May 14, 2021 - Back to School 2021-22


AAPS lead, care, inspire graphicSuperintendent Update 
Back to School 2021-22
Friday, May 14, 2021

Hello AAPS Students and Parents, Staff and Community, 

We are looking forward to a full back-to-school opening, beginning on Monday, August 30, 2021. The Ann Arbor Public Schools will return to full operation, five days per week, in-school teaching and learning at all school buildings.  

Our quality AAPS teachers, staff and school leaders, academic programs, visual and performing arts and sciences with curricular, co-curricular and extracurricular programming offered, early childhood through 12th grade.

Elementary Education Programs 

While we understand that most students and families will choose the in-school learning approach, as we have committed, we will also offer the following elementary programs, including separate virtual opportunities:

  • Full in-school learning, five days per week, across all elementary campuses
  • A2Online (synchronous learning; student is a part of an online classroom learning community)
  • A2Virtual Elementary (asynchronous; student works independently with weekly support of an AAPS teacher)

Please note that there is no hybrid instruction as a part of the Fall 21-22 plan. 

Preschool Programs

All preschool programs will be offered at Westerman Preschool and at our preschool classrooms in elementary schools, including First Steps, Early On, Great Start Readiness, Head Start Preschool. Preschool programs will be offered in-school only with no virtual offering. 

School-Aged Child Care

The Ann Arbor Public Schools has taken the painful yet necessary step to discontinue school-aged childcare for this upcoming 2021-22 school year. We want to share this information now so that parents have time to prepare for Fall 2021. 

AAPS has used a large group model for childcare, with students in the cafeteria or gym, which is not a COVID safe model that will work well for children this fall. At this time, elementary students are not anticipated to be fully vaccinated by this fall. Other COVID-related complications, such as cases and quarantine issues present further challenges to the current, large group school childcare model.

Although we appreciate the outreach and offer of support from volunteers, and we have used volunteers in the past, school childcare is regulated, and volunteers cannot take the place of the required, certificated staff. Staffing such a large program has presented a challenge for several years, now exacerbated by COVID.

During this upcoming year, we will work to redesign the childcare program for 2022-23 to offer a program better aligned to our equity and Rec & Ed mission.

Secondary Education Programs, 6-12

We understand that most students and families will choose the five days per week, in-school learning approach for middle school and high school programs, and as we have committed, we will continue to offer the following secondary programs:

  • Full in-school learning, five days per week, across all secondary campuses
  • A2Virtual Middle School & High School 

(as in prior years, in A2Virtual students work independently with weekly AAPS teacher support)

Instructional technology devices, reading and library materials for students

All AAPS students will have the following instructional technology supports to support their quality AAPS learning experiences. 

The AAPS will continue 1:1 technology devices issued for each student. Chromebooks will be provided for students in grades 2-12 and we will share more about early grades devices soon. We will continue to support connectivity for all students. 

Schoology will continue as the learning ecosystem to support learning for students, staff and parents.

The AAPS Sora ELibrary & digital academic reading materials so students can borrow and open books with one tap will continue to be available 24/7 on student devices as well as extraordinary librarians and traditional libraries open at all school campuses. 

Community Meetings

We held the first community information meeting on the 2021 school year last night, and you can watch it here. We will continue additional virtual community meetings at 6 PM on Thursday, May 20th and Thursday, May 27th.

We are excited for our next steps to re-engage fully in-person together in our Ann Arbor Public Schools this fall, including offering exemplary academic, performing and visual arts and sciences, enrichment, athletic and extracurricular opportunities. Highlights of AAPS programming include:  International Baccalaureate, STEAM, Project Lead the Way Y5 - 12th, World Languages, Environmental Education, Rec & Ed Programs, Science Olympiad, Robotics, Orchestra Night and much more. We will continue to share more information and details throughout this spring so that students and parents can prepare for this back-to-school time. 

It will be a great day to welcome our students back to our schools for a full return to school, five days each week, beginning on Monday, August 30, 2021; the detailed, full-year school calendar will be shared with the community in the near future. 

Thank you for your partnership and support of our children, staff and this Ann Arbor Public Schools community.

Sincerely,

Swift signature

Jeanice K. Swift