Dear APS Families,
This month, I invite you to join APS in celebrating Black History Month and the contributions African Americans have made in our schools and community. Watch this video kicking off the month-long celebration and follow APS on Twitter, using #APSBlackHistory, to learn more about the ways schools are participating in Black History Month. Here are reminders about other upcoming dates and information related to social-emotional learning and health and safety.
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Screener Launching in March: Beginning March 21, APS is partnering with our research partner, Panorama Education, to conduct a universal SEL screener for students in grades 3-12. The screener collects information about students’ SEL skills and well-being, and the results will help support our students’ academic, social and emotional growth. Families can opt out by Feb 14 if they do not wish for their student to participate. Individual schools will be setting a specific date for the screeners during a three-week period. Information about the screener, questions and use of data is available online.
Test-to-Stay Begins Feb. 14: APS is launching Test-to-Stay on Feb. 14. Free testing will be provided for students at Syphax from 2:30-7 p.m. on school days. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) program helps ensure students identified as close contacts can remain in school as long as they test negative. Per VDH eligibility requirements, students must be unvaccinated, asymptomatic, and identified as a close contact via exposure that occurred at school, on the school bus, or during school-sponsored extracurricular activities. When a student is identified as a close contact, the Contact Tracing Team will provide documentation on eligibility and a consent form to participate.
Virtual Learning on Inclement Weather Days: February promises to be another snowy, icy month, so please review the Guidance for families which is available online, so that you can be prepared for virtual learning.
Reporting Student Absences Through ParentVUE: Beginning Mon, Feb. 7, parents/guardians will be able to report their student(s) absence via the ParentVUE website and the mobile app. The “Report Absence” feature allows parents and guardians to report absences for a single day or multiple days. Additional details are available online.
February Recognitions: We will be celebrating staff on these dates this month:
- National School Counseling Week (Feb. 7-11)
- Crossing Guard Appreciation Week (Feb. 7-11)
- School Board Clerk Appreciation Week (Feb. 14-18)
- National Bus Driver Appreciation Day (Feb. 22)
- School Board Appreciation Month
- Career &Technical Education Month
Appreciating Teachers and Staff: We know there is so much positivity happening in our schools and want to highlight examples of how staff are supporting and enriching the lives of students. If you want to recognize an APS All Star, the nomination form is here. Thank you for all the messages of support for our teachers and staff. I am immensely proud of our school system and the work of our staff to support Arlington students. Have a wonderful week.
Dr. Francisco Durán