Electronic Friday Folder -- October 16, 2020

Mark Your Calendar: Upcoming ASFS Dates
  • Monday, 10/19 - A Day in the Life of Hybrid at ASFS (7:00-8:00pm, via Zoom)
  • Tuesday, 10/20 - A Day in the Life of Hybrid at ASFS (8:00-8:50am, via Zoom)
  • Thursday, 10/22 - Early Release (Parent-Teacher Conferences)
  • Friday, 10/23 - No School for Students (Parent-Teacher Conferences)
  • Tuesday, 10/27-Wednesday, 10/28 (NEW) - Asynchronous Learning Days
  • Tuesday, 11/3 - No School for Students (Grade Preparation Day, Election Day)
  • Tuesday, 11/3 - November ASFS PTA Meeting (7:00-8:30pm, with An Overview of Social-Emotional Learning by Ms. Hawthorne and Ms. Proietti)

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


Greetings from the ASFS PTA

So much happening, and things are evolving every day! Please take time to read through the eFF this week - lots of important information below, including Asynchronous Learning Days (10/27-10/28), A Day in the Life of Hybrid at ASFS, Confirming Your Learning Model Selection, Virtual Halloween Parade, APS ES Boundary Questionnaire, Saying Thank You to Teachers, and many ways to support our school and get involved. THANK YOU for your continued engagement and support! --Dena Porter, ASFS PTA President​


Tuesday, 10/27-Wednesday, 10/28: Asynchronous Learning Days

From Bridget Loft, APS Assistant Superintendent: Please note that APS has added two professional learning days for Levels 1 and 2 teachers and staff on Tue, Oct. 27, and Wed, Oct. 28, to prepare for the transition to hybrid/in-person learning.  All Level 1 students, elementary students and select Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes will be asynchronous on those two dates, with students focused on completing prepared lessons independently.

Mark Your Calendar: A Day in the Life of Hybrid at ASFS

Still confirming your learning model selection? If you are interested in learning more about what the hybrid model will look like at ASFS, mark your calendar for A Day in the Life of Hybrid at ASFS on Monday, October 19th from 7:00-8:00pm (evening session) or Tuesday, October 20th from 8:00-8:50am (morning session). Ms. Begley and Ms. Jones will provide an overview of what in-person learning will look like, including lunch, recess, and specials, arrival and dismissal routines, health and safety procedures, highlights for asynchronous/synchronous learning on virtual days, and other details to consider.
Parents have through Wednesday, October 21st to select their preferred instructional delivery method, so we encourage all parents to attend. Any updates to teacher assignments will not be known until after staff and parent responses are collected. Our goal is to provide as much information as we know on what students' days would look like in the hybrid model, so you can make the best decision for your family.

Monday, October 19th 7:00-8:00pm

Zoom Meeting Details

Tuesday, October 20th 8:00-8:50am

Zoom Meeting Details

Confirm Your Learning Model Selection By Wednesday, 10/21

Review APS Superintendent Dr. Duran's October 13th Weekly Update for the latest on the return to school. APS has extended the deadline for Level 2 families to update their preferred learning model selection to Wednesday, October 21st. See the Selection Process for Families for details and instructions, and visit APS ParentVUE to review or make updates to your selections.

APS will hold a virtual town hall to address family questions this Friday, October 16th from 5:00-6:00pm. Details on how to view the town hall are available on Engage with APS.

Return Level 2 Students: Projected Phased Return – Beginning Mid November to early December

  • 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 (list of courses in Level 2).
  • Students phase in, in groups, according to the following projected timeline:
    • Starting Wed, November 12*: Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade students, plus CTE students (* Wed, Nov. 11 is a holiday, so students on the Tue/Wed schedule will be in person one day that week.)
    • Starting Week of Tues, December 1: 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students begin


Send Your Photos by 10/26: ASFS Virtual Halloween Parade!

Since we are unable to host our annual ASFS Halloween Parade this year, we will celebrate virtually! Send us your Halloween photos, and save the date for our ASFS Virtual Halloween Parade - Friday, October 30th during the morning announcements!

If you'd like, send a photo of your child(ren) dressed in their Halloween costumes to Dena Porter by Noon on Monday, October 26th, and feel free to include grade level(s) in your email. Thanks to Ms. Hall, we'll put together a virtual parade video for our entire community to enjoy. (Note: We'll be posting the video link on social media, so sending your photo confirms your permission to share online.) 

Share Your Input! APS ES Boundary Proposal Questionnaire Closes 10/20

Complete the Community Questionnaire on the Initial APS Elementary School Boundary Proposal by October 20th! All ASFS families are encouraged to share their input, and please spread the word to others in your neighborhood, including those with children not yet enrolled in APS. APS has stated that the initial boundary proposal provides a starting point, and revisions will be made to the Superintendent’s recommendation for boundaries. 

With revised elementary school boundaries to go into effect for the fall of 2021, APS presented the Initial Boundary Proposal on 10/5/20. 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:


Saying Thank You & Showing Kindness - Parent/Teacher Conferences


We have all come to have a deeper understanding and much deeper appreciation for all our teachers do for our children daily!

Teachers are amazing on a normal school day, but now that we are all distance learning it is much harder. Teachers prepare virtual lessons everyday, recording videos of themselves trying to connect with our children in a meaningful way, some while homeschooling their own children. None of this is easy for any of us, but we try everyday to do better and be better. Teachers try to keep this new normal as normal as possible. Now is the time to double down our gratitude and kindness!

During Parent Teacher Conference please take the time to THANK YOUR TEACHER FOR ALL THEY DO! Feel free to send your teacher an e-thank you card, this will cost nothing but would be greatly appreciated. You could also have your student or you leave a message on the application they use to communicate with their teachers.

Kindness is a virtue. 

If you have any questions feel free to reach out at oubenadi@icloud.com.

All About Lexia Reading Core5

ASFS ELA (English Language Arts) Team

What Lexia is:

  • Lexia Reading Core5™ is a technology-based reading program that provides explicit and in-depth instruction on six areas of reading (phonemic awareness, phonics, structural analysis, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension) for students in Pre-K through Grade 5.
  • Core5 provides an adaptive and individualized learning experience that enables students at every tier of instruction to advance their reading skills development. Built upon Lexia’s research-proven methodology, Core5 is a comprehensive technology-based reading skills program.
  • Auto Placement is a tool used only once when students first login to Lexia Reading Core5. It is designed to place each student in the appropriate program level as defined by Lexia. The information provided by the auto placement suggests, within the program, the “sweet spot” for instructional areas in which students may need practice and time to work on one or more of the six areas of reading.
  • Auto Placement begins automatically the first time a student logs into Core5. Auto Placement uses content from Lexia Reading Core5 word recognition (phonological awareness/phonics/ structural analysis) and comprehension (vocabulary/comprehension) activities. Students begin the Auto Placement activities based on their assigned grade level.
  • Teachers and administrators receive real-time reports on individual student progress towards mastery of standards, as well as student-specific action plans to provide intervention and improve performance on year-end assessments.

What Lexia is not:

  • Lexia levels will not always align with reading level expectations for a student and are not correlated to a DRA or Fountas and Pinnell reading level. 
  • The Lexia measures will not always neatly align with the reading expectations for a student's grade level because it is also personalized to the individual student and individual skills in which they may need practice.
  • Lexia is not a replacement for reading engaging, authentic texts. 

Parents may find additional information at: https://www.lexialearning.com/remote-learning/families/core5/overview (English only)


Keep Our ASFS Book Cabinet Stocked

It's great to see so many families enjoying books from our ASFS Book Cabinet! 

We need your help to keep our ASFS Book Cabinet stocked. Just a reminder to return books you are finished with or bring any other Kindergarten-5th Grade level book donations to the Returns Bin outside the front doors at ASFS, so that we can continue to provide books for students to read this school year. Thank you!​​​

Food Pantry Collection @ ASFS

Arlington Science Focus School is teaming up with Key Elementary to support their already existing food pantry.  Please consider donating canned goods to families that need assistance. If you would like to donate, a bin will be outside the front doors of ASFS from 8:00am-4:00pm Monday through Friday. Anyone that needs assistance will be able to access the food pantry at the Key site and take what is needed.  

Canned Items in Demand:

  • Vegetables 
  • Protein (mostly beans)
  • Fruit
  • Whole Meals (i.e. chef Boyardee, canned pasta)

Contact Kristen Jeffreys with questions or ways to volunteer.

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! 

There are different activity ideas and safety resources from County organizers all month long, so do we, here at ASFS we, we've kicked things off with a CHALLENGE. And so far we've walked/biked/rolled 307,8 miles this means that we could easily walk to New York, Pittsburgh, Virginia beach boardwalk, and even further, so don't stop and let's see how far we can make it all together.  

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. Take your dog for a longer walk, walk/ride a bike, or roll to school to pick up your library books, or when going to sports practice, or just get out there with no reason to get some fresh air and check out the Halloween decorations around your neighborhood. 

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 Kudoboard (we do want to see the Halloween decorations too). Let's see how far we can travel together. Happy Walktober!​​


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.

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

LAST CALL! 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 THIS MONDAY, October 19TH 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


Updated Times: ASFS Grab & Go Library Book Pick-up

Christine A'Hearn, ASFS Librarian

Please note the updated times below for the ASFS Grab & Go Library Book Pick Up:

  • Location – Front door of ASFS
  • Date and Times:
    • Mondays from 3:00 - 5:00 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.

For more information, please visit the ASFS Library Grab and Go webpage, and click below for instructions: 

ASFS Grab and Go Library Books Video

Sign Up for New Elementary School Principal Chats

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!

New CCPTA Monthly Newsletter - Sign Up to Subscribe

The Arlington County Council of PTAs (CCPTA) is producing a new monthly newsletter to keep all PTAs informed during a *very* busy school year. Subscription is open to all, so if you would like to sign up, you can do so here: Subscribe to the CCPTA Monthly Newsletter. Thank you! ​​​​


From CCPTA: Transportation Engagement Opportunities 

Virginia Safe Routes to School Parent/Care Provider Survey

If you're a parent or caregiver in Virginia, we want to hear from you! Click here to take our Fall 2020 Parent and Caregiver Survey. The survey takes less than 10 minutes to complete and will help us  understand how the pandemic has influenced walking and bicycling.

Virginia Department of Transportation Virginia Commuter Survey 

This is a follow-up to VDOT’s Virginia Commuter Survey, conducted in June/July, about how COVID has impacted your commute.  Whether or not commuters participated in the summer COVID commute survey, VDOT, in partnership with the Department of Rail and Public Transportation, is asking for input from Virginia commuters this fall. Survey is expected to close by October 31Click here to describe your commute during COVID-19!

Our Shared Street

Arlington Transportation Partners (ATP) is excited to announce the fourth annual Our Shared Street event.  This year, Our Shared Street is being hosted virtually from October 13 to October 15, 2020. Arlington County residents can sign up to learn about local transportation option and how to use these modes safely and efficiently in a fun and creative way.  Join a virtual workshop or participate in a Mobile Tour, and earn a chance at some fun giveaways and prizes from partners. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/our-shared-street-virtual-pop-up-2020-tickets-113375705788

APS Middle School Information Night - Monday, 10/26

Attention, ASFS Families with current 5th graders:

  • Join Arlington Public Schools (APS) for Middle School Information Night on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020 at 7 p.m. The event will be virtual this year and families will be able to watch the event live on Livestream the night of the event. Families unable to watch the event live will be able to view the event recording after the event.
  • Families of students entering middle school in the fall of 2021 will hear an overview about APS middle schools, school options, application deadlines and procedures, school-based information sessions, available student resources, and more. The link to the updated Middle School Guidebook for Families will also be shared with families the night of the event.
  • Following Middle School Information Night, each school will host a school-based virtual information to provide families the opportunity to meet the staff at the school, receive information about the school, and engage in a Q&A session. The dates and times for the school-based information sessions will be shared during the event.  
  • Families are encouraged to join the conversation about Middle School Information Night on Twitter by using the #MSInfoNight hashtag.
  • Simultaneous American Sign Language (ASL) and Spanish-language interpretation will be provided for the event.
  • For additional information or questions about Middle School Information Night, please contact School & Community Relations at 703-228-6005.

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

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: 


​​​​​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.