Dear APS Families,
As part of our continued focus on school safety, last week we held a series of meetings with all school administrators to review APS emergency procedures, including the updates to our protocols for notifying families regarding incidents.
Schools are reviewing their safety and emergency plans with all staff to ensure every staff member is well-prepared and empowered to make quick decisions. We are also reinforcing the expectation that we take every threat seriously, and will always act out of an abundance of caution to protect students and staff whenever safety is in question.
If you have any questions or concerns about your school’s safety procedures, please contact your principal. Schools regularly teach students about their role in school safety, and maintain an open dialogue with families on incidents and safety-related concerns. Your cooperation is essential to protecting the welfare of our students.
I also wanted to follow up on my message regarding substance use. Last Tuesday, the School Board held a Work Session on “Opioids and Substance Use in APS: Education and Prevention” to provide an update on our ongoing efforts. Watch the session. More than 750 staff completed last Wednesday’s training on how to administer Naloxone nasal spray, used to reverse an opioid overdose, and nearly all secondary staff are now trained to administer Naloxone.
- View an online naloxone training for families
- Learn more about opioids and APS substance use prevention resources
Additional Updates and Reminders:
- Home Address Confirmation Process (HACP): I want to ensure all families are aware of the process announced yesterday requiring current fifth and eighth-grade families to re-confirm their Arlington home address by March 15, 2023. This requirement only applies to families of fifth and eighth-grade students, who are preparing to transition to middle or high school in 2023-24. For some families, this means resubmitting the initial documentation provided during registration. For others, whose living circumstances have changed or are more complex, registrars and other staff are here to provide support.
View more information on HACP
- Summer Activities Fair Tomorrow, Feb. 16: This annual event is back in person at Kenmore Middle School, 6-8 p.m. The fair brings all the summer camp and enrichment options for students under one roof. Information on APS Summer School will be provided in March. Learn more about the fair
- National Board Certified Teachers: I look forward to honoring this year’s National Board Certified Teachers and teachers who renewed their certification at this Thursday’s School Board meeting. This certification is a tremendous accomplishment and I commend these teachers for their achievement.
- Thank Our Bus Drivers: Next Wednesday is Bus Driver Appreciation Day! We’re so thankful to our bus drivers and attendants who go the extra mile every day to ensure that our students get to school and their homes safely. Take time to thank our bus drivers the next time you see them.
- This is Kindness Week: Schools are celebrating with day-to-day acts of kindness to create kinder, safer, and more inclusive learning environments. School counselors are leading student activities across the division from spirit days to kindness challenges.
As a reminder, on Monday, Feb. 20, APS is closed for the Presidents Day holiday.
Dr. Francisco Durán