Stories indexed with the term ‘all day kindergarten’

AAPS Kindergarten: All Kids, All Day in ’12-13

Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education special meeting (Feb. 18, 2012): The AAPS school board approved an administrative recommendation to move to a district-wide all-day kindergarten program at a special meeting on Saturday afternoon.

Board of Education All Day kindergarten

Clockwise starting at left: AAPS board members Deb Mexicotte, Christine Stead, Andy Thomas, Glenn Nelson, and Susan Baskett. (Photo by the writer).

The weekend meeting was scheduled when it became apparent at the board’s Feb. 15 committee-of-the-whole meeting that all trustees were in full support of the recommendation. The board wanted to be able to begin telling families about the change sooner. The board does not typically take action at committee meetings, even if a quorum is present. That’s why a special meeting was called for the vote to take place.

All-day kindergarten for all AAPS students will replace the matrix of district kindergarten choices currently offered, which includes the following options: half-day morning; half-day afternoon; all-day; extended-day (morning kindergarten, followed by afternoon childcare with the same teacher and an aide); and “K Care” (childcare through AAPS Rec & Ed to complement half-day kindergarten). Currently, the options available at each school are different, can change each year, and can cost extra.

The board’s vote means that next year, all AAPS kindergarten students will participate in a full-day program at no additional cost to families. [Full Story]

AAPS Weighs State’s Impact on Budget

Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education regular meeting (Feb. 8, 2012): At a meeting of the AAPS board of education with a relatively light agenda, trustees discussed the anticipated state education funding incentives revealed by Gov. Rick Snyder last week.

Christine Stead

AAPS board member Christine Stead. Across the table from Stead (and Deb Mexicotte, who's seated to Stead's right out of the frame) are board members Glenn Nelson and Susan Baskett. (Photos by the writer.)

Contending that any increases would do little to rectify the compounding losses of funding since the passage of Proposal A, trustee Andy Thomas summarized the state’s budget plan as: “One hand giveth and the other hand taketh away.”

Trustees also agreed to move to a paperless system of board documents. In other business, the board agreed to change the district’s liability insurance carrier, and joined an emerging advocacy group – the Washtenaw Alliance for Education.

Also at the meeting, the board heard from two sets of students, after making a conscious effort recently to increase student engagement at the board level.

The board also engaged in an uncommon back-and-forth with members of the audience, which stemmed from public commentary about a Thurston Elementary School teacher who’s been placed on administrative leave.  [Full Story]

AAPS Board Hands Off Athletics Cuts

The Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) board of education welcomed its new superintendent, Patricia Green, to her first set of public meetings on Wednesday, July 13, and trustees gave direction to Green and her administration on three issues: the athletics budget; a statistics “dashboard”; and a technology upgrade bond.

Glenn Nelson, John Young, Dottie Davis

Left to right: AAPS trustee Glenn Nelson; John Young (athletic coordinator at Skyline High School); Dottie Davis (AD at Huron High School). (Photos by the writer.)

After sharing divergent opinions over many hours of candid discussion, trustees directed AAPS administration to use their “best judgment” in making $475,000 worth of cuts to athletics district-wide.

They also informally requested that the administration create a “dashboard” of district statistics, as required to qualify for additional “best practices” funding from the state.

Finally, through a formal resolution, the board directed the AAPS administration to work toward placing a technology bond on the November ballot. The bond, if passed, would levy a new millage to upgrade computers and other technological devices throughout the district.

The direction given by the board on those three issues came as a result of an unusual combination of meetings on Wednesday.

First, during a planning committee meeting lasting from 3-5:30 p.m., a revised set of athletics cuts was discussed by that committee and relevant members of the administration. Then, at 5:40 p.m., the remaining trustees arrived and board president Deb Mexicotte called a regular board meeting to order, which was recessed immediately into a study session.

During the study session discussion, which lasted over four and a half hours, the board discussed four items – the athletics cuts, the “dashboard,” a technology bond, and the possibility of offering all-day kindergarten district-wide. At the conclusion of the study session, the board resumed its regular meeting for just five minutes in order to take formal action on only one of the items – pursuing a technology bond. [Full Story]