Message from Dr. Swift on Tuesday’s Ballot Issues

“Through conversation, we as human beings create our shared reality.”

–       Otto Scharmer

 Hello AAPS Families,

Annexation Meeting at Skyline High School October 29, 2014
Annexation Meeting at Skyline High School October 29, 2014

As we come to the beginning of November, our community will be making important decisions over this coming week – who will serve on our Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education and whether we will annex the Whitmore Lake Public Schools into the Ann Arbor Public Schools. The decisions represented on the November 4th ballot are worthy of our careful consideration as they hold long-term implications for the Ann Arbor area.

The community engagement this fall has been robust; many constituents have participated in numerous community meetings, read through the information, emailed, called, and engaged in discussions in order to better understand the very important issues we face as a community. Isaacs defines dialogue as a, “shared inquiry, a way of thinking together.” It is wonderful to observe our community in the process of dialogue – of thinking together – questioning, clarifying, considering and coming to sound decisions.

The high level of civic participation that characterizes Ann Arbor is an asset. While we do not always agree, thoughtful dialogue and reflective decision-making serve as essential characteristics of this healthy community and a critical part of why our city is such a desirable place to live and rear children.

I have full confidence in the collective decision-making of our Ann Arbor citizens. I learned through experience the tremendous value of listening to our Ann Arbor community last year during the Listen and Learn: We Are Ann Arbor tour. The capacity of our community to consider an issue, participate in discussion and debate, and arrive at sound decisions together is remarkably impressive.

Ann Arbor Public Schools is a high-performing district where we are innovating our way forward. This fall, enrollment has increased, achievement performance ranks AAPS among the top school districts in the state, and innovative programming is presently attracting significantly more of our own AAPS students into our schools. We will continue to work to improve our responsiveness and problem-solving processes, build long-term fiscal sustainability, and ensure that we are meeting the needs to prepare all our children.

We have so much to be proud of in Ann Arbor Public Schools.

I encourage you to acquire the information you need and to speak through your vote on November 4th. Thank you for your participation in this important civic process.

It is an honor to serve the children, the staff, and the community of Ann Arbor.


Jeanice Swift


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