<b>Police Reach Out In Columbia Heights</b>

On Thursday, Feb. 19, the Arlington Police Department will co-host a community forum with the Latino Arlington Committee and the Urban Alternative, an education-focused community outreach organization based in Columbia Heights West. The meeting will address law enforcement-related issues that affect Arlington’s Latino and immigrant populations, and the event is designed to be a conversation between the Department and those communities. Police Chief Douglas Scott will make a short presentation and then will answer questions from the audience. The forum will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 19, at the Arlington Mill Center, 4975 Columbia Pike.

<b>Zimmerman Receives Leadership Award</b>

Arlington County Board Member Christopher Zimmerman received the first “Livable Communities Leadership Award” from the Washington Regional Network for Livable Communities.

WRN is a non-profit organization promoting smart growth for the Washington, D.C. area. It established the Livable Communities Leadership Award to recognize individuals for outstanding efforts to create a region that can accommodate growth while creating diverse, livable communities, and protect the environment.

The award will be presented at a Feb. 23 reception in Washington.

WRN cited Zimmerman’s leadership in three areas: innovative transportation initiatives, transit-oriented development and affordable housing.

As a WMATA board member, Zimmerman has promoted better pedestrian and bicycle access to Metrorail, enhanced bus service, transit technologies, and strongly advocated for re-investment in the system’s aging infrastructure, WRN noted. He also has championed the creation of lively and walkable neighborhoods, advocated for transit service and affordable housing during his tenure on the Arlington County Board, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority board, and the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments.

More information about WRN is available online at <a href=""></a>.

<b>Schools Conduct Survey</b>

Beginning last month and continuing until March, Development Associates will survey members of the Arlington Public Schools community to determine their satisfaction with the educational services and learning environments within the school system.

Development Associates began surveying randomly selected samples of Arlington community members and parents, teachers and students in late January. APS staff expect to conclude in mid-March.

Community members and parents are being contacted by phone. Students and teachers are being asked to complete written questionnaires. The school system expects to gather responses from approximately 500 community members and a similar number of parents, teachers and students by early March.

Phone surveyors fluent in both Spanish and English seek information on community impressions of and experiences with the Arlington Public Schools. During the 10-minute survey, Development Associates will ask for parents by name; but survey responses are kept confidential.

Superintendent Robert G. Smith will include the survey results in his September report of the degree of accomplishment of the 2003-1004 Annual Priorities, Arlington Public Schools' goals and objectives.

Lisa Stengle, assistant director of evaluations, said the school system hopes to improve the participation of Spanish-speaking community members by using phone surveyors who are fluent in both Spanish and English and to provide a better experience for those parents.

During the 10-minute phone survey, interviewers seek information on community impressions of and experiences with the Arlington Public Schools. Several questions ask residents to assign "letter grades" of "A," "B," "C," etc., to represent how well the Arlington Public Schools educates students, spends tax dollars and supports the overall development of the county's young people. Questions also are designed so that results can be compared with those gathered from national education surveys sponsored by Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitude Toward Public School.

For more information on the customer satisfaction surveys, contact Stengle, assistant director of evaluation for Arlington Public Schools, at 703-228-8663.


The sidebar to the story “‘Lion’s’ Share of Suffering” (Jan. 28-Feb. 4) should have said that the Signature in the Schools’ play “In the Lion’s Den” runs school performances at 10 a.m. Feb. 9-Feb. 13, and as a public performance at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 14. More information is available online at <a href=""></a>.