In our Ann Arbor Public Schools, equity, opportunity, and access for each and every student is our critical mission, says Superintendent Jeanice Swift
In her video address to the AAPS staff, Superintendent Jeanice Swift welcomed all to the beginning of a new school year with the full reopening of buildings
“Welcoming our students, teachers, support staff, and leaders, as we reconnect within the in-person, in-school class setting, represents a tremendous step forward,” she says. “Truly, we are stronger together. We continue our health and safety strategies to ensure our schools remain open for full-time, in-person learning for all students during this school year. As an Ann Arbor Public Schools team and community, we all have a role in keeping our schools, healthy and safe this school year.”
She encourages all to begin each day with gratitude, acknowledging the gifts we are fortunate to experience.
“I am grateful for each of you in the important role you serve in making a profound and positive difference in the daily lives of our students during this remarkable school year,” she says. “This year, let us center on care—care for ourselves, care for each other, and care for this place we share together. We know our students feel and experience when they are cared for. Students intuitively sense care. The highest expression of care is the authentic, warm welcome of each student. Students are celebrated for exactly who they are, as they are.”
Swift says gymnast Simone Biles set the powerful example of focusing on self-care, showing that strength is not always powering through, but knowing when you need to stop.
We are powered by connections, Swift says.
“During this COVID time, we discovered many creative ways to connect, even while we’ve been physically apart,” she says. “The stories of your innovative connections continue to demonstrate that our AAPs classrooms transcend the walls of any physical space.”
“Connections are the spark that ignites our work together each day. Our progress as a classroom, and as a community depends on the quality of our connections.”
Our commitment to a shared purpose is critical to ensure meaning and coherence to our work together, Swift says, noting that individual acts when connected to a shared vision, elevate daily, moment-by-moment work to a movement.
In the Ann Arbor Public schools, says Swift, our commitment is every child, every day.
“During this school year, let’s deepen our commitment to our shared vision: every child, every day,” she says. with our commitment to this shared vision, together, We change the world for good, through our daily service to our students.” she says. As we turn the page to this new school year, our work and progress together will begin with gratitude will be powered by care and connections, and will be activated by a shared commitment to our students that we live together each day.”
As we have from the beginning of this pandemic, we will continue to hold the health and safety of our students and staff, parents, and community as our top priority, Swift says.
“Soon, the sights and sounds of happy students learning, playing, and growing together under the expert guidance of our amazing AAPS teachers and team will be a part of the rhythm of our daily lives again,” she says, “making our next promising steps forward together as a community.”
The first day of classes in the Ann Arbor Public Schools 2021-22 school year is Monday, August 30.
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