Bryant Front Hall

Ann Arbor Public Schools Super Pair Communication: Bryant - Pattengill Elementary Schools Re-Envision

  • March 2020

    Dear Bryant-Pattengill Families, 

    We are excited to update you on the work achieved this school year in fulfilling our future as the Bryant-Pattengill International Baccalaureate Super Pair, as well as provide you with a snapshot of future plans!

    At the heart of this school improvement work is a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in order to meet the needs of our students and families. Bryant-Pattengill will be the first school re-envision process to occur in connection with the AAPS Equity Plan. We are excited about this opportunity to realize the district’s equity mission here at Bryant-Pattengill. 

    As a critical first step, we want every Bryant-Pattengill student and family to experience warm connections and a relationship with others at school, resulting in a genuine feeling that they are a significant part of our community and the knowledge that our team is dedicated to their success. We know you will notice the priority we are placing on these relationships each time you are in these buildings. If you see that this is not happening at Bryant-Pattengill, please let us know.

    2019 - 2020 Plans

    Our focus for this school year has been to lay a strong foundation for change and continues to be directed in two primary areas: 

    • Developing Social and Emotional Learning practices through Responsive Classroom
    • Improving your child’s literacy experience

     These two areas are essential first steps in ensuring Bryant-Pattengill as two of the best schools anywhere.

     Social and Emotional Learning 

    The Bryant-Pattengill staff has embarked upon a journey to implement a robust set of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) practices to establish crucial relationship connections. These connections will provide a foundation for student success through the implementation of new programming. We are proud to share that many of the Bryant-Pattengill staff have already attended formal training connected to this goal, and we anticipate all staff will have received formal training by fall 2020.   

    The training is called Responsive Classroom. Using the Responsive Classroom approach, we have begun to establish critical standard practices, including: 

    • Morning meetings
    • Positive teacher language
    • Shared language across classrooms
    • Interactive modeling (to teach specific behaviors used at school)

     As we build the future Bryant-Pattengill, SEL work is central. We believe that helping students to feel significant and connected at school - through Responsive Classroom - will positively impact academic achievement. The research from the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) supports this thinking as well. We are attaching a resource about our Responsive Classroom work that is just for parents.  We hope you’ll take some time to read it and become familiar with what your child is experiencing. 


    Beyond SEL, we are focusing on academics with an emphasis on literacy. This year at Bryant-Pattengill, we are taking time to ensure that teachers are supported to bring their best to your child’s learning experience. The following are the most essential parts of that work:

    • Small-Group Instruction

    Focusing on small-group instruction during the reading and writing workshop times to meet students’ individual needs

    • Diverse and Inclusive Texts

    Regularly featuring diverse and inclusive texts to show the assets of the many cultures represented at Bryant-Pattengill and across our global community 

    • Literary Discussions with Focus on Assets of Diversity 

     Having discussions about these texts is a way to further highlight the assets of our diverse community

    • Literacy Practices are Definitive Across Bryant-Pattengill

    Each teacher at Bryant-Pattengill is receiving support to implement and ensure consistent, evidence-based literacy practices.  We are taking time to ensure literacy practices are decisive, connected, and aligned across the grades. With this additional support, we know that our dedicated and talented teachers are bringing their best to your child each day.


    Coming This Year: 

    Parent Feedback & Communication / Bryant-Pattengill Parent Advisory 

    The SEL and literacy work described above are our first steps during this planning year to lay a strong foundation at Bryant-Pattengill.  Parents can expect regular, ongoing updates about our developments from Bryant-Pattengill through weekly newsletters and during PTO/community meetings. Updates will be available electronically on the building websites under the “Re-Envision” tab.  

    In preparation for 2020-21 - the first year of implementation - we would like to establish additional ongoing communication channels, including feedback from the Bryant-Pattengill community.  We will do this in two ways:

    1. Using the information learned from the upcoming end-of-year K12 Insight School Quality Survey of Parents, Staff, and Students. We will send you more details in the spring.  We want to hear from EVERY family, please.
    2. We will share information about a soon-to-be established Bryant-Pattengill Parent Advisory.  We seek to identify a representative group of parents, who will work along with teachers, principals, and our equity partner, Dr. Eaddy-Richardson, to help us make the redevelopment of Bryant-Pattengill as successful as possible.  Having partners who help us to solve problems, explore solutions to challenges, and to lead in communicating with others is essential. If you would like to serve on the Bryant-Pattengill Parent Advisory, please apply at by Friday, March 13, 2020


    Highlights & Preview of 2020-21 Plan:  

    Equity remains the foundation and focus, the goal, and the intended outcome of all our work in this Bryant-Pattengill Re-envision process.  

    We are excited to share highlights below of the NEXT STEPS we anticipate for the 2020-21 school year.

    Continued SEL Focus 

    Ensure that Bryant-Pattengill fully embodies the Responsive Classrrom apprach with common language universal throughout the school, with each staff person fully trained in teh Responsive Classroom approach, and with parent receiving consistent school-to-home connections in this social-emotional support approach. 

    Continued Focus on Reading and Writing / Early Literacy

    Continue to ensure students receive the highest-quality literacy instruction within and across all classrooms and that our students and community are well-represented and celebrated in the literature used at school. 

     New Preschool Program at Bryant

    In fall 2020, we will welcome into the two inaugural preschool classrooms at Bryant.  Three- and four-year old students will benefit from beginning a rich Bryant-Pattengill education experience at this early age and continue into Y5-kindergarten and beyond to 5th grade. 

    Increased STEAM Opportunites

    Students will explore STEAM learning in beautifl maker spaces through additional Project Lead the Way module opportunities (beyond what other AAPS schools offer).

    Begin International Baccalaureate Designation Process

    Collaborate with International Baccalaureat Organization to formally begin the process of becoing a World School; we anticipate becoming an International Baccalaureat Candidte School by June 2021 with the formal process beginning in fall 2021.

    Physical Enhancements to Bryant-Pattengill

    Bryant-Pattengill Schools are getting a new look! In addition to newly redesigned programming, Bryant-Pattengill school buildings are undergoing a process of remodeling, updating, and physical enhancements throught both building. 

    Phase I physical enhancements ($2.5 million), the remodel and upgrades to common areas in the schools, including the construction of beautiful new maker spaces, we completed last summer. 

    Phase II physical enhancements (5.2 million), will be completed during this coming summer 2020 and include:

      • Remodel of all classrooms including lights, floors, cabinets, paint, shades, and ceilings
      • Introduction of more natural light throughout the interior of Bryant campus, featuring expanded/larger classroom windows 
      • The addition of central air conditioning at Pattengill
      • Two beautifully remodeled preschool classroom spaces to support this specialized programming 

    In addition, the land behind Bryant, facing Ellsworth, was acquired ($637,000) to provide an improved entrance and access for families onto the Bryant property as well as additional space for potential future expansion. 

    This $8 million investment in the remodel of the physical classrooms and buildings will enhance Bryant-Pattengill as updated, open, bright, and inviting learning environments. 

    The planning work of 2019-20 and the Year 1 implementation work of 2020-21 outlined above will form the building blocks to support Bryant-Pattengill in taking the next steps towards becoming the International Baccalaureate Super Pair. The envisioned work will result in an equity-focused PreK through 5th-grade program designed to prepare students for success in their next steps as learners.  Please join us on this pivotal journey to bring YOUR CHILD, YOUR FAMILY, and YOUR COMMUNITY, the best that the Ann Arbor Public Schools has to offer!



    Mr. Jamar Humphrey, Principal, Bryant Elementary School 
    Ms. Robin Kocher, Principal, Pattengill Elementary School
    Mr. Kevin Karr, International Baccalaureate Lead
    Ms. Dawn Linden, Assistant Superintendent
    Dr. Jeanice Swift, Superintendent of Schools