School Bells: Student numbers increase in fall count


Following is a series of news briefs from The Ann Arbor Public Schools. Student and staff achievements and news of note in the school community may be submitted for publication. E-mail information to Submitted photos must be in a .jpg format, 200 dpi resolution.

Student numbers increase by 68 in fall count

Student counts taken this fall in The Ann Arbor Public Schools saw an unexpected gain of 68 students over last year. Officials had projected an increase of just 50 students, so were pleased with the increased numbers, said Liz Margolis, the district’s director of communications.

The district saw its largest growth in the high schools, she added. The new count brings the district’s total number of students to 16,489.

Fall and winter student counts determine how the state funds public school districts around the state. A blended number from the two counts is used to determine the number of pupils for funding; the state takes 75 percent of the total from the fall count and 25 percent from the previous winter count.

Student-made video used with History Channel documentary

A video created by Pioneer High School students Kyle Anderson and Aidan Barrer about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was selected and used by producers of a documentary on The History Channel in October.

The two created the rap video as an assignment for their American Studies class with Brent Richards last year. They posted the video on Youtube and it caught the attention of a New York producer who asked for permission to use a portion of it in a documentary.

The documentary aired Oct. 12. Link to the video here.

H1N1 clinics canceled in the Ann Arbor schools

The Washtenaw County Department of Public Health wil not host H1N1 flu clinics in The Ann Arbor Public Schools this month as originally planned.

Instead, a mass vaccination clinic for high priority groups is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov 5 at the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center, 299 North Hewitt Road, Ypsilanti.

The clinic is limited to the high-priority groups due to limited supply of the vaccin, health officials said.

High-risk groups include: Pregnant women, household and caregiver contacts of children younger than 6 months, health care personnel who provide direct patient care, children from 6 months through 4 years of age and children and teens age 5 through 18 who have medical conditions associated with a higher risk of influenza complications, such as asthma.

Health department officials have said they hope to begin getting more vaccine that can be offered to the general public as soon as possible.

For flu clinic information, call the health department at 734-544-6700 or visit


Following is a series of achievements about people in The Ann Arbor Public Schools community.

AAPS ESL students become citizens

Two Adult Education ESL (English as a Second Language) students from Russia received citizenship certificates in a ceremony in Detroit this fall.

Nina Stesikova has been in the United States since 2003 and enrolled in the Adult Ed program this past summer. Nina Pakhomova has been here for three years and started in Odette Petrini’s beginning ESL class two years ago.

Adult Ed offered the summer ESL class for the first time thanks to a No Worker Left Behind Adult Learning Demonstration grant funded through the Workforce Investment American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Ann Arbor Public Schools was awarded the grant as part of the Washtenaw Region Adult Education Collaborative.

Stone High School teacher wins grant

Stone High School teacher Joanna Johnson won a grant this fall from for a project called “Cooking Class.”  This donation is for approximately $500 worth of equipment that she will use to help students gain skills in food preparation.

National Merit semifinalists at Huron, Community high schools

Huron High School reported 23 semifinalists in the 2010 National Merit Scholarship Competition. They include:  Siyue Ai, Rebecca Cao, Yanoing Chen, Robin He, David Hiskens, Robert Isenberg, Lanxin Liu, Nicholas Luongo, Eric McCabe, Rachel Miller, Renee Philson, Christina Rowan, Kathleya Strode, Callie Svaan, Xu Tang, Michael Toner, Catherine Vogt, Brett Williams, Victoria Wu, Daniel Yang, Qiao Zhang, Jonathan Zhu and Tianyang Zou.

In addition, Donovan Hyter is a semifinalist in the 2010 National Achievement Scholarship Competition.

Community High School reported six semifinalists. They include: Anna Bogolomova; Stephanie Chueh; Catrin Dowd; Zoya Erdevig; Quentin Long; and Hannah Sorscher. Community High also had one semi-finalist in the 2010 National Achievement Scholarship Competition – Max Bowen – and two commended students in the 2010 National Merit Program, Ariana Rastelli and Kayla Stoler.

Teacher honored in Celebration of Black Men

On Oct. 10, Thurston Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Michael Johnson was honored by the Delta Psi Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority at the group’s 8th Annual Celebration of Black Men Brunch for his contributions to education.

In addition to honoring five men who have made significant contribution, they recognized seven area black high school seniors as Young Men of Promise.

Teacher receives leadership award

Sal Barrientes, a language arts teacher at Scarlett Middle School, has received the 2009 NCTE Affiliate Leadership Development Award supported by a partnership between National Council of Teachers of English and Pearson Education.  He was nominated by the Michigan Council of Teachers of English.

The award recognizes early career teachers who demonstrate a capacity for professional leadership as well as a willingness to join and participate in their affiliates during the 2009-2010 academic year. The $500 award is to help defray the costs of attending the NCTE Annual Convention in Philadelphia, Penn. On Nov. 21.

Partnership brings special program to Mitchell

Kate Kuper, teaching artist with the Kennedy Center, presented the workshop “Dancetalk:  Creative Movement and Language Development” and spent time in second-grade classrooms on Oct. 8-9 through the AAPS partnership with the University Musical Society.

Art, media, physical education and vocal music specialists from Mitchell Elementary attended the workshop along with three second-grade teachers. Kuper worked in the second-grade classrooms, using movement and muscle memory to build language and literacy skills. The teachers received a copy of her CD to use in their classes in the future.

Huron drumline volunteers for Big House Big Heart run

On Sunday Oct. 4, members of the Huron High School Marching Band Drumline volunteered their time and talent at the Big House Big Heart run. The drumline played for about an hour at the halfway point of the 5k run and then relocated to play along the route of the 1-mile fun run.  They finished the day by playing through the tunnel and into the University of Michigan stadium.

Mosaic Foundation sponsors school field trips

The Ann Arbor Mosaic Foundation donated funds to sponsor field trips for K-12 students to the Detroit Science Center.  Each field trip includes a tour of the Detroit Science Center and an IMAX movie that supports elementary science curriculum. At Logan Elementary, the following teachers will participate:  Hyeuo Park, Amy Naples-Webster, Michael McIntosh, Katy LaCroix, Dee Dee Combi, Dante Watson and Erica Hatt.

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