School Board Update

January 11, 2023

January Schedule of Board Meetings, Work Sessions, and Advisory Council and Committee Meetings

Public Comment at School Board Meetings

Public Comment on Agenda and Non-Agenda items will be heard at the beginning of the meeting and will be limited to 1 hour. At each meeting, the Board will hear from a maximum of 30 speakers, and each speaker will have up to 2 minutes to comment. There will be 20 slots reserved for speakers to sign up online in advance. Speakers will no longer have the option to select the call-in service. As of the November 10 meeting, speakers will only have the option to speak in person.

New this school year: There will be 10 slots reserved for speakers to sign up in person between 6:15 p.m and 6:45 pm. (No speaker forms will be accepted before or after these times).

Additional information will be posted at

Superintendent’s Update: January 4, 2023

Please read Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán's update at:

Share Your Comments on Draft School Board Policies

Review and comment on draft APS policies that are available for public comment on the APS Engage website. Comments can be provided by January 14, 2023 on the following draft policies:

Mental Health Reminders & Resources

APS wishes everyone a Happy New Year! To ensure a strong and successful start, look out for one another and use the ACT model to respond when you see someone struggling: ACT means Acknowledge when someone is struggling, show them you Care, and Tell a professional, so they get the help they need. Visit our website to find a list of mental health resources offered by APS and beyond. Let's make this year one where we prioritize the mental well-being of our students and work towards building healthy and fulfilling lives.

2023 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Literary & Visual Arts Literary Arts Winners Announced

Arlington Public Schools announces the winners of the 2023 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Virtual Literary and Visual Arts contest. This year marks the 53rd year that Arlington County and APS have come together to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy. APS students at all grade levels participated in the contest, and this year we received hundreds of entries from our schools and programs. Students submitted outstanding pieces of artwork, poetry, and essays. Twelve entries were chosen in this year’s contest in the Literary Arts and Visual Arts categories. See the winners and learn more on our website.

Important Calendar Reminders Coming this Month

January Calendar Reminders:

  • Jan 15 - 21: Virginia Principal Appreciation Week
  • Mon, January 16: Holiday - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Fri, January 27: End of 2nd Quarter
  • Mon, January 30: No School for Students (Grade Preparation Day)

Attention Rising Middle and High School Families: Upcoming Dates

Middle School and High School Information Sessions provide a chance for families with students transitioning to the next chapter to learn about their neighborhood school and option programs of interest. View the upcoming schedule of in-person Middle School Info Sessions and High School Info Sessions available.

- Secondary Option Program Deadlines: Interested families must complete an online application and submit all required documents by Fri, Jan. 13, 2023, at 4 p.m. Learn more: Middle School I High School

Virtual Academic Support for Secondary (6-12) Students (Paper)

Arlington Public Schools has partnered with Paper to provide unlimited access to trained tutors so every student in grades 6-12 can ask questions, work through problems, and grow their confidence—at no cost to families.

Click here to read more.

OPT In for APS School Talk Text Alerts

Did you miss the text message this morning about APS’ delayed opening?

Your school may not have your cell phone number on file, and/or you may not have opted into the text messaging service. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Make sure your school has your cell phone number in their database, designated as a cell phone. (Your cell number may already be listed as your home number or work number, but it must also be listed separately as a cell phone to receive texts.)

Step 2: Text the word YES to 67587 to opt-in.

Attendance Notification Changes Coming Soon

Beginning Tue, Jan. 17, APS is modifying its attendance notification process. The changes will allow families to receive earlier and more frequent, real-time notice if their student has an unverified absence from school and/or has missed a specific class period. APS will transition to the following process:

Elementary: 11 a.m.: Daily call and text reporting unverified absences based on information reported by schools at 10:30 a.m.

- 11 a.m.: Call and text based on information reported by 10:30 a.m.
- 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.: Text notification of unverified absences for specific periods, based on information reported at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.
- 5 p.m.: Call and text to recap unverified absences throughout the day, based on information entered by end of day.

Arlington County Implementing Phase 2 of School Slow Zones This Spring

Arlington County is implementing phase 2 of its school Slow Zones around several APS schools. Phase 2 includes Barrett, Campbell, Carlin Springs, Kenmore, Alice West Fleet, Jefferson, Montessori School of Arlington, Arlington Career Center, Nottingham, Swanson, Williamsburg, and Discovery. Here are a few ways that you can get involved:

- Follow the speed limit: Whether you’re dropping students off or just driving through the neighborhood, remember that driving at 20MPH significantly lowers your crash risk.

- Share this flyer: Spread the word so that more community members are aware of new, lower speed limits around schools!

- Stay tuned: For updates, visit the Vision Zero website and sign up for our monthly Vision Zero Newsletter.

Nominate an APS All Star Today!

The APS All Stars program recognizes outstanding employees who go above and beyond their normal scope of work to ensure that all students thrive and excel. Learn more about the program and nominate someone today! We’ll recognize our next group of All Stars in October.

Stay Safe from Illnesses this Winter

Winter illness season is here. The flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and COVID are illnesses to be aware of this season. To protect yourself and others, please keep your student home and notify the school clinic if they are sick. Read the full details on our website.

Preparing for Inclement Weather

With winter approaching, APS wants to remind families to review our inclement weather procedures and have a plan in place in the event of a change in operations:

- The first seven inclement weather days will be treated as traditional “snow days.” If the allotted days are used, APS will revert to full distance learning (virtual) days.
- NEW: Extended Day and Check-In programs will now close at the same time schools close in the event of an Early Release due to weather conditions (previously Extended Day remained open until 4 p.m.).
- Decisions impacting the following day will be announced by 6 p.m. Morning decisions will be announced by 5 a.m., as needed, based on conditions overnight.

You can learn more about the weather codes and other important details on our website.

Complete the Free & Reduced Meal Application for Meal Benefits

View updated information about meal prices for this school year. APS encourages families who may qualify for free or reduced-price meals to apply for meal benefits. Applications are available in ParentVUE, on the APS Food Services Webpage or online at


Please click on the link for more information on locations and scheduling an appointment:

Monkeypox Information

As the school year begins, we recognize the concern in our community about how monkeypox could impact students, their families, staff, and teachers. We want to provide you with information to address this and to establish precautions APS will implement to promote the health and safety of our community.

According to the CDC, the risk of monkeypox to children and adolescents is low at this time. The risk of monkeypox transmission in school settings is also currently low. However, anyone- including children- can be infected if they have close skin-to-skin contact with someone who has monkeypox.

Click here to read more.

APS Updates COVID Guidance

APS is making a few adjustments to COVID protocols based on the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). Overall, most COVID-19 protocols have not changed. Primary changes are related to contact tracing, quarantine, and isolation procedures. View the updated COVID-19 Protocols and FAQ online. We will continue to adjust our protocols based on local conditions and the latest guidance and will communicate changes as needed.

Arlington County Public Health Division COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Scheduling

Arlington County’s Public Health Division is offering free walk ins and scheduled appointments to individuals 12 and up. View schedule at

Please note: Children 17 years and younger must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to receive their free COVID-19 vaccine.

How to Contact APS

There are several ways to contact APS for help with your questions or to provide input. Who to call and how to engage depends on what you need.
- NEW Family Information Line (703-228-8000) – APS now has a central Family Information Line to assist families with questions concerning transportation, Virtual Learning Program, registration, Extended Day food services, technology, or general questions. This line is open on school days from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Transportation will take calls from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you call and are sent to voicemail, leave a message and someone will respond to you within 24 hours.
- Engage with remains the contact for providing input on current APS initiatives.
- Contact Your School – For specific school-based issues or concerns regarding students, families are encouraged to contact their child’s school directly so the issue can be quickly resolved.
For more information on who to contact, please visit the Contact APS webpage.


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