Alexandria, VA

It’s been a little more than a month since school started virtually, and thousands of students, teachers and families are divided over the Alexandria City Public Schools’ VirtualPLUS+ program.

On Thursday, the Alexandria School Board will publicly review survey responses filled out by 5,952 students (53% of students grades 3-12), 2,060 teachers (77% of full time employees) and 7,439 families (48%) on their VirtualPLUS+ experience.

There are 15,579 students currently enrolled in ACPS, and student screen time was listed as the top challenge by 48% of students, 56% of staff and 51% of families.

“Most families (65%) and students (58%) feel that the amount of teacher–led live instruction time is ‘just right,'” according to ACPS. “Staff were almost equally divided between feeling that the amount of teacher–led live instruction time was too much (48%) and just right (47%).”

Younger grade levels also reported having more challenges with screen time than any other age category. Younger families also reported needing child care.

Additionally, 56% of staff reported they would be very or somewhat likely to go back to school in the event of facilities reopening with COVID restrictions, including face masks, distancing and other measures.

See the full survey results here.

Photo via ACPS/Facebook

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Alexandria is working with regional partners to determine the challenges facing families needing childcare amid the pandemic, and have released a survey to the public.

The survey, which is open until August 30, has 12 questions and asks respondents how many children they have, the hours the adults in the home work, and about the challenges facing them with childcare.

The survey is part of a collaboration between the Emergency Child Care Collaborative and Smart Beginnings Alexandria.

“The results will help the task force and local partners better understand the needs and preferences of Alexandria families as they work with child care providers to develop and provide child care offerings,” according to the city.

Families, please participate in this online survey to help assess child care needs and preferences in Alexandria during…

Posted by Department of Community & Human Services, City of Alexandria, VA on Wednesday, August 26, 2020

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Morning Notes

Survey Shows Discontent Among APD Officers — “A survey that the Times acquired from a former Alexandria Police Department officer revealed that several APD officers are unhappy with Police Chief Michael Brown and the culture of the department.” [AlexTimes]

Nearly 1K Families Supported in ALIVE! Food Distribution — “929 households were served at today’s ALIVE! Food Distribution! Thanks to all those from @Volalex, @AlexVASheriff, @AlexandriaVATES who helped in the hot weather today to supply groceries,(meat,eggs,produce and more) masks and hand sanitizer to people in need.” [Twitter]

Police Warn of Phone Scam — “If you receive a call, the individual says that there are warrants for your arrest. Next, instructions are given on how to pay a large sum of money. Then your call is forwarded to another person who explains a ‘surety voucher.'” [Zebra]

New Fire Station Construction is Coming Along — “The @AlexandriaVAFD Station 203 is coming along on the corner of Cameron Mills & Monticello….getting ready for its close-up! [Twitter]

Today’s Weather — It will be mostly sunny throughout the day, with a high temperature of 97 degrees. [Weather.com]

New Job: Freelance Photographer/Videographer — “We need someone with a strong work ethic who can go to job sites pre remodeling, during work, and at completion to take photographs and a short video clip for uploading to youtube.” [Indeed]

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ALXnow Needs Your Feedback

ALXnow launched in the fall of 2019 with a simple mission: to serve the entire Alexandria community with original, up-to-the-minute local news coverage. Now we need your help.

No, we’re not asking for donations. Instead, we need as many readers as possible to take a once-a-year, three-minute survey that will help us better understand how we can improve going forward.

Among the feedback we’re seeking:

  • What types of stories should we prioritize for additional coverage?
  • Where do our readers live and work?
  • How can we improve in 2020?

Please click here to take the survey and let us know how we’re doing and how we can do better. Thank you!

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Alexandria needs your help determining the best name for a park at 3550 Commonwealth Ave.

Should it be named Unity Park to reflect a place of connection, or Shirley Tyler Park after the first female African American to serve as chair of the Alexandria School Board?

Officials are asking the public to weigh in on the naming of the park in this online survey.

The city bought the half acre site in the Arlandria neighborhood in 2009. After neighborhood volunteers installed two gardens, a walking path and park benches, landscape architect Rhodeside and Harwell developed a site plan for a park that’s mostly trees and open green space, with some interactive features like game tables and a tricycle track.

The survey will remain open through March 3.

Image (top) via Google Maps (bottomw) via City of Alexandria

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