2020-2021 Ann Arbor Public Schools Calendar

2020-2021 Ann Arbor Public Schools Calendar

The 2020-2021 Ann Arbor Public Schools calendar has not yet been released. Some schedule information is available like the winter and spring break schedule to help start planning your vacations for next year (or not while social distancing is still recommended).

We are still waiting for a full schedule, but a few pieces of information have been announced and I have some predictions based on prior years. However, things may change with the new return to school plans.

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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

Winter and Spring Breaks have been announced through the 2021-2022 school year. The district also has announced the 2020 start date in a board meeting. The rest are my speculations based on 2019-2020 and past years calendars.


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Start Date – Announced May 20th

School starts Monday, August 31. This is a first for Ann Arbor! School typically starts the Tuesday after Labor Day .which would have been Tuesday, September 8. The August 31 date was announced in the Wednesday, May 20 study session with the school board. Washtenaw Intermediate School District has received a waiver for all the constituent school districts to start before Labor Day. The school website has been updated to reflect the August 31 start date.

Normally, I would want more notice on an earlier than normal start. But with social distancing and uncertainty this summer feels very different than other years.

End Dates

The end date will be released with the calendar. Hopefully with starting earlier, we will be out earlier in June. However, they may build some extra wiggle room into the schedule with uncertainty due to possible resurgences of COVID-19.

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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. However, I anticipate that school will continue to be closed on Wednesday-Friday. I hope they keep Wednesday off..

  • Wednesday, November 25-Sunday, November 29

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Individual Days Off

Individual days off can vary from year to year. For 2019-2020, there were 6 individual days off. The 2019-2020 calendar included an extra election day (Presidential Primary) and Good Friday, neither of which are needed for 2021 (Good Friday is during Spring Break). My prediction is that President’s Day returns – possibly as a 4 day weekend.

With the district investing in virtual learning to facilitate social distancing, I wonder about using virtual learning to replace the May Election Day.

Below are my predictions with confidence levels:

  • Election Day – Tuesday, November 3 (90%)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr Day – Monday, January 18 (95%)
  • 4 Day Weekend – Friday, February 12 (40%)
  • President’s Day – Monday, February 15 (80%)
  • May Election Day – Tuesday, May 4 (70%)
  • Memorial Day – Monday, May 31 (99%)

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Early Release Days (Half Days)

I do predict 5-6 half days for 2020-2021 like we have had in recent years. The dates seem to be fairly consistent year to year – and mostly on Wednesday.

  • Late September
  • Late October
  • Late February
  • Late May
  • Last Day of School

In May middle and high schoolers have a half-day Transition day for 8th graders to visit their high school in the afternoon. 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.

  • Early May

The high schools also have half-days around exams. Skyline and Pathways are on a trimester and have their exams:

  • Late November
  • Mid-March
  • Last week of School

The other high schools have semester exams. Hopefully these won’t be as impacted by weather related school closings as they were in 2019.

  • Late January
  • Last week of School

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Late Start 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). Based on the 2019-2020 schedule, tentatively plan for :

  • Mid-October – 11th grade takes the PSAT/NMSQT, Late Start for 9th, 10th, and 12th grades
  • Mid-April – Late Start for Middle & High School Students not taking PSAT/SAT
  • Mid-April – Late start for HS Students not taking PSAT/WorkKeys Testing

The first date might be impacted by social distancing and changes by the College Board.

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Back to School Events

Even before the first day of school, there are events at many schools especially the middle schools and high schools. While the 2020 dates have not been set, the 2019 dates can help you make plans for this summer. However, it is likely that things will look very different in 2020 with the need for social distance. Many of the school events do not allow for social distancing.

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

Many elementary schools have been offering a Meet and Greet with teachers and classmates. Many schools typically plan playdates for incoming Young5s and Kindergarteners. For 2020, these may be offered in different formats or skipped altogether based on social distancing recommendations throughout the summer.


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Before school starts, the middle and high schools each have a registration in mid-August. Additionally, high school sports and band often have events or camps in August. Both Blue Lake and Interlochen have cancelled their in-person fine arts camps for the summer. I am also not confident that there will be fall sports at the high school level. I know my incoming 9th grader is hoping there will be sports so she can be on the swim team.

Once school starts, each school has a curriculum night scheduled for a weeknight in September. These may look different in 2020 with social distancing.

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

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Bell Times

In our years at AAPS, the school day seems to change every couple of years to meet minimum hours in school or accommodate changes in busing logistics. Most changes were only a couple of minutes in either direction.

The 2019-2020 school hours are:

  • 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
    • Delayed Start: 11:30a (on April 14 for students not testing)
    • 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
      • Delayed Start on October 16: 11:15a (for students not testing)
      • Delayed Start on April 14: 1p (for students not testing)
      • Delayed Start on April 15: 11:45a (for students not testing)
      • 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
      • Delayed Start on October 16: 11:15a (for students not testing)
      • Delayed Start on April 14: 1p (for students not testing)
      • Delayed Start on April 15: 11:45a (for students not testing)
      • 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
      • Delayed Start on October 16: 11:15a (for students not testing)
      • Delayed Start on April 14: 1p (for students not testing)
      • Delayed Start on April 15: 11:45a (for students not testing)
      • Last Day: 7:45a-9:25a (make-up exams after 9:25a)

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