Snow this week has nearly wiped out Arlington Public Schools’ snow days for the winter.
Two months ago, APS modified its winter weather plans to include six traditional “snow days,” in which school is completely canceled, followed by distance-learning days.
Snow overnight and this morning — coupled with Monday’s storm and fallout — resulted in a full five days home from school for APS students and staff this week. That means APS has one more snow day before reverting to virtual learning for future winter weather-related closures.
Virtual learning during winter weather is new for the school system, which, due to the pandemic, was fully virtual for the majority of students and staff for most of the 2020-21 school year.
The new policy will “allow learning to continue and avoid ‘makeup’ days at the end of the school year,” APS said when it announced the changes.
The six-day threshold is based on the number of days built into the current calendar for inclement weather, it said.
A pandemic-era innovation, virtual learning for bad weather is being implemented in a smattering of school systems across the U.S., but the Washington Post reports that Arlington and Fairfax County Public Schools kept some snow days to retain “some sense of normalcy.”
Alexandria City Public Schools was one of the only D.C.-area schools to start the snowy week with virtual learning, a change some bemoaned as the end of the snow day. But there were widespread internet outages and today (Friday), students and staff got their proper snow day.
APS, meanwhile, closed schools closed Monday through Thursday due to Monday’s storm and its effects. It had planned to return kids to school on Thursday but reversed course because many teachers and staff were dealing with child care challenges.
Arlington Parents for Education — a parent group that has advocated for full-time, in-person learning during the pandemic — used this week’s closures to renew its call for APS to align its calendar with that of neighboring Fairfax County Public Schools.
In Nov, https://t.co/CB9e8sak64 we asked APS to align calendar with FCPS to support staff. APS obviously sees the need now. APS should align the FY23 SY Cal w/ FCPS to support staff + give students minimum 180 days. https://t.co/QMnkKlA47l
— Arlington Parents for Education (@ArlParentsforEd) January 6, 2022
Snow days and virtual learning are a few ways APS can respond to winter weather. It can also delay start by two hours, release early and cancel after-school and weekend activities.
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As the summer winds down, it’s a great time to look forward to a creative fall! Art House 7 has a terrific selection of classes, for preschoolers to adults. Our fall session, starting September 6, offers painting, drawing, sculpture, collage, ceramics (including the wheel) and sewing. We have specialty classes such as Suminagashi, the ancient art of Japanese water marbling.
If you’re looking for a shorter commitment, we also have a full schedule of workshops, Art Nights, and Morning Art Socials. If you haven’t discovered Art House 7, please check us out! We offer classes throughout the year, taught by a range of fantastic teachers. You can buy art supplies next door. We’re near the Lee Harrison shopping center, and free parking is outside our door.
Art House 7
5537 Langston Blvd.Arlington VA 22207
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