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 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.

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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.

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