President’s Note- Budget Emergency

LAST YEAR OF THE OUTDOOR LAB PROGRAM?

The future of the Arlington Outdoor Lab is at stake – we need your help now to convince the School Board to restore funding for the Lab in the 2019-20 APS budget.

The Superintendent’s proposed budget eliminates all funding for the Outdoor Lab. That’s right – it cuts every teacher, every bus, and every school trip to the Lab. Unless the School Board votes to restore the funding, Arlington students will no longer experience unique STEM and outdoor education at the Lab.

Time is Short

We don’t have much time to convince School Board members to restore this devastating elimination of the OL program. The School Board meets on April 9 to make revisions to the Superintendent’s proposal. Board members need to hear from you about the importance of funding the Lab before then.

It’s a tough budget year and the Superintendent has proposed almost $9 million in cuts. The School Board is already hearing from many others urging them to fund important programs identified for budget cuts.

The Outdoor Lab Needs Your Help!

Supporters of the Lab – parents, students, summer campers, and teachers – we need your help to make our voices heard. If Board members hear from us about the value of the Lab, then we’ll be in a much stronger position to convince them to restore essential funding.

You know the Outdoor Lab is a special place for seeing science come to life, taking a hike in the woods, and sleeping in a tent under the stars. The Lab is a unique resource for students in Arlington Public Schools. We need your voice to help ensure the Lab continues to serve thousands of Arlington students next school year.

Act Now!

Please take a minute to tell members of the School Board how important it is to fully fund the Outdoor Lab in the 2019-20 APS budget. Feel free to use the sample comment here – and personalize it based on your family’s experience at the Lab.

It’s critically important to contact School Board members before April 9 when they will vote on changes to the Superintendent’s proposed budget.

Todd Parker, President AOEA

ACT NOW to SAVE the Outdoor Lab

UPDATE- The School Board included support for the Outdoor Lab in their budget!
However, the County Board must fully fund APS to keep the Outdoor Lab.
Let the County Board know you support full funding for Arlington Schools.
The APS Budget will be set by April 23rd!
What can I do?

Sign Our Petition

Sign our petition on change.org


Contact the County Board

Let them know you support the Outdoor Lab and full funding of Arlington’s schools and programs including the Outdoor Lab.

Email- CountyBoard@arlingtonva.us


Contact the School Board

Tell the School Board you support the Outdoor Lab and its hand-on, experiential, STEM learning!

Email – school.board@apsva.us and individual Board emails (below)

Phone- Call 703-228-6015, leave a voice mail for Board and individual Board members

Meet- with a Board member on School Board Open Office Hours at Syphax Education Center

April 225 – 7 PMBarbara Kanninenbarbara.kanninen@apsva.us
April 295 – 7 PMNancy Van Dorennancy.vandoren@apsva.us
May 65:30 – 7:30 PMReid Goldsteinreid.goldstein@apsva.us
May 135 – 7 PMTannia Talentotannia.talento@apsva.us
MMonique O’Gradymonique.ogrady@apsva.us

Attend Budget Meetings

  • April 11 – School Board’s Proposed FY 2020 Budget (Syphax Education Center, 7pm)
  • April 12 – School Board’s Presentation to the County Board (County Board Room, 4pm)
  • May 2 – Public Hearing on School Board’s Proposed Budget (Syphax Education Center, 7pm)
  • May 9 – School Board’s Adopted FY 2020 Budget

*Work sessions are open to the public but no comments are accepted.


Contact your friends, family, neighbors, networks

Ask Everyone you Know to contact School Board and County Board. Post information and get their help spreading the word.

Wind Storm Update

The Outdoor Lab has been hit hard by the wind storms blowing down trees and knocking out power to all buildings at the lab.

Please check with your school’s coordinating Teacher for trips to the Lab for week of March 5th.  Some trips will be cancelled.

The Lab Staff, AOEA Board, APS staff and various contractors are working hard to get power restored and the Lab back in safe operating condition.

Power to the Outdoor Lab was restored Monday afternoon by NOVEC and its contractors from Charlotte, NC!

Some repairs, especially to Animal Lab will take longer to complete, but deck and porch have been safely blocked off from student access so programs can continue.   A vintage canoe and lawn tractor were also damaged.

Check out pictures below: