89.1 WEMU

Meeting The Challenges Of A New School Year Ann Arbor's School Chief Talks About 'A2gether'

Aug 31, 2016

Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeanice Swift.
Credit Lisa Barry

Classes begin next Tuesday, September 6th in the Ann Arbor Public School District.

There are more than 17,000 students in the district making it the sixth largest district in the state.

I spoke with Dr. Jeanice Swift, who, this year, begins her fourth year as Ann Arbor's public school superintendent.


Dr. Swift says her biggest challenge is meeting the needs of all of the students, who come from all over the area.

She says she has been working with teachers and staff members to make sure students feel safe and supported due to the many things happening in the world right now such as terrorism, race relations and concerns about law enforcement.

Dr. Swift says they've also launched a campaign this year called "A2gether," acting locally to hold up every student.

She says they've welcomed nearly 150 brand new teachers into the district this year.

The Ann Arbor School District superintendent maintains they face the same challenges the nearby Ypsilanti school district faces - losing student population, including students who choose their own schools outside of their home districts.

She adds "the real competition is between public and private charter options for students."

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU.  You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu