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APS to Discuss School Capacity Challenges

Arlington Public Schools will be hosting a public meeting next week about the school system’s looming capacity crisis.

The forum will be held next Wednesday night at the Washington-Lee High School auditorium, not far from where several new trailer classrooms were installed over the summer. School officials will discuss the steps they’re taking to address the burgeoning student population, which is expected to reach 3,400 seats overcapacity by 2016.

Among the possible solutions to be discussed are “building opportunities” on existing Arlington Public School sites. The APS press release is below.

Arlington parents and the community are invited to a presentation about facility planning and steps taken to address the space needs due to increasing enrollment. The meeting will be held on Wed, Oct. 5 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Washington-Lee High School auditorium (1301 N. Stafford St.)

At the meeting, the community will hear about the current process to address the increases in enrollment and which APS sites may be reviewed for potential building opportunities. APS officials will outline the next steps and talk about opportunities for further dialogue between school communities, staff and the School Board.

The event is open to the community. Simultaneous translation services will be provided.

Background

APS is facing increased enrollment for the foreseeable future. By 2013, there will be over 800 more students than available seats. By 2016, APS faces an even greater shortage of 3,400 seats. As the division continues to exceed capacity limits, APS has been using a variety of solutions to create additional teaching space including adding relocatable classrooms at a number of schools until more permanent solutions can be implemented.

Over the course of the summer, the School Board worked with staff and Decision Lens to build a criteria-based model for evaluating potential capacity-building options. Planning for the 2012 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and future CIPs provides an opportunity for APS to look at where to build additional, permanent capacity for students.

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