Ann Arbor Open School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Ann Arbor Open School
Ann Arbor Open School.JPG
920 Miller Road
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103
 United States
Coordinates 42°17′14″N 83°45′32″W / 42.2872601°N 83.7588300°W / 42.2872601; -83.7588300Coordinates: 42°17′14″N 83°45′32″W / 42.2872601°N 83.7588300°W / 42.2872601; -83.7588300[1]
Established 1986
School district Ann Arbor Public Schools
Principal Megan Fenech
Teaching staff 27 (as of 2006-07)[2]
Grades K-8
Enrollment 502 (as of 2010-2011)
Student to teacher ratio 17.4 (as of 2006-07)[2]
Color(s) Orange, Black, and White               
Mascot Panda
Nickname A2O, AAO
Publication DZANC writers in residence
Newspaper The Open Journal

Ann Arbor Open School is a progressive school of choice in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The school serves students in kindergarten through eighth grade and admissions are based on a lottery. With the exception of Kindergarten, all classes are multi-graded, and the school embraces child-centered, project-based curriculum that is responsive to the children's interests.


The first informal classrooms in Ann Arbor Public Schools were established in 1971, followed by Community High School in 1972 and a centralized Middle Years Alternative program in 1976. An elementary open school program was established in 1982 and was located on various campuses of traditional schools in the district until they were given their own principal and facility in 1986, when Bach Open School began. The sixth grade was moved up to the Middle Years Alternative school in 1989. In the fall of 1998 the open program was moved to the larger Mack Building, and it was decided that it would absorb Middle Years Alternative program becoming a kindergarten through 8th grade school. The school was renamed "Ann Arbor Open School." The school added one grade per year as Middle Years Alternative was phased out. The 2000/2001 school year saw Ann Arbor Open as a full K-8 school.


Based on the work of John Dewey, open education emphasizes the education of the whole child. Children are given maximum responsibility and choice in their education, while adults facilitate their movement towards academic and social achievements. Whenever possible, children are taught via their interests and via hands on projects. The school attempts to use democratic principles in and outside the classroom. Major policy decisions are made by all parents, students and staff on a one-person-one-vote basis.

Extracurricular activities[edit]

Ann Arbor Open students participate in the Washtenaw Elementary Science Olympiad. Students in grades 6-8 participate in intramural sports, Michigan Youth in Government and other after school clubs.

On March 15, 2012, Ann Arbor Open released the play "Free To Be You and Me" a mix of the 90s songs created for children. The performance marked the beginning of the Ann Arbor Open Theatre Program.

Ann Arbor Open also hosts an annual Film Festival, entitled "Y.O.R.K Film Fest." The Film festival was named after the student who created it; Aidan York. Since the first year it was released, they've since made a bit of an initialization for it, calling it the "Yearly Open Review of films by Kids." Students spend anywhere from one to six months working on their films, in hopes that it will be remembered for years to come.


  1. ^ "Mack School". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  2. ^ a b "School Detail for Ann Arbor Open At Mack School". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved 2009-05-29. 

External links[edit]