APS Updates


Check back here to stay informed and engaged about the latest happenings affecting our school and community.


On Thursday, December 6th, the APS School Board officially approved Superintendent Patrick Murphy’s recommendation for South Arlington elementary school boundaries. You can view the full presentation here, or you can watch the School Board Meeting here.

The School Board also voted on and approved a grandfathering policy for South Arlington. Under the policy, current 4th grade students (next year’s 5th graders) and concurrently enrolled younger siblings can remain in their current school for the 2019-20 school year, and transportation will be provided. However, once the 5th graders move to middle school, their siblings will have to attend their new school as defined by the new boundaries. School Board member Barbara Kanninen moved to amend the policy to extend grandfathering to rising 3rd and 4th graders and their concurrent siblings, allowing all students to remain at their current schools until they move to middle school; however, this motion failed at a 1-4 vote. Opposing board members sited cost, logistics, and community cohesion as reasons for their dissenting vote. The original motion, to grandfather rising 5th graders and their siblings for one year, passed unanimously.

In news related to our school, the School Board approved the contract with The Matthews Group for installation of the synthetic turf field at ASFS. Mrs. Begley will keep us informed as to the timeline of this work.



At the School Board meeting on 11-8-18, Superintendent Dr. Murphy provided the APS School Board with his proposal for South Arlington elementary school boundaries (more information is here). The School Board will vote on the proposal on December 6th, and the boundaries will take effect for the 2019-20 school year. At this time, we have no additional information on the ASFS/Key building swap, other than what has already been shared in our previous update below.

In the spring, it will be important that we pay attention to the APS budget process, as APS staff is predicting a substantial shortfall. Cutbacks could very well affect our community. We will continue to follow the process, and we will keep you updated here. For more information on the APS budget direction, click here.



Monique O'Grady (APS School Board Member), Lisa Stengle (Executive Director of APS Planning and Evaluation), and Meg Tuccillo (Consultant for APS Planning and Evaluation) met with ASFS parents in the library to answer some of our questions about the ASFS/Key swap on September 18th. Though no new information has been published at this time (see update from 9-11-18), we tried to seek clarity around a few key issues. Here are some of the highlights:

  • APS will release a timeline for community engagement in January 2019. Topics around which they will seek our feedback include:
    • The timing of the swap (2020 or 2021)
    • The impact on transfer students and their siblings
    • The impact of boundary changes, which would take place for the remaining APS elementary schools in 2021
    • What materials/structures are unique to ASFS that would need to be rebuilt in the new building, and how does this take place? (There are budget implications here, but no amount has been specified. The panel and our community noted that the amount quoted in the August 13th memo is a rough estimate based ONLY on materials and is likely not accurate.)
  • APS staff and the School Board are currently working on boundaries for elementary schools in south Arlington; thus, we shouldn't expect to hear more information regarding the swap until after the south Arlington boundary process is complete in January.
    • In the meantime, it is suggested that our community do some "internal work," such as creating lists of those structures that are unique to our program and researching the number of transfer students and siblings that will remain in our community over the next 2-3 years.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Kate Merrill or Dena Porter.



On August 28th, APS Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy announced that ASFS and Key will “swap” buildings in either Fall 2020 or Fall 2021. This removes our community from the Fall 2018 boundary process. This means that ASFS boundaries will not change in the 2019-20 school year. As this swap represents a programmatic switch and not a change in boundaries, Dr. Murphy does not need school board approval to make this decision.

APS staff has released additional information over the last week (see the overview posted here), including two memos exchanged between APS staff and the School Board prior to the work session. The August 13th Memo is particularly informative, as it provides thorough detail around the rationale for the swap (see pp. 2-4). The factors that led to the decision include the effort to maintain diversity and to minimize the impact to ASFS families by relocating the school to sit geographically within the current boundary. The memo also indicates that administrative transfers will be able to make the move to the new building once the swap is made (this is referenced on p. 2).

APS will release a timeline for community engagement related to the swap in January 2019. In the meantime, please continue to stay informed by:

  • Continuing to check the APS Updates page on our website
  • Monitoring APS Engage website, particularly the ASFS-Key School Building Swap page
  • Attending the Speaker Event at ASFS on September 18th at 7:00pm in the Library with Monique O’Grady (Arlington School Board member and ASFS School Board Liaison)

You are also always welcome to reach out to us with any questions. We will continue to engage with APS staff and school board members to ensure that the fidelity of our program is maintained and that the needs of our community are taken into consideration. We will continue to keep you informed of the latest updates as they are made available. Thank you for your support as we work together throughout this process.



APS held a work session on Tuesday, 8/28 to discuss the Elementary School boundary process. You can watch the meeting here, and view the full presentation here. At present, ASFS is no longer being considered in the Fall 2018 boundary process. Instead, ASFS and Key will swap buildings in either 2020 or 2021. This move may also include some boundary changes, but we do not have any other details at this time.  A timeline related to the swap will be published in January 2019. We will continue to update this page as more information become available.

Previous APS Updates.pdf


To stay engaged and informed of relevant APS initiatives, we encourage all parents to:


APS Ambassadors Program

APS Ambassadors is a new program established by Arlington Public Schools.  ASFS has two representatives appointed by our ASFS Principal, Mary Begley, whose role is to communicate relevant information from APS to our school community as well as collect any feedback from ASFS parents, teachers, and staff to take back to APS.  Please feel free to contact ASFS's two representatives with any questions or feedback related to APS: 

See the complete List of APS Ambassadors by school, and visit the APS Ambassadors page for more information.



Please feel free to reach out to Kate Merrill (VP External Affairs) with any questions.