This Week in the Ann Arbor Public Schools
October 29, 2012
This Week’s Good News!
• On June 13, 2013 the Tappan band, choir and orchestra students will perform on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The performance will be part of the National Park Services’ concert series that will host hundreds of musicians during the summer of 2013. Tappan eighth grade students traditionally take a trip to Washington, D.C., at the end of the school year, and this year’s trip will be particularly special with the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s speech and having the opportunity to perform on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The band, orchestra and choir will perform a piece together called “Legacy of a Vision: Martin Luther King” by Jonathan Bruce Brown, a professor at Spring Arbor College. The piece includes a full orchestra and a choir, which sings old spiritual songs as a narrator reads excerpts of Dr. King’s speeches.
• Last Wednesday, the Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation held its annual Harvest Dinner fundraiser. There was a large turnout and it was a delight to interact with the many local supporters of public education. The evening concluded with a very nice announcement of the generous gift of $100,000 from IMRA America for improvements to the Pioneer Planetarium.
• I am pleased to announce that our Rec & Ed Director, Jenna Bacolor, and her staff completed an application for a very competitive grant from the State regarding physical activity and healthy eating before and after school. As a result of their incredible efforts, Rec & Ed won the state grant of $100,000. The schools impacted will be Bryant, Mitchell, Pattengill, Pittsfield and Ann Arbor Open (through the Summer Learning Institute). Jenna and her staff are to be commended for this extraordinary accomplishment.
• I am also pleased to announce that the Ann Arbor Public School District was asked by Toyota Motor Sales, Inc., to partner with the them in designing an international program that assists school districts in developing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education at the secondary level.
AAPS will be Toyota’s first district to try out this new program and in the initial stage, staff will gather information by touring innovative educational institutes around the world. Toyota is inviting a few AAPS staff members to Singapore in Spring 2013 to help the company design a two-week pilot program which, we expect, will take place in Fall 2013 or Spring 2014. This is a wonderful opportunity for our District and we are grateful to Toyota for reaching out to us.
• We are at the end of the Ann Arbor Public Schools participation in Washtenaw County’s United Way Campaign and I hope you found it in your heart and your wallet to give a little to help those in our community who are struggling. Thank you to all of you who contributed. If you did not meet your building’s deadline, and would like to give, you may send any contributions to my office. For a direct benefit, you may choose to allocate your contribution to the Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation or to the early childhood program, Success by Six.
Please join me in thanking all the building United Way coordinators who helped distribute the forms, collect them and tally the results. Their efforts are very much appreciated.