Electronic Friday Folder -- October 9th, 2020

Mark Your Calendar: Upcoming ASFS Dates
  • Monday, 10/12 - No School for Students (Columbus Day)
  • Thursday, 10/22 - Early Release (Parent-Teacher Conferences)
  • Friday, 10/23 - No School for Students (Parent-Teacher Conferences)

Please visit the ASFS Master Calendar for all 2020-21 school year dates.


Greetings from the ASFS PTA

Thanks to everyone who attended our October PTA Meeting on Tuesday evening, especially so many of our ASFS teachers. See below for details, and thank you for your questions, feedback, and overall support, despite all the uncertainty with the return to school and elementary school boundary changes. As Ms. Begley shared, we really do have the best parents and teachers. Keep reaching out with your questions and thoughts - we are all in this together.

Enjoy a wonderful holiday weekend with no school for students this Monday! --Dena Porter, ASFS PTA President​

Monday, October 12th - No School for Students

October ASFS PTA Meeting Follow-up

Thanks to our ASFS PTA for voting to approve the three items on this month's electronic ballot - we are very grateful for your support!

  • September ASFS PTA Meeting Minutes
  • Capital Project Request: ASFS ELA Team (Revised Proposal)
  • Project Proposal Request - Floor Mats for New Relocatables

For those who missed our ASFS PTA Meeting on October 6th, or would like copies of the presentations, the Zoom recording files, draft meeting minutes, and other materials, you can find them posted here: ASFS PTA Meeting Materials (10/6/20)

Save the date for our next ASFS PTA meeting coming up on Tuesday, November 3rd at 7pm via Zoom!

Confirm Your Learning Model Selection by Wednesday, 10/21

Review APS Superintendent Dr. Duran's School Talk Message from 10/7/20 on the Revised Plan for Hybrid/In-Person LearningAPS has extended the deadline for Level 2 families to update their selections to Wednesday, October 21. Click for details and instructions: Selection Process for Families, and visit APS ParentVUE to review or make updates to your selections.


APS will adjust student grouping for the return levels, to accommodate the adjustments to the hybrid model, and to ensure that students with IEPs and English Learners are able transition with their general education peers. The dates listed below for each phase are projected dates that we are working toward, and are subject to change based on health, safety, and operational metrics.

Level 1: Projected Return Date – Mid to Late October (No Change)

  • Students with Disabilities (SWDs) who require direct support to access distance learning.

Level 2: Projected Phased Return – Beginning Mid to Late November (NEW)

  • All PreK-5th grade students, including PreK-5th grade English Learners and SWDs with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), and high school students enrolled in selected Career & Technical Education (CTE) courses at the Career Center.
  • Students phase in, in groups, according to the following projected timeline:
  • Starting Week of November 10*: PreK, Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade students, plus CTE students
  • Starting Week of December 1: 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students begin
  • All projected dates are subject to health and safety and operational metrics and may be changed as necessary.

Level 3: Projected Return Date – Mid-January (NEW)

  • All APS middle and high school students who selected hybrid, in-person instruction
  • Specific phases to be announced at a later date

NEW: APS Elementary School Boundary Proposal 

With revised elementary school boundaries to go into effect for the fall of 2021, APS presented the Initial Boundary Proposal this week. Below is the close up of the ASFS and New ES at the Key site map. For complete details, visit: https://www.apsva.us/engage/fall2020elementaryboundaries/

Additional information, including data, FAQs and school details, may be found on the APS website, and see below for more useful resources:

For ASFS questions and feedback, please contact:


Volunteers Needed! Keep Our ASFS Gardens Beautiful

We need your help to keep ASFS beautiful! Click below to sign up for a week at a time to weed the front gardens. Come anytime during your assigned week as it fits into your schedule! A great way to spend time outside and support our school, and all instructions and supplies will be provided.

ASFS Gardening Volunteer Sign-Up

Please contact Rebecca Ferree with any questions.


Support Our School: Painting Volunteers Needed

Volunteer to Help Paint Our Trailers!

Looking for a fun way to get out of the house and contribute to the ASFS community?

If you have driven by school, you may have noticed that we have some new (to us) trailers. To help make these trailers feel more like home for our students we have the opportunity to paint them and make them feel refreshed.  

If you would like to spend some time painting and helping ASFS, please reach out to Kristen Jeffreys.

*Masks and social distancing will be mandatory.

Walk, Bike, and Roll! ASFS Walktober Challenge

If you haven't already heard, October is WALKTOBER for all Arlington schools, as a way to celebrate our annual Walk, Bike and Roll to School event 2020 style -- i.e. a little differently, safely, yet with spirit! 

We'll be seeing activity ideas and safety resources from County organizers all month long, but here at ASFS we thought we'd kick things off with a CHALLENGE. 

The ASFS PTA hereby challenges you to make the most of what should be a beautiful month outdoors. Set a mileage goal for your family, and if you feel like it, challenge other friends and neighbors! You could compete mile for mile, or percentage of goal reached, for example, anything you like as long as it is in the spirit of fun.

You can set your family's goal, make a challenge and track progress here, and be sure to post some photos on our Celebrating ASFS 2020-21 KudoboardLet's see how far we can travel together. Happy Walktober!​​


Odyssey of the Mind - Sign Up by Monday, 10/19

Calling all those interested in joining the creative problem-solving competition that teaches students from kindergarten through college CREATIVITY with the use the Arts, STEM, Critical Thinking and Teamwork as tools to think beyond the box! 

Odyssey of the Mind is an international creative problem-solving program that engages students in their learning by allowing their ideas to come to life in an exciting, productive environment.  It allows them to learn how to evaluate ideas, work with budgets and deadlines, and improves their communication skills. It also increases their self-esteem and confidence, and develops their critical thinking skills.  

If interested in being a Contestant, a Coach, a Judge and/or a Volunteer, this is the time to sign-up!  Please submit the attached Interest Form by October 19 electronically to dhakura@hotmail.com

Please note Volunteer Coaches and Judges will be trained!   The number of teams we have is limited by the number of volunteers we have.  Please note, the competition this year will be Virtual.  Please reach out to Dima Hakura if you have any questions at dhakura@hotmail.com

ASFS Odyssey of the Mind Interest Form

National PTA Reflections Contest - Entries Due by Friday, 10/30

Calling all ASFS student artists! The National PTA Reflections Contest is a nationally acclaimed student recognition program to encourage artistic creativity in the classroom and at home. The 2020-2021 theme is "I Matter Because… " All students are welcome to enter in one or all categories: Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography, and Visual Arts. Click for the form to submit along with your contest entry: ASFS Reflections Contest Entry Form 2020 (PDF Version)

All submissions are due by Friday October 30th. You may submit your entry form(s) and entries electronically to: reflections@asfspta.com, or contact reflections@asfspta.com to deliver physical items. (Note: For the school level, you may submit photos of entries in the Photography and Visual Arts categories, but winners will need to provide their physical entries for submission to the county level before 11/12.)

Additional details, including contest rules, may found here: National PTA Reflections Contest

Connect With Families: Online ASFS PTA Directory 2020-21

The online 2020-21 ASFS PTA Directory is available for ASFS families! With virtual learning this fall, the PTA Directory is a great way to reach out to parents in your class. You can search by grade, class, or name, and set your preferences for what information you would like displayed. Click below to view the directory, also available from top menu on the PTA website and accessible on your mobile device:

2020-21 ASFS PTA Directory

​​​​​You can opt in to be included in the ASFS PTA Directory anytime, and your information will be included in the next ASFS PTA Directory update:

  1. Login to ParentVUE to complete the APS Annual Online Verification Process.
  2. Select 'Yes' for each of your ASFS students under PTA Directory Information.

APS has requested that all parents complete the Annual Online Verification Process (AOVP) by October 30th, and we encourage all ASFS families to opt into the PTA Directory as part of this process in order to connect with fellow ASFS families! To date, 53% of ASFS students have opted into the PTA Directory, and congratulations to Ms. Leonard's 2nd grade class for having the highest % of students with 71% total!


ASFS Grab & Go Library Book Pick-up

Christine A'Hearn, ASFS Librarian

ASFS Grab & Go Library Book Pick Up Instructions

  • Location – Front door of ASFS
  • Date and Times – Please come only on these days and times:
    • Mondays from 2:00 - 6:00 pm
    • Thursdays from 11:00 - 1:00 pm
  • Books can be returned at the same time and location.
  • If you cannot come, please email thomas.mcguire@apsva.us.

All book requests must be made by Thursday night – they will be ready for pick up on Monday. We will send an email on Monday letting you know what books are ready for pick up. For more information, please visit the ASFS Library Grab and Go webpage, and click below for instructions: 

ASFS Grab and Go Library Books Video

APS Expanded Walk Zones for Return to School

Due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, APS buses will only be able to carry 11 students at a time; for routes that typically carry a heavy load of bus riders, this will require several trips back and forth to school.  This is a big change from what we usually carry and means that we must make some changes to where and how we pick up bus riders so we can focus our bus service on routes that are farthest from school and allow them to move quickly between stops and school.

For Science Focus, the expanded ASFS walk zone is below (in the pink and blue shaded areas), and may also be found online: ASFS Expanded Walk Zone SY20-21 MapStudents who live in the expanded walk zone will not be assigned a bus route. 

APS is highly encouraging families to walk or bike to school from the expanded zones.  Not only will it allow families to avoid vehicle congestion and the need to find a parking space around their school, but it will give students an opportunity for some movement before the start of what will otherwise be a fairly sedentary day. More information can be found on the APS SY20-21 Expanded Walk Zones page.

New Elementary School at the Key Site Updates

As part of planning for the opening of the new elementary school at the Key site in the fall of 2021, sign up below for opportunities to engage with Claire Peters, Principal at the New Elementary School at the Key Site:

  • Small, informal virtual chats on MS Teams Tuesday and Thursday evenings in October
  • Sign up for a session through Sign up Genius link:

Sign-Up for Virtual Chats with Claire Peters

Click to see Claire Peters' presentation from the ASFS PTA meeting with an overview of the new elementary school: ASFS Presentation - New Elementary School (10/6/20)

Please feel free to email Ms. Peters with any questions - thank you!

News From Special Education Parent-Teacher Association (SEPTA)

Returning to In-Person (Hybrid) Learning: The language on the APS website changed again this morning, back to giving Level 2 parents flexibility to reconsider your selected method of learning when APS moves to Phase 3. 

RAN: If your child is being testing in Reading, Executive Functioning issues or Slow Processing Speed, understanding RAN at school and at home. "RAN tests can be very helpful for early identification of reading issues". THANK YOU to everyone who has been working with the VDOE in regard to RAN/RAS. Our teachers, reading specialist, dyslexia advisors, and administrators must be more knowledgeable about Rapid Automatized Naming. Staff working directly with students need to have at least a basic understanding of how a student’s Rapid Automatized Naming strengths and weakness can affect that student’s ability to learn to read, as well as other aspects of learning that require fluency and processing speed (such as math facts).



Special Education Parent-Teacher Associations (SEPTA) Sponsored Virtual Activities

ADHD: CHADD of Northern VA and DC Annual Resource Fair Tuesdays, October 6 - 27, 7pm-8:30pm. Four outstanding lectures in our 2020 ADHD Resource Fair to celebrate ADHD Awareness month! https://www.chadd.net/event/2dd1c04c-962e-458e-a47c-90ae01f71319

Dyslexia Awareness Month 2020: Although we will miss seeing you in person this fall, we are excited to present a virtual conference in acknowledgement of Dyslexia Awareness Month, 2020, with events scheduled throughout the month. Please register for sessions below, and check out the free Resources section, as well. https://www.apsva.us/dyslexia-conference-2020/

Falling into Place: Celebrating Family Resilience Saturday, October 17th: 9:45am-10:45am and 11am-Noon
Register here 
Foster, adoptive and kinship families, are invited to a virtual Falling into Place: Celebrating Family Resilience family event. Learn more
Note: Children and youth who register by 5 PM Thursday, October 8 will be MAILED a craft kit for use during the sessions on October 17. Sponsored by Formed Families Forward

Making Transitions easier for children with disabilities begins October 11- November 23 - Transition University is a self-paced online series to assist families in planning for transition of going back to school or any other transition as is life. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fall-2020-transition-university-virtual-training-registration-80304507945

Managing Unstructured Time (Sponsored by REACH) - October 27th: 7pm Register here
REACH is excited to announce a Parent Support Series. These groups will be geared towards families and caregivers of individuals with developmental disabilities. This is a wonderful opportunity for families and caregivers to engage in information sharing, learning, and collaboration. Registration will end 10/23/20. Registration is mandatory. Additional upcoming sessions:

  • Tuesday (11/17) – Understanding challenging behaviors
  • Tuesday (12/15) – Community resources

Project Core Parent Series begins Monday, October 12 - January 11: Project Core is a 12-part series of learning modules that aims to build capacity to support students of all ages with disabilities and complex communication needs who are emerging in their communication and literacy skills. While this series was designed for educators, we believe that the information is important for families so they can support the development of their children’s communication skills in the home, community environments, and partner with school staff to support learning. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScGd7_R2Cwoki7Qq10v-1b5H_7AElh9DroD3WsE84pCN6VXBA/viewform

​​​Therapeutic Recreation Office October Programs (NOTE: Arlington Therapeutic Rec offers onsite support for children with needs)

  • Adapted Nature Hike in-person at Barcroft Park, Sunday, October 18th 1:30-3:30pm All are welcome to join us on a leisurely-paced hike. For full details: https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/VAARLINGTON/2020/09/18/file_attachments/1550024/October%20Welcome%20Back%20Flier.pdf
  • Rec on Wheels: ​​​​Come out to the parks to Play, Learn, and Have Fun with us during our free Rec on Wheels park program! Enjoy fun engaging activities with us such as creative and expressive art, field games, and more! Register kids and adults. Staff from our Therapeutic Recreation department will be onsite at this program to offer support needs for all to participate! REGISTER HERE FOR OCTOBER​​​​


APS News & Updates

Leigh Rex, VP External Affairs

***Watch the October 8th Arlington School Board Meeting to hear Dr. Duran's presentation on the APS School Year 2020-21 Update, including the latest on the return to school (see the revised timeline below), and revisions to the hybrid model for instruction.***

Here are a few key APS links relevant to ASFS families. For the latest updates and changes, bookmark the ASFS PTA APS Updates page. ​​​​​

APS Initiatives and Items to Watch for October

Ways to Engage: 


Enrichment Opportunities for Interested Families


Looking for additional activities outside of the school day and ways to connect with other Arlington families? Here are some enrichment opportunities for those interested:

For questions or to learn more, please reach out to the contacts listed directly, and if you are aware of additional programs that may be of interest, feel free to share any ideas!

​​​​​Please send all eFF submissions to Puja Valiyil by EOD Wednesdays. All content will be subject to approval by ASFS administration and the ASFS PTA.