Ann Arbor Public Schools has announced their plans for the 2021-2022 school year. Next year will look more like the 2019-2020 school year than the 2020-2021 school year, with a few modifications
- Health & Safety Measures
- AAPS Early Education, Preschool, & Y5 Plans for 2021-2022
- AAPS Elementary School Plans for 2021-2022
- AAPS Middle & High School Plans for 2021-2022
- 2021-2022 School Year Calendar
- 2021-2022 Bell Schedule
The district will be offering 5 full days of school to all students in 2021-2022. Virtual options will continue to be available for families choosing that option. Masks will be required indoors.
School will start on August 30, 2021 and end on June 10, 2022. There will be a 4 day weekend for Labor Day.
Do not plan on School Aged Child Care being offered in 2021-2022. COVID restrictions, large group settings, and staffing challenges are the key issues. Limited offerings are available at select schools. Care that is offered requires enrollment in morning and afternoon 5 days a week. After school enrichment classes have been extended to 5:30p end times instead of 5p. Let’s Play offerings from Rec & Ed is being converted to after school with sessions added as staff is available.
Health & Safety Measures
Dr Swift’s July 30th email is the first to address health and safety measures. for 2021-2022.
Masks will be required in all school buildings for students, staff, and visitors.
Vaccination is the best tool to beating COVID and vaccinations are encouraged for all ages 12+ Staff and contractors must affirm full vaccinations status or agree to weekly COVID testing. I wish they would extend this requirement to students as well.
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AAPS Early Education, Preschool, & Y5 Plans for 2021-2022
Preschool will be offered in-person only. Westerman Preschool and all preschool classrooms will be operating at full capacity. They will also offer Young 5s at all elementary schools (this includes Ann Arbor Open offering Y5 for the first time).
Other preschool and early education programs will be offered in person. This includes First Steps, Great Start Readiness, Head Start, and Blended Classrooms.
AAPS Elementary School Plans for 2021-2022
AAPS expects most parents to select in-person learning for the 2021-2022 school year. They will offer a choice of two virtual options.
- In person – in school 5 days/week in neighborhood schools
- A2 Live Online school – K-5 live synchronous online instruction 5 days/week
- A2Virtual Elementary (A2VE) – K-5 asynchronous at student pace with AAPS teachers support weekly
The two online options will not be tied to a specific elementary school, but will operate as their own school.
In response to trustee questions at the May 12 board meeting, Dr Swift said they are hoping to have at least 12 students at each grade level for A2 Online. She did say the may need to re-evaluate the offering of live synchronous classes if only 1-2 students register at a grade level.
Families are asked to commit to an online program for an entire semester and switch to in person at that point if they wish.
School Aged Child Care
School Aged Child Care is not feasible the way it has operated in previous years. It uses a large group model which is not advisable with COVID. School aged child care will be redesigned to align with the AAPS equity and Rec & Ed mission.
On May 19 the district provided additional information about the challenges offering school aged child care. The AAPS program is based on large groups of students which may not meet COVID guidelines. AAPS offers care for all children including those with special needs. The program is self-supporting with program fees and receives no financial support from the state or federal government. For the last several years, they have had difficulty hiring child care workers. They expect staffing to be more challenging this year.
In June, they announced programs at 5 schools (Abbot, Carpenter, Lakewood, Mitchell, and Pittsfield). These programs require enrollment for both morning and afternoon care for a full week. Capacity is also limited. Because of the need for full time enrollment and the limited capacity, many families are finding the cost of childcare to be considerably more than in the past.
Hopefully with this much notice other providers will be able to step up and provide child care options. If you have not yet, consider filling out this survey put together by a team of community partners, including the directors of 15 local childcare centers, BOE Trustee Krystle Dupree, and City Council Member Linh Song.
July 30th Update
On July 30th Dr Swift sent out an email.
- As previously announced, childcare will be available at the 5 schools above.
- They have also reached agreements with CDC and King Care for the 3 schools they previously serviced.
- All schools will offer after school enrichment program classes with classes ending at 5:30p instead of 5p as they have in the past. Information will be released on specific classes in early August. At least 3 days of classes will be offered at most schools.
- An after school version of Rec & Ed’s Let’s Play program is being developed with hiring occurring now. Classes will be added based on staffing.
AAPS Middle & High School Plans for 2021-2022
As with elementary school, AAPS expects most middle and high school students to attend full time in person. With the COVID-19 vaccine approved for ages 12-15, a lot of the challenges of this year will be decreased.
They will offer full day, 5 days a week in person school this fall at all 5 high schools.
In response to parent concerns for 6th graders who are largely unable to be vaccinated, AAPS has added an A2 Live Online option for 6th graders. If you are interested, you should fill out this form.
A2Virtual Middle School and A2Virtual High School will offer asynchronous online learning as they have in the past for grades 6-12. Students can use A2Virtual for either full time classes or supplemental classes.
2021-2022 School Year Calendar
The 2021-2022 School Calendar has not been fully released. The start date (Monday, August 30), end date (Friday, June 10), and major breaks have been officially announced. My daughter’s high school principle also gave us a few other days off. Check out our preview of the full calendar below.
2021-2022 Bell Schedule
The Bell Schedule for 2021-2022 was announced with the school year calendar. The schedule moves high school 15 minutes later than 2019-2020, but still earlier than the 2020-2021 start times. Elementary school moves about 10 minutes earlier than 2019-2020.
There are three types of enrollment in AAPS – Neighborhood School, In-District Transfer, and School of Choice. Neighborhood School is attending the school that your residence is zoned for. In-District Transfer (IDT) is a student who lives within the bounds of AAPS, but attends a school other than their home school. School of Choice is someone who lives outside of AAPS, but chooses to attend via School of Choice (SOC). Both IDT and SOC require enrolling during an open enrollment window. They are subject to space availability and there may be a lottery if there are more applicants than spaces at a certain school/grade in that window. There are typically multiple IDT and SOC windows.
Do you know which is your neighborhood school? This street by street directory will help you look it up.
To enroll a new K-12 student, you can enroll here.
In-District transfer allows an AAPS student to attend a different AAPS school than their neighborhood school. Once a student has started at a school, you do not need to reapply for the next year.
Currently, Ann Arbor Open (K-8) and Community High School use a different process for In-District Transfer. Neither school is a neighborhood school and applications typically outnumber available slots for kindergarten and 9th grade. These schools use a lottery system for entry and a waitlist for other grades. The lotteries are usually open in February or March. My daughter entered the lottery for both schools and attended AA Open for K-8 and was offered admission to Community. If you have questions, I can try to answer.
In-District transfer to other schools is typically easier. The district will post a list of available school/grades before the window opens. My daughter did an in-district transfer for high school.
If you want to do in-district transfer, it is best to apply as soon as possible. The first In-District Transfer window is typically in February or March (in 2020 we received a response before schools closed on March 13). The last In-District Transfer Window was June 10-30.
Transportation is not typically available for in-district transfer students.
School of Choice
School of Choice works similar to In-District Transfer, but usually has different application windows. School of choice students are not eligible for the Ann Arbor Open or Community High School lotteries.
The last School of School of Choice window for 2021-2022 was June 10-30.
School of Choice is open to residents of Washtenaw, Wayne, Oakland, Monroe, Ingham, Livingston, and Lenawee & Jackson Counties.