With nearly 40 schools and programs, Arlington parents find a wide range of educational offerings. Arlington County public schools boast that their19,000 students come from around the world and speak some 80 languages.
That means students have the opportunity to grow and learn in a diverse and sophisticated student population. But Arlington also offers a variety of unusual programs, including two schools offering partial Spanish-language immersion programs, schools with a focus on science or a traditional curriculum, alternative schools offering Montessori programs and flexible curricula and one of the nation’s most advanced electronic classrooms.
In addition, Arlington students can take Advanced Placement classes, an International Baccalaureate program, classes at the county Career Center offering advanced vocational and technical training.
Arlington students consistently place above state and national averages on standardized tests. For example, the average combined verbal and math SAT scores for Arlington high school students in 2004 was 1,085, compared to the state average of 1,024 and the national average of 1,026.
Arlington Public Schools’ Web site: www.arlington.k12.va.us
<bt>There are five elected members of the Arlington School Board. Members are elected at-large for staggered four year terms. Each year, for three successive years, one member is elected by the county at large; in the fourth year, two members are elected.
The Board sets all school policies, appoints the membership of citizen advisory groups, and is the ultimate authority in personnel and discipline decisions. In addition, the School Board is responsible for managing the money for the school system, by reviewing the annual budget proposal submitted by the School Superintendent and appropriating funds for school programs after the County Board has adopted its annual budget.
The Superintendent is the chief administrator for the school system, responsible to the school board and appointed by Board members for an indefinite term. The superintendent appoints school principles and the heads of school system divisions.
As required by law, the superintendent annually submits a proposed school budget to the school board, and a capital improvement plan every two years. He also makes policy recommendations to Board members.
<lst>School Board office:
1426 N. Quincy St.
Arlington, Va. 22207
2004 School Board Members:
* Chair Libby Garvey
* Vice Chair David M. Foster
* Members Frank Wilson, Elaine S. Fourlow, and Mary Hughes Hynes.
Robert G. Smith
1426 N. Quincy St.
Arlington, Va. 22207
<bt>School begins on the first Tuesday after Labor Day. To register a first-time student, parents should bring a birth certificate, Social Security number and proof of Arlington residence (such as a lease, mortgage or property deed) to their neighborhood school, or the school system’s registration Intake Center at 2801 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 305. Transfer students should bring their most recent report card. Parents should bring all required documents to the school office, or to the Intake Center to register.
The Intake Center handles students who do not speak English, or who were born outside the United States. Parents must make an appointment at the Center by calling 703-228-7663.
<bt>Each neighborhood school has its own established attendance zone. Call the Community Services Office at 703-228-6005 or the Family Information Center at 703-228-7660 to learn the schools that serve your address. Parents and students are not limited to their assigned schools; other options include applying to one of the county's alternative programs or requesting a transfer to another neighborhood school.
<bt>To make sure all students are reasonably healthy, first-time public school students are required to have a physical examination and immunization against DPT (diphtheria, pertussis/whooping cough, tetanus), MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and polio. Upon entering kindergarten, first and sixth grades, new students must have a second immunization for measles, mumps, and rubella. In addition, the written results of tuberculin skin test taken within the past year are required. Call the School Health Office at 703-228-1650.
<sh>Transportation to School
<bt>Getting to school should not be a problem for students who do not live within walking distance of their schools. They can utilize free transportation, in the form of a school bus, offered by the county. Walking distance is defined as one mile for elementary students (grades K-5) and a mile and a half for secondary students (grades 6-12). Call the Transportation Office at 703-228-6640.
<sh>After-School Care Programs
<bt>The Extended Day program goes from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and details are available from the individual elementary schools. At the middle school level, there is a check-in program that takes place only after school until 6 p.m. For more information or to enroll a child, call the Extended Day office at 703-228-6069 for more information.