FAQs, Fees, Locations
No, all of our programs are free.
Materials will be provided for all Aspire activities. But your child should bring their backpack from school and any homework they have so that they can receive help with it during program.
No. When we have field trips, all parents need to do is sign the permission slip that Aspire sends home to allow their child to go on the field trip. Aspire will also handle transportation to and from the field trip back to the students’ regular program location.
Registration and Enrollment
On our registration form, you will have the option of choosing to register your student for only the summer, only the fall, or for both sessions.
You are able to register your student for only the summer program. Summer registration starts in late spring. Students who attend during the school year will be prioritized for summer camp enrollment, but additional spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no fee for any of our programs.
While Aspire does partner with local schools, as of right now, we do not operate our program within school facilities. We have three accessible sites where students may attend our program: Arlington Mill Community Center, Virginia Gardens Apartments, and Gilliam Place Apartments.
Aspire students are expected to attend program every day, unless they have an appointment or something unexpected comes up. If your child has been missing program frequently and you haven't been in contact with our Staff, your child may be asked to leave program to make space for a student on our waitlist.
Aspire focuses primarily on upper elementary school, as these years are critical to a child’s future academic success. In 2021, we expanded to create a middle school classroom, based on the struggles our older students were facing during COVID and interrupted learning, so that we would not leave these students behind. Unfortunately, we do not currently have the capacity to serve 1st and 2nd grade students.
Enrollment for our afterschool program typically begins in late summer and enrollment for our summer program typically begins in late spring.
Aspire’s afterschool program follows the Arlington Public Schools calendar. Our program begins on their first day of school and ends on their last day of school. Our summer program typically begins one week after their last day of school and lasts for six weeks.
Yes, depending on the student's school, we have many bus stop pickup locations.
Each day, Aspire AmeriCorps and Staff walk students from their school or bus stop to their designated program site. Before leaving the school or bus stop, and upon arrival at the designated program site, AmeriCorps and Staff do a head count to ensure all students are present and accounted for. While walking, students must remain with the group and are not allowed to go into the street or cross streets without waiting for their Aspire AmeriCorps or Staff member to walk with them.
Once your child is accepted into our program, you will need to call the school to set up the new bus stop location.
Please see our program locations for available bus pickups.
Aspire follows the school calendar for holiday closures. This means that whenever the school is closed for a holiday, Aspire will be closed as well.
When schools have early release days, Aspire will continue for the full day as usual and will fill the extra time with more activities for the students.
For instances of inclement weather, Aspire generally follows along with school closures. This means that if schools close for snow, rain, wind, etc., Aspire will be closed. However, if there are instances of inclement weather that necessitate Aspire closing even if schools do not close, Aspire will send out prior notification of closure due to inclement weather.
Academic Support and Arlington Public Schools (APS)
Aspire works closely with APS to make sure we know what students need and can communicate students’ needs that we see during program to APS, but we are a separate organization.
Aspire offers individualized and evidence-based support to each student, with historically 90% of students improving their reading level by the end of the year. Your child will join a class of approximately 20 other students in their grade and get daily support with reading, homework, social-emotional skills, and the lesson of the day. Students who need additional support may also be assigned to work with a volunteer for 1:1 attention.
Aspire emphasizes the importance of creating a seamless connection between the three parts of our students’ daily lives – during school, after school, and at home. Throughout the year, Aspire AmeriCorps and Staff consistently communicate with school teachers. AmeriCorps also serve in the schools in which our students learn, which bolsters our team’s understanding of what happens in the classroom during the day to better support your child.
Aspire’s Communications with Parents
Aspire uses WhatsApp to communicate daily messages to all parents. Parents are required to connect with the Aspire WhatsApp so that they can receive daily program communication and communicate with Aspire Staff and AmeriCorps when needed.
There will be a parent orientation before the first day of program where families can meet their students’ Aspire AmeriCorps class leaders and Staff and familiarize themselves with the space. There will also be parent meetings throughout the year where you will have the opportunity to meet Aspire AmeriCorps and Staff as well. If you are unable to attend, you can find out the name of your child’s AmeriCorps class leader through the parent coordinator or meet them when you arrive to pick up your student.