ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — An Arlington Public Schools parent and teacher coalition called Smart Restart APS is pushing for a safe reopening of schools.
Smart Restart has a mission for APS to open when buildings are safe for students to return and COVID-19 protocols are met. The key to a safe restart for the coalition is spelled in the acronym “vital” standing for ventilation, immunizations, testing and transparency, accommodations and lunch outdoors.
Smart Restart hopes APS will prioritize these key requirements for a safe reopening, allowing students to return to school and remain in school.
“Pushing for masks, pushing for air cleaners in the classrooms, urging APS to operate really transparently and share when there are cases and have good communications. So, a lot of teachers and a lot of parents, we basically got tired of the rhetoric being very divisive, pitting people against each other and so we formed a new group because the enemy is COVID-19, not each other,” said Christina Headrick with Smart Restart APS.
APS has currently delayed any decisions on the return to school status since the county’s COVID-19 cases are 2.4 times higher than the highest risk category for reopening per the CDC and the state of Virginia.