This week, APS opened up a two-week window during which families can choose how their children will attend school. Families have until Friday, April 30 to make their choice.
Over the last few months, students have returned to school in phases, with most returning in March for two days of in-person instruction a week across all grade levels. Although APS is sticking to the “hybrid” model for the rest of this semester, the school system said it will provide a full five-day in-person option this fall, in addition to in-person summer school.
Superintendent Francisco Durán reiterated this commitment two weeks ago.
“We are absolutely doing that in the fall,” Durán assured Arlington School Board members during a recent meeting. “We are headed to five days in-person in the fall. All of our planning now until then will be dedicated to that. That will be the sole plan we are working on.”
The push coincides with a Virginia law that Gov. Ralph Northam signed on April 1 requiring school systems to provide a full five days of in-person learning, with a virtual option. The new law will take effect July 1.
APS is encouraging in-person learning in the fall, but providing a remote option for those with health and other concerns.
“We encourage all students to return for in-person instruction and remain committed to providing safe learning environments in all schools; however, we know there are a variety of reasons why some families and students may need to continue learning remotely,” the APS website says.
If parents and guardians miss the Friday, April 30 deadline, APS will automatically place children in the in-person instructional model.
“Elementary school families will be able to change their decision after the first, second and third quarters of the school year,” the website said. “Middle and high school families will be able to change their decision after the first semester in January.”
A group of administrators, teachers and staff are developing a separate K-12 Distance Learning Program and APS will hire an administrator for the developing program this May. Eventually, this temporary option could become a permanent program for students who prefer learning at home.
Families and students who choose to continue in distance learning will be asked to provide reasons for their choice, according to the website.
“It is important to understand if students are not returning due to health and safety concerns, preference for the model, or if they will not return until their student and/or immediate family is vaccinated,” the school system says. “APS is committed to providing safe school environments so that all students feel comfortable and confident returning in person in the fall; however, we know there are a variety of reasons why families choose distance. We hope to gain more insight from those families.”
Data compiled by APS, below, shows that white students are most likely to have opted for hybrid in-person learning this semester, on average, while students of color, English learners, and economically disadvantaged students are more likely to have opted for distance learning.
During the April 8 School Board meeting, Vice Chair Barbara Kanninen called on APS to “be more proactive” reaching out to families about the school system’s mitigation measures and the safety of in-person education.
“I’m very worried about how we’re going to get them either to opt-in by the summer or fall, and how we’re going to encourage them,” Kanninen said.
Durán told the board that preferences may change now that the vaccine is more widely available.
Photos via APS
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In loving memory of William Dinwiddie Tucker, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 95.
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St. Charles offers a play-based curriculum in a welcoming, Christ-centered environment.
Our program focuses on socio-emotional development and kindergarten readiness through hands-on and engaging activities. Our programs offer different schedules ranging from 7:30 am-5:30 pm for students, ages 2-5. We feature a full-day Jr. kindergarten class for older 4’s/5’s. Our facility includes a full-sized gymnasium, school chapel, and library. All of our students enjoy music and physical education weekly. Children have an opportunity to participate in enrichment classes such as soccer, basketball, ballet, and science.
We offer Summer Camp with weekly themes and twice a week water play, including Fun Friday moon bounce. Please join us for our Open House Feb. 3 at 9:30 am and 11:00 am. Click here to sign-up.
For more information or to schedule a tour, visit us at www.stcharlesarlington.org or call (703) 527-0608.
If you are a lifelong learner over 50+ who wants to make new friends, power up your brain, and enjoy a wide-variety college-level courses, Encore Learning is for you. An Arlington based nonprofit, Encore Learning offers courses in the arts, theater, literature, history, technology and more. This semester we offer our most popular course, Global Hot Spots as well as 25 new courses. Courses are presented either online or in-person at George Mason University at Virginia Square and other Arlington locations.
Join the free presentation to learn about courses and meet the instructors. This is Encore Learning’s signature event to highlight the upcoming semester with brief presentations by each instructor.
The Spring Course Preview event is Thursday, February 2nd at 9:30 AM via Zoom:
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