hundred entries this school year, and we were thrilled to receive many student nominations. Congratulations to:– Megan McKeown, Swanson Middle School– Kristen Moretti, Shriver Secondary Program– Kevin Miles, Montessori Public School of Arlington– Vanessa Ventura, Syphax Education Center– Tara Colgan, Arlington Community High School Read what makes these stars shine and nominate an All Star staff member today!   

Other News & Notes
School Board Member Cristina Diaz-Torres to Host Virtual Open Office Hours on March 20

Friday 5 for March 3, 2023

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summer school information graphic

1. Summer School Registration is Open

The 2023 Summer School Program will provide in-person strengthening math and language arts support, credit recovery and Extended School Year services for students meeting specific eligibility criteria.

  • Eligibility is based on critical needs in literacy, math, or both.
  • Eligibility will be communicated during upcoming Parent-Teacher Conferences.
  • Registration closes May 1 for elementary and June 2 for middle and high school students.

Additional summer learning opportunities for grade-eligible students include New Work for Credit (virtual, fee-based) open to all rising 9th – 12th graders, and Boost Courses (virtual, free) for rising 6th – 12th graders.  Learn about programs offered, eligibility, and more at apsva.us/summer-school.

arts in schools month featuring collage of artful photos
2. It’s Arts in the Schools Month!

APS invites the community to join us for our annual celebration of the arts in APS. Throughout March, APS will hold student concerts, arts festivals, exhibitions, workshops, recitals, plays and special performances in the schools. The Arts in the School Month brochure shows a complete list of events and activities, including:

  • March 8: Hoffman-Boston, A Musical Feast – 8th Annual All School Show, 2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
  • March 15: Kaleidoscope Day at Cardinal Elementary, 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • March 22: Washington-Liberty IB Visual Art Exhibition

For more information, visit aps2016.apsva.us/artseducation or follow us on Twitter @APSArts and join the conversation with #APSArtsInspires.

women's history month graphic that reads telling our stories
3. APS Celebrates Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month, and our schools are highlighting the many accomplishments and contributions women have made to history, culture, our schools and community. APS will celebrate women in Arlington and across APS who tell stories through the arts, education and other forms of communication. Their stories will be featured on APS social media platforms. Join the conversation using #APSWomensHistory

author reading on stage
4. Author Visits and Reads to Gunston Students

Gunston Middle School hosted author Kelly Yang this week for an author visit. As part of the Talk About Books (TAB) book club, Gunston students attended an author presentation and received a copy of Yang’s latest book, Finally Seen. Yang signed copies of the books after the event. TAB is a partnership between the school and the public library, with public librarians joining school librarians at least once a month to discuss the books students are reading. This is one of many special readings and other events held this week for Read Across America.

video preview of social workers
5. Every Student Counts
: How APS Social Workers Support Student Success

Next week is National School Social Work Week and a time to acknowledge and thank APS social workers for their role in student well-being and success. Watch this video featuring APS school social workers as they work with students and discuss how they build partnerships between families, schools and community. Our social workers help identify potential barriers to individual student success, connect students to resources, provide social-emotional support and teach life skills.

Other News & Notes

Provide Your Feedback on the Five-Year English Learner Strategic Action Plan by March 7

Nominate an Honored Citizen by March 13

March Schedule of Board Meetings, Work Sessions, and Advisory Council and Committee Meetings

Reminder: Attendance is Important – View APS Resources

School Board Member David Priddy to Host virtual Open Office Hours on March 6

Secondary Interim Report Cards are available in ParentVUE

Friday 5 for February 24, 2023

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FY 2024 Superintendent's Proposed Budget Cover
1. Superintendent Proposes FY 2024 Budget
Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán proposed an $803.3 million FY24 budget on Thursday. The budget prioritizes increased academic and mental health support for all students, continued investment in compensation for teachers and staff, and further enhancements to school facilities and operations. View last night’s presentation and the FY 2024 Proposed Budget-at-a-Glance pamphlet to learn more and view key dates as well as ways to engage. The School Board is set to adopt the proposed budget on March 30 and act on the final budget on May 11.

we want your feedback icon
2. Provide Feedback on the English Learner Five-Year Strategic Plan
The APS Office of English Learners is developing a Five-Year Strategic Action Plan to improve the educational experiences and outcomes of English Learners. The Five-Year Plan is posted on the Engage with APS webpage for community review in five languages. In addition, a recording of the Feb. 15 webinar that provides an overview and background on the plan’s development process is available in English, Spanish, Amharic, Arabic and Mongolian. For additional information, visit the English Learners Strategic Action Plan webpage. Community feedback has been extended to March 7.

Wolf Trap Foundation Logo
3. H-B Woodlawn Teacher Receives Grant for Music Direction Mentorship Project
The Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts awarded grants to eight high school teachers in the DMV to support their efforts to bring new and exciting performing arts experiences to their students. H-B Woodlawn teacher Hope Lambert received funding for a music direction mentorship project for a student-directed production of “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical” in the spring of 2023. The grantees and their students are invited to participate in a celebratory day of learning at Wolf Trap and an evening performance opportunity at The Barns at Wolf Trap in April.4.

community meetings on substance abuse icon
4. Community Conversations on Substance Use
APS invites families to join us for the upcoming community conversations at our high schools, providing information about opioids, fentanyl, and naloxone, as well as warning signs of substance abuse. The meetings are also open to elementary and middle school families. All meetings take place from 7 – 8 p.m.:
Yorktown: Mon, Feb. 27
Wakefield: Wed, March 1
WashingtonLiberty: Thu, March 2
Arlington Career Center met with Spanish-speaking families in January and will have another session on March 9 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. H-B Woodlawn is holding an event for current families as part of an upcoming PTA meeting.

student at UN
Arlington Tech Student Speaks at International Day of Women and Girls in Science Assembly
Arlington Tech junior Ananya Singh spoke at the eighth International Day of Women and Girls in Science Assembly. Along with high school, college and post-graduate students as well as academics around the world, Ananya spoke about the importance of exposing girls to STEM opportunities and supporting their passion for STEM programs. She also shared the role Arlington Tech has played in fanning her passion for STEM. Ananya traveled to New York City to participate in the assembly, which was held at the United Nations.

Other News & Notes
Next Week: Celebration of Arlington’s World Languages, Diversity & Cultures
Deadline Approaching: Nominate an Honored Citizen
Reminder: Attendance is Important – View APS Resources
APS All Stars Announced for February 2023

Friday 5 for February 17, 2023

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HACP - Home Address Confirmation Process
1. APS Launches Home Address Confirmation Process (HACP)
APS is launching the Home Address Confirmation Process (HACP) to verify the home address of fifth and eighth-grade students in preparation for the 2023-24 school year that requires families of current fifth and eighth-grade students to resubmit or update the home address documents they initially provided during registration. This new process allows APS to maintain accurate student records and to comply with Virginia law and our admissions policy. The deadline to submit these documents is March 15, 2023. If documents are not received by March 15, 2023, or if there are complexities for which additional support is needed, APS will work with those families to help and resolve issues. Learn more online and watch this brief video overview.

Teacher at front of class teaching
2. Innovation Students Collaborate with Bayou Bakery on Mardi Gras-Based Project
David Guas of Bayou Bakery taught Innovation fifth-graders, about the culture of Mardi Gras while connecting to his own childhood growing up in New Orleans. Mr. Guas sponsored and challenged students to a Shoe Box float-building competition. Third and fourth graders toured the final floats and digitally submitted votes for their top three favorite floats. The winners talked to NBC Washington about their design process and the project itself. The winner’s parents joined us for the big reveal.  The students, their classmates, and their families will share in the traditional King Cake as a reward!

soap being poured into mold
3. VIDEO: Every Student Counts – Project-Based Learning at Langston
This episode of Every Student Counts features an interdisciplinary and collaborative project at the Langston Program. The school offers students an alternative pathway to earn a high school diploma. The program is small by design to allow for flexibility and individualized instruction to address diverse learning styles and needs. This video spotlights a project combining Environmental Sciences and Accounting. Students developed and produced a sustainable product and created a real-world business plan for marketing, distribution, inventory, sales, and profits.

students holding up a sign that reads 8 0 2
4. Feel Good Friday: Arlington Students Celebrate The Great 8!
On Jan. 13, the Washington Capitals invited 800 elementary students and staff to surprise and celebrate Alex Ovechkin for scoring 802 career goals. Students and staff from Barcroft, Glebe, Discovery, Long Branch, Escuela Key, and bus drivers attended the Capitals morning skate session and then took group photos with the Ovechkin. The Capitals have had a longstanding partnership with APS providing PE curriculum, hockey equipment and training to schools. Watch the celebration here.

Career and Technical Education
Mark Your Calendar for the Career & Technical Education (CTE) Showcase

Join APS for the CTE Showcase on Tue, Feb. 28, 6-8 p.m., to learn more about middle and high school CTE programs across APS, including course pathways, post-secondary benefits and career paths for students. Families can visit a variety of booths to speak with teachers, gather information, and view interactive demonstrations and coursework samples.  This event is open to all families and students, Kindergarten through 12th grade. Interpretation and food will be provided. Register here.

Other News & Notes

Registration is Open for the 2023-24 School Year

Save the Date: Upcoming Webinar on Building Momentum for Youth Biking: Bike Buses, Bike Trains, and Bike & Roll to School Day Wed, March 8

Nominate an Honored Citizen Today

School Board Member Mary Kadera to Host virtual Open Office Hours on Wed, Feb. 22

Elementary Report Cards are now available in ParentVUE

“Show Your Voice” Reflections Contest Airing Tonight

Reminder: Mon, Feb. 20 is Presidents Day, No School

Friday 5 for February 10, 2023

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credit: dea
1. Talking to Students About Opioids

APS is providing additional resources to raise awareness about opioids and specifically fentanyl, as this epidemic continues to affect youth in Arlington and nationwide. Many students do not realize that fentanyl is often hidden in other substances, and even a small amount, the size of a pencil tip, can cause a fatal overdose. Learn more about how APS is addressing this issue and the steps families can take to help educate students about the dangers of opioids and prevent substance use.

students of germany exchange program
2. Visit Germany This Summer with the Arlington-Aachen High School Exchange

Calling APS high school students! Apply by Fri, Feb. 17 to participate in the Arlington-Aachen High School Exchange in summer 2023. The trip includes a two-week homestay in Arlington’s sister city of Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required, but if you already speak some German, you will improve your language skills on this trip. Learn more online or email AachenArlingtonExchange@gmail.com. 

lj sieff
3. Swanson Student Presents at National Conference

Swanson Middle School seventh-grader, LJ Sieff, presented Making Mathematics Accessible for Disabled Students Who Use AAC (Augmentative Assistive Communication) at the National Assistive Technology Industry Association conference in Orlando. His session highlighted the importance of universal design for learning, self-advocacy, and engagement of the AAC community to meet the needs of students in academically rigorous settings. Sieff’s presentation was skillful, engaging and interactive. We are proud of you, LJ!

national school counseling week graphic
4. Thank You, School Counselors!

As we close out National School Counseling Week 2023, we’d like to thank all 127 hardworking and dedicated counselors across APS. This year’s theme, School Counselors: Helping Students Dream Big, showcases how each student has access to a professional school counselor and a comprehensive program to support their academic, career and social-emotional needs. Thank a counselor the next time you see them!

science fair judges
5. Northern Virginia Regional Science and Engineering Fair Judges Needed
Are you interested in judging science fair projects? Do you work in the chemistry or social science fields? Then we need you! We are seeking judges for the Northern Virginia Regional Science and Engineering Fair on Sat, March 4 at Wakefield High School. Judges will be needed from 7:30-11:30 a.m. If you are interested, please complete this short form with your contact information and subject area of interest.

Other News & Notes

Registration is Open for the 2023-24 School Year

Nominate an Honored Citizen Today

Next Week: Virginia Kindness Week!

Friday 5 for January 27, 2023

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1. February Recognitions, Celebrations and Holidays

February is full of recognitions and celebrations. APS will observe the following:

– Black History Month and Career
– Technical Education Month
Feb. 6-10 – National School Counseling Week
– Feb. 8 – Early Release; Countywide Professional Learning Day for Staff
Feb. 8 – Crossing Guard Appreciation Day
– Feb. 14-18 – Virginia Kindness Week & School Board Clerk Appreciation Week
Feb. 20 – No School – Presidents Day
Feb. 22 – School Bus Driver Appreciation Day

get ready for pre-k and kindergarten graphic

2. Kindergarten, PreK Options and Registration
Registration for the 2023-24 school year for all new APS students opens on Feb. 1.The application window for PreK and elementary option schools is Feb. 1 to April 17. Beginning Jan. 30, check out a series of video presentations to learn about Kindergarten at APS, available PreK programs and elementary option schools.

summer activities fair

3. The Summer Activities Fair is Coming Soon
The Summer Activities Fair is back! Join us on Thu, Feb. 16 from 6 – 8 p.m. at Kenmore Middle School. The fair is free to attend and presents a wide range of local and regional opportunities for students of all ages in academic, cultural, outdoor adventure, sports, exploration and virtual activities. Various programs also offer volunteer and job opportunities for teens!   

Student musicians play trombones in a close-up image.

4. APS Announces 2023 All-District Band Results
Several APS students were selected for the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors’ Association (VBODA) District 12 Honors Bands. These students will represent their schools during the All-District Band Event next week. Congratulations to these students!

students create model birds in art class

5. Tweet All About it! Barcroft Students Study Birds
Barcroft Elementary School participated in an interdisciplinary unit on migratory birds. In conjunction with Education Specialists at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, students learned about local songbirds, then studied the birds’ migratory journey to Central and South America. Students recorded their research, illustrated books and created models in art class. The Smithsonian collected student material and sent it to partner schools in Panama and Costa Rico, where the students had studied the same migratory birds.

Other News & Notes
Mon, Jan 30: No School for Students (Grade Prep Day)

Arlington Community Foundation Creates Braylon Meade Memorial Scholarship

APS is Hosting Several Job Fairs in February. Help us Spread the Word!

The Arlington School Board’s February schedule of Board Meetings, Work Sessions, and Advisory Council and Committee Meetings is now available

Friday 5 for January 20, 2023

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Photo of students and board members at MLK event
1. VIDEO: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Contest Winners Share Stories Behind Entries

Congratulations to the MLK contest winners! The Superintendent and School Board members recognized them at the Jan. 19 School Board meeting. Watch as they share about the inspiration behind their visual arts and literary submissions.  Click here for a complete list of their writings and art in a photo gallery.

CKLA video clip
2. VIDEO: Every Student Counts: Providing Equitable Language Comprehension for All Students

In the sixth episode of Every Student Counts, we explore Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA). This language comprehension program supports students reading, writing, listening and speaking comprehension skills. In this video, find out why it’s an integral part to provide equitable access and outcomes for all students. Thank you to the teachers and students at Campbell Elementary for this look inside their classroom!

Posse and Questbridge Logos
3. Nine Seniors Earn Four-Year, Full Ride College Scholarships

Nine APS seniors received four-year, full-ride scholarships from the Posse Foundation and QuestBridge to attend a partnering university. Congratulations to these amazing students. To learn about each scholarship and to see a complete list of the winners, visit the APS website.

Honored Citizens logo
4. Nominate Someone Today for the 2023 Honored Citizen Award

Every year, the School Board recognizes volunteers who have made outstanding contributions to Arlington Public Schools. This honor recognizes individuals who have committed significant time and energy to a broad range of volunteer activities throughout the Arlington school community. Details about this award and nomination information, including nomination forms, can be found online.

Jan. 2022 APS All Stars winners in APS VA
5. APS All Stars Announced for January

APS proudly recognizes its APS All Stars for January 2023. These employees were nominated by community members, students and peers.
David Sydney, Williamsburg Middle School
Melissa Idell, Arlington Science Focus School
Lauren Worley, Innovation Elementary School
Shauna Dyer, Kenmore Middle School
Nibal Hammoudeh, Ashlawn Elementary School
Congratulations to these outstanding staff members! All winners will be treated to lunch this June. Nominate an APS employee today who embodies the school division’s mission, vision and values.

Other News & Notes

School Board Member David Priddy to Host virtual Open Office Hours on Mon, Jan. 23

Today is the Last Day to Nominate an Outstanding APS Crossing Guard!

Friday 5 for January 13, 2023

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attendance notifications

1. Attendance Notification Changes Begin Tuesday

Beginning Tue, Jan. 17, APS will send text and voice notifications to all families regarding unverified absences beginning at 11 a.m. Additionally, all middle and high school families will receive three additional text message alerts at 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to notify them if a student has an unverified absence for a specific period. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we implement these changes.


2. Electric School Buses Get Rolling in Arlington

Some of the yellow school buses in Arlington are going green! That’s because APS, in partnership with Arlington County, have just put into service the first two of three Thomas Built emissions-free, battery-powered electric school buses (BESB). The BESB purchases were made possible by a $795,000 Clean School Bus Program grant from the state. Each new Arlington bus replaces one with a diesel engine, providing students with a quieter, cleaner ride to and from school.


3. Social and Emotional Learning Survey Results Virtual SessionsAPS students in Grades 3-12 recently participated in the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Survey. Next week, there are two virtual presentations to review the survey results and answer questions. These presentations will explain SEL terms, provide specific examples of the skills involved and include tips for parents to help their children develop healthy, productive social-emotional skills.

– Secondary Parent Information Session: Tue, Jan. 17, 2023 – 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
– Elementary Parent Information Session: Thu, Jan. 19, 2023 – 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.Register | View elementary session flier | View secondary session flier

4. APS Students Named 2023 Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS) Scholars

Ambica Sharma, a Washington-Liberty High School student, and Julia Westwater Brodsky, an H-B Woodlawn student, have been named among the top 300 scholars in the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2023, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. They were selected out of nearly 2,000 applicants based on their science projects. Both students will advance and compete to be one of the 40 Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists. Congratulations to our 2023 Regeneron STS Scholars!

DOE Students
5. Arlington Tech Students Speak at US Department of Education Conference

Two Arlington Tech juniors, Ainsley Meck and Ananya Sinha, recently spoke at the US Department of Education’s conference “You Belong to STEM.” They spoke at the Opening Session and then participated in a panel later. Both students shared the influences in their lives that led them to an academic focus in STEM fields. Conference attendees were primarily policymakers, leaders and educators in STEM education.

Other News & Notes

Reminder: Mon, Jan. 16 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day—No School

Next Week: Virginia Principal Appreciation Week!

ACPS is hiring school crossing guards. Learn more and apply!

Friday 5 for Jan. 6, 2023

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1. Happy New Year! Mental Health Reminders & Resources

APS wishes everyone a Happy New Year! To ensure a strong and successful start, look out for one another and use the ACT model to respond when you see someone struggling: ACT means Acknowledge when someone is struggling, show them you Care, and Tell a professional so they get the help they need.  Visit our website to find a list of mental health resources offered by APS and beyond. Let’s make this year one where we prioritize the mental well-being of our students and work towards building healthy and fulfilling lives.

photo of student artwork
2. 2023 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Literary & Visual Arts Literary Arts Winners Announced

Arlington Public Schools announces the winners of the 2023 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Virtual Literary and Visual Arts contest. This year marks the 53rd year that Arlington County and APS have come together to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy. APS students at all grade levels participated in the contest, and this year we received hundreds of entries from our schools and programs. Students submitted outstanding pieces of artwork, poetry and essays. Twelve entries were chosen in this year’s contest in the Literary Arts and Visual Arts categories. See the winners and learn more on our website.

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3. Attendance Notification Changes Coming Soon

Beginning Tue, Jan. 17, APS is modifying its attendance notification process. The changes will allow families to receive earlier and more frequent, real-time notices if their student has an unverified absence from school and/or has missed a specific class period.APS will transition to the following process:

  • Elementary: 11 a.m.: Daily call and text reporting unverified absences based on information reported by schools at 10:30 a.m.
  • Secondary:
    • 11 a.m.: Call and text based on information reported by 10:30 a.m.
    • 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.: Text notification of unverified absences for specific periods, based on information reported at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.
    • 5 p.m.: Call and text to recap unverified absences throughout the day, based on information entered by end of day.

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4. Look Ahead –Calendar Updates

As we embark on the new year of 2023, here are a few key dates to remember.

Jan. 15-21 – Virginia Principal Appreciation Week
-Mon, Jan. 16 – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday
Fri, Jan. 27 – End of Second Quarter
Mon, Jan. 30 – No School for Students (Grade Prep Day)
Wed, Feb. 8 – Early Release (Countywide Professional Learning for Staff)
Mon, Feb. 20 – Presidents Day Holiday

school safe zone
5. Arlington County Implementing Phase 2 of School Slow Zones This Spring

Arlington County is implementing phase 2 of its school Slow Zones around several APS schools. Phase 2 includes Barrett, Campbell, Carlin Springs, Kenmore, Alice West Fleet, Jefferson, Montessori School of Arlington, Arlington Career Center, Nottingham, Swanson, Williamsburg and Discovery. Here are a few ways that you can get involved:

–  Follow the speed limit: Whether you’re dropping students off or just driving through the neighborhood, remember that driving at 20MPH significantly lowers your crash risk.
Share this flyer: Spread the word so that more community members are aware of new, lower speed limits around schools!
Stay tuned: For updates, visit the Vision Zero website and sign up for our monthly Vision Zero Newsletter.

Other News and Notes:

January Schedule of Board Meetings, Work Sessions, and Advisory Council and Committee Meetings

School Board Member Reid Goldstein to Host Virtual Open Office Hours on Mon, Jan. 9

Virtual Academic Support for Secondary (6-12) Students (Paper)

Friday 5 for Dec. 2, 2022

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1. VIDEO: Young Scholars Model Expands Access to Gifted Services in APS

The fifth episode of Every Student Counts highlights Gifted Services in APS. It also showcases a new model designed to expand access to Gifted Services to more students, including students who have historically been underserved or underrepresented. APS is committed to serving the needs of every student, based on their strengths and needs. Gifted Services are delivered in the general classroom setting and provide curricula that are differentiated with opportunities for acceleration and extension. Watch the video to learn about the model and visit our website for resources on Gifted Services in APS.

2. Calendar Updates & Eid al-Fitr Holiday Added

At the Dec. 1 School Board meeting, the Board received recommendations on the 2023-24 School Year Calendar. Based on the discussion and feedback from staff and families, APS is revisiting options 1 and 2 and is modifying option 2 to provide a full 180 instructional days. A final decision will be made at the Dec. 15 School Board meeting.

Additionally, the Board approved a calendar change for the current school year to designate Fri, April 21, 2023, as a holiday for Eid al-Fitr. Because of this change, all schools and offices will be closed on Fri, April 21, 2023.

Next Wed, Dec. 7 is a Countywide Early Release for all students and a Professional Learning Day for staff. Winter Break is Dec. 19 – Jan. 2. All schools and offices will be closed.

students making soap
3. Langston Business & Science Students Team Up for Class Project

The Langston business and science classes, along with others teamed up on a project that combines the science of environmental sustainability, accounting and marketing to make soaps this holiday season.
Ms. Gibson’s accounting students operated a small-scale manufacturing business and tracked all financial transactions and financial analyses using QuickBooks.
Ms. Gaither’s science students learn about the science behind creating eco-friendly soaps and the sustainability of bar soaps versus liquid soaps. In addition, students grow their own herbs for the handmade soaps.
Ms. Farris, the school Registrar who once worked in marketing, shared her experience with the class. Mr. Tien, Langston’s ITC assisted students in script writing and photography to create a 30-second commercial.

students choosing books
4. Partners in Education: Reading is Fundamental Builds Lifelong Readers

Fifteen schools across APS participate in Reading is Fundamental of NOVA (RIF of NOVA), a nonprofit that assists in promoting literacy and building lifelong readers. This week, the program received a grant that will allow it to donate 490 more new books to students. RIF of NOVA provides a variety of books for student selection, giving students a choice to select books that interest them most. Participation in RIF is based on financial need. RIF of NOVA is a national organization with a local chapter in Northern Virginia. RIF of NOVA is celebrating its 50th year. APS values our partners in education!

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5. Attention Rising Middle and High School Families: Upcoming Dates

Middle School and High School Information Sessions provide a chance for families with students transitioning to the next chapter to learn about their neighborhood school and option programs of interest. View the upcoming schedule of in-person Middle School Info Sessions and High School Info Sessions available.– Secondary Option Program Deadlines: Interested families must complete an online application and submit all required documents by Fri, Jan. 13, 2023, at 4 p.m. Learn more: Middle School  I  High School

Other News & Notes
2022 Computer Science Education Week – APS Hour of Code

VIDEO: Watch the Winter Performance by HB-Woodlawn Chamber Singers

Friday 5 for Nov. 18, 2022

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students walking down road

1. Ashlawn Eagles Give Back!

In this season of giving, schools across Arlington are engaging in projects to give back and support those who need a helping hand. At Ashlawn Elementary School, students donated spare change and bars of soap throughout November to support PathForward’s efforts to end homelessness. The school community raised almost $4,000 and four large containers of soap as part of Ashlawn’s Global Citizens Project. Students, staff and members of PathForward walked through Bluemont Park raising awareness of the importance of supporting our community and helping those in need. Learn more about the Global Citizens Project.

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2. Stay Safe from Illnesses this Winter

Winter illness season is here. The flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and COVID are illnesses to be aware of this season. To protect yourself and others, please keep your student home and notify the school clinic if they are sick. Read the full details on our website.

pop of color photo by student

3. Congratulations to Wakefield Art Students

Wakefield student artists have been selected as finalists in the 2022 Visions Art Juried Competition sponsored by Marymount University. Out of 303 pieces of artwork entered, only 34 pieces were selected for the exhibition and 21 of them were from Wakefield students!  The artwork will be on display through Dec. 2 at the Barry Gallery in Marymount University.

Three of the six awards were also given to Wakefield students:
– Third Place: Marceline Castrillon for her photo, “Blinded”
– Honorable Mentions: Simone Ichwantoro for her mixed media, “Pieces of a Girl,” and Elizabeth Goddard for her photo, “Pop of Color.”

The photo “Crow Hunt,” submitted by Wakefield student Gilbert Parker, was selected as the banner image advertising the show. Congratulations to these talented students and their art teacher, Jina Davidson.   


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4. Students & School Board Member Dr. Barbara Kanninen Awarded

Students from the Arlington Career Center won second place in the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) annual student video contest. Students were tasked with creating a 30-second video on the theme “Rising Above.” Watch the award-winning video.

Additionally, School Board Member Dr. Barbara Kanninen is one of two individuals from Virginia to receive the VSBA Regional School Board Member of the Year award. This award recognizes the member’s qualities and involvement in promoting student achievement. Dr. Kanninen will retire from the Arlington School Board at the end of this calendar year.

video cover of students learning

5. Every Student Counts Episode #4: Why Student Data and Assessments Matter

This fourth episode in our Every Student Counts series illustrates how Collaborative Learning Teams use data to guide student support. Watch as teachers and staff at Long Branch and Barrett elementary schools, as well as Dorothy Hamm Middle School, show how the process works and the importance of assessments.

Other News & Notes Next Week

Thanksgiving Break: Wed-Fri, Nov. 23-25

Elementary and Secondary Report Cards are available in ParentVUE

VIDEO: Reminders and Tips to Prepare for Inclement Weather

APS All Stars for November | Nominate an APS All Star

Making a Difference for APS Newsletter

Share Your Feedback on School Board Policies Available for Public Comment

General Information about APS Graduation Requirements

School Board Member Barbara Kanninen to Host virtual Open Office Hours on Mon, Nov. 28

December Schedule of Board Meetings, Work Sessions, and Advisory Council and Committee Meetings

Friday 5 for Nov. 4, 2022

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1. A Look Ahead at November

As we enter November, here are some key dates to keep in mind.– Mon, Nov. 7 – End of 1st quarter – Tue, Nov. 8 – No School for Students (Grade Prep Day)– Fri. Nov. 11 – No School, Veterans Day Holiday– Wed-Fri, Nov. 23-25 – No School, Thanksgiving Break                                                                                                                          You can view the full calendar online.  

snow days

2. Preparing for Inclement Weather

With winter approaching, APS wants to remind families to review our inclement weather procedures and have a plan in place in the event of a change in operations:
The first seven inclement weather days will be treated as traditional “snow days.” If the allotted days are used, APS will revert to full distance learning (virtual) days.
– NEW: Extended Day and Check-In programs will now close at the same time schools close in the event of an Early Release due to weather conditions (previously Extended Day remained open until 4 p.m.).
– Decisions impacting the following day will be announced by 6 p.m. Morning decisions will be announced by 5 a.m., as needed, based on conditions overnight.

You can learn more about the weather codes and other important details on our website.

thank you, psychologists
3. Celebrating our APS School Psychologists

National School Psychology Week is next week with the theme Together We Shine. At APS, school psychologists bring high levels of expertise in supporting the holistic needs of students, individualized to each specific context and situation. They support school teams in problem-solving learning challenges, behaviors, or social-emotional needs. Please use #SchoolPsychWeek on social media to join in the conversation and look for stories shared across our digital platforms.

students jumping on painted blacktop surface
4. New Blacktop Art Encourages More Outdoor Physical Activity at Two Elementary Schools

Healthy Community Action Team (HCAT) Arlington received funding from Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY) and Arlington Foundation for Families and Youth (ArlFFY) to paint blacktop murals at Randolph and Carlin Springs Elementary Schools. Students and staff at Randolph Elementary School held a ribbon cutting event to celebrate the completion of the new educational blacktop art that encourages more physical activity and outdoor play.

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5. Recognizing National Native American Heritage Month

November is National American Indian Heritage Month. APS recognizes the contributions and cultures of the Indigenous peoples across the North American continent, including those right here in Virginia. Learn more about National American Indian Heritage Month and check out these books recommended by the Arlington Public Library from Native American Voices.

Other News & Notes

High School Information Night Presentation

Flu/COVID-19/RSV PCR Testing from ResourcePath

2023-24 Calendar Survey Ends Tue, Nov. 8 

This Weekend: Daylight Saving Time – Fall Back 1 Hour

Next Week: National School Psychology Week

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Friday 5 for Oct. 28, 2022

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pumpkin graphic

1. Simply Spooktacular! Eerie Events and Frightful Fun!

Halloween is on Mon, Oct. 31, and APS wishes all families that choose to celebrate a frightfully fun time. Arlington County has assembled a host of resources from events in the area to safety tips for trick-or-treating to guide your fall fun. Enjoy and be safe!

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2. Eight APS Schools Receive Purple Star Designation

Congratulations to the eight APS schools honored with the Virginia Purple Star Designation! The award is given to military-friendly schools that have demonstrated a major commitment to students and families connected to our nation’s military. Newly designated schools: Arlington Career Center, Arlington Traditional School, Escuela Key Elementary, Hoffman-Boston Elementary, Kenmore Middle School, Oakridge Elementary, Swanson Middle School, and Thomas Jefferson Middle School. Discovery Elementary was awarded in 2019 with nine APS schools awarded so far.

ESC video logo with play button

3. Every Student Counts! Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in APS

Episode 3 of the Every Student Counts video series explains the importance of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) at all grade levels. Watch as students and staff at Randolph Elementary, Gunston Middle and Yorktown High School engage in SEL. These lessons give students the support and skills needed to succeed in school, future careers and life.

2023-24 calendar with phone checkmark

4. Share Your Input on the 2023-24 School Year Calendar

APS requests your feedback on the 2023-24 school year calendar options. The survey is open through Nov. 8. Feedback is used to inform the recommendation voted on by the School Board on Dec. 15  Learn more and complete the survey.

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5. No School Boundary Changes for 2023-24 SY

At last night’s School Board meeting, it was announced there will not be a school boundary process for Fall 2022 meaning no boundary adjustments will take place during the 2023-24 SY. Earlier this year, staff reviewed projected enrollment levels and determined that student enrollment would be manageable for the current school year. As requested by the School Board, staff held off on making a final decision about boundaries until the September 30 student enrollment data was available. Staff will share the various measures to manage student enrollment when the Superintendent’s Annual Update is presented this spring.

Other News & Notes

REMINDER: AOVP closes on Mon, Oct. 31

November Schedule of Board Meetings, Work Sessions, and Advisory Council and Committee Meetings

School Board Member Barbara Kanninen to Host Virtual Open Office Hours on Tue, Nov. 1

Friday 5 for October 21, 2022

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wall of jars
1. School Spotlight: Dream Jars at Glebe Elementary

At Glebe Elementary School, each year begins with a school-wide art installation. The Glebe art team, Lynn Westergren and Stacey Lewis, conceived this year’s project based on an illustration in the book Maybe, by Kobi Yamada, that shows a collection of mason jars filled with treasures. Each Glebe student filled a “jar” with representations of their hopes, dreams, discoveries and journeys. The hallway outside the art rooms is filled with hundreds of jar-shaped drawings keeping safe the treasures of our amazing Glebe students.   

green check mark
2. Bond to Improve School Infrastructure on November Ballot

On Election Day, Nov. 8, Arlington voters will vote on $165.01 million in school bonds to improve and upgrade existing school infrastructure. The school bonds support projects to maintain and update APS school facilities to meet the changing needs of students and the community. The projects included in the 2022 School Bond Referendum are:

– Major infrastructure projects that include the Escuela Key roof replacement, Hoffman-Boston HVAC replacement, and LED lighting upgrades at various sites.

– Entrance security vestibules and kitchen renovations at 24 school buildings.

– The modernization of the Arlington Career Center to construct a modern facility to support student learning for full-time Arlington Career Center (ACC) students and students from all APS high schools enrolled in Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses at ACC.

For additional information visit the 2022 School Bond Referendum webpage.

students performing the work of Poe
3. The Poe Garden
Program at Kenmore Middle School
Kenmore Middle School Theater teacher Dawn Hunter partnered with the Glencarlyn Library to revitalize The Poe Garden program at the Glencarlyn community garden. Students from theater classes dressed in period costumes and read excerpts from the writings of Edgar Allen Poe, as guests strolled through the gardens. The Glencarlyn community garden is a teaching garden maintained by the Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia.

2023 MLK Jr. Arts Contest
Submit Your Creations for the 2023 MLK Arts Contest!
Arlington Public Schools students are invited to take part in the annual “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Literary and Visual Arts Contest.” The prompt this year is to “describe a time where you saw someone treated unfairly because of what they looked like or who they were; OR an event in history where people were treated unfairly because of what they looked like or who they were.” Entries are due by 5 p.m. Fri, Nov. 18. You can download the entry form and learn more online.

APS VA All Stars
5. Congrats to APS All Stars for October!
The Superintendent and a team of School & Community Relations staff surprised five employees with the APS All Star award for October. This monthly recognition program awards staff who go above and beyond to serve students and schools. There have been over 200 entries this school year, and we were thrilled to receive many nominations from students.  Congratulations to:

Latoya Hill, Administrative Assistant at Tuckahoe
Eileen Gardner, Principal at Nottingham
Catherine Ackleson, Instructional Assistant at Cardinal
Joshua Bruno, Teacher at Swanson
Daniel Castillo, Specialist at Arlington Community High School

Read what makes these stars shine and nominate an All Star staff member today!   

Other News & Notes

There is no school on Mon, Oct. 24 in observance of Diwali. Learn more

Attention Fifth Grade Families: Middle School Information Night is Oct. 25

AOVP Family Support Night Flyer | Oct. 26 – Add to Calendar

Updated bivalent COVID-19 boosters are now available for 5-11-year-olds. Find a location to get your boosters at vaccines.gov.

students riding bikes to school

Friday 5 for Oct. 14, 2022

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1. Extra! Extra! Read about the Volunteers and Partners that are Making a Difference for APS!

We are pleased to share the first Volunteer and Partnership Newsletter of the school year. This monthly newsletter highlights school volunteers and partners who are making important contributions to student success, both inside and outside of the classroom. This month, we feature the numerous organizations that contributed school supplies, profile new partners and look at a few parent-volunteer groups that are making a difference.  

graphic that reads high school information night
2. Virtual High School Information Night Set for Nov. 1

Attention 8th-grade families! The Virtual High School Information Night will take place on Tue, Nov. 1 at 6:30 p.m. Join in to learn about the transition to high school, core classes and electives, option schools/programs, neighborhood transfers, and the option/transfer application and lottery process. Families can watch the event online (the link will be posted before the event). Between November and January, each high school will host an information session for families to meet staff, learn about the school, and ask questions. Dates and times for these information sessions will be announced during the Virtual High School Information Night.

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3. VIDEO: Every Student Counts: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program at Fleet Elementary

October is Disabilities Awareness Month, and this week’s Every Student Counts video focuses on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program at Alice West Fleet Elementary, one example of Special Education services offered in APS. In addition, the APS Parent Resource Center will host An Introduction to Special Education on Oct. 18, to explain everything parents need to know about the process and available supports. Sessions are offered in person at 10 a.m. and virtually at 7 p.m. Register and learn more 

group photo at school board meeting
4. School Board Honors Student and Staff Leaders for Hispanic Heritage Month

Congratulations to the outstanding Latino high school students, as well as APS administrators, honored for their leadership at the School Board’s Hispanic Heritage Month recognition. Read more about the eight student honorees, selected for their character and leadership. This was a great way to conclude Hispanic Heritage Month festivities focused on inclusivity and celebrating the cultures and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

students riding bikes to school
5. GALLERY: Students Walk & Roll to School

This week, students from across the country and here in Arlington walked or rolled to school as part of the annual Walk & Roll to School Day. View the gallery to see students in action walking and rolling to school. Learn more about Walk & Roll to School Day.

Other News & Notes

AOVP Family Support Night Flyer | Add to Calendar

School Board Member Cristina Diaz-Torres to Host Virtual Open Office Hours on Mon, Oct. 17

Updated bivalent COVID-19 boosters are now available for 5-11-year-olds. Find a location to get your boosters at vaccines.gov.

volunteers unloading boxes from an Amazon van

Friday 5 for Sept. 23, 2022

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1. VIDEO: Every Student Counts!

This week, APS is kicking off the Every Student Counts video series. The goal is to help families better understand the tiered approach APS teachers use to meet every student’s academic and social-emotional needs. Watch Episode 1 of Every Student Counts and view more information online.

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2. New Student Progress Data Now Available

APS maintains the Student Progress Dashboard and Equity Profile to monitor and assess student achievement and identify gaps. Both have been updated with 2021-22 year-end assessment results:-The Student Progress Dashboard now includes end-of-year data for DIBELS, Math Inventory (MI) and Reading Inventory (RI).  -The Equity Profile Dashboard now includes the 2021-22 Standards of Learning (SOLs) test results for Grades 3 and 8.

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3. Your Voice Matters Survey Results Available

The results for the 2022 Your Voice Matters Survey are available online. The survey’s topics included include school and community climate, health and well-being and engagement. In total, more than 19,000 survey responses were collected from students, staff, and families. The results will be used to inform work across both APS and the Arlington County Government.

volunteers unloading boxes from an Amazon van
Credit: Chris Kleponis






4. Amazon + Food for Neighbors Bring Food & Essentials to Schools

Amazon and Food for Neighbors launched food and essentials pantries at three APS schools and is providing snacks to one elementary school. Amazon Fresh donated $250,000 to three area organizations, two right here in Arlington. Food for Neighbors will stock supply the pantries at Arlington Community High School, Wakefield High school and the Arlington Career Center. At Abingdon Elementary School, Amazon Fresh is directly providing afternoon snack baskets to each student in the school throughout the entire academic year.

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5. Attendance Matters!

Regular school attendance is important, and APS asks for your support in ensuring students arrive prepared and on time as much as possible. Being present is essential to a student’s academic success! Please help reinforce the importance of consistent attendance and have a plan to ensure students are on time as much as possible. For more information, review Build the Habit of Good Attendance Early and Keep Your Child On Track in Middle and High School: Pay Attention to Attendance from Attendance Works.

Other News & Notes
Reminder: No School on Monday; Rosh Hashanah
Summary of the Aug. 22 School Board Meeting
Register for Next Week’s Equity Profile Community Conversations
P-EBT Phishing Scam
Social-Emotional Learning Survey for Students in Grades 3-12  

Friday 5 for Sept. 16, 2022

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1. APS Celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

It’s National Hispanic Heritage Month, and this month APS celebrates the contributions that Latino Americans have made to our nation, especially to Arlington and our schools. Watch this video of Superintendent Dr. Durán and APS leaders kicking off the month. You can share your voice and get involved by clicking here. Submit quotes, artwork, poetry, photos or other representation that captures your Latino identity. Join in the conversation online using #APSHHM and #APSHerenciaHispana.

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2. September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month – New Mental Health Resources

APS has a variety of resources available to support student mental health and wellbeing, as well as to help those who may be experiencing emotional distress or crisis. Our SOS Suicide Prevention program teaches students how to respond when someone around them says or does something that could be seen as a desire to hurt themselves. If you or someone you know is in crisis, you can call or text 988. Learn more about how APS responds to support students, as well as mental health resources available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Tuck Vid
3. VIDEO: Congratulations to Northern Virginia Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Tuckahoe’s Ms. Ani Arzoomanian, Northern VA Teacher of the Year! View this video capturing the surprise assembly held in her honor. APS also congratulates Arlington Traditional School (ATS) teacher Anna Barba; Wakefield teacher Julianna Araujo; and Swanson teacher Melanie Stowell, all named finalists. You can pick up a copy of the article on newsstands now. Congratulations to all our outstanding teachers!

4. Seventeen Seniors Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists
The National Merit Scholarship Program announced that 17 Arlington students are semifinalists in the 68th annual National Merit Scholarship Competition. Semifinalists are the highest scoring entrants in each state and represent less than one percent of the nation’s seniors. Congratulations to the students selected for this recognition.

beyond aps
5. Join Us for the College Fair: Beyond APS on October 11

Arlington Public Schools will host its annual Beyond APS: College Fair 2022 on Tue, Oct. 11 from 6-8 p.m. at Thomas Jefferson Community Center (3501 2nd St. S.). Families will have an opportunity to speak with representatives from over 100 colleges, universities, trade schools, military and other organizations. Families interested in learning about post-secondary options are encouraged to attend this FREE event. Learn more at aps2016.apsva.us/BeyondAPS.

Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for Sept. 9, 2022

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students excited for the first day of school
1. VIDEO: Watch Highlights from the First Day of School

We are thrilled to have students back at school! At the start of each school year, APS shares a highlights video from the first day. This year, we interviewed new principals from around the division and showcase the diverse APS community. Watch the video here.

create your won luck with free unlimited tutoring with Paper and APS
2. Secondary Students Now Have Access to PAPER Academic Support

APS is now offering free virtual on-demand academic support for all students in Grades 6-12 this school year. Students receive unlimited 24/7 one-on-one support with assignments, writing feedback and studying support for all subjects, delivered by a live tutor through PAPER’s platform.

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3. Student Spotlight!
H-B Woodlawn Senior Learns Mandarin in Taiwan

Olivia Van Hoey earned a scholarship to study Chinese (Mandarin) for six weeks in Taiwan through a National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI‑Y) scholarship. NSLI‑Y is a program of the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) that promotes the study of several languages. Olivia competed with thousands of applicants from high schools across the country and is among over 400 students to win the scholarship. Congratulations, Olivia!

APS All Stars star logo
4. Nominate an APS All Star Today!

Back for its second year, the APS All Stars program recognizes outstanding employees who go above and beyond their normal scope of work to ensure that all students thrive and excel. Learn more about the program and nominate someone today! We’ll recognize our next group of All Stars on Sept. 30.

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5. Coming Soon: APS Recognizes Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year, we observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, to celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. APS will again recognize student leaders and share their stories throughout the month.

Other News & Notes 

Friday 5 for September 2, 2022

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first day of school photo
1. WATCH: First Day Video and Photo Highlights

We’re thrilled to welcome students back to school and celebrate our diverse community! Watch this teaser trailer of our annual back-to-school video. The entire video is debuting next week! Thanks for sharing your photos with us! View the first day of school photo gallery and our Wakelet, combining tweets from the first day. Continue to share your memories using #APSBack2School.

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2. Annual Online Verification Process (AOVP) is Now Open

Ensure that your contact information and other essential information about your student(s) are updated in ParentVUE. It’s important that all families complete the Annual Online Verification Process (AOVP) which is how we collect essential information and verify all families have reviewed important documents such as the Student Handbook and updated Student Code of Conduct. Video tutorials and ParentVUE activation instructions are available to help families complete AOVP. Contact your child’s school for AOVP assistance.

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3. Several Arlington Students Win ‘Extraordinary Teen Award’

Five recent graduates from Arlington Public Schools are winners of Arlington Magazine’s Extraordinary Teen Award. These students excel both inside and outside of the classroom. Read more about each of the students profiled in Arlington Magazine.– Zoe Davis, Yorktown High School– Will Parker IV, Wakefield High School– Antonia Jara Romero, Arlington Tech at Arlington Career Center– Kimiko Reed, Washington-Liberty High School– Anna Macon Corcoran, Yorktown High SchoolCongratulations to these extraordinary teens! We can’t wait to see everything they accomplish.

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4. Back-to-School Nights Coming this Month

Join us for Back-to-School Nights throughout September! Back-to-School Night is a chance for families to visit their student’s classroom and meet their teachers. Each school will communicate specific times and other details.

Thu, Sept. 8 – Elementary Back-to-School Night
Tue, Sept. 13 – Middle School Back-to-School Night
Wed, Sept. 21 – High School Back-to-School Night
Thu, Sept. 22 – H-B Woodlawn & Arlington Community High School Back-to-School Night
Thu, Sept. 29 – Career Center/Arlington Tech Back-to-School Night

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5. Enjoy the Holiday Break

Remember that school is closed through Monday in observance of Labor Day. See you back at school on Tue, Sept. 6!

Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for Aug. 26, 2022

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APS is excited to welcome students back to the classroom on Mon, Aug. 29. Sharpen the pencils, put the notebooks in the backpack and be well-rested for a great first day! Find important back-to-school information and see what’s new for this school year.  We would like to see your photos and videos from the first day of school. Share them online using #APSBack2School.

photo of students walking to school with adult
1. VIDEO: Cross-generational “Walking School Bus” Takes Foot at Oakridge Elementary

Not only does the Walking School Bus program help our environment and lessen traffic on our roads, but it also provides a way for students walking to school to come together with the community. Watch as Oakridge students form more than a special bond with community members from an entirely different generation.

annual online verification process
2. Review and Update Vital Student, Parent and Emergency Info in ParentVUE

Have you reviewed or updated your contact information in ParentVUE as part of the Annual Online Verification Process (AOVP)? We need every family to verify that our information on file is accurate and current. Video tutorials and ParentVUE activation instructions are available to help families complete AOVP. Contact your child’s school for assistance activating your ParentVUE account, completing AOVP, or additional support.

COVID 19 Health & Safety Updates Graphic
3. APS Updates COVID Guidance

APS is making a few adjustments to COVID protocols based on the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). Overall, most COVID-19 protocols have not changed. Primary changes are related to contact tracing, quarantine, and isolation procedures. View the updated COVID-19 Protocols and FAQ online. We will continue to adjust our protocols based on local conditions and the latest guidance and will communicate changes as needed.

police officer posing for photo with students
4. Importance of Roadway Safety as Students Head Back to School
Remember to use extra caution on our roadways as students head back to school on Mon. Aug, 29. Watch this PSA with the ACPD for reminders about traffic safety, as more walkers, bikers and buses are on the road. Here are additional back-to-school safety tips.

5. Looking Ahead: Important Calendar Reminders
Here is a list of important upcoming dates:
Mon, Aug. 29 – First Day of School
Fri, Sept. 2 & 5 – Holiday: Labor Day
Thu, Sept. 8 – Elementary Back-to-School Night
Tue, Sept. 13 – Middle School Back-to-School Night
Wed, Sept. 21 – High School Back-to-School Night
Thu, Sept. 22 – H-B Woodlawn & Arlington Community High School Back-to-School Night
Mon, Sept. 26 – Holiday: Rosh Hashanah
Thu, Sept. 29 – Career Center/Arlington Tech Back-to-School Night

See the full calendar online.

Other News & Notes
Food For Neighbors Rolls Out Services to Arlington Public Schools
Bus Schedules
WheresTheBus Tool
APS Student Fare Free Program
Digital eCheckup – Arlington County Internet Survey
September Schedule of Board Meetings, Work Sessions, and Advisory Council and Committee Meetings

Friday 5 for August 19, 2022

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Photo of smiling students
1. Welcome to the 2022-23 School Year!
We are excited to welcome students back to school on Mon, Aug. 29. View Superintendent Dr. Durán’s welcome back video message to preview what’s new this year and our focus on Every Student Counts. Visit our website for back-to-school information on key dates, bus schedules, meals, safety and more. Share your back-to-school highlights with us on social media using #APSBack2School.

Photo of yellow school bus
2. Now Available: Bus Schedules and NEW
WheresTheBus Tool
Transportation information for bus-eligible students is now posted in ParentVUE under the Student Information tab. View information about WheresTheBus. Families and students can download the WheresTheBus app on their mobile devices or online to receive real-time updates on their bus arrival times. Visit Transportation Services for more information.

School Meals Update with fruit, juice and brown bag
3. Complete the Free & Reduced Meal Application for Meal Benefits
View updated information about meal prices for this school year. APS encourages families who may qualify for free or reduced-price meals to apply for meal benefits. Applications are available in ParentVUE, on the APS Food Services Webpage or online at www.myschoolapps.com.

Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) Logo
4. APS Announces 2021-22 SOL Results
The 2021-22 Standards of Learning (SOL) results are now available. The Office of Academics presented the results during last night’s School Board Meeting. Watch the presentation of results and read the press release.

COVID 19 Health & Safety Updates Graphic
5. Review Updated COVID-19 Health & Safety Measures
APS is committed to providing learning environments that are healthy and safe for all students. We continue to adapt our COVID-19 mitigation measures using the latest guidance from health officials. This school year:

Read more about APS COVID protocols online.

Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for June 17, 2022

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students and superintendent durán with graphic that says have a great summer
1. Have a Great Summer! Year-End Message from the Superintendent
APS wishes you all a great summer! Thank you for your partnership in supporting APS students and schools this school year. Watch this year-end video message from Superintendent Dr. Durán featuring students sharing their hopes and plans for the summer break. 

person serving ice cream to customer
2. Spotlight: Students Gain Job Skills and Life Lessons at Jake’s Ice Cream
Watch this video highlighting a special partnership that serves up hands-on work experience for students AND delicious ice cream! Arlington Career Center’s Program for Employment Preparedness (PEP) prepares students for the workforce through local partnerships like the one with Jake’s Ice Cream. Jake’s employs staff with special needs and helps to prepare APS high school students for the workforce. Students learn work readiness skills and serve up sweet treats in a supportive and inclusive setting. Learn more about PEP.

school meals update -
3. Meal Prices + Special Summer Meal Pickup Locations
The USDA’s waiver allowing schools to serve free breakfast and lunch has expired, which means that APS is no longer able to provide school meals at no cost for all students. If you have a child attending summer school and believe you may qualify for benefits, please complete the meal application by June 30. APS is providing free daily meal pickups for students 18 and under from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. during summer school at three locations, Carlin Springs, Randolph and Barrett elementary schools.  View new information about APS meal prices for summer and the 2022-23 school year, as well as summer meal distribution plans. 

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4. Immunization Information for the New School Year
As you look forward to summer, make sure you include immunizations and physical exams in your plans, so you are ready for the new school year! Read the full list of requirements on our website. 

photo of graduates in caps and gowns at graduation
5. Congratulations Graduates!
What a wonderful week of celebrating students achieving milestones during graduation promotion events. APS is incredibly proud of the Class of 2022 and wishes every student continued success in their next chapter.If you missed the graduation ceremonies, watch them online and view photo highlights. 

Thank you for reading the Friday 5 this school year! This is the final edition of the school year—Friday 5 will return on Friday, August 19.

 News and Notes

Friday 5 for June 10, 2022

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Equity Profile screen grab

1. APS Launches Equity Profile Dashboard
The APS Equity Profile Dashboard is now available online. The Equity Profile was developed to provide data related to student opportunity, access, and achievement. There are six categories reflected, based on community input: Student Demographics, Student Success, College & Career Readiness, Student Well-Being, School Climate and Engaged Workforce. APS is continuing to develop the Profile and will use it to ensure resources are shared equitably based on student needs. The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will host a series of community conversations in the fall to share more about the Equity Profile, key takeaways and how it will be used.   

NASA astronaut talking to student
2. Out of this World! NASA Astronauts Visit ASFS Students
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and astronauts who recently completed a long stint aboard the International Space Station (ISS) visited Arlington Science Focus School (ASFS) this morning to tour the school and engage with students. Students got a glimpse of what it is like to be an astronaut and asked the astronauts questions about what life in space is like. The astronauts toured the school’s space lab, complete with a mock spaceship! Congressman Don Beyer was in attendance and facilitated the question-and-answer session with students.   

group of teachers and student holding up award
3. Wakefield Student is First at APS to Pass Driver’s Learners Permit Test at School
Wakefield student Aidan Kroon is the first APS student to pass the driver’s learners permit test at the remote testing site at Wakefield High School. Wakefield’s remote testing program is a partnership with the Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Education that helps students get their licenses. Students can access the DMV knowledge test in a proctored setting at Wakefield, instead of having a parent take them to a DMV office. APS hopes to expand the remote learners permit testing to other high schools next year. Congratulations, Aidan, and remember to buckle up and drive safely! Learn more about remote testing.   

APS Summer School Logo
4. Preparing for Summer School
Summer School is just a few short weeks away, beginning on July 5. Welcome letters will be sent home via mail the week of June 27 to families who have students enrolled in Summer School. Student schedules and transportation information will be posted on ParentVUE by the end of the day on July 1. Further communication will be provided closer to that date. Learn more about Summer School.

Closeup of a 2022 Graduation Tassel at a graduation ceremony.

5. Happy Graduation Week! End-of-Year Reminders
Congratulations to the Class of 2022 and all students who are transitioning to their next chapter in APS! View the High School Graduation and Middle School Promotion schedule online. You can view the high school graduations live online if you are unable to join in person. Here are reminders for the end of the school year:

  • June 15 – Last Day of High School / Early Release + Elementary Early Release
  • June 16 – Last Day of Middle School / Early Release
  • June 17 – Last Day of Elementary School / Early Release / Last Day for 10-Month Staff
  • June 20 – Juneteenth Holiday for 12-month staff

Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for May 27, 2022

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presidential scholars banner graphic with medal
1. Washington-Liberty Senior Maya Koenig Named U.S. Presidential Scholar
Congratulations to Washington-Liberty Senior Maya Koenig for being named a 2022 U.S. Presidential Scholar. Koenig joins 160 seniors from across the country recognized for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields. Created in 1964, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program has honored over 7,900 of the nation’s top-performing students.

Julia Brodsky
2. H-B Woodlawn Junior Places Fourth in Regeneron International Science & Engineering Fair
H-B Woodlawn junior Julia Brodsky placed 4th in the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair. Her project, “Anti-Biofilm Activity of Isolated Bacteriophages for the Treatment of Multidrug-Resistant Pulmonary Infections,” placed 4th in the microbiology category. Student winners in grades 9-12 earned the right to compete at the Regeneron ISEF 2022 by winning a top prize at a local, regional, state or national science fair where they compete against their peers from across the globe. Congratulations, Julia!

covid 19 cases graphic with arrow trending upward
3. COVID-19 Health and Safety Reminders
As of May 23, 2022, the Northern Virginia region – including Arlington – remains in the CDC’s Medium COVID-19 Community Level, with increases in COVID-19 cases overall, and increases in new COVID-19 hospital admissions, leading to more outbreaks in schools. Please take recommended steps to keep yourself and loved ones healthy, including wearing a mask indoors at school and on buses, staying current with COVID vaccines, getting tested when feeling ill, monitoring symptoms and staying home if not feeling well. View information on vaccine clinics and boosters (now available for students aged 5-11).

calendar graphic
4. Mark Your Calendar! Year-End Dates
In just a few weeks, APS looks forward to celebrating the graduating Class of 2022 and all students who are transitioning to their next chapter. You can view the High School Graduation and Middle School Promotion schedule online.  Mark your calendars for these upcoming dates:

  • May 30 – No school for students on Monday (Memorial Day holiday)
  • June 8 – Elementary Early Release for Students
  • June 15 – Last Day of High School / Early Release + Elementary Early Release
  • June 16 – Last Day of Middle School / Early Release
  • June 17 – Last Day of Elementary School / Early Release / Last Day for 10-Month Staff

adult and student with student learning
5. SEL (Social-Emotional Learning) Student Survey Results Available
Families of students in grades 3-12 now have access to individual student results of the Panorama Education student SEL Universal Screener, conducted this Spring for the first time as a tool to assess school climate and strengthen support for students in core areas such as social awareness, emotional regulation, sense of belonging and wellbeing. Families can access their student’s individual report in ParentVUE. Division-wide results will be presented on July 19 in a Monitoring Report to the School Board.   

Other News & Notes

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Coming in June: LGBTQIA+ Pride Month

Friday 5 for May 20, 2022

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outdoor lab logo
1. Explore and Support the Outdoor Lab This Weekend
Have you experienced the Outdoor Lab? This popular destination for APS student field trips and summer camp is hosting an Open House this Sat, May 21. Arlington families are invited to explore the mountain trails, streams and pond, and enjoy fishing, hiking and nature. Tickets are available from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. or 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Additionally, tonight (Fri, May 20) OneMorePageBooks is hosting an online and outdoor fundraiser and will donate 15% of all sales to the Outdoor Lab. Proceeds support the lab and its wildlife, which rely on donations and volunteers.  Learn more online. 

digital device return graphic with laptops
2. Student Device Collection and Return
APS is collecting all student devices during the final week of school to provide students with a tech break and update the devices for use in the summer and next school year. Knowing that high school students use their devices for applications and other purposes, all students entering grades 9-12 in fall 2022-23 will receive their updated devices back beginning July 5 and throughout the summer during designated distribution days. Additionally, all students will continue to have access to their MyAccess account to work on instructional programs and applications. Students attending Summer School will also receive a device. More information about device collection and return dates will be communicated by your school. Learn more online. 

school meals update graphic with apple, banana, orange drink and bag with APS logo
3. Meals Update for Summer and Next School Year
APS has been offering free meals for all since the onset of the pandemic as part of a USDA waiver. Congress has not extended the waiver past June, meaning that meals will no longer be provided free of charge for all students in Summer School and for the upcoming school year. APS is awaiting details on the cost of meals and will send additional information when available. Families with children attending summer school, who believe they may qualify for free or reduced-price meals, are encouraged to apply online for meal benefits by June 30. Learn more online.

staff helping students create 3d
4. Inclusive Classroom: Drew Students Learn to
Help Peers with Limited Verbal Capabilities
Fourth-grade students at Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary have begun a project with the Office of Assistive Technology to learn about how Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) helps students and adults with language problems communicate effectively. The students are not only learning about AAC tools like gestures, symbols and drawings, but are also creating and printing the 3D symbols and giving them to Drew students who need language support.

space force activation students
5. Kudos! Space Force JROTC Program Activated at Arlington Career Center
This week, students in Arlington Career Center’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Program (JROTC), VA-821, officially activated as one of the first Space Force JROTC programs in the nation. Last year, VA-821 was one of the ten units selected worldwide from the almost 900 Air Force JROTC units to move to the Space Force. The activation ceremony this week featured keynote speakers Space Force Col Matthew Allen and Career Center Principal Margaret Chung, and culminated in Space Force leaders pinning the Space Force lapel pin on four cadets to symbolize the official activation.

Other News & Notes

Friday Five for May 13, 2022

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budget fy 2023 graphic
1. School Board Approves FY 2023 Budget

Last night, the School Board adopted the FY 2023 budget totaling $749,919,963. The FY23 budget for Arlington Public Schools prioritizes resources to foster student well-being and academic success. It also invests in compensation and the school division’s commitment to hire and retain high quality staff to serve diverse student needs. Read more about the approved budget online.

extended day program logo
2. Extended Day Registration for the 2022-23 School Year

Extended Day registration for the 2022-23 school year opens for returning families on May 24 and continues through June 7.  Summer School Extended Day registration is ongoing. Additional details are available online. 3

video of social studies classroom, teacher working with students on assignment
Inside the Classroom at TJMS—Social Studies Program Highlight

This week’s Crosswalks video provides a look inside an eighth-grade World Geography class at Thomas Jefferson Middle School and highlights Social Studies in APS. The Social Studies Office is focused on supporting inquiry-based practices, equity and inclusion, and performance assessments for all students. Thank you to TJMS teachers Rachel Payne and Brittany Wiltrout, and Kerri Hirsch, Supervisor of Social Studies, for highlighting your work with students.

tassel with 22 year on - congratulations class of 2022
4. It’s Time to Celebrate Proms and Graduation—Congratulations to the Class of 2022!

APS looks forward to a season of celebration as students gather for year-end events. View the schedule for high school graduations and middle school promotion ceremonies. For those who cannot attend high school graduations in person, live streaming links will be available. APS asks families of teens reaching these milestones to help ensure celebrations are safe for all. View tips for safe, alcohol-free celebrations. We encourage students and their families to share graduation stories using #APSGrad22 across social media.

photo of yvonne pettiford, congratulatory image
5. ACC’s Yvonne Pettitford Wins 2022 Heart of Service Lifetime Achievement Award

Congratulations to Ms. Yvonne Pettiford, Arlington Career Center’s Alternatives for Parenting Teens Infant Care Center coordinator/director, for being awarded the Child Care Aware 2022 Heart of Service Lifetime Achievement Award! Ms. Pettiford was selected from 462 nominees throughout Virginia. Recipients of this annual award are nominated by colleagues, students, family, and friends for displaying “longevity and overall excellence in the field, with 20+ years of service, and a demonstrated commitment to a career of caring for children.”

Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for May 6, 2022

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group photo of teachers
1. Gallery: Teacher Appreciation Week
We would like to thank everyone who helped show our teachers how much we appreciate them, both in our schools and online using #ThankAPSTeachers. Our staff, PTAs, partners, families and students found many ways to say thank you to the teachers who make Arlington Public Schools a great place to learn. View this collection of social media posts that recaps how teachers were celebrated all week long

students posing at skills usa
2. Arlington Career Center TV Production Students Win State Awards
A team of Arlington Career Center students earned top honors at the 57th annual State Leadership Conference and Skills Championships in April. SkillsUSA is a national organization that focuses on leadership skills for high school students. Students are given the opportunity to compete against their peers at the local, state, and national levels, and are judged by industry experts. Congratulations to the student winners.

5 day calendar graphic
3. Change in COVID Protocols for Students
APS has moved to a 5-day isolation period for students who test positive for COVID-19. Previously, isolation for students was for a period of 10 days. This change aligns with the recommendations of the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health. Students may return to in-person instruction on day six, if on day five the student has no symptoms (or symptoms are improving), AND has been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, AND is able to wear a well-fitting mask for days 6-10. Read more on our website.

photo of cafeteria staff making food
4. APS Recognizes School Lunch Hero Day
Today is School Lunch Hero Day! Between preparing healthy meals for APS students, adhering to strict nutrition standards, navigating student food allergies, and offering service with a smile, school nutrition professionals are true heroes. Please take a moment to thank our school lunch personnel for their hard work and dedication to APS. Follow along on social media using #SchoolLunchHeroDay. View the photo gallery on our website.

group photo of celebration of excellence awardees
5. View Highlights from the 2022 Celebration of Excellence
The Annual Celebration of Excellence took place on Wednesday evening at Washington-Liberty High School. The event recognized the Principal of the Year, Teachers of the Year and Support Employees of the Year for the school division. Watch videos highlighting the winners and how they make a difference for students, and view a photo gallery on our website.

Other News & Notes

  • Happy Mother’s Day!

Friday 5 for April 29, 2022

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2022 best communities for music education graphic
1. APS Music Education Program Receives National Recognition for the Sixth Year in a Row

APS has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. The designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement to provide music access and education to all students. Read the full release on our website.

teacher appreciation week may 2-6, 2022
2. Say Thank You: Next Week’s Staff Recognitions

Teacher Appreciation Week (May 2-6) – We look forward to the chance to thank our wonderful teachers next week for Teacher Appreciation Week! Please join us next week in thanking them for all they do! Use #ThankAPSTeachers on social media.
School Nurses Day (May 4) – Our nurses have been on the front line during the pandemic. Let’s take a moment to thank them on Wed, May 4.
School Lunch Hero Day (May 6) – Our cafeteria workers play a crucial role in keeping our students fed with delicious and nutritious meals. Take a moment to thank them on Fri, May 6.

walk bike and role to school graphic
3. Join the 2022 Bike, Walk and Roll to School Day Celebration on Wed, May 4

To promote the great health, environmental, community-building and transportation benefits of biking, walking and rolling to school, Arlington Public Schools will take part in Bike, Walk and Roll to School Day 2022 on Wed, May 4. Help build momentum while you plan, and then tweet/share your story when the big day rolls around, with our 2022 hashtag #APSBike2SchoolDay!

students and staff at the mental health fair
4. Mental Health and Wellness Fairs
Two important mental health fairs took place this week. At the Arlington Career Center’s evening Wellness Fair, students shared wonderful projects and skills that promote wellness in the community. H-B Woodlawn’s daytime fair hosted over 14 community-based service providers, with student volunteers providing information to their classmates. Students visited different tables to learn about the mental health resources available, from healthy nutrition to addiction and suicide prevention. Save the date for another Mental Health Resource Fair to launch virtually on May 25!

secretary photo
5. Celebrating Extended Day Staff & Administrative Assistants

This week, APS celebrated its administrative assistants and Extended Day staff.
– This week is National Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week. APS is proud to celebrate the Extended Day Program staff. Extended Day staff plays a critical role in the development of students’ social, emotional and academic skills.
– Wednesday was also Administrative Professionals Day. These individuals from around the school division work tirelessly to ensure APS carries out its mission, vision and values. View the photo gallery of some of our administrative assistants in action on our website.


Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for April 22, 2022

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volunteer helping student with science
1. Video: Developing Future Scientists and Engineers in APS

APS students receive hands-on science instruction from professional scientists and engineers through the APS Scientist in the Classroom program. Watch this video featuring scientists of diverse backgrounds who provide our students with hands-on opportunities to explore science using all their senses. The goal is to inspire students of all backgrounds to pursue careers in science and engineering.

va state science & engineering fair logo
2. Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair Awards Announced

Congratulations to the six APS students who represented the Northern Virginia Region at the Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair, which was hosted virtually by Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA on April 9. To see a list of the winners and their awards, visit our website.

photo of teacher dan paris
3. APS Educator Nominated for National History Day Teacher of the Year

Dan Paris, a teacher at H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program, is one of two teachers from Virginia to be nominated for the Patricia Behring Teacher of the Year award in the National History Day (NHD) National Contest. The award is sponsored by Patricia Behring in recognition of the pivotal role teachers play in the lives of students. The national winner will be selected by a committee of experienced teachers and historians and announced in June at the National History Day National Contest Awards Ceremony. Read more on our website.

engage with aps logo
4. Seeking Volunteers to Serve on the VLP Task Force

The Virtual Learning Program (VLP) Task Force is being convened to explore virtual learning options and develop a comprehensive instructional model to propose for implementation. Anyone interested in joining the Task Force to help develop a future virtual program is asked to complete the online VLP Task Force application by May 6 at 4 p.m. For additional information on the VLP Task Force and the application, please visit the Virtual Learning Program webpage. 

student holding up reusable bag
5. APS Celebrates Earth Day

Today is Earth Day! Events are taking place throughout the division to mark the day. H-B Woodlawn celebrated by building birdhouses and seeding the school gardens. Wakefield High School completed a social media challenge focused on sustainability in food, transportation, and waste. Wakefield also hosted a campus clean-up and Earth Day poster campaign. At Langston, students analyzed their ecological footprint, researched and created reusable bags in an effort to cut down on using single-use plastic bags. Visit our website to view all the sustainability projects this year, from cleanup days to hydroponics to guest speakers. We encourage families and staff to share what they are doing on Earth Day using #APSGreen.

Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for April 8, 2022

FridayFive logo - spring break

Arlington Public Schools wishes you a wonderful, relaxing and safe Spring Break! APS schools and offices will be closed for the break, April 11-15, and Mon, April 18 for Grade Prep. We will see you back on Tue, April 19!

national assistant principals week graphic
1. APS Celebrates Assistant Principals!

This week, APS celebrated National Assistant Principals Week. APS would like to thank and honor each of our assistant principals for their consistent contributions that make a difference in the lives of our students and the overall success of each of our schools. You can view a photo gallery to honor the assistant principals on our website and see a recap of social media posts using #APSAPWeek.

odyssey winners in photo
2. APS Teams Take Home Top Prizes at Odyssey of the Mind Tournament
Eight APS teams took home the top prizes at the Virginia Odyssey of the Mind tournament. These outstanding, talented teams worked throughout the school year solving an Odyssey of the Mind problem and were judged as having the most creative solutions. The teams will move on to participate in the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals in May. View the press release on our website for details about the winning teams.

your voice matters logo
3. Your Voice Matters Survey Deadline Extended
The APS Your Voice Matters survey deadline has been extended to Sun, April 24. APS relies on feedback from students, staff and families to improve services that support safe, supportive school environments for our students and staff. Survey links were sent to families and staff via email by Panorama Education on March 14. If you need assistance with your link or need the link resent to you, please email support+arlingtonva@panoramaed.com. Learn more about the survey on our website. 

QR code with link to Cigna help line
4. Need
Help? The Cigna Support Line is Open for APS Students, Families and Staff
If you or a family member 14+ are dealing with anxiety, depression, abuse, eating disorders, bullying, self-harm, addiction, peer pressure, suicidal thoughts or anything else, the Cigna Support Line is open throughout spring break. You do not have to be a Cigna customer to get support. This is a no-cost, confidential service that puts students and families in touch with mental health professionals who know how to listen, ask the right questions and offer advice. Call 833-MeCigna (833-632-4462) 24 hours a day.

Arlington career center logo
5. Arlington Career Center to Host Wellness Fair April 27
Arlington Career Center students will host a Wellness Fair for the APS and neighboring community on Wed, April 27. Students will demonstrate their CTE (Career & Technical Education) skills and how CTE promotes health and wellness for the community. Stations include healthy activities for children, CPR demos and healthy snack tastings, among several other offerings. Visit the Career Center website to see a full list of event offerings.

Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for April 1, 2022

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2022 Celebration of Excellence Graphic

1. APS Announces Employees of the Year!

Congratulations to the 2022 Principal, Teacher and Support Employee of the Year award winners! This prestigious honor is awarded annually to employees who demonstrate outstanding leadership and commitment to student success and well-being. They are:

  • Principal of the Year – Dr. Jessica Panfil, Claremont Immersion
  • Teachers of the Year – Iris Gibson, Langston High School Continuation Program; Katie Willet, Williamsburg Middle School; and Brittany Oman, Arlington Science Focus School
  • Support Employees of the Year – Aurelia Sicha, Instructional Assistant, Thomas Jefferson Middle School; Estela Reyes, Food Services, Carlin Springs Elementary School; Mariflor Ventura, Bus Attendant, Trades Center; Dr. Keith Reeves, Instructional Technology Coordinator, Discovery Elementary; Jonathan Martinez, Administrative Assistant, Special Education, Syphax Education Center; Rosaura Palacios, Custodian, Trades Center; and Irma Sierra, Extended Day, Arlington Science Focus

View the press release and click here to view a gallery of photos from surprise visits and more information about each staff member.

Month of the Military Child Graphic
2. Celebrate Military Students and Families in April

April is the Month of the Military Child, a time to reaffirm our commitment to supporting APS students and families who are connected to the nation’s military. There are currently over 1,500 military-connected students in APS, and they are an important part of the school community. Our schools are committed to welcoming and supporting our military families to ensure student success. Wed, April 20 is PurpleUp for Military Kids Day, and APS encourages everyone to wear purple in support of military kids and post photos using the hashtag #purpleup4militarykids. View a video message from the Superintendent and check out our new Military Families web page.

two students - the 2022 FBLA Winners
3. Gunston Middle School Students Win FBLA Competition

Congratulations to the 2022 Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) middle school level state competition winners, eighth-grade student Sophia Stidman and seventh-grade student Alexis Tapia Rodriguez! Sophia came in first place for the Commonwealth of Virginia in the “Middle School Exploring Computer Science” competition. Alexis came in second place in the Commonwealth for the “Digital Citizenship” competition. Both students will move on to participate in the National Leadership Conference held in Chicago in June. The FBLA program inspires and prepares students to become future business leaders.

families at STEM Night at Innovation
4. Families Participate in STEM & Math Night at Innovation Elementary

Students and their families at Innovation Elementary School participated in a STEM and Math Night this week. The gym was filled with six math stations, with activities for students to do alongside their family members. APS middle and high school students facilitated stations. Afterward, volunteers and participants received a complimentary pizza dinner. The National PTA and Mathnasium have awarded Innovation PTA with a $1,000 grant to engage families in math education. The Innovation PTA is one of only 35 PTAs nationwide selected to receive a grant.

students at library table with librarian
5. APS Celebrates School Library Month

April is National School Library Month, and April 4-10 is National Library Week. The National Library Week theme for 2022 is “Connect with Your Library,” as librarians help connect students and learning in so many ways. One of the most important jobs of a school librarian is to connect students with books that will turn them into readers and lifelong learners. Families are encouraged to support their students’ literacy skills by taking them to the local library to explore books and the resources libraries offer, as well as encouraging students to visit their school libraries. Thank you to APS School Librarians for everything they do.

Other News & Notes 

Friday 5 for March 25, 2022

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student writing on white board
1. APS Launches Student Progress Dashboard

The new online APS student progress dashboard is now live, showing student progress in reading and math over time. The dashboard compiles academic data from three primary division-wide assessments: DIBELS (K-5), Reading Inventory (grades 6-9) and Math Inventory 3.1 (grades 2-8). Results can be viewed by academic year, school, grade(s), and subgroups including race and ethnicity, students with disabilities, English Learners (Els), and ELs by proficiency.

student artwork
2. National Scholastic Art Awards 2022 Winners Announced

Congratulations to the APS National Medalists in the 2022 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards!More than 100,000 teens from across the country and Canada entered more than 260,000 works of art and writing to the 2022 Scholastic Awards. Twelve Arlington students received national awards, including the Gold National American Visions Award, which is the highest award achievable. These students will be recognized in June at the National Scholastic Ceremony in New York City.

  • Marceline Castrillon – Wakefield, Gold Medal
  • Roman Diascro – Yorktown, Gold Medal
  • Katerine Velasquez – Wakefield, Gold Medal
  • Morgan Andrews – Washington-Liberty, Silver Medal
  • Celeste Boyer – Yorktown, Silver Medal
  • Mary Frances Dempsey – Yorktown, Silver Medal
  • Roman Diascro, Yorktown, Silver Medal
  • Rachel Hocker – Washington-Liberty, Silver Medal
  • Anne-Sophie Kagan – Washington-Liberty, Silver Medal
  • Madeleine Kenny – Washington-Liberty, Silver Medal
  • Spencer Strebe – Yorktown, Silver Medal
  • Mason Taylor – Wakefield, Silver Medal

Mary Lockwood Historical Marker unveiling with staff and community members
3. Women’s Suffrage Marker Unveiled at ASFS

This week, APS held a commemorative plaque dedication ceremony at Arlington Science Focus School, at the site of the former home of Mary Morris Lockwood. Lockwood was an Arlington resident and Virginia suffragist who was actively engaged in civil reform and dedicated to securing the vote for women. The unveiling of the marker coincides with Women’s History Month. Arlington Science Focus students performed during the event and students Neeri Jossan and Iroha Fuse spoke about women who have made a difference and paved the way for others.

student and teacher looking at science project
4. Arlington Tech Physics Teacher Co-Authors Article in Top-Ranked Publication

Dr. Ryan Miller, a physics teacher in the Arlington Tech program at the Arlington Career Center, co-authored an article, “Evidence in favour of density wave theory through age gradients observed in star formation history maps and spatially-resolved stellar clusters,” on which he collaborated with colleagues at NASA and the University of Arkansas in his field of Astrophysics. The article is published in the top-ranked journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Students from Arlington Tech had the chance to talk with Dr. Miller about his article on the Arlington Career Center Podcast.

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5. APS Summer School Registration is Open for Eligible Students

The upcoming APS Summer School Program for students meeting specific eligibility criteria begins July 5, and will provide in-person strengthening support, intervention, credit recovery, and Extended School Year services. Elementary families who have been notified that their students are eligible need to register by March 31. The middle and high school registration deadline is May 31; families will be notified of eligibility during May. More information and registration forms are available on the summer school website.

Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for March 18, 2022

Friday 5 header imagephoto of two aps student delegates
1. Swanson Students Complete Page Program with VA House of Delegates

Two students at Swanson Middle School recently finished an 11-week program as pages with the Virginia House of Delegates. This selective program welcomes eighth and ninth-grade students to Richmond from across the Commonwealth to learn about the legislative process and assist the House of Delegates. Chandani Rathod and Jacqueline Ake were the only two students chosen from Arlington County. Both students said the experience was amazing and that they came away from the program with in-depth knowledge of the legislative process. Read more on our website.

screenshot of students writing and using stickers
Student-led Substance Abuse Task Force at Williamsburg

In this video, learn how the Substance Abuse Task Force at Williamsburg Middle School is a student-led effort that helps take the stigma away from talking about dangerous substances. The task force’s mission is to promote positive choices and optimism.

aps summer school logo
3. Summer School Registration and Job Listings

Summer is just around the corner! APS is recruiting teachers for summer school now. View the job listings here. Elementary families with eligible students were notified during March Parent-Teacher Conferences and need to register by March 31. More information and the registration forms for both elementary and secondary students can be found on the summer school website. The middle and high school registration deadline is May 31; families will be notified of eligibility during May.

graphic of computer with survey
4. APS Needs Your Input

APS is seeking community feedback on three surveys. Your feedback is important to us and helps us gather actionable data to strengthen student services, operations and more.

–  2022 Your Voice Matters Survey (Deadline: Apr 10): Families received an email from Panorama Education with a personalized survey link on Mon, March 14. This is the biannual survey APS conducts to gather input on family engagement, student well-being, school climate and other vital areas. Responses are confidential. Details online 

– School Bell Times Study Survey (Deadline: Mar 28): The APS Bell Times Study Survey has been revised and reissued based on community feedback. Changes were made to the staff, student and family surveys. If you already took the survey in its original form, we kindly ask that you take it again because your feedback is important to us. Take the survey.

– 2022 SEL Survey (Mar 21-April 8): The Panorama Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Survey for students (grades 3-12) opens next week on Mon, March 21. This is administered online in a classroom setting on topics such as well-being and sense of belonging. Details, including the sample surveys, are available online.

APS all stars logo
5. February APS All Stars Winners Announced

APS is excited to announce the March 2022 APS All Stars, selected out of several hundred outstanding staff nominees! These individuals demonstrate excellence in collaboration, equity, inclusivity, integrity, innovation and stewardship. They are members of the APS team who are the first to pitch in, who bring a positive attitude to their work, and go above and beyond to serve students.

Chris McDermott, Teacher, Williamsburg
Kristen Patterson, Extended Day Staff, Discovery
Alam Lainez, Bilingual Family Liaison/Instructional Assistant, Kenmore
Lyzbeth Monard, Bilingual Family Liaison, Carlin Springs
Morgan Payne, Pandemic Response Coordinator, Trades Center

Congratulations to these individuals. Read more about what makes them shine. Nominate an APS All Star today!

Other News & Notes

School Board Member Cristina Diaz-Torres to Host Virtual Open Office Hours on Mon, March 21

Friday 5 for March 11, 2022

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photo of students at Real Food for Kids challenge
1. Kenmore Students Win Real Food for Kids Challenge

A talented group of 7th grade students in Kenmore’s Family and Consumer Science program won the 10th Annual Real Food for Kids Culinary Challenge. The students won first place in the lunch category for their Quinoa Crust Quiche and Apple, Arugula, Walnut Salad. The theme of this year’s competition was “Buy Local, Eat Local” and asked students to source 50% or more of their ingredients locally or regionally. A version of the recipe created by Kenmore students may soon be featured on the Silver Diner menu and will be adapted for school lunch menus throughout the DMV area. Congratulations to these young chefs! Details online.

teacher teaching two students
2. VIDEO: Washington-Liberty Students Using Math to Drive Change

The way students use, think and learn about math is different today than it was a generation ago. Students must think critically, make logical decisions and communicate clearly, and think about new ideas and innovation. In this video, see how secondary mathematics instruction has evolved. The video highlights Timica Shivers’ math class at W-L and how teachers are preparing students to think critically, problem-solve and engage these skills after high school.

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3. Register: Northern VA School Divisions Hosting Inclusive History Panel Discussion

Arlington Public Schools, in coordination with Alexandria City, Falls Church, Loudoun, and Fairfax School Divisions, is participating in a virtual discussion on Inclusive History on Mon, March 28, at 7:30 p.m. An inclusive history benefits all students by providing opportunities to appreciate the complexity of the past, while encouraging them to think critically about possibilities for the future. The first hour is a panel discussion with students and teachers from local school divisions, followed by a 30-minute virtual information session for the APS community, hosted by School Board Chair Dr. Barbara Kanninen and Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán. Register online to participate in these events.

Your Voice Matters Logo for 2022, multicolor megaphone with the words Your Voice Matters, 2022, Take the Survey
4. Your Voice Matters: Survey Opens for Families Monday; Open Now for Students & Staff

The 2022 Your Voice Matters (YVM) survey opens for families on Mon, March 14. Parents either receive an email invitation or instructions through the mail about accessing the survey from any internet-connected device. The survey administration process is managed by Panorama Education, an independent educational survey research company. Learn more on our website.

honored citizens graphic with APS logo
5. Arlington School Board Now Accepting Nominations for 2022 APS Honored Citizens

Every year, the School Board recognizes volunteers who have made outstanding contributions to Arlington Public Schools. This honor recognizes individuals who have committed significant time and energy to a broad range of volunteer activities throughout the Arlington school community. Details about this award and nomination information, including nomination forms, can be found online.

Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for March 4, 2022

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Friday Five for March 4, 2022

students in class with teacher wearing a Dr. Seuss Hat for Read Across America Week
1. APS Celebrates Read Across America Day

Arlington elementary students celebrated Read Across America Day this week. Schools from around the division celebrated by reading books, participating in fun activities and hosting special guest readers. Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán made a surprise visit to Innovation Elementary School to be a guest reader. Check out more coverage on social media using #ArlingtonReads.

Women's History Month - March 2022 logo
2. March is Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month and APS is celebrating by recognizing several outstanding women-owned businesses in our community. Throughout the month we celebrate the contributions of women to history, culture and society and highlight those who make a difference in the Arlington community. Join us on social media using #APSWomensHistory. We also encourage families to play along with our weekly “Tuesday Women’s Trivia” on our social media platforms. For a special bonus question, click here.

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3. Highlighting APS Social Workers!

Next week, APS is celebrating its social workers for their hard work and dedication to ensuring student success. The theme for National School Social Work Week 2022 is “Time to Shine.” School Social Workers shine brightly for their students, families, and school communities. Watch this video to see how social workers support our students.

Your Voice Matters Logo for 2022, multicolor megaphone with the words Your Voice Matters, 2022, Take the Survey
4. Your Voice Matters! Survey Launches Next Week

The 2022 Your Voice Matters (YVM) survey of students and staff opens on Mon, March 7, and the family survey opens Mon, March 14. APS and the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families (APCYF) conduct the Your Voice Matters survey every two years to provide a snapshot of APS students, school climate and engagement. Look for an email from our survey partner, Panorama Education, with a personalized link to the survey. Responses are confidential and used to support student success and strengthen partnerships between families and schools. For additional information, please visit the 2022 Your Voice Matters Survey webpage.

scholastic art award exhibit photo of a young girl holding a phone taking a selfie

5. Scholastic Arts Awards Ceremony and High School Gold ExhibitArts Education will host the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Ceremony honoring student artists who received regional recognition for their artwork at Kenmore Middle School on Mon, March 7 at 6:30 p.m. Arts Education is also hosting theHigh School Gold Exhibit at the Syphax Education Center through March 25. This year, there were close to 1,500 pieces of artwork submitted. The work was judged digitally, and the judges awarded over 1,000 pieces of work. All Gold awards were sent to New York City for national judging and results are expected later this month. View the online gallery of Awarded Scholastic Artwork.

Other News & Notes 

Friday 5 for February 25, 2022

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1. Further Mask Guidance Coming Next Week

As you may be aware, the CDC published updated mask guidance for indoor settings at 4:00 p.m. We are reviewing the new guidance and will provide further updates on Monday.

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2. Superintendent Proposes Budget for Fiscal Year 2023-24

Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán proposed a $746.1 million needs-based FY 2023 budget on Feb. 24. View the presentation and FY 2023 Budget-at-a-Glance. The budget focuses on the school division’s core priorities and prioritizes resources needed to directly serve students, hire and retain excellent staff, and maintain excellent schools. The School Board is set to adopt the proposed budget on April 7 and act on the final budget on May 12. View the budget calendar, the budget release and additional information on the budget process.

Your Voice Matters 2022 Logo
3. Coming Soon: Your Voice Matters Survey

APS will conduct the 2022 Your Voice Matters survey of students, families, and staff in early March through April. The survey is conducted biannually in partnership with the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families (APCYF) to provide a snapshot of APS students, school climate and engagement. The data will provide APS with new benchmarks for measuring progress on 2018-24 Strategic Plan goals. Results will be available in Summer 2022. For additional information, please visit the 2022 Your Voice Matters Survey webpage.

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4. Celebrate Arts in the Schools Month!

Join us this March for Arts in the Schools Month. This is a great time to enjoy student performances and learn more about our school arts programs. This annual celebration highlights the value of arts education and encourages support for quality arts programs in schools. Visit the APS website to see a full list of events. We hope to see you out enjoying these student performances.

Halls Hill graphic - AETV documentary
5. Halls Hill Finale: Fire Station 8

We conclude the APS Black History Month celebration with the final episode in the “Halls Hill” video series, recognizing one of Arlington’s oldest neighborhoods. The final episode features the history behind Fire Station 8. Thank you to the John M. Langston Citizens Association & AETV for their contributions to this project.

Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for February 18, 2022

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APS all stars logo
1. First Five APS
All Stars Announced!

APS is excited to announce the first APS All Stars, selected out of over 200 outstanding staff nominees! These individuals demonstrate excellence in collaboration, equity, inclusivity, integrity, innovation and stewardship. They are teachers and the members of the APS team who are the first to pitch in, who bring a positive attitude to their work, and go above and beyond to serve students.  

  • Mariflor Ventura, Bus Attendant
  • Claire Peters, Principal, Innovation Elementary
  • James Sample, Teacher, Washington-Liberty High School
  • Christina Smith, Teacher, Yorktown High School
  • Guillermo Moran, Maintenance Supervisor, Randolph Elementary Congratulations to these individuals.

Read more about what makes them shine.
Nominate an APS All Star today!

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2. APS Mask Update

At the Feb. 17 School Board meeting, the Superintendent presented updates to the APS mask policy and guidance moving forward, based on the current CDC guidance and health metrics. The mask requirement remains in place at this time based on the level of transmission in Arlington. Beginning March 1, in accordance with Senate Bill 739, families who wish for their students not to wear a mask in school will be able to opt out. Additional details will be communicated next week.

student drawing on white board
3. VIDEO Roundup
: Elementary Math in Action, MLK Winners and Halls Hill

  • Math in Action: APS elementary students are engaging in Math Workshop lessons that are interactive and fun! Math coaches and teams are working together to create positive math communities with a focus on student growth. Watch this video showing Randolph Elementary students and teachers at work. 
  • MLK Literary and Visual Arts Contest Winners: Watch MLK contest winners share their art and the famous quotes that inspired their winning entries. 
  • Halls Hill: Throughout February, APS is celebrating Black History Month. We are celebrating the history of our schools in a four-part video series, “Halls Hill,” recognizing one of Arlington’s oldest neighborhoods. This week, we show you how the churches of Arlington brought the community together.

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4. APS Begins Bell Study

APS has begun a project to review the school bell schedules, start and end times, and instructional minutes across schools. The goal is to maximize instructional time and reduce the variations in start and end times to operate more efficiently. This study will result in proposed changes to school start and end times that will be presented to the School Board in late April and voted on in May. Visit our website to learn more.

3 students holding cards about kidness
5. APS Celebrates Kindness Week

Today wraps up APS Kindness Week! Events took place division-wide to celebrate kindness. Campbell Elementary School is celebrating APS Kindness Week through its Upstanders Club – the school’s No Place for Hate student group for 4th and 5th-grade students. In January, the Upstanders Club began nominating peers who are especially kind and helpful for the”Be the ‘I’ in Kind” campaign. In all, 23 nominations were received! Students had their photos taken in front of the giant poster, were given a postcard and a small award.

Other News & Notes 

Friday 5 for February 11, 2022

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1. VIDEO: Thank You, APS Counseling Team

As we close out the week, we recognize the 124 talented and professional counselors helping to meet our students’ needs and ensure their success in the future. Watch this video featuring APS school counselors sharing why they do what they do and highlighting the services students are receiving.

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2. Get Ready for Summer—Summer School and Activities Update

APS will hold its virtual Summer Activities Fair on Wed, Feb. 16, providing families information about Summer School and the camps and enrichment activities available through Arlington Dept. of Parks and Recreation and other local providers.  Full details and a video overview are available online.

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3. COVID In-School Testing Vendor Update

Over the past several weeks, APS has been working with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to address challenges with CIAN Diagnostics. VDH has advised APS to transition to a new provider, Aegis Solutions. Aegis will begin providing the weekly in-school COVID testing on Mon, Feb. 14. Families already opted in with CIAN received a text and email with a link to update their consent. Families wishing to opt-in can also complete the form online.

mascot of drew elementary school dragon

4. New Mascot Flies into Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School

Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School welcomed a new friend to the school: their new mascot, Drew the Dragon! Take a peek at the moment students saw the first sighting of Drew the Dragon and watch this video to see how it all came about.

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5. Black History Month – Halls Hill Video Series: Langston School

Throughout February, APS is celebrating Black History Month. This year, we are celebrating the history of our schools in a four-part video series, “Halls Hill,” recognizing one of Arlington’s oldest neighborhoods. Last week we showed you the walls built to segregate neighborhoods in Arlington. This week, we’re taking you in-depth with the history of Langston School.

Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for February 4, 2022

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Halls Hill graphic
1. APS Celebrates Black History Month & Releases Halls Hill Video Series

Join our schools in celebrating Black History Month in February! Watch this introduction from the Superintendent as we celebrate the history of our schools and the trailblazers who paved the way for others. Throughout the month, we’re recognizing one of Arlington’s oldest neighborhoods, Halls Hill, in a four-part video series. The first video features Halls Hill residents sharing the walls built to segregate the neighborhood. Next Friday, we’ll tell you the story behind Langston School. Follow along on Twitter using #APSBlackHistory.

graphic with COVID-19 vile that reads Test to Stay
2. Test-to-Stay Program Begins Feb. 14

APS is launching the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Test-to-Stay program to help ensure students identified as close contacts can stay in school as long as they test negative. Beginning Feb. 14, free proctored testing will be provided for unvaccinated, asymptomatic students meeting VDH eligibility requirements, at the Syphax building from 2:30-7 p.m. on school days. Program details and quarantine guidance are available online.

WINNER Shashu GEBRE at Long Branch
3. Fleet and Long Branch Crossing Guard Named One of Virginia’s Most Outstanding for 2021

Congrats to Shashu Gebre, Crossing Guard at Alice West Fleet and Long Branch Elementary Schools! She has been named one of Virginia’s Most Outstanding Crossing Guards for the 2021-22 school year by the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Safe Routes to School program. This is part of Crossing Guard Appreciation Week, Feb 7-11. Schools will be celebrating crossing guards all next week, so be sure to follow their directions and give them a shout out to thank them for being there to keep students safe, rain or shine. Read the full release.

NASA TECHrise Student  challenge graphic
4. Washington-Liberty Students Win NASA STEM Challenge

Imagine having your science experiment sent into space on a suborbital rocket! That is the case for 10 Washington-Liberty students whose science experiment was selected as a winner in NASA’s first-ever TechRise Student Challenge. The challenge inspires students to seek a deeper understanding of Earth’s atmosphere, space exploration, coding, and electronics, as well as an appreciation of the importance of test data. You can learn more about the experiment and see who is on the team on our website. Congratulations to these W-L students and their teachers.

graphic of fruit with APS logo and lunch bag
5. Emergency Meal Pick Up for All Students Next Wednesday

APS will hand out emergency meal kits for ALL APS families at Kenmore, Gunston and Yorktown from 2- 3:30 p.m. on Wed, Feb. 9. These kits will contain three shelf-stable meal kits to ensure that every student has healthy meals at home if APS must transition to virtual learning due to inclement weather. The kits contain all the items required for the school meals program including a serving of fruit (apple sauce) or a vegetable, whole grain breakfast items and shelf-stable milk.

Other News & Notes 

Friday 5 for Jan. 28, 2022

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barret students running with orange barret on the run shirts
1. Crosswalks Video Highlights Barrett Runners This week’s “Crosswalks” video showcases the Barrett Runners program. Barrett Runners began 10 years ago to motivate students to get out and get active, build community and develop lifelong healthy habits. Watch this week’s video to learn more.

APS graphic that reads virtual learning
2. Virtual Learning During
Inclement Weather

Read our guide for what to expect and how to prepare for the transition to virtual learning during inclement weather closures as conditions allow. Virtual instruction will follow the normal school day schedules and will include a combination of live instruction via Teams and independent (asynchronous) work.

kindergarten and pre-k information night graphic with students smiling
3. WATCH: Kindergarten Information Night Mon, Jan. 31
Do you have a rising kindergarten student? Join us virtually on Mon, Jan. 31 at 6:30 p.m. for the annual Kindergarten Information Night. Learn about neighborhood schools, option schools, student registration, Extended Day, and the application process for the 2022-23 school year. Following Kindergarten Information Night, there will be a special presentation on the Extended Day program. Additional details are available online.

gray circle with green check mark and syringe
4. Vaccine Verification as Test-to-Stay Program Launch Nears

APS will begin to collect voluntary student vaccine information in anticipation of launching the Test-to-Stay program, to reduce disruption to students’ learning. Families are encouraged to complete student vaccine verification by uploading their documentation and completing the online questionnaire. Access the portal here. Please ensure you enter an “S” before your student’s ID number to ensure that their record is updated appropriately. Families who need support can contact the APS COVID Response Team at covid@apsva.us.

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5. Crossing Guard Appreciation Week is Feb. 7-11

Arlington Public Schools’ 2022 Crossing Guard Appreciation celebration will take place during the week of February 7-11. During Crossing Guard Appreciation Week—and every other week of the school year—APS depends on the Arlington County Police Department’s Crossing Guard Unit to help students get to school safely. To honor our hard-working Crossing Guards as part of Crossing Guard Appreciation Week 2022, APS elementary and middle school students, families and staff are encouraged to find a way to celebrate your school crossing guards this February, from creating cards to writing thank you notes. Read the entire release.

Other News & Notes 

Friday 5 for Jan. 21, 2022

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Health & Safety 2021-2022 Holding Hand and Heart Graphic
1. School Board Votes to Maintain Mask Requirement in APS

The School Board voted Thursday to support the current mask requirement within Arlington Public Schools. Students and staff are required to wear masks indoors and on school buses, as part of a layered approach to help prevent COVID-19 transmission, following CDC guidance in accordance with Senate Bill 1303. We recognize that wearing masks and adhering to COVID-19 mitigation measures is not ideal or easy; however, these measures have been vital to maintaining in-person learning, so APS can meet our students’ social, emotional and academic needs and abide by Virginia law. Thank you for your cooperation in making sure every student arrives at school with a well-fitting mask. Read the Superintendent’s full update.

Logos of posse and questbridge
2. Ten Seniors Earn Four-Year, Full-Tuition College Scholarships

Congratulations to the 10 APS seniors who earned a prestigious Posse Foundation Scholarship or QuestBridge Scholarship. Posse Scholars receive a four-year, full-tuition scholarship from The Posse Foundation to attend a partnering institution, and QuestBridge Scholars earn a full, four-year scholarship to the nation’s most selective colleges. Watch this video of the scholars talking about how important this scholarship is to them.  

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3. Test to Stay Program Launching Soon

APS has received authorization from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to implement the Test to Stay program in Arlington, using approved VDH materials and requirements.  Once APS receives the full supply of test kits purchased for staff and students, the remaining kits will be used to implement the program. As part of the process, APS is preparing to launch a portal for families to document the vaccination status of their students. More information will be shared soon regarding program eligibility, enrollment procedures and testing compliance. Read more about the Test to Stay Program.

photo of students in hydrogarden

4. Green Scene Video Highlights Discovery’s Hydrogarden

Since the 2015-16 school year, Discovery Elementary has focused on sustainability and hydroponics. Currently, students are actively engaged in maintaining three indoor hydrogardens and one outdoor garden. These gardens provide hands-on learning and enrichment for students. Each grade level has a role from planting the seeds to monitoring the pH levels of the water, and students get to enjoy the lettuce they grow. Discovery donates some of the lettuce to local organizations such as A-SPAN. Watch this Green Scene video showing students working on the hydrogarden.

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5. APS All Stars: Highlighting the Best of APS

APS has a new way to recognize our outstanding staff all year long! These individuals demonstrate excellence in collaboration, equity, inclusivity, integrity, innovation and stewardship. They are the individuals who help students succeed, make positive contributions in our schools, and go above and beyond to serve their students, families and colleagues. Recipients of the APS All Star award will be highlighted each month on our website and social media channels. Staff can be nominated by colleagues or anyone in our community. Nominate an APS All Star today!

Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for Dec. 17, 2021

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graphic that says happy holidays and happy new year with students in background
Happy Holidays from Arlington Public Schools!
Thank you for the opportunity to serve Arlington students and thank you for your partnership and support for Arlington Public Schools. In the spirit of the holiday season, watch this video message about kindness from some of our students and staff. Have a wonderful break and Happy New Year! We look forward to seeing your students back at school on January 3, 2022.

photo of students learning
1. Crosswalks: Reading and Math Intervention Groups at Carlin Springs
Arlington students needing extra support in reading and math are receiving a variety of individual and small-group lessons to help them achieve their goals. Student intervention and enrichment plans are based on the beginning-of-year assessments to identify learning needs and measure progress. To show an example of the support students are receiving, last week AETV filmed teachers working with students at Carlin Springs Elementary during their “Cardinal Time” last week. This is a team effort to help students gain confidence and build their academic and social-emotional learning skills. Watch the video.

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2. Congratulations to Arlington’s 2021-22 Reflections Contest Winners
Each year, the Arlington County Council of Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) highlights the many talents of Arlington students in the annual Reflections contest. Reflections is a nationwide arts contest that encourages students to create works in dance choreography, film production, literature, musical composition, photography, and visual arts, based on a common theme. Visit our website to see the complete list of Arlington’s 2021-22 Reflections winners.

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3. School Board Approves 2022-23 School Year Calendar
The School Board approved the calendar for the 2022-23 school year at its Dec. 17 meeting. The 2022-23 school year will start on Mon, Aug. 29. For a complete list of holidays and to see the presentation, visit our website.

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4. Nominations are OPEN for Virginia’s Most Outstanding Crossing Guard of 2021
Do you know an amazing crossing guard? If so, nominate them for the Virginia’s Most Outstanding Crossing Guard today! APS is fortunate to have many outstanding crossing guards helping students travel safely to and from school. Details about the nomination process and ways to celebrate Crossing Guard Appreciation Week in February are available online.

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5. Fourteen APS Teachers Earn National Board Certification
Congratulations to the 14 teachers who earned their National Board Certification and to the 10 teachers who successfully renewed their certification. National Board Certification is a voluntary assessment program that recognizes, encourages and rewards teachers who strive for excellence. To date, there are more than 220 APS National Board Certified teachers, and APS ranks second in Virginia for the number of National Board Certified teachers.

Other News and Notes

Friday 5 for Dec. 3, 2021

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1. APS to Change In-School COVID Testing Provider

Effective Jan. 1, 2022, APS will partner with CIAN Diagnostics to administer weekly in-school COVID surveillance testing as part of a CDC grant through VDH. This change applies to the preventative testing (surveillance) program for staff and students via opt in only. APS staff and families who are currently participating in weekly testing will receive a notice about the change soon and in January when new forms are available. All staff and families who wish to opt in for weekly in-school testing after Jan. 1 must complete a new consent form. Additional details are on the APS website.

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2. Quarantine and Contact Tracing Updates

Quarantine Exemption for Vaccinated 5-11 Year Olds: Two weeks after receiving a second dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, students will be considered exempt from quarantine requirements unless they develop COVID-like symptoms during the 14-day quarantine period. Student vaccination status is not required by APS at this time and will be confirmed only when and if your student is identified as a close contact by the school and public health.Contact Tracing: APS is in the process of transitioning contact tracing from schools to a healthcare-based call center. Call center staff will be well-versed in APS protocols and procedures when contacting families and students. During the transition, we anticipate that there may be some additional fine tuning that needs to occur, suggestions and feedback should be provided to the COVID Response Team at covid@apsva.us. Procedures and protocols will be updated and reflected on the School Year 2021-22 health and safety webpage prior to the transition.

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3. Sounds of the Season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The annual APS Sounds of the Season event is underway with events taking place throughout December. From concerts to one-act plays, our students are putting on a show this December and January. Check out the schedule for our winter concerts and enjoy the Sounds of the Season!

students and teachers interacting for stem activity
4. STEM Activities Take Spotlight as Hour of Code Nears

Next week (Dec. 6-10) is the Hour of Code! This year’s theme is “Let’s Code.” At APS, many virtual coding activities are taking place throughout the week. There are also  exciting Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities happening in APS. Five elementary schools are piloting a robotics program. Students use Ozobots or Sphero’s to learn the directional color codes to program their bots to achieve the desired outcome. During Taylor Elementary’s STEAM Cardboard Challenge Day, students at all grade levels created interactive activities out of cardboard and took turns demonstrating and interacting with each other’s projects.

Teacher of the Year 2022 Graphic
5. Time is Running Out to Nominate a Teacher or Principal of the Year 

The nomination window closes next Wed, Dec. 8. Help us spread the word to your friends and neighbors to nominate a teacher or principal who meets the criteria for this award. This is a chance to help highlight some of the heroes who make a huge difference in the lives of students in Arlington. Nominate a teacher or principal today.

Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for Nov. 19, 2021

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1. Wishing You a Wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday
Next week will be a short week as all schools and offices are closed Wed, Nov. 24 through Fri, Nov. 26. APS wishes everyone an enjoyable, safe and healthy holiday break. The Friday 5 will resume on Fri, Dec. 3 and is moving to a biweekly format.

Martin Luther King Jr. Literary & Visual Arts Contest Graphic
2. The 2022 MLK Literary and Visual Arts Contest is Open
Does your student love to write essays or poems, draw, sculpt or take photographs? APS is seeking entries for the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Literary and Visual Arts Contest.  Students are asked to submit artwork or writing that incorporates a quote from Dr. King and represents how they can support Dr. King’s vision and inspire a more equitable, inclusive, and peaceful Virginia. Entries are due by 5 p.m., Thu, Dec. 16. Learn more

Screenshot of high school students
3. Crosswalks: Secondary Literacy
There is a lot of great work happening in literacy in middle and high schools! View the next video in the Crosswalks series showing how Wakefield High School teachers are working with students on English content, reading and writing. Thank you to Wakefield English teachers David Sharp, Fabian Tomala, Muktaru Jalloh, Doug Burns, Celeste El Hashem, Diana Dempsey, and Secondary English Language Arts Specialist Lauren Johnson, for sharing their expertise.

APS Snow Days Graphic
4. Weather Procedures: Snow Days Return for 2021-22 School Year
APS has announced updates to our inclement weather procedures, including up to six days built into the current calendar for traditional snow days, and a series of closure codes to help explain how the weather has affected schools and activities. Families should have a plan in place in the event of an APS closure, delay or early dismissal due to weather. To learn about the weather codes and how APS determines and announces decisions, visit the APS website.  

Teacher of the Year 2022 Graphic
5. Teacher of the Year Nomination Process Is Open
The nomination process for Teacher and Principal of the Year is open through December 8. There are many beloved teachers and administrators in APS, and this is one way to recognize individuals who are making a difference! The nominations are open to students, staff and families.   

Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for Nov. 12, 2021

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 school psychologist talking to student
1. APS Celebrates Our School Psychologists

This week, APS celebrated National School Psychology Week! APS thanks all our hard-working, talented and caring school psychologists who have devoted themselves to helping students throughout the pandemic. This week, APS highlighted our school psychologists on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, Instagram and Twitter.

into the future - Friday 5 graphic
2. Help us Plan the Future of the Friday Five!

As part of our effort to continue to refine and streamline communications, we want to hear your thoughts on how you’d like to receive the Friday Five. Please consider taking this 10-second poll to help us plan for the future of the Friday Five. Your feedback is invaluable to us and we appreciate your time!

students walking in parade at Drew
3. Drew Students and Staff Show Their Pride

Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary students and staff held their Quarter 1 Project-Based Learning Showcase last week. A parade through the Green Valley community highlighted student work that had been completed throughout the first quarter, showing students’ understanding of the school-wide driving question: How can I use (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) PBIS character traits to show Drew pride? Read more about the event and see the photo gallery on our website.

graphic with APS and ACPS logos
4. APS & ACPD Memorandum of Understanding Available for Public Comment

APS is currently reviewing and updating the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Arlington County Police Department. The purpose of the MOU Development Process is to redefine and reimagine the relationship between APS and ACPD. The MOU is currently available online for public comment until Tuesday, November 23.  Visit the APS website to view the MOU and to provide feedback.

graphic with children receiving covid-19 vaccine
5. Vaccinations for 5-11-Year-Old Students Now Available

Every student age 5 or older is now eligible for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine! Appointments can be made at nearby pharmacies and clinics by visiting Vaccines.gov (www.vacunas.gov), or by checking with your pediatrician’s office. Additionally, Arlington County Public Health is holding clinics specifically for 5-11-year-old children this weekend, Nov. 13 and 14, from 9 a.m.–5 p.m., by appointment only. Make your appointment online by visiting VAMS and clicking the “Schedule a Pediatric COVID-19 vaccine appointment” icon or by calling the County’s COVID-19 hotline at 703-228-7999.  Check Vaccines.gov regularly to see updated appointment availability and make an appointment for your child’s free vaccine as soon as possible.

Other News & Notes: 


Friday 5 for Nov. 5, 2021

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vaccines for children
1. 5–11-Year-Old Children Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine

Children ages 5-11 are now eligible for a free COVID-19 vaccine. Arlington County Public Health is will begin currently offering vaccines by appointment  starting on Sat., Nov. 6, and will hold clinics specifically for this age group on Nov. 13 and 14. Families are also encouraged to reach out to their child’s pediatrician or primary care doctor for potential vaccine availability as vaccine supply is limited in the early weeks of distribution. More information regarding locations, times and scheduling assistance is available on our website.

covid-19 testing graphic
2. Updated
COVID Testing Requirements APS has updated its testing requirements for students who have COIVD-like symptoms and have not been identified as a close contact by a public health agency or Arlington Public Schools. Students are now able to provide laboratory results from a negative antigen or PCR test to return to school, helping to decrease the potential days a student must remain out of school while awaiting results. Additional information is available on the APS website.

staff and community members cutting ribbon at Escuela Key
3. Escuela Key Celebrates Opening with Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Escuela Key Elementary held a ribbon-cutting event today to celebrate the start of a brand-new chapter—with a new name and a new location. During his remarks, Superintendent Dr. Durán highlighted the strength of the dual language immersion program and the school’s strong sense of community. Joining Dr. Durán were Escuela Key Principal Marleny Perdomo; School Board Chair Dr. Barbara Kanninen; Counselor Don Jesús Fernández from the Spanish Ministry of Education; PTA President Erin Lester; and Escuela Key staff, students and families. Escuela Key students sang Amazing Grace and read a poem about how everything was big when they were small.

students counting coins
4. Randolph Students Collect Coins to Benefit Non-profit

Students at Randolph Elementary raised more than $1,700 collecting coins to benefit Path Forward, a nonprofit benefitting Arlington’s homeless population (formerly A-Span).  Fifth graders kicked off the coin drive on Oct. 29 with a campaign to teach other students about Path Forward and the logistics of the coin drive.  As of the campaign conclusion today, Randolph students raised more money in this year’s coin drive than ever before in the school’s 20-year partnership with the non-profit organization.

graphic thanking voters for bond approval
5. Thank You, APS Community, For Your Support!

Thank you, APS community! More than 78% of voters approved this year’s School Bond, which allows APS to invest in future facility and infrastructure improvements to meet the needs of students. The $23.01 million bond will be used for improvements such as required kitchen renovations and safety and security projects. Thank you to this year’s Bond Chairs, Rebecca Hunter and Alistair Watson, for their support in raising awareness about the importance of the school bond.

Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for Oct. 29, 2021

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mark your calendars graphic
1. Month Ahead – November Dates to Remember

Here are some calendar reminders for November. Note that there is no school for students on Tue, Nov. 2, which is a grade prep day for staff. Many staff will be working remotely on that day, so please be aware that responses to inquiries may be delayed.

  • Mon, Nov. 1 – End of First Quarter
  • Mon, Nov. 1 – High School Information Night
  • Tues, Nov. 2 – No School – Election Day and Grade Prep (Most School Staff Working Remotely)
  • Thu, Nov. 4 – No School, Holiday – Diwali
  • Tue, Nov. 9 – Report Cards (Grades 6-12)
  • Thu, Nov. 11 – No School, Holiday – Veterans Day
  • Fri, Nov. 19 – Report Cards (Grades 1-5)
  • Wed-Fri, Nov. 24-26 – Holiday – Thanksgiving Break​​​​​​​

students at Barcroft reading on carpet
2. Spotlight on Literacy: The Science of Teaching Students to Read
This week’s Crosswalks highlights literacy instruction, and the strategies teachers are using to strengthen reading proficiency. The English Language Arts Department has shifted its model to teach foundational skills and phonics more systematically. Watch the latest installment of Crosswalks video here.

ATS student with hula hoop
3. ATS Reading Carnival Inspires Young Readers

Arlington Traditional School (ATS) held its annual “Reading Carnival Day” on Wednesday. Reading Carnival Day is a celebration of the ATS summer reading challenge where every student reads 50 books and performs 10 good deeds. This year’s theme was “ATS Readers on the Move!” as the school transitioned from its building on Edison Street, to a new location at the former McKinley Elementary School.  The day was filled with reading, moving and grooving dance parties, class pictures, sidewalk chalk, popsicles, choosing a free book to take home, and more.  Learn more about the Reading Carnival Day and see the photos.

substitute teacher working with student
4. APS Increases Pay for Substitute Teachers

Arlington Public Schools continues to have a need, like other school divisions, to find substitute teachers to cover classes when teachers are not in school. To increase the substitute pool of candidates, the School Board approved a plan at its Oct. 28 meeting to increase the rate of pay for daily, permanent school daily, and long-term substitutes. The increase in pay will place APS as a frontrunner in the Northern Virginia Region for substitute pay rates with these changes that will take effect on November 1. To see the new rates and to apply, visit the APS website.

High school information hight graphic
5. Join us for
High School Information Night on Mon, Nov. 1!

Attention 8th grade families! High School Information Night is set for Mon, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. The event will be virtual this year and families will be able to watch the event on Livestream, with a recording available online afterward. Families of students entering high school in the fall of 2022 will learn about APS high schools, school options, application deadlines and procedures, school-based information sessions, available student resources, and more.

Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for October 15, 2021

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APS Think Big Space Construction
1. APS and Amazon to Launch Think Big Space

APS and Amazon are launching a Think Big Space at Wakefield High School! This innovative educational space will provide interactive learning experiences, grounded in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) and robotics, for students at Wakefield and across Arlington. Wakefield High School is the second AWS (Amazon Web Services) Think Big Space in Virginia. Construction has begun on the AWS Think Big Space and this new educational space for students is expected to launch by the end of the year. Learn more about the new space here.

APS Fall 2021 Boundaries Procedure Graphic
2. APS Kicks Off Boundary Process Community Engagement This Weekend

APS is preparing for a limited boundary process to balance enrollment and utilize instructional spaces across neighboring school facilities. Adjustments will be made between Abingdon and Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary Schools, Gunston and Jefferson Middle Schools, and Wakefield and Washington-Liberty High Schools for the Fall of 2022. APS will hold Virtual Community Meetings beginning Sat, Oct. 16 for families starting at 11 a.m. For additional details and times, visit the Fall 2021 Boundary Process Engage webpage.

social-emotional learning graphic
3. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Opportunities – Student Services Newsletter

Check out the October Newsletter from the Office of Student Services here. In October, APS staff will continue to focus on the SEL theme of Relationship Skills through activities and lessons. We also recognize October as Bullying and Substance Abuse Prevention Month. We are offering several free trainings for parents to learn more about the new marijuana laws in Virginia, how to help prevent child abuse, and how to best support the mental health of youth.

Student holding apple at lunch
4. What Do You Love About School Lunch?

This week was National School Lunch Week and the theme for this year is “Wild About School Lunch!” Students from across the district were featured on our social media platforms sharing their favorite school lunch meals. Students at our elementary schools report they love APS school lunch sandwiches, chicken nuggets, fresh fruit, mac and cheese, grilled cheese, apples, and more! APS serves well over 19,000 meals per day on average. To see more, follow APS on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

two teachers next to the cardinal mascot
5. VIDEO: Watch the Cardinal Elementary Student Performances and Ribbon Cutting

Cardinal Elementary School celebrated its ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 1! Students, staff and members of the APS community attended the event. Dr. Durán said during his remarks that the occasion marked more than just opening the building, rather it is the celebration of new beginnings for the students and staff at Cardinal. Students from each grade level performed chants and songs during the ceremony before the red ribbon was officially cut. Watch the event here.   

Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for October 8, 2021

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Global Citizenship Project screenshot of kids
1. This Week’s Crosswalk Feature: Empowering Global Citizens
This week, AETV launched Crosswalk, a new video series that features the great work schools are doing to support students and highlights connections across Arlington. This week’s video spotlights Ashlawn’s Global Citizenship Project and how it helps students develop skills in respecting different cultures, the environment, social justice and leadership. Watch the video here.

bullying prevention
2. Bullying Prevention – Recognize, Report, Refuse!
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. APS teaches bullying prevention to educate and empower students to help create safe and supportive school communities. Throughout this month, counselors will engage in various bullying prevention efforts such as reinforcing the three Rs of bullying prevention, Recognize, Report and Refuse; participating in Wear Orange Unity Day (Oct. 20) to show unity for kindness, support, and inclusion; and spreading the Upstander Pledge, a commitment to standing up for others. Everyone can do something to help prevent bullying; individuals, schools, and communities each have an important role. Learn what you can do.  APS provides a host of resources and helpful FAQs surrounding bullying. View this short video about our effortshttps://aps2016.apsva.us/student-services/bully-prevention/ 

Portrait Of Male And Female Students Building Robot Vehicle In After School Computer Coding Class

3. Middle School Information Night Set for Oct. 25
Attention 5th grade families! Middle School Information Night is set for Mon, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. The event will be virtual this year and families will be able to watch the event live on Livestream. Families unable to watch the event live will be able to view a recording after. Families of students entering middle school in the fall of 2022will learn about APS middle schools, school options, application deadlines and procedures, school-based information sessions, available student resources, and more. Families will hear an overview about APS middle schools, school options, application deadlines and procedures, school-based information sessions, available student resources, and more.

100 Years Arlington Logo
4. Celebrate the Latino Experience in Arlington!
Come out on Sat, Oct. 16 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Barbara M. Donnellan Auditorium to celebrate the Latino experience in Arlington. Enjoy cultural expressions, food trucks and a moderated panel discussion featuring Latino Arlington Leaders and citizens. Registration is required for the panel discussion. The dance performances, exhibits by artisans and food trucks do not require advance registration to attend. Learn more and register for the panel discussion now.

students in classroom with superintendent
5. Forty Schools in Thirty Days—Superintendent’s Recent School Visits
The first month of school was filled with great moments as students reconnected with friends and schools focused on instruction, student wellbeing, and health and safety. Dr. Durán visited every school to observe classes and meet staff and students. View the photo gallery featuring dozens of photos from across the schools. Be sure to follow Dr. Durán on Twitter to view highlights of these visits and his future visits to schools throughout the school year.

Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for October 1, 2021


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Students graduating
1. Congratulations to the Class of 2021! 

APS On-Time Graduation Rate for Class of 2021 Highest EverThis week, Virginia released its On-Time Graduation (OGR) Rates for the Class of 2021. The APS OGR for the Class of 2021 was 94%, (1,648 students). This represents the highest OGR since Virginia began reporting this in 2008. In 2021, 70% of APS students who graduated earned an Advanced Studies or IB diploma, and 92% of graduates responding to a survey reported that they plan to continue their education with a post-secondary experience. 

Elementary schoolboy in class

2. View the APS Quarantine Learning Plan

APS is committed to continuing instruction for students who are quarantined due to COVID-19. If the Arlington County Public Health Department requires a student to quarantine, APS will provide distance learning opportunities for students through limited livestreaming, recorded lessons and other methods. If a whole class quarantines, the class will engage in synchronous distance learning during the quarantine period. View the updated plan online.

3. It’s Official! Celebrating the Opening of Cardinal Elementary

Today, APS students, staff and families gathered outside at Cardinal Elementary School to mark the opening of the new school with a ribbon-cutting and back-to-school assembly. Students in each grade level performed songs and dances about safety, respect, friendship and community, concluding with a special rendition of the Cardinal School Song. The video of the event will be posted online next week.

Hispanic Heritage Month graphic
4. APS Celebrates Students During Hispanic Heritage Month

In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re honoring outstanding Latinx high school student leaders for their standout achievements. Students from each APS high school were nominated by their principals for accomplishments such as advocating for social justice, supporting classmates during the pandemic, and serving as role models and mentors. Read about these students on our Hispanic Heritage month webpage. They will be recognized at the October 14 School Board meeting.

Thank you Custodians
5. Thank You to APS Custodians!
Tomorrow, Oct. 2, is Custodian Appreciation Day! APS is thankful for the dedicated and hardworking individuals who help to keep our facilities clean and optimal for student learning. They have worked especially hard during the pandemic to maintain safe, healthy learning environments and to ensure all schools were ready to welcome back students and staff. Check out this photo gallery we’ve put together to honor these employees.

Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for Sept. 24, 2021

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Niche best school districts
1. APS Ranks Second Best District in Virginia by Niche

Arlington Public Schools ranked second best school division in Virginia in the 2022 Best Schools Report by Niche, a company specializing in K-12 school analysis and ranking. Arlington earned high marks for great schools, teachers, academics, health and safety, diversity and other categories. Niche also rated APS the number one place to teach and the second safest school district in Virginia. To learn more about Niche and read the full APS report card, visit our website.

swanson 8th grader Henry Stievater
2. Swanson 8th Grader Named to Broadcom MASTERS Top 300 List

Congratulations to Swanson eighth grader Henry Stievater and his teacher, Courtney Seavolt! Henry has been named one of the Top 300 MASTERS in the 2021 Broadcom MASTERS®, the premier Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) competition for middle school students. The program seeks to inspire young scientists, engineers and innovators to solve the grand challenges of the 21st century. The Top 300 MASTERS were selected from 1,841 students from 48 states, Washington, DC and three US territories.

communication bubbles
3. How to Contact APS

There are several ways to contact APS for help with your questions or to provide input. Who to call and how to engage depends on what you need.

  • NEW Family Information Line (703-228-8000) APS now has a central Family Information Line to assist families with questions concerning transportation, Virtual Learning Program, registration, Extended Day food services, technology, or general questions. This line is open on school days. Transportation will take calls from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you call and are sent to voicemail, leave a message and someone will respond to you within 24 hours.
  • Engage with APS – engage@apsva.us remains the contact for providing input on current APS initiatives.
  • Contact Your School For specific school-based issues or concerns regarding students, families are encouraged to contact their child’s school directly so the issue can be quickly resolved.

For more information on who to contact, please visit the  Contact APS webpage.

picture of bikes
4. Celebrate Your Muscle-Powered School Commute on Walk, Bike and Roll to School Day 2021

On Wed, Oct. 6, all APS schools are taking part in the annual Walk, Bike and Roll to School Day, which teaches students about safe routes to school and the benefits of active transportation. APS has been taking part in this worldwide celebration for nearly two decades, as part of our commitment to sustainability. While this year’s event falls on Wed, Oct. 6, schools may host an event any day in October. Additional details are online.

Blue Star families week
5. Join APS Next Week to Celebrate Blue Star Families

APS is proud to participate in Blue Star Welcome Week, a nationwide initiative to build a better sense of belonging and community for military families. Blue Star Families empowers military families to thrive by connecting them with their civilian neighbors to create strong communities of mutual support. Join us next week as we celebrate the many military families and students in Arlington and help them feel welcome in our schools. APS will highlight Blue Star Families Welcome Week next week via our social media channels. Feel free to share your own welcome messages by replying to and retweeting APS posts. To support military and veteran families all year long, become a free Blue Star Neighbor member.

Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for September 17, 2021

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national hispanic heritage month graphic
1. Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!

This week kicks off the annual National Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, Sept. 15 – Oct. 15. View this kick-off video to learn why this month is so meaningful in APS. We honor our Latinx students and the many Hispanic Americans who have enriched and made a positive difference in our schools, community and culture. Each week, we will be celebrating two high school Latinx student leaders for their outstanding achievements. They will be featured on the APS website and on social media.

national merit scholarship program graphic

2. Twenty-One Seniors Named National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists

Earlier this week, the National Merit Scholarship Program announced that 21 Arlington students are semifinalists in the 67th annual National Merit Scholarship Competition. These students will have the opportunity to compete for approximately 7,500 Merit Scholarship awards, totaling $30 million, that will be announced this spring. Congratulations to these Seniors!

picture of green check mark in circle

3. Do Your Part to Keep Schools Safe!

It takes everyone to keep our schools safe and open. We ask everyone to take the daily health screening seriously, answer the questions honestly, keep students at home when they are ill and do not come to work or school if you are ill or have COVID-like symptoms. When there are confirmed COVID cases in schools, individuals identified as close contacts receive detailed instructions on quarantine procedures, and school-wide notices are sent to the school community. Thank you for doing your part. View some of the symptoms to look for and general health and safety information.

W-L Football players on football field

4. Mandatory Vaccinations for Student Athletes

APS will require all students participating in high school sports to be vaccinated, effective November 8 (start of Winter Season). Student athletes who cannot be vaccinated will be required to be tested daily. Additional information is available online, and APS will provide additional details about this requirement in the coming weeks. For additional information and to find a vaccination site, visit the Arlington County website.

student support line from cigna
5. September is Suicide Prevention Month

Arlington Public Schools continues to provide the School Support Line at 833-Me-Cigna (833-632–4462) for crisis and referral support. It is available 24/7/365 to students, staff and parents.  The Office of Student Services is also launching a monthly newsletter offering resources and information for social-emotional and mental health support. You can read the first issue on our website. In addition, APS offers helpful resources and local crisis links for parents on our In Crisis/Need Help Now? and mental health resources webpages. If you or someone you know is suicidal, get help immediately via 911, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or the Crisis Text Line (text “HOME” to 741741). View additional suicide prevention resources from the Virginia Department of Health.

Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for September 10, 2021

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first day of school
1. First Day of School Video
Last week, students returned to classrooms and normal school schedules and activities, greeted by warm welcomes from teachers, bus drivers, food service employees and all staff. AETV produced this video featuring Superintendent Dr. Durán and highlights from first-day arrivals across the school division.  

covid testing
2. COVID-19 Testing at School Starts Next Week!
Thank you to the nearly 5,000 students and families who opted in for weekly student COVID-19 testing. The schedule for each school’s allotted testing window is now posted online, along with more details on how the testing is conducted, which allows all opted-in students at each school to be tested weekly in a short timeframe. ResourcePath conducts this testing safely and efficiently and it is a crucial strategy for early detection and response to possible cases. Opt in today for weekly testing or sign up for a test following symptoms or exposure

national hispanic heritage month
3. APS Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month
Join APS as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15. We invite the community to follow us on social media as we celebrate generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively enriched our schools, culture and society. APS will highlight eight Latinx high school students chosen by their principals for their character, leadership and outstanding successes in school and life. More information will be posted online next week.

ready set learn
4. “Like” our New Spanish Facebook Page
A brand new Facebook page for Spanish-speaking families has launched!  Visit facebook.com/APSenEspanol or search for Escuelas Públicas de Arlington directly on Facebook. The page features news and updates in Spanish, as well as a multitude of exclusive content and Q&A using the chat feature. Las Escuelas Públicas de Arlington ha lanzado una nueva página de Facebook en español: @APSenespanol 

toni stone
5. APS Families Invited to Watch
Toni Stone at Nats Park
APS families are invited to watch a performance of the new hit play Toni Stone on the videoboard at Nats Park, on Sun, Sept. 26. Pioneer Toni Stone was the first woman to play baseball in the Negro Leagues, also making her the first woman to play professionally in a men’s league in the 1950s. Details on how to get tickets is available online.

Other News & Notes

Friday 5 for September 3, 2021

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student on first day of school
1. Thank You for a Great First Week Back!

Thank you to everyone – staff, students and families – for helping to make this a great first week of school. Many of you sent us great photos of the first day and you can view them all on our website’s First Day Gallery. Stay tuned for a first day video capturing many touching moments. As a reminder, schools and offices are closed Sept. 3, 6 and 7 and classes resume Wed, Sept. 8.

Virtual Screener
2. Remember to Complete Your Health 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.

3. Review Your Info in ParentVUE – Fill out the AOVP

Have you reviewed your information in ParentVUE as part of the Annual Online Verification Process (AOVP)? We need every family to verify the information we have is accurate and current. This requires you to log into ParentVUE. More information about the process, including videos and letters in English and Spanish, is available online. Contact your school for help accessing ParentVUE if you need it.

COVID-19 vaccine viles
4. Volunteering at APS

Thank you to everyone who volunteers in our schools. As part of our vaccination requirement for staff, COVID-19 vaccinations are now also required for those who want to volunteer in our schools. For those who were already approved to volunteer, you should have received a notice via email to renew your application and provide verification of your vaccination status. You can fill out the application online and find additional information regarding volunteering on the APS website.

Happy Weekend
5. Enjoy the Long Weekend!

Remember that school is closed tomorrow through next Tuesday in observance of Labor Day and Rosh Hashanah. See you back at school on Wed, September 8!

Other News & Notes
Superintendent’s Weekly Message
School Year Calendar
Special Education Records Destruction Notice

Friday 5 for August 27, 2021


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Ready Set Learn graphic

1. Welcome Back! See You on Monday

Ready, set, learn! We can’t wait to see students back in the classroom this coming Monday, Aug. 30. Superintendent Dr. Durán and Chief of School Support Ms. Graves give us a glimpse of what to expect this school year and highlight the three top priorities for the upcoming school year. Families are encouraged to share photos of their students on the first day of school by uploading them here and use the hashtag #APSBack2School when posting to social media.

Student meals graphic

2. 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.

Free COVID-19 testing graphic

3. Opt-In for Free COVID-19 Testing at School

APS is partnering with Resource Path to provide both symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 testing at all school locations for the 2021-22 School Year. This is an expansion of the symptomatic testing APS provided last school year. Parents/guardians must complete the consent form online, per Virginia Code, for students to be included in weekly COVID-19 testing at their school. If you do not complete the form, your student will not receive testing.

Student eating lunch picture

4. Safe Dining and Outdoor Lunch Plans—Check Your School’s Website

We remain committed to protecting the health and safety of our students during lunchtime and throughout the day. All APS schools are providing partial or full outdoor lunch opportunities for students this school year. The plans for student lunch vary by school, so check your school’s website for details. APS is continuing to expand opportunities for outdoor lunch by providing additional staffing and working in partnership with Arlington County to obtain needed resources. Additionally, every school is implementing prevention measures during student dining to keep students as safe as possible. The FAQ on the APS website provides further information.

Calendar graphic

5. Upcoming Calendar Reminders & Back-to-School (BTS) Nights

Families are reminded of the following holidays and back-to-school nights:
–Fri, Sept. 3 and Mon, Sept. 6 Labor Day Holiday
–Tue, Sept. 7 Rosh Hashanah Holiday
–Thu, Sept. 9 BTS Elementary Schools
–Tue, Sept. 14 BTS Middle Schools
–Wed, Sept. 22 BTS High schools, except:
–Thu, Sept. 23 BTS H-B Woodlawn & Arlington Community High School
–Thu, Sept. 30 BTS Career Center/Arlington Tech
–Thu, Oct. 14 BTS Langston HSCP
The exact times of back-to-school nights vary by building.

Please check with your students’ school for an exact time. There will be no school for students or staff on Fri. Sept. 3 (Labor Day weekend), Mon. Sept. 6 (Labor Day) and Tue. Sept. 7 (Rosh Hashanah). School resumes on Wed. Sept. 8.

Other News & Notes:

Please check ParentVue over the weekend for some updates to bus assignments. Stop times may have minor schedule adjustments based on driver feedback from practice runs this week.

APS Friday 5 for August 20, 2021

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kids elbow bumping

1. Welcome Back! School Starts Mon, Aug. 30

The first day of school is just around the corner! Arlington Public Schools is excited to welcome teachers and staff back this week in preparation for students returning on Mon Aug. 30. School will be held in-person, five days a week. The 2021-22 school year calendar is available online. There will be no school for students and staff on Fri Sept. 3, Mon Sept. 6 (Labor Day) and Tue Sept. 7 (Rosh Hashanah). Learn more about the school year on our website.

health & safety image

2. Health and Safety Information

APS continues to make health and safety a top priority. Masks will be required for all students and staff in school buildings. Staff must be vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. Contract tracing and quarantine protocols are ready and there are plans in place to ensure that learning continues if a student is quarantined. More detailed information is available on the APS website.

aerial photo of buses

3. Transportation Updates

Bus schedules will be posted in ParentVUE on Tue, Aug. 24, located in the Student Information Tab under instructional choice. APS will operate with normal bus capacity and follow normal procedures. Properly fitted masks are required for everyone on school buses and inside schools. Bus windows will be cracked as a health and safety measure. Important updates and reminders for families with bus-eligible students are posted online.

student raising hand in class

4. New Family Registration & AOVP Assistance Day Set for Aug. 25

APS is hosting a New Family Registration Day on Wed, Aug. 25, at all schools and the APS Welcome Center. In addition, both new and returning families can receive help accessing ParentVUE and completing the Annual Online Verification Process (AOVP), the annual verification of student information. At the Welcome Center, families and students 12 and older will be able receive a free COVID-19 vaccination through the Arlington County Health Department. Additional details on the Registration and AOVP Assistance Day are available online.

county fair graphic

5. Visit APS at the Arlington County Fair!

The Arlington County Fair is back! While you’re at the fair, come in and say hi to APS administrators and staff, tonight through Sunday.  APS will have back-to-school flyers, registration information and more available for families. The Fair is located at the Thomas Jefferson Middle School Community Center. Details online. See you there!

Other News & Notes:


APS Friday Five is sent via School Talk to all parents and staff, and community members who have signed up to receive APS School Talk.