From the Public Affairs Committee

Engage with APS Board on Budget, Enrollment, New High School Visioning Project, and New Transfer Policy

Parents will want to learn about and engage with the Arlington Public Schools leadership on a number of projects underway this spring. There is a new section of the APS website for these issues: https://www.apsva.us/engage/.

We've summarized the issues below.  For a more in-depth explanation of these issues, please click here.  Check back frequently for updates, and contact Wendy Pizer, Public Affairs Chair, with questions. 

APS FY 2018 Budget

The Superintendent will present his Proposed FY 2018 Budget at the School Board meeting on February 23 at 7:30 p.m. At the Arlington County Council PTA meeting on January 30, APS staff indicated that the current gap in the APS budget for next year is about $14 million. The Superintendent will try to close that gap as staff prepares the proposed budget.

The Arlington County Board will be setting the tax rate at its meeting on February 25. The tax rate will be one factor determining how much money the County can give to APS for its budget for next year. If you are concerned about the funding for APS, you can contact the County Board at countyboard@arlingtonva.us.

After the Superintendent presents his budget, the School Board will hold several work sessions on the budget, and then there will be a public hearing on the Superintendent's proposed budget on March 23. APS has released a Budget Development and Community Engagement Calendar (pdf) to highlight all of the important dates in the APS budgeting process. You can also find out more information and updates on the APS Budget and Finance website.

APS Enrollment Projections for Yorktown HS Causing Concern in the Community

On December 1, 2016, APS approved a limited high school boundary refinement to balance enrollment in its high schools. However, community members are now concerned about the projected enrollment at Yorktown HS. APS used November 2015 projected enrollment numbers to do the boundary process in the fall, instead of actual September 30, 2016 enrollment numbers.

In January 2017, APS released a demographics report, which showed that based on September 30, 2016 actual numbers, there will be 2,796 HS students living in the Yorktown zone in 2020. Thus, over 700 students would need to transfer out of Yorktown to bring it to the 2,066 number of students that were predicted to be in Yorktown in 2020 during the boundary process. In 2015, only 331 students transferred out of Yorktown.

Due to community concerns, APS has now hired an outside consultant to review the enrollment projections and is expected to have updated enrollment projection numbers in March 2017. If you are concerned about this issue, you can contact the School Board at school.board@apsva.us.

Also, APS is seeking feedback on the high school boundary refinement community engagement process, and will be collecting responses through February 19. Here is the feedback form:
http://survey.k12insight.com/ k/SsSRTVsWUYsPsPsP

New High School Visioning Process this Spring

The 2017-26 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which the School Board adopted on June 16, 2016, included $146.71 million funding for 1,300 new high school seats to be completed in time for the start of school in 2022. APS has now begun the process to determine the instructional focus and the location of the new high school program or programs, and will be engaging the community on these topics this spring.
 
APS will be following the timeline below on these issues:

February-March:            Community Survey
March 30 and April 4:    Community Meetings (locations and times TBD)
May:                              School Board work session to review options
June:                             Staff recommendations to the School Board

If you have questions or suggestions for the new high school instructional focus or location, please contact the APS team working on these issues at newhighschool@apsva.us. Also, to follow this process and for more information, please see the new Engage with APS! website under "New High School."

APS Updating Enrollment and Transfer Policy this Spring

At the School Board's direction, APS is beginning the process of updating SB Policy 25-2.2, Enrollment and Transfers for Schools and Programs, and plans to finalize changes to the Policy this spring. The goals are to make it easier for families to understand the school options available and processes to apply, to align the policy with best practices, and to allow for flexibility in making adjustments in the future as APS continues to address capacity issues.

APS Staff has developed a first draft, and those draft revisions to the policy will be posted online on Wed., Feb. 8, and will be shared with the community for discussion and feedback over the next couple of months. Two community discussions are scheduled to kick off the process. Both meetings will present the same information so that community members only need to attend one. APS will also live stream the meeting on FaceBook, and a videotape of the meeting will be posted on the APS website for those who cannot attend. The meeting dates are:


Wed, Feb. 22, 7pm at Washington-Lee HS (1301 N Stafford St)
Thu, Mar. 2 7pm at Wakefield HS (1325 S Dinwiddie St)

 
To follow this process and for more information, please see the new Engage with APS! website under "Enrollment and Transfer Policy Revisions."


Public Affairs Links

 

More Seats for More Students:

https://www.apsva.us/more-seats-for-more-students/

 

High School Boundary Refinement Process:

https://www.apsva.us/aps-boundaries/

 

High School Redesign:

https://www.apsva.us/secondary-education/aps-high-school-redesign/ 

 

2016 Bond Referenda:

https://budget.arlingtonva.us/bond-referenda/

 

Arlington School Board:

https://www.apsva.us/about-the-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.

 

For more information about the Public Affairs Committee, please contact Wendy Pizer.

 

 

Upcoming Events 

Thursday, July 6th

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Saturday, July 8th

Kindergarten Playdate Front Playground 9:30-11am

Quick Links

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