ANN ARBOR – Families at A2STEAM School were notified one hour prior to the start of the school day on Monday that all grades would be shifting to remote learning due to low staffing.
A2STEAM is one of several Ann Arbor schools that has had to close over the past week due to staff illness and absences.
“This is an emergency measure made necessary due to numerous unfilled positions and an inability to fully staff A2STEAM school for today,” Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Jeanice Swift wrote to families on Monday morning.
“Taking this step to remote learning with this school that is most critically impacted by staffing challenges will allow the AAPS to redeploy some substitute personnel to assist with the shortage of staff across other buildings and stretch the resources to staff the remaining schools.”
A2STEAM parent Adrian Lynn has three children at the K-8 school. An essential worker in the Pediatric Cardiology ICU at Mott Children’s Hospital, she was already at work when she got the call.
“I leave for work at 5:45 in the morning,” said Lynn. “I got called at around 7:25 that the school would be closing for the day and school starts at 8:15. One hour notice.”
Lynn shared that she is divorced and the children were staying with their father, who was able to stay home with them.
“If they were with me I would have had to get home and take yet another day off work,” she said.
Lynn called the situation “incredibly frustrating” as a frontline worker who has had to work and juggle child care and homeschooling throughout the pandemic.
“For the district not to have known an hour before that they didn’t have enough staff for the building is ridiculous,” she said. “You can predict a snow day more than an hour in advance. This isn’t a high school. These are elementary school kids. They cannot be left at home alone. You’re putting people’s jobs and kids at risk.”
For the district’s part, Swift said her office made the prompt decision after receiving absence notices this morning.