The following is a communication sent to AAPS students and staff, parents and community members from Superintendent of Schools Jeanice K. Swift.
As we enter the new 2021 year, with a new semester beginning just three weeks away, I want to take the time to update you on our current work and next steps in the AAPS.
Our current work continues to be focused on three key and critical areas:
1) Deliver quality virtual learning opportunities to ensure connections, academic learning and progress for our students across our AAPS virtual classrooms,
2) Continue enhanced student support, extending a safety net for students and families, including food, devices and support with connectivity. Also, we have embedded support for specialized learning needs, including professional services, social-emotional, mental health and enrichment supports.
3) Continue a laser focus on preparations for a safe and healthy return to in-school learning.
Today, I want to specifically highlight in this update some of our preparation and current work in anticipation of reopening our AAPS campuses, including readiness work in our physical school buildings, AAPS participation in MDHHS pilot antigen testing program, and our partnership and support of public health efforts in school staff and community vaccination process.
Coordinating the effort to safely return students and staff is among the greatest challenges school districts will ever face. As this COVID situation continues to evolve rapidly, we are guided by a wide set of considerations in decision-making around the exact timing of confirming healthy and safe reopening decisions.
With the arrival of vaccines and potential in-school testing capacity, we are taking definitive, positive steps in the direction of returning our students to in-school learning for those families who may choose this option.
However, we should balance our understanding of this situation that both of these efforts are in the very early phases. Our local health authorities oversee the vaccination process, following the guidance of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). Our commitment is to continue to work in close collaboration, partnership and support of our excellent community public health team.
At this early point, we understand that we all will continue to have many questions. Our commitment is that we will continue to communicate as frequently as we receive confirmed information on the progress of this important work. We understand the need for information in order to plan accordingly.
Thank you for your patience, partnership and support as we work our way through this historic COVID time.