March 16, 2020 - COVID-19 Update


AAPS COVID-19 Update
Monday, March 16th, 2020

Hello AAPS Parents and Students, Staff and Community, 

As we move through Day 1 of our AAPS COVID-19 school shut down, we will continue to work to share regular updates with you. 

So much is changing in our daily lives just now. Learning, school and work will look different as we move forward, yet we know that our priorities remain clear and unchanged: our focus on children, our learning together, and our partnership in support and outreach to children and families in the Ann Arbor community will continue throughout this challenging time.  

This email includes important information on social distancing, AAPS food service while we are closed due to COVID-19, social-emotional supports, the latest information on keeping our students engaged in learning, and how to stay connected to AAPS. Please review all of these sections and click on the associated links for full information. 

Important: Social Distancing

The Ann Arbor Public Schools, as well as school districts and businesses across Michigan, have taken the extraordinary step of shutting down to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For the community prevention strategy of closing schools and other facilities to be most effective, everyone who possibly can practice social distancing must do their part. In his article “This is Not a Snow Day,” Dr. Asaf Bitton urges everyone to “make daily choices to stay away from each other as much as possible.” By doing so, we have a better chance to slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent our health systems from becoming overwhelmed with sick people. 

For additional tips for our parents, including recommendations for shared child care situations, click here.

AAPS Food Service

AAPS, working with Chartwells Food Service, will provide “to go” meals available for pick-up between 11 AM and 12:30 PM at approximately a dozen locations across the community. In addition to today, meals will be available this week on Tuesday, March 17th and Friday, March 20th.  If you have food allergy needs, cannot make it to a pick-up location or have any other questions, please call 734-994-2265 and arrangements will be made. Meals are provided to fulfill student needs for 7 days per week, extending through Spring Break week. Full details are available here.

Social-Emotional Support for Students

Being away from school means students are away from some of their trusted adults who provide social-emotional support. Each school will be publishing the names (along with email addresses and phone numbers) of their student support team members who will be regularly checking emails and voicemail messages. We encourage you to contact these professionals for support of your student's mental health needs. 

Please Note: If your student is in need of immediate and urgent support, please contact Washtenaw County Community Mental Health - Crisis line: 734- 544-3050 or  Ozone House.- Crisis Line: 734-662-2222.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these tips for helping children cope with emergencies.

Stay Connected to AAPS

This COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving, and we want to remain in consistent communication with staff and students, parents and community throughout the duration of this event. 

To reduce the number of emails, when at all possible, district-wide communications will occur once at the end of the day. Like this message, we will provide links to additional information on a variety of subjects. You may review all of our previous AAPS messages on our A2Schools.org/COVID-19 webpage, which will also be shared via Twitter and Facebook. We encourage everyone in the community to share these communications widely.

For real-time updates, follow us on twitter at @A2schools and @A2SchoolSuper 

Also, at Ann Arbor Public Schools on Facebook.  

Engaged in Learning at A2Schools.org

We all understand that learning will look different during this time, and our goal while away from school is to continue our engagement in learning together. Please read the update on the AAPS Continuous Learning Plan

Certainly, making the shift to digital learning will take some time. To ensure access to learning for all students AAPS will be providing technology this week, and our hard-working teachers are busy planning for instruction and receiving professional development. In order to provide students with continuous learning the week of March 16, students and families can access grade level and content related enrichment activities by clicking here. All resources related to the Continuous Learning Plan can be accessed at http://a2schools.org/continuouslearning.

We continue to be inspired by the amazing outpouring of support within our Ann Arbor community. I want to thank our exceptional students, teachers, and staff, leaders, parents and community members for all you are doing to provide consistent support for each of our 18,500 students. 

Sincerely,

Jeanice K. Swift
Superintendent of Schools