There are more than 400 policies that the School Board must review every five years. To keep up with changes in laws affecting education, however, many of them are revised more frequently. In the last two years, the School Board approved nearly 100 policy changes, and this year more than 100 are scheduled for review. To support equity throughout ACPS, the Board has also begun translating its policies into Spanish, Amharic and Arabic.
Below are some recent policy changes that are important to know about:
Recess Time and Outdoor Weather Conditions
Elementary students have more recess time than in past years thanks to student wellness policy changes, which also created guidelines for when to hold recess and other outdoor activities during adverse weather conditions.
All students from pre-kindergarten through grade five now have:
- 30 minutes of recess per day
- 60 to 90 minutes of physical education instruction per week, and
- 15 minutes per day of “active learning” time, when movement is incorporated with academic learning in the classroom.
ACPS also created a weather web page where you can check the current outdoor conditions and find helpful charts on holding recess and outdoor activities during inclement weather.
For the full details, read the policy and regulation:
- Policy JHCF: Student Wellness (PDF)
- Regulation JHCF-R: Wellness Guidelines for the Alexandria City Public Schools (PDF)
Student Walk Zones
The walk zone for high school students was changed from a 1.5 mile radius around the school to a 1.5 mile walking distance from the school. This change was made so that avoiding hazardous areas wouldn’t result in students actually walking more than 1.5 miles to school. A similar change was made the previous year for K-8 walk zones, which were limited to a 1 mile walking distance from the school.
Read the current school bus route policy (PDF).
Credit-by-Exam for World Languages
Students who can understand and communicate in other languages now have the chance to earn up to three high school world language credits through ACPS-approved exams instead of taking (and passing) each world language course.
Middle School Student Representatives
Did you know that the School Board recently expanded its Student Representative policy and program to include middle school students? Do you know a middle or high school student who is interested in leadership and governance? If so, they can apply to become a Student Representative to the School Board!
All School Board policies can be found on the ACPS website.
Do you want to get involved in the policy making process?
This year the School Board will discuss policy revisions at periodic work sessions, and your input is welcomed. Members of the public can weigh in on policy issues:
- During the public comment portion of each board meeting (sign up here);
- On the School Board’s new online policy input form (coming soon);
- By joining a School Board Advisory Committee.
All School Board meetings and work sessions are open to the public, and are held at ACPS Central Office at 1340 Braddock Place. They are generally held on Thursday evenings at 7:00 pm. See the schedule.
Policies are next scheduled to be discussed at the October 24, 2019 work session. View the work session agenda (available starting on October 18).
Have a policy question? Check the policy web page or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.