With Arlington Public Schools’ Stratford Program getting ready for a big move, school leaders are giving students (and their parents) a choice about where they’ll spend the next year learning.
The program, which serves secondary-level special education students, is set to relocate into a new building in Rosslyn for the 2019-2020 school year. But its current space on Vacation Lane, which it shares with the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program, will soon be renovated to become a new middle school, forcing Stratford students to temporarily find a new home.
APS officials initially planned to send Stratford over to the Reed School building in Westover for a year, but a few weeks ago they began seeking feedback from parents on a plan to move the program to Yorktown High School instead.
In a letter to Stratford parents Monday (June 4), Stratford principal Karen Gerry revealed that APS settled on a compromise solution between those two proposals. Families will now have the option of sending students to Yorktown or Reed for the 2018-19 school year; summer sessions in both 2018 and 2019 will be held at Reed, regardless of which option families choose, however.
“While we understand that this may mean some students within the Stratford program are educated in different locations for the 2018-19 school year, we also know that the needs of our students are different,” Gerry wrote. “We will provide the staffing and supports expected in the program at either location and will work with families on specific needs.”
Families have until June 15 to complete a survey on where they’d prefer to send their students.
Gerry added that “we want to reassure you that the Stratford Program will continue and our plan to move to the new building on Wilson in the fall of 2019 is moving ahead.” Some rumors circulated a few weeks back that APS would seek to eliminate the Stratford program instead, but officials have insisted there are no such plans in the works.
The full letter from Gerry to Stratford parents is after the jump.
Dear Stratford Families:
Thank you for taking the time over the last several weeks to assist us in analyzing Reed and Yorktown as potential locations for Stratford students and families for the 2018-19 school year. We appreciate your input and engagement in the meetings and tours that have taken place as we work to ensure our students have the best possible educational experience prior to moving to the new building on Wilson Boulevard with the H-B Woodlawn Program.
Through the analysis that has taken place, we have evaluated the many positives as well as concerns of both locations. We want to be certain that our students are safe, supported, engaged, comfortable in their environment, and have access to the many resources that are available to all of our students. We also know that students at Stratford have a variety of needs. Therefore, in moving forward for the 2018-19 school year, we are offering families a choice in location. Families may choose to continue in the Stratford program:
- at Reed for the summer of 2018, Yorktown for 2018-19, and then Reed for the summer of 2019
- at Reed for the summer of 2018, Reed for 2018-19, and then Reed for the summer of 2019
While we understand that this may mean some students within the Stratford program are educated in different locations for the 2018-19 school year, we also know that the needs of our students are different. We will provide the staffing and supports expected in the program at either location and will work with families on specific needs. Also, as always, if you would like to have your child educated at the neighborhood school, that is also a possibility for this summer and the 2018-19 school year and can be considered through an IEP meeting.
Please Click here to complete a brief survey to let us know your preference of location for the 2018-19 school year so that we can begin to plan for the individual supports needed at each location. Please complete the survey by June 15, 2018. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me.
Finally, we want to reassure you that the Stratford Program will continue and our plan to move to the new building on Wilson in the fall of 2019 is moving ahead. We look forward to continuing to work together with our Stratford community to serve our students’ personal and educational needs.
Photo via Arlington Public Schools