PreK-12 Instructional Program Pathways (IPP)

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PreK-Adult Instructional Programs & Pathways (


Guiding Principles | Background | Community Engagement Timeline | Engagement Opportunities | FAQs | Resources

August 27, 2020 School Board Work Session Planning Initiatives for 2020-21 (Work Session presentation)

September 5, 2019  2019 09 05 SB Info D2 PreK-12 IPP Report_updated (School Board Presentation)

August 27, 2019 School Board Work Session on the 2019-2020 Planning Projects (starts at 19:38)

June 18, 2019 Presentation to the School Board (51:45)

June 11, 2019 School Board Work Session on the PreK-12 Instructional Programs Pathway and the accompanying Presentation: Provides an update on the proposed definition of “option” and potential programs to be included in the pathways.

Learn more about the IPP in this episode of the What’s Up, APS? podcast with APS instructional staff Here is the link to the podcast.


The Department of Teaching and Learning is leading a process in Spring 2019 to develop the PreK-12 Instructional Programs Pathway (IPP) framework that accomplishes the following:

  • Aligns with the 2018-24 APS Strategic Plan and Profile of a Virginia Graduate
  • Articulates multiple pathways for student success
  • Defines how neighborhood schools and option programs fit within the APS pathway
  • Defines the elements of an “option school”
  • Ensures all families and students have access to information about APS schools and programs
  • Defines a variety of entry points to APS instructional programs
  • Provides for PreK-12 instructional articulation where appropriate
  • Acknowledges that students respond to and develop in various ways at different rates, and may benefit from differing instructional models


Through the IPP process, APS is addressing one of the implementation strategies of the Strategic Plan to ensure multiple pathways to student success: “Increase high-quality options for PreK-12 instructional models within and beyond neighborhood schools.” As APS continues to grow, there are multiple elements that come together at once as we support strong academics and the whole child including: updating policies, ensuring equal opportunity for access to programs, renovating current schools, building new schools and boundary changes.  As these elements are implemented, APS is working to ensure that there is a systemic approach to how options and neighborhood schools align with this work.The IPP will provide a systemic framework that will align future instructional, capital and planning initiatives. It will serve as a guide when APS proposes new school facilities or undertakes a boundary process.

Guiding Principles  

  • Provide a blend of neighborhood and option schools
  • Ensure equal opportunity for access
  • Simplify and standardize access
  • Provide for efficient transportation


APS has provided a blend of neighborhood schools and option schools for decades, offering a variety of academic approaches to meet the changing needs of our students.  APS defines neighborhood and option schools/programs as follows:

Neighborhood schools have geographic attendance areas established by the School Board. Every student is guaranteed admission to the elementary, middle, and high school serving the attendance area in which the student resides.

Option Schools/Programs provide specialized instructional programs. APS does the following:

  • Provides equitable access to option schools/programs for all students, including students with disabilities and English learners.
  • Provides a rational and transparent process for admission to option schools/programs, which is differentiated to support the integrity of the instructional models.
  • Offers preschool at each of the elementary option schools/programs.
  • Adjusts enrollment levels at the option schools/programs as needed.

A list of neighborhood schools and option schools/programs can be found on page 2 of the Options and Transfer Policy Implementation Procedures (J-5.3.31 PIP-1).


Community engagement for the IPP follows a series of visioning sessions led by the Department of Teaching & Learning with its instructional leaders, subject-matter experts and teaching specialists at various levels, and a School Board Work Session (Feb. 12, 2019). Also, staff has sought input from APS advisory groups, including the Advisory Council on Instruction (ACI), and has shared information via the County Council of PTAs (CCPTA) and the APS School Ambassador program.  APS has invited parent representatives from each school and from advisory committees to come together In March 2019 to learn more about this process, share their input, and take information back to their school communities. At this meeting, participants will:

  • Learn about the work of IPP thus far
  • Provide input on the criteria for defining an option program
  • Work in small groups on the visioning for APS instructional program pathways
  • Take the information learned at this meeting back to share with their respective school communities

In April, a draft IPP framework will be shared with the community for their review, and an online questionnaire and a community meeting will provide opportunities to gather their thoughts, questions and ideas.

Engagement Opportunities

Date Activity Location
January – March 2019 Meetings with staff and school representatives to develop a vision for and initial draft framework of the IPP  Various
March 21, 2019 School Representative Work Meeting School Board Room – Syphax Education Center 2110 Washington Blvd.
April 26 – May 16, 2019  Online Questionnaire  Online
April 30, 2019
7:00 p.m.
Community Open House Kenmore Middle School Cafeteria
200 S. Carlin Springs Road
June 11, 2019 Work Session and accompanying presentation Work Sessions do not include public comment but are open for observation in the Board Room on the second floor of the Syphax Education Center (2110 Washington Blvd.) and can be viewed live online at


June 18, 2019



Presentation to the School Board (51:45)


School Board Room – Syphax Education Center
2110 Washington Blvd.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Instructional Programs Pathway (IPP) and why do we need one now? The IPP will provide a systemic framework for a blend of neighborhood schools and option programs that supports alignment of future instructional, capital and planning initiatives. It is informed by the 2018-24 Strategic Plan and the Virginia Profile of a Graduate, and will guide APS initiatives such as:

  • policy and PIP updates
  • boundary processes
  • new school facilities

Additionally, this work is being done to ensure equal opportunity to option programs through clearly communicated pathways.

How will this impact instruction? All APS students are taught the same core curriculum, so the curriculum itself will not be impacted by this process. Rather, this process will provide direction about the types of instructional models that are needed/can be implemented when APS opens new schools or adjusts boundaries.

Will this impact the number of option schools? The IPP’s focus is to provide clear direction on the types of instructional models to be implemented when new schools are opened or when boundary changes occur. The number of options schools could be impacted as this occurs.

How is community input being gathered? The IPP is being developed by staff with participation from school and community representatives. Members of the FAC and ACI advisory committees as well as representatives from each school and option program met in March to review and provide input on the discussion points generated by staff in January. The conversation continued at a Community Open House in April and a community questionnaire that closed in early May. Updates are continually posted on the Engage with APS webpage, and community members can write to

Will the community decide on the number of option and neighborhood schools? No. Community input is being sought on how to define an option and the school levels for option schools/programs. This feedback will inform APS on how to determine the types of program pathways and entry grades.

What work has been done to date? In January 2019, staff met to:

  • Review the definition of Options Programs and Options Schools and developed a working draft
  • Research other school districts with school options
  • Develop scenarios for PreK-12 Instructional Program Pathways

That discussion was guided by the following documents:

  • 2018-24 Strategic Plan
  • Policy J-5.3.31 Options and Transfers
  • Teaching and Learning Framework
  • 2017 Community Survey

In March 2019, representatives from each neighborhood school and option program met to discuss how “options” should be defined, what programs should APS offer, and at which level should these programs be offered. The feedback from these meetings was then used to inform a draft framework created by some staff and parent representatives. In April 2019, there was a Community Open House and a Community Questionnaire. Almost 1,600 responses were submitted to the online questionnaire. On June 11, there will be a Work Session to provide updates and more clarity about the IPP. The work session will be on the second floor of the Syphax Education Center (2110 Washington Blvd.), which can be viewed live online at

When will the IPP be implemented?The IPP will be used in the future to guide instructional and operational initiatives as new schools open and/or boundary changes are made to accommodate enrollment growth.

What is the timeline for completion/adoption of IPP vision, decisions regarding program locations and moves, and elementary school boundary process? The IPP is a framework and a living document; designed to guide future decisions.   There is no formal adoption of this framework. All information regarding planning for the 2020 elementary boundary process will be posted on the APS Engage with Us webpage, under current initiatives  


June 18, 2019 Presentation to the School Board (51:45)

June 11, 2019 School Board Work Session on the PreK-12 Instructional Programs Pathway and the accompanying Presentation: Provides an update on the proposed definition of “option” and potential programs to be included in the pathways.

April 30 Community Open House

April 8 Facilities Advisory Committee (FAC) presentation

March 21 School Representative Working meeting on the IPP: Resources include the presentation, handout (English, Spanish), and discussion points.  Update: The online questionnaire will be available April 26-May 13. 

Feb 12, 2019 School Board Work Session on the PreK-12 Instructional Programs Pathway and the accompanying Presentation: Provides background on why APS is developing this pathway and what the community can expect.

The 2018-24 Strategic Plan: The six-year strategic plan developed with staff and community involvement to identify focus areas for school system improvement.

Options and Transfers Policy (J-5.3.31) and Policy Implementation Procedures (J-5.3.31 PIP-1): Outline the process determined by the School Board for APS to ensure equitable access for all students to the available option schools/programs and neighborhood transfers.

Profile of a Virginia Graduate: Describes the knowledge, skills, and experiences and attributes that students must attain to be successful in college and/or the work force and to be “life ready” in an economy and a world characterized by rapid change.

Teaching and Learning Framework:  Provides an overview of the teaching and learning experiences for each of our classrooms; the curriculum templates that provide the “knows and dos,” assessments, and resources for each unit; and the professional learning experiences that provide opportunities for collaboration and learning together across the division.