Arlington School System Prepares Task Force to Focus Online Learning Efforts | news/arlington
Just over two months after school board members killed Arlington Public Schools’ virtual learning program for the upcoming school year, the school system is preparing to appoint a task force to study future moves.
May 6 at 4 p.m. is the deadline for applications from those wishing to be part of the 30-member body, which will include staff, students, family members and the community, officials said. ‘school.
(For more information on the task force, see the website at https://apsva.us/engage/vlp-task-force/.)
The task force’s impending effort may not be much comfort to the families of the nearly 600 Arlington students who participated in the virtual learning effort this year. On Feb. 17, school board members approved a staff recommendation that the program be suspended for the 2022-23 school year.
The decision sparked outrage from some parents whose children are enrolled in the program, a remnant of the virtual learning environment to which all Arlington Public Schools students have been relegated since the pandemic began in March 2020. until almost a year later.
At that Feb. 17 meeting, school board member Cristina Diaz-Torres acknowledged that a virtual learning option was needed, but said the existing program just wasn’t working. She pointed to a cascade of “many mistakes that were made” as the “VLP” initiative, as it is called, began in the 2021-22 school year.
The virtual-only option attracted a small fraction of the school system’s 27,000 students, but they were in some cases the most vulnerable. The program’s chaotic rollout last fall, and subsequent decision to pause it, was condemned by the Arlington branch of the NAACP, which said it was the latest failure in an effort that was “fundamentally flawed from its inception”.
For the 2022-23 school year, some students will be able to participate in a state-run online learning program, if they meet medical criteria. The other students will either have to return to class or find other educational arrangements.
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