Hello Ann Arbor Public Schools Community,
As we arrive to the beginning of October and have wrapped up this first month of classes, I want to thank you for such a wonderful beginning to this 2014-2015 school year.
Across the district, strong parent attendance at our 33 school curriculum nights has been impressive; academics, arts, extra-curricular activities and athletics are all in full swing. Our students and staff have established the successful rhythms of teaching and learning each day, and already we observe the remarkable growth that our students are achieving this year.
We appreciate our teachers and support staff and the efforts they have invested to launch a successful beginning this year at each of our schools. There is no substitute for a top-quality teacher, and in Ann Arbor Public Schools, we are fortunate that our high-performing staff is our most valuable resource in serving our students so well.
Parent and community participation in schools through our many volunteers, PTO organizations, and in numerous other venues is further evidence of a vibrant Ann Arbor community that fully engages in support of our children and our schools.
Our newly debuted AAPS programs are now successfully launched – they include:
– additional Preschool and Young 5s classrooms,
– phase one of World Language expansion at elementary middle, and high school, including Chinese, Sign Language, and Arabic languages,
– two new school programs, Ann Arbor STEAM at Northside, and Pathways to Success Academic Campus
– continued technology infusion and enhancements across all AAPS schools, and
– transition continues for K-12 International Baccalaureate Programming at Mitchell Elementary, Scarlett Middle School, and Huron High School over the coming three school years.
As a result of these strong partnerships across students, staff, and parents, the signs of success abound around us. AAPS students, staff, and schools regularly achieve national distinction, enrollment is improved this fall by the largest increase in more than a decade, recently released ACT scores place AAPS among top-performing districts nationally, and earlier this week, King Elementary received designation as a National Blue Ribbon School.
Clearly, we have a great deal to be proud of in Ann Arbor Public Schools.
We will continue to work to ensure that your experience in Ann Arbor Public Schools is positive; please let us know how we can better support you as we move through this school year. We continue our work to ensure frequent, accurate communication, continuous improvement in our levels of responsiveness, problem-solving, and quality delivery throughout the AAPS organization.
We also look forward to valuable community engagement opportunities over this 2014-2015 school year. I will be hosting community meetings and visiting our schools to continue our conversation about how we can improve our work and partnership. Please watch for a calendar of dates and locations of upcoming events; I hope you will find an opportunity to participate in these face-to-face forums and to connect around our schools.
It is a great day in Ann Arbor Public Schools, as we are on a pathway of growth, of innovation, of success; we are currently extending and enhancing the quality for which Ann Arbor Public Schools has long been well known across Michigan and around the world. Ann Arbor Public Schools is an exemplary district that is on the move.
Thank you for your support of our children and Ann Arbor Public Schools.
Jeanice Kerr Swift
Superintendent of Schools
Ann Arbor Public Schools