October 30, 2020 - Fall 2020 Election Message

Hello AAPS Students and Staff, Parents and Community,

I want to reach out today as we prepare for Election Day 2020 next week. I encourage everyone to vote if you have not already done so. We all understand that elections matter; every voice and every vote matters in this democracy. 

In the Ann Arbor Public Schools, 24 of our schools operate as polling places, serving 44 neighborhood precincts. Many thanks to our AAPS team members who have been preparing for months to ensure a smooth process supporting the work of area election coordinators and officials. We appreciate the ongoing effort across our community to ensure a fair, successful election process.

This fall election season has been especially challenging. We understand that this election adds an additional layer of anxiety for so many in our community and across the country, in addition to the ongoing challenges caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic. We also recognize that tension and uncertainty may continue for some time as the election outcome may not be immediately settled. We will all need time to process this 2020 election experience.

As an AAPS school team and community, we understand that now is a critical time to share and live our core value of respect for all and care for each other through these unsettled days. I know we each recognize our role to support our students and each other as we grow together through this time. We will continue to model and reinforce empathy, critical thinking skills, kindness, civility and compassion, as well as how to come together despite differences. Over the coming days, we will center ourselves on our embrace and support for each unique student and for every member of our learning community.  In times of uncertainty, we don’t diminish or change our fundamental beliefs; we deepen them.

We expect that critical conversations and teachable moments will be ongoing in virtual classrooms, around dinner tables and across our community as we move forward through this 2020 election process, regardless of the outcome. We will extend patience and grace with each other, recognizing that we are each in a position to set the tone, and that our lived values represent who we truly are, regardless of the outcome of any election./p>

In the Ann Arbor Public Schools, we remain committed to moving forward together, deepening our commitment to openness, inclusivity, respect, celebration of diversity and caring for each other. These are the values for which our Ann Arbor community is well known and they will help guide us through the unsettled days during this election process and sustain us through this COVID-19 global pandemic.

Thank you for all your support of our children and staff, our parents, families and community.

Jeanice K. Swift
Superintendent of Schools