Work over summer helps prepare students, facilities for new school year in Arlington

  • Wednesday, September 18, 2019 2:38pm
  • Opinion

By Gary Sabol

Staff from Arlington Public Schools spent the summer providing enriching programs to students and working on different projects to help them have a strong school year.

The district’s Mathmobile and Books on the Bus visited different locations, providing students with play-based math instruction and fun reading opportunities to keep them engaged during the summer. Middle schoolers benefitted from two Space Camps, and Robotics Camps were held in June and July. Summer school was held at Weston High School to help students with credit retrieval.

In July, the school board authorized that athletic participation fees be waived for all secondary students. The board also approved providing basic school supplies for all students for the fourth year in a row. The board annually reviews fees that are charged to families. The goal is to remove barriers and advance equitable practices in the district.

Our facilities also saw some changes this summer.

At Presidents Elementary, a portable was finished and now houses the Developmental Preschool, which allows more classroom space for older grades. This will help alleviate overcrowding and reduce class sizes. The Family and Consumer Sciences kitchen at Arlington High School was remodeled. The remodel more closely resembles a commercial kitchen, which will benefit students if they pursue a career in culinary arts. The Post Middle School front office was remodeled to provide more privacy for students in the counselor’s office and to protect student information from inadvertent access.

The district received a grant from Snohomish County PUD to install solar panels at Eagle Creek Elementary. This project will be educational as well as promote energy savings. Visitors will be able to view a monitor showing how much solar power is being generated by the panels. Teachers will incorporate solar energy education into their science classes.

The district also transitioned from paper flyers to electronic flyer delivery to more effectively communicate with families about school and community events. The Peachjar communications tool allows flyers to be emailed directly to families. Flyers will also be posted on the district and school websites. We believe these programs and upgrades will allow students to continue to learn in a safe learning environment and have a successful 2019-20 school year.

Gary Sabol is director of Communications for Arlington Public Schools, which has a monthly column in this newspaper.

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