Early next year Ann Arbor Public Schools will have a better idea on how effective and efficient their behind the scenes business practices are.
The School Board last night unanimously approved a contract for up to $45,000 with Plante Moran for the audit.
Superintendent Jeanice Swift says since the board originally budgeted up to $80,000 for the audit they will be able to dig deeper into issues raised from the review or other sources. Swift says the audit, her Listen and Learn report, and a benchmark study comparing the district to six similar districts should all be completed in late January or early February. She says this will give the district a good 360 degree look at the health and overall function of the district.
Ann Arbor Public Schools are working on reducing the load students have in their backpacks. The move to online textbooks either through iPads, laptops, or desktop computers will reduce the need to carry books to and from schools.
Superintendent Jeanice Swift says some of the recently adopted textbooks already have online options available and the district wants to expand their use before a complete move to online textbooks. Swift says the bulk of the transition to e-textbooks won't happen for a couple of years. She says the delay will give time for new textbooks to be developed specifically to meet the common core curriculum.
Swift says she doesn't think paper textbooks will ever be completely eliminated but could become an extra feature that costs more.
Ann Arbor Public Schools have still not determined how much they will participate in three county-wide high school options. The school board last night postponed a vote until next week's study session on how many seats they will use in the Early College Alliance, Washtenaw International High School, and Widening Advancement for Youth. The delay comes with Ann Arbor Schools wanting to use many fewer seats than the consortium has allocated to the district.
Superintendent Jeanice Swift says much of the confusion has been blamed on the superintendent transition, but she believes both parties are to blame for the communications issues. Swift recommended the district use 80 seats total in the ECA and Wi-Hi and 15 for WAY. The allocation approved by the consortium last month would give Ann Arbor 80 new seats in the ECA alone, and a straight lottery for Wi-Hi.
David Dugger is the Washtenaw Intermediate School District Director of Secondary Options. Dugger says the other consortium members in October opted to continue to use a straight lottery for Wi-Hi and a proportional system to assign slots to the ECA.
Ann Arbor Public Schools used less fund balance last year than approved in the final budget. The School Board last night received a briefing on the 2013 fiscal year budget audit. The audit shows the district used $7.2 million dollars in fund balance, compared to projections of up to $9.8 million.
Superintendent Jeanice Swift says halting furniture and most equipment purchases, travel restrictions, and other measures starting in March saved about $1.5 million. Swift says many of these restrictions are back in place following student enrollment numbers not reaching projections in September.
Jeanice Swift is on the job. Swift is the newly hired Superintendent of Ann Arbor Public Schools. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the districts teachers and staff began the new academic year on Tuesday with an opening day ceremony.
Perhaps the second time is the charm. After being rejected by its first choice for district Superintendent, the Ann Arbor Board of Education has offered the job to the other finalist. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, Jeanice Swift was offered the position yesterday and has agreed to enter contract negotiations.
Earlier this week, the two finalists for the position of Superintendent of Ann Arbor Public Schools toured the district, went through a second round of interviews and attended public forums to answer community questions. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, by the end of the day the school board is expected to have made its decision.
Members of the Ann Arbor Board of Education have just over 24-hours to consider whom they prefer to serve as the districts next Superintendent of Schools. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the second and last finalist last night met with the community at a public forum.
The search is almost over. Tonight, the Ann Arbor Schools community will meet with the 2nd finalist for the district's Superintendent position.
Brian Osborne currently heads up the South Orange and Maplewood School District in New Jersey. He'll be at a forum at Skyline High School at seven tonight to answer any questions the public may have for him. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the other finalist, Jeanice Swift, went through the same process on Monday night.