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Columbus Day Closures

by ARLnow.com October 3, 2011 at 3:01 pm 3,400 23 Comments

Columbus Day is one week from today, and many government offices and services will be closed to mark the holiday.

Closures for Monday, Oct. 10 include Arlington County courts, Virginia DMV offices, Arlington Public Libraries, Arlington Public Schools and Arlington’s Department of Human Services.

County parks will be open, but administrative offices will be closed. Parks and recreation classes, meanwhile, will not be offered. The Barcroft Sports and Fitness Center will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., but all other Arlington community centers will be closed. Arlington’s three high school pools will be open under modified schedules.

Metro and ART will be operating under holiday schedules. Parking meters will not be enforced.

Normal trash and recycling pickup will take place as usual.

  • parent

    However, Arlington teachers WILL BE WORKING (and not on planning) because Patrick Murphy needs to show them who’s boss.

    • Thes

      What will they be working on?

      • Resident and teacher

        Teachers will be working on Bullsh!t, of course. There isn’t even a prescribed agenda. Each department gets to decide. But of course it was important enough to take away a contacted holiday. I blame the school board for this. They got played by Murphy. And they know it.
        And it is costing the county more than a million dollars. enough to add about 20 more elementary teachers.

        • APSteacher

          I second that emotion.

          To be fair, teachers have been “strongly encouraged” to attend, but it is not mandatory. (But really, if we take our holiday leave will we be blacklisted later?!?)

        • Thes

          How surprising. I would think teachers, of all people, would be eager to learn about new ideas about how to do things.

          • Lou

            Why would a teacher be any different in that regard from other professions?

          • charlie

            and why, just like any other profession, should they be thrilled about working on a FEDERAL HOLIDAY???

          • parent

            Charlie is right, except it is worse than working. Teachers are not allowed to plan lessons or do anything else for students. They are just there to pay homage to Murphy. Waste of teachers’ time, waste of taxpayers’ dollars.

          • Thes

            Federal workers don’t get off the day after Thanksgiving, like most workers. Arlington teachers get many, many days off each year that most workers don’t get off. And many private sector workers don’t get Columbus Day off, either. So, I don’t really see the big deal, from a scheduling point of view (were many Arlington teachers planning to participate in official Columbus Day events?).

            But so far I have heard no description of what the teachers ARE being asked to do on Columbus Day this year aside from vague statements about “paying homage to Murphy” and “bullsh!t” and “each department gets to decide”. I suspect there is more to it than that. How can we be so entirely sure that the teachers’ time will be wasted? Is it truly inconceivable that there would be no training, no exchange of ideas, no coordination activities, no review of best practices, or anything else productive that would occur? I find this dismissive attitude and negative presumption rather incurious and more befitting a surly 14 year old than a dedicated learning professional. Fortunately, the low number of comments here suggests that it is not a widely-shared view.

          • charlie

            i can assure you that all the time will be wasted.
            no one wants to be there. so no one is scheduling anything.
            and none of the teachers like the superintendent so it isn’t like they will rally or anything.
            it is a very very sad day.
            thes, stick to transportation and county board issues. or go out and meet some teachers. they work very hard and are getting very screwed by the gym-teacher-now-superintendent.

          • Resident and teacher

            As a teacher, I am super dedicated to my students, my profession, and my discipline. I go to conferences, lectures, and meetings all over dc and the nation. On my own dime. Because I value professional development, I want to incorporate best practices, and I enjoy my profession.
            I have received the agenda for Monday’s work day. I will not go into details here (too site specific), but it it NOT professional development. It will be a waste of my productive time. Time that is in short supply.
            It is also a waste of taxpayer money. Money they could use to give us a raise, lower class sizes, rent more trailers, provide quality professional development, whatever…

          • Thes

            It is too bad that STILL no one can share any details about this supposed waste of time. “Trust me” — from someone on a website where posters are anonymous and where there is well established sockpuppetry and trolling — is not much to go on.

            Actual information would allow the public to have a more informed and productive discussion — and perhaps even give school board members useful feedback. But none has been provided. Just unsubstantiated allegations, complaints and innuendo, and from not very many people, either.

          • charlie

            thes, speaking of “sockpuppetry” — why don’t you tell the school board members that “you” are fronting for — to go talk to the teachers. Or better yet, tell the gym-teacher-somehow-now-superintendent to go talk to the teachers. I’ve been told that he hasn’t even made it to W-L yet to talk to the teachers. Too far I suppose.
            I’m not a teacher in APS but I know dozens of them. NONE of them want to be at work on Monday as it is nothing but a powerplay by the superintendent.

          • parent

            Thes, The lack of comments is because this discussion is under the benign headline, “Columbus Day Closings.” If Arlnow were to entitle an article “Patrick Murphy,” you might learn a few things.

          • parent

            By the way, Thes, the one thing you and I have in common is that we are not teachers. However, I have had five children in the Arlington Public Schools and I know that the only thing that matters is the teachers. Superintendent Murphy better get that and start listening to them.

      • answerer

        read to your heart’s content on the APS website:


        powerpoints and handouts.
        There is a lot of “breakout” time that different departments/clusters are using differently. but this gives you the jist.

  • parent

    May I second that….millions of dollars. But just wait for what Murphy has in store for next year. Hope you don’t want your kid to learn science! Yes, and do blame the School Board

  • charlie

    and speaking of energy savings — what is it going to cost to turn on all the schools — lighting, air conditioning, heating — for only 1/30th of the people that occupy the building.
    bad superintendent, bad. sit.

    • JMB

      Who says they’re going to turn the lights and heat on?

  • gymmyray

    The training that APS is asking school principals to complete on Monday, 10/10 (Columbus Day) is basically a 7 hour day of analyzing test data and using root cause analysis to determine outcomes that will help raise student achievement.

    In and of itself, it sounds like a very rational and reasonable activity, however, taking away a promised holiday after the school calendar was passed in April is not helping morale. Many teachers cancelled planned trips and other obligations often losing money only to find out much later that attendance on the day is not “mandatory” but “requested.”

    Horrible PR on the part of the Ed. Center and Murphy. A complete waste of tax payer dollars as many staff are staying home.

    • parent

      If Murphy had ever actually been a classroom teacher, he would realize that 7 hours of analyzing test data is a complete waste of a talented teacher’s time. It’s not the lack of a day off that has teachers angry, it is Murphy.

      • Resident and teacher

        Agreed. We analyze data regularly and try to improve ourselves as teachers, our department, and our school. An extra day won’t suddenly reveal something new, and many teachers are not focusing their careers on analyzing minimum competency tests. That’s not what teaching is.
        But as was said already, murphy had never been a classroom teacher.

  • Charlie

    I understand Murphy has agreed itvis voluntary to come in and look at data. Wonder how few teachers will arrive?


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