Stone High name change proposed to better reflect school identity

The Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education heard a proposal Wednesday to change the name of Stone High School to Ann Arbor Technical High School.

Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Schools Joyce Hunter and Principal Sheila Brown introduced the new name as a way to better define the technology driven curriculum at the school.

If approved by the Board of Education, students and staff will begin the planning process to implement the new school name for the 2011-12 school year. This will include a community open house unveiling the new name.

Last spring, students and staff at Stone began discussing ways to improve the image of the school and reflect the type of learning occurring there. Because of the many technological learning opportunities, students and staff voted for the name Ann Arbor Technical High School – or A2 Tech High.

In addition to face-to-face classes, Stone offers many other opportunities for students including:

  • Completing academic credit through state curriculum-aligned on-line courses, working from a web-based computer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Making computers and staff available to students during the school day, after school, and two evenings a week through the Options Magnet program.
  • Widening Advancement for Youth, the Washtenaw Intermediate School District cyber school program, another alternative to the traditional day program and is housed at Stone.

The proposed name change is a source of pride for students, including Olivia Fisher.

“Stone changing its name means that other schools will stop looking down on the school and its students,” she said. “It means that we will no longer be looked at as an escape for the expelled, but a technological opportunity for those with more challenges in their lives.”

The Ann Arbor Public School District serves the City of Ann Arbor and parts of eight surrounding townships covering 125 square miles.  The district has 20 elementary schools, one K-8 open school, five middle schools, six high schools, one pre-school and one adult education program.  As of September 2010, enrollment totaled 16,440 (excluding adult education and a portion of pre-school). The district employs approximately 3,000 full and part-time staff members. Approximately 81 percent of the teaching staff holds a master’s degree or above. The district serves a diverse ethnic and socioeconomic population of students with more than 36 different countries represented by students in the district and 64 different languages spoken.

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