We’ve outlined Ann Arbor Public Schools’ 2020-21 plan as of August 6th, 2020, but as with everything in 2020, this is subject to change. We recommend checking their website for the most up-to-date information.
Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) plans to start the school year on September 8, 2020. Due to the ever-changing nature of the pandemic, the school district has decided to start the year fully virtual, offering a variety of different educational opportunities online in order to keep their 18,500 students as safe as possible.
It is unclear when in-person classes may resume, but it could happen this fall. It all depends on COVID-19 infection rates in the community. While the school district acknowledges the importance of in-person schooling, particularly for students in poverty, those with food insecurity, those who struggle with mental health and more, virtual schooling seems to be the best option when putting student safety at the forefront in this current climate. Once data supports a safe return to schools, the AAPS will implement a phased approach to in-person learning, with alternating in-person with social distancing and online schedules.
University of Michigan’s Impact on AAPS
The University of Michigan plans to offer a mixture of online and in-person classes this fall, with classes beginning August 31. This means that students from all 50 states and 39 countries will begin returning to campus—making it difficult to predict the local COVID-19 climate throughout the next few months. AAPS plans on observing the influx of new A2 residents and monitoring the impact that it has on COVID-19 levels in the community to help them decide on a course of action for the rest of the semester.
Reimagine Learning Plan
AAPS has rolled out a “Reimagine Learning Plan” for the 2020-21 school year. It includes three different enrollment options: A2 Student Link, A2 Classroom Connect and A2 Virtual + Academy, each offering unique educational opportunities for students around the county. AAPS plans to provide all students with devices like iPads and Chromebooks so they can participate in virtual courses. They also plan to help with Internet service as needed. District officials have also said that they are staying mindful of the negative impacts of extensive screen time on children. They plan to give them multiple screen breaks throughout the day.
During the week of August 31st, AAPS will focus on preparation for this school year for students and parents, including onboarding and orientation activities.
A2 Student Link
This enrollment option is available to all AAPS students and allows them to attend classroom-paced online courses with teachers and students from across the district. It’s designed to be fully online all year, which means that in the case of schools reopening for in-person learning, A2 Student Link students would remain online through the end of the 2020-21 school year.
A2 Classroom Connect
A2 Classroom Connect, which is also available to all AAPS students, would allow students to attend online classes with teachers and students from their neighborhood school. This program will start out fully online but will move to in-person once schools start the process of opening up. A2 Classroom Connect students will have the choice to continue participating virtually or attending blended, in-person classes when schools reopen.
A2 Virtual + Academy
This final virtual enrollment option is available for grades 6-12 and would allow students to sign up for individualized courses and to complete assignments at their own pace. Teachers would offer feedback on every assignment and would be available for virtual chat during office hours.
AAPS Food Service
To date, more than 380,000 meals have been provided for students since school buildings closed on March 13th. They plan to continue this program throughout the school year, with food being distributed throughout the area on Tuesdays and Fridays each week for school-aged children.
In addition to the AAPS Food Service available for students, Food Gatherers have supplemental food pantries and pick-up locations all across the county. You can see the full list of locations, here.
Have a great school year!
For more information on the Ann Arbor Public School’s Reimagine Learning Plan, click here. Again, this is AAPS’s plan as of August 6th, 2020. And, as with everything in 2020, things are likely to change, even before the school year starts. We recommend following the school district on social media and tuning into their website’s FAQs every week to stay updated.