Two minutes at: Ann Arbor Open School

Editor’s Note: This is one in a series of two-minute videos offering a quick glimpse into one of AAPS’ 32 schools. At AAPS, our vision is Every Child. Every Day. Every one fully sees, values, and celebrates each child for exactly who they are, the gifts and strengths they bring to this world.

Video by Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor

Ann Arbor Open is the Ann Arbor Public Schools’ Young5s through 8 school operated in the child-centered “open concept.” Classes are taught in a multi-grade setting, with first- and second-graders teamed together, all the way up through seventh- and eighth-grade. Students learn to work independently as well as interact with teachers.

Due to the popularity of its programming, Ann Arbor Open at Mack School (as well as Community High School) holds an annual lottery for specific grade levels to be put on the list for admittance.

Click here to learn more about the school’s kindergarten lottery and Grades 1-8 applications for the 2022-2023 School Year.

Click here to read a 2021 story about how the A2 Open teaching team of Ko Shih and Jason DePasquale.

In 2018, Ann Arbor Open teacher Chad Downs won a $25,000 national Milken Educator Award.

Timeline of ‘open school’ movement in the Ann Arbor Public Schools

• 1972:  Community High School is formed following the open school philosophy.
• 1975:  Thirty-six informal classrooms in 13 different schools accommodate 95 percent of students whose parents requested informal classrooms.
• 1976:  A Middle Years Alternative program is established and housed at Forsythe.
• 1982:  First- through sixth-grade open school program replaces the informal classrooms; 252 students and 10 teachers are divided into two groups at Wines and Pattengill elementary schools.
• 1986: Bach Open School is established at a central location for kindergarten through sixth-graders.
• 1989:  The sixth grade joins the Middle Years Alternative School. Bach Open School is modified to kindergarten through fifth grade.
• 1998:  Bach Open School moves to the Mack School Building and is renamed Ann Arbor Open at Mack. The school is modified to include sixth graders in anticipation of becoming a kindergarten through eighth-grade school.
• 1999:  Seventh grade is added.
• 2000:  Eighth grade is added.
• 2022: Ann Arbor Open School has a student population of 518 students in grades Young 5 through 8.

Go Pandas!

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