March 13, 2014
By Tara Cavanaugh
The first AAPS Schools of Choice Open House felt like a big party: a student-led jazz ensemble performed lively music as staff manned booths decorated with balloons and flashy signs.
The Open House, held March 11 at Pioneer High School, invited area parents to learn about AAPS schools, talk with teachers, principals and students from each building and determine if AAPS is a good choice for their child.
“We learned a couple of new things today,” said Lea Oom, a parent from Ypsilanti who was looking for a Young Fives program. “We knew that Abbot had a classroom, but today we learned they’ve opened a few more, which is really great, because they said they had an overwhelming number of people who’ve applied. So that’s really exciting.”
Oom, accompanied by her husband and son, talked with staff at Bryant, Abbot and Dicken elementary schools. “They’ve all been very helpful and nice,” Oom said, “so those are the first choices on our list.”
The district is making 750 seats available to Schools of Choice students for the 2014-2015 academic year. The Open House served as a way to help inform parents about the culture and environment at each school.
It also served as a celebration of the Ann Arbor Public Schools.
Logan Elementary’s booth was full of balloons, signs, student work, glitter and even popcorn donated by the local Quality 16 movie theater. “It’s nice to start doing this kind of event,” said Logan Principal Terra Webster, “because we know what makes our school great, but now we can showcase and say: Come here, let us show you what makes our school the amazing place that is.
“Because Logan is the best!” Webster laughed. “Yes, I’m biased.”
Families in Washtenaw County have until April 1 to apply for Schools of Choice seats in the Ann Arbor Public Schools. Most of the district’s buildings have seats available. To learn which schools have openings, and to access the application sheet, please see the AAPS Schools of Choice page.