Listening and Learning from Ann Arbor

Dr SwiftDuring the first three weeks of this school year, I have visited many classrooms, schools and community events to see our teachers, students, and leaders ‘in action,’ and I am most impressed with what I see: quality teaching and learning, caring, competent, and committed teachers, and happy, highly-engaged students. I have observed, firsthand, that our schools are truly exceptional places where children learn and grow within rich learning communities.

Top-performing organizations are characterized by their willingness to seek input and their effectiveness in leveraging feedback to improve processes and outcomes. Successful teams prioritize what they hear from their ‘customers’ to improve their work; they specialize in continuous improvement of service to stakeholders.

In Ann Arbor Public Schools, we are currently engaging in community dialogue with the goal of improvement as our top priority. During our Listen and Learn: We Are Ann Arbor tour, we are facilitating conversations in every neighborhood school and with every school staff across the district to better understand where our prime opportunities for improvement exist. We want to learn how we may continue to improve as an organization in offering exceptional learning opportunities and effective, responsive customer service for our children, families, and the Ann Arbor community.

“Good, Better, Best. Never let it rest.

Until your Good is Better, and your Better is your Best.”

tim duncan14-time NBA All-Star, Tim Duncan, shares that his late mother taught him and his sisters this verse as a nursery rhyme and he has adopted it as his life motto.  It is a phrase that represents how we are working today in Ann Arbor Public Schools as we strive to improve our game through meaningful dialogue, careful listening, and effective communication.

I hope you will join us at one of the many public engagement sessions planned for this fall (please see the calendar of events for dates and times). A link to submit your feedback will is available here as well.

We appreciate your support and partnership as we continue our journey to excel. Thank you for choosing Ann Arbor Public Schools. We understand that you have a choice when selecting a school for your children and we appreciate your vote of confidence in entrusting your children to us. If we can be of help to you, please call on a member of our AAPS team or on me; we are here to serve.

Thank you,

Jeanice K. Swift

See more blogs from Superintendent Swift


The AAPS District News welcomes thoughtful comments, questions and feedback.

All comments will be screened and moderated.

In order for your comment to be approved:

  • You must use your full name
  • You must not use  profane or offensive language
  • Your comment must be on topic and relevant to the story

Please note: any comment that appears to be spam or attacks an individual will not be approved.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.