Jeanice Swift

Community
4:22 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Ann Arbor School Board Gives Superintendent Swift Excellent Evaluation

From the Listen and Learn tour, to a budget strategy that focused on increasing enrollment new superintendent Jeanice Swift is getting high marks from the Ann Arbor School Board.  

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent receiving positive marks from the school board.

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Education
9:15 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Ann Arbor Public Schools Officials To Share Budget Concerns With State Board Of Education

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor Public Schools leaders get a chance to present funding concerns to the state board of education this week.  Tuesday's meeting comes on the heels of the legislature approving a K-12 budget that forced the district to delay approving next year's budget.  

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Ann Arbor Public Schools officials sharing their funding concerns with the State Board of Education.
  
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Education
4:29 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Ann Arbor School Board Waiting To Approve 2014-15 Budget

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

The Ann Arbor School Board has taken steps towards completing next year's budget, but chose not to vote on the plan Wednesday night.  The delay is designed to give more time to adjust spending based on the state's new K-12 funding model.  

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports the Ann Arbor School Board is waiting a couple of weeks to pass next year's budget, but has taken steps forward on the plan.

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Education
4:30 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Ann Arbor Public Schools Credit Rating Lowered

Standard and Poor’s has lowered the Ann Arbor Public Schools credit rating from AA-Plus to A-Plus.  The downgrade came after the district used more reserves than originally anticipated this fiscal year. 

Communications Director Liz Margolis says it’s the second downgrade in the last couple of years, but they shouldn’t continue.

Ann Arbor Public Schools Director of Communications Liz Margolis discusses why further credit rating downgrades aren't anticipated.

In a statement Superintendent Jeanice Swift says they have in place a solid financial plan to improve fiscal stability.  Swift highlights efforts to increase revenue through attracting more students while also taking steps to decrease expenditures without reducing services for students.  She believes these moves will help the district begin to rebuild fund balance within a reasonable time.

According to Margolis efforts to increase enrollment appear to be working and the district should be able to increase fund equity next year.  She believes this combined with contract concessions the district is working on should lead to higher credit ratings.  Margolis adds since the district has no plans to sell bonds now she doesn't anticipate an immediate financial impact from the credit downgrade.

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Education
12:47 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Ann Arbor Public Schools Deadline For Schools Of Choice Applications Is Tuesday

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor Public Schools hopes for a boost in enrollment through schools of choice are down to the final days.  Tuesday at five is the deadline for applications to be completed.  

The district made 750 schools of choice seats available this year and the more students that come to the district the smaller the projected budget shortfall will be for the fall. 

Superintendent Jeanice Swift says it's hard to know the final number of school of choice kids that will come to the district.

Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Jeanice Swift talks about the challenge in knowing how many schools of choice students the district will get in the fall.

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Education
12:29 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Community Members Open To Ann Arbor Public Schools Proposition To Deal With Budget

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Plans to close Ann Arbor Public Schools estimated $10.7 million budget shortfall for next year without cutting in the classroom is getting positive responses from the community.  Superintendent Jeanice Swift was at Scarlett Middle School last night talking about the budget and getting community feedback.

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Education
1:04 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Ann Arbor Public Schools Begin 2014-15 Budget Talks

CFO Nancy Hoover gives the school board a presentation on Michigan public school finance and its impacts on Ann Arbor Public Schools.
Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Jeanice Swift says the district will innovate its way through next year’s budget.  The school board began budget discussions Wednesday night with a work session.

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Education
12:49 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Ann Arbor Public Schools Considering K-12 International Baccalaureate Program

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor Public Schools officials are looking to create a k-12 International Baccalaureate program.  The plan would use Mitchell Elementary, Scarlett Middle, and Huron High Schools. 

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Education
1:32 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Ann Arbor Public Schools Parents and Teachers Praise Superintendent for Listen and Learn Report

Ann Arbor Superintendent Jeanice Swift's Listen and Learn report did a good job of capturing community thoughts on the district according to Parents and Teachers at a meeting at Forysthe Middle School Thursday night. 

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on the first follow-up meeting to Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Jeanice Swift's Listen and Learn Tour.

As Ann Arbor Public Schools look to quickly move forward with improvements Superintendent Jeanice Swift is checking that she heard the community correctly during the Listen and Learn tour. 

Swift says the community has a hunger for action steps to follow.

Kim Carver has had students in the district previously and a son coming to Forsythe Middle School next fall.  Carver likes the positive vibe and the lack of defensiveness.

Forsythe teacher, Dan Ezekiel is extremely impressed with the report that he believes does a good job boiling down the input of 2,000 people that participated in the fall.

Swift will hold Listen and Learn follow-up meetings at Ann Arbor's four other middle schools next week.

For more, view the video summary of the Listen and Learn report

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Education
3:50 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Ann Arbor School Board Approves New Programs for the Fall

Credit AAPS

The Ann Arbor School Board has approved a package of program enhancements designed to attract more students particularly to underutilized schools. 

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on the Ann Arbor School Board approving a variety of new programs for next school year.

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.

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Education
5:34 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Ann Arbor School Board Tells Superintendent to Bring Forward Proposed Program Enhancements

The Ann Arbor School Board has asked administrators to move ahead with a series of program enhancements for the next school year in an effort to better fill the district’s buildings.

The improvements include a K-8 Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics program at Northside Elementary, pre-school programs at Allen and Thurston Elementary Schools, and co-location of a variety of alternative High School programs at the Stone School building.

Superintendent Jeanice Swift says the programs came from community comments raised during her Listen and Learn tour and staff did enough prep work so they can be ready this fall.

The board is expected to get more complete reports on the program enhancements at their meeting next week and could vote on them with two weeks.

School Board President Deb Mexicotte says the quick turn-around should work since the controversial issues like co-locating Roberto Clemente and Ann Arbor Tech have been worked on by the district over the last few years.  She says most of the other changes come directly from what the community asked for repeatedly during the Listen and Learn tour.   Mexicotte says the district is finding ways to respond quickly to community needs without additional funding.

The programs were part of seven next steps Superintendent Jeanice Swift made as part of her report on the listen and learn tour.  Swift gave her initial report on the tour at the board retreat.  The report will be available online at the district’s website Friday and Swift will hold public meetings to get feedback starting Tuesday at Clague Middle School.

At the retreat the board also worked on establishing board and superintendent goals, and discussed the superintendent evaluation.

Mexicotte says it’s great to see that the program enhancements being considered work toward achieving many of the board’s goals.  She says this shows the board’s goals are aligned with want the community wants to see from the district.

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Education
11:05 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Ann Arbor School Board Hears Initial Report From Superintendent Swift on Listen and Learn Tour

Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Jeanice Swift has given the school board an initial report from her Listen and Learn tour.  

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Education
3:32 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Ann Arbor School Board Votes to Open 750 School of Choice Seats for 2014-15 School Year

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Ann Arbor Public Schools opening up 750 seats for school of choice students from other Washtenaw County school districts.

Up to 5% of Ann Arbor Public Schools students in the fall could be coming to the district from other school districts in Washtenaw County.  The school board Wednesday night voted unanimously to open 750 school of choice seats for out of district students. 

Superintendent Jeanice Swift says the jump in school of choice seats is one of several efforts to better fill the district's classrooms.

The district has increased the number of school of choice students attending in each of the last four years, but never has filled all of the available seats. 

To help fill the spaces this year the district is planning a marketing campaign and district officials hope having spaces in all grades except the last two years of high school will help attract families with multiple children.

School of choice applications will be accepted March third through April first.  From Friday through February 14th the district will accept applications for in-district school of choice for students who don't want to attend the school where they live.

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Education
3:26 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Ann Arbor Public Schools Catalog of Online Classes Approved

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on the Ann Arbor School Board approving the catalog for online classes available to district students through the Ann Arbor Virtual Academy, and opening one class to a limited number of students from other districts.

Ann Arbor Public Schools will offer over 225 online classes to middle school and high school students this semester. 

The school board Wednesday night approved the district's virtual academy's catalog, and also approved opening ten seats in one algebra class to students from other districts. 

School board member Christine Stead says new state laws regarding online learning are yet another unfunded mandate, but the district is working to make the best of the changes.

District officials are hoping to learn a lot from offering the single algebra class to students from other districts.  They expect to have many more online classes available to students from other districts in the fall. 

Superintendent Jeanice Swift says with the uncertainties around new state laws about online classes every district in Michigan is facing similar challenges.

The deadline for registering for online classes this semester is January 22nd with classes starting one week later.

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Education
2:02 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Ann Arbor Public Schools Parents Hopeful for Return of Tuition Based Pre-School

Credit AAPS

As a cost cutting measure Ann Arbor Public Schools closed tuition based pre-school programs at Allen and Thurston Elementary for the current school year. 

A group of parents however have been working with district officials to create a new pre-school program and hope the school board will begin considering the options later this month. 

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on talks for a new tuition based pre-school program from Ann Arbor Public Schools.

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Education
8:43 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Ann Arbor Schools Superintendent Developing Report from Listen and Learn Tour

Credit AAPS

While students are out of the classroom for the winter break, Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Jeanice Swift is working on a report from her  four months long Listen and Learn Tour. 

Swift attended about 90 meetings including one in every school in the district to get feedback on the common themes and patterns that are concerning the district.  Swift says her report should serve as a good outline of issues that the district needs to tackle.

Swift says she expects about a half dozen issues the district will be able to tackle immediately, while many others may take years to fully address. 

Swift says the Listen and Learn tour also served as a valuable way for her to get to know about the unique story behind each neighborhood school.

 — Andrew Cluley is a reporter and anchor for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him aCluley@emich.edu.

 

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Education
2:57 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Plante Moran to Audit Ann Arbor Schools Management Processes

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.

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Education
1:54 am
Thu November 28, 2013

AAPS Superintendent Talks Transition to E-Textbooks

Credit Maximilian Schönherr / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

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.

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Ann Arbor Schools starting the switch to E-Textbooks.

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Education
3:31 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Number of Spots Ann Arbor Will Take for County-wide High School Options Still Uncertain

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.

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Ann Arbor Schools delaying a decision on how much they will participate in the Early College Alliance, Washtenaw International High School, and the WAY program.

Education
3:24 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Ann Arbor Schools Audited Budget Shows Less Use of Fund Balance Than Expected

Credit AAPS

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.  

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on the Ann Arbor Public Schools 2013 fiscal year audited budget.

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Education
7:23 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Work Begins for Ann Arbor Schools New Superintendent

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.

The Ann Arbor Public School District's new Superintendent begins work.

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Education
8:42 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Ann Arbor Schools New Superintendent Gets Five-Year Contract

The new Superintendent of the Ann Arbor Public School District will be on the job for the start of the new academic year. 

As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the Board of Education last night approved a five-year contract for the former Colorado Springs District 11 Assistant Superintendent of Instruction.

Ann Arbor Schools new Superintendent, Jeanice Swift will be paid 200-thousand dollars in base salary for each of the five years of a contract approved by the Board of Education Wednesday evening.

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Education
7:00 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Ann Arbor School Board Chooses District Superintendent

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.

Jeanice Swift agrees to become Ann Arbor's next Superintendent of schools, after the school board's original choice declined.

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Education
10:29 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Ann Arbor School Board To Consider Next Step In Superintendent Search

The Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education will meet Wednesday afternoon to determine how to proceed in the search for a new district Superintendent.

As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the school board could go in a couple of different directions.

Ann Arbor Superintendent search to continue.

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Education
7:48 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Ann Arbor School Board To Select New Superintendent

Brian Osborne and Jeanice Kerr Swift are finalists for the AAPS Superintendent position.

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.

A2 Superintendent to be selected today

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