2020-2021 Ann Arbor Public Schools Calendar

2020-2021 Ann Arbor Public Schools Calendar

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The full 2020-2021 Ann Arbor Public Schools calendar is now available. The version the district originally published had a few errors, that have since been corrected.


The 2020 School year will be impacted by the continued social distancing and spread of COVID-19. Be sure to check our article on AAPS’s Fall 2020 Plans.

Ann Arbor Public Schools - Fall 2020 Plans

Want a sneak peek at 2021-2022? It is the last year that Winter and Spring Breaks have been announced for. Also, it is important to note that the district has a waiver now to start school before Labor Day. They have not announced plans for 2021-2022, but I would eep it in mind moving forward.

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Start Date

The first day of school is a little complicated this year. Officially the first day of school is Tuesday, September 8. However there will be orientation the prior week including tech and materials pickup. Plan to set aside time for device pickup (likely to vary by school and even grade level) and orientation. My daughter starts high school and the parent-student virtual orientation will be in the evening.

With school starting fully virtual this year, the first week will include shorter synchronous days with self-directed work in the afternoons. These days will be:

  • Elementary
    • 8:10-11:20a – All Students & Staff
    • 11:20a-12:08p – Lunch
    • 12:08-3:13p – Students self-directed work
  • Middle
    • 8:20-11:30a – All Students & Staff
    • 11:30a-noon – Lunch
    • noon-3:08p – Students self-directed work
  • K-8
    • 8:20-11:30a – All Students & Staff
    • 11:30a-12:18p – Lunch
    • 12:18-3:23p – Students Self-directed work
  • High
    • 8:30-11:40a – All Students & Staff
    • 11:40a-12:10p – Lunch
    • 12:10-3:21p – Students Self-directed work

The district notes that communication on self-directed work will be published by September 4.

End Dates

School ends for the 2020-2021 School year on Friday, June 11. As always this can be impacted by “Snow Days”. However, with the district setup for virtual learning, there may be less need for snow days this year. (Note, the district’s original publication said June 12 which is a Saturday. They have corrected it to June 11).

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Major Breaks

In February 2017, Washtenaw Intermediate School District announced the dates for Winter and Spring Break through 2022. These dates are still on the Ann ArborPublic Schools calendar so I do not expect these to change when the final calendar is announced.

The 2020-2021 break schedule is:

  • Winter Break – Saturday, December 19-Sunday, January 3
    • Break starts after school on Friday, December 18
    • School Resumes on Monday, January 4
  • Saturday, March 27-Sunday, April 4
    • Break starts after school on Friday, March 26
    • School Resumes on Monday, April 5

Thanksgiving is not included in the Major Breaks schedule at the WISD level. However, as with previous years the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is also a day off.

  • Wednesday, November 25-Sunday, November 29

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Individual Days Off

Individual days off can vary from year to year as dates move on the calendar and circumstances differ. For example, last year AAPS had school on Presidents Day, but had off for both the Presidential Primary and Good Friday, neither of which are needed this school year (No Presidential Primary and Good Friday is during Spring Break). This year President’s Day returns as a 4 day weekend.


Below are the 2020-2021 Days Off:

  • Election Day – Tuesday, November 3
  • Martin Luther King, Jr Day – Monday, January 18
  • 4 Day Weekend – Friday, February 12
  • President’s Day – Monday, February 15
  • May Election Day – Tuesday, May 4
  • Memorial Day – Monday, May 31

Note, the original calendar listed April 10 as a day off. April 10, 2021 is a Saturday. Last year April 10 was a Friday and a day off for Good Friday. In 2021, Good Friday is during Spring Break. The district has removed April 10 from the day-off calendar.

Note on School Schedule and Days Off

This school year has a modified schedule this year that includes an asynchronous Wednesday and block schedules at the middle and high school level with A days and B days. My daughter’s high school originally said asynchronous Wednesday would be dropped in the weeks with Election Day and Martin Luther King Jr Day with the schedule for the day off replacing it. However, they have since modified it that they will keep Wednesday as asynchronous. Since one day is a Tuesday and the other is Monday, students will lose one class period from each set of classes.

However, in practice on Monday, November 2, I noticed that some of my daughter’s teacher offered a short enrichment class instead. Since they teach the same class on both days, it is easier for the teacher to keep the classes on the same schedule. (A decision I completely support).

I have not seen a district-wide announcement about this, so you should check with your child’s middle/high school to confirm.

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Snow Days

At the July 22nd School Board Meeting, the superintendent said that there may not be a need for as many snow days since all students and faculty will be setup for virtual learning (and may still be learning at home). However, she acknowledged there may be a need for power/internet outage days.

Early Release Days (Half Days)

Early Release Days don’t appear on the 2020-2021 schedule until February.

  • Tuesday, February 23
  • Wednesday, May 19


On Thursday May 6, middle and high schoolers will have a half-day Transition day for 8th graders to visit their high school in the afternoon. Hopefully by May we will be in a hybrid mode that will allow Transition Day or they will develop a virtual transition day. My rising freshman did not get a Transition Day and is anxious about getting lost when she starts attending in person. If you have an 8th grader, plan for them to be busy the entire school day. For 6-7 graders and high schoolers, they will have the afternoon off.

With all high schools on a semester basis for 2020-2021, there are only two set of exam dates. Exams are typically half-days with the remainder of the day to study. Hopefully the January exams won’t be as impacted by weather related school closings as they were in 2019.

  • January 26-29
  • June 8-11

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Testing Days for High School

There are typically several late start days for high school for PSAT/SAT testing. (Luckily for the test takers they don’t have to take them on Saturday like I did in high school). From my understanding, the October testing was optional. It was held on-site at the high schools in small groups with students wearing masks. Unlike prior years, high school classes continued to meet on schedule.

  • Wednesday, October 14 – 12th Grade SAT, 11th grade takes the PSAT/NMSQT
  • Tuesday, October 27 – 12th Grade SAT Testing
  • Thursday, October 29 – 11th Grade PSAT/NMSQT Testing
  • April 13 – PSAT/SAT Testing – Late start for HS/MS Students not Testing
  • April 14 – PSAT/WorkKeys Testing – late start for HS Students not testing

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Bell Times

The School Day schedule is going to be very different for 2020-2021.

For many years, there has been a push to start school later for high school students. With an all virtual learning environment to start the 2020-2021 and then a move to hybrid learning, the district has been able to accommodate this. High schools will start at 8:30 this year. I know with asynchronous learning last spring my teen typically started the day at 10am. She was very worried about the early high school starts in a virtual environment. She still thinks 8:30 is early. I pointed out that is better than the 7:45 and with no commute.

For 2020-2021 the schedule will be:

  • Elementary
    • Start Time: 8:10am
    • End Time: 3:13pm
  • Middle School
    • Start Time: 8:20am
    • End Time: 3:23pm
  • K-8 Schools
    • Start Time: 8:20am
    • End Time: 3:08pm
  • High School
    • Start Time: 8:30am
    • End Time (standard day): 3:21pm
    • End Time with 7th Period: 4:35pm

Originally with virtual learning, all of the schools were to start at 8:30am. The district did not offer an explanation for the change in start times. However, my daughter’s high school principal said the elementary and middle school days were moved earlier to allow high schoolers to help their siblings get started before high school classes began.

2019-2020 Bell Times for Comparison

For comparison, the 2019-2020 school hours were:

  • Elementary Schools
    • Regular Day: 8:56a-3:59p
    • Early Release Day: 8:56a-1:29p
    • Last Day: 8:56a-11:39a
  • K-8 Schools (AA Open, A2Steam)
    • Regular Day: 8:19a-3:22p
    • Early Release Day: 8:19a-12:52p
    • Last Day: 8:19a-10:54a
  • Middle Schools
    • Regular Day: 8:19a-3:07p
    • Early Release Day: 8:19a-12:37p
    • Last Day: 8:19a-10:47a
  • High Schools
    • Huron, Pioneer, Skyline
      • Regular Day: 7:45a-2:36p
      • Early Release Day: 7:45a-12:06p
      • Exam Days: 7:45a-11:35a
      • Last Day: 7:45a-9:25a (make-up exams after 9:25a)
    • Community
      • Regular Day: 7:45a-2:42p
      • Early Release Day: 7:45a-11:50p
      • Exam Days: TBD
      • Last Day: 7:45a-9:25a (make-up exams after 9:25a)
    • Pathways
      • Regular Day: 7:45a-2:39p
      • Early Release Day: 7:45a-12:06p
      • Exam Days: TBD
      • Last Day: 7:45a-9:25a (make-up exams after 9:25a)


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Back to School Events

The week of August 31 will be an orientation week. The district has acknowledged the wonderful back-to school events like meet & greets and popsicles on the playground that many schools have held and how they help build community. They definitely want to preserve what traditions they can in a socially distant environment. Any activities will depend on government restrictions at the time. With Washtenaw County Health Department cutting outdoor gatherings in the City of Ann Arbor to 25, I don’t expect many in person gatherings. Hopefully, there will be some virtual events.

I know my daughter’s school has a virtual freshman orientation for students and one for parents/students They have also announced drop-off dates for school materials from spring. We are still waiting on fall pickup dates.

With a virtual start, your school will be the best resource for school specific dates.

I also wonder how they will handle curriculum nights. Will we be expected to logon via our child’s device? Will we receive a Zoom invite? Will it be synchronous or asynchronous? I am sure the answers will be coming as the district finalizes plans.

Ann Arbor Back to School Events - Curriculum Nights, Registration & Welcome Events

Be sure to check out our list of Back to School Events and our whole Back to School Guide.


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