Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

School Board: Comprehensive School Improvement Plan and more

9. September 2008 • Matt Hampel
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Board of EducationBoard of Education meeting: Wednesday, September 20 at 7:30 pm.

Updates on Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP) work

Updates via a a memo from Deputy Superintendent Robert Allen and Executive Director of Physical Properties Randy Trent. The biggest problem (aka “challenge”) reported is the “State’s response to City staff and fire marshal responses in providing new comments for site project reviews.” It’s unclear what this means.

For the full memo, see the agenda for this week’s session. The (projected) CSIP budget is $255,203,407. I hope that last $7 goes to good use.

All 8-k projects are on schedule. Work at Abbot, Forsythe, Lakewood, AA Open Mac, Pattengill, Tappan, and Wines will be completed ahead of schedule.

Skyline has received a certificate to occupancy. Landscaping and other priority work begins in September.

Huron‘s performing arts addition ($6,894,403) is complete, but the supplier of seats has had a delay. Replacement seats are in place

Pioneer‘s inside video camera installation ($??) is complete. See previous debate on the subject. Summer 2009 work at Pioneer will focus ona cafeteria expansion, the E wing, the science courtyard, and pool partition, among other things.

The transportation department received 15 busses in the last week of July. No details on what kind of busses, from whom, at what cost, or why — please post in the comments if you have details on this purchase.

Declining returns from the READ 180 program

Joyce M. Hunter, secondary education administrator, writes in a memo about the implementations of the READ 180 program that has been used at Scarlett and Slauson middle schools to close reading-level gaps. She requests a continuation of the program; expected cost: $100,600, with an expansion to Clague. READ 180 is developed and marketed by Scholastic.

A table of reading scores is presented, showing significant gains for the first two years of implementation in classes that used READ 180, but with no significant change in the last year. The table doesn’t list units, and it’s unclear what test was used to asses reading skill.

Rec & Ed catalog printing

A useful factoid: printing an estimated run of 80,000 copies of the 64-page Rec & Ed catalog will cost $11,535. Inco Graphics submitted that low bid for the contract. All six issues have a total estimated cost of less than $65,000. The Board will be voting on this contract.


Millions in electrical, mechanical, and general contracting, with the contractors proposed by Barton Mallow. Generally assigned to the lowest bidder.

Request form the City to use Pioneer’s lot at the corner of Stadium and Main for stormwater storage. Grant funded, apparently — the cost will be between $8 and $10 per cubic foot. Other options start at $11/cf and up. Total cost around
$3-4,000,000; 393,000 cubic feet.

Spanish language instruction (previously discussed) is up for voting. More poorly-scanned info on the language praetorship in the info packet.

Also in the info packet: report of the focus groups on art and concepts for the AAPS Marketing Plan.


The AAPS Board of Education meets every other Wednesday(-ish). Meetings usually begin at 7pm with a public commentary period, and are held in the 4th floor conference room of the Downtown branch of the Ann Arbor District Library. The 2008-9 schedule is online. Meetings are broadcast live on CTN and rebroadcast several times.

  1. Spanish language instruction – or instruction in any foreign language that is useful is a good thing. On a national level, the percentage of Spanish-speaking population has increased and German and Russian has been helpful in the business sector as potentially Chinese will be as the Chinese open their doors to investment and industrial development by American multinational corporate interests. I can only see benefits by teaching our children an important foreign language.

       —Kerry D.    Oct. 5 '08 - 12:51AM    #