AAPS Superintendent Jeanice Swift Update for Feb. 11

Update From Jeanice K. Swift, Superintendent of Schools

February 11, 2022

We are excited to move forward during February with our students and staff in school, participating together in learning, activities, and growth. We have observed strong in-school student attendance this week, averaging 92%, with more than half of AAPS schools at or above 95% attendance on Wednesday.

Superintendent School Mask Update

The AAPS will maintain all existing health and safety protocols, including universal masking, for AAPS schools, programs, and offices until further notice. Masks will continue to be required on buses, per federal requirements. We will continue to update our students, staff, families and community as we move through this process together. You may read a more detailed update on the next steps with universal masking here

National School Counselor Recognition

Each February, we have the opportunity to recognize our Ann Arbor Public Schools counselors and to express appreciation for the tremendous role they play in supporting our students. For the 2022 year, the National School Counseling theme is: School Counseling: Better Together.

We express deep appreciation to all our AAPS school counselors and honor them for their commitment, professionalism and dedication. Full Counselor Recognition statement can be read here.

National African American Parent Involvement Day in the AAPS

We are looking forward to the Ann Arbor Public Schools National African American Parent Involvement Day (NAAPID) celebration on Monday, February 14th. Our school teams are planning a wonderful day of parent engagement activities across all our AAPS schools. Principal messages will include more specific information about individual school activities. We will share the wonderful virtual celebrations going on across our AAPS schools via social media throughout the day on Monday.

Honoring February as Black History Month in the AAPS

In the AAPS, we celebrate Black History year-round, honoring the central role of African Americans in U.S. History across our classrooms as well as within each school community and with additional focus during February. We are delighted to share highlights from the many activities as students, teachers, leaders and the community continue to observe this special month.

Spotlight: SKYLINE Black History Month

Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African-Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S.History. This year the African American Humanities class presents “Brave and Enough,” a celebration of the contributions of people from the African diaspora. It is the 10th-anniversary show for Skyline and features dance, music, skits, history and art, all referencing our theme. There will be two performances, one during school for our students and staff and one special evening performance for guests of the performers. Please join us on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, as we all strive to be “Brave Enough.”

AAPS Staffing and Operations Update

All the efforts to support and improve staffing levels across our schools over previous months, in combination with declining cases among staff members during recent weeks since the January high, have helped stabilize day-to-day staffing across most school teams. School leaders and teams, with support from the human resources and leadership team, continue to work together to cover gaps when they occur each day. As we have since last August, we will continue to monitor this staffing situation closely every day and address situations in real-time as they arise.

However, challenges continue with staffing of operations support teams, with transportation, custodial, and food and nutrition support teams running 20-30% short-staffed. Hiring efforts have generated new members joining the team, yet turnover continues across these hourly positions.

For all who enjoy working in support of students, the AAPS currently has career opportunities across a variety of positions. The Human Resources team is planning an AAPS virtual job fair for Wednesday, February 23, 2022, from 3-6 pm. Members from across our AAPS team will support this ongoing ‘full-court press’ recruitment effort.

Transportation Update

We have updated our families this week regarding the next steps with transportation. You may read the full update here. We will continue to vigilantly monitor this transportation situation daily and continue to work to restore all transportation routes as soon as we can mobilize healthy and qualified staff to serve.

COVID Weekly Update

The weekly AAPS COVID-19 Case Dashboard, updated today, shows 52 cases reported this week. By MDHHS requirement, these cases represent those individuals who were on a school campus during their infectious period.

​​​​Vaccination status continues to matter for all staff and students ages 5-18. Our AAPS COVID Response Team continues to closely monitor and work through case situations, particularly in some school locations where we have observed groups of cases emerge recently.

COVID Home Test Kit Distribution

We’re pleased to report that our three recent COVID Home Test distribution events drew about 2100 AAPS families. Approximately 8000 test kits were distributed, with two tests in each kit. Parents who were not able to attend the events have received test kits through their schools, and most schools still have a stock of the tests. Information about the distribution of any remaining tests will be available soon. Thank you to the Strategic Partnership and Volunteer office and facilities staff for making the pick-up process easy and quick.

Community Education and Recreation

What’s your elementary student doing for spring break? Rec & Ed will be offering half-day and full-day camps Monday, March 28 – Friday, April 1 at Slauson Middle School. Registration opens at 8:00 a.m. on March 1. Find out more by visiting Rec & Ed Spring Break Camps 2022. Need a scholarship? Call (734) 994-2300, ext. 0 during business hours.

We continue to make solid progress together in support of our students and their rich growth and learning experiences this school year. Thank you for all the steps you are taking every day to support our students, staff, families and the Ann Arbor Public Schools community.