Do you have questions about Back to School in Ann Arbor Public Schools? Our Back to School Guide will help you find answers to your questions.
After a very unusual 2020-2021 school year, 2021-2022 will resemble a more normal school year.
- Recent Updates
- AAPS Learning Options
- School Schedule
- COVID Safety Information
- School Supplies
- Extra Curricular Activities
- Enrolling in AAPS
- Food Service – Free & Reduced Meals, Meal Distribution
- More Ann Arbor Back to School Information
- Other Questions
- August 16
AAPS Learning Options
While AAPS plans a 5 day a week return to in person learning for 2021-2022, they recognize that not all families are ready for a return particularly at elementary level where kids cannot yet be vaccinated.
Early Learning (Preschool-Y5s)
Early Learning will all be fully in person. There will be no virtual option for preschool or Y5. They will also run in person classes through First Steps, Head Start, and Great Start Readiness.
At elementary they are offering three options:
- In person – in school 5 days/week in neighborhood schools
- A2 Virtual Village
- 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
Unlike last year there is no hybrid option. Also unlike last year, the Live Online option will be district wide and not associated with specific 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.
For 7th and 8th graders and high school students, AAPS will not be offering a synchronous virtual option since they are almost all eligible for vaccination. These students can choose between traditional in person classes and A2Virtual+, an asynchronous virtual option. As in past years, students can pair in person classes with a couple of A2 Virtual classes.
The 2021-2022 Schedule has been finalized. The school calendar was updated in mid-August with early release and testing days.
Check out the Ann Arbor Public Schools 2021-2022 calendar . Please make sure to take note of days off and half days in your planning.
With virtual learning, last year the schedule for parents was more complex than in the past. Suddenly parents need to know more about the school day than when it starts and when it ends. They need to know when lunch is and when different classes start. This will continue for elementary and 6th graders enrolled in A2 Virtual Live. For students returning in person, parents will need to focus on the start and end times. AAPS has shared the School Day Schedule for each level. Expect to get more details on the elementary school day form your child’s teacher.
Ann Arbor Back to School Events – Not Updated for 2021 Yet
This year’s back to school events are mostly being held and announced at the school level. However, the big back to school event is Tech Distribution for the 1:1 devices being provided this year. Additionally, each of the Ann Arbor schools holds a Curriculum night (or Capsule Night at the High School level). Our Back to School Events article includes details on Tech Distribution (happening now), district wide information sessions, and which events to look for from your child’s school.
COVID Safety Information
AAPS will be returning to a full, 5 days/week school schedule for 2021-2022. They have not announced an end to distancing in classrooms, but full classrooms will mean they cannot keep 6′ of distance between students.
AAPS will be requiring masks for all students, staff, and visitors in the building. (Does the inclusion of visitors mean parents will be allowed in the buildings in 2021-2022?)
Vaccination is strongly encouraged for all staff and eligible students. Find information on vaccination options here. Vaccination is the best way to keep COVID-19 numbers low especially with the Delta variant emerging.
Staff are required to report their vaccination status to AAPS. Non-vaccinated staff will be required to have weekly COVID tests.
School Supplies were completely different for 2020-2021. 2021-2022 will bring a return to a more normal supply needs. Most supplies are provided for students, but there are a few basic things every student needs. We also have a list of donation drives and resources if you need assistance with school supplies.
With AAPS requiring masks in all buildings, they will be an essential school supply for 2021-2022. I know I will be buying my daughter more masks. She has several, but I’m not sure she has enough for a 5 day school week – especially if she wants to change after lunch.
While water bottles have been encouraged in many of my daughter’s classrooms over the years, they were required when students returned to school in spring 2021. Due to COVID safety precautions water fountains have been shut off but bottle filling stations are operating. My guess is they will be encouraged/required for 2021-2022.
As in 2020-2021, students will be assigned a one to one device. Students in Young 5’s through 1st grade will receive iPads. Older students will receive Chromebooks. My understanding is that younger grades will mostly keep their devices at school but that older students will bring them home more often to complete homework assignments.
Hopefully they will still work with families to ensure that every family has access to the internet particularly for middle and high school students who may need the internet for homework..
Extra Curricular Activities
Rec & Ed Classes
Rec & Ed typically offers a wide variety of after school classes for elementary and middle school students. AAPS is working to add at least 3 days of after-school enrichment classes at most elementary and K-8 schools. These classes will run to 5:30p this year to provide a better pickup time for working parents.
They are also converting the Let’s Play program they ran in 2020-2021 to an after-school program. Offerings will be based on the ability to hire staff.
Rec & Ed Sports
The typical sport schedule is
- Soccer – Boys & Girls Young 5’s to 8th Grade
- Field Hockey – Co-Ed Grades 3-6
- Volleyball – Co-Ed Grades 4-9
- Basketball – Boys & Girls Grades 2-5
- Basketball – Girls & Boys Grades 4-8, Co-Ed HS Grade 9-10, Co-Ed HS Grades 11-12
- Indoor Soccer – Girls & Boys Young 5s-5th Grade
- Soccer – Boys & Girls Young 5’s to 8th Grade
- Field Hockey – Co-Ed Grades 3-6
- Flag Football – Co-Ed Young 5’s-8th Grade
- T-Ball – Young 5-K
- Baseball – Boys Grades 1-8
- Softball – Girls Grades 1-8
Rec & Ed Team Sports will be offered in Fall 2021. Registration for Soccer and Field Hockey ended on July 29. They will not be accepting late registrations this year.
There is no information on the other fall sports – volleyball and basketball (2-5). In past years they have been late fall activities, but they are also indoors, so they may not be held in 2021.
Enrolling in AAPS
Finding My School
Are you new to the area and not sure which Ann Arbor Public Schools you are zone for? AAPS offers two handy ways to look this up. There is the the Street Lookup or the Boundary Maps – (Elementary), (Middle), (High School)
Enrolling in your Assigned School
You can pre-enroll in your child’s assigned school online. After completing the form, the district will review it and set you up in InfoSnap to finalize the enrollment. You will also need to bring proof of residency, birth certificate, immunization record, and other required documents to the school.
School of Choice & In-District Transfer
School of Choice and In-District Transfer are similar, but not the same. School of Choice is for students who live outside the boundaries of Ann Arbor Public Schools. In-District Transfer is for students who live in the district boundaries to apply to a school within the district other than their zone school. There are limited slots available for both School of Choice and In-District Transfer.
Both In-District Transfer and School of Choice is closed for the 2021-2022 school year..
Immunizations (or waivers) are required for students entering Kindergarten, 7th grade, and any new AAPS student. Immunizations are extra important with COVID-19 to minimize any illnesses that may be similar in symptoms. Remember to re-schedule any appointments that were missed due to COVID-19 closures.
It is strongly recommended that all students age 12+ get their COVID-19 vaccination. Full vaccination of everyone eligible is the best way to keep cases down.
Food Service – Free & Reduced Meals, Meal Distribution
The USDA has extended the free food program without income limits through the 2021-2022 school year. All meals will be free throughout the 2021-2022 school year. With a daughter in a high school sport with before school practice, I love that she can get breakfast after practice. Still as a high schooler, we may need money in her account for meal extras.
I just checked and the breakfast menu is posted from the first day of school through September 24. No lunch menu is posted as of August 17 (9a)
AAPS is continuing free meals distribution for summer 2021. When school returns in the fall, most kids will be at school for lunch. I hope AAPS will still provide meals for students who choose one of the virtual options.
Free and Reduced Meal Application
If your child attends one of the schools that are part of the Community Eligibility Program, all families need to fill out the Household Information Report. These schools are Mitchell, Pittsfield, Scarlett, and Pathways. Families with financial need can fill out an application for Free and Reduced Meals. I suggest applying even though meals are free for 2021-2022. Free meal eligibility is often used as criteria for other assistance.
The online application for free and reduced meals is now available and is the fastest way to apply for the program. The paper version of the application will also available. Paper applications have traditionally been available at PEACE Neighborhood Center, CAN locations, and Avalon Housing Locations.
Forms are currently available in other languages. 2021-2022 forms are currently available in:
School Fundraisers are a regular occurrence. Whether it’s for the school as a whole, a particular initiative, a sports team, or a club, opportunities abound. I love the creativity of some of the fundraisers like Easter Egg Delivery, Christmas Tree Pickup, Parents Night Out, bottle/can returns, or a simple restaurant night. Some of the most successful fundraisers are ones that reach out beyond the school community. Fundraising may continue to be a challenge in 2021-2022 while maintaining social distancing.
To help schools with their fundraising, they can add events to our calendar and they are all summarized in our Support School Fundraisers article.
More Ann Arbor Back to School Information
Student Google Accounts & Passwords
Each student in the Ann Arbor Public School receives an email address and Google Account. Each August the passwords are reset. Make sure your student saves anything they need prior to the reset and logs back in once they get their new login credentials.
Be sure to check your email. They will also need this password to sign into their ChromeBooks once those are distributed and into Schoology for classwork.
When my daughter started school, elementary class assignments were sent out by mail the week before school started with forms that needed to be filled out, school specific information, lunch menus, and more. A few years ago, they switched to sending class assignments and many documents electronically. For 2020, they sent the information electronically. I hope they continue with electronic distribution moving forward – with an option to get them on paper by request.
Middle and High School schedules are typically loaded into Power School or Schoology about a week before school starts. In person orientation returns for 2021-2022 and students will get their schedules then – before being loaded into Schoology.
Power School & Schoology
Schoology is the district’s online learning platform. Even with in person classes, students will use it for assignments and to see class materials. It may not be used as much in the lower grades, but I expect the middle and high school students to use it frequently.
Power School interacts with Schoology and is the official grade reporting system. I used PowerSchool more pre-pandemic when my daughter was in middle school than I did last year when Schoology was available.
Most school staff is not working during the summer. They typically return to work in mid-August.
Do you have other questions about Ann Arbor Back to School? Add them to the comments here or on Facebook.