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Taylor Elementary School closed for third day due to lack of heat and power

Taylor Elementary School (photo via Google Maps)

(Updated at 4 p.m.) After two days off to start the week, Taylor Elementary students will be participating in virtual learning today due to a major maintenance issue.

“Taylor Elementary School will move to virtual instruction on Wed, Jan. 25, due to the repair work underway to restore power and heat in the building,” the school said on its website.

After uncertainty about the reopening, however, the school’s PTA president told ARLnow this afternoon that Taylor is now expected to reopen Thursday.

The several day closure was caused by building system failures.

“There is an issue with the HVAC and electrical systems,” Arlington Public Schools spokesman Frank Bellavia tells ARLnow. “Crews have been working since Monday morning to identify the problem so that we can promptly resolve the issue and return to in-person instruction.”

Parents were instructed to pick up iPads at the school this morning for virtual learning. Several expressed frustration with the situation via tips to ARLnow.

“Families have received no other information and cannot plan accordingly,” one parent told us.

In an email to families last night, the school said “we are all doing our best.”

“In the past three years in education, we have truly learned the importance of flexibility,” the email said. “By participating in online learning tomorrow, we can ensure that our students continue to be connected to school and engaged in some learning activities aligned to grade level standards. ”

“If your student is stressed or anxious about online learning, please tell the teacher via email,” the school added.

Taylor PTA President Rebecca Villane says that families are frustrated with the situation.

“The forced closure of Taylor Elementary School for the past 3 days has been frustrating for the Taylor community and particularly challenging for families with limited resources, who depend on schools for meals, intensive educational interventions for struggling learners, and supervision of young children during the workday,” Villane told ARLnow via email.

“The last 72 hours have shed light on tremendous communication, prioritization, and contingency planning issues for continued instruction at APS,” she continued. “We don’t yet know the source of this outage, but in any event we want to see APS provide information on outstanding known issues with our aging school buildings across the county, and a timeline of action that APS is going to take to address these serious deficiencies.”

“[Superintendent] Duran and the Facilities and Operations department owe our students and families better than this situation repeating itself in the future, at Taylor or elsewhere,” Villane added.

Photo via Google Maps

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