Ann Arbor Public Schools: Skyline, Pathways high schools to go virtual Tuesday

Other district schools to hold in-person learning, says superintendent

Ann Arbor Public Schools district reveals plans for in-person learning option.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – All Ann Arbor public schools will return to in-person learning, except for Skyline and Pathways high schools, said Superintendent Jeanice Swift in a district update on Friday.

Students from both high schools will switch to virtual learning after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday. Families impacted were notified through email.

“As we prioritize health and safety, we also have an emphasis on an in-school educational experience for as many students as possible, on as many days as we reasonably and safely can do so during this school year,” Swift’s update reads. “Our AAPS school plan features layers of protection against transmission of COVID-19; we understand that this is the best way to keep our students and staff learning together in school.”

The public school system has been dealing with staffing shortages due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has previously resulted in last-minute announcements of virtual classes or schools being closed. This past week the district said that it suspended 20 bus routes due to shortages. Officials hope the routes can be restored on Monday, Jan. 24.

“When we are unable to staff a school appropriately for in-school operations, we will transition classrooms, grades or schools to remote, virtual learning for a period of time due to staff COVID impact. We will continue to more strategically base in-school learning decisions on the school-by-school impact on staff and students.”

In her update, Swift noted that the AAPS COVID Response Team reviewed updated K-12 schools guidelines from the Washtenaw County Health Department and that specifics will be shared next week with families and staff.

“School nurses are implementing some aspects of the guidance already,” reads the update.

Last week the district’s COVID dashboard reported 74 new cases of COVID-19 consisting of 52 students and 22 staff members. The update stated that the cases directly impacted 25 schools or district locations. AAPS also became aware of an additional 84 cases within students or employees at were not on school campuses during infectious days.

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Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.