Plymouth-Canton high schools to go virtual next week following Thursday lockdown over threat
Three high schools in the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools district will shift to virtual learning for one week after a Thursday threat triggered a four-hour lockdown at the Plymouth-Canton Educational Park (P-CEP).
Ann Arbor’s youngest students return to school buildings for hybrid learning
ANN ARBOR – Ann Arbor Public Schools welcomed preschool- through kindergarten-aged students back into school buildings on Thursday as part of its hybrid learning plan for the remainder of the school year. The district is starting with the youngest students and the students with the greatest needs, and will bring back older students in phases. AdAccording to a recent survey, 67.3 percent of K-12 students in Ann Arbor opted to return to a hybrid model while 24.5 percent opted to remain virtual; 8.2 percent did not respond. In her March 10 update, AAPS Superintendent Dr. Jeanice Kerr Swift shared what hybrid learning will look like and the district’s next steps. See some of those moments below:@A2_Carpenter We are excited to welcome all of our students to Hybrid Learning!
Ann Arbor parent pens open letter to Michigan officials to commit to full-time school in fall
ANN ARBOR – Local parent Nick Bagley has penned an open letter to the Michigan legislature and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer calling for legislation that would ensure children return to school full time this fall. “I think a lot of parents are feeling kind of hopeless about this school year,” said Bagley. Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeanice Kerr Swift has publicly said that school will be back full time in the fall. “They’ve shredded the trust they had in the community.”He criticized the state’s decision to leave school openings during the pandemic up to the districts.
U-M Mott Children’s poll: Nearly 50% of parents say pandemic negatively impacted their teens’ mental health
Mental health experts say that isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic exacerbates depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts for at-risk teens. He said that the pandemic created new mental health issues for some, but for others exacerbated existing issues. According to the poll, parents said changes in social interactions over the past year seemed to hit their children the hardest. Giving them space for some quiet time, creative time or music time can be helpful to their mental health. Almost one in four parents in the Mott Poll say their teens were experiencing negative changes in their sleep since the pandemic started.
In-person learning resumes today at Detroit public schools
DETROIT – In-person instruction is resuming Monday at Detroit Public Schools Community District buildings. About 20,000 students have opted to return to the classroom amid the COVID-19 pandemic this spring. Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Viti estimates only about 1,000 of the returning students will receive full face-to-face instruction right now. Teachers are being offered an incentive of $750 more per quarter if they return to in-person instruction. More: Return To School updates
U-M: Parent depression, stress caused by pandemic had negative impact on kids’ schooling
Most of the parents said that their children learned online from home, using school-provided electronic resources, educational apps and social media. Roughly 35% of parents reported that their children’s behavior changed since the pandemic began, including feelings of sadness, loneliness and depression. Daily schedule disruptions and a lack of access to free and reduced-price meals from school were significant stressors, parents reported. “Research suggests that, unfortunately, the high levels of stress, anxiety and depression among parents remained high through the summer and early fall. Co-authors on the study are U-M doctoral student in psychology and social work, Kaitlin Ward and U-M undergraduate research assistants Kasey Downing and Olivia Chang.
5 tips for successful virtual learning, according to a local academic
Dress nicely, turn your camera on, have pen and paper ready, and sit up straight,” Laverick suggests. Start a reviewing routineDr. Laverick suggests building a daily habit of reading through your notes from class. If you’re indifferent to the notetaking method you use, sometimes switching up your method can help you stay more engaged in the content. Protect your eyesHas virtual learning bothered your eyes? Whether your learning is 100% virtual or a hybrid model, remembering these tips will set you up to do your best, even when the circumstances are not ideal.
Parent advocacy group ‘celebrates’ Ann Arbor School Board’s decision to offer hybrid learning
Ann Arbor Reasonable Return co-founder Jesse Kauffman holds a sign at a rally organized by the group in downtown Ann Arbor on Jan. 30, 2021. ANN ARBOR – Parent group Ann Arbor Reasonable Return released a statement on Wednesday afternoon in response to the Board of Education’s vote to offer a hybrid learning option. “Today, we celebrate the vote by the Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education to offer Hybrid/Hyflex learning,” reads the statement. The grassroots organization founded by local parents, including medical professionals, has been advocating for the safe return to face-to-face learning. Ann Arbor is the only district in Washtenaw County and one of few in the state that has remained virtual since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Ann Arbor School Board approves phased hybrid learning plan starting March 25
ANN ARBOR – The Ann Arbor Board of Education voted 6-1 on Wednesday to approve a recommendation brought forward by Superintendent Dr. Jeanice Kerr Swift to transition to an in-person hybrid learning model starting March 25. Swift reiterated AAPS’ original hybrid plan that students will attend school two days per week in order to achieve proper physical distancing in school buildings:The hybrid learning plan involves the assignment of students to an A or B cohort group. Students attend school two days per week, Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday; Wednesdays will remain a virtual, asynchronous day. According to its Feb. 17 motion, the School Board proposed that students with the greatest needs return to school buildings on March 22. The School Board will reconvene its regular meeting Wednesday evening at 7 p.m.
Ann Arbor City Council members, mayor send letter to School Board urging a return to in-person learning
ANN ARBOR – In a rare move, Mayor Christopher Taylor and several members of City Council have sent a letter to the Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education urging them to stick to their plan of returning to a hybrid learning model. “Ann Arbor students and families are stretched to the breaking point,” reads the letter. If the science shifts, or a virus variant changes everything, Ann Arbor will understand. If the science shifts, or a virus variant changes everything, Ann Arbor will understand. AdThe City of Ann Arbor and Ann Arbor Public Schools have a long and successful history of working together to promote our children’s education, community, and health.
Ann Arbor students, parents rally at Skyline High School to demand return to hybrid learning
A high school student holds up a sign at a protest outside Skyline High School in Ann Arbor on Feb. 20, 2021. ANN ARBOR – Dozens of students and parents stood outside Skyline High School holding signs and giving speeches on Saturday, calling for the Ann Arbor Board of Education to continue with their original plans to return to school buildings beginning in March. AdAnn Arbor Public Schools students hold up signs at a rally to reopen schools at Skyline High School on Feb. 20, 2021. Skyline High School senior Eli Hendricks addresses a crowd of students and parents outside his school in Ann Arbor on Feb. 20, 2021. Signs posted outside Skyline High School's student entrance in Ann Arbor call for the return to hybrid learning.
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. Ad“The Board’s vote did not change or alter the approved transition to hybrid-in school learning option,” read the statement. 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.
Ann Arbor parents launch GoFundMe to start PAC as school district mulls staying virtual
ANN ARBOR – A GoFundMe organized by parent group Ann Arbor Reasonable Return has surpassed its $30,000 goal in under 24 hours. “Ann Arbor Reasonable Return is exploring all options to get relief for families in the Ann Arbor Public Schools who have been in virtual only learning since March 13, 2020,” reads the GoFundMe page. “We are raising funds for establishing a political action committee (PAC) that can then take steps like retain professional legal and lobbying counsel. According to the Board of Education, if they vote to keep school virtual, children with the greatest needs will be able to return to buildings at the end of March. AdCo-founder of Ann Arbor Reasonable Return Lena Kauffman said that the group is currently in the process of signing with the firm.
Ann Arbor School Board will vote next week on plan to continue virtual learning through end of year
The Ann Arbor School Board will vote next week whether or not to continue virtual learning through the end of the school year. ANN ARBOR – In a Board of Education meeting that lasted nearly six hours on Wednesday, the Ann Arbor Public Schools Board approved a resolution to modify its plan to return to in-person learning in favor of finishing the school year virtually. The Board voted 5-2 in favor of the motion. Trustee Kelly questioned the legality of the motion and urged the vote be postponed by a week. During next Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting, the Board will vote on Superintendent Swift’s recommendation to continue in-person learning through the end of the school year for the majority of students.
School’s out: Ann Arbor Public Schools students given ‘virtual snow day’ Tuesday
ANN ARBOR – Remember snow days? In a time when students remain in virtual classrooms, a snow day might not be as glamorous as it once was. Still, students in Ann Arbor Public Schools are in luck because Superintendent Dr. Jeanice Kerr Swift has declared Tuesday a snow day. Snow totals from the overnight storm are expected to exceed half a foot across Southeast Michigan, with some areas getting up to 10 inches. Those sledding hills might get busy.
With districts fully integrated in remote learning will Michigan schools declare a snow day?
We are talking about a snow day. With districts fully integrated into remote learning will districts declare a snow day? That includes remote learning, face-to-face learning, hybrid learning, parents, teachers, students and now the issue of snow days. In Michigan, it is a foregone conclusion that you are probably going to have snow days. So why do we need snow days?
Hundreds of physicians, psychologists call for Ann Arbor Public Schools to reopen
ANN ARBOR – More than 350 local physicians and psychologists have signed an open letter and petition to the Ann Arbor Board of Education and Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeanice Kerr Swift, urging them to reopen schools for students who choose to learn in-person by Gov. “The scientific, health and psychological consensus is clear: It is possible for children and teachers to safely return to school with proper mitigation measures. Ad“My own experience of seeing the devastation caused by school closure among Ann Arbor’s children has been eye-opening and heartbreaking. “It’s time for Ann Arbor to make the rational decision to allow students and families a choice of in-person schooling. AAPS students deserve better.”This is the third letter that Ann Arbor healthcare providers has sent to AAPS and coincides with efforts by parents to reopen the schools due to negative impacts their children are facing during the closures.
Ann Arbor Public Schools, DTE Energy deploy electric school buses to deliver meals to children
ANN ARBOR – With Ann Arbor Public Schools buildings still closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the district has partnered with DTE Energy to put its new zero-emission electric school buses to good use. The six electric vehicles will be used to deliver meals to students in Ann Arbor and Roseville schools through federal food assistance programs. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, in collaboration with MAPT and the Volkswagen Beneficiary Mitigation Plan, provided funding for the buses. “We are thrilled to help deploy these electric buses as another proof point of our clean energy plan at DTE,” Trevor Lauer, President and COO, DTE Electric said in a news release. Jeanice K. Swift, Superintendent of the Ann Arbor Public Schools said in a news release.
Parents call for schools to reopen at rally in downtown Ann Arbor
Members of parent group Ann Arbor Reasonable Return hold a banner at a rally demanding the return of hybrid learning in downtown Ann Arbor on Jan. 30, 2021. ANN ARBOR – Parent group Ann Arbor Reasonable Return rallied outside the downtown post office on Saturday afternoon to demand that Ann Arbor Public Schools reopen by March 1 -- Gov. Ann Arbor Public Schools have been closed since the coronavirus pandemic began in March. Parents and children hold signs at a rally calling to reopen Ann Arbor Public Schools in downtown Ann Arbor on Jan. 30, 2021. They wear them all day long.”AdAlan Simpson-Vlach with his wife, Rita, and daughter Marguerite at a rally to reopen Ann Arbor Public Schools on Jan. 30, 2021.
Parent group to rally for safe return to schools in Ann Arbor Saturday
A sign for Ann Arbor Reasonable Return is posted next to the Ann Arbor Farmers Market on Dec. 9, 2020. ANN ARBOR – Ann Arbor Reasonable Return, a grassroots organization founded by local parents, will be holding a rally on Saturday in downtown Ann Arbor in support of Gov. The group, which also goes by A2R2, is made up of parents and medical professionals. The rally will begin at noon at the Ann Arbor Post Office at 200 E. Liberty St.“The community is urging Ann Arbor Public Schools to follow state guidance and finally offer the safe in-person option they advertised to the community at the start of the year,” read a press release. More than 500 parents have already petitioned the district, and the advocacy group presented a letter from more than 130 area doctors and pediatric nurses recommending a safe return to in-person learning.