There are so many great things happening in APS as we begin our second quarter. I continue visiting schools to observe lessons, intervention planning and other important work teachers and staff are doing to support students. I look forward to sharing more videos to highlight that work in the coming weeks. Here are updates for the week/month ahead:
Vaccinations for 5-11-Year-Old Students – Every student aged 5 or older is now eligible for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine! Appointments can be made at nearby pharmacies and clinics by visiting Vaccines.gov (www.vacunas.gov), or by checking with your pediatrician’s office. Additionally, Arlington County Public Health is holding clinics specifically for 5-11-year-old children this weekend, Nov. 13 and 14, from 9 a.m.–5 p.m., by appointment only. Make your appointment online by visiting VAMS and clicking the “Schedule a Pediatric COVID-19 vaccine appointment” icon or by calling the County’s COVID-19 hotline at 703-228-7999.
- In these early weeks, vaccine supply may be limited. But as supplies increase, so too will appointment availability. Check Vaccines.gov regularly to see updated appointment availability and make an appointment for your child’s free vaccine as soon as possible. Vaccination is key to keeping our schools open and our students safe.
- The vaccine is FREE and has been rigorously tested for safety. APS and Arlington County can help families with making appointments: View details and contact information.
Interventions for Students Needing Additional Support – Earlier this year, K-8 parents were notified about Beginning of Year (BOY) universal screeners to assess student needs in Reading and Math. Any student whose overall score does not meet the benchmark on the universal screener will receive an intervention. An accompanying intervention plan will be shared with the student’s parent/guardian. Interventions to target specific area(s) of need in Reading or Math may include:
- Targeted lessons assigned in Dreambox and additional small group or one-on-one instruction to target specific area(s) of need.
- Targeted small group instruction using research-based best practices that incorporate models, multiple representations, and/or other mathematical supports.
- Targeted small group instruction using Orton-Gillingham (OG) methodology.
- Increased weekly usage in Lexia Core5 and additional small group or one-on-one instruction to target specific area(s) of need.
If you have specific questions about the Beginning of Year data or any interventions, please contact your student’s classroom and/or Reading/English/Math content area teacher.
National School Psychology Week – Please join APS in celebrating National School Psychology Week, Nov. 8-12! Throughout the week, APS will highlight how school psychologists work with teachers and staff to help students learn and grow even in the face of difficulties. To find your school’s psychologist, visit aps2016.apsva.us/student-services/psychological-services/.
Recognizing Military Families – Veterans Day is Thu, Nov. 11, and November is also Military Family Appreciation Month—a time to recognize the unique sacrifices students, families and staff make to support loved ones in uniform. We are proud to have a strong community of over 1,600 students from military families enrolled in APS, and this is a chance to celebrate them and show our solidarity and support. We also value partnerships with the local Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall and other organizations supporting our efforts to meet the unique needs of military families.
Secondary Report Cards Available – Middle and high school student report cards are now available through ParentVUE and StudentVUE. Families who are unable to access ParentVUE may contact their child’s school to request a paper or PDF copy. Elementary report cards will be available on Nov. 19. We are closed on Thursday for the Veterans Day holiday. As a reminder, our next Board meeting is next Tue, Nov. 16. Also, next week, I will be sharing guidance and information on our snow day and inclement weather procedures for the winter season.
Dr. Francisco Durán
Arlington Public Schools