Arlington County Public Schools

Arlington County Public Schools

The district sees technology as one avenue for personalizing instruction. Teachers use technology to assess what students need and to become more agile in how they shape and adjust their teaching towards those needs.

State: Virginia Number of Students: 25,364
School Type: Public School District Free and Reduced Lunch: 33.1%
Grade Level: PK-12 English Language Learners: 28.2%

School Context

Academic Engagement: APS aims to provide challenging and engaging learning opportunities for all students.

Educational Equity: APS has a goal of eliminating the achievement gap between various groups of students.

High Quality Staff: APS values a strong staff and works hard to support and retain high-quality staff members.

Prioritizing Learning Environments: The division prioritizes high-quality learning spaces and resources because they believethat the learning environment has a great impact on student success.

Focusing on the Whole Child: APS aims to meet the needs of the whole child and therefore works to create partnershipsbetween families, the community and support services that can help students achieve success.

State of Technology

Piloting In Every Grade: IPads and MacBook Airs are Arlington’s devices ofchoice. So far they have assigned iPads for elementary and middle schoolstudents and MacBook Airs for students in high school. The current pilot hasassigned a 1:1 ratio of devices to students in at least one grade level at eachschool. The division plans to have a 1:1 ratio in all classes in grades 2-12 by2017.

Leveraging Technology: The division sees technology as one avenue forpersonalizing instruction. In Arlington, personalized learning takes manydifferent forms. Technology can support key elements, such as supportingcollaboration through tools such as Google docs, wikis and blogs. Teachersalso use technology to assess what students need and to become more agilein how they shape and adjust their teaching towards those needs. They alsouse tools to give them flexibility in pacing and to give students more choicearound what and how they learn.

Online Learning: Arlington Public Schools has an Online Program Office,which is dedicated to coordinating the Virtual@APS Program for APSstudents in grades 7-12. All of the courses offered through the program alignwith the Virginia Standards of Learning. Some of the courses are taught byAPS teachers and facilitated through Blackboard, while others are taughtby approved providers. Students in the program can receive extra supportfrom the teacher by phone or email, or can schedule a time for online orin-person tutoring. These courses give students alternative opportunities nottraditionally offered in their school schedule.

Evaluating Technology: APS uses a set of Evaluation Standards forInstructional Media that helps the team ensure that the right tools are beingselected. These standards are largely based on student need and take intoaccount multiple teaching and learning styles. For example, the instructionalmedia must “chunk content into manageable segments while providingstudents with opportunities to rehearse the information held in workingmemory in such a way that it becomes encoded in long-term memory,” or“there are little or no distractions present.”

Digital Learning: In 2011, the division’s strategic plan included a goal ofproviding every student with a device by 2017. Since then, APS has upgradedtheir infrastructure, transitioned from computer labs to in-classroom devicesand provided PD opportunities for teachers. The division is currently inthe last phase before rolling out the 1:1 program to increase personalizedlearning. In this last phase, every APS school is conducting a pilot focused onbest practices for personalized learning. The findings from the pilots will beshared during PD.

Tech Needs & Requirements

Technology tools must be FERPA/COPPA compliant and must be compatible with iOS. Software that is highly compliant with federal and state student privacy laws.

*Content From 2015

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