#Reed School

Letter from HPOK to Arlington Public Schools regarding Reed Boundary Process


Dear Members of the School Board and Superintendent Durán, I am writing on behalf of the Highland Parks Overlee Knolls (HPOK) civic association regarding your boundary process for the new elementary school at the Reed site. The school is located within the boundaries of HPOK.

HPOK and the greater Westover community have faced a couple disappointments over Reed school. We lost our walkable school when it closed in 1984, and APS began bussing all the children to other schools. The community was again disappointed when APS built a childcare center at the site a decade ago rather than a school, while elementary school overcrowding was clearly on the rise. Several years ago, when the Reed site was again in play, the four civic associations surrounding Westover joined to advocate for it to open as a neighborhood elementary school.

Reed is unique because it is adjacent to Westover Village, a civic and commercial hub that includes a library, post office, bank, small park, many independently-owned businesses, a thriving farmers market, and–two blocks away–Swanson Middle School. Westover is a walking destination for thousands of people every day.

The community was thrilled when APS committed to making the planned new building a neighborhood school, but many were concerned about the potential negative effects on Westover from increased bussing and car traffic. The fact that Reed is walkable for almost an entire school population helped mitigate concerns.

HPOK rated walkability as the most valued aspect of the community, according to a survey of the greater Westover civic associations. HPOK members assisted APS in gathering information for the Reed School walk zone maps, and last year HPOK invited the APS Safe Routes to School coordinator to a meeting to help brainstorm ways to promote and ensure a walking culture for the school.

Neighbors have been watching the construction progress of their new school with great anticipation. We urge APS to look for ways to make Reed the walkable school it is suited to be, and to decrease unnecessary bussing both in and out of the community surrounding Reed.


Kathleen Trainor

President Highland Park Overlee Knolls Civic Association

From HPOK Civic Association Board: New school boundary proposals from APS. Arlington Public Schools (APS) is currently reviewing new boundary options for the Reed school under construction in our neighborhood. The initial boundary proposal presented on 5 of October zoned most of our civic association and surrounding walkable neighborhoods to the Reed school. APS is considering new boundary options that differ from the initial proposal. The HPOK board wants to make everyone aware of these discussions because the new school is right in our backyard, walkable from our homes, and will become a natural focal point for our community. Those within our civic association who are currently assigned to McKinely will move to the new Reed School no matter what option is chosen. One option APS is considering would mean a large portion of our civic association that directly borders the new Reed school will not be zoned to attend it. We know there are a variety of opinions in the neighborhood. If you want to voice your opinion here is an action you can take: 1) confirm your school boundary planning unit # https://gis.arlingtonva.us/Html5Viewer/Index.html?configBase=https://gis.arlingtonva.us/Geocortex/Essentials/REST/sites/APS_Attendance_Locator/viewers/APS_School_Boundary_Locator/virtualdirectory/Resources/Config/Default/ 2) review proposed boundary options here. Primarily slides 14-19 and slide 33, attached here. https://go.boarddocs.com/vsba/arlington/Board.nsf/files/BUUTEP7709E7/$file/Elementary%20School%20Boundary%20Process%2010-29-2020.pdf 3) address an email to school.board@apsva.us and engage@apsva.us to voice support for your desired APS elementary boundary option. Recommend including your PU # and your reasoning in the email. – “Initial proposal” zones most of the walkable units in the surrounding civic associations to Reed. – “Plan A” zones most HPOK families to attend the new Reed School but leaves out other walkable units – “Plan B” zones a large portion of HPOK families who currently attend Tuckahoe to continue attending Tuckahoe and be bussed to the school. APS timeline for decision: Nov. 3: Superintendent’s recommendation will be posted on BoardDocs Nov. 5: Superintendent’s recommendation will be presented to School Board Dec. 1: Public Hearing on elementary school boundaries Dec. 3: School Board adoption of new boundaries for 2021-22 For more information: www.apsva.us/engage/fall2020elementaryboundaries/

HPOK Meeting Presentations

On Wednesday, Sept. 16, HPOK held a virtual meeting. We heard presentations from Laura Crowther of Arlington’s Department of Waste Management and from Laura Simpson, Neighborhood Conservation Planner for the County.

Laura Simpson’s presentation on the forthcoming changes to the crossing at 14th and Ohio is available on youtube at https://youtu.be/dplY1g_UdCw and in pdf form here:

Z279_Ohio and 14th_FD slides

The presentation by Laura Crowther on recycling is here:

COVID Recycling Presentation_9-16-20

Flood Task Force

Below is 14 July letter to the County and School Boards from our four civic associations–all part of the the Torreyson Run Watershed and all concerned about saving Westover from another flood. We have heard back from APS that it is willing to include a study option that would take advantage of the space below to the Reed field, if the County would also supports this. We are waiting to hear back from the County.

Dear Chairpersons Garvey and O’Grady,

Six months ago, our four civic associations wrote to the Arlington County Board and the Arlington Public School Board about the severe flood that occurred in the Westover area on July 8, 2019, seeking leadership and cooperation between your organizations to undertake stormwater management measures that could mitigate against a repeat of that devastating event.  In particular, the letter urged the County to consider measures at the Reed School site, which is uniquely situated in the Torreyson Run watershed to provide protection to Westover. 

It has now been a year since the 2019 flood.  We are pleased to see Torreyson Run included in the proposed Capital Improvement Plan for 2021, and we urge the County Board to support this recommendation from the County Manager.  At the same time, our community is frustrated that the County has not yet initiated specific remedial steps to prevent future flooding in the Westover area. 

We believe that building detention vaults under the large tract of the Reed School playing fields offers a reasonable, effective approach to save the Westover business district, and thus should be the centerpiece of the stormwater strategy for Torreyson Run.

 Why a detention vault?  A detention vault captures water during the peak period of a storm and then releases the captured water back to the regular pipe system after the storm.  This approach would allow the County to even out the flow of water through its system (similar to flattening the curve” of Covid19 hospitalizations) to prevent excess water from overloading the pipes and causing localized flooding as well as flooding throughout the 4 Mile Run corridor, down to south Arlington.

Why the Reed School playing fields?

> There are very few parcels of public land in Torreyson Run; the Reed School site is one of the largest.

> This parcel of land is immediately upstream of Westover.

> In fact, the major pipe that carried the bulk of the stormwater into Westover on July 8, and caused the devastating flooding, runs through the Reed site adjacent to the planned playing fields.

> An underground detention vault can be designed and constructed to be fully compatible with the intended recreational uses on the playing fields.

> The site is currently flat, easily accessible and does not contain other features (e.g., mature trees) that complicate its use for this purpose, suggesting that it offers a particularly cost-effective option.

> The underground gradient of the major stormwater pipe at the site would facilitate efficient return of water stored in the detention system to the main stormwater system.

 We have been in discussions with staff from both the County and APS.  As we understand the current situation, the County has asked APS to study three options for stormwater relief at the site.  Once there is an agreement on an option, the County will pay APS’s contractor to construct the detention structures. 

We think it is critical that the options for analysis include a full range of choices so that the community can appreciate the relative strengths and weaknesses of the choices.  In particular, the study should include an option that fully utilizes the large fields adjacent to the storm pipe. 

We understand that APS staff oppose a “whole field” option out of concern that detention vaults could preclude future building on the playing fields and could create contractual issues that might delay completion of the project.  While we recognize APS’s concern, we believe that the “whole field” option still warrants analysis so there is full transparency about how Arlington’s final choice reflects public values.  We also urge the County to consider ways to alleviate APS’s concerns.

We appreciate the opportunity to discuss this critical issue with staff and look forward to continued work. We know that stormwater management is one of the most complicated and pressing challenges for Arlington and hope that the County and APS can continue to identify and collaborate on solutions.


 Mark Greenwood, Chair Torreyson Run Task Force

Lilith Christansen, Pres. Westover Village Civic Association

John Ford, Pres. Tara Leeway Heights Civic Association

Kathleen Trainor, Pres. Highland Park Overlee Knolls Civic Association

Mike Weinstein, Pres. Leeway Overlee Civic Association

Westover Merchants Open

Hello neighbors!

Westover merchants have posted their operating procedures during the “lockdown.”

The Italian Store
Daily Call In Menu posted on website for pizzas and subs – Curbside Pickup.
Store is open and limited to 10 customers at a time; disinfecting register area after each customer.
Toby’s Ice Cream
Order and Pay ahead – by email or FB private message – Toby working alone to fill orders and coordinate pick up times.
Email sales@tobysicecream.com
Ayer’s Variety & Hardware
Reduced hours, posted to FB, closed Tuesday
Will do call in and curbside/contact-less pick up
Westover Market
Reduced hours, posted to FB, closed Sunday
Seniors call in T-Th for curbside pick up or delivery
Market and Butcher open
Trade Roots
Closed, but email for online or FaceTime shopping
Email traderootsva@gmail.com
FB Live Sales
Lost Dog Cafe


Confirm hours by location on website
Carryout and Delivery, online ordering through website
Westover Cleaners
5870 Washington Blvd
(703) 532-6626
Open daily until 5pm
Thai Noy
Curbside for Carryout Orders
Beer and Wine with carryout orders
Finder’s Keepers
Closed, but offering online ordering
Free local delivery (within 5mi) and curbside pick up
Lebanese Taverna


Closed, but carry out available from Lebanese Taverna Market
GoFundMe for laid off employees across all their restaurants
Village Sweet Bakery
Closed until April 21st
Check FB for updates on re-opening
Westover Farmer’s Market


Open for Pre-Orders for vendors, see website for listings
Some vendors offering pre-packed “Grab and Go” options
Westover Village Businesses currently closed:
Blue Groove Soundz
Salon Mirage
Forest Inn
Grand Hunan
Pete’s Barber Shop
Westover Barber Shop
Westover Kellie Nail Spa
Stray Cat Cafe

Reed update

From Ajobola Robinson, APS Project Manager:

Work on the Reed site is progressing as discussed earlier and we are fully mobilized on site with demolition ongoing. This notice is to let you know we are starting the drilling of the geothermal wells on a section of the site behind the library for the project. Work will commence on November 20 and continue for about a week weather dependent. During period of the work being done a small section of the sidewalk along Washington Blvd will be closed off to the public for safety reasons. There will be no actual work on the sidewalk itself. You will still be able to access the library from the main entry and also the back parking lot but there might be some very short periods (15-20 minutes or less) when access is temporarily restricted to allow equipment to go in and out of the work area. Also please be advised the drilling equipment will make quite a bit of noise but work will be done within the work hours allowed by the County.

Kindly contact me if you have any questions.


Ajibola (Aji) Robinson PMP. Project Manager,
Arlington Public Schools; Design and Construction; 2770 South Taylor Street; Arlington, VA. 22206

Meeting on Stormwater Management

Combined Four-Civic Association Meeting Thursday 17 October, 7pm Resurrection Lutheran Church, Parish Hall, 6201 Washington Blvd.

In August, the HP-OK, Leeway-Overlee, Tara Leeway Heights and Westover Village Civic Associations sent a joint letter to the Arlington County Board asking for action re: stormwater and the July flooding of the Torreyson Run watershed area.

Board Member Christian Dorsey and Dimitra McBride, bureau chief of the office of sustainability and environmental management, will explain what steps the County is taking

Reminder: Farewell to Reed Fields

This Sunday, from 5-7 a grand neighborhood party sponsored by the four civic associations that surround Westover. There will be a home run derby and other sports events; a giant Jenga set, ice cream from Toby’s, and a DJ. The Civic Associations will have tables devoted to the July flooding and flood relief and also describing the Reed school plans.





Reminder: Meeting on the Reed School, Aug 28

As mentioned in an earlier post, Arlington Public Schools will hold a pre construction meeting to discuss the schedule and timing and extent of the new Reed school construction project, which will begin in September. They will show details of the design and lay out the phases of construction and rules for construction work times. The Pre-Construction Community meeting will be held on August 28, 2019 at 7pm at the Reed School gymnasium.

Note also, as described below, HPK will be joining with out neighbor Civic Associations in sponsoring a farewell event on Sunday, September 8th, from 5-7. Bring your family for a fun neighborhood gathering on the Reed School fields and playground before we say farewell (for now) as they will be closed for new elementary school construction starting this Fall 2019; coming back better than ever in Fall 2021 (more info here)

Four civic associations joint letter on flooding and storm water

Civic Associations:
Highland Park – Overlee Knolls
Leeway Overlee
Tara Leeway Heights
Westover Village

August 19, 2019
Dear Members of the County Board,

Our four civic associations comprise the Torreyson Run watershed, and our residents and businesses suffered a great deal from the July 8th storm that overwhelmed the county’s storm water management systems. We would like to work with you to ensure storm water management improvements in our watershed.

Screen Shot 2019-08-23 at 8.07.26 PM

We understand that the increase in impermeable surfaces, loss of mature trees, and warming atmosphere have and will cause more frequent and more extreme flooding. The Arlington County Watershed Planning Workshop from a decade ago (and the source of the watershed map) highlighted these factors as causes of flooding. https://projects.arlingtonva.us/wp-

content/uploads/sites/31/2014/02/DES-Watershed-Retrofit-Study-Donaldson-Run-County- Presentation-3-18-2010.pdf

We also understand that the storm water pipe system is woefully inadequate and incoherent, and that little has been done to mitigate this problem. An Arlington Department of Environmental Services map from 2014 (included in this letter, below) provides a couple examples. Two pipes totaling 11 feet wide connect to a pipe less than 3 feet wide under the Westover parking lot. A similar mismatch appears in Parkhurst Park. See the image at the end of this letter. Residents should be able to assume that Arlington County is taking care of critical infrastructure. Clearly this is not the case in our watershed.

Arlington can address its storm water management with greater urgency through engineering, landscaping, permitting, and the bully pulpit. We consider this work a major responsibility of governance in the 21st century.

Over the past month, citizens in our civic associations have informally offered the following comments about specific sites—and we expect additional ideas from a formal query, which we will send separately:

  • The Lee Highway commercial strip is at our headwaters. What can we do to encourage landlords to increase permeability? The Rivendell School on Lee Highway is now rebuilding and expanding. Is there a robust storm water management plan place?
  • Construction firms are covering entire lots with single-family spec houses. One recent example is at the intake of a storm water pipe on Madison and 21st. There must be some creative way, even with the Dillon Rule, to deter a trend that is harming so many in the community.
  • The “Mosquito Park” is county park land bound by Lexington, 20th Rd, 21st St., and 22nd St. Would installing a giant storm water detention vault underground, connected to the existing storm water system be a part of the solution?
  • Parkhurst Park’s playground is a hardscape covered with rubber, and it is a convergence site in the watershed. The rain garden system was designed to absorb runoff from the playground only. Following construction, adjacent houses immediately witnessed new flooding that has become worse. Can the county build additional rain gardens in the vicinity of the park?
  • APS will build Reed School over the next two years. Is there more that can be done to minimize impermeable surfaces? Can detention vaults be installed?

    We appreciate the County Board’s responsiveness in assessing the damage, applying for FEMA assistance, and establishing the local recovery center to assist storm victims. We are now looking for enhancements to storm water management in the Torreyson Run watershed to circumvent similar disasters.

    We would like to invite you and your experts to a combined meeting of our four civic associations early this fall to discuss the way forward. At the meeting, we would appreciate and update on the County’s plans for the Torreyson Run watershed.


Kathleen Trainor, President HPOK CA
Michael Weinstein, President Leeway Overlee CA
John Ford, President Tara Leeway Heights CA Lilith Christiansen, President Westover Village CA


Screen Shot 2019-08-23 at 8.10.33 PM

Source: https://projects.arlingtonva.us/wp-content/uploads/sites/31/2014/02/DES-Storm-Sewer-Capacity-Westover-Branch-Watershed-Map.pdf