From Jeanice K. Swift, Superintendent of Schools Ann Arbor Public Schools
March 24, 2021
We have come a long way together through this COVID global pandemic. While we are not out of COVID yet, with the coming of vaccines, there are many reasons for hope and optimism during this spring of 2021.
This March is a significant time as we excitedly welcome our students, whose families choose, to in-school hybrid learning. Tomorrow, March 25th is a special moment in the AAPS as we begin the return to school buildings with students in Stage 1 to participate in in-school hybrid learning. Subsequent stages of the return to in-school learning occur over the coming days of April 2021.
We will continue, as we have committed from the beginning, to also offer a fully virtual learning experience through the remainder of this 20-21 school year.
The Ann Arbor Public Schools team has invested thousands of hours over the previous 11 months in a vigorous effort to prepare our schools for students and staff to safely return to the classroom. Planning and work have continued to ensure the safest possible COVID-informed return to school.
You may access additional back-to-in-school learning information on many topics, 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.
If you have additional questions or need real-time assistance during this spring return to in-school learning time, please reach out via your school’s front door email address or call your school directly.
Food and nutrition information and support can be obtained here: 994-2265
Transportation support may be reached here: 994-2330
We recognize that this COVID global pandemic time has presented significant challenges for all in our community. We have much gratitude for the impressive partnership among our students and parents, staff and community during this trying time.
While virtual learning was not the first choice, it is admirable how our students, teachers, parents and staff have worked together valiantly, making countless sacrifices to persist. Thanks to your diligent efforts, we have reimagined ways to connect and learn together, even while we have been physically apart.
The stories of compassion, connections, and care – from kitchen tables, garages, basements and bedrooms across Ann Arbor – have been inspiring. Despite all obstacles, teaching and learning has continued during this past year, and our relationships forged virtually will provide a strong foundation as we return to in-school hybrid learning.
Our work together this spring will focus on two key and critical domains in order to continue to serve our students and families in learning –
- Supporting the transition to in-school hybrid learning for those students and families who choose, and
- Ongoing, continued support of full virtual learning for those students and families who are more comfortable with this approach.
From the outset, we knew that the time of return to school buildings for students and staff would represent a ‘full-court press’ for all on our team.
We understand that our students and families fall along a wide continuum of preferences, needs and family situations when it comes to COVID and returning to school.
Whether families choose for students to return to AAPS school buildings this spring, during summer learning session, or in the fall, our commitment includes mobilizing our full AAPS resources in support of our students with learning differences and specialized learning needs, our youngest students who may not have attended in-school before and all our students whom we recognize may need additional support during this COVID recovery and return time.
We will remain in close partnership and communication. We will work together to pursue our shared goal of all students learning, growing and thriving as we progress through this time of restoration, renewal and recovery. This effort will continue over the months of 2021 and beyond.
We are also preparing for a robust Summer Learning 2021 and a strong back-to-school launch in Fall 2021. We are preparing for a full return to school in the AAPS this fall, with five days per week of instruction for students.
Thank you for your support of our children, staff, families and community of the Ann Arbor Public Schools. Let us move forward together.