APS News Release

Jan. 29 Dept. of Teaching and Learning Update: Services for English Learners, Special Education and Gifted Students

Dear Parent or Guardian,

As we finish up the second quarter, please take note of the following services and supports for students with disabilities, English Learners and Gifted students and their parents.

Special Education 

DYSLEXIA: The PRC created a student panel video showcasing some of our amazing APS students who have dyslexia, moderated by one of our parent leaders. This insightful video highlights the students’ individual journeys as they learn they have dyslexia, and discuss how it has impacted them in school and how their teachers and families have supported them.

English Learners 
As the winter comes, the days are shorter and the air is colder outside, you may be looking for some fun indoor activities for you and your children that also helps them develop their language skills. Although it is still important to get outside, stay active and get fresh air, here are some suggestions of activities that are fun for the family and are good for language development. All of these activities can be done in English or in your home language. Both will help students develop language.

1) Creating and telling stories – Storytelling is an important skill and a great way to have your children use a wide variety of words. In addition, having them create a story can be fun for them, while they practice their oral language skills. Again, this can be done in English or your home language. The stories can be made up, or can also be a re-telling of something that happened ‘long ago.

2) Creating a song or a poem – Many children love to listen to music. How about asking them to write a song or poem? Then, have them sing it to you and their friends. The song can be something funny or it can be about wintertime. Giving them a specific topic is helpful. For example, ask them to write a song or a poem about a big snowstorm; Making a snow fort; Watching the sun go down early; The cold wind, etc. Having a topic makes it easier to get started on the song/poem and still allows them lots of opportunity to be creative with their language.

3) Talking about current events – Children of any age can learn about happenings in the world and talk about them. It can be local, national or international news. For example, with the most recent election and inauguration, there are many things to talk about for U.S. politics and also to compare the U.S. governmental system vs. how other countries arrange their government. Or, it could be a local issue like, “should garbage trucks be able to pick up trash before 7 a.m. or after 9 p.m. in Arlington?”

4) Reading books (including wordless books) – Reading out loud to your children or having them read to you is a fun way to help students practice their English or home language. The Arlington Public Library and the many book resources in your school (check with your child’s teacher) are good places to find books. Wordless books allow students to look at pictures in the book and help the author create the story. Asking questions during reading, also helps the students develop language and reading skills. For example, asking them to make predictions before and during reading. Asking questions like, ‘Do you agree with what the character did?’ also gives them a chance to think deeply about the reading and use their language skills.

Gifted Services 
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology Application Process – Interested 8th Graders The application process will begin on Mon, Feb. 1 with applications available online. Students have an application start deadline of 4 p.m. on Wed, Feb. 24 and an application final submission deadline of 4 p.m. on Fri, Feb. 26. TJHSST’s application process has changed.  Here are the new requirements for 8th grade students who wish to apply:

  • Have a 3.5 GPA at the completion of 7th grade
  • Enrolled in both math and science honors courses*
  • Enrolled in one additional honors course* or identified as a Young Scholars

*Since APS does not offer honors courses in science in middle school, applicants will be given a waiver as part of the application process.

Your point of contact at school is your child’s counselor. You may also reach out to the Resource Teacher for the Gifted at your school for additional support.

Parent Webinars Offered Renzulli Center Third Thursday Parenting Topics (Streaming LIVE at 8 p.m. Eastern)

Register Here for the Webinars

Helping Your 2E Child (Sally Reis and Susan Baum) – Jan. 21 (view recording here)
Technology Roulette in the Age of COVID-19 (Stacy Hayden) – Feb. 18
Talking with Children About Their Giftedness (Del Siegle) – March 18
Perfectionism and Productive Struggle (Catherine Little) – April 15

The Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC), in partnership with Averett University, Aviation Adventures, and the Virginia Department of Aviation, is offering flight academies at no cost for high school students statewide.   

The competitive application process is open to students statewide. Qualified applicants must:

  • be U.S. citizens
  • A resident of Virginia
  • 16 years old by the start of the Academy session (June 21 – July 16, 2021)
  • be able to pass an FAA flight physical exam upon acceptance into the program.

The application package deadline is February 28, 2021.

Contact Pathways Flight Academies program coordinator Ian Cawthray at icawthra@odu.edu or program assistant Debbie Ross at vsgcpfa@odu.edu

Gifted Services in Action @APSGifted:  Spotlight on Schools
















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