For Immediate Release
September 14, 2007

Ann Arbor Public Schools
Receives U.S. Department Of Education
Readiness and Emergency Management Grant

The Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) is one of 91 school districts in 32 states to receive a portion of a $27 million grant to help enhance and fortify the district’s readiness and emergency management response plan.

AAPS will receive $244,624.  With this funding the Ann Arbor Public Schools will address these four areas for improvement in the district’s Readiness and Emergency Management Response Plan: plans and protocols, coordination, training and attention to special needs students. The district’s Crisis Planning Team will take the leadership role in implementing this grant, which includes training, communications, review and measurement, all to ensure the health and safety of school children in the Ann Arbor Public School district.

The grant requires districts to use the National Incident Management System and to design preparations for a possible disease outbreak such as influenza pandemic.

This grant will include bringing outside organizations to the district for threat assessment and preparedness, addressing diversity and bullying, planning and coordination for Avian Flu and its effects on schools, critical incident management as well as simulation training for emergency events in district schools. Implementation of the grant will begin this fall and go through February 2009.

AAPS is committed to providing students and staff with the best emergency readiness plan, which includes policies, actions and support teams to address emergency situations that may occur during the school day.  This also includes collaboration with local and regional law enforcement, local hospitals and support teams. In 2003 AAPS, in conjunction with the City of Ann Arbor and surrounding support services, conducted a one-day full-scale response to a staged emergency situation in a district school. This full-scale exercise included over 300 participants with on-scene assessments and follow up tabletop exercises to ensure that the district is working closely to continue to enhance and assess the security and response efforts on our campuses.

The Ann Arbor Public School District serves the City of Ann Arbor and parts of eight surrounding townships covering 125 square miles.  The district has 20 elementary schools, one K-8 open school, five middle schools, two comprehensive high schools, three alternative high schools, one pre-school and one adult education program.  As of September 2006 enrollment totaled 16,680 (excluding adult education and a portion of pre-school). The district employs 3,000 full and part-time staff members. Approximately 76 percent of the teaching staff holds a master's degree or above. 100 percent of district teachers are highly qualified according to No Child Left Behind regulations. The district serves a diverse ethnic and socioeconomic population of students with over 36 different countries represented by students in the district. The Ann Arbor Public Schools has opened a new preschool and family center and looks forward to opening a new comprehensive high school with magnets program in September 2008. Every school in the district will have facility renovations and updates to be completed over the next two years.