School Board Update
November 3, 2021
School Board Appoints New Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer
The School Board appointed Dr. Jason Ottley as the new Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at its Oct. 28 School Board meeting. Dr. Ottley has been serving as Interim Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer since Sept. 1.
Dr. Ottley has a diverse background in education spanning 17 years in a variety of settings, including, teacher, director of student support, principal, consultant, adjunct faculty, college administrator and college professor. Ottley received a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy from West Virginia University, a M.Ed. in special education from George Mason University, and a B.A. in English from West Virginia University.
His experience has been in understanding student development, learning & implementing theory, teaching strategies for helping underserved students, designing culturally responsive pedagogy and building programs focused on closing equity gaps. He has served in several roles as teacher, director of student support, principal, consultant, adjunct faculty, college administrator and college professor.
Dr. Ottley is involved in the community in a few notable ways. He currently sits on the Board for the Association of Black Researchers, After School All-Stars, and Bond Educational Group. His involvement with the community is both personal and professional. Dr. Ottley most recently served as a college professor at Kennesaw State University and principal equity consultant for several medium and large school districts across the nation.
In his current role as the Interim Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Dr. Ottley is in the process of revising the current equity policy as well as curate metrics for the 23 key performance indicators within the strategic plan. His knowledge of reviewing and revising policy regarding educational equity has allowed him to conceptualize and design systems that recruit and retain staff, challenge governance and policy to disrupt the abuse of power and provide vision and design strategic leadership for schools who are keen on becoming more equitable.
His appointment is effective Oct. 29.
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. All speakers must sign up in advance and indicate whether they want to speak in person or to call into the meeting. A lottery process will continue to be used to select speakers if more requests than available slots are received.
Additional information will be posted at https://www.apsva.us/school-board-meetings/sign-up-to-speak/
November Schedule of Board Meetings, Work Sessions, and Advisory Council and Committee Meetings
Spotlight on Literacy: The Science of Teaching Students to Read
Fall 2021 Boundary Process Engagement
APS is currently preparing for the fall 2021 boundary process that will be limited in scope and focused on refinements to provide enrollment relief to three schools for the 2022-23 school year. The three schools that will receive relief from the boundary refinements are Abingdon Elementary School, Gunston Middle School, and Wakefield High School. The boundary process will bring enrollment at these three schools to more manageable levels for the 2022-23 school year by reassigning some planning units to neighboring schools with capacity to accommodate additional students.
Community engagement will take place from Oct. 15 to 31. Families can learn about the proposed changes and ask questions during the community engagement sessions. Staff will engage directly with the families affected by the boundary process to ensure they are aware of the proposals for the 2022-23 school year, and to gather information to aid in the planning process.
The School Board will hold a Public Hearing on the proposed boundary adjustments on November 30. The Board will act on the Superintendent’s Proposal for Boundary Adjustment for the 2022-23 School Year at the Dec. 2, 2021 meeting.
Information on the proposals and the community engagement schedule are available on the Fall 2021 Boundary Process webpage.
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 November 19 on the following draft policies:
School Board Open Office Hours
For the 2021-2022 school year, the School Board will hold Open Office Hours twice a month on Monday evenings or, due to holidays, Tuesday mornings. Open Office Hours is a forum for Board members to listen to comments and concerns, and to discuss various topics with community members. Each Board member will share what they heard during Open Office Hours with the entire Board and the Superintendent.
Board members will meet individually with participants to ensure everyone has the same opportunity to share their opinions. To participate, individuals must sign up ahead of time using the SignUpGenius link that will be posted on the APS homepage and at https://www.apsva.us/contact-the-school-board/open-office-hours/.
Volunteering at APS
Arlington Offering Free COVID-19 Vaccines for 5–11-Year-Olds
On Sat, Nov. 6, Arlington County Public Health will begin offering free COVID-19 vaccines by appointment to children ages 5–11 years old at Walter Reed Community Center and Arlington Mill Community Center. Clinics designated specifically for this age group will be held Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 13 and 14, from 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
This follows the expansion of Pfizer’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to children in this age group, and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Virginia Department of Health (VDH).
“The Pfizer vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective in preventing COVID-19 in children. This approval is a critical step towards protecting our kids and keeping other vulnerable community members safe. We encourage all parents to get their children vaccinated when they become eligible,” said Dr. Reuben Varghese, Arlington County Public Health Director.
Find a Vaccine for Your Child
The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for 5–11-year-olds will be available at Arlington County Public Health Division clinics and pharmacies, searchable through Vaccines.gov. Your child’s pediatrician may also offer the vaccine.In the early weeks of distribution, vaccine supply may be limited. As supplies increase, so too will appointment availability.
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 https://www.arlingtonva.us/covid-19/vaccines/registration/
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
- 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 APS – firstname.lastname@example.org 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.