- Alivia Maus, Dicken Elementary first grade teacher
- Ritchie Coleman retires as Pittsfield Township’s longtime liaison to AAPS; described as ‘servant to all’
- Pioneer Symphony Orchestra to hold preview concert Dec. 13 prior to attending prestigious Midwest Clinic
- Skyline Anti-Bullying Club offers supportive atmosphere for students
- Burns Park students get a taste for keeping cool under pressure in “Chopped Assembly”
Ann Arbor Open @ Mack has an informal setting that encourages an open environment and teaches students to work cooperatively in a group setting. “What I see in our building is a kind of excitement about being in school,” says Media Specialist Kit Flynn. “We’re interested in meeting kids where they are … and meeting kids where their high interests are.”
Growing up in White Plains, New York, Pioneer High’s Jeff Kass visualized becoming a professional baseball player in his near future. An avid Yankees fan, Kass devoted his summers to playing baseball, watching baseball, dreaming baseball – and reading volumes upon volumes of novels. Although his plans never made it to the big leagues his childhood love for the literary arts blossomed into a larger passion.
Ann Arbor teachers are discovering that “there’s an app for that” thanks to a technology initiative that distributed 700 iPod Touches this semester for classroom use. “They’re excited about learning things in different ways,” said Pattengill Elementary third-grade teacher Dawn Blair. “They’re walking right in and ready to go. It gives them some independence and a sense of responsibility.”
Carpenter Elementary School third-graders love their state and they show it through their “Michigan Concert.” Favorite people (Bo Schembechler, among others) were featured, as well as descriptions of favorite Great Lakes including the story of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
The University Musical Society is singing the praises of Burns Park Elementary School, which was recently selected as the UMS School of the Year for its rich history in fine arts and music.
Geologist and Bach Elementary fourth-grade teacher Robin Frisch-Gleason continues to share lessons learned from a 2007 trip to Antarctica. A student climate summit is planned for April involving eight teachers from the Ann Arbor Public Schools.
U-M and ocal librarians team up to show Skyline students best ways to research off their campus. Students learned about databases as well as finding hard-copy books.
Eight students were certified as the district’s first Teen Certified Emergency Response Team, or CERT, during a March 8 event at Huron High School.
Eberwhite Elementary School teachers are taking turns this year tutoring at the nearby Parkhurst Apartments, where they assist students with lessons as well as homework. The program, which takes place after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, expands the school’s community outreach, which has also included a lending library at the apartments.
A student-run program designed to resolve conflict among peers has expanded in Ann Arbor. Peers Making Peace was first adopted at Pioneer High School and has now moved into Skyline, Stone and Clemente high schools as well as Slauson Middle School. “I think it’s a terrific program,” said Slauson Principal Chris Curtis. “I’m very supportive of it. It empowers the students.”
Since 1988, Pioneer High School’s Positive Peer Influence group has helped other students with challenges in and out of school that may interfere with their academic achievement. Students not only work with their peers, but also help to select those who will take the class.
Two clinics housed in The Ann Arbor Public Schools serve a variety of eastside students and their families for preventative care as well as illness and injuries. The clinics at Scarlett Middle School and Stone High School are open during regular school hours and are run by the University of Michigan Regional Alliance for Healthy Schools.
Skyline High School continues its unique approach. Ann Arbor’s newest high school is now operating in its second year with magnet programs and a mastery approach to learning. It will have students of all grade levels attending by 2011.
A 3-year-old bald eagle that lives at the Leslie Science and Nature Center has been adopted as a mascot by Skyline High School. The raptor has visited the school several times for assemblies and other activities.
Fifth-graders at Eberwhite Elementary took a hand-made approach this year to community service, making blankets and scarves for the needy. The no-sew blankets will go to Project Linus, the scarves to the Delonis Center.