Back to School in Arlington

Published on August 23, 2018


The nights are getting cooler, Arlington's spraygrounds will soon go dry, and Labor Day mattress sales are populating your newspaper.

It's clear another summer is drawing to a close. But with it comes an opening, as Arlington Public Schools (APS) prepares to begin another school year (Tuesday, September 4; Barcroft elementary is already back). You don't have to be a parent (or a student) to be impacted by the new school year. This mass migration back to classrooms and cafeterias affects the entire community.

Behind the scenes, Arlington County is busy making sure it will be another great school year. From supplies to buses, and everything in between, here's a glimpse how we help get ready for the morning bell (because after all, it's important to show your work):

Back-to-School Tips

New to Arlington and need information on school school registration? Wondering which bus your child will take? Need to see the breakfast and lunch menus? The APS Back-to-School Tips site has all these answers, and much, much more. Consider it your one-stop shop to ensure you and your child are ready for the new year.

The Wheels on the Bus ...

... go round and round. But only if they've met the strictest of maintenance checks. That's where Arlington's Equipment Division comes in. Throughout the year — whether school is in session or not — the County's full-service vehicle maintenance and repair facility maintains the APS school bus fleet, ensuring nearly 200 buses are up-to-date on all safety standards.

If the yellow bus isn't your thing, maybe the green and white version is more your speed? Arlington Transit — ART bus — supplements Metrobus with cross-County routes as well as neighborhood connections to Metrorail. And did you know students in Arlington can ride for just $1.00? The Student iRide SmarTrip Card allows discounted ART bus rides (and it works on Metrobus, Metrorail and other regional bus systems). Learn where and how to purchase the card.

After School Special

For many Arlington students, the final bell of the day doesn't mean the fun and learning is over.

The County's Parks and Recreation Department offers many after-school options, for all ages. During the school year, they provide safe, fun and enriching programs for youth. And from Teen Clubs, to skate nights, to Teen Cafe, there are plenty of activities to keep teens busy.

And APS' Extended Day Program, has a safe, enriching and fun environment before and after school each day.

Sharpen Those Pencils

After you've reviewed the School Supply List on the individual school's website (find your school here), you can set out to fill backpacks with three-ring binders and notebooks.

But keep in mind some easy Green Back-To-School Shopping Tips, put together by the Department of Environmental Services. (For extra credit, check out their Three R's for going green at school.)

The Arlington County Police Department recently held its annual Fill the Cruiser Back-to-School Drive, a chance for the community to donate new school supplies and other classroom materials. All donated supplies are then provided to Arlington schools for distribution to teachers and students.

Don't Forget Those Shots

The Arlington County Public Health Division offers vaccines required for entry into Arlington County Public schools, without charge, to all children, regardless of insurance status. And even though they're almost grown up, pre-teens and adolescents need vaccines. Visit the Immunization Clinic's page for more info, including hours and location.

And it doesn't stop there: The School Health Bureau (SHB) — administered by the County's Public Health Division, in close coordination with APS — promotes a healthy learning environment for all students, including a clinic in every school. case management services, and more.

Safety First Always

Back to school means more people on the roads, and children in the streets. The National Safety Council is reminding everyone to slow down and practice safe driving. Visit their site for more information on dropping off kids, sharing the roads with younger pedestrians, school buses, and more.

police officer wiArlington Police remains committed to ensuring the safety of the students, bicyclists and motorists in our neighborhoods, and as such, soon you'll see Police conducting their yearly, high visibility traffic enforcement in and around school zones throughout the County.

MORE: Police Participate in 2018 Back-to-School Safety Campaign

Additionally, ACPD provides school resource officers (SROs) and school crossing guards. The SRO Program focuses on developing positive relationships between law enforcement and the students of Arlington. They also work closely with school staff to promote public safety initiatives aimed at keeping our students safe in school, at home and in the community.

Study some of these tips, ideas and helpful reminders, and you'll be ready to help make the new school year an A+.

2018 Safety PSA from Arlington Public Schools: