The 2014-2015 academic year at AAPS has officially begun for our students! This is the most excited year yet. There are many new programs that we are launching this year – and more to come!
Dr. Swift’s Welcome Message
Dr. Swift’s welcome message issued today lists out the many exciting things happening in the AAPS (excerpt below):
“2014-2015 is already shaping up to be an incredible year as we continue to extend and enhance the quality for which Ann Arbor Public Schools has long been known. The Ann Arbor name represents quality teaching and learning experiences and top-shelf academic programs. AAPS educational outcomes, including ACT, Michigan Merit Exam (MME), and Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) consistently place AAPS among top-performing districts in Michigan and across the country.
Rich and plentiful performing arts, elective and extracurricular opportunities abound. After-school, Rec & Ed, athletic, and other enrichment offerings continue to make Ann Arbor Public Schools the envy across the region. The wide variety of opportunities available for students illustrates the Ann Arbor community value of providing a quality ‘whole-child’ learning experience.
AAPS expansions this year include:
-additional Preschool and Young 5s Classrooms,
-phase one of World Language expansion featuring the addition of Chinese, Arabic, and Sign Language offerings across several schools,
-opening of two new school programs:
Ann Arbor STEAM at Northside, K-8 and the Pathways to Success Academic Campus,
-continued technology infusion and enhancements across all AAPS schools, and
-K-12 International Baccalaureate Programming transitioning into Mitchell Elementary, Scarlett Middle School, and Huron High School over the coming three school years.
The most important resource we offer for students and their families in AAPS, however, are not our incredible programs – they are our amazing and talented educators – our teachers and leaders are caring, competent, and committed. You will find that they are exceptional, A+, and that they embody the AAPS mission to:
“ensure each student realizes his or her aspirations while advancing the common good,
by creating a world-class system of innovative teaching and learning.”
AAPS schools also benefit tremendously from a highly engaged, supportive network of parents, community leaders, non-profit organizations, business and higher education partnerships that support and ensure educational excellence in our Ann Arbor community. In Ann Arbor, we are fortunate to enjoy a ‘village’ approach to ensuring quality education for our children.
Our continuing goals this year include ensuring frequent, accurate communication, continuous improvement in levels of responsiveness, problem solving, and quality delivery throughout the organization. We value face-to-face opportunities for community outreach and engagement, and we will soon share more about our 2014-2015 community engagement focus that will take us to every school neighborhood again this year to continue our community conversation. Please watch for more details coming by mid-September.
We are a school district growing and innovating our way forward; we are an organization on the move. We commit ourselves to serve as educators who lead, care and inspire across every classroom, for every child, every day.”
-Dr. Jeanice Kerr Swift, Superintendent of the Ann Arbor Public Schools
I couldn’t agree more with Dr. Swift’s sentiments expressed today. I want to thank the teachers and administrators that spent so much time over the summer preparing our schools for all of our programs. Our facilities and custodial staff have done an enormous job preparing our buildings. The schools I have visited so far today all look impressive.
AAPS Attracting International Families
During a visit with a new family to the Skyline community today, I wanted to share that this family moved to Ann Arbor so that their children could attend school here. They moved from Singapore and are new to Ann Arbor as of 3 weeks ago. During a Spring 2014 visit, they felt that Skyline was the best choice for them. This was an interesting conversation, given the AAPS trip to Singapore this summer, thanks to our partnership with Toyota. There are so many great things happening across our district! It’s exciting to get started on a new year.
Board of Education Work
While teachers and administrators are doing their work, the Board of Education continues with its own work. We will release a letter to the State Superintendent of Schools, Mike Flanagan, next week that describes our experience with the recent color-coded accountability system and highlight other data that could be more informative for families (which I believe was the intent of this system). A group of us continue to work with state leaders to improve the near term value for Ann Arbor of a possible annexation of the Whitmore Lake Public Schools, while preserving their opportunity to attend local public schools.
Best Wishes – Great Year Ahead!
Best wishes for a wonderfully successful 2014-15 academic year in the AAPS. A special thank you to all of our AAPS community – students, families, teachers, administrators, staff. It’s going to be a great year!