APS News Release

School Board Approves Summer School Fees and Middle School Boundary Adjustments

Reception Held to Honor Outgoing School Board Member James Lander

At last night’s meeting, the School Board approved middle school boundary adjustments to create an attendance zone for the new middle school at the Stratford Site. The boundary adjustments will become effective for the 2019-20 school year when the middle school at the Stratford site opens to relieve crowding and better balance enrollment across all middle schools. Families of students affected by the new boundaries will received notification in the mail by February 2018. For more details, read the full news release.

The School Board also recognized outgoing School Board Member James Lander in a reception held prior to its regular board meeting. School Board Chair Dr. Barbara Kanninen expressed her appreciation for his service, stating “Mr. Lander has been a strong advocate for the success of all of our students, and we are grateful for his longtime service to the School Board.” Lander has served as a Board member since January 2010. Monique O’Grady will fill this vacancy in January 2018.

Superintendent’s 2017-18 Action Plan Update – Dr. Murphy brought the Board up to date about the efforts underway on the action plan to support the Board’s work this year.

  • Acceptable Use: Staff is working with the Advisory Committee on Technology to develop two separate policies. The first technology policy will be presented to the Board in January. The second policy will be presented for community discussion in February and is scheduled for School Board information in March.
  • School/Facility Naming Policy Criteria: The Staff Committee will be reviewing community input and present draft criteria to the Board next month.
  • Strategic Plan: The Steering Committee is mapping out a mission and vision for the plan, and will begin the next phase of community input in January 2018.
  • Other Projects: The Board will begin the process for adjusting elementary school boundaries next month, and community discussion on the next Capital Improvement Plan will begin in the spring.

 The public is invited to learn more, ask questions or comment on any of the engagement initiatives that are underway by visiting aps2016.apsva.us/engage.

Montessori Program Update – Staff reported that a team of APS Montessori teachers, parents, administrators, and board members from the Arlington Montessori Action Committee formed an Analysis Team this fall to develop recommendations for the future of APS Montessori programs. They have collaborated on developing plans for moving the entire Montessori elementary student body from Drew to the current Patrick Henry building in September 2019.  Other items discussed by the Team includes maintaining the Montessori primary satellite classes; growing Montessori at the new location by adding lottery-based admission for first grade; and considering options for adding sixth grade to the Montessori school. The Analysis Team will continue to meet to evaluate the admission process; recruitment of Montessori staff; parking and transportation procedures; and other relocation considerations. The full presentation is available on BoardDocs.

Sustainability Update – Staff presented an update on efforts to implement sustainability measures and best practices that support one of the Core Values in the APS Strategic Plan. They discussed efforts to integrate sustainability into capital projects and operations, and incorporate sustainability into teaching and learning programs. They also highlighted the recent solar power purchase agreements that APS has approved, to support reduced energy use in schools. The full presentation is available on BoardDocs. 

Summer School Fees – The School Board approved 2018 Summer School registration fees for elementary, middle and high school strengthening classes. Fees for these classes will remain the same as last year. The full fee for strengthening classes will be $100 and the reduced fee for qualifying families will be $56 per class.
Legislative Package – The School Board reviewed this year’s proposed state legislative priorities. The 2018 priorities include urging full funding for the Standards of Quality (SOQ) and all mandates to public schools; establishment of a School Health Advisory Board; supporting a one-year delay in implementing the redesign of high school graduation requirements; and continued advocacy for returning control of the public school calendar to local school districts. Complete details are available in BoardDocs.
Gunston Supplementary Heating Work and Controls – The Board approved a proposal to award additional HVAC bond authority for up to $300,000 for work in advance of the main project budget proposal.

The School Board appointed John Armstrong and Janeth Valenzuela as co-chairs of the Advisory Committee on Transportation Choices.

FY 2017 Final Fiscal Status Report – Staff reported that the financial records for the 2016-17 fiscal year have been closed, audited, and sent to the Virginia Department of Education. There is a net available ending balance of $13.6 million from APS operations, and with additional county revenue, the balance is $18.1 million. For detailed information, go to BoardDocs.

The School Board began its meeting with a student showcase by the Washington-Lee Chorus performing musical selections that celebrated the holiday season. The School Board also recognized Assistant Superintendent Leslie Peterson and her team in the Department of Finance & Management Services for their award from the Association of School Business Officials International. APS has earned the Meritorious Budget Award for the ninth consecutive year. The United Way also presented an award to APS in recognition of employees’ longstanding support of the Annual Campaign, which raised more than $55,000 for charitable organizations last year.

Next School Board Meeting: 
The next School Board meeting will be held on Thu, Jan. 4 at 6:30 p.m. The agenda will be posted one week before the meeting on BoardDocs.

For More Information
Citizens who want to comment on any of the 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 of the meeting will be posted to the website at aps2016.apsva.us/schoolboard upon School Board approval at a subsequent meeting.