Parent Resource Center Monday Message: August 23, 2021

Monday Message imageGreetings from the team at your Parent Resource Center (PRC)! We hope you’ve all been enjoying a happy and healthy summer with your family. For families new to Arlington Public Schools (APS), the PRC provides supports and information to families, primarily those of students with disabilities, to help families navigate the special education process, collaborate with school staff, become active members of your child’s educational teams, and connect with school and community resources. We offer resources and digital tools, confidential consultations, free parent learning sessions, weekly School Talk messages, a lending library, and information on community resources.

The PRC has re-opened at the Syphax Education Center (2110 Washington Boulevard, Suite 158, Arlington, VA 22204). We are delighted to be back, and hope you’ll have a chance to visit soon! Visitors are welcome to browse the PRC’s lending library, and to make an appointment to consult with a PRC coordinator. For appointments, please contact us at 703.228.7239 or (Please note that masks are required at the Syphax Education Center.) Although the PRC has re-opened, we will continue to offer telephone and video consultations to parents who prefer those options rather than in-person meetings.  Please keep in touch and let us know how we can collaborate with and support you.

Welcome, Gina DeSalvo!Parent Resource Center Monday Message: August 23, 2021

The PRC team is delighted to welcome our new colleague, Gina DeSalvo, who will join Kathleen Donovan as a PRC Special Education Coordinator this year. Gina has worked in Arlington as a special education teacher and special education building coordinator, and also worked in Fairfax County as a special education administrator. Gina is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in special education, and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the PRC. Here’s a message from Gina. 

Special Education Information

All families of students receiving special education services will be receiving a welcome letter from our Office of Special Education administrators in the coming weeks, along with a PRC contact card and a survey from the Virginia Department of Special Education. The OSE has been hard at work planning to meet the needs of students during the upcoming year and planning professional development to support inclusive opportunities for students; strengthen IEP writing; and strengthen communication and consistency in practices and procedures across the school district.

Last May, the OSE issued guidance related to recovery services – defined by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) as services offered by Virginia school divisions to address a loss of services due to COVID-19.  If data indicated that an IEP Team should consider recovery services, or if a parent/guardian or another team member requested a meeting to consider recovery services, IEP Teams met to determine whether students required recovery services, and, if so, to determine the duration and type of services.  Some students began receiving recovery services during the summer, while other students’ parent/guardian(s) may have elected for recovery services to be initiated this fall. Once recovery services have been agreed upon, implemented and delivered, students’ case carriers will contact parents/guardians to inform them that recovery services are complete. Parent(s) may request to reconvene the IEP team if they would like to consider additional recovery services or a continuation for another nine weeks. Should you have questions, please contact your child’s case carrier. You may also contact the Parent Resource Center at or 703.228.7239.

NOVA Early Online College

For a limited time, NOVA is offering select college courses at no cost to Arlington Public Schools juniors and seniors. Courses are twelve weeks long and will begin on September 21, 2021. Extended deadline: completed applications are due September 1, 2021. Early Online College offers students many benefits, including:

  • Lowering the overall cost of college by graduating from high school with college credits.
  • Gaining access to campus resources and participating in college events and activities.
  • Starting at NOVA and finishing at the college or university of your choice seamlessly with our transfer agreements, including the ADVANCE program with George Mason University.

Learn more

Getting Ready for 2021-22Back to School Nights

Some of our favorite websites have great resources for parents to utilize at home as you prepare for the 21-22 school year.

Edutopia offers information on easing transition jitters, managing kids’ tech use, getting involved in the school, and more.

Arlington Public Schools: Return to School FAQs
Virginia Department of Education Resources
US Department of Education Return to School Roadmap
Center for Disease Control (CDC): Transitioning Back to School Resources
Children’s National Hospital: For Families – Returning to School During COVID-19
Formed Families Forward webinar: Back to School: How to Help Your Kids Manage Anxieties and Prepare for a Return to the “Normal” Classroom 

Your team at the PRC hopes you enjoy the remaining days of summer, and we look forward to connecting with you in 2021-22!

Kathleen Donovan, Special Education Coordinator, 703.228.2135
Gina DeSalvo, Special Education Coordinator, 703.228.2136
Emma Parral, Administrative Assistant, 703.228.7239