APS News Release

Staff Presents Options for Instructional Focus at Education Center Site

Charge to the Career Center Working Group Proposed

At the School Board meeting on Nov. 2, staff presented options for the instructional focus at the Education Center site, where 600 high school seats will be added after administrative staff have been relocated to the Syphax Education Center next year. Staff worked closely with the Advisory Council on Instruction to develop options, held a community engagement session, and surveyed families to select and narrow the choices to options that would best meet the needs of students. Analysis of the options was weighted based on criteria that included community input, logistics, and cost. Staff recommended that the Building Level Planning Committee (BLPC) be convened to move forward with the process for repurposing the Education Center as an instructional location, and to align the specific instructional focus with the new Strategic Plan vision that will be determined next spring.

The proposed charge for the Career Center Working Group was also presented to the Board. The group will focus on evaluating the Career Center site and recommend how it can be developed in phases to accommodate additional high school capacity and other facility and community amenities. The charge to the group delineates site and facility specific goals, and identifies stakeholders that will be represented in the group’s membership.

The School Board is expected to act on both items at their next meeting on Tue, Nov. 14.


  • Superintendent’s 2017-18 Action Plan Update – Dr. Pat Murphy brought the Board up to date about the efforts underway on the action plan to support the Board’s work this year. Key highlights from his report include the following:
    • 1:1 Devices – Staff is developing internal guidance on technology use, and APS will hold a community engagement meeting on Nov. 15 to discuss the interim guidance for the Acceptable Use policy on the 1:1 device initiative. Community engagement will continue through early January 2018, and School Board action is scheduled on Jan. 18. More information is available on the Engage website.
    • School Naming Criteria – Surveys and focus groups are being planned to gather input from staff, students, families, alumni and the community. A staff committee will review the final report and present a recommendation for the Naming Policy Criteria to the School Board in January 2018.
    • Middle School Boundaries – The final phase of engagement is underway. Feedback is being accepted online through Fri, Nov. 3. Proposed boundaries will be posted on the website on Nov. 8, and the Superintendent’s recommendation will be proposed at the next regular Board meeting on Tue, Nov. 14. A Public Hearing will be held on November 30, and the School Board is scheduled to take action on Dec. 14. Following the middle school boundaries decision, staff will determine if middle school neighborhood transfer requests can be offered for the 2018-19 school year.
    • Montessori Working Group – The group is continuing to meet and discuss plans for its move to the Patrick Henry Elementary School site in Sept. 2019. The working group will present a monitoring report update to the School Board on Dec. 14.
    • Strategic Plan – The Planning Committee held its first meeting earlier this week. Initial community input is being sought through an online survey on the Engage website. The Steering Committee has several meetings planned to discuss best practices, the current state of schools, and the APS mission, vision and core values.
    • FY19 Budget – The process to develop a budget for the 2018-19 school year is underway, with plans for community engagement and input over the next few weeks. Budget forums are scheduled in the community for Spanish speakers on Nov. 16 and for the whole community on Nov.28. In addition, the Superintendent and County Manager will discuss the FY19 Budget at the Arlington Civic Federation meeting on Dec. 5. For more information, view the Budget Development Calendar here.

The full presentation of the Superintendent’s Action Plan update is available on BoardDocs.

  • Professional Learning Monitoring Report – Staff also presented an overview of the goals of professional learning, and highlighted how it advances educator practices to improve student achievement. They shared the framework for implementation of professional learning, and recommendations that will align and coordinate systems, provide voice and choice and ensure varied models of delivery. View the full presentation on BoardDocs.

Under ACTION ITEMS, the School Board approved the 2017-18 Internal Audit Work Plan. 

Students from Arlington Science Focus Elementary School, Williamsburg Middle School and Wakefield High School showcased some of the projects they have completed through their participation in school robotics teams. The School Board recognized and acknowledged them for their achievements.

Next School Board Meeting: 
The next School Board meeting will be held on Tue, Nov. 14 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.