September 3, 2021
Hello AAPS Students, Staff, Families and Community,
We are delighted this week to have our students, teachers and staff learning together in our schools. Over many months, as an AAPS community, we have shared the highest hopes and intention to bring our students back to in-school learning. We are grateful for all the significant work and support by students and staff, parents and the community to achieve a strong school opening this week. Students are happy to be learning, playing and growing together; you may want to enjoy some of the sights and sounds of back to school in this two-minute video.
Summary Highlights of this Superintendent Update Message (1-2 min read)
- We will continue to practice the AAPS COVID-19 health and safety protocols
- We will notify of COVID cases at the school level when they occur in a notification letter that will be emailed and posted to the school website
- We will publish an AAPS COVID dashboard each week on Friday
- Please consider reducing indoor contacts with others to mitigate the risk of spread and to prioritize and sustain this fall school opening.
Full Superintendent Update Message
As students, teachers and staff have returned to school amidst a continuing pandemic, we will remain vigilant in practicing the AAPS COVID-19 health and safety protocols: vaccination for all who qualify, universal masking while indoors, observing public health protocols such as remaining home when experiencing symptoms, limiting visitors in the schools and others.
AAPS Reporting of COVID-19 Cases
The Ann Arbor Public Schools has clear COVID-19 case notification and communication steps for COVID-19 cases in our schools, which includes the following steps;
- notifying individuals identified as ‘close contacts’
- notifying the classroom/group/school community in a notification letter
- posting the school notification letter to the school website.
These notification and communication steps are coordinated by the AAPS School Nurse or health team member, working in direct consultation with the Washtenaw County Health Department (WCHD) team and the school principal.
For the above steps to be completed as quickly as possible, it is essential that parents immediately report a student’s positive COVID-19 test to the school principal by calling the school office and/or emailing their student’s teacher and principal. In the case of student-athletes, this information may be reported to the coach.
AAPS District COVID-19 Dashboard
In addition to the communication steps listed above, the district AAPS dashboard will be updated each Friday with COVID-19 cases reported through the end of the school day each Thursday. COVID-19 cases will be updated by school, level and other groups to consistently update the AAPS community of COVID-19 cases and exposure in our schools.
Information about the AAPS COVID-19 Case Notification Process may be read here. Today’s AAPS COVID dashboard, which includes COVID case data reflected from the preparation week, beginning August 23rd and through the first week of classes, is here.
Priority on a Healthy, Safe and Sustained School Reopening
As a community, we are all focused on achieving a sustained, healthy and safe school reopening. With the COVID Delta virus continuing in both our county and country, there is a simple way that we can all continue to prioritize a healthy school opening through the daily steps we take. By reducing indoor contact with other people, particularly in large gatherings, we help stop the virus and help our community return to health.
Consider in the days ahead, carefully evaluating participation in indoor gatherings. Consider substituting a zoom session for an in-person event. Lowering exposure helps students remain in the classroom. Sometimes these small sacrifices make a significant difference.
In a COVID era, students, teachers and staff learning and growing together in schools represent a tremendous step forward. In the steps we take each day, we demonstrate our care and commitment to our children, to each other, to our Ann Arbor community and to our shared future. Truly, we are stronger when we work together.
We will continue to refine and improve our work together, adapting as needed through this pandemic. We will remain in ongoing communication as we proceed step-by-step through this fall back-to-school time.
Whenever we can assist you in any way, please call on us or reach out directly to your school; we are here to serve you. Thank you for all your support of our students and staff, of the Ann Arbor Public Schools and our beautiful Ann Arbor community.