Did the School Board engage with the Community related to the decision to swap schools?
No. The Superintendent and the School Board believe that the Superintendent has unilateral authority to make this decision without community input. The decision-making process lacked transparency and failed to take into account the full impact of such a swap on the Key community and the immersion program. As noted, while ASFS community members were advocating for the swap, neither the Superintendent nor School Board officials reached out to gain the Key community’s perspective on the issue. As a result, the decision blindsided the Key community, and appeared poorly informed, biased, and dismissive of our community’s concerns.
What is the justification for the swap?
Truthfully, it's unclear. The stated purpose of the swap is to “locate ASFS within its attendance zone, in accordance with School Board policy.”The superintendent claims that the bus travel time for more students will decrease, as more students would live closer to the school.
Didn't APS know that Science Focus would be outside it's boundary when APS turned Science Focus into a neighborhood school?
Yes. The justification for the swap constitutes a total reversal of policy, as Arlington Public Schools (APS) knowingly declared ASFS a neighborhood school outside its boundary in 2016. Before Key became an option school, families in the ASFS boundary zone could also choose to send their children to Key without applying through a lottery.