As we’re planning for the future of the AAPS, here are some things I’ve been thinking about and would like to share. I’m interested in other’s ideas as well. My ideas are a start toward re-invigorating our programs and putting the AAPS on a trajectory for growth and sustainability, with an end goal to be the best district in Michigan and high-ranking in the US. Here are some of the ideas, organized by 1) sustainability and 2) thrive.
Please share your comments/thoughts. I’d be interested to see what resonates.
Building a Sustainable Enterprise
Financial Controls & Oversight
- Receive monthly status update on actual to budget tracking of AAPS
- Seek external performance audit firm and initiate assessment with goal of report by December 2013
- Ensure implementation of Zero-Based Budgeting and line-by-line accounting
FY15 Budget Planning
- Begin budget planning process in September 2013 with community engagement on specific initiatives/ideas
New AAEA and AAAA Contracts
- Renegotiate AAEA contract to remove items that are unreasonably expensive; create more flexibility to respond to our needs; extend day and year; negotiate calendar as a yearly BOE item, not an AAEA only item.
- Renegotiate AAAA contract to remove items that are unreasonably expensive; create more flexibility to respond to our needs; extend day and year.
- Tenure reform must apply to new contracts.
- Evaluation tools must be in place.
3 Year Projections
- Initiate a planning process to assess 3 year financial performance of AAPS (revenue and expenses projections, risks, impact of strategic initiatives)
- Assess viability of a 2014 enhancement millage
- Assess viability of changes to legislation that might allow local levy authority and/or revised Proposal A
AAPS Thrive Initiatives
New K-8 STEM School
- Use redistricting to create space for a new K-8 STEM program
- Create a multi-disciplinary committee to lead the development of the program
- Opportunity: there are 400 students on the waiting list at Ann Arbor Open
Tuition-Based Pre School
- Assess report recommendations
- Get community-based task force and administrative owners to work on a plan for FY15 opening
Expanded School Day and Increased # of Days
- Needs to be part of negotiations; extend school day by XX minutes; add 20 days to school year (decrease winter break by 3 days; remove 1 – 2 other days off; decrease summer break by 5 days)
New Small Learning Community High School
- Create another small learning environment – secondary level program (if two small buildings become available through redistricting assessment). This could be an AAPS IB program.
Flexibility for Students
- Create more partnerships and options for secondary students to achieve credit recovery and higher learning opportunities of interest
- Create forum at all high schools
- Move all high schools to trimester model if block scheduling is the best model (needs to be explored for scheduling, cost, with data-based outcomes as guidance, etc.)
- Deploy flipped classroom models in key areas with good programs to model (e.g., structure Salman Kahn is using to work with district in Silicon Valley)
Alternative Program for Struggling Students
- Work with Friends of Roberto Clemente Task Force on ideas to improve/enhance/integrate program
- Consider linkages in elementary and middle school levels
- Consider community supports and neighborhood-based support
Reinvigorate Magnet Programs
- Expand programs where demand is high (3:1 demand for some; less demand for others)
- Revisit magnets and ensure those offered are of interest/desired
- Set up committee with parents/teachers/students to explore ideas
- Create a PE program with a private partner that can be provided prior to the start of the school day and work with scheduling so that students’ more challenging classes are directly following physical activity
- Work with scheduling to achieve other PE prior to difficult courses model (see Napier School District, in Illinois)
- Work with parents/families/donors to enhance PE and/or athletics with community service as part of the program for secondary programs
- Other public private partnerships should be explored and developed in high-impact areas (arts, music, theater, etc.)
- Identify programs that could benefit the most from targeted giving (e.g., RC program, RI, WL, PE, etc.)
- Work with AAPSEF to create a targeted giving program that links to our strategic plan
Police Program (similar to EXPLORE program we used to have; funding by Ann Arbor Community Foundation or other foundation)
Enhance PR with focus on success, innovation and outcomes
- Multi-pronged approach
- Building-level effort coordinated across district
- Excellent, open and ad hoc communication with district leadership: Superintendent and building leadership
Superintendent Transition Planning
- Create a transition plan for the new Superintendent that includes community welcome, key interviews and sessions and some goals for a 90 day plan. A visit for each school within the first week of school will be posted, planned and open to the public.
- Ongoing networking events will be planned for the first 6 months, including media and legislative leaders.