Schools & Education
Public School - There are many school districts in the National Capital Region (NCR). Washington D.C. has the District of Columbia School District. Some of the Maryland Public School Districts where military children live are: Anne Arundel County Public Schools; Calvert County Public Schools; Charles County Public Schools; Howard County Public Schools; Prince George County Public Schools; and Montgomery County Public Schools. The Northern Virginia School Districts most popular with military families are: Arlington County Public Schools; Alexandria City Public Schools; Falls Church City Public Schools; Fairfax County Public Schools; Loudoun County Public Schools; Prince William County Public Schools; Stafford County Public Schools. Most school districts have a policy that you must live within the boundaries of a specific school for your children to be eligible to attend. Usually documents such as rental contract or a utility bill with your address printed on it will be needed when registering to verify your address. In some cases, school districts will take a few families from a waiting list and allow them to pay tuition to attend their school. So make sure you check the schools where you want to live.
General Registration Requirements
* Birth certificate of child
* Social Security Card, if available
* Proof of residency (rental lease, real estate contract, mortgage agreement or deed)
* Immunization records
* Physical exam within 12 months of starting school
* Written results of a TB test conducted within the last 12 months
* Former report card, if applicable
Arlington County Schools - If you live on Fort Myer, your children will attend the Arlington County Public Schools, which are Long Branch Elementary School, Thomas Jefferson Middle School and Washington-Lee High School. Arlington Public Schools is the 15th largest school district in Virginia. There are 22 elementary schools, 5 middle schools and 3 high schools with more than 19,000 children enrolled.
Accreditation - Academic Standards are high in the Arlington Schools. The Virginia state testing, Standards of Learning (SOL) passing rates have continued to improve overall.
Bus Service - Free school bus transportation is provided to and from school for students living beyond a 1 mile walking distance for elementary schools and a 1.5 mile walking distance for middle and high schools. Over 45% of our students ride buses to schools. For more information about school bus routes and bus stops, go to the Arlington County Schools website or call the Transportation Department at 703-228-6640.
Meals - Every Arlington school serves lunch to students. Most schools also offer breakfast programs and summer nutrition programs. Prices vary and many low-income students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. For more information, call the Food Services at 703-228-6130.
Before and After School Programs - The Arlington Public Schools Extended Day Program is a service to families that provides a planned before-and-afterschool program for elementary school students whose parents are employed. The after-school check-in program is available at all middle schools. This is a fee for service program. The program offers safe, supervised, quality activities, which are designed to meet the needs of students. The program is operated by Arlington Public Schools staff.
The Extended Day Programs operate on all regularly scheduled school days (182) and in conjunction with summer school (maximum 30 days). The before-school program for elementary schools opens at 7 a.m. and operates until the beginning of the school day. At dismissal time, the after-school program begins and operates until 6 p.m. If Arlington Public Schools announce a delayed opening, the Extended Day opening is delayed the same number of hours. If schools are closed earlier than the regularly scheduled time, Extended Day will close at 4 p.m.
Fees are on a sliding scale based on the family's income. There are separate fees for the before-school and after-school session. If more than one child in a family is in Extended Day, there are reduced rates for some families. Fees on a sliding scale are based on income adjusted for size of family.
School Sports Programs - Arlington County Schools offer a variety of school sports programs to include cheerleading, soccer, football and basketball. Each school is unique and more information can be found on the school’s website.
Exceptional Children Programs - Arlington County Public Schools provides a range of services for students, pre-kindergarten through high school, found to be eligible to receive special education services. Identifying these needs is a carefully managed process guided by state and federal regulations. An Individual Education Plan (IEP) is then developed for each student and is reviewed at least annually. A few of these services include Elementary Functional Life Skills Program, Multi-Intervention Programs for students Autism, programs for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students, the Twice Exceptional Program (for students with disabilities who are candidates for advanced studies), and the countywide Stratford Program (for students with significant disabilities).
Enrollment size and teacher ratio - Arlington Public Schools (APS) has over 19,000 students enrolled in the various schools. However, APS is bound by State requirements for pupil to teacher ratio.
The state ratios for elementary school are:
Kindergarten -- 24 to 1, no class larger than 29 students (classes larger than 24 require a teacher’s aide)
Grades 1, 2, and 3 -- 24 to 1, no class larger than 30 students
Grades 4 and 5 -- 25 to 1, no class larger than 35 students
Enrollment Requirements - Prior to registration, it is advisable to confirm with the school that all requirements have been met. Usual requirements are: birth certificate or equivalent, legal proof of residence, and verification of physical examination within the past twelve months. Proof of immunization is also required. Age regulations vary, however, all the school systems can accommodate children 5 thru 20 years of age. Pre-school facilities are also available at select schools. Children between the ages of 6 and 16 MUST attend school.
Transfer students must furnish a previous record (such as a report card or transfer slip) indicating grade level assignment, immunization and physical examination records, official verification of date of birth, and proof of residence.
Maryland - A child must be 5 years of age by 1 September of the school year in which he/she registers for kindergarten.
Virginia - A child may enter kindergarten if he/she turns age 5 on or before October 1st. Parents of children who will be 5 after October 1st and before November 1st may petition for the enrollment of their child and must receive counseling on the advisability of their child attending kindergarten. Social Security Numbers for the children are required for enrollment in school.
Washington, DC - A child is eligible for kindergarten if he/she is 5 years old on or before December 31st of the school year. Also, all day pre care is available for 4 year olds turning 4 on or before December 31st of the school year. Forms for the physical and dental exams are available at the schools.
Achievement Test Scores - Students have performed well above average in the national Stanford 9 Achievement Tests. Arlington students have exceeded state and national averages on SAT tests.
Alternative Education - The General Educational Development (GED) Program is designed for persons who were once enrolled in school, but for various reasons, did not complete the requirements for high school graduation.
Adult Education offers the GED test in English monthly to allow persons who do not have a high school diploma. Participants must be at least 18 years old and show proof of residency. Residency documents can be a lease or utility bill with applicant's name listed, voter registration card, or DMV driver's license or identification card. All persons taking the GED test must present a government issued photo identification card or document (DMV ID card or driver's license, passport, military ID or government issued picture ID.
The Individual Student Alternative Education Plan (ISAEP) program is designed for those students ages 16 to 18 and enrolled in high school programs who are having difficulty finding success in a regular classroom environment.
Home Schooling in Virginia - A qualifying parent may elect to provide home instruction for his or her school-age child in lieu of school attendance. For information or assistance with home schooling, please call 571-423-4402/4460. Home schooling is an option preferred by many in the Washington, DC area. For further information on home schooling, contact the Home School Legal Defense Association.
Adult Education - There are a number of adult education opportunities in the local area. Classes are offered through the county public schools and local universities. Programs are as diverse as each adult student and can cover basic skills to a more advanced learning curriculum.