Ready to go back: Arlington Parents Deserve A Real Choice From APS

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APS should open its doors:  

-for in-person learning;

-phased in safely and with precautions to protect students and APS employees;

- for all students who have not chosen virtual learning;  

-and those who can’t learn virtually;  

-prioritizing our youngest learners, English language learners and children with special needs; 

-so that APS teachers are truly empowered to excel;

-and in support of our working families.

Sooner rather than later, the Arlington School Board and Superintendent must  take seriously their obligations to oversee APS and to ensure a return to in-person instruction for families who choose to send their children into school buildings.

1.   APS must build trust by showing parents, teachers, and staff specifically how and when it will move forward with in-person instruction, including safety protocols, metrics and benchmarks.  All stakeholders must understand and feel comfortable that while there is no 100% risk-free environment, there are safe and safer standards that can and should be met.

2. APS should review evidence from other school districts that have gone back and are not seeing outbreaks in schools or increases in community spread. Others, including more than one of our neighboring districts, have announced specific plans to phase in in-person by a certain date. Indeed, APS is currently offering childcare in 10-person classrooms. That IS in-person learning and shows APS knows how to do it safely. 

3. APS must acknowledge that keeping schools closed comes with massive, long-term individual and societal costs. Many children are already struggling to effectively learn, grow, engage, socialize, be active, access healthy food, or get needed support until schools reopen.  As a consequence of distance learning, many of the children who struggle the most under normal circumstances are now finding it difficult, even impossible in some cases, to receive effective instruction and other supports schools normally provide. These realities will only get worse.  
 

APS gave parents the choice to participate in distance learning, as they should have.  But APS also needs to provide a viable and actionable choice for those families who want — and need — in-person instruction.

 

HOW TO CONTACT OUR PUBLIC SERVANTS:

superintendent@apsva.us & brian.stockton@apsva.us (Durán’s Chief of Staff) 
school.board@apsva.us
CountyBoard@arlingtonva.us

Governor Ralph Northam 
Rep. Don Beyer 

SOURCES FOR DATA:
Economic Policy Institute: COVID-19 and student performance, equity, and U.S. education policy

Harvard Healthy Buildings Risk Reduction Strategies for Reopening Schools 

CDC: The Importance of Reopening Schools 

CDC Study: Limited Secondary Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in Child Care Programs


AAP: Pediatricians, Educators and Superintendents Urge a Safe Return to School This Fall

INTERESTED IN GETTING MORE INVOLVED? 

JOIN Arlington Parents for Education on Facebook  

FOLLOW @ArlParentsforEd on Twitter  

EMAIL arlingtonparentsforeducation@gmail.com 

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN A YARD SIGN OR MAKING A DONATION TO APE

Please EMAIL arlingtonparentsforeducation@gmail.com  

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