April 13, 2020 - Moving Forward Today

Hello AAPS Team, 
"We make the path by walking."
                          - Robert Bly

I hope you are well today, and I am grateful for each of you and the important role you serve in our Ann Arbor Public Schools as we work together through this challenging time.

Thank you for all the work you have done to prepare for this moment, to move forward in learning with our students today; I am tremendously proud of and grateful for your work. I know that we will rise together to meet the challenges of this situation, we will take care of ourselves and our own families, we will help each other, and together we will serve our students, families, and community well. This is not just what we do; it is who we are as Team AAPS. 

Our Work Together Moving Forward

As we transition to a more significant distance learning model with our students beginning today, we all understand the importance of approaching our work with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in front of mind, attending first to physical and emotional needs, then to learning activities. Some students will need outreach and wrap around supports much more urgently than academics, some students will need academic endeavor and the semblance of regularity it brings to these days. All our students need the connection and engagement together with you and with each other during this time. All will remember this time for their entire lives, and I know they will look back on the positive difference you make for each of them during these days. Thank you for working so diligently to meet this next challenge as we continue to serve our AAPS students well.

The coming nine weeks through the end of this school year is a critical time, and everyone in our AAPS organization has an important role to play. Though the details of our work may look very different now, our critical mission remains ever the same: Every Child. Every Day. We understand that our students need us now, more than ever, and I know we will connect and continue to serve our students and families well in innovative, impressive ways.

What you accomplish in our classrooms and schools each day in the AAPS cannot be replicated virtually. Yet, I know that your care, concern, relationships, and competence as educators will extend virtually to reach our students where they are today. As you do every day, you will inspire our students — and they will inspire us — we will make the most of this opportunity as learners together during this historic time.

We each have been called on by history to make a powerful difference during this unique moment. This COVID-19 crisis is a test of who we are and what we are made of when it truly matters most for our students, families, and this Ann Arbor community we serve.

Together, I know we will rise to this moment; we will overcome this challenge. We will be stronger as individuals, as teams, and as an AAPS organization on the other side of this situation.

Please continue to share with us how we can support you as you serve our students and families. We are truly in this together.

Stay healthy, and I so appreciate each of you,

Jeanice K. Swift
Superintendent of Schools