1. What is FLES?

See this web page for a description of the FLES program.

2. Will Early- Release Wednesdays go away to implement FLES?

Early release Wednesday (ERW) is not part of the schedule with schools who have a FLES program – FLES for All’s goal is to ensure equitable educational opportunities for all APS and what FLES brings to our students in regards to early language exposure and the benefit of extra time which in some schools has gone to increased Art, Music and core instructional time.
Many schools with FLES have ERW every few weeks for planning purposes so ERW do not go away entirely during the school year.

3. How will FLES impact my child’s learning time at school?

The principal at each school determines school schedules – some schools have used the extra time to increase art, music, core instructional time, etc. for students.

4. Who decides who gets FLES?

The Arlington County School Board decides which schools receive FLES based on budget and community support. See their comments regarding FLES at the 2014 budget adoption this past May:

Abby Raphael:
• (The Board has asked Dr. Murphy for) options for funding additional FLES classes either all at once so that all of our schools would have FLES, or incrementally. What would the options for funding be and what would be some different methods to get us there?

Noah Simon:
• Foreign Language in Elementary Schools (FLES) is a critical element to achieve these.
• World Language acquisition is a board priority and should in future years receive corresponding funding. I look forward to the discussion that moves us towards action.

James Lander:
• remain engaged, not just with Foreign Language...
• (need to) provide the foundation, at the elementary school level, so students can be successful in math and foreign language and reading and all the other subjects.

Sally Baird:
• Talking a lot about FLES right now, as we should be. I think we have had great discussion. I think one of the best things that has happened recently we had a work session and I heard everyone on this Board make a commitment that this is something (FLES) that we must make happen. And the question is how we are going to do that. And how we move through the community conversation so we can get the necessary input and engagement from the entire community, because it will take a re-alignment of resources.
• FLES is a big part of that because we know that the resources around that are very significant.

Dr. Emma Violand-Sanchez:
• and I also share the commitment of my board colleagues to address FLES, but also more than anything to have the additional instructional time for all our schools.

The Superintendent of Arlington County School then works with APS staff to create an implementation plan with schools.

5. How many more hours per school week of teaching time do children in FLES schools receive than schools without?

Students at FLES schools receive an absolute minimum of 90 minutes of World Language instruction per week which students at non-FLES schools do not receive.   In addition, 45 additional minutes of instructional time are provided to students in whatever subject area(s) the individual school deems highest priority.   In summary, students at FLES schools receive more instructional time in both World Language and in other core areas (e.g. Math, Reading, Science, etc.) than do their peers in non-FLES schools.