Superintendent’s April 19, 2023 Update

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Dear APS Families:

April is a month of many celebrations, including After School Professionals Appreciation Week and National Library Week (April 24-28). Please join us in thanking the Extended Day/ Check-In staff and our librarians for the great work they do to support our students.

Below I am providing a high-level summary of student progress in middle and high school English Language Arts and our action plan to support every student, along with ways to get involved in shaping the next APS Strategic Plan 

Secondary English Language Arts (ELA) Midyear Update: The HMH Growth Measure is an assessment our high schools use to track and support core instruction and interventions for students. Midyear student data from this assessment shows:

  • 84% of high school students are “approaching, on or above proficiency” in literacy; a decrease of 2% from beginning of the year scores.
  • 16% of high school students need intervention and support in literacy skills to achieve grade-level goals.

The Virginia Growth Assessment is a state measure of middle school student progress on grade level standards in relation to their peers in the state of Virginia. The data from this assessment has shown at midyear:

  • 46% of students scored in the top 25% of students in the state. This is up 5.7% from the beginning of year.
  • 60% of students with disabilities scored in the middle 50% to top 25% percent of students in the state. This is up from 57% at the beginning of the year.
  • 37% of our English learners in levels 1-4 scored in the middle 50% to top 25% percent of students in the state; up from 31% at the beginning of the year.

While there are encouraging signs, we are committed to ensuring all students are reaching their grade-level goals for reading and writing.  Individual support plans are in place for identified students needing extra assistance, and a comprehensive K-12 literacy plan is currently under development with multiple offices in APS. This plan will ensure that we provide students with evidence-based literacy instruction and the resources they need to achieve success. This plan will include priorities around preparing teachers, aligning curricula, screening and intervention methods, and partnering with families.

Seeking Support! Help Shape the Next APS Strategic Plan: We are inviting families, students, community members, and staff to serve on a Steering Committee that will help develop the next proposed six-year Strategic Plan for APS.  The Steering Committee will meet regularly beginning in June 2023.

Anyone who is interested should complete an application by May 4, available via this direct link: or

For additional information about the Steering Committee and process to develop the 2024-30 APS Strategic Plan visit:

As a reminder, APS will be closed this Fri, April 21, in observance of Eid al-Fitr.

Enjoy the long weekend!

Dr. Francisco Durán
Arlington Public Schools