Superintendent’s April 26, 2023 Update

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Dear APS Families,

Earlier this year, I shared our substance use awareness and prevention plan and the ways we’re working to support our students. This week I wanted to provide a few updates on our ongoing efforts and additional resources.

Substance Use Education and Prevention Update: Combatting substance abuse requires ongoing action and vigilance at home, school and in the community. In our schools, we remain focused on education and prevention. Here are some of the steps our schools have taken since my last update:

  • Middle and high schools organized a series of community conversations, bringing together families, students and staff to discuss substance use and opioids.
  • APS and the County held a joint meeting on March 30 focused on the coordination of substance and mental health supports across the schools and community to include higher levels of youth who may be experiencing addiction.
  • APS health and physical education staff, substance abuse counselors and mental health teams continued to provide substance use and opioid education and counseling services.
  • Schools have facilitated ongoing sessions for students in grades 4-12 with substance abuse counselors on the dangers of opioids and substance use.
  • APS expanded our partnership with the County, and together we are exploring therapeutic services in schools.
  • We completed the installation of emergency naloxone boxes on all floors of our middle and high schools, in addition to making it available in all school health clinics.
  • APS announced our commitment to allow students to safely carry naloxone in schools by May 26, 2023, as our staff finalize necessary safety protocols and parent/guardian consent forms.

Student-to-Student Video Series: Our students have been working with school-based staff and Arlington Education Television (AETV) to produce their own messages on this topic. APS will be sharing this peer-to-peer student video series throughout the month of May. View the first video message, produced by Williamsburg students. 

Community Conversation at Wakefield (May 10): APS and the Silent No More O.P.I.O.D. Program will host a community conversation on substance use and opioids use at Wakefield on Wed, May 10 from 6-8 p.m. It is open to the public. For additional information, visit the APS Substance Use Prevention webpage. View our website for additional APS and County Resources

Thank you for your ongoing partnership and support in this effort.


Dr. Francisco Durán
Arlington Public Schools