AAPS: Superintendent Jeanice Swift offers update on COVID, school buildings, more

Hello AAPS Students and Staff, Families and Community,

We are looking forward to welcoming all our students back to school in just a few days on Monday, August 30, 2021!

We are excited to reopen our Ann Arbor Public Schools with full operations across all 31 campuses. We continue our commitment to health and safety protocols to ensure our schools remain open for full-time, uninterrupted, in-person learning for all our students during this 2021-2022 school year.

As an Ann Arbor community, we each have a role in keeping our schools healthy and safe for students, staff, and families this school year. The most important steps we can take to protect our children, schools and community are for all who qualify to receive vaccination against COVID-19, and to wear masks while indoors.

Highlights of this Update (2 min read time)

Update on preparation of school buildings:

  • All play structures have been inspected and any necessary repairs made.
  • Hydration Station water filters have been replaced.
  • New recycling bins located in all our schools.
  • The enhanced ventilation program remains in place to circulate maximum air in all our schools.
  • Buildings have been thoroughly cleaned, following CDC protocols.
  • Facility teams and school teams are preparing for use of outdoor spaces as a regular part of the AAPS school day experience.

Video – School Tour at Bach Elementary

Full Text Superintendent Update Message

Excitement is growing as we move closer to the opening of our AAPS schools in just a few days!

I am sharing a number of back-to-school updates and information as follows.

Back-to-School Information

We have updated our Back-To-School webpage

AAPS COVID-19 Health & Safety Protocols

We have committed to health and safety protocols to keep our students, staff and school community safe and to keep our commitment to provide students with five days a week of in-person instruction this school year.

Please be sure to carefully review the AAPS COVID-19 Health & Safety Protocols, Fall 2021.  This protocol document will be updated as new guidance becomes available; continue to check here for the most current information. The Washtenaw County Health Department has amended guidance on protocols for close contacts this week.

As we announced on July 30th, all AAPS staff and contractors are required to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or submit to weekly COVID testing by August 27th; this requirement represents an important step that reinforces our AAPS commitment to health and safety.

RAHS Clinic Offers Immunizations (including COVID) and Sports Physicals

The RAHS Clinic at Pathways to Success High School in Ann Arbor is open for care of youth through 21 years old. The RAHS team provides sports physicals, all immunizations including the Pfizer Covid vaccine to 12- to 21-year-olds, therapy, diagnosis and treatment for mood and concentration problems and more, without any out-of-pocket costs. Please call at 734-973-9167 to schedule an appointment. Providers are bilingual in Spanish and English and use phone interpreters for other languages.

RAHS Fall hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 8:15am – 3:30pm; Tuesday morning 8:15am – 12:15pm; Friday – Closed.

AAPS Food and Nutrition, 2021-22

All AAPS students will be offered no-cost breakfast and lunch for the entire school year!

AAPS is offering healthy no-cost meals at all schools this school year as part of the USDA’s continuing free lunch program during the COVID pandemic through June 30, 2022.

AAPS enrolled students will be offered a nutritious meal for breakfast and lunch each day at no charge to the families. Families will not be required to submit a meal application form to receive meals at no charge. However, eligible families should fill out the Free & Reduced Lunch Application or the household family survey for CEP schools (Mitchell/Pittsfield/Scarlett and Pathways) to ensure that their family receives important P-EBT benefits.

Filling out the Free & Reduced Lunch application also makes it very easy to apply for Rec & Ed scholarships!

Lunchtime in the AAPS

AAPS is committed to ensuring the health and safety of our students and staff throughout the entire school day, including lunchtime, when students will not be able to wear masks while eating.

We know that the situation at lunchtime will look different when comparing schools, as each school’s floor plan is unique, yet we are committed to making sure the structure of lunchtime works at every school.

  • Students will be required to wear masks in the cafeteria when not actively eating and drinking.
  • Elementary schools will confirm seating charts to minimize potential close contacts while masks are removed.
  • Students will need to wear their masks while going through the serving line.
  • Students will put their masks back on when they finish their meal.
  • School teams will use space and time strategies to achieve as safe a setting as possible for lunch.
  • Cafeteria spaces will be regularly and thoroughly cleaned with a sanitizing solution.
  • It is recommended that students wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer before and after eating.

School menus will be available online on August 23.

Your child may choose to bring their meals and snacks to school this year.

Watch for more specific information about health and safety arrangements and lunchtime that will be shared from your school principal.

Nelson Mandela said, “The true character of a society is revealed in how it treats its children.” We understand that this is true in a particularly visible way as we return to school this fall. In working together as an AAPS team and community to prioritize health and safety protocols at home and at school – in taking science informed steps – we demonstrate who we are as individuals and as a collective and we prioritize the opening of our schools. Through our daily actions, we show our care and commitment to our children, to each other, and to our Ann Arbor community.

Truly, we are stronger together.

Thank you for all your support, and we look forward to seeing you on August 30, 2021!