The Ann Arbor School Board has approved a package of program enhancements designed to attract more students particularly to underutilized schools. The changes include co-locating Roberto Clemente and Ann Arbor Tech High; a K-8 science, technology, engineering, arts, and math program at Northside Elementary; and new pre-k programs at Allen and Thurston Elementary. Superintendent Jeanice Swift says the next step is creating committees of staff, students, and community members to develop the detailed action plans for each new program. School board president Deb Mexicotte says the programs are designed to keep costs down but it's still a calculated risk that the new options will attract more students. The programs are designed to respond to some of the most common concerns raised by community members during the Listen and Learn tour.
There has been positive community feedback about the Pre-K programs at Allen and Thurston and the STEAM program for Northside Elementary. Several Roberto Clemente supporters however told the board they have concerns about what will happen when they move into the same building as Ann Arbor Tech.
Playwright and University of Michigan professor OyamO is being honored tonight by the Women of Color in the Academy Project with the 2014 Shirley Verrett Award. The award celebrates faculty members who support the success of female students and faculty in the arts. Gloria Thomas is Director of U-M's Center for the Education of Women. She says OyamO was nominated by the School of Music, Theater and Dance. Thomas says OyamO is being recognized for his commitment to students, along with his ability to look past racial and ethnic differences to understand human life. The award is being presented to OyamO tonight at Stamps Auditorium on Michigan's north campus.