Superintendent’s March 9, 2022 Update: Discussing the Crisis in Ukraine & Highlighting Student Artists

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Dear APS Families,

Here are this week’s updates, parent resources and reminders:

Discussing the Crisis in Ukraine – Over the past week, we have received questions about how schools are helping students process news about Ukraine. We have staff and students with family or cultural ties to Ukraine and Russia, and many U.S. military-connected families, and our focus is on supporting and maintaining safe spaces for all. To help students better understand this event, we provided age-appropriate resources for teachers to use as a guide. Here are some parent resources:

2022 Your Voice Matters (YVM) Survey – Students in grades 4-12 will be taking the YVM survey in class beginning this week through April 10. Sample student surveys are online for your reference. Families will receive a link to take the survey from Panorama Education on Mon, March 14. Your feedback is important to us as it helps us improve student services and track progress on our 2018-24 Strategic Plan goals. Please respond by April 10. Details online.

Highlighting Student Artists – On Monday night, it was my honor to speak at the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Ceremony celebrating student artists who received regional recognition. View the online gallery of Awarded Scholastic Artwork. Judges awarded over 1,000 pieces of work and it is incredible to see the talent exhibited among these entries. Arts Education is hosting the High School Gold Exhibit at the Syphax Education Center through March 25. Entries that received Gold will be judged in New York for national recognition and announced later this month.

School Bell Times Study – The bell times study project is underway to review school start and end times with the goal to improve transportation services and maximize instructional time. The newly formed Technical Advisory Team of APS staff, advisory groups and PTA representatives met earlier this week and will launch a community-wide survey on Mon, March 14, to gather input on various scenarios. The survey will inform recommendations to the School Board which will be voted on in May. Details online.

Thank You, APS Social Workers! – It is School Social Work Week through March 12. Our diverse, talented team of social workers is essential to removing barriers for students and strengthening family-school partnerships. View this video featuring social workers and how they help students succeed.

Also, as a reminder, the FY 2023 budget process is underway – see the timeline and details online.

Have a good rest of the week.


Dr. Francisco Durán