Ann Arbor Back to School Guide

Ann Arbor Back to School Guide

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.


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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.

Elementary

At elementary they are offering three 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

Unlike last year there is no hybrid option. Additionally, the Live Online option will be district wide and not associated with specific schools.

Secondary

With most middle and high school students eligible for vaccination, AAPS will not be offering a synchronous virtual option. They will offer traditional in person classes and A2Virtual+, an asynchronous virtual option.


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School Schedule

The 2021-2022 Schedule has finally been released. This includes both the school calendar and the daily schedule..

School Calendar

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.

2021-2022 Ann Arbor Public Schools Calendar

Daily Schedule

With virtual learning, the 2020-2021 schedule is more complicated than other years. Suddenly parents need to know more about the school day than when it starts and when it ends. Now they need to know when lunch is and when different classes start. 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.

AAPS School Day Schedule

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.

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

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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

School Supplies were completely different for 2020-2021. 2021-2022 will bring a return to a more normal supply needs. The main supply that each student will need is their device that the district is providing.

Masks

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.

Water Bottles

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.

Technology

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..

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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.


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Rec & Ed Sports

The typical sport schedule is

  • Fall
    • 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
  • Winter
    • 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
  • Spring
    • 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
  • Summer
    • 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. Since they are indoor sports, my guess is they will not be held in 2021.

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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)


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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

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.

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Food Service – Free & Reduced Meals, Meal Distribution

Meal Distribution

AAPS is continuing free meals distribution for summer 2021. When school returns in the fall, most kids will get lunch at school. I hope AAPS will still provide meals for students who choose one of the virtual options.

The USDA has extended the program without income limits through the 2021-2022 school year. My assumption is lunch will be free for all students this year.

Free and Reduced Meal Application

Families with financial need can fill out an application for Free and Reduced Meals. The online application will be available in August 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. Forms are currently available in:

  • Spanish
  • Arabic
  • Chinese
  • French
  • Korean
  • Japanese

Fundraising

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.

Support School Fundraisers

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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.

Class Assignments

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 prson orientation returns for 2021-2022 and students may get their schedules then.


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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.

School Staffing

Most school staff is not working during the summer. They typically return to work in mid-August.

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Other Questions

Do you have other questions about Ann Arbor Back to School? Add them to the comments here or on Facebook.

3 thoughts on “Ann Arbor Back to School Guide”

  1. Thank you! This is the most useful information I’ve found as new parent in the Ann Arbor school district. Sadly the school’s websites do not provide the more thorough information. Even if just to say “more information will be posted in late August.”

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