The Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education met on Wednesday, September 30 at 7p. Follow along below with our live notes or watch at the live zoom link here..
Check back here after the meeting for a summary
Board: Lightfoot, Baskett, Nelson, President Jonson, Lazarus, Gaynor, Kelly
Non-Voting Member & Guests: Swift, Osiznski, Cluley, Bacolor, Lauzzana, Rice,
The full text of Public Commentary can be found on the agenda after the meeting. They are typically read quite fast and truncated at a certain time length depending on the number of submissions. My notes below are my best guesses at spellings and paraphrases of what was read. There are 43 signups, 1 minute per comment.
President Johnson asks that people refrain from disparaging staff. There are processes to address complaints. (Note: In respect of this I will not name staff)
- Sarah Schulte: AAPS parent of 2nd and 5th third year on our PTO. We love our school. I see how hard everyone is working. My concern is with my 2nd grader and young 5s through 2nd. Remote learning is not developmentally appropriate. It is not working. So much stime is dealing with technology. Children this age need to be hybrid at least. Salince, Dexter, and Chelsea are either open in hybrid or workign on it. Leaves our children at a diasadvanateg.
- Lilia Cortina – Educatr, psychologist & parent -I appreciate. Delighted to hear PPE and plexiglass are purchased. precautions are in place. As we move forward on deciding when and how. I suggest, as you weigh risks of in person vs remote conider mental health of remote. Sitting still, staring at screens. Loneliness can be profound. Nationwide we see rise in anxiety, drug use, alcohol u use. Please consdier mental health not just public health.
- Jesse Kauffman – If you aren’t concerned about reelection, you should be concerned about legacy. People used ot move to A2 for schools. Now htey’re moving away they are so distressed by the situation. Look at what Ypsi is doing.
- Karen Rednell – Appreciate my child’s teachers. At home we are positive and my kids are actively participating. I know there are no correct answers or solutions.Please be exceptional and move forward with hybrid learning plan. Move forward to those who want to be in person. I’m listening before we make decision to leave AAPS for neighboring.
- Jason Bibby – We moved to A2 for AAPS and their creative approaches. I regret this decision with inept actions of Dr Swift, Board, & AAEA. I b lame all of you for not taking on hard decisions. To treat them as robots with no emotions as social beings. Since March 0 engagement with parents or children. It was like we were the ones you need to be safe from.
- Elizabeth McLaughlin – I am a concerned parent about all virtual especially for most vulnerable ie early learning and English Language learners. he is participating in a learning lab. He was concerned one of his friends said he’d rather get the virus and die than attend virtual school. MI Safe Saqtart says should have mental health screening
- Paul Fowler – Like many ohter parents in AAPS area are concerned with lack of in person learning. CDC says mortality is 0.00003 for 0-18 year olds. Only 2 percent of cases in last few weeks needed hospitalizaiton. In person – gyms, restauranst, bars, UM, child care learning center, daycares.
- Peregrin Geraghty – Parent of 4 children K-6th expressing concern and anger. It is shocking that it took until this month to have cacuable metrics. Even more scandalous that you refuse to start even after we hit targets. We care about community, but it is outsourcing risk from AAPS to others that may be more vulnearable. I am in school & wife working moer than full time, my mother is here from out of state and had to fly. Got sick the week after arriving, but COVID was negative.
- Jamie Perro – Writing to rethink your plan for return to school. It is still an ightmare fo rfamilies and many teachers as well. Saline arleady returned to school. Dexter is holding family/community meeting.If remaining virtual is about preventing community spread isn’t that negated when other districts return. A2 is usually a laeader and is now failing us. I’ve reviewed unmeetbale metrics. I don’t see strategies to keep eveyrone saef.
- jason Algood – Metrics aren’t achievalbe until vaccine and received by 50%. Especially true if you are waiting for regional including Detroit School District. Best case for vaccine is summer of 2021.That is best case scenario. Good chance 2020-2021 in person own’t happen
- Clarissa Benoit – 4 weeks in, for our kid at Kindergarten level – and it cut out – English is his 2nd language. He watches iPad from 8:10-11:40 watching 10 youtubes in morning and only speaking 5 minutes a day. Teacher calls 5 times a day 21 minute each. He can’t be independent. 3 of his apps aren’t working or configured. In other districts, teachers are in school and show classroom & write in board.
- Seema Salmon – I want to share my input. My daughter is in first grade & having a tough time. She loves school & gets excited about learning. She is disengaged now and says school is boring. It’s a struggle. This sin’t because of her teacher. I am a physician and see both sides. After seeing my daughter I worry about her wellbeing and education. I don’t think it’s healthy to keep these kids home watching a screen.
- David Nelson – Two children at Allen in K & 3rd. Hope for upgrade on timeline. Metrics provided by Jenna Bacolor in 9/11 MLive article. According to Michiga.gov Washtenaw County hasn’t had over 3% and in the past week it has been 1.6% Also 00 deaths of any children.
- Christine Bean – We are tow working parents of a K and a baby under 1. While we have worked out a way to have childcare for our children it is a signifcaint financial cost and know it is inequitable that only those who can afford benefit form. Learning under circumstances is compromised. We care about physical safety, but doesn’t seem to be a priority on hybrid learning. Inequity is perpetual fo
- Katherine Dortch – Young 5 & first at Haisley. Teachers, Principals, and admin have been phenomenal. But I’m sure they are as tired as we are. Kids are burned out and it’s only the 4th week. 4 year old hates school & doesn’t want ot participate. We’re under tress ot keep it going. I don’t se how it is possible. It is evident board isn’t listening and been politicized. What you hear and what is actually reality is starkly different. What are concrete plans for hybrid learning.
- Missed the comment – I cut out – families are drowning while balancing their own responsibilities while managing education. Won’t be a good subsititue for classroom
- Emily Cippola – I have called myself a community worker bee & volunteered in many places including SafeHouse & Peace Neighborhood Center. In school board post you have promised to be stewards. Urge you to remember most vulnerable. Please improve staffing at Pathways. Students too often forgotten and left behind. They need dedicated teaching and social workers.
- Dianne Jarvey – Asking about creative ideas to return to school. In reimagining school year are there other options that could give hybrid or in person. What outside the box are available for quick options. What options have been presented. As parents what can we do to help. More flexible with criteria for younger kids, prioritze special needs, outdoor options – tents. Eberwhite has small courtyards and plenty of outdoor space. Can families donate tents, spreading kids across buildings.
- Adam Loring – Concerns about school district plan. I’m a virologist in infectious diseases at UM & study respiratory viruses and have spent 6 months engaging with COVID. 3 kids in grades 56, 4, & K. With metrics it is clear we won’t return this year. Timeline for returning is problematic. It requires all benchmarks met for 14 days, then a return process. That means 4-5 weeks of extremely low community spread. We need to redirect resoursces to those most in need. We were told it would bring back young children & special needs.
- Alexandra Rutkosak – Unacceptable schools closed for youngest children. Widely accepted youngest years are the most important. You are impacting our future & the nation’s future. It can’t be to rpotect children & parents. No person in 49 and under has died in Washtenaw County. Is it to protect elderly? What aqbou t all the bars, restaurants, daycares, etc. Education & future is being traded for an unclrea risk. It seems relying on testing statistics and is among college students & linked to mandatory
- Mandy Kauffman – HS Students & sister of 6th grader. Not only students & parents but also teachers. I sit on Zoom while teachers boast 3-4 hours of sleep & get notifications from teachers at 1a. Teacher beg parents to call about concerns so she can have an adult conversation.
- Positive Feedbakc was requested by an AAPS staff member – Here is what’s positive in my houes. My 7 year old is loving in person at a private shcool. Her social & emotional needs are bem et. My 5 year old while eligible for Young 5 is thriving at private preschool. I will spare her kindergarten when Dr Swift suggests unenrolling if it isn’t working
- Amaqnda France – Wines students. Previously at Westserman and summer learning institute. My virtual before this school year was more successful. Class size was much smaller Helped develop a classroom community. Participated previously. Virtual board meetings said school year would be modeled after Summer Learning Institute. This has not been our experience. Ealry childhood education is Birth-3rd grade. If American Academy & Pediatrics recommends 1 hour of 3-5, 6-10 at 1.5 why aren’t virtual class held to thsat standard.
- Lois Miller – Apperciate your attention to conerens. Almost all surrounding districts are implementing some return at least for K-2 and special needs. They’ve allowe indoor sports but no in person learning. While crowding all K-12 into buildings is not safe. There is certainly space among all APAPS buildings to allow thosemost in need for in person.
- Evidence Based approach to closing schools. Only when they help, not when they do harm. Link provided. Let science guide board decision. Science is clear. Social distancing, masks, hand hygiene, Cohorting
- Elizabeth Hil – pediatrician and first grade parent. Concerned about negative impacts of virtual school. Few rigors studies of virtual learning especially for young kids. Children have fraction of ability to take online learning to real world situations. We do know school closures have negative impacts – greater covid deaths because of loss of healthcare workers to supervising children at home.
- Rita Simpson Block – ASPIRE to advance racial equity. We are concerned about blatant disregard to incident at Pioneer High School. We demand swift action by AAPS. A full and transparent public investigation of equity issues at Pioneer High School. Removal of staff member, development of bias reporting system by early November. Compliance with request of UM Cvivl Rights Initiative.
- Shannon Hughs Hadamaki – AAPS is an integral part of our community. Without them open our entire community is suffering greatly. Not only benefit children emotionally and educational but provides parents security that their kids are well cared for so they can do their job. Many UM nurses & assistants are on family leave because of distance learning and their kids can’t manage by themselves. This has a snowball effect on Michgan medicine not being able to run flu shot clinics. It is not public health interest to keep children out of school. They’ll be in good hands with APS staff and teachers. In return =day care centers have opened.
- Heather Echner – Relating ot agenda on reimiagine learning and extended continuity of learning plan.I’d like to hear of issues with special needs. Are you aware of US Dept of education and civil rights and service time evaluations> There have been no waivers to obligations under requirements. What actions are addressing lack of service provisions form March-June 2020. How is loss of learning being measured.
- Melissa Bailey Johnson – I am submitting in support of colleague at Pathways to success. Finally granted world learning full time status. Then lost full time to support another building. We desperately need a Spanish teacher and she really wants to be there. We’ve been without appropriate math teacher and just received a teacher for earth science after being a year without. it takes a special persona dn skill set to work at Pathways
- Diane Arts – I’m a Spanish teacher at Pathways working with some of the most vulnerable students. I believe in this work that I spent hours developing grading and classroom experience that would be engaging and valuable to students.
- Lauren Helms – parent of 3rd & 7th and a pediatrician. Both personally form y 3rd grader and my patient families this is not a tenable plan. Little to no attention from teacher and no feedback on work. No discussion on meeting goals. No understanding of goals for the month. Children are not engaged. May families I care for feel he same and are in tears when discussing AAPS virtual experience
- Tabitha Pluamrt ? – Public Education is typically special care los erve those on the margins. Equity is valued we don’t let those on the margins fall to the wayside. There must be a way to practice safety while still lifting up those on the margins. No student should be forced back. But I request those who need it most special needs and youngest grades who need a parent or paid support to fully engage. Current metrics we are not likely to return this year. If that’s the case I ask the board if this is acceptable
- Sandara Swan – I sympathize with everyone. It is really difficult for summary reasons. AAPS has done wonderful with details, solutions, and amazing teachers. The problem lies with most vulnerable populations. Early childhood, IEP, lower socio-economic households. Weneed to get them back in classrooms. The burden is too large for families and most likely ineffective. I’ve been early childhood director and educator for 10 years. I alos have a kindergartener. Online school is not effective or appropriate for early childhood.
- Ashley Zimmerman – There needs to be a better plan to return eyoungest and most vulnerable. Why can’t a phased approach start with those most at risk or even just one of those than move to K-3. We have pulled our first grader out of classroom connect & are home school. Virtual school is terrible. Teacher did a great job, but Two barrier too many children (25). We’re two parent house & I work 4 hours a week. We have support of family and friends. Unfortunately we are also a low income family.
- Jen Larson I am again writing as a pediatric neuropsychologist and parent of 3 children 2 in upper elementary. You’ve had since March to develop a plan and you have not. We aren ow 1 month into school and still no plan. Other local school districts have a plan to move forward and have even started this week. By identifying a return to school date and plan it show2s you have a plan and are engaging in a plan to return to school. Full time virtual school is not viable for elementary school.
- Georgia Reuben – I know staying up way past my bedtime at the last meeting I know the decision to return to sports was unilateral by the superintendent. It was overwhelming by the board to not allow, but not to override the related communications. I don’t see how one set of metrics on return to classroom and another for sports. Winter sports will jeopardize our student and coaches and staff. Facilities – are there report to air quality in fitness rooms.
- Alex Bean – I will forego anecdotes fo failures of virtual school as many comments have likely covered that topic. It is quite clear the AAEA stance is we will not return this year. Please inform the community if there is a plan to return this year. Please give tentative dates. It doesn’t make sense a district as well funded and supported as AAPS hasn’t made these decisions. Parents need to make decisions hat are best for their children but can’t without information
- Hale – Remote learning isn’t going grate for my 1st grader. I’m not detailing challenge, but would like to show misguided metrics. (Mott physician). Level of infection you have chosen is arbitrary. Only opinion from people at fancy names like Harvard and Hopkins. And you’ve still improved on by using low end of yellow. Every other district in the county ahas decided to return. Please define what you mean by safe return given low rates of infection
Johnson: Thank you for commentary and all the emails we receive on all sides of the issues.
Swift: Thank you trustees & everyone who has shared their commentary. We read every comment and email and appreciate opportunity to hear from parents, community members, and a student as well. I do believe our evening’s work will address what we’ve heard.
Some clarification on concern about racial behavior at Pioneer – In AAPS we continue to stand strong against any and all acts of bias, bigotry, and racism. We take these concerns very seriously and take allegation of racist attitudes and practices seriously and ensure consistent processes. Processes include thorough investigations and clarify situation and implementing needed improvements. When those concerns involve personnel maters, it is not always possible to report publicly. There is a full statement posted on the website.
Reports of Associations
Ann Arbor Education Association
Fred Klein presented a report from the AAEA. AAEA policy has always been to remain virtual until science and data show it is safe to return. We see cases and infection in districts where school has reopened. With cases on the rise in Washtenaw County and status decreased we remain steadfast to remain virtual.
Over 80% members not ready to return while this continues. But we can also be proud that no one has contacted covid from in-person instruction. He shared an open letter to the community which is posted on their Facebook and linked below
Baskett: Thank you to all public commentators and also Mr Kelin. Thank you for you and your members fo r making a statement and giving Dr Swift and the board support in this decision.
Lightfoot: I’ve also sent an email to say thank you to AAEA and it is nice to have you all weigh in at a time when it’s not easy on the decisions being made.
Swift: President Johnson & Mr Klein, I’ve already sent you a note. I appreciate you taking the time to make public commentary
The full letter should be available on Board Docs tomorrow. Mr Cluley read: Our theme is Surviving Together. In our PTOC board meetings we are exploring next steps in PTOCs providing strong community in schools. We recommend school PTOs send survey tot heir membership about their needs. Pleas let us know if you want a template. Next meeting is virtual> We’ve invited Board of Education and Superintendent Swift for a Meet the Candidates Forum.
Update on Reimagine Learning Plan
Dr Swift & other AAPS staff provides updates on the Reimagine Learning Plan
Shared update from a soccer outdoor activity from Rec & Ed.
Rec & Ed Fall Programming
Ms Bacolor provided an update on Rec & Ed activities this summer and fall.
Summer 2020 Program Review
Reimagined Summer Camp program. Full camp slate was cancelled. In June 360 students registered for virtual classes & camps. Mid-summer an executive order allowed in-person camps and they launched August camps. There were 500 youth in outdoor sports and enrichment camps plus tennis and sand volleyball. Safety Town was held virtual with materials pickup and additional programs for preschoolers.
Free Fall Youth Programs (Preschool-8th Grade)
Thank you to Dr Swfit and the board for supporting this. The idea is fun in-person opportunities multiple times across the school district at different elemetnaries, K-8s, and middle schools. It lets them see classmates in person and also get outside having fun.
- Creative Dance
- In Person
- Soccer x2
- Hip Hop Dance
- Middle School
- Yoga – Virtual
- Tennis – In Person
First two days had 180 participants. Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning and afternoon. They are at 3 elementaries/K8 and a middle school each session. All are divided by age group +PreK-1st, 2nd-3rd, 4th-5th grades and, Middle School.
COVID-19 protocols – masks worn by participants, parents, & staff during entire activity.
Feedback that it is great to see classmates, be at the school. In some cases teachers have come and seen students. Hearing that parents want more.
More Fall Programs
Adult class options – yoga, pilates, dance, music, meditation, writing, photography, art, weight training. All classes are virtual/online.
There is not a fall print catalog this year. See aarecedonline.com for classes and details.
Kelly: When we look at budget we see Rec & Ed has it’s own line. When we provide these classes at no cost, how dow we make this balance?
Swift: That’s really a general fund question and not Rec & Ed. Because we value these offerings, we have taken the step to include it in the general fund. We felt it was an overarching value to keep our children active and engage in safe and healthy ways. And also a way to retain our Rec & Ed team. We will keep track and Ms Minnick and I will report back.
Kelly: Having 6-8 kids is different than dozens or hundreds inside the building. But I’m curious what information we re gaining from opening Rec & Ed that will help us to serve most vulnerable kids in person.
Bacolor: This is something we observed on Saturday. Within a few minutes at the beginning, the coach was able to explain how we will be safe. They were told to come with masks and then designate them to spots on the field. Kids were able to wear their masks and spread out and do the activities.
Kelly: With these groups, are we getting littlest kids in the group and seeing how early elementary are doing and also do we have kdis who usually get supports in the classroom (ie aides) and are they able to participate.
Bacolor: Yes, youngest students are present. When there are preschool in buildings we offer soccer to preschool. We rely on parents to let us know if student needs an aid. The form does ask if their child needs assistance. Because it is only 45 minutes and active, we are hoping people can come and enjoy.
Kelly: So fi they mark they need assistance, they will get it to access Rec & Ed
Bacolor: Yes, sometimes we have to find someone. Sometimes our staff. It depends on the exact situation.
Johnson: Thank you for this work. I’m excited to see this and some of the complexity we had to deal with. I lovethat it gives our students the opportunity to get to know each other. You mentioned 180 kids participated. Are we meeting hte demand?A re there more who are interested.
Bacolor: We had space still and could have taken more children. We are still trying to get the word out. We see more kids signed up in coming weeks than last week. So weekly number should grow.
I was able to be at Pioneer for food delivery. They are beyond 560k meals delivered. Over 2200 students a day. About 9000 meals distributed per delivery day. Breakfast and lunch for 7 days. They have applied to add dinner and a snack. If they receive approval they can offer more meals.
Also serving 250 students in Connections+. Serve lunches in the group daily.
They shared a video from food delivery. If it gets posted ot the APPS You Tube, I will add it here.
A few notes – meals distributions include a combination of frozen and fresh items. It is a balancing act to manage their resource. Challenges have been sourcing products with shortages as well as paper products for distribution. Transportation has been a key role. They were trained by food service on how to pass out safely. CAN and PEACE community centers have also been trained in distribution.
When we move to Huron, the third kitchen at Huron will open. Right now Skyline and Pioneer are open. Having multiple kitchens allows to protect food distribution in case of COVID cases at a kitchen.
Lightfoot: It’s important to let the public know the not so pretty stuff. The job of trustees is to look out for the entire district – all the layers of the onion. When the public hears the challenges like getting the materials to hand out food. We have to manage these nuances the public never sees.
Nelson: Thank you for taking our thanks to the food crew and for doing the video. It is inspiring to see people at the work and wonderfully busy and active. It gives insight into one of the important things we are doing – and have been doing since March.
About 80% students across the county remain fully virtual. Next phase is Hybrid Model. Students and families who want to make transition would be in person 2 day s per week and join virutal the remaining days and Wednesday staying asynchronous.
Tech Distibution: 17k devices, 340 hotspots – 150 to staff to make sure staff are virtually connected. Sponsoring Comcast Essentials Package and paying where needed. Purchase of Kajeet for added data. Ready to deploy first school bus to push out wifi. Working with outreach centers with added WiFi.
Distribution of supply kits, textbooks, workbooks, PLTW kits, musical instruments, etc.
They are working through technology issues. (I know we have had issues with Zoom bombing in my daughter’s classes)
We are 4th largest district6 in Michgan, 2nd largest Employer in Ann Arbor. For 18500 students to be in class, 25000+ individuals must leave their homes.
Stage 1 is about 8000 individuals leaving their home. It is district’s responsibility to consider macro and that is different than going to grocery store or having an activity on the field. We don’t take the hardships for families lightly.
At the bottom of the curve in late May/June the metrics were achieved. But after July 4th there was a surge in Washtenaw County.
Looking at County data of the cases in the last 2 weeks, 2/3 were squarely in school district zip codes (48103, 48104, 48405, 48108, 48109). From Harvard Global Healthy Institute. Washtenaw County is in Accelerated Spread. Less than 1 is Containment, 1-9 is community spread, in 10-24 we are in accelerated spread. Above 24 cases is a tipping point where stay at home orders are necessary. As of this morning, Washtenaw County is at 12.1 in accelerated spread.
Cases per 1 million is from Michigan Safe Start Map. Since briefing on September 16, additional information on metrics have been founded and changes in MI Safe Start map. Rating is now A-E. Washtenaw is now a D (E is most significant). Cases per million is 102.7. Positivity rate is at 2%.
The recent few days, are high.
Ability to wear mask and keep distance shows how close we are to be able to open.Also watching known school outbreaks released on Mondays.
Recent outbreaks show as additional information. It does not represent all the COVID cases in a school among the student populations. It is only those transmitted while at school.
This week MDHHS includes 21 new school outbreaks with 2 or more students/staff and 25 ongoing school outbreaks.
They are looking at not a single metric but the totality. Trend is up – the last week has been steeply up, cases per million is in D on MI Safe ReStart , cases per 100k is in orange. Positity rate is the one component that we meet the threshold.
Aiming for 1-5 cases/100k, 7-50/million. But would consider at 2-40/million or 6-9/100k. But currently at double the upper case limit at cases per million.
Superintendent recommendation is to continue in virtual learning due to significant upward trend in cases int eh county localized in AAPS zip codes and the increased cases per million and per 100k. They will continue to implement additional supports & services including small group for those most challenged in virtual learning. Over 200 students already being supported in small groups and will add to that group.
Process for next stpes:
- Review metrics daily
- Review with BOE once a week, sometimes in small groups or by phone and in e-mail
- update data dashboard weekly
- Overal metrics are achieved (don’t have to be all, but overall is within thresholds)
- Due to size with transition there will likely be an uptick int he community
- Team will notify community, board, AAPS team, parents
- During 14 day wait to ensure they hold they will set a transition date and make sure everyone is ready.
80% of 45k students in Washtenaw County in virtual learning. They will begin transition of small groups of students.
Return to School: Each stage would be at least 3 weeks before proceeding.
- Stage 1
- Young 5-2nd grade
- Willing students & families most in need of in-person learning (special education, English Language Learner)
- Stage 2
- Grades 3-5
- Stage 3
- Secondary Students
Hybrid plan allows cohorts with elementary students. But with secondary students, the single cohort model is challenging to achieve. Across the district, state, and country it is more difficult to mitigate at secondary level.
Nelson: i want to emphasize what I see as the logic of our policy. We know there is risk involved in this. There is a trade-of in risk. On one side is infection and disease We also talk about the risk to children of not being face to face is not uniform across children. Some students are most at risk in virtual (sorry, audio cut out). There is good evidence that those most at risk are special needs intersecting with young students. People emphasize both sides of the risk. Some emphasize risk of virtual others emphasize infection risk. This board and administration should and does think about both of those. I’m firmly convinced our plans is the right plan in terms of sequencing. and that looking at the current curve in Washtenaw County no one knows where that is going to go in the next week or two. I hope we can move to face to face soon, but if the infection risk goes up markedly that affects the equation.
Swift: I neglected to add that those children and families whose risk benefit analysis prefer to remain virtual can.
The dashboard is dropping into the Extended Continuity of Learning Plan and the board is required to vote on it.
Nelson: My feeling as one trustee is this dashboard is getting so much visibility and feeling among citizens It makes me inclined to suggest we handle as a board action or first and second briefing so community knows we as a team are using these indicators as things we consider. My inclination is for us to say yes this is the framework.
Lightfoot: I concur with Trustee nelson for the same reasons.
Gaynor: This is so difficult and complex. And real trauma in the community. I was glad with the conversations when data was flat and we were looking at more flexibility with metrics and ways to get the youngest and most vulnerable back to school. But that’s still 8000 people
Lazarus: I think I agree with Trustee Nelson & Gaynor’s statements. I think we should take a vote. I move we approve the data points dashboard and have it updated on a weekly basis on our website. And use it as our guiding light and use it to make a determination.. I propose we take action on it tonight. This is either the second or third time we’ve seen the matrix and had serious discussions over it.
Nelson: I am pleased to second it.
And to clarify, they are moving the approval of the metrics to the Board Action section of the agenda. They all voted to move the approval to Board Action
Highlights of Summer 2020 Physical Properties Updates
This is always one of our favorite fall updates. Mr Lauzzana and Mr Rice (executive director fo physical properties). Since spring they began preparing for summer projects and give an update on work that is going on. They will also cover some of the work done to prepare for COVID in person learning. There will be a presentation in October dedicated to that – water quality, air quality, etc.
Video of some of the work done:
- Gym floor refinishing – Skyline, Scarlett, Slauson
- Roof replacement, STEAM, Forsythe, Freeman, Balas,
- Huron, Pioneer, & Skyline Turf Replacement & Track Reconstruction
- Parking Lot Reconstruction: Pioneer, Scarlett,
- Freeman Class Reconstruction
- Skyline Dugouts
- Ellsworth/Bryant Parcel Acquisition
- Bryant/Pattengill COVID Safety
- Bryant Windows & new PK rooms, Art Room skylights
- Pattengill – New Sign, Hallways, Classrooms, Solar
- Electric Bus infrastructure
Lazarus: It’s fun to see pictures and the finished product. We usually see it in on paper.
COVID Preparation in the Buildings
- Health & Wellness Signage
- Social DFistnace Preparation
- Plumbing Systems
- Cleaning & S
Partnered with Fishbeck as consulting engineers on maximizing HVAC. Maximize fresh outside air, maximize effectiveness of filtration & algorithms for enhanced indoor air quality.
Often mix indoor and outdoor air to minimize energy requirements. As part of this they are modifying control system to allow increased outside air for enhanced ventilation. This is also temperature dependent and ability to heat outside air at different temperatures. Also looking at other filtration options to increase the level of clean air. Restriction in equipment for higher filters for both space for a larger filter and ability of fan to move air through the filter. They are providing recommendations on building by building basis.
When CO2 quantities rise, more people in the space, and can increase the outside air ventilation.
Health & Wellness signage – In and Exit only doors, social distance reminders, self-screening reminders. One-way hallways and stairs, walk on right side only, maximum occupancy for elevators and restrooms, handwashing reminders.
Working with Stantec on classroom flow and furniture layout. Unused furniture will be secured and labeled. Teacher zone and student zone. Sneeze guards added at offices, wellness check station. Some are installed, others are movable.
Plumbing systems need attention when buildings are unoccupied. Weekly flushing can prevent growth of Legionella bacteria. Testing all AAPS for Legionella and Ecoli. Just replaced bi-annual replacement of drinking water filters. Removed all drinking fountain bubblers and capped openings. Added touchless restroom fixtures. Started with outbuildings (sports), then hydration stations, then restrooms. Also touchless paper towl dispensers.
Cleaning & Sanitizing. High touch points will be cleaned every 4 hours with EPA approved disinfectant.
Cleaning times: EPA Listed N Products. Purchased Electrostatic Sprayers. UV, Ozone, or Steam – ePA & CDC are reviewing safety & effectiveness against COVID-19. Not using Fogging – increased hazardous chemical and not showing effectiveness.
Kelly: You gave me confidence we will be ready when it is go time. With signage I love AAPS color scheme.But are we recognizing accessibility – braille, more graphics, multiple language, etc. Would red and green be better for stop, go? Can you run past ADA accessibility team.
What is tension between ventilation and fire suppression? Are we working with fire department.
Lauzzana – in Interesting point. In many cases those are intentionally separating building for safety reasons. Propping open is in conflict with fire separation. But in some cases we have middle of hallway doors. Most of our buildings don’t have compete sprinkler systems.
Kelly: In looking at other graphics, there is teacher zone and student zone. People in building will be asked to do more than they used to do. With teacher zone/student zone and aerosols is having a teacher zone is it similar to having a no peeing zone in a pool? Are there some things we could do that are more effective and others we can drop that aren’t as effective
Lauzzana – The intent is to eliminate behavior of teachers walking around and students coming up with a question. Minimizing the close contact..
Kelly – I’m curious of 4 hours cleaning. Will we increase daytime custodial staff or will some be teacher responsibility
Swift: We’re still working out those details. W’ere especially mindful that surfaces are less important and air is more important. But the governor’s order does include 4 hours. We are working to have a daytime crew in each school. It’s another reason the single cohort helps all work. If they leave to go outdoors, that’s when the team could clean. We’re still working out how much staff we would need to do that work.
Nelson: We get a lot of email suggesting we aren’t serious about opening buildings until COVID has disappeared. Would it be responsible ot support all this work if I didn’t expect we were serious about opening while there was still COVID around.
Lauzzana – How you choose to govern is obviously your decision. But since March we’ve been working. We need to be smart but not reactive. When it started it was about temperature scanning and buying expensive thermal scanners. Now research is showing temperature isn’t as key because of asymptotic transmission. We’ve seen this with other technologies too like UV. You need such a high dose it isn’t feasible for much except like a surgical suite. We’ve been at this since March. Increasing consensus that touch isn’t a big transmission vector. At the beginning I was kicking Amazon into garage for 3 days. To my knowledge there have been no cases of transmission through mail or Amazon. While we have a plan for cleaning, we’re focusing on ventilation, social distancing, and masks as our principal strategies.
Nelson: When people are saying to district I don’t really believe you about going face to face. I am happy we are putting our money where our mouth is. We are. We’re talking about getting back to face to face in the presence of a virus We are investing in the ways that will make it
Gaynor: We have been focusing attention on COVID metrics and data. But another side is mitigation factors.which is what we’re talking about now. You’re talking about ventilation and filtering. But to what degree are we able to do mitigation so it impacts our decision making. As a teacher there were many years were ventilation or cleaning hasn’t been adequate. Are we in a position where it is adequate and we can return to school.
Swift: We have been busy since March knowing this. It is part of the plan to transition grade by grade. We’ve been doing the cleaning protocols. But children do become ill while at school. There may be things we didn’t anticipate. Part of our process is to continue to evaluate as we go. An important component is an increase in the ABM contract to cover increased staff. There can be no skipping of a room because a custodian called in sick.
Lazarus: I know Fishbek you laid out what they are doing. That is the engineering part of it correct. Do we have any idea what we can are doingwith our actual HVAC. Have we replaced filters, but we hanve’t installed anything. If we do go back, hat are we doing in the interim.
Lauzzana: What I failed to describe is the team that is working on it through the summer and into the fall. Yes, they are our consulting and doing the programming and commissioning exercise, They provide a report. With that report we’re working with skilled trade vendors and filter replacement vendor to implement.
Lazaurs: Irt’s tgreat to see we’re testing water and flushign and that bubblers have been capped. I know some teachers aren’t thrilled.
Lauzzaa- Also looking for silver linings. We’re doing more commissioning work on HVAC and plumbing than we normally could do from constraints on capacity. Our HVAC will be in the best shape in a decade or more. When buildings are occupied things break more often. Resources go to that. Now with a breather we have breather to do deeper work. Removing hand blow dryers is a long term win – they don’t jsut blow COVID around.
Lightfoot: How long have you been planning this: particularly the wair owrk
Lauzzana: We engaged with Fishbek around April once we read early guidance. We realized ventilation would be a big part of reoccupying buildings.It is pretty extensive and complicated. We’ve been through most elementary schools and moving up to secondary in the weeks ahead.
Lightfoot: The money we are using, where did it come for especially ventilation and plumbing.
Lauzzana – We have various sources. Sinking fund if its’ an eligible repair or upgrade, filters in general fund. Also tracking with Ms Minnick to maximize CARES dollars. We don’t know how much CARES will be available and what expenses we will incur.
Dr Swift updated on the Extended Continuity of Learning Plan.
The primary plan is the Reimagine Learning Plan which is on the website. Inside that plan is the COVID response plan. The last legislation that passed had a few more requirements. Ms Linden and her team have been busy since that package was passed and have the Extended Continuity of Learning Plan.
Extended Continuity of Learning Plan
This is just a few additional requirements based on Public Act 149 Section 98a. Most of the assurances were alerady met , but there were jsut a few pieces.
Educational Growth Goals around ELA and Mathematics. We must select & administer an approved asseessment to K-8 a int he first 9 weeks and again abefore the end of school. They are using the NWEA MAP assessment. Goal is to approve academic performance across all students and student subgroups.
In any phase of the learning plan the students have the same scope and sequence/exposure to academic standards. They used the Bock Schedule and semester model with tight scope and sequence and use teaching and learning networks.
The last piece is the equitable access to technology and internet insurance. Reiterating that devices were provide PK-1 received iPads and 2-12 Chromebooks. The family technology helpline remains 7:30a-7:30p M-Th and 7:30a-5p on Friday. And have provided wireless hot spots and tech team support for families and staff and helping families receive low cost internet.
Nelson: We are getting comments on standardized testing. Most people are opposed to standardized testings. Is my understanding that some testing is required by state law.
Nelson: So we have some discretion on some tests, but it would be illegal and a legal mess if we tried to elimiate all standardized tests.
Linden: Yes, that is correct.
Swift: Yes, I would just ad that this was particularly required by the state in the legislative package that was passed for COVID schooling. We are required to give fall and spring. As I shared with a few of you by phone, that means that Kindergarteners will be required to take in fall and we have not normally tested them in fall. This is an addition. We have also only had one middle school in the past and no wit is K-8. So it wlll be all middle school students. This will be an additional test for some of our K-8 students.
Johnson: to clarify is it legal or funding requirement
Swift: I believe they wrapped both into the legislation.
Gaynor: Thank you , I was going to require it was a legal one. I believe state and superintendents form across the country asked for the waiver. But the secretary of education refused to grant it. I believe most of us know the validity of these tests is questionable.
I do want ot ask you to exampdn on description of tight scope and sequnce.
Linden: Team of 30 reimagine learning council identified those core value. We recognize families and students will have to make decisions on remaining fully virtual or returning hybrid. We wanted to make sure students moving form fully virtual to hybrid to make sure they could without missing something. Also tight scope and sequence to make up for spring. Lessons and how a teacher teaches still is up to teachers. We did crate Teacher Learning Networks so they could work together to develop virtual learning together.
Swift: From a superintendent we are required to show that despite seat time waiver we have met all standards.
Gaynor: If we prioritize teaching to standards over teaching to students needs they will be
Kelly: I understand SAT was administered in person. Will NWEA be pushed to chromebooks or in person?
Linden: We will do it virtually and students will access through a secure site.
Kelly: Rules of students wh take
Linden: State has not said they will push the percentage participation. Talk in th county ahas been that we can give our best faith effort ot deliver.
Swift: I appreciate that question. We know students that this will not work for. I want to remind our community that the state superintendent and Governor Whitmer were part of lobby to not require assessments this year. It was a federal decision. I wonder if there is a second wave and if there is any way this will change. Because if it is part of the legislative package it is probably fixed. Our timeline is short for the 9 week window.
Lightfoot: This is something to add to the policy asks that we can address that way. These assessments are just painful and horrible that we have to do this now with what our babies are already dealing with. I do suggest we advocate against how it is counted. We found there was a big difference in outcomes form districts on MSTEP from those who took on computer vs by filling out the bubbles.
First briefings on all of these items were provided at the September 16 meeting. Dr Swift said there were no changes to any of the briefings. And they moved to trustee questions of which there were none.
- Solar Installation
- Demolition of Buildings on Adjacent Clague Property
- Addition of Bryant Preschool Playground
- Pediatric Therapy Associates
- Responsible Contracting Policy
The board will vote on approval of the first four items of the Second Briefing (not the Contracting Agenda).
Kelly moved to apporve. Seconded by Lazarus. The Consent Agenda passed unanimously.
The board will take individual action on the following items:
Gaynor: The community want us to be accountable and be able to return to in person learning. We’re all unified in our opinion that safety is number one priority. Question is does this dashboard metrics give us flexibility that MS Bacolor is talking about or do they lock us in unnecessarily.
Johnson: Thank you for that question. We want some flexibility instead of an algorithm. As we’ve looked at metrics, I’ve seen a shift in how Ms Bacolor and Dr Swift talk about how we use it to assess standards. I do think this does a good job of observable metrics and show a science based methodology without being overly rigorous to adjust.
Swift: I want to clarify that the small groups of students like SATs, Rec & Ed, athletics are separate from the decision to open the schools grade by grade. Administering supports and recovery services and wrap around services proceeds now and will continue as we’re able. We wouldn’t be able to if the governor moves us to a shelter status. As long as we are in phase 4 now, school support is optional There are a little over 200 sutdents in Connectiosn+ in community centers and will continue. Guideline is a small group in a large area.
Gaynor: There is more flexibility with new dashboard with a loosening of standards.
Swift: We’ve listened to folks and added the consider as well as the aim for levels.
Vote passed. (Trustee Baskett’s vote was not clear on my TV, but everyone else voted yes)
Extended Continuity of Learning Plan
Trustee Nelson Moved to approve the AAPS Extended COVID-19 Learning Plan and read the full legal document for approval. Seconded by Lightfoot
Gaynor: I fully expect to approve as a bureaucratic necessity. But I am going to vote against it to express my concern about tight scope and sequence. I am concerned ti will affect teacher judgement to meet student needs and an arbitrary schedule won’t achieve that.
Yes: Lightfoot, Nelson, Baskett, Johnson, Lazarus, Kelly
Motion Carries 6-1.
Adoption of Board Policy 3055 Responsible Contracting Policy
Moved by Lightfoot. Seconded by Lazarus
Michigan High School Athletics Association Renewal 2020-2021
Swift: Yes, this is an action the board takes every August/September for our teams to participate.
Moved by Baskett. Seconded by Lazarus
Lightfoot: I want to raise my frustration with this entity this year. I am beyond disappointed at the choices they have made. I don’t want to say I don’t support our athletes or renew. But I want to raise that frustration.
Gaynor: I would second that. Districts made the decision but ther was undue pressure from MHSAA
Trustee Nelson moved to adjourn, seconded by Lightfoot. The meeting adjourned unanimously at 11:24p