Staffing issues kept Alexandria City Public Schools from expanding in-person learning this week, as young special education students were told Tuesday that they wouldn’t be able to go back to school as scheduled.
Families received a note from ACPS on Tuesday morning stating that school for students with disabilities in grades 3-5 and who are in the citywide Special Education program would need to stay home.
“Unfortunately, we were not able to return students in the (grades) 3-5 program as part of our targeted date of November 17, as the superintendent has said that all of our plans are contingent upon staffing and building capacity issues,” Terry Werner, the ACPS executive director of specialized instruction told parents in a Zoom call on Wednesday night. “We ran into some issues around staffing and we were not able to staff classes to bring students back from our next phase of students are scheduled to return on 30th.”
Werner spoke with concerned parents with the ACPS Special Education Advisory Committee. Parents said that communication issues were the biggest problem with the school system.
ACPS reopened schools to kindergarten through second graders with disabilities at Jefferson-Houston PreK-8 International Baccalaureate School on November 5. There are more than 60 students eligible to return to in-person instruction, but the school system only brought in six students.
“Nowhere has there been communication that you know only six students were able out of 60 were able to return,” one parent said at the SEAC meeting. ” I think we have a communication problem with parents.”
Werner said she has been working 14 hour days on the phone trying to convince staff to come back, and that ACPS still plans to reopen schools to early childhood special education students in grades K-5 on Nov. 30.
Additionally, ACPS is still working with this general timeline:
- November 30: Expand to include Students with Disabilities in grades K-5 who receive self-contained Language Arts and Math instruction who opt into in-person learning
- December 2020: Expand to include Students with Disabilities in grades 6-8 who are enrolled in the Citywide Special Education program who opt into in-person learning
- January 2021: Expand to include all remaining students in grades PreK-5 who opt into in-person learning
- February 2021: Expand to include all remaining students in grades 6-8 who opt into in-person learning
“We’re still trying to determine if we have teachers,” Werner said. “I have people from one day to the next say, ‘I’m not coming back.'”
Werner said that families should receive a family choice form on Dec. 2, and that the results of a staff “Intent to Return” form will be available for discussion at a School Board meeting on Monday.
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Alexandria Women for Good donated $6,720 to Alexandria’s Community Lodgings from their first donation cycle! They toured one of the learning centers, met some of the staff and kids, and handed over a big check.
Alexandria Women for Good is a newly formed local Grapevine Giving Circle composed of local Alexandria women who make the commitment to give back to the local community regularly and intentionally. Each quarter they raise money to give to local nonprofits making a difference.
For more information visit: https://www.grapevine.org/giving- circle/3y6h4Ay/Alexandria-Women-for-Good
Pictured left to right: Laura Herron, Laura Turner, Kate Wiley from Community Lodgings, and Laura Bloodgood
Hi, my name is Moneim Z., and I am a blind male with chronic kidney disease, who needs a living kidney donor for a transplant. My blood type is B+, and I can accept a kidney from individuals who have blood types B and O.
To read my story, please see the attached letter.
To contact me directly, please email me at [email protected] or call at 571-428-5065. My living donor coordinator at INOVA Hospital, Amileen Cruz can be reached at (703) 776-8370 , or via email at [email protected]
Del Ray Dog Fest & Yappy Hour
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SONOVA presents: Scheherezade and Gala
The Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia presents their Anniversary Gala Celebration and Concert on Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 6:30pm at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial.
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