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Arlington, VA 22207
Monday, April 24, 2017

2015-16 News Releases

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1-26 - Snow Letter to Families


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For Immediate Release:
January 26, 2016
For more information, contact the Dept. of School and Community Relations at 703-228-6004 www.apsva.us
Dear APS Families:

Like everyone throughout the County and region, Arlington Public Schools staff members have been working on the enormous undertaking of “digging out” at our 40+ schools, program centers, and administrative offices. APS Facilities staff and building custodians, equipped with shovels, snow blowers and plows, have been working on the monumental task of clearing snow from all of our bus lanes, parking lots and the sidewalks around our schools.

At the same time, Arlington County crews have been working around the clock to clear the main arteries throughout the County and in our neighborhoods. We have been in regular communication with the County staff, and want to assure you that all of our crews are collaborating and making every effort to return APS and the County to normal operations as soon as possible.

We Need Everyone’s Help
We hope that families and community members will help clear sidewalks and bus stops in their neighborhoods. Many walkways are still covered with ice and snow, and many bus stops have high snow banks in front of them, making it unsafe for children to walk or to get on and off buses. We need the community’s help so that when we are able to open schools, children will have safe passage on sidewalks rather than walking or standing in the streets. We want to create safe conditions for all students walking to and from schools and bus stops.

Make-up Days
We have received many questions about Make-Up Days. This year’s calendar included 181 instructional days for elementary, middle and high school students. The state requires that students receive either 180 days or 990 hours of instructional time. Based on instructional hours, the first 10 days lost (or the equivalent of 10 school days) will not need to be made up.

Upcoming Calendar Dates
The second grading period ends on Fri, Jan. 29, and Mon, Feb. 1, will be the grade preparation day for teachers, so there will be no school for students. In addition, early release days are scheduled for Feb. 10 (elementary students) and Feb. 12 (secondary students), and APS will have no school on Mon, Feb. 15 in observance of the Presidents Day Holiday.

Cancellations & Rescheduled Meetings or Events
The CCPTA’s Reflections Ceremony, which was to be held this Wednesday, has been rescheduled and will be held next week on Wed, Feb. 3, at Wakefield High School at 7 p.m. Notices about other changes of school-sponsored events and activities will be communicated by the individual schools.

The “APS Snow Learning” Page
While schools have been closed, I hope our students have been using this unique opportunity to exercise and enjoy the outdoors, and I also encourage them to read a book, write in a journal, and continue to study and learn independently until classes resume. I want to remind you about the resources available on the APS Snow Learning Page. I know that many families have wonderful ideas and I hope you will take time to share your suggestions by using the online link at the bottom of the page.

In addition, the APS instructional technology staff reminds parents that Blackboard has all ACORN (Arlington County Library) resources available via the “Library Online” tab. Some teachers are posting additional activities for their students, and the "For Students" tab has resources for students organized by elementary and secondary levels, including practice activities, copies of many textbooks and other related curriculum Web links.

APS Communications
Although we can’t always do this, we have announced our recent decisions early to allow families ample time to make childcare arrangements. Announcements about our operations will continue to be made through our regular channels including:
  • APS School Talk – via email and text messages
  • The APS Web site
  • The APS App
  • Our toll-free hotline (703-228-4277) in English and Spanish
  • Comcast Channel 70 and FiOS Channel 41
  • Local Radio and TV Channels
You can also check online for updates about Pool Operations and for Arlington County programs and operations.

Stay warm, stay safe and stay tuned. We will continue to update you on our progress. In the meantime, I hope everyone has weathered the 2016 Blizzard well, and we look forward to resuming school as soon as possible.


Patrick K. Murphy, Ed.D.

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