Allen Elementary

Ann Arbor Public Schools

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  • Weekly Update

    March 1, 2021

    Dear Allen Families,

    I hope you were able to enjoy the clement weather this weekend.  Sunshine, blue skies, and the warm temperatures remind us that Spring is coming.  There is a lot of information to share this week, so will get right to business.

    We will cover the following topics in this week’s updates: 

    • Registration for Hybrid or Virtual school
    • Food Distribution and EBT Cards
    • March is Reading Month at Allen!
    • PLTW Supply Distribution for Kindergarten Students
    • Virtual Field trip with Ms. Mobley
    • Special Area Classes Equipment Needs for the Week
    • Spirit Day Friday
    • Parenting Group
    • AAPS tech support
    • Helpful links on the AAPS site

    Registration for Hybrid or Virtual school

    Wednesday, February 24, the Board of Education approved plans to offer an  in-school hybrid option starting with Stage One on March 25th. The decision follows a new partnership with Michigan Medicine and IHA to provide vaccinations for K-12 staff in Washtenaw County as well as antigen testing for AAPS staff and students.

    Registration for student learning preference was emailed on Friday, February 26, 2021 with families of Pre-K, elementary school and self-contained classrooms.  All families need to respond to the survey with their intentions to either remain virtual or return to school in the hybrid format.  Please be sure to respond to the registration survey by March 8, 2021.   If you do not find the email, check your spam folder for an email from the address:

    A transportation survey will be forthcoming but has not yet been sent to elementary families.  Registration for middle school and high school students will be available in the coming weeks.  Students who are School of Choice or an in-district transfer do not qualify for transportation. 

    To help you understand more about what this will look like, we will host a Parent Information Session this evening, March 1st at 6:00pm.  I will be joined by some Allen staff to share with you more about what the model will look like and hopefully answer some of your questions. It is important that you have the information you need to help you make the most informed decision for you and your child/children. I invite you to use the following google form found HERE to submit questions before, during, and after the meeting. I recognize that it may take time to process this information and you may have questions after the meeting. It will remain open until the end of the week when I will close the form to further questions.    The link to join the Webinar is as follows:

    The webinar will be recorded and made available to you in case this time does not work for your schedule.  (This process can take 24-36 hours.)  During this meeting we will be describing the plan that is being developed for the hybrid option and answering questions that have been submitted through the google form.

    Food Distribution

    The Ann Arbor Public Schools will distribute food Monday, March 1st and Thursday, March 4th at the regular locations and times. Food distribution will shift to one day a week on Wednesdays only starting March 10th. The Wednesday distributions will provide food for seven days: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Two new afternoon distribution locations will start at Carpenter and Scio Farms on March 10th. Full details on the food distribution program, including distribution times and locations, are available here.

    Another round of EBT payments will be mailed home to eligible Free and Reduced Lunch families beginning the end of March from the State of Michigan. If your home address has changed recently, you must update it with Michele Barkoot at For more information,  check here: EBT Card Information.

    March is Reading Month

    Allen’s teaching staff have designed a robust and thoughtful March is Reading Month program will see all of our students sharing stories reflecting the themes of kindness, friendship, and building strong neighborhoods that celebrate diversity.  Here is more information with images of the books we will be reading to our classes this month. 

    Students in grades 2 - 5 will read Wishtree by Katherine Applegate. Wishtree is the story of Red, an oak tree who has been a part of his neighborhood for generations. Someone has carved the word LEAVE on his trunk: a message meant for Samar’s family (the newest Muslim family that has just moved in). Red believes that if he can help build a friendship between Samar and a boy from her school who lives next door, he can stop acts of hate, bring the neighborhood together, and make Samar’s wish for friendship come true. Through the eyes of Red and his animal friends, the community realizes that there should never be barriers to being welcome and included.

    Students in grades Y5, K, and 1 will read a set of 5 picture books that share similar themes. Those books include: Lubna and Pebble,  I walk with Vanessa,  The Perfectly Perfect WishThe One Day House, and The Forever Tree.

    Our hope is that these pairings will allow families with students in both grade groupings to share conversations about what they are reading. Ask your students what their teachers are reading to them and enjoy these family discussions! 

    We will be hosting an online Scholastic book fair from March 10-March 23.  More information will be shared next week. 

    On Thursday, March 18th, our amazing special area team will be hosting a virtual Books Before Bedtime from 6:30-7:30.  This will be a story time and great opportunity to celebrate March is Reading month with the special area teachers. 

    PLTW Supply Pick up for Kindergarten Students

    Kindergarten classes are starting Project Lead the Way this week.  To help this teaching and learning experience be more engaging and interactive, we will be providing supplies for the students and they may be picked up on Wednesday, March 3 between 11:30 and 1:00.  Students will not need these supplies for the first few lessons of PLTW. Each student will receive 10 plastic cups, 2 small balls, and a bag of dominoes. Please make sure they keep these for their time during PLTW. If you have any questions or concerns,  please email our Project Lead the Way teacher at

    Virtual Field Trip with Ms. Mobley

    Over the next few weeks Allen students will be attending a virtual field trip, through University Musical Society (UMS), with Ms. Mobley.  They will be observing El Ballet Folklórico de México.  During the virtual experience students will be watching dance performances, classical and Mariachi music as well as seeing costumes that represent different regions of Mexico and support the dancer’s expression of art.  Ms. Mobley is preparing the students for this virtual experience.  If you’d like to learn more about this experience, check out the linked slides below

    El Ballet Folklórico de México and La Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México (The National Symphony Orchestra of Mexico)

    Special Area Class Equipment Needs for this week                 

    ART: Week of March 1st 

    Y5-2nd: Paper, pencil, construction paper for collage, scissors, glue (markers and drawing tools optional to add details)

    3-4th: Paper, Oil Pastels and Watercolor (students can complete this with preferred tools if oil pastels and watercolor are not available)

    5th: Paper and choice of preferred art materials for adding color and details 

    *Please note students can always start on a plan during our zoom time together and complete their art during asynchronous time!

    Physical Education:  Week of March 1st

    At the beginning of each live class, students are given 3 minutes to collect materials for class.  Below are the items we will use this week for each grade level:

    Y5 - 2nd Grades:  

    *1 Long Implement (i.e. broom, umbrella, pool noodle)

    *1 ball-like object (i.e. sock ball, crumpled piece of paper, beanie baby)

    *4 cone-like objects (i.e. cups, shoes, water bottles)

    3rd & 4th Grades on Monday & Tuesday:

    *1 Frisbee-like object (i.e. paper plate, hat)

    *2 poly spot-like objects (i.e. pencil, socks, beanie baby)

    *1 basket (i.e. laundry basket, box, garbage can)

    5th Grade:

    * 1 Long Implement (i.e. broom, umbrella, pool noodle)

    *1 ball-like object (i.e. sock ball, crumpled piece of paper, beanie baby)

    *4 cone-like objects (i.e. cups, shoes, water bottles

    Parenting Group

    Some local Mental Health Specialists are running a parenting group that follow the Circle of Security curriculum (  The program focuses more on attachment needs vs. behavioral "problem."  This course runs for 8 weeks from March 16th-May 4th from 6:30-8:00pm.  See the linked flyer.

    More from the Circle of Security people about their basic theory: Many children with behavior and emotional problems puzzle and challenge their parents/caregivers (and the professional helpers). The goal of this specialized service is to help "decode" or “solve the mystery” of a child’s behavior, so to better understand how to guide children and make sense of the difficult behaviors, mysterious signals and attachment needs.

    This Friday, March 5th our spirit day is favorite color or favorite outfit day!

    This month will prove to be busy in many ways. Spring is on the horizon and with that we will see a re-birth of an in-school learning option. We are grateful for the support that we continue to offer and receive, as teachers, parents, health care professionals, and every member of our school community. I am expectant and grateful for better days ahead.

    Your Principal,

    Laura Wolf

    Allen Parent Council Updates:


    Our next Parent Council Meeting is Thursday March 11, 6-7pm, via zoom.  All are welcome to attend!, Meeting ID: 898 6951 6690, Passcode: ALLEN


    Mark your calendars for the March Dine to Donate on Friday, March 26, 10am-10pm at Olga’s Kitchen.  Mention Allen Elementary when you order.


    Trex School Challenge: Recycle plastic at participating retailers then log the amount you recycled to help Allen earn incentives. Trex Film and Bag Recycling 


    Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Store


    More information, calendar, ways to donate, and more are on our website.  



    It is truly a privilege and an honor to be returning to the Allen School community.  I am so excited to get to know all of our students and families over the coming days and weeks.  

    To our students, I cannot wait to meet and connect with you!  I hope you are reading this summer and spending time with your families.  I look forward to meeting you online in the near future.  

    To our families, while I know there are so many uncertainties as we return to school virtually during a pandemic, please know we will be steadfast in working alongside you to provide the engaging and robust teaching and learning opportunities you have come to expect from the Ann Arbor Public Schools.    

      Welcome to Allen Elementary
    where we strive to engage, value, and collaborate with
    all students, parents, and community members in the learning process.

    Allen Elementary School is filled with dedicated and professional staff who strive to create the optimal learning environment for students. All students, staff, and parents are valued members of the Allen community.  

    We take pride in... 

    • Providing a research-based curriculum: Everyday Math and Balanced Literacy                            
    • Ongoing professional development of staff: literacy, math and science education, social and emotional development.
    • Our on-site staff who provide specialized knowledge and skills to support children and teachers.
    • The shared commitment between school and home: Parent Council, School Improvement Team, Spring Open House, Country Fair, Book Fairs, Performances, Chaperones, and Room parents.

    Please come to visit us at Allen. We would love to meet you and show you around our school.


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