UPDATE: Nottingham [Still] Listed as Potential Option School
This past Tuesday, May 1, APS Planning Staff (“Staff”) released its second draft analysis on Elementary School locations. I, like many of you, read the 23 pages of text and 3 appendices and were quite surprised that Nottingham was STILL listed as a potential option school site on page 23.
Why was it so surprising? Based on the (now) seven criteria established by Staff, Nottingham satisfies the requirements to remain a neighborhood school. However, Staff continues to list Nottingham as a potential option school site in its conclusions (page 23). If this is a data driven process, then Nottingham should not be considered an option school site. However, this is bigger than Nottingham.
In its original data table posted on April 12, Staff inadvertently included its work tabs on the APS Engage website for all of us to see. On one of the work tabs labeled “Walk Rank”, Staff had listed Nottingham as “option” and “IB”. Since IB is not offered in elementary schools, the reasonable assumption is this would be ATS’s program.
At our small group meeting with Staff on April 19, one of our parents informed Staff that their work tabs were public and questioned the “Walk Rank” tab. Staff was surprised that it was posted; however, explained “we needed a starting point”. Well, that “starting point” is now listed as conclusion in two draft analyses. A few questions come to mind:
The School Board and Staff have repeated that this is an open and transparent process and no decisions have been made. I honestly have a hard time believing that. What I do believe is Staff has dug in and doubled-down on Nottingham to be named an option school site.
There are two choices for the School Board to make:
I (as a Nottingham parent), and many others, support Change A. If you support Change A, please sign the following petition created by a Key Elementary school parent:
Some Nottingham parents [example letter] and other school parents [Key School parent letter] have written about the flawed process. These examples and others can be found on our website: www.nespta.org.
Per the updated timeline provided by APS, dated May 1, Staff has tentatively scheduled to open a questionnaire from May 4-May 14 asking for feedback on the draft analyses. There will be a community meeting on May 9 at 7:00 pm in the School Board Room, 256-258, Syphax Education Center, 2100 Washington Blvd, Arlington, 22204. The May 9 community meeting will be live-streamed and can be viewed at https://www.apsva.us/engage/livestream/.
School Board Open Office Hours are held on Mondays. The schedule for office hours is posted here: https://www.apsva.us/contact-the-school-board/open-office-hours/The School Board meeting schedule is https://www.apsva.us/school-board-meetings/.
We've set up a sign-up genius to enable Nottingham community organization and attendance at School Board office hours – go with a friend or neighbor. The more people they see the better. Sign up here: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0F44A5AF2EA5F58-nottingham
The Nottingham PTA webpage (www.nespta.org) has all the presentations, analyses, and data released by APS, plus a selection of letters and emails that have been submitted by Nottingham parents to APS Staff and School Board (posted with permission of the senders) as well as contact information for School Board members and APS Engage staff. We are updating the website as information becomes available.