Superintendent’s Aug. 25 Update: Welcome to the 2021-2022 School Year!

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Welcome back! The new school year starts next week, and we cannot wait to welcome your students back to school. It is going to be a great year of reconnecting, learning, growth, and new beginnings. Our schools are ready and looking forward to providing a safe, strong start to the school year for all.

Here are a few important reminders in preparation for the first day of school on Monday:

  • Our 2021-22 Priorities—Accelerated Learning, Mental Health Support, and Health and Safety: Everything we do will revolve around these three priorities this school year.
    • Accelerated Learning: We will be conducting assessments at the start of the school year to evaluate individual student needs, and target resources and interventions to support and accelerate their learning. Read more about the plan online. In the instances when quarantine is necessary, we strive to ensure learning can continue. View our plans for learning in quarantine. Updates will be provided as plans evolve.
    • Mental Health and Social Emotional Learning (SEL): APS is taking a tiered approach to ensure our students have the SEL supports they need. School counselors, psychologists and social workers will be engaging and checking in with students in a variety of ways.
    • Layered Approach to Safety – Please Do Your Part: We are using layered prevention measures to provide the safest learning environments possible, including universal mask requirements, symptom screening, testing, and response procedures. Please do your part by screening your student’s health daily by completing a temperature check and Qualtrics symptom screener before leaving home. Keep students home if they are sick, and reinforce the importance of consistent mask use and handwashing with your student.
  • Opt-In for Free Weekly COVID-19 Testing: We are pleased to provide both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for students at all school locations. Testing schedules will be communicated by your school and posted on our testing website. In order for your student to receive weekly COVID-19 testing, parents/guardians must opt-in by filling out an online consent form. Families who completed the consent form last school year do not need to opt-in again. Details are available online.
  • Outdoor Lunch: Every school has health and safety protocols in place to ensure indoor dining is as safe as possible when masks are removed. Additionally, every school has either a full or partial outside lunch plan in place. We are working with the County to obtain more resources, such as tents, to further expand outside lunch opportunities. Individual plans for student dining will be posted on your school’s website this week.
  • Apply for Meal Benefits – Free and Reduced Meal Applications: School meals are available at no cost to all students this school year. Even though meals are free, applying for meal benefits is still very important! By applying for meal benefits, families that qualify may be eligible for additional resources. Applications are available in ParentVUE, on the APS Food Services Webpage or online at
  • Bus Information: Bus information has been posted in ParentVUE under the student information tab. Families of bus-eligible students will also receive a School Talk message today with their student’s bus information.

This school year I will send my weekly updates every Wednesday, highlighting important news and information about division-wide priorities. Additionally, information and resources for the new school year are posted on our website and updated regularly. I wish your family a successful start to the school year and look forward to staying connected.