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Public Affairs Committee

Questions, comments, concerns? Contact Simon Mouer, Committee Chair

UPDATED 11 January 2018

2018 - 2024 Strategic Plan Questionnaire

This plan, which is scheduled for School Board action in June, will chart a course for students, staff, and APS as a whole.  Community input is vital to this process so we write to ask for your help as we seek feedback on the work we’ve developed since our outreach last fall to gather stakeholder hopes and aspirations. The Committee and APS staff are presenting for community review some potential options for an APS mission statement, vision statement and set of core values. The input we receive will help us refine initial drafts and select final proposals for mission and vision statements, as well as core values, that capture the essence of APS.


We’d greatly appreciate your participation in this new community questionnaire for the 2018-24 Strategic Plan. It’s posted at www.apsva.us/engage/strategic-plan/ and will remain open until 9 a.m. on Friday, January 19.


A full draft of the plan should be available this spring for the community to consider before it goes to the School Board. If you’d like to have someone address this topic at a meeting over the next few months, please let us know and we may be able to arrange to have a representative from the Steering Committee or APS speak.


If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Mimberg, Coordinator of Community Engagement, APS Planning and Evaluation, at 703-228-6039 or kathy.mimberg@apsva.us.

UPDATED 18 December 2017

At its Dec. 14 meeting, the School Board approved middle school boundary adjustments by approving Option Av2. These boundary adjustments will be effective for students in grades 6, 7 and 8 beginning in September 2019 when the new middle school at the Stratford site opens. Families of students affected by the new middle school boundaries will receive notification in the mail by February 2018.

You can see the details of the option here: https://www.apsva.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Updated-Option-Av2-3.pdf

You can watch the board meeting here: https://www.apsva.us/post/school-board-meeting-december-14-2017/

You can see the presentation from the school board meeting at the link below:

Transfers to neighborhood middle schools for the 2018-19 school year were temporarily unavailable during the boundary adjustment process, to be reassessed once the boundary decisions were made by the School Board. APS staff is working now to determine which neighborhood middle schools will be available to accept transfers for next year.  All 5th grade families will be notified of this through an APS School Talk update by Monday, January 8, 2018. Since the APS transfer application process can now be completed online, this will still allow sufficient time for families to apply for a transfer before the January 19, 2018 deadline for transfer and options applications.

This information will also be posted on the website and shared through other APS communication channels, including the
www.apsva.us/engage <http://www.apsva.us/engage> site. In the meantime, the new middle school attendance zones for 2019-20 and related information can be found at www.apsva.us/engage/middle-school-boundary-change/ <http://www.apsva.us/engage/middle-school-boundary-change/>.

UPDATED 7 December 2017

Middle School Boundaries - The School Board met last week on 11/30 to discuss the middle school boundary changes. APS made a modification to the last proposal. The updated proposal shifts some planning units from TJ to Stratford.  Also APS had made the recommendation that all grades (6 - 8) be moved to new boundaries in 2019.

You can see the new proposal here:  _https://www.apsva.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Updated_Option_A_Revised_Packet-1.pdf_

You can watch the board meeting at the link below, you can jump directly to the section where this is discussed in the public hearing section.

On Dec. 14th The School Board is scheduled to take action on middle school boundary changes at their meeting which begins at 6:30 p.m. Watch in person at the Education Center (1426 N. Quincy St.) or live online here: www.apsva.us/school-board-meetings/watch-school-board-meetings/ <http://www.apsva.us/school-board-meetings/watch-school-board-meetings/>
Postponed: Acceptable Use Community Discussion on Dec. 11 -  The Acceptable Use community discussion scheduled for 7-9 p.m. on Mon, Dec. 11, at Washington-Lee High School has been postponed and will be rescheduled at a later date. The postponement of the meeting will provide staff with additional time needed to further synthesize feedback.

Staff will work on two separate policies that address core elements related to technology usage, one specific to federal requirements and filtering, and the other to include topics such as: internet safety, disciplinary action, definitions of acceptable use and unacceptable use, shared ownership and responsibility, digital citizenship, and social media usage.   For more information, visit
www.apsva.us/engage/acceptable-use/ <http://www.apsva.us/engage/acceptable-use/>.

 County Government/APS Conversation-  On Tuesday, Dec. 5, the Arlington County Civic Federation hosted a conversation with Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy and County Manager Mark Schwartz.  This event can be viewed at:


FY 2019 Budget Development -  Budget Development Calendar available at https://www.apsva.us/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/FY-2019-Budget-Calendar_Revised_110817.pdf

APS Now Seeking Input on the 2018-19 APS School Year -  APS invites families, staff, students and community members to submit their input regarding the Superintendent’s Draft Calendar for the 2018-19 School Year. Survey is available at the here: https://www.apsva.us/post/aps-now-seeking-input-2018-19-aps-school-year/

Online Survey for Community Input on School Naming Criteria Closes Friday, Dec. 8 - APS requests community assistance with shaping and expanding the naming criteria in the APS Naming Policy for current and future school facilities! This Fri, Dec. 8, is the deadline for the brief online form for community input, which is available at:https://survey.k12insight.com/r/5AYRQh <http://track.spe.schoolmessenger.com/f/a/hRIhZ5Q3-4Qqpe02174RfA%7E%7E/AAAAAQA%7E/RgRcCuceP0QtaHR0cDovL2h0dHBzOi8vc3VydmV5LmsxMmluc2lnaHQuY29tL3IvNUFZUlFoVwdzY2hvb2xtWAQAAAAAQgoAA56zKVpUcgaGQQgA7QUJ9in9O1IQc21vdWVyQGdtYWlsLmNvbQlRBAAAAABHqXsicGVyc29uaWQiOiI5MjU0IiwiY3VzdG9tZXJpZCI6IjEyOTQ0IiwidXNlcmlkIjoiMTIwIiwiZW52IjoicHJvZCIsImpvYmlkIjoiNTIiLCJzZW50VGltZU1zIjoiMTUxMjY4MjI2ODI0NiIsInNoYXJkaWQiOiI1IiwiZW1haWxTb3VyY2UiOiJDVVNUT01FUl9KT0IiLCJzZXF1ZW5jZSI6IjEwIn0%7E>.

More information about this initiative is available at www.apsva.us/engage/school-facility-naming-policy/ <http://track.spe.schoolmessenger.com/f/a/jZcUmPA5PFTk6y8wpfI6Rw%7E%7E/AAAAAQA%7E/RgRcCuceP0Q5aHR0cDovL3d3dy5hcHN2YS51cy9lbmdhZ2Uvc2Nob29sLWZhY2lsaXR5LW5hbWluZy1wb2xpY3kvVwdzY2hvb2xtWAQAAAAAQgoAA56zKVpUcgaGQQgA7QUJ9in9O1IQc21vdWVyQGdtYWlsLmNvbQlRBAAAAABHqXsiZW52IjoicHJvZCIsImN1c3RvbWVyaWQiOiIxMjk0NCIsInNlbnRUaW1lTXMiOiIxNTEyNjgyMjY4MjQ2IiwidXNlcmlkIjoiMTIwIiwiZW1haWxTb3VyY2UiOiJDVVNUT01FUl9KT0IiLCJzaGFyZGlkIjoiNSIsInNlcXVlbmNlIjoiMTAiLCJqb2JpZCI6IjUyIiwicGVyc29uaWQiOiI5MjU0In0%7E>.


Middle School Boundary Change

Superintendent presentation of Middle School Boundary option to School Board: https://www.apsva.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Updated_Option_A_Revised_Packet-1.pdf. Video of entire meeting: https://www.apsva.us/post/school-board-meeting-nov-14-2017/  Scroll down to the middle school presentation to see the discussion. Public comments on this latest recommendation are scheduled for the November 30 School Board meeting. To speak: www.apsva.us/school-board-meetings/sign-up-to-speak/. The School Board decision is scheduled for Thursday, December 14.


Acceptable Use Policy (Technology / 1:1 Devices)

Meeting on November 15 was held to gather input to develop APS guidelines for the ipads and laptops that are issued to students. Presentation: https://www.apsva.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Nov-15-Presentation-AUP.pdf Community input is sought via the survey available here. The survey will be available through December 1. Please note this survey is much longer than previous ones and includes reviewing best practices used in other school districts.  The supporting documentation to be read first is available here: https://www.apsva.us/engage/acceptable-use/ A second community discussion to review the APS draft policy will be held on December 11. The public will also have an opportunity to provide input at School Boards meeting on January 4 and January 18. School Board action on this initiative is scheduled for January 18, 2018.


Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) Framework

The School Board will discuss the FY 2019-28 CIP Framework as part of the agenda at a work session on November 28 and as an information item at the School Board meeting on November 30. To view School Board meetings and work sessions online, visit www.apsva.us/school-board-meetings/school-board-work-sessions-meetings/. For more information about the CIP, visit www.apsva.us/engage/capital-improvement-plan-cip/.


School Naming Criteria

APS is seeking community assistance with shaping and expanding the naming criteria in the APS Naming Policy for current and future school facilities. This is the first step in the process to revise the existing policy to reflect the views of the Arlington community. Provide input via survey until Friday, December 8: https://survey.k12insight.com/r/5AYRQh.  Community members can participate in one of four focus group discussions on school naming criteria facilitated by The George Mason University School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution (SCAR). Discussions will take place at the Syphax Education Center, 2110 Washington Blvd, Arlington 22204 on Tuesday, 11/28 @ 630 pm and Saturday, 12/2 at 1000 am, 1100 am and 200 pm. Registration is required.  Sign up to participate in one of the community focus group discussions at: www.eventbrite.com/e/aps-school-naming-criteria-community-meetings-tickets-39955940293.


Middle School Boundary Change

APS is recommending a modified version of Option A. https://www.apsva.us/engage/middle-school-boundary-change/staff-recommendation/ for updated maps and further explanation of modifications recommended by APS staff. There does not appear to be a recommendation about whether 8th graders will transfer to new schools, if applicable. A public hearing will be held on Thursday, November 30 at 6:30pm.

Strategic Plan 

APS has created a Strategic Plan Steering Committee to develop a new 6-year Strategic Plan for 2018 - 2024.  As stated, "The Plan should address the needs and aspirations of students, parents, citizens, teachers, administrators, and staff, while charting a course for the school system’s core activities. The Steering Committee is comprised of high school students, APS staff (including teachers and school administration) as well as community members serving on other APS committees. The Plan's core priority is to focus on students and will include goals, strategies, and, objectives. In the starting the process APS would like parental feedback on the 'hopes and aspirations' for Arlington County Schools. To provide feedback: https://www.apsva.us/engage/strategic-plan/community-input-strategic-plan/ For background information: https://www.apsva.us/strategic-plan-overview/

Education Center

APS has recommended delaying the decision on the educational focus for the Education Center until the above strategic plan is completed in the spring of 2018. The press release can be found at the link below. https://www.apsva.us/post/staff-presents-options-instructional-focus-education-center-site/ 



The following school board decisions took place at the end of last year and over the summer and will directly impact boundary discussions, the need for a new high school, and the ongoing crowding issues:

  • The School Board decided to proceed with "Option D" which involves splitting the 1300 seats between the education center and career center.  This decision passed 4-1 with James Lander dissenting.  Follow the link: https://www.apsva.us/post/school-board-meeting-june-29-2017/, select 'Options for High School Seats Question' section and go to 4:24 minute mark to understand why Mr. Lander voted against the option.  
  • The School Board voted to renew Dr. Murphy's contract as superintendent. The vote was 3-2,  Reid Goldstein and Barbara Kanninen were the dissenting votes.  The contract is good until July 2021.  The linked video provides the full discussion.  https://www.apsva.us/post/school-board-meeting-june-29-2017/
  • Barbara Kanninen will take over as chair of the School Board.

Please check APS Current Initiatives frequently. Email Simon Mouer, Nottingham Public Affairs Chair, with questions.


Public Affairs Links


More Seats for More Students:



High School Boundary Refinement Process:



High School Redesign:



2016 Bond Referenda:



Arlington School Board:



Parents may also wish to check out the “Arlington Citizens for Responsible School Planning” Facebook page or the “Arlington Education Matters” Facebook group.