Dr. Swift completes Listen and Learn report out, shares new initiatives coming to AAPS

Superintendent Dr. Swift hears feedback from parents and staff at Slauson Middle School on Feb. 11, 2014.
Superintendent Dr. Swift hears feedback from parents and staff at Slauson Middle School on Feb. 11, 2014.

Feb. 25, 2014

By Tara Cavanaugh 

Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeanice Swift met with parents and staff for a series of meetings to report the findings of her 3-month “Listen and Learn: We Are Ann Arbor” tour of all AAPS buildings.

The results, which comprise feedback of over 2,000 people gathered from all 32 AAPS schools, are available in a brief video and a thorough report and are the basis for a host of big changes coming to the district for the 2014-15 school year.

Dr. Swift shared the results in person at community meetings at Scarlett, Tappan, Slauson, Clague and Forsythe middle schools Feb. 3-11.

“This (report) actually makes me feel like we do have a plan, and we can work our way out, that (the plan) isn’t just to cut, cut, cut,” said Slauson teacher Jon Strite on Feb. 11.

Dr. Swift is infusing new programming into some AAPS buildings in order to attract more students, such as creating a K-8 STEAM school at Northside and offering a 1:1 device program, in which all students are supplied with a tablet or laptop, for Bryant and Pittsfield kindergarteners and first graders.

“It’s nice to see that tactical thought,” said parent Zoltan Jung at the Slauson meeting Feb. 11. “At the end of the day, that’s what we have to do if that’s what keeps students here.”

Other efforts to attract students are through the district’s kindergarten round-ups (information sessions for parents of next year’s kindergarteners), new preschool and Great Start options at Thurston and Allen, and offering 750 Schools of Choice seats to out-of-district students.

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