By Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor
Stage 2 of the Ann Arbor Public Schools’ Hybrid Return to In-Person Learning is in the books, as first and second graders returned to the buildings this morning.
Bach Elementary first grade teacher Gabby Taylor said this past year has been by far the most interesting one in her five years as a teacher.
“There’s so much work we’ve put into this year, to finally have the chance to make some more people happy, we’re all excited for that opportunity,” she said, just minutes before the first student entered the classroom. “It feels like there’s a lot riding on this to get it right. As a teacher, you always want to make people happy. That’s our big thing. We just want to make kids happy. We want to make families happy. We have the chance to do that here, but it also means we have the chance to get it wrong. So it feels like there’s a lot of pressure.”
She said she has a good handle on the tech side of things, so she’s excited about the opportunity to simultaneously teach those at home and those in the classroom.
“The roomies and the roomies,” she said with a smile. “We have a decent number coming back to our room, so we’ll have a nice full class here four days a week and we’ll have a nice full Zoom board four days a week.”
Next door in her own first grade classroom, Jody Brecht said she, too, was feeling happy but a bit nervous about the challenges of the hybrid model.
“It’s something none of us have ever done before, except teethe kindergarten and Young Fives teachers have had their trial run,” she said, referring to Stage 1 of the plan, which happened two weeks ago just before spring break. “I’m excited to see the kids and be back to more of a normal way of teaching, but I don’t know what challenges are going to come.”
Principal Colette Ivey said she and the Bach staff were “elated” to welcome students back to learning in person and connecting with families in ways they’ve always been able to do in the past.
“As our staff connects with our students and our parents, and our students begin to get back into their normal routine, things will begin to feel like normal again.” – Bach Principal Colette Ivey
A few miles away at Eberwhite Elementary, first grade teacher Richard Brisson said he felt wonderful to be back in the building.
“It’s been a long haul,” he said. “I love teaching, so I love teaching virtually, also. But I wanted to be back at school so I’m happy this day has finally come.”
Referring to Stage 1 of the Hybrid Return to In-person Learning, Eberwhite Principal Bill Harris said it’s been nice for the youngest students to have a bit of extra time and attention in the building.
“Now it’s a thrill to have even more kiddos back in the school and I’m terribly excited for our third through fifth graders to come,” he said.
More information about back-to-in-school learning information is available on the A2schools.org website, including:
- Building preparations for in-school learning, including air ventilation reports for each school,
- See a school tour of building preparations here,
- Information on what hybrid in-school learning will look like for both ‘roomies’ and zoomies,’
- Health and safety protocols, The Super Six, that will be implemented in every classroom and school,
- What to Expect from a student perspective for the return to in-school learning,
- A SISS Guide to in-person learning for students with an IEP, and
- Health support information and videos from our AAPS Nurse team.