APS News Release

Interim Superintendent Provides First Day of School Report for 2019-20 School Year

Interim Superintendent Cintia Johnson delivered a First Day of School Report, including enrollment figures and other 2019-20 back-to-school updates, during last night’s School Board meeting.

The Interim Superintendent noted that the first day enrollment for PreK-12 was 27,996 students. That is 560 more students than last year’s official Sept. 30 count and below the spring projections of 28,510. The Interim Superintendent pointed out that enrollment will continue to fluctuate throughout the month of September and that the official 2019-20 enrollment will be counted on September 30.

Interim Superintendent Johnson highlighted the work that took place over the summer to get ready for the new school year, including preparations to open the new Fleet Elementary School, Dorothy Hamm Middle School, and the Heights Building that houses the H-B Woodlawn and Shriver (formerly Stratford) programs. In addition, staffed renovated the Patrick Henry Building to become the new Montessori Public School of Arlington and Dr. Charles R. Drew Elementary School, which is now a neighborhood school.

She also emphasized the school division’s focus on safety and provided progress reports on new initiatives, including the Visitor Management System now in place in every school, and the Annual Online Verification Process (AOVP), which launched on August 26 and has already been completed by 46 percent of APS families.The report ended with a video highlighting the first day of the school year. The video featured student arrivals and remarks from a variety of staff, students, families and Arlington County partners regarding their excitement about the year ahead. The full presentation is online.


  • PreK-12 Instructional Program Pathways (IPP) – Planning and Evaluation and Teaching and Learning staff members shared an update on the PreK-12 IPP, and discussed next steps and use of the pathways to ensure instruction (not construction) guides planning in APS. The full presentation is on BoardDocs.

The Board approved the following:

  • Adoption of Charge to the Career Center Expansion Building Level Planning Committee (BLPC) – The School Board approved the proposed Career Center Expansion BLPC Charge which specifies 800+ additional seats for Career Center option programs and the expansion of Arlington Tech to 600 seats, among other specific requirements. More information about these items is available online at BoardDocs.


  • School Board 2019-20 Action Plan – The Board presented the proposed School Board Action Plan for 2019-20 that will be shared as a progress report for School Board priorities during the year ahead, once adopted.
  • New Elementary School at Reed Final Design and Construction Contract – Staff presented the final design and construction contract for the new elementary school at Reed, and heard community comments regarding the design. On Monday, September 16, the landscape plan will be discussed further and reviewed with an arborist.
  • Proposed Revisions to Select School Board Policies – The Board heard proposed revisions to several policies, including B-2.1.31 School Liaison; C-2.1 Board/Superintendent Relationship; C-2.7 Superintendent Evaluation; D-2.32 Joint Board and School Board Activities; and D-9 Internal Audit.

More information on these items is available online.


  • Swearing-In of Interim Superintendent Cintia Johnson – At the beginning of the meeting, the School Board had a swearing-in ceremony for new Interim Superintendent Cintia Johnson, who officially began serving in her new role on Sept. 1, 2019.
  • Jamestown Teacher Jamie Sapp – Ms. Sapp was honored for stopping a student from choking by applying the Heimlich maneuver and back blows until the food was dislodged. Thanks to her quick thinking and decisive action, the student recovered.
  • 2019 Virginia History Teacher of the Year Mary Beth Donnelly – The School Board recognized Ms. Donnelly from Swanson for being named 2019 Virginia History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. This award highlights the crucial importance of history education, and honors exceptional American history teachers throughout the United States, from elementary school through high school.

NEXT SCHOOL BOARD MEETING:The School Board will hold its next Regular Meeting (2110 Washington Blvd.) on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. The agenda will be posted one week before the meeting on BoardDocs.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:Citizens who want to comment on any items discussed at the School Board meeting should email the Board at school.board@apsva.us or call 703-228-6015. Citizens may call 703-228-2400 on the Monday after the School Board meetings to listen to a meeting summary. School Board meetings are also broadcast live on Comcast Cable Channel 70 and Verizon FiOS Channel 41; live-streamed on the APS website, and re-broadcast on Fridays at 9 p.m. and Mondays at 7:30 p.m. immediately following the meeting. All materials and minutes will be posted to the website at aps2016.apsva.us/schoolboard upon School Board approval at a subsequent meeting.