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No Block Scheduling in Middle Schools Next Year

A plan for changing the way the county’s middle schools do class scheduling appears to be on the chopping block, at least for now. The Arlington Public Schools proposal to implement block scheduling at middle schools will not happen in the 2013-2014 school year, after all.

The change would have extended core class times for subjects like English, math, social studies, science and world languages, but would have reduced the number of classes per day. Longer “block” periods for sixth graders would have been 76 minutes, and would increase to 93 minutes for seventh and eighth graders. Electives like music and arts would have remained at the current, shorter length.

Many parents fought the change, raising concerns with children of that age having to concentrate for such long periods of time, and about eliminating electives.

At last night’s School Board meeting, there was a presentation laying out what APS has learned about public reception to block scheduling and how it plans to go forward. Through means like community forums, staff meetings, online surveys and individual feedback forms, APS discovered that block scheduling largely isn’t something middle school parents are interested in. APS said it heard that parents prefer focusing on issues like providing more languages for students, maintaining electives and ensuring appropriate reading instruction.

The change has been in the works for five years, but consideration of the plan had been delayed earlier this year, due to outcry from parents. At the time, APS Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy said postponing a decision would allow for more time to adequately discuss the issue with families.

Although block scheduling will no longer begin in 2013, it’s not permanently off the table. The board is examining ways to make it work in the future. Of particular interest is finding alternative ways to increase the amount of time spent on core content areas. The length of schools days and start times will also come under review.

Even though the plan was nixed for middle schools system-wide, individual schools have the option of exploring their own flexible block schedules. Block scheduling is already in place at Yorktown, Wakefield and Washington-Lee high schools.

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March General Membership Meeting

NAACP Arlington Branch is celebrating Women’s History Month with a virtual public safety and Virginia legislative update. Our speakers are Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Dehghani-Tafti and Delegate Adele McClure.

Guest Speakers

Adele McClure
Virginia House of Delegates, 2nd District in Arlington

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Submit your own Announcement here.

Early Years Preschool is a small non-profit preschool and parents day out program that has served local families since 1992. Early Years Preschool is located in the Cherrydale neighborhood at 3701 Lorcom Lane.

Early Years Preschool offers part-time programs for young children between 12 months – 5 years old. Early Years also offers a 6 week summer program! The school day is 9:30-2:30, with the option of morning extended day offered at 9am. Families have the flexibility of registering for 1-3 days/week in their parent’s day out program (12 months- 2 year olds) and 2-5 days/week for their preschool program (3-5 year olds).

Early Years’ teachers provide a nurturing environment that promotes the development of a child’s emotional, social, cognitive, and physical skills. Creative and stimulating theme-based activities allow each child to develop and learn at his or her own pace through exploration and play.

Learn more about Early Years Preschool by contacting the admissions team at [email protected] or by visiting their website at http://www.earlyyearspreschool.org

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Submit your own Announcement here.

Alternative Thursdays

Dedicated to the notion that fans of the Smiths and Morrissey want to hear some of the greatest music ever written in a true live concert setting, Caligula Blushed delivers an authentic rendition of Smiths/Morrissey songs, with each performance based

Renegade Mode

Having worked with the likes of Gary Numan, DJ Neidermeyer lends authenticity a go-go. Enough to satisfy even the purists.

The Renegade boasts all of the virtues of Arlington’s premier music venues while providing bar bites that rival most restaurants

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