Electronic Friday Folder -- October 23, 2020

Mark Your Calendar: Upcoming ASFS Dates
  • Tuesday, 10/27-Wednesday, 10/28 - Asynchronous Learning Days
  • Friday, 10/30 - ASFS Virtual Halloween Parade (8:50am, Morning Announcements)
  • 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)
  • Wednesday, 11/11 - No School for Students (Veteran's Day)

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


Greetings from the ASFS PTA

Thank you to the many parents and teachers who attended our two "A Day in the Life of Hybrid at ASFS" sessions this week, and thanks to Ms. Begley and Ms. Jones for sharing highlights and answering questions for our families. See below for the presentation and link to confirm your preferred learning model selection by the end of day today.

Make sure to send your Halloween photos by Noon on Monday, October 26th, to Dena Porter, ​​and save the date for the ASFS Virtual Halloween Parade on Friday, 10/30 during morning announcements! 

ASFS Teachers, ​​​​​thank you for hosting Parent-Teacher Conferences this week, and for all you are doing for our students during virtual learning and planning for the return to school! --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.


Send Your Photos by Monday, 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.) 


TODAY! Last Day to Confirm Your Learning Model Selection

TODAY is the last day for for Level 2 families to update their preferred learning model. See the Selection Process for Families for details and instructions, and visit APS ParentVUE by the end of day today, Friday, October 23rd, to review or make updates to your selections.

If you would like review the ASFS presentation from our "A Day in the Life of Hybrid at ASFS" sessions on Monday, October 19th and Tuesday, October 20th, click to download: A Day in the Life of Hybrid at ASFS Presentation

You can also watch the APS Town Hall that Superintendent Dr. Duran hosted on Friday, 10/16 to answer questions and share more information, including what a hybrid/in-person learning day will look like: APS Town Hall with Superintendent Dr. Durán (10/16/20)

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

  • LEVEL 2, PHASE 1: Starting November 12: PreK, Kindergarten, plus CTE students
  • LEVEL 2, PHASE 2: Starting Week of December 1: 1st and 2nd grade students
  • LEVEL 2, PHASE 3: Starting in Early January: 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students

***For more details, watch the Arlington School Board meeting (10/22/20) for Dr. Duran's latest news on the return to school as part of his School Year 2020-21 Monitoring Report.***

DreamBox and Reflex Information for Parents and Families

ASFS Math Instructional Coach, Emily Foster


Thanks to ASFS Math Instructional Coach, Emily Foster, click below for information about Dreambox and Reflex, two APS Digital Learning Tools for Math Instruction, including details about the applications, audience & rationale, goals, parent support, and student expectations.

Dreambox and Reflex for Digital Learning Information

(Note: DreamBox is available through CLEVER One Login, and Reflex will be available for students soon, also through CLEVER.)

For more information on using DreamBox at home: DreamBox at Home: Learning Guide for Parents & Guardians

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.


Save the Date: November ASFS PTA Meeting - Tuesday, 11/3

Mark your calendar for our next ASFS PTA Meeting on Tuesday, November 3rd from 7:00-8:30pm (via Zoom). In addition to the PTA updates the latest ASFS news from Ms. Begley and Ms. Jones, our wonderful ASFS counselors, Ms. Hawthorne and Ms. Proietti, will provide an overview of Social-Emotional Learning, including details about ASFS programs this year as well as resources for parents and families.

Submit Your Questions for the ASFS PTA Meeting

The Zoom meeting link as well as the agenda, materials, and electronic voting ballot will be posted prior to the ASFS PTA meeting. Hope to see you there! --Dena Porter, ASFS PTA President​

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.

This November: Enjoy Colony Grill Pizza to Support ASFS

Want to get out of the house? Try something new? Colony Grill Pizza opened earlier this month and their thin crust pizza is a staple in New England. During the month of November (from 11/1-11/30), try it out for yourselves and let us know at the next PTA meeting which pizza is your favorite!

Spread the word to friends and family, and please mention Arlington Science Focus when you check out; Colony Grill will send a donation to ASFS to support our school!

Colony Grill Pizza is conveniently located in the heart of Clarendon at 2800 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington, VA 22201. (703) 682-8300


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, and here at ASFS, we've kicked things off with a CHALLENGE. And so far we've walked/biked/rolled over 640 miles! We have collectively walked to New York, Boston, and Charleston, SC, and even further, so don't stop and let's see how far we can make it all together. Let's see if we can get to Disney World in the next week!

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.

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


APS 2021-22 School Year Calendar Survey

The Draft APS Calendar for the 2021-22 School Year is now available, along with a survey seeking community input, which will be open through October 30. The current plan is to have the final calendar proposal go to the School Board as an information item at the November 17 meeting, and for approval at the December 3 meeting. This will allow a final calendar to be approved more than a month earlier than in previous years.

Take the survey and view details online

Safe Routes to School: Sidewalk Audits

Happy Friday! Use this Walktober weekend to start planning your school commute with a Sidewalk Audit (Grades K-5) or Walk and Roll Audit (Grades 6-8)! What's a Walk Audit, you ask? Watch this short video, then you'll be ready to complete an Audit yourself!  All Audit tools are posted on the Safe Routes to School Resources page under SRTS Local Tools and Resources. Want links to the actual Sidewalk & Walk Audit forms? For Grades K-5, here's the Sidewalk Audit Data Collection Project Paper Form or Googleform. For Grades 6-8, print out the Walk and Roll Audit form. Scan and submit paper forms to HeadsUp@apsva.us!


Last Week: 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!


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.


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.