APS News Release

Superintendent Updates School Board on Return-to-School Plans

School Board Approves Equity Policy, Temporarily Waives Residency Distance in Admissions Policy

Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán updated the School Board on plans to return to school in the Fall at the Aug. 20 meeting.

The report provided additional details on the metrics APS will use to determine if it is safe for students and staff to return to school. The Superintendent also detailed distance learning instruction that included a sample class period. He also noted that APS is extending lunch for all grade levels to allow sufficient breaks for students during the school day. Lunch for elementary and middle school will be 50 minutes and high school students will get 60 minutes. This change will extend the school day for some students. Elementary schools will end at same time, while middle schools will end at 2:43 p.m. and comprehensive high schools will end at 3:05 p.m.

Finally, the Superintendent discussed Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons and supports as well as how health and P.E., art and music will look for students.The full return-to-school update presentation is available on BoardDocs and video of the presentation is available here.

Action Items:
The School Board approved a new Equity policy (A-30) that includes governance in four key areas: Governance Equity Practices; Educational Equity Practices; Workforce Equity Practices; and Operational Equity Practices. The equity policy has been in development since the Fall of 2018 as a directive from the School Board and has been a collaborative effort that included input from many internal and external stakeholders. The policy also includes a component where the School Board, the Superintendent, and the Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer monitor the implementation of this policy through an annual monitoring report and other internal reports as designated by the School Board. Additional details are available on BoardDocs.

The School Board also waived the restriction that families who are temporarily displaced, as defined in the Children of Families with Special Circumstances section of Policy J-5.3.30 Admissions, must reside within 30 miles of Arlington and that approval of these special circumstances will be considered Administrative Placements. This waiver is effective through December 31, 2020 at which point it will terminate. The Board will determine if an extension of the waiver is necessary at a December 2020 Board meeting.

More information is available online.

The Board made the following appointments during the meeting:

  • Cathy Lin has been appointed Director of Facilities and Operations. She currently serves as Energy Manager. Her appointment begins August 21.
  • Miles Carey, currently part-time interim Assistant Principal at Washington-Liberty High School, has been appointed full-time Assistant Principal at Washington-Liberty.
  • Maggie Hsu has been appointed full-time Assistant Principal at Wakefield. Hsu is currently a part-time interim Assistant Principal at Wakefield.
  • Elizabeth Walsh was appointed Supervisor of Special Education. She currently serves as interim Supervisor of Special Education.
  • Kelley Hyner, who is currently serving as interim Supervisor of the Arlington Tiered System of Supports (ATSS), has been appointed Supervisor of ATSS.

Additional Items
Staff updated the Board on the following items:

  • Academic Update: Staff provided an academic update. Additional details are available online.
  • Proposed New Policy E-5.1.2 School Start Times: Staff is proposing a new policy and policy implementation procedure on school start times. The proposed policy is available on Boardocs.
  • Revised School Calendar – Staff is proposing the elimination of early release days that fall on Wednesdays (September 30, November 18, December 9, February 10, March 10) to maximize learning time. Staff also recommends transferring the professional learning time from the early release Wednesdays to Mondays on the same week. The presentation is available online. This change would be for the 2020-21 School Year only.

Next School Board Meeting:The School Board will hold its next Regular Meeting (2110 Washington Blvd.) on Thu, Sept. 10 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.