Recap: Committee of 100: Candidates Night, 2021

Recap: Committee of 100: Candidates Night, 2021
The Committee of 100 sponsored the first candidate forum of the fall general election season. This year 4 candidates are competing for the single seat on the County Board and 2 candidates for the one School Board seat.
View Video

County Board Candidates
● Takis P. Karantonis (D) Website
● Audrey Clement (I) Website
● Michael T. Cantwell (I) Website
● Adam Theo (I) Website

Ranked Choice Voting
Click to Continue Reading…

Oct 18 LVCA General Meeting:
School Board Candidates Night

LVCA General Meeting: School Board Candidates Night
When: Oct 18, 8PM (Monday)
Where: Online via Zoom
Due to the large number of County Board candidates LVCA is holding this second Candidates Night for the School Board candidates on Oct 18.
School Board (1 Seat, nonpartisan race)
● Mary B. Kadera Website
● Major M. Webb (No Website)

Sept 15 ACCF
Community Engagement Survey Deadline

Have Your Voice Heard!
Take the ACCF Community Engagement Survey

This Community Engagement Survey by ACCF (Arlington County Civic Federation) seeks community feedback on the ways citizens provide input to the County and Public Schools and their responsiveness to that input. Your honest feedback is appreciated.
  Individual surveys and individually identifying demographic information will not be shared. However, information will be aggregated, and written comments may be shared.

Survey The survey will close on Wed, Sept 15.

This excellent survey is long and detailed, providing lots of opportunity for your comments. Unlike surveys by the County, it does not attempt to control or steer your answers. You should set aside some serious time for it. Unfortunately, it does not have a way to suspend the survey to resume it later.
  Although LVCA is a member, this ACCF survey is not affiliated with LVCA.

APS Relocates Alternative High School in Clarendon to US29

APS Relocates Alternative High School in Clarendon to US29
The New Directions Alternative Program, for students who have trouble in traditional school settings, which is currently located in the Thurgood Marshall Building in Clarendon, is moving to the Langston-Brown Community Center along US29. The building, with its large parking lot, is expected to be redeveloped into one more large, hulking building.

LVCA President’s Message on Plan Lee Highway

LVCA President’s Message on Plan Lee Highway
The Lyon Village Citizens’ Association (LVCA) wants to ensure that you aware of the current proposals being developed by the Plan Lee Hwy (PLH) team and County staff and the impact these proposals will have on single-family homes in Lyon Village.

These proposals would change the General Land Use Plan (GLUP) and zoning for the R6, single-family homes between Lee Hwy, N. Veitch St., 18th St. N., and N. Highland St. in Lyon Village. This ultimately will result in the destruction of
● 75 single-family homes (10% of all single-family homes)
● 43 townhomes (50% of all townhomes)
● 6 affordable apartment buildings (40% of all affordable apartment buildings)
● As well as the futures of all the families living in them

Information on the County’s proposals can be found at the following links. Lyon Village is in Area 5 (West) in these documents and slides.
Plan Lee Hwy Homepage
Presentation on Lyon Village

The LVCA strongly opposes these proposals, as is spelled out in our Position Paper.

LVCA supports maintaining the current GLUP and zoning, as shown on these Maps.

We feel these proposals, if approved, would set a precedent that would negatively impact Lyon Village and additional neighborhoods in the future, as well as harm the reputation of the County. We respectfully request your support in stopping these proposals from going forward to the County Board for approval in October 2021.

Please send letters to the following letting them know you oppose the proposals for Lyon Village. Get at least 10 of your friends and neighbors to send letters, too. We need every Lyon Village resident in every household to speak out and make his/her/their voice heard.

CountyBoard@arlingtonva.us — General address for all Board members
 mdeferranti@arlingtonva.us — County Board Chair
 kcristol@arlingtonva.us — County Board Member
 cdorsey@arlingtonva.us — County Board Member
 tkarantonis@arlingtonva.us — County Board Member
 lgarvey@arlingtonva.us — County Board Member
CountyManager@arlingtonva.us — Mr. Mark Schwartz, County Manager
planleehighway@arlingtonva.us
 paul.alexander.holland@gmail.com — Chair of Plan Lee Highway
 nalfonso-ahmed@arlingtonva.us — Lee Highway Project Manager
ecleva@arlingtonva.us — Ms. Elise Cleva, Acting Comm & Engagement Manager
rlapiana@arlingtonva.us — Ms. Rachel LaPiana, Comm & Engagement Specialist
webmaster@lyonvillage.org
(Please send a copy of your letter to webmaster@lyonvillage.org. As we learned in the past, the County will not publish or provide copies of letters from individuals.)

Please feel free to contact me at gjcarten@verizon.net if you have any questions.

Your support is greatly appreciated.

John Carten, President, LVCA

Please send questions or comments to John Carten gjcarten@verizon.net or Loria Porcaro loriap@att.net.

Watch: Special LVCA Meeting on Lee Highway Plan

Watch: Special LVCA Meeting on Lee Highway Plan
County representatives encountered over 100 angry residents at LVCA’s recent virtual meeting on the Lee Hwy Study. The study proposed rezoning all of LV north of 18th St for commercial and high-rise development. Despite it all, we want to thank Paul Holland, Chairman of the Plan Lee Highway Community Forum and Leon Vignes of Arlington County Planning Staff for patiently facing our 2-1/2 hour pummeling.

Intro & Slide Presentation by Paul Holland (20:00)


Initial Questions by LVCA President, John Carten (14:40)
Click to Continue Reading…

Please Complain About Lee Hwy Plan

Please Complain About the Lee Hwy Plan
County representatives encountered 100* angry residents at LVCA’s recent virtual meeting on the Lee Hwy Study. The study proposed rezoning all of LV north of 18th St for commercial and high-rise development. This, along with other proposals on the south, east, and west would drastically change the character of the little sliver of LV that remained.
  It is extremely important that LV residents, who want to preserve their homes and their neighborhood, contact County officials to signal their opposition. Below there is a sample letter and information about who to contact. Many other problems with the study were voiced by LV residents during the meeting. The the meeting recording is worth a listen or a re-listen (the recording will be posted very soon).Click to Continue Reading…

Video: Dem School Board Candidates, May LVCA Meeting

Video: Dem School Board Candidates, May LVCA Meeting
School Board candidates run as independents in Virginia and cannot be nominated by a party in a primary. The Arlington Democrats is running an endorsement caucus. The caucus will be conducted online and in-person at 4 locations. Voting will be open 24/7 during the week of May 17-23.
For more information and to vote during the voting week go to the VaDems School Board Caucus Page
The candidates are:
● Mary Kadera website
● Miranda Turner website

VADEMS Debate (April 29)

VADEMS Candidates Morning Mug Discussion (April 17)

Arlington County Elections Information
Arlington 2021 Voter Guide
Arlington 2021 Elections Webpage

Democratic School Board Caucus Underway

Democratic School Board Caucus Underway
When: 12:00AM Mon, May 17 until 11:59PM Sun, May 23
Online for details and big blue “Vote Here” button to access voting website.
 • Vote online 24/7 from 12:00AM Mon, May 17 until 11:59PM Sun, May 23
In-person voting locations:
● 6216 23rd St N (private home near Westover)
 • Wednesday, May 19 / 5 pm – 8 pm
 • Saturday, May 22 / 1 pm – 5 pm
● 1412 N. Highland St (private home near Clarendon Station)
 • Wednesday, May 19 / 5 pm – 8 pm
 • Saturday, May 22 / 1 pm – 5 pm
● 2811 S. 13th Road (private home near Reed Community Center)
 • Wednesday, May 19 / 5 pm – 8 pm
 • Saturday, May 22 / 1 pm – 5 pm
● 4704 Columbia Pike (Cafe Sazon)
 • Tuesday, May 18 / 4 pm – 9 pm
 • Saturday May 22 / 11 am – 5 pm

Should County & APS Boards Be Full-Time Jobs?

Should County & APS Boards Be Full-Time Jobs?
Among the chaff that is so much of reader comments, occasionally an important idea emerges. Chris Slatt recently wrote:
  “Being effective at holding a full-time, professional bureaucracy accountable isn’t just a full-time job, it’s a full-time job that requires at least one or two full-time policy aides at your disposal.
  ”In the face of a phalanx of full-time professional staff with a powerpoint deck full of data about why this is the right decision, the Board is only able to fire back with something akin to “this doesn’t seem right” because they don’t have the time or the resources to do their own research to find the 100 deep-seated flaws in staff’s data.
  ”If we want our elected officials to be independent overseers, we need them there full-time, we need to pay better than median income for the area, and we need to equip them with a smart, well-paid staff of their own that is not beholden to the bureacracy.”
— found in the comments at ARLnow

APS Scales Back Summer School

APS Scales Back Summer School
Summer school will not be available to all eligible elementary students this year because teachers aren’t signing up to teach. APS still plans to offer virtual and in-person classes to select elementary-age students, including some students with disabilities, English language learners, and all pre-K students about to enter kindergarten. Eligible children who cannot attend summer school can still receive learning materials remotely. This is a problem nationally, not just in Arlington.DCist
  APS will be hosting two virtual community Town Halls in May about Summer School issues. Details
● Mon, May 17 from 6-7PM
● Tue, May 18 from 7-8PM focused on students with disabilities

School Board Candidates Waffle on Math

School Board Candidates Waffle on Math
“The state proposals have come under heaviest attack from Republican statewide candidates, who portray it as a Democratic war on student achievement…” Neither candidate “gave state officials a rousing endorsement nor a ringing denunciation…”
Report on April 29 Democratic Ctte School Board Debate(Sungazette)
Virginia Moving to Eliminate All Accelerated Math Courses…(Fox News)
No, Virginia is Not Moving to Eliminate Advanced High School Math(Wash Post)

APS Offering In-School & Distance Learning in Fall

APS Offering In-School & Distance Learning in Fall
● In-person school (PreK-12) will be conducted 5 days per week with teachers present in classrooms and normal start/end times. It appears that so many have selected this option that it will be impossible to maintain CDC’s reduced 3-foot distancing between desks. APS is figuring out what to do.
● A separate K-12 Distance Learning Program will offer 5 days of distance learning. This will be a separate program from the in-school program. Due to low registration, students from multiple schools will be combined into classes.
● Students in elementary programs will have the option to switch between in-school and distance learning at the end of each quarter. Older students will have this option only at the end of each semester. Students who do not make a choice will be assigned to the in-school program.
● Summer School will begin July 6, offering both in-person and distance learning.
Superintendent’s Update

Only 5% Stick with Distance Learning

2021-22 Enrollment Data

May 10 LCVA Meeting: Candidates Night

LCVA General Meeting May 10: Candidates Night
Democratic Candidates for County & School Boards
No informations about Republican candidates so far. There is also an Independent County Board candidate, Audrey Clement website. LVCA expects to hold a Candidates Night for the General Election candidates.

When: Monday May 10, 8PM
Where: Virtual via Zoom

ONLINE ONLY: No meeting at the Community House
A link to the meeting will be emailed to LVCA broadcast email subscribers on the event day (May 10)

County Board Candidates in Democratic Primary
Both candidates have agreed to attend:
● Takis Karantonis (incumbent) website
● Chanda Choun website

County Board member Takis Karantonis is serving a partial term after being elected in a special election last year. The Democratic primary is June 8 with early voting beginning April 23. ARLnow
2018 Candidate Essay: Chanda Choun
2020 Candidate Essay: Takis Karantonis
SunGazette Candidate Profile: Chanda Choun

School Board Candidates in Democratic Caucus
Both candidates have agreed to attend:
● Miranda Turner website
● Mary Kadera website

Both School Board candidates spoke at the Arlington Senior Democrats on April 18. SunGazette article

School Board candidates run as independents in Virginia and cannot be nominated by a party in a primary. The Arlington Democrats is running an endorsement caucus. The caucus will be conducted online. Voting will be open 24/7 during the week of May 17-23. For more information and to vote during the voting week go to the VaDems School Board Caucus Page

Arlington County Elections Information
Arlington 2021 Voter Guide
Arlington 2021 Elections Webpage

COVID-19 Outbreaks in Arlington Schools

COVID-19 Outbreaks in Arlington Schools
COVID-19 outbreak investigations are currently ongoing at Washington-Liberty High School and another unnamed Arlington public school. The W-L investigation started after 4 students tested positive between March 23-31. Over the last couple of months APS has reported 84 COVID-19 cases among students and staff. APS has declined to answer questions, citing privacy concerns. Story at ARLnow

APS Instructional Plans 2021-22

APS Instructional Plans 2021-22
Standards of Learning (SOL) tests will be administered in person in May and June. Hybrid students will test on days when they are scheduled to attend school. Full-distance learning students will be scheduled to test on Mondays. The Virginia Dept. of Education has provided a remote assessment option for full-time distance learning students in grades 3 to 8 Virginia Remote Student Progress Test.
Graduation Ceremonies for graduates of: Arlington Career Center, Arlington Community High School, H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program, Langston, New Directions, Wakefield, Washington-Liberty and Yorktown will be held in-person and outdoors. Middle school promotions will remain virtual.
Summer School will offer 5-day in-person and 5-day distance learning. Extended Day will not be offered during summer school due to staffing and space constraints and health and safety requirements. Summer school course offerings are contingent on available staffing.
Fall Semester will offer 2 options: 5 days a week of in-person classes or fully remote for K-12. Families have until Friday, April 30 to make their choice. Those failing to make a choice will automatically be placed in the in-person program. More at ARLnow APS Slide Deck

APS Considers Post-Pandemic Virtual Learning

APS Considers Post-Pandemic Virtual Learning
While some students have struggled during remote learning, APS has found that others are excelling. APS is therefore considering extending virtual and hybrid learning for secondary-level students beyond the pandemic.
  Virtual learning for some students could help relieve some school capacity pressures and leverage existing technology investments. Virtual learning would also let students to take additional classes and pursue other opportunities that accelerate their learning.
  A report will be presented to the School Board on Apr 8. If the School Board approves, virtual learning could be an option for middle- and high-school students as early as the 2022-23 school year. ARLnow

NoVa Children Got COVID at 2x Adult Rate

NoVa Children Got COVID at 2x Adult Rate
Children and adolescents were enrolled in a cross-sectional, observational study of SARS-CoV-2 prevalence from July-October 2020 in Northern Virginia. Contrary to prior reports, the study determined children shoulder a significant burden of COVID-19 infection. Their antibody positivity rate was 8.5%, double the adult rate in the same region at a similar time. 66% of COVID-19 positive children had no symptoms. Medrxiv Preprint Story at InsideNoVa

APS Plans Summer School

APS Plans Summer School
Arlington Public Schools plans to offer in-person and distance learning summer school for students.
Elementary Summer School (PreK-Grade 5) July 6-30
Students who are pre-identified as eligible will receive notification from their current school on April 16. Eligible students will be automatically registered by their schools. If a parent/guardian wishes to opt out, they must contact an administrator at their school no later than Apr 30.
Secondary Summer School July 6-Aug 6
Eligible students will be randomly assigned to a cohort and must participate fully in both the in-person and virtual sessions. Eligible students are those who have earned Ds or Es, EL students who have not demonstrated language growth, and students with a disability. Details at APS Website

Some Kids Returning to School Mar 2

Some Kids Returning to School Mar 2
Arlington Public Schools will begin a phased return to hybrid, in-person learning on Tue, March 2, starting with Pre-K through 2nd grade students. APS Announcement This is despite one Core Indicator and two Secondary Indicators on the APS COVID-19 Dashboard indicating “Highest Risk” and warnings from CDC Director Rochelle Walensky that “The latest data suggests that these declines may be stalling, potentially leveling off at still a very high number. We at CDC consider this a very concerning shift in the trajectory… Things are tenuous. Now is not the time to relax restrictions. We may be done with the virus, but clearly, the virus is not done with us.NPR Transcript

New Elementary School Boundaries Split LV

New Elementary School Boundaries Split LV
The School Board adopted a new set of elementary school boundaries on Dec 3. LV had been split between Arlington Science Focus and Taylor. Now, with the move of the Key Immersion program a new elementary school will be opening at the former Key site to serve the east side of LV. The west half of LV will attend Arlington Science Focus. The changes take effect in Fall 2021. For details about grandfathering, transfer students, and plans for managing enrollment across all the elementary schools see the APS Press Release.


The dividing line runs from Wilson along Fillmore St, then west on Franklin and finally north on Highland to Route 29. APS Map (PDF)

Key School Rename Committee Rejects People’s Choice

Key School Rename Committee Rejects People’s Choice
The controversial relocation of the Key School Spanish immersion program requires a new name for the remaining building, which will now be a neighborhood school. The school re-naming committee ran a public survey for a new name and then proceeded to reject the top choice among survey respondents. The top choice was Grace Hopper Elementary School, named for Naval Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, an Arlington resident, computer programming pioneer, and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient.
   Instead of recommending an inspirational person, the naming committee decided to propose two bland alternatives: Innovation Elementary School and Gateway Elementary School. The Arlington School Board will have its final say on March 11. Story at ARLnow To email the School Board

Preference Poll: New Key School Name

Preference Poll: New Key School Name
The naming committee for the new school at the Key site has narrowed down the recommended options to 5 names. To learn more and express your preference, please follow this link. The poll presents a ranked-choice among the 5 finalists. The poll will be open until Friday, Feb 5. APS Key School Rename Preference Poll

If you have further feedback, please contact LVCA’s representative on the naming committee: Elizabeth Ferrill.
Click to Continue Reading…

APS Report on COVID Cases

APS Report on COVID Cases
At the School Board meeting Thursday (Jan 21), APS reported that nearly 6% of staff and 5% of students who participated in in-person education have tested positive for COVID-19. APS declined to reveal building-level data and is unable to determine if COVID infections occurred inside or outside of school or how many were student-facing staff. More granular data is promised in the future.

Nearly 1,800 APS employees received vaccine doses this past holiday weekend.

Both parents who want in-person classes to resume, and teachers and parents who want the opposite, have been holding demonstrations and protests. Last Saturday (Jan 16) more than 100 parents, school staff, and students rallied in favor of continued virtual learning. Next Saturday (Jan 23) parents who want in-person classes to resume plan to rally. ARLnow News Item

Most of the Health Metrics in the APS COVID-19 Dashboard exceed the threshold for high or highest risk. APS Slide Deck APS COVID-19 Dashboard