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Arlington Students Return

Students in Arlington returned to school Tuesday after summer vacation.

Arlington's 33 schools began the academic year after Labor Day with a revised schedule, including five possible make-up days to account for bad weather. Theresa Bratt, principal of Barrett Elementary, said the first day of the year was running smoothly as of that morning, though some younger children showed clear signs of separation anxiety after being dropped off by parents.

Arlington schools are showing marked improvement in test scores, in sppite of six that failed to meet the yearly federal standards for academic progress. A report released by the school board Aug. 31 revealed SAT scores among Arlington students are at their highest level in 22 years, exceeding the statewide average by 61 points and the national average by 59. Superintendent Rob Smith credited students and parents for the improvements.

"The rising scores can be attributed to a number of factors but they are mostly due to the hard work of the students and the support they get from their parents and teachers," Smith said.

A recent school board survey of Arlington residents also revealed most are satisfied with the performance and quality of local schools. Eighty-three percent of Arlingtonians said they believe their tax dollars are being well spent by the school system.

At its Sept. 9 meeting, the Arlington School Board revealed it will consider changes to the boundaries of schools north of Arlington Boulevard in an effort to alleviate crowding in some schools. The board is in the process of appointing a committee to study the possible changes.