APS News Release

APS Announces Return-to-School Task Force Members

Yesterday, Governor Ralph Northam released guidance for how Virginia schools will be able to reopen. The recommendations outline a phased approach to reopening, while giving individual school systems flexibility in implementation. Additionally, Governor Northam addressed Summer School guidelines for English Learners, students in grades PreK-3 and students with special needs. (Read about it here) APS is reviewing the guidelines as part of its work to reopen schools and has formed the Return-to-School Task Force, including teachers, staff, students and parents from designated APS advisory groups, to provide input as plans are developed.

“This pandemic has deeply affected all of us – staff, students, families and community members – and has presented each of us with unique and significant challenges,” said Dr. Francisco Durán, Superintendent. “It is vital that we bring people together and hear from all points of view, as we plan for how to best keep our students and staff healthy, safe and supported in the fall.”

The Task Force will hold its first meeting virtually today, Wednesday, June 10, and will meet weekly to hear updates and provide input on plans as they are developed by APS cross-departmental work groups in the areas of instruction, operations, extracurricular activities, and communications. In addition to educational considerations, the Task Force will provide feedback on the social-emotional resources and supports that should be considered.

Chaired by Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán, the Task Force is composed of APS Executive Leadership Team members and school principals, as well as the following teachers, support staff, students, parents and community members. The Task Force was assembled in collaboration with advisory groups to identify representatives from variety of school communities, grade levels and student populations.

Task Force Members

Advisory Committee on Transportation Choices (ACTC)

  • Gillian Burgess, parent, Key Elementary School

Advisory Council on Teaching and Learning (ACTL)

  • Rebecca Hunter, parent, Arlington Tech and Wakefield

Arlington Education Association (AEA)

  • Ingrid Gant, President, AEA
  • Olivia Funnye’, teacher, Oakridge Elementary School
  • Deborah Neuhaus-Palmer, teacher, Swanson Middle School
  • Evan Glasier, teacher, Yorktown High School

Arlington School Administrators (ASA)

  • Sue Robinson, Executive Director, ASA

Arlington Special Education Advisory Committee (ASEAC)

  • Margy Dunn, parent, Barrett Elementary School

Budget Advisory Committee (BAC)

  • Heather Jones, parent, Long Branch Elementary School

County Council of PTAs (CCPTA)

  • Juan Marcelo Ribera, parent, Carlin Springs PTA President
  • Julio Basurto, parent, Wakefield PTA member

Employee Advisory Committee (EAC)

  • Rodney Callands, Custodial Supervisor, Kenmore Middle School
  • Susan West, Extended Day Supervisor, Claremont Immersion Elementary School
  • Donleigh Honeywell, Educational Administrative Assistant, Alice West Fleet Elementary

Facilities Advisory Committee (FAC)

  • Colleen Pickford, parent, Oakridge Elementary School

Safety Audit Committee (SAC)

  • Allison Van Lare, parent, Claremont Immersion Elementary School

Student Advisory Board (SAB)

  • Morgan Andrews, student, Washington-Liberty High School
  • Jacob Singer, student, Yorktown High School
  • Sully Atkin, student, H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program
  • Abby Dhakal, student, Arlington Career Center/Arlington Tech
  • Abel Geleta, student, Washington-Liberty High School
  • Maria Bonilla-Sanchez, student, Washington-Liberty High School
  • Karena Stowers, student, Wakefield High School
  • Moya Zouhon, Jefferson, rising Wakefield student
  • Helena Helms, Gunston, rising Wakefield student

Student Health Advisory Board (SHAB)

  • Kara Strazzella, parent, Williamsburg Middle School and Yorktown High School

Superintendent’s Executive Advisory Committee (SEAC)

  • Kevin Clark, parent, Washington-Liberty High School

Superintendent’s Advisory Committee on Equity and Excellence

  • Tim Cotman, teacher, Equity & Excellence Coordinator, Wakefield High School
  • Ipyana Spencer, parent, Arlington Traditional School (ATS)

Superintendent’s Committee on Immigrant and Refugee Concerns (IRC)

  • Janeth Valenzuela, community leader
  • Gabriela Uro, parent, Wakefield High School

Teachers Council on Instruction (TCI)

  • Marlena Dasbach, teacher, Carlin Springs Elementary School
  • Karen Nicola Williams, teacher, Wakefield High School
  • Katherine Willet, teacher, Williamsburg Middle School

Additionally, APS released surveys to staff, students and families requesting feedback on distance learning and fall planning. The staff and student survey closes June 10 and the family survey closes June 15. The surveys and formation of the stakeholder Task Force are the first step of back-to-school planning which will continue through the summer. Plans are expected to be finalized by late June or early July.

Continue to follow updates on Engage with APS.