In person learning delayed due to “extroardinary increase in COVID cases”

Temporary transition to online learning


Allison Mi

Due to an “extraordinary increase in COVID cases,” AAPS has decided to cancel school for Monday, Jan. 3 and Tuesday, Jan. 4, and make Wednesday, Jan 5 to Friday, Jan 7 virtual.

Allison Mi, Co-Editor-in-Chief

On Dec. 31, Superintendent Jeanice Swift communicated that on Monday, Jan. 3 and Tuesday, Jan. 4, there will be no school for students, as school staff will be finalizing plans for a temporary transition to virtual learning beginning on Wednesday, Jan. 5. From Wednesday to Friday, Jan 7, Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) will open for remote learning due to an “extraordinary increase in COVID cases across our Ann Arbor community, higher than at any prior time during this pandemic.”

Building principals will share more specific information and expectations with parents by Tuesday.

“[This] will allow time for critical steps, including closely monitoring AAPS case data and addressing staffing impact, to mitigate concerns exacerbated by the current COVID-19 Omicron surge,” Swift wrote. 

A return to in-school learning is anticipated for Monday, Jan. 10, 2022. 

On Wednesday, Jan. 5, at 6 p.m., there will be a virtual Town Hall to update the AAPS community and answer any questions.

Meanwhile, Swift calls for next steps in AAPS, as this “winter surge will require more from all of us.” They include: 

1) Prioritize COVID-19 vaccination and boosters for everyone eligible

2) Monitor closely for COVID symptoms, isolate if symptoms emerge, and, if possible, consider COVID testing prior to return to in-school learning

3) The AAPS COVID Response Team will resume contact tracing on Monday, January 4

4) Continue universal masking indoors in the AAPS and consider any needed adjustments to enhance mask effectiveness

5) Organize a back-up plan to support a transition to temporary, remote virtual learning

6) Remain home when experiencing symptoms of illness

7) Observe amended limits on gatherings in the AAPS.

“During the coming days, obtaining vaccinations and boosters for as many individuals as possible and ensuring our diligent practice of COVID-19 health precautions will support the continuance of in-school learning on as many days as possible through this winter,” Swift said.

According to Swift, adjusting the return to the in-school learning timeline will allow AAPS the chance to take critical steps to ensure the post-winter-break surge is interrupted and the return to in-school learning is as safe as possible. 

“We appreciate the unified purpose and hard work of everyone in support of our students and staff,” Swift said. “We know we are stronger when we work together.”