Ann Arbor's Signature Programs

  • We Believe in the Arts

    AAPS offers rich instruction in visual arts, choral music, orchestra, band, jazz, theater and dance that all positively impact the whole student academically.

    • 98% of K-12 AAPS students are enrolled in at least one arts course.
    • 64% of AAPS secondary students are enrolled in at least two art courses.
    • AAPS has an impressive inventory of instruments for use by students at every elementary, middle and high school who are involved in the instrumental music program.
    • Elementary students receive 60 minutes weekly instruction in visual arts, 60 minutes weekly instruction in vocal music, and 76 minutes of Humanities. The Elementary Humanities program includes art, music, physical education and media teachers instructing students in their content area.
    • Instrumental music starts in 5th grade and may continue through 12th grade. Vocal music begins in Kindergarten and may continue through 12th grade.
    • In 2013 and 2014 AAPS has been recognized as one of four National Finalists for the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network & National School Boards Association Award.
    • AAPS has a strong partnership with University Musical Society (UMS); the Kennedy Center provides Kennedy Center teaching artists for professional staff development workshops for AAPS staff.
    • AAPS is annually recognized by the National Association for Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation as the Best Community for Music Education.
    • Pioneer High was named a 2011 National GRAMMY Signature School. Huron High was named a 2006 GRAMMY Signature School.
    • Community High School’s Jazz program is recognized as one of the best jazz performance programs nationally.
    • Community, Huron, Pioneer and Skyline High Schools all have highly respected Theater Guilds that perform full musical productions and dramatic selections throughout the school year.
    • AAPS offers a Comprehensive Outreach Music Program (COMP) to provide private one-on-one music lessons for those 6th–8th graders who otherwise would not be able to afford them. 

    We Excel in Athletics and Afterschool Programs 

    • AAPS excels in offering students a wide variety of enrichment opportunities such as physical education, athletics, extra – curricular clubs and programs – something for every student! 
    • AAPS believes it is important for students to be connected to their schools and peers. Staff and student connections have proven to be a key indicatorof overall student academic and social success. AAPS provides a wide variety of opportunities for student involvement.
    • Elementary afterschool programs including school clubs and Rec&Ed classes expand the student’s involvement, learning and fun!
    • Middle schools offer 5 seasons of athletics both intramural and intermural, as well as a variety of afterschool clubs ranging from Academic Games, creative writing, Math Counts, engineering clubs, and a variety of extended music and performing arts clubs.
    • High schools offer 34 varsity sports for both boys and girls and 100s of clubs and after- school activities. All clubs are sponsored by a staff member or approved volunteer. 

    World Language Instruction Starts in Elementary

    Speaking a language other than English is essential 21st century proficiency our students will need in order to thrive in a world that is increasingly more interconnected and global in nature. The new State of Michigan High School Graduation standard expects that all students will acquire 2-credits of world language before graduation. Ann Arbor Public Schools has begun implementation of systemwide world language experiences for students beginning in third grade and continuing through high school. Ann Arbor Public Schools students will be well on their way to language learning beginning with their elementary world language experience and continuing into the multiple language offerings available in our exceptional high school programs.

    • Effective language learning and competencies must be equitably accessible to all students.
    • Cultural appreciation evolves from learning a language other than English; language learning connects to important outcomes articulated in our social studies curriculum and grade level expectations (a study of changing demographics, the impact on economics, an appreciation for geography and an understanding of inter-national dependency).

    Technology Use Across the Entire Curriculum

    • Upgraded network infrastructure at 16 sites with approximately 150 new switches, 486 wireless access points, 2,547 data drops.
    • Installed over 517 projectors at 15 sites.
    • Teachers and administrators paricipated in a two-week work study trip to Singapore, fully funded by the Toyoate Education Initiative in STEAM innovations program through Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A, Inc. and administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE). Innovations program to enhance STEAM teaching and learning.
    • Conducted four days of STEAM Professional Learning Academy to teachers, focused on the theme: ENGAGE. CONNECT. TRANSFORM.
    • Partnered with Michigan Virtual University (MVU) on the My Blend project. 42 teachers finished the first course.
    • Implemented two additional Project Lead the Way technology lab sites at Huron High School and Northside A2 STEAM. Expansion underway to all middle and K-8 buildings.
    • Implemented Google Apps for all AAPS students.
    • Installed 22 new Career Technology Education (CTE) computers in 4 CTE labs.
    • The Technology Department continues oversight of 3 grants:
    • Toyota STEAM Professional Learning Academy (PLA) grant ($27,000)
    • Ann Arbor Public Schools Education Foundation (AAPSEF) A2 STEAM Lab ($50,000), IMRA America, Inc. through the AAPSEF, Design, Technology, Environmental Planning (DTEP) grant ($100,000). 

    Project Lead The Way in grades 6-12

    Project Lead the Way (PLTW) provides comprehensive middle and high school programs for both engineering and biomedical career paths. PLTW is the nation's leading provider of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs. The engineering career path consists of 8 nine-week units that are taught in middle school and 8 year-long courses that are offered in high school.  The biomedical sciences career path consists of four high school courses. Each course concludes with a standardized test to gauge student performance and is cross-walked with the Michigan Merit Curriculum.  Upon completion of the program students are offered the opportunity to take an exam, which upon successful completion, will provide college credit at numerous universities, including; Eastern Michigan University, Lawrence Technological University, and Kettering University.

    Career and Technical Education

    Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes offer students an opportunity to develop skills that will lead to employment upon graduation, or provide a foundation that will assist them in pursuing a post secondary education after graduating from high school. High School students that are enrolled in state-approved Career and Technical Education Programs can get a jump-start on their college education for free.  Much like dual enrollment, it means earning credits towards a high school diploma and a college degree at the same time.

    Courses of study with Michigan Merit Curriculum credit and the possibility of post-secondary credit at Washtenaw Community College include:

    • Auto Service Technology
    • Business Administration
    • Construction
    • Cosmetology
    • Culinary Arts
    • Digital Multi Media
    • Finance/Accounting
    • Health Therapeutic Services
    • Marketing Sales & Services

    Courses of study with Michigan Merit Curriculum credit and the possibility of post-secondary credit at Eastern Michigan University include:

    • Engineering