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APS Preparing for Possibility of Virtual Classes in the Fall

Arlington Public Schools is preparing for the possibility that in-person classes will not, in fact, resume in the fall.

There are new questions about when students will be returning to physical classrooms, following today’s Congressional testimony by Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told a Senate panel today it’s unlikely that a vaccine or a highly effective treatment will be ready for use by the time the new school year starts.

APS said last week that is it considering ending the current school year early, in part to make time for staff training that will “focus on planning for the return to physical school with an emphasis on social emotional support for students.” But should coronavirus continue some baseline of local spread over the summer, that might lead to tough questions about whether students should remain at home rather than gathering by the hundreds or thousands in a school setting.

Asked about the possibility of not being able to return to school in the fall, APS spokesman Frank Bellavia said it’s one of the scenarios for which administrators are preparing.

“We are preparing for all possible scenarios for both summer school and the fall, as we await school reopening guidance from state officials and the Virginia Department of Education,” Bellavia. “Teachers and staff are participating in planning and professional development to prepare for the delivery of virtual classroom instruction, in the event schools cannot reopen or if a hybrid in-person and virtual learning model is necessary.”

Though APS has — controversially — punted the last couple months of curricula to the fall, opting instead to reinforce teaching from before schools closed in March, Bellavia said new material will be taught in the fall regardless.

“If classes are held virtually in the fall, new material will be taught,” he told ARLnow.

The new school year is set to start on Aug. 31.

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The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.

The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.

Former participants have this to say:

_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._

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Learn about the new assessment of Arlington’s urban tree canopy and the many ecological and social benefits trees provide. Staff from the Green Infrastructure Center (GIC) will share study results and compare canopy cover for different areas of Arlington.The webinar will include assessments of ecosystem services such as stormwater mitigation, air quality, carbon uptake, and urban heat islands. For background on Arlington trees see the “Tree Benefits: Growing Arlington’s Urban Forest” presentation at http://www.gicinc.org/PDFs/Presentation_TreeBenefits_Arlington.pdf.

Please register in advance to assure your place at the webinar, https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/29543206508863839.

About the Arlington County Civic Federation: The Arlington County Civic Federation (“ACCF”) is a not-for-profit corporation which provides a forum for civic groups to discuss, debate, inform, advocate and provide oversight on important community issues, on a non-partisan basis. Its members include over ninety civic groups representing a broad cross-section of the community. Communications, resolutions and feedback are regularly provided to the Arlington County Government.

The next meeting is on Tuesday, February 21,2023 at 7 pm. This meeting is open to the public and will be hybrid, in-person and virtually through Zoom. Part of the agenda will be a discussion and vote on a resolution “To Restore Public Confidence in Arlington County’s Governance”. For more information on ACCF and this meeting, go to https://www.civfed.org/.

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Standup Comedy Showcase Starring Matt Ruby (Comedy Central)

Dead Horse Comedy Productions brings together top comedians from the DMV and beyond for a live standup comedy show!

Matt Ruby, Headliner

Matt Ruby is a comedian, writer, and filmmaker from New York City. His comedy has been filmed by

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