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Ann Arbor School Board releases statement on upcoming vote to stay virtual

ANN ARBOR – The Ann Arbor Board of Education released a statement on Friday evening clarifying the details of next week’s vote after considerable uproar from some community members.

“At our meeting on Wednesday, February 17, 2021, the Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education voted to direct Superintendent Jeanice Kerr Swift to explore the feasibility of modifying its current Return to School Plan,” the Board clarified.

“The Board apologizes for any confusion this vote on Wednesday may have caused our community during an already stress-filled school year due to the pandemic. To be clear, we have not decided to remain in fully virtual instruction for the remainder of the year.”

According to the Board, the intent of the motion was to set a date for the students with the greatest needs to safely return to school buildings, help families plan for the remainder of the school year, assist parents and caregivers who have requested help with students’ learning and focus on an “enhanced summer program” and safe return in the fall.

“The Board’s vote did not change or alter the approved transition to hybrid-in school learning option,” read the statement.

Superintendent Swift will bring forward a recommendation at the Board’s next meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 24 to keep classes virtual for the majority of AAPS students through the end of the school year.

In response to the Board’s motion, parent group Ann Arbor Reasonable Return launched a GoFundMe on Thursday, raising more than its $30,000 goal in less than 24 hours to establish a political action committee. According to the organizer of that fundraiser, the group has signed with a “well-respected” law firm in Michigan.

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