The event, called Back to School Burritos, will take place all day at each of District Taco’s 10 locations across the area. The money will be donated to the National Center for Children and Families, which will help purchase school supplies for underprivileged children and families in the region.
District Taco CEO and co-founder Osiris Hoil said he came from a disadvantaged upbringing and so tries to give back to the community whenever he can.
“When I was a child my parents were very poor, and it was very hard for them to buy school supplies for me and my brothers,” Hoil said in a statement. “Helping other kids makes my heart feel full and makes me extremely happy.”
Hoil started District Taco as a food cart in Arlington, before opening his first brick and mortar location on Lee Highway. It has since added restaurants in D.C. and Northern Virginia, with its first locations in Maryland and Pennsylvania both set to open this fall in College Park and King of Prussia, respectively.
The tax holiday — which runs from early Friday morning to 11:59 p.m. Sunday — is aimed at helping families doing back to school shopping along with encouraging Virginians to prepare for the hurricane season.
Online purchases of qualifying items are also tax-exempt as long as orders are placed and paid for during the tax holiday and the items are available for immediate shipment.
“This sales tax holiday will make items that help families prepare for the school year or for a potential emergency more affordable,” said Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, in a statement. “It is my hope that shoppers will use this time to get their children the items they need to succeed in school, as well as stock up on the essentials that may come in handy during a hurricane or other emergency where electricity or clean water may be unavailable for an extended period of time.”
Tax exempt items include:
- Most school and office supplies, such as pens, loose-leaf paper, scissors, binders, backpacks, and construction paper, priced at $20 or less.
- Clothing and footwear, priced at $100 or less per item or pair.
- Batteries, flashlights, bottled water, tarps, duct tape, fire extinguishers, cell-phone chargers, smoke detectors, buckets, rope, and first aid kits, priced at $60 or less.
- Gas-powered chainsaws, priced at $350 or less, and chainsaw accessories, priced at $60 or less.
- Portable generators, priced at $1,000 or less.
- Energy Star-labeled dishwashers, washing machines, air conditioners, ceiling fans, light bulbs, dehumidifiers, and refrigerators, priced at $2,500 or less.
- WaterSense-labeled sink faucets, faucet accessories, aerators, shower heads, toilets, urinals, and landscape irrigation controllers, priced at $2,500 or less.
The department’s 2015 back to school safety campaign includes both enforcement and outreach to drivers, students and parents.
In addition to the traffic enforcement by police and by by the new stop arm cameras on Arlington school buses, ACPD has placed electronic roadside message boards around the county “reminding citizens of the start of school and to drive safely,” according to a press release.
“The Arlington County Police Department is committed to ensuring the safety of all students and motorists,” said Police Chief Jay Farr, in an Arlington Public Schools-produced public service announcement video.
“We would like to remind everyone to be extra careful this year,” Farr continue. “Share the road with buses, pedestrians and bicyclists. Remember, buses are now equipped with stop arm cameras… it’s never okay to pass a school bus with the stop light out.”
ACPD has issued several back-to-school safety tips. For drivers:
- “Obey speed limits which may change during school zone times”
- “Avoid distracted driving and keep your attention on the road”
- “Watch for students walking and riding bikes to school”
- “Don’t pass a stopped school bus loading or unloading passengers”
- “Have all vehicle occupants wear their seatbelts”
The police department’s safety tips for students and pedestrians:
- “Cross the street at marked crosswalks and never against a red light”
- “Look before you cross and follow the direction of school crossing guards”
- “Always walk on designated sidewalks or paths, never along the side of a road”
Petition to Rename DCA Nears Goal — A petition to rename Reagan National Airport “Washington National Airport” has gathered nearly 70,000 of its goal of 75,000 signatures. The petition is a progressive group’s response to Republican outrage over President Obama’s renaming of Mount McKinley to its original name, Denali. [CREDO Action, Washington Post]
Fire at Shopping Center — Arlington County firefighters battled a small blaze at the Lyon Village Shopping Center last night. [Twitter]
Meeting on Hospital Expansion — Arlington County and Virginia Hospital Center officials are holding a meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) night regarding a proposed land swap between the county and VHC, which would allow the hospital to expand. [Arlington County]
Back to School, Back to Traffic — Arlington Public Schools students, along with students in other Northern Virginia localities, are returning to school today. Thanks to the influx of school buses and commuters returning from vacation on the roads, the first day after Labor Day is dubbed “Terrible Traffic Tuesday” by AAA Mid Atlantic.
Middle School to Hold ‘Road Show’ — Thomas Jefferson Middle School Principal Keisha Boggan and administrators will be holding a neighborhood meet and greet this coming Tuesday. The “TJMS Road Show” will feature “hot dogs, drinks, music, and good conversation,” with four stops in the Barcroft, Westmont Gardens, Fillmore Gardens, and Oakland Park/Lyon Park areas. The first day of school is Tuesday, Sept. 8. [Arlington Public Schools]
Homeland Security Renews Ballston Lease — In a bit of good news for commercial real estate in Arlington, the Dept. of Homeland Security has renewed a 120,435 square foot lease on its office at Two Ballston Plaza (1110 N. Glebe Road). [CityBizList]
MONA Sponsors Backpacks — The group Mothers of North Arlington has sponsored 18 backpacks for children at the local shelter Doorways for Women and Families. “Many of MONA’s 2800 members donated items for 18 backpacks for children from age 1 to 18,” the group said in a press release. “The backpacks included all the usual school necessities (paper, pencils, glue, crayons, binders, lunch box, etc.); some also had scientific calculators, umbrellas, digital watches, and diapers for the youngest recipients. Each backpack was stocked with $75-100 in gift cards to Target for school clothes (nearly $1,600 in total).”
Arlington Man Killed in Fairfax County Crash — A 51-year-old Arlington man died yesterday afternoon in a crash in Fairfax County. Virginia State Police say Jerry Knight was riding a moped on an I-66 exit ramp when he was struck by a vehicle and killed. Police are seeking information on the striking vehicle and its driver. [Patch]
Photo courtesy @jbester
Virginians are getting a break from the sales tax this weekend courtesy of Virginia’s General Assembly, which combined three existing sales tax holidays into one longer Tax-Free Weekend this year, according to the Virginia Department of Taxation.
According to the department, items exempt from the sales tax this weekend include school supplies, clothing and footwear, emergency preparedness items and some energy-efficient home appliances with either the Energy Star or WaterSense label.
Included in the list of exemptions are back-to-school staples like backpacks, calculators, flash drives and composition notebooks, as well as a variety of sports and recreational equipment.
For items that do not qualify for the sales tax exemption, store owners may still offer them as tax-free by choosing to have the store absorb the cost of the sales tax on behalf of the consumer.
Photo via pixabay.com
From Friday, Aug. 1 to Sunday, Aug. 3 eligible purchases will be exempted from Virginia’s sales tax, which is 6 percent in Northern Virginia. To be eligible, each school supply item must be $20 or less and each article of clothing or footwear must be $100 or less.
Generally, computer equipment, clothing accessories, protective equipment and sporting goods are not exempt from the tax.
Teachers and administrators welcomed an estimated 23,586 students inside the halls of Arlington Public Schools for the first time since June this morning (Tuesday).
Students got their first chances to experience the final phase of the new Yorktown High School and the new Wakefield High School. Teachers and volunteers were on hand to show students around their new schools.
According to school officials, 137 school buses were mobilized today to pick up students from around the county.
The school system’s enrollment will grow by almost 1,000 students from last year’s Pre-K-12 enrollment of 22,645. The student count won’t be official until Sept. 30, when APS sends the number to the state Department of Education.
Photos courtesy Arlington Public Schools
Police officers will be a high-visibility presence, directing traffic in school zones, and variable message boards will be placed along county roadways reminded drivers to take extra precaution as students start returning to area schools.
Arlington County issued the following tips for safe driving on the first day of school:
Drivers are reminded to:
- Obey speed limits which may change during school zone times.
- Avoid distracted driving and keep your attention on the road.
- Watch for students walking and riding bikes to school.
- Don’t pass a stopped school bus loading or unloading passengers.
- Have all occupants wear their seatbelts.
Students, bicyclists and pedestrians are reminded to:
- Cross the street at marked crosswalks and never against a red light.
- Look before you cross and follow the direction of the school crossing guards.
- Always walk on designated sidewalks or paths never along the side of a road.
With a little prevention, all drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians can arrive at their destinations in a timely and safe manner.
Sept. 3 is also being billed by AAA Mid Atlantic as “Terrible Traffic Tuesday,” the day when roads are jammed because school returns and summer vacation season ends.
According to AAA, “the average 20.4 minute daily delay that drivers experienced around [the D.C. area] in July and August will return to an average of 25.8 minutes during September.”
Virginia’s annual back-to-school sales tax holiday starts today (Friday).
From Aug. 2-4, certain school supplies, clothing and footwear will be exempt from Virginia’s 6 percent sales tax. As in years past, the exemption only applies to school supplies priced $20 or less and clothing and shoes priced $100 or less.
A complete list of qualifying items is available on the Virginia Department of Taxation website.
In a recent study by the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth and Families, only 24 percent of students said their parents were actively involved in helping them succeed in school.
With that in mind, APCYF has issued some advice for parents to help their kids “get off to a great start” as Arlington starts a new school year.
September is an exciting time for children, families and school staff. The Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth and Families (APCYF) wants to remind everyone that it’s a great time to think about what families can do to get off to a positive start and help make this a successful, asset-building school year for your children. Assets are simply the positive experiences, relationships and values that help young people make smart choices and grow up ready to be responsible, healthy, successful community members. Learn more at http://www.search-institute.
Mary Ann Moran, Assets Liaison and founding member of APCYF, advises parents and caregivers that a good start to the year begins at home with the basics. All children and teens need good rest and a healthy breakfast. “Although you can’t make kids eat or sleep, you can create an environment and set boundaries that encourage getting enough sleep and healthy eating,” said Moran.
- A healthy breakfast is vital. If you have a picky eater, get creative and offer choices. Any healthy food is good for breakfast – even pizza or PB&J.
- On average, elementary school children need 10-11 hours of sleep. Teens need 8-9 hours. Setting a regular bed time helps.
- No one can sleep with a cell phone under their pillow. Consider collecting all electronic devices at bedtime. Kids can retrieve them in the morning.
- Try to plan time to avoid “scrambling-to-get-ready” syndrome – it’s a bad way to start anyone’s day.
According to a survey of 1,651 students in Arlington, only 24% of 8th to 10th graders report having parents involved in school. Get involved with your child’s education now and stay involved all the way through 12th grade. One way to participate is to have real conversations about school. “Do you have homework?’’ is not a conversation starter. Instead, parents might say:
- Who did you eat lunch with?
- Why did you choose that particular book for your report?
- Tell me about your new teacher. (Instead of “Is your teacher nice?”)
- Tell me about the kids in your class.
- When I went into __ grade, I remember feeling _______.
If your child doesn’t want to talk when they get home from school or you first come home from work, try again later, said Moran.
Remind yourself that it’s your child who goes back to school, so their successes and their failures are their own. It’s hard, but let them learn from both. Children learn about being responsible and planning ahead by practice. At some point, they probably will forget their homework, let projects go to the last minute and leave books they need at school. But if they never experience consequences, there’s no motivation to learn to be responsible. Treat mistakes as learning opportunities to let children know you believe in them and their ability to deal with what happens, advised Moran.
Finally, let kids be kids. In our rush-around, stressed-out world, adults can help children have time to be silly, play and daydream, Moran said. It’s essential for them and it does wonders for us. For more information, visit http://
Flickr pool photo by Divaknevil
Students Head Back to School — Today is the first day of school for nearly 23,000 Arlington Public School students. School start times vary in Arlington, from 7:50 a.m. for middle schools to 9:24 a.m. for the H-B Woodlawn Secondary program. Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy has created a back-to-school video for students and parents. Arlington County, meanwhile, is urging drivers to be especially cautious on the roads this morning.
AAA Warns of ‘Terrible Traffic Tuesday’ — AAA Mid-Atlantic is warning of “the mother of all gridlock” today, a day the organization has dubbed “Terrible Traffic Tuesday.” With students heading back to school and workers back from summer vacations, AAA expects traffic congestion to spike 26 percent compared to mid-summer. Adding to the congestion in Arlington will be the 146 yellow APS school buses on the roads. [AAA Mid-Atlantic, Bethesda Now]
Special Election Today — Voters in Virginia’s 45th House of Delegates District will head to the polls today in the special election to replace Del. David Englin, who resigned following the admission that he had an extramarital affair. The three candidates in the race are Tim McGhee (R), Rob Krupicka (D) and Justin Malkin (L). Only five electoral precincts in Arlington are included in the 45th District: Aurora Hills, Fairlington, Abingdon, Oakridge, and Shirlington. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Maryva2
Virginia’s annual back-to-school sales tax holiday starts tomorrow (Friday).
From Aug. 3-5, certain school supplies, clothing and footwear will be exempt from Virginia’s 5 percent sales tax. The exemption only applies to school supplies priced $20 or less and clothing and shoes priced $100 or less.
A complete list of qualifying items is available on the Virginia Department of Taxation website.
From the scheduled 7:50 a.m. start at middle schools to the 9:24 a.m. start at the H-B Woodlawn secondary program, from kindergarten to 12th grade, students made their way to school this morning on foot, on the bus and via car.
No significant problems with the back-to-school effort were reported, at least not from a public safety perspective.
As the school year starts, Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy released a ‘welcome back’ video for students and parents. Also, Murphy announced that Deirdra McLaughlin has been appointed Assistant Superintendent for Finance, replacing the retiring Mary Beth Chambers.
The monicker, which comes from AAA Mid-Atlantic, refers to the sudden, jolting return to heavy traffic that occurs when Washingtonians return from their summer vacations and head back to work — while students in Virginia, at the same time, head back to school.
Among other traffic jams, nearly the entire length of northbound I-395 was slow this morning, from the 14th Street Bridge through Alexandria.
How was your commute, either on the roads or on transit?