COVID-19 Update March 17th
AAPS COVID-19 Update
March 17, 2020
Hello AAPS parents, students, staff and community,
We hope that you and yours are as well as can be on this Day 2: AAPS COVID-19 Closure.
There is no roadmap for this path we must walk together over the coming weeks; clearly, we are in uncharted territory. Yet if there is any message for all of us in this public health emergency, the COVID-19 worldwide viral spread certainly illustrates how profoundly interconnected we all are to each other. More closely than we often recognize, we are all connected, and I am so very grateful for each of you today in our AAPS community. We understand it is our focus on children, our relationships with family and friends, and our connections with each other that will carry us through this very difficult time.
We should pause during this challenging time to be inspired. A highlight from AAPS food distribution work so far this week: 2,700 meals were distributed on Monday, 5,700 meals were distributed today at 16 locations around the city, and we anticipate an even larger multi-day delivery (next distribution will cover Fri - Sat - Sun & Mon meals) on this Friday. In addition, delivery to homes of those who need this additional support is ongoing. Many thanks to Liz Margolis who leads this effort, Chartwells food & nutrition partners, Durham bus drivers, AAPD officers, and school principal, teacher and staff helpers who are among the many ‘superheroes’ we are celebrating today.
This email includes information on supporting Community and Individual Health, AAPS Food Service, an update on providing Technology for Families who need additional support to access online learning, and Keeping Students Engaged in Learning in the AAPS. Please review all of these sections and click on the associated links for full information.
Community and Individual Health
AAPS continues to promote Social Distancing in an effort to “flatten the curve” in fighting the spread of COVID-19. Closing schools, restaurants, and promoting work from home will be less effective if children from multiple families continue to come together for playdates, informal practices, and other activities that increase the likelihood of the virus spreading.
We are inspired by what we already see as our AAPS teachers, staff, partners, and community go to amazing lengths to provide support and outreach for our students and families, yet it is also critically important to take time to focus on our own health and well-being. Here are tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on how to protect yourself from COVID-19.
In addition to physical health, stress and anxiety caused by the uncertainty around COVID-19, the closure of AAPS and the requirements of social distancing may impact mental health. With many in the community working remotely and following social distancing guidelines, let’s remember to check in on our friends, family, and close co-workers as well, and ensure that we have confirmed networks are in place to remain regularly connected throughout this time. The CDC offers advice on managing anxiety and stress.
AAPS Food Service
AAPS Food Service has provided meals to students to cover each day of this COVID-19 school closure. Friday, March 20th is the next distribution, with meals to be provided for Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday at that time. We have expanded the number of delivery locations to better meet the needs of our families. If you have food allergy needs or cannot make it to a pick-up location please call 734-994-2265. Full details on the AAPS Food Service are available here.
Technology for Families
The AAPS continues to finalize plans for the distribution of technology to ensure all students have equitable access to remain engaged in learning at A2Schools.org. At this time the expectation is technology, devices and support with internet access will be shared with families based on responses to the survey of technology needs, and this distribution will occur outside our neighborhood schools later this week and over the weekend. More detailed information will be forthcoming as we move forward with this important step.
Additionally, for families experiencing technology or home internet reliability issues connected to staying engaged in learning at A2Schools.org, we are creating a technology hotline at 734-997-1222 available Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM to 7:30 PM starting on March 18th.
Keeping Students Engaged In Learning in the AAPS
We will all continue to learn together throughout this COVID-19 school closure, and we are committed to providing opportunities to keep our students engaged each day in learning. Educators and principals advise that in an effort to try to keep things semi-normal for children during a very abnormal time, it will be best to keep students on a daily schedule and also to provide breaks during the day - such as lunch and recess - that mimic daily schedules at school. We have shared information for parents about continuing engagement in learning here: https:/a2schools.org/continuouslearning.
Though there is no roadmap for this path we must walk together over the coming weeks; clearly, we anchor ourselves in all that we share together - our commitment to our children, our connections to each other and our partnerships in outreach to support students and families within our amazing Ann Arbor community.
Jeanice K. Swift
Superintendent of Schools