- Ann Arbor Public Schools
- Superintendent's Messages
August 25, 2023 - Back to School Update
Hello AAPS Community,
It’s an exciting time in the Ann Arbor Public Schools as we approach the opening of the 2023-2024 school year in just two days.
We were thrilled to welcome back our teachers and school teams to our school campuses this week! We also welcomed our new principals at this week’s Board of Education meeting.
As we approach the start of school, I want to share some general AAPS back-to-school district information. You can also watch a video of these updates from this week’s Board of Education meeting here; this back-to-school video update also includes a photo slide presentation of our progress on 60+ significant Capital Program projects across all our schools this summer.
Power Outages in Ann Arbor
We continue working diligently and monitoring the ongoing status of power outages in the area, and our teams will be working through the weekend to ensure we are ready for a strong school opening on Monday.
Considering the time without power in many buildings today, we are preparing grab ‘n go breakfasts for the first morning at all schools.
If there is any need for an update on specific school readiness for Monday, we will be in touch directly through email and if needed, direct calls.
2023-2024 School Year Calendar
Please note that since we originally shared the calendar, we have added February 27th as a day of no school for students and staff due to the Presidential Primary (our schools are polling locations), and completed some adjustments regarding testing days for middle school and high school level students.
Food Service - Free Meals for All Students
We are delighted that our students in the AAPS and all of Michigan’s 1.4 million public school children will be receiving nutritious free meals at school this year as a result of a $160 million appropriation in the state’s School Aid budget adopted by the state legislature and signed into law by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
You may review more information here about our next steps with breakfast and lunch available for all students for no cost during the 2023-24 school year.
Important for everyone: To support accurate data during this transition, the state is requiring all families to fill out the Free and Reduced Lunch application or the Education Benefit form for families with students attending Community Eligibility Provision (CFP) designated schools.
You can learn more about the food program here, and you will also receive information directly from your school.
Also of note, AAPS has applied for the funds to eliminate the school-based food debt from the last school year, and our Chartwell’s partners indicate they are almost fully staffed and ready to serve free breakfast and lunch meals across all our schools, beginning next week!
We are fully staffed with bus drivers; all 108 bus routes are covered with a dedicated driver, and we have 20 sub drivers available, 128 drivers for 108 routes.
Community Education and Recreation (Rec & Ed) Updates
We are pleased to add a school community (Allen Elementary) to the Before/After Care program, with a combined Pittsfield/Allen before/after care program. This brings the school communities receiving Rec & Ed Before and/or After Care to eight; combined with external partners at three schools, the total schools with Before/After Care is now eleven schools.
We continue to actively interview and hire staff with the intention of continuing to reopen more program sites in 2023-24.
You may want to check out job opportunities in childcare here.
All schools have new two-way radios! 17 Crossing Guards will welcome students beginning the first day of school. New relocation/reunification plan will be introduced this fall. We will also introduce a new Securly Tip Line for anonymous tips from students, staff or families.
Student Health & Well-Being
Updated COVID-19 guidance for AAPS staff and students is posted on the district website. The guidance includes prevention strategies and resources, what to do if your student tests positive, and masking recommendations. Many processes from last year, including case reporting and isolation procedures, will continue.
The CDC Community Masking levels have been discontinued, so schools will no longer post the Green/Yellow/Red signs. However, district communication includes strong encouragement to mask in certain circumstances, including whenever respiratory symptoms are present.
Our AAPS welcome mat is out at each of our 31 neighborhood community schools, our countdown clock shows just two days to go, and we are thrilled to welcome our more than 17,000 students on Monday, August 28th.
See you soon!
Jeanice K. Swift
Superintendent of Schools
Ann Arbor Public Schools