Military Families

On behalf of our entire school community, welcome to Discovery Elementary School, a Virginia Distinguished Purple Star School.

A purple five-pointed star inside a navy blue ring, the ring containing text that says "Virginia Distinguished Purple Star School, for supporting military connected students."

We are honored to serve the children of your family. This webpage provides links to resources that may prove useful in making the transition into our community easy. As one of the approximately two million military-connected children in America, your student will join the 80,000 school-age children of active-duty military families here in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Whether this PCS makes Arlington your new home post or if you’re deployed and sending your kids to our school, we are proud to help make your time with us as rewarding and enriching as possible!

Planning your Arrival to APS

If the assignment from which you are departing was outside of the Commonwealth of Virginia, we encourage you to visit the Virginia Department of Education Military Families page, which provides information on rights and resources as you move your family here to the Old Dominion.

To determine which APS school at your student will be placed, based on home address, you can use the APS Boundary (Attendance Area) Locator.

The Arlington Public Schools registration process is detailed on the APS “Registering Your Child” webpage. We take seriously our responsibilities under Article IV of the Interstate Compact – discussed in the section so named below – to ensure that your student is placed in the appropriate grade.

The Arlington Public Schools requirements around proof of residency is detailed on the APS “Residency” webpage.

The Arlington Public Schools transfer process, along with school transfer resources, are available on the APS “Transfer Options” webpage.

School-specific information for coming to Discovery is available on the Discovery “Beginning of Year Materials” webpage.

You may also wish to contact your military installation’s School Liaison Officer for personal and site-specific assistance. A list from the VDOE of current (as of 2018-2019) School Liaison Officers is available online.

Touring Discovery

Please don’t hesitate to schedule a tour of Discovery Elementary School! It would be our pleasure to show you and/or your student around, and help acclimate you to the school and familiarize you with the Explorers family. Contact information for our School Point of Contact is available at the bottom of this page.

You can virtually tour the building to learn more about our learning environments.


Each grade level publishes a Learning Log weekly. You can find your student’s grade level team using the “Classrooms” menu of this website. Once you select the grade level, find the “Learning Log” link, which you can bookmark. It is updated weekly.

If you are so inclined, you can opt-in for text message alerts from Arlington Public Schools.

When you speak to the Registrar at Discovery, be sure to ask that your email address(es) be included in our Student Information System. This will ensure you receive messages sent by Arlington Public Schools through the SchoolMessenger system.

Discovery has a robust Twitter culture where we frequently share information about our school community and activities. Consider joining us by following @DiscoveryAPS, as well as @APSVirginia. Be sure to ask your student’s teacher about a class Twitter account, as many teachers at Discovery have their own.

Preparing your Move from APS

You can contact Discovery Elementary directly for records for students who have been enrolled within the past five (5) years. To do so, please contact the Registrar, Ms. Sandra Amores ( Under Article IV of the Interstate Compact – discussed in the section so named below – we will gladly provide you with copies (digital or printed) of unofficial records for your convenience.

For additional information about requesting records and/or transcripts, please visit the APS “Transcripts and Records Information” webpage.

Academic Planning

Discovery Elementary School is a neighborhood school, and our enrollment is based on residency, so there are no special deadlines for application.

We do not have graduation requirements or diploma standards, as we are an elementary school, so no special paperwork is involved regarding either item.

Our school is a Responsive Classroom school. Responsive Classroom is our social-emotional learning program, and the foundation of our school’s culture around how we respectfully and empathetically understand children. To learn more about Responsive Classroom, visit the About Responsive Classroom webpage.

Our school is a Standards-Based school. This may differ from your last elementary school. To learn more, please visit our Standards-Based Instruction and Standards-Based Assessment pages. Your student will receive a quarterly Standards-Based Progress Report which may look different from traditional “report cards.” The webpage will help explain what this detailed information means. If you transfer out of Arlington, these reports will be available to you (as described above in “Preparing your Move…”) to provide to your next school. School leaders around the country are prepared to receive these type of reports, and we take our responsibilities under the Interstate Compact seriously. Should your next school have any questions regarding these reports, don’t hesitate to contact the School Point of Contact listed at the bottom of this page.

Interstate Compact

Virginia participates in the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunities for Military Children.

The Department of Defense provides toolkits for military families that explain the rights and resources involved in the Compact on the DoD Interstate Compact webpage.

The Military Interstate Children’s Compact Commission (MIC3) provides information to military families that may prove useful in navigating transitions from one assignment to another, as well as resources around educational rights and resources. Visit the MIC3 website ( or download a copy of the MIC3 “A Military Family’s Guide to School Transitions.”

Special Needs & Parental Rights

Under Article V of the Interstate Compact, we will gladly provide comparable services for any current Individualized Educational Program (IEP) or Section 504 plan, should your student have one. We may conduct additional evaluations to make sure that we are able to do that, given the resources and programs that exist in APS.

The Virginia Department of Education publishes “Guidance for Military Families With Students In Special Education,” which is available for free download from the VDOE website.

If you have specific questions, please contact the Local Educational Agency (LEA) representative for Special Education at Discovery, our Assistant Principal, Dr. Judith Seeber (

Community Information

You are welcome and encouraged to join the Discovery Elementary School Parent-Teacher Association. To learn more about the Discovery PTA, visit

You are also welcome and encouraged to visit the “Welcome Kit for New Arlington Residents,” provided by the Arlington, Virginia government. The welcome kit is available online at

You may also find the Blue Star Families website useful for connecting with resources and other families in our area.

We are also proud to let you know, as an American military family, that Discovery Elementary School received the Sons of the American Revolution Flag Certificate in 2018 for its program honoring the American Flag, which is raised along with the Virginia Flag, each morning, in accordance with the flag orders of the day. Students each year are trained in properly honoring our flag by our staff Safety Patrol Leader and local military family members. If you are interested in participating in this activity, please contact the School Point of Contact listed at the bottom of this page.

Post-Service Information

We know that so many military families after they have completed their service continue to want to serve and play a role in their communities. Discovery has a wide variety of volunteer opportunities, and we welcome your contact. We will gladly help you identify roles in our school community that can help meet your personal needs. Also, don’t forget to check the Careers@APS page for opportunities that may be of interest, if you are transitioning out of active service.

Contact Information

State Point of Contact: Daniel L. Dunham
Military Student and Family Specialist (
Central Office Point of Contact: Laura Newton
Director of Student Services (
School Point of Contact:

Julz Stewart

Military Family Liaison (

Military Bases in Virginia & Washington, D.C.

Additional Links

The Purple Star program at Discovery, and this webpage, was designed by Dr. Keith David Reeves.

These webpages may contain links to websites that are outside of the Arlington Public Schools network. APS does not control the content or relevancy of these outside sites.