Frequently Asked Questions

  • In District Transfer & School of Choice:

    • Q) My family does not live in the A2 STEAM neighborhood. How do I enroll my child at A2 STEAM?

    • A) All prospective families should be aware that enrollment decisions are made on the district level. Please regularly check for announcements for the district’s In-District Transfer and School of Choice Windows on the district’s main web page http://a2schools.org. Please visit https://www.a2schools.org/enrollment for current enrollment options for A2 STEAM and Ann Arbor Public Schools. Space may be available for your child’s grade level via the School of Choice (if you reside in AAPS boundaries) or the In-District Transfer process (outside of AAPS boundaries.)

    • Q) How can I tour the school?

    • A) A2 STEAM Community Tours are a great opportunity for prospective families to learn more about our programming. Due to the ongoing international health crisis, our tours will be conducted virtually during this current school year.

      Before attending virtual and synchronous Q&A Sessions, please screen our tour video on the front page of the A2 STEAM site http://a2schools.org/a2steam (coming this week, the week of Nov. 29, 2021).

      Our tour schedule for the 2021-22 school year is as follows:
      • Thursday, 2/10/22, 5:30-6:00 pm
      • Friday, 2/18/22, 9:00-9:30 am
      • Thursday, 3/10/22, 5:00-5:30 pm
      • Friday, 4/8/22, 9:00-9:30 am
      • Friday, 5/13/22, 10:00-10:30 am

      Sign up here using this Google Form:

      https://forms.gle/DgFpJJMy6JwRL9B27

    Schedules and Logistics:

    • Q) What is the bell schedule?

    • A) For the 21-22 school year, our bell schedule is 8:15-3:18 pm. Due to our K-8 building status, we typically follow a middle school schedule, starting earlier in the day than other AAPS elementary schools.

    • Q) How is the daily elementary schedule different at A2STEAM school?

    • A) A2 STEAM teachers attempt to integrate content (English, Math, Science, and/or Social Studies) whenever possible in the classroom on a daily basis, often within a Project-Based Learning unit of study. However, the daily schedule looks similar to other AAPS elementary schools with dedicated literacy blocks (including Reader’s & Writer’s Workshop, Phonics, Read Aloud), math instruction (EveryDay Math), Specials/Electives, as well as science and social studies (although we often call this PBL or Collaboration time). We also use the Responsive Classroom framework focusing on Social-Emotional Learning, including starting each day with a class Morning Meeting and ending with a Closing Circle.

     

    STEAM and PBL Programming

    • Q) What is STEAM?

    • A) STEAM is an acronym. It stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Beyond the emphasis on subject areas, STEAM education implies that students learn through an applied and integrated curriculum. There are many ways that this happens.

    • Q) What is PBL?

    • A) PBL (project based learning) is our primary instructional framework. Teachers use tenets of PBL to plan units typically within grade levels and with the support of the PBL Coordinator. Learn more about PBL programming in the PBL Corner and on the PBLWorks website.

    • Q) What makes a project authentic?

    • A) Projects can be authentic for learners in many ways. While every project is different, teachers at A2 STEAM use the following facets of authenticity to guide our work in project development:
      • Context: Students work to solve problems that have real-world implications.
      • Personalization: The work of the project is influenced by the direct concerns, interests, and identity of the student.
      • Impact: The outcome of the product genuinely addresses a real need in the community.
      • Processes: Students use the tasks, tools, and quality standards that career professionals would use.

    These ideas are further elaborated in the post from John Larmer on the PBLWorks Blog - Four Ways to Think about Authenticity - Through the Lens of Gold Standard PBL Videos.

    • Q) What is PLTW?

    • A) PLTW is a comprehensive engineering, design, computer science, and science curriculum taught by PLTW instructors and in the classroom in grades K-5. Both are key features of our STEAM approach. Learn more about PLTW on the Technology and Engineering webpage or on the PLTW website.
    • Q) What is EXPO?

    • A) EXPO a bi-annual, student-led showcase of PBL and PLTW projects. We are looking forward to renewing our commitment to student-led EXPOs in our phased return to in-person instruction. In many cases, students are finding ways to share their learning with wider audiences with our current learning plan, even without a formal EXPO. Learn more about EXPOs and PBL programming in the PBL Corner.
    • Q) What opportunities do students have for after-school activities?

    • A) In partnership with Ann Arbor Rec&Ed, A2 STEAM provides a series of after-school offerings that change each season. Learn more on the Rec&Ed After-School Offerings website. A2 STEAM also provides teacher-run clubs after school with a wide range of offerings. Learn on our A2 STEAM Athletics & Clubs webpage