After missing a week of classes due to Snowmageddon and Snoverkill, Arlington public school students will have to make up for it by giving up a couple of previously-scheduled off-days and early release days.
“Of course I was hoping school would extend into August so I could save on summer camp fees,” Robert Cannon said on his bArlington blog.
More from Arlington Public Schools.
Dr. Murphy says the school system, facing a $12.8 million budget deficit, cannot afford the nearly half million dollars worth of mechanical upgrades needed to keep the 40-year-old planetarium open.
The planetarium is named after David Brown, a Yorktown High School graduate who perished in the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. Dr. Murphy says the science wing at Yorktown High will be named in Mr. Brown’s honor after the planetarium closes.
The space now used by the planetarium will likely be converted into another educational-use facility. APS needs to use all the space at its disposal given its burgeoning student body, Dr. Murphy said.
At tonight’s school board meeting, Arlington County Schools superintendent Dr. Pat Murphy will reveal significant cuts in the school system’s proposed fiscal year 2011 budget. Here are some of the notable items in Dr. Murphy’s proposed budget:
- APS facing $12.8 million budget shortfall (reflects county manager’s tax proposal, but does not take into account an expected decrease in funding from the state)
- School enrollment is projected to exceed 21,000 for the next school year
- APS will eliminate at least 57 full-time equivalent school-based positions
- APS will eliminate at least 36 full-time equivalent support positions
- There will likely be no teacher layoffs, as the school scales back new hires and shifts affected teachers to vacant positions
- APS expects 15-20 support staff layoffs
- The Arlington planetarium will be closed
- Class sizes will increase by one pupil for grades K-3 and 6-12
- Staff salaries will be frozen at the current year’s levels
- Budget does not include funding for new initiatives or program expansions
- $0.5 million in new school fees will be imposed, including: increased pool fees, building rental fees, drivers education fees, summer program fees, cafeteria meal prices and Montessori tuition
- Fewer summer school sites and larger summer school class sizes
Arlington County has issued an alert regarding the potential for significant snowfall on Thursday.
National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch for our area, beginning late Wednesday night through Thursday night. There is potential for 5 or more inches of snow.
The Arlington County Board will consider an emergency snow removal ordinance at its March meeting, one week before the first day of spring. The board also directed itself to draft language for a permanent ordinance, for consideration at the board’s April meeting.
The measures were proposed by board member Chris Zimmerman, who cited numerous examples of snow still covering sidewalks on busy Arlington streets.
Board chairman Jay Fisette and board member Barbara Favola voted, unsuccessfully, to remove consideration of the temporary ordinance from Zimmerman’s resolution.
Favola questioned whether the temporary measure is necessary, given the low chance of significant snowfall after March 13. She said that while she would support a permanent ordinance that has received community input.
Acting county manager Barbara Donnellan cautioned that vetting the emergency ordinance on short notice will require county staff to be diverted from other projects. She also said it would be difficult to notify Arlington businesses of the proposed change in policy.
The proposed emergency ordinance, which will be voted on at the March 13 board meeting, requires property owners in commercial districts to clear snow from walkways bordering their businesses within 24 hours of snowfall ending. It would be put into effect for a period of 60 days.
Despite the objections of Favola and Fisette to the emergency ordinance, Zimmerman’s resolution passed unanimously.
The design for Arlington’s 2010-2011 vehicle decal has been chosen.
Appropriately, considering this winter’s historic snowfall, the design features a snow-covered bridge over the W&OD trail.
The winner was chosen from a pool of 19 designs submitted by local high school students. It will soon be featured on the 155,000 vehicles garaged in Arlington.
The photo for this year’s design was submitted by Providence Smith of Wakefield High School. She said the photo “represents the recreational opportunities [in] Arlington.”
Smith and the three other design finalists, Cynthia Carson and Patricia Murray of Washington-Lee High and Sam Jones of the Potomac School, will each receive a $500 savings bond from Wachovia Bank.
Photos from today’s board meeting, where the winning design was revealed, after the jump.
Crystal City will be resuming its popular “5K Fridays” in April.
The neighborhood held the series of weekly 5K runs for the first time last year. Due to popular demand, it appears that 5K Fridays may become a yearly tradition.
The first of five 5K Fridays will kick off at 6:30 p.m. on April 2. The starting line will be located at 2121 Crystal Drive. Registration is $15 for one race, $50 for all five.
More information from Crystal City BID, after the jump.
Liberty Tavern’s owner is expanding his presence in Clarendon with two new storefronts, expected to open in a few weeks. Northside Social, a high-end coffee shop and wine bar, will be located at Wilson Blvd and Fairfax Dr, across from Silver Diner. Lyon Hall, a “European-style brasserie,” will be located at Washington Blvd and N Highland St.
Washingtonian has the details on two of Liberty’s new culinary hires, both of whom hail from well-regarded Manhattan restaurants.
Arlington Public Schools superintendent Dr. Pat Murphy is currently briefing the media in advance of tonight’s special school board meeting, where he will make a presentation on the state of the school system’s budget.
The meeting will take place at 7:30 in the board room of the Arlington Education Center.