Barcroft Elementary School Calendar Alignment

OverviewTimeline | Community Engagement | FAQ | Information Resources


APS proposed aligning the Barcroft Elementary School Modified School Year Calendar (MSYC) to the traditional APS elementary school year calendar. This change was approved by the School Board on Dec. 3, 2020 and will go into effect in Fall 2021, bringing the Barcroft calendar into alignment with all other APS schools. From 2003-2020, Barcroft was the only APS elementary school that followed a modified school year calendar. The recommendation to align the Barcroft calendar was based on the neutral impact the MSYC had on student achievement, the significant budgetary pressures APS is facing, and long-term countywide planning demands.


Date Activity
Sept. 21, 2020 Presentation to Barcroft staff
Sept. 22, 2020 Presentation at Barcroft Elementary PTA Meeting
Sept. 24, 2020 Launch Engage web page
Sept. 24 – Oct. 15, 2020 Open questionnaire in multiple languages to gather input on ways to support families during calendar alignment transition (see report)
Sept. 29, 2020 Barcroft Open Office Hours  7-8 p.m.
Oct. 23, 2020 Barcroft Virtual Community Meeting in Spanish, 5-6 p.m.
Nov. 17, 2020 Information Item for School Board meeting: Proposal for Barcroft calendar change
Dec. 3, 2020 Action Item for School Board meeting: Barcroft calendar change
Aug. 2021 2020-21 School Year Calendar goes into effect

Community Engagement

The community engagement process will inform the community about the calendar alignment proposal and the rationale for the proposed change, and will also seek input from Barcroft staff and families about how the calendar change may affect them, as well as ideas about what supports they anticipate that students and families might need for a successful transition to the aligned calendar.

Ways to participate:

  • Barcroft Virtual Community Meeting in Spanish, Oct. 23 5-6 p.m.
  • Barcroft Community Questionnaire (Sept. 24 – Oct. 15) see report
  • Open Office Hours (Sept. 29)
  • Open comment form on this website
  • Email

Frequently Asked Questions

These FAQ will be added to as the process moves forward.

Why is APS proposing to change Barcroft Elementary School’s modified school year calendar?

APS has maintained a modified calendar for Barcroft since 2002, with the goal to improve academic achievement. Based on APS’s evaluation (see study below), the calendar has made no significant difference in student achievement while at the same time incurring significant costs. Student achievement suggests the year‐round calendar has had a neutral effect based on comparing Barcroft with the other APS Title I schools. The recommendation to align the Barcroft calendar at this time is based on the neutral impact the MSYC has had on student achievement, the urgent need to reduce costs due to the pandemic, and long-term countywide planning demands.

When will the Barcroft Elementary School calendar change be implemented?

The Barcroft Elementary calendar alignment would begin in Fall 2021.

Will Barcroft students who currently attend Randolph be able to stay there?

APS will consider allowing students currently attending Randolph who reside in the Barcroft boundary to remain at Randolph, without transportation.

Is this change related to the Fall 2020 elementary school boundary process?

No. Barcroft will not be part of the upcoming Elementary Boundary process.

Will Barcroft’s enrollment go up as a result of realigning the calendar with the rest of the school division?

APS will asses the impact of the change on enrollment; however, currently, only 5% of Barcroft students attend Randolph. Additionally, option schools are still available for Barcroft families.

If a lack of achievement is cited as a reason for the proposed change in Barcroft’s calendar, can APS provide any underlying justification for the improvement in SOL Scores during the time frame evaluated?  

The published report did not cite an overall lack of achievement. It noted, when compared to other Title I schools in APS, the SOL pass rates in Reading, Math and Science at Barcroft were not significantly different. When SOL standards are established, teachers take time to adjust their instruction and target students’ learning needs. They become well versed in teaching the standards over time and APS often sees consistent improvement.

What else will APS do to address the achievement gap at Barcroft?

Much like all other schools, Barcroft will continue to utilize the Arlington Tiered System of Support (ATSS). The ATSS framework model APS uses to analyze data, identifies students who are in need of remediation or extension, and creates timely action plans. Within this approach, a system of interventions for both academic, behavioral, social-emotional needs will provide necessary help and support for Barcroft students. All students will continue to receive differentiated core instruction.

Academic, behavioral, and social emotions needs are addressed for each student, and students will be monitored frequently and receive timely interventions extensions at the first indication that they are in need of more support. This approach improves outcomes for all students through proactive early intervention.

Will APS consider an instructional focus that is in place at other schools (exemplary projects)?

APS is committed to the success of every student attending Barcroft and to supporting a successful transition to the traditional school year calendar, should the Board approve the calendar alignment proposal. An exemplary project specifically for Barcroft school community is a possibility that would need to be decided on by Barcroft staff and families.

By providing a focal point for the entire school community, exemplary projects direct attention to common goals and provide motivation for students, families, and staff. Because each exemplary project must enhance instruction for all students enrolled at the school, build local community commitment to the school, and include a clear evaluation plan and reporting schedule, it is important that the Barcroft staff and families, versus Central Office, decide on an instructional focus that best reflects Barcroft students’ learning needs as well as the values of the community.

Information Resources