Superintendent's Message

Reopening Arlington Schools- Fall 2020

Dear Arlington Community,

Thank you for your patience and support during these challenging times where choices are difficult and less than ideal. Arlington Schools have reopened this fall in unique and non-traditional ways in response to the ongoing global health crisis. Your partnership and support during this time continues to be a vital component for success. We will meet all challenges more effectively and wisely, if we do it TOGETHER!

The health and safety of our staff, students and community is at the heart of the decisions and plans for reopening Arlington Schools. Addressing the COVID-19 Pandemic impact is an ongoing challenge that requires us to monitor and respond daily.

In June, we implemented the Reopening Arlington Schools 2020 (RAS20) Committee comprised of teachers, parents, community members, teachers, classified staff, students and administrators. This committee met through the summer to finalize a recommendation for a six step reopening plan for the 2020/21 school year. Sincere thanks and appreciation for the RAS20 Committee Members listed here.RAS

The six step reopening plan is a progressive continuum where the ultimate goal is five days of in-person instruction when the coronavirus transmission rates in our community and county show sustained improvement. Moment from step to step will be determined by multiple factors including the impacts of the changing health situation both at the county and local levels, available resources and our readiness to comply with the requirements and direction from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), Governor and the Health Department(s).

The 2020-21 school year started on step three of the six step plan with most students engaged in enhanced distance learning 2.0, and with some students participating on campus with in-person instruction who have been identified as having the greatest need of additional support. Conversations started in early September to determine the timing for moving into step 4.

A Decision Tree was published by the Health Department to identify the provisions of in-person learning among public and private K-12 schools during COVID-19. To localize this, Arlington Public Schools created a decision flow chart and a data/information collection log to monitor, plan and prepare for moving more students to in-person instruction.

It is our greatest desire to have school return to five days of in-person instruction as soon as possible. We understand that our decisions impact families, students and staff. We will continue to monitor all factors required to move from step to step and make informed decisions that not only focus on increasing student learning but to do so in a safe and caring environment.

We remain steadfast in our commitment to educate, prepare and inspire each Arlington student to learn and achieve at high levels even in a variety of learning modes such as distance learning, hybrid, online, committed distance learning and in-person instruction.

With your help, we’ve got this and we will meet all challenges better TOGETHER!

Passionate for Student Learning,

Dr. Chrys Sweeting
Arlington Public Schools