Ann Arbor Public Schools

Ann Arbor Public Schools 2017 Student Art Exhibit

Each year Ann Arbor Public Schools showcases the work and developing artistic talents of their students.

Two-dimensional and three-dimensional art of various media will be on display. Come enjoy the wonderfully creative projects of the students of the kindergarten through fifth grade art classes.

The artwork is located all over the building - including in the youth department!

Real and Surreal: Art Teachers As Artists

Ann Arbor Art Teachers, current and retired, present their annual group show. The work takes many directions, from large luminous surreal spaces to plein air views--locally and beyond--to intimate and delicate still lifes.

We invite you engage with and enjoy the approximately twenty-five 2-D works in paint and pencil, photos and mixed media in this eclectic exhibit.

60th Anniversary of 'New' Ann Arbor High School, April 1956

Hallway

This week marks the 60th anniversary of the opening of the 'New' Ann Arbor High School in April 1956. Old News has published the photos and articles that tell the story from students campaigning for new digs in February, 1953 to the first commencement in June, 1956. Voters had barely passed the bond when the earth movers starting clearing the old Stadium Hills Golf Course to make way for the new high school. There are great shots of the construction and the various buildings that make up the complex. A cornerstone ceremony was held in December, 1954, led by the AAHS Marching Band. By May, 1955, the building was ready for a Student Council inspection and in November, 1995, the School Board sponsored a public tour that brought a real crowd to the site.

Moving-in started in earnest in February, 1956. On March 30th an army of student volunteers turned out to help AAHS staff to fight the mud and get the school ready for opening day, April 9, 1956. Students filled the halls, tested the equipment, hit the books and had some fun at the not-quite-finished school. Check out the lunch room. While the new school filled up, 'Old' Ann Arbor High School at State & Huron emptied out and silent hallways awaited remodeling by the University of Michigan as the Frieze Building.

The official public tour of the new high school was held on April 15, 1956 and thousands turned out. Guests were welcomed at the door, toured a sleek new lobby, and attended a formal dedication. You can view the original Dedication Program on Old News.

On June 14, 1956, the first Commencement was held at the new high school, featuring both an 1891 graduate and an engagement. Many of the photos we've published on Old News never appeared in the Ann Arbor News so be on the lookout for townies you know.

Old News Way Back Day: January 29, 1951

This month Old News travels back 65 years to January 29, 1951 and the grand opening of Eberwhite School. We found a wealth of material on Eberwhite so we've posted over 200 articles and photos all the way back to the original land swap with the University of Michigan, the laying of the cornerstone in 1950, construction, and the hundreds of events and milestones throughout the years. Many of the photos we've posted were never published in the Ann Arbor News so we don't have names to go with the faces. We'd love to hear from the alumni, faculty and families of Eberwhite to make the history more complete.

There was plenty of other local news reported on the 29th. Fire destroyed the Riverside Bar and Bowling Alley in Ypsilanti. The Ann Arbor Public Schools announced the first annual Bands In Review program featuring bands from Ann Arbor High School and Slauson and Tappan Junior Highs. On the sports front, Dave Dingman dominated the All-City Skating Meet at Burns Park. The University of Michigan opened its track season with a meet that featured a mysterious missing lap in a medley relay. While the Kiwanis thanked city residents for their generous support of the fundraising Rummage Sale, an Ann Arbor News editorial wondered why the citizens of Washtenaw county were failing to support the Polio Drive. Weddings and births were announced, plays produced and movies promoted. Television replaced radio as the mainstay of home entertainment with shows like Kukla, Fran and Ollie, Milton Berle and Studio One. Our favorite advertisement of the day was the Modern Appliance Co. display ad for the amazing Spindrier that featured several ladies dancing, celebrating and hugging the appliance.

Nature and Nurture: Art Teachers as Artists

Ann Arbor Public Schools art teachers, current and retired, present their annual Group Show. These drawings, paintings, photographs, fiber and mixed media works reflect the current passions and interests of this unique group of artists.

The variety of works should engage most viewers: from large, dreamlike luminous photographs to intimate oil paintings to watercolor portraiture you will find something to enjoy.

Livin' On The Line ~ The Community High School Line-Up Debacle of 1996

It seemed like a good idea in January,1996: To deal with overwhelming demand for placements at Community High School, AAPS would hold a lottery for the first 50 slots and then the rest could wait in line "for a few days" before the April 1st sign-up date. Except the line started at 8:45 a.m. on Sunday, March 17th when Tappan Middle School student Maisie Wilhelm lined up outside the Balas Building. And they came, and they came and they came, with tents, and cook stations and couches and campfires. Parents set up temporary homes in vans, temporary offices in tents, and a Line-Up headquarters. Hopeful middle-schoolers played Hacky Sack (remember Hacky Sack?), strummed guitars (of course), and exhibited almost-Community High cool.

This being Michigan and March, a late-winter storm hit Ann Arbor on March 20. By March 27, the Ann Arbor News had seen enough of frozen kids and sacrificing parents and called for an end to the Line-Up in favor of an all-lottery system. Apparently the situation got so tense a Community High School student had to remind News readers it was the AAPS and not the students who lined up who caused the Line-Up debacle at Balas. April 1, 1996 finally arrived and a cold and wrapped-up Maisie was officially welcomed by Community High School dean Judy Hamilton Conger. And by April 2, Superintendent John O. Simpson had read enough Letters to the Editor, seen enough images of tents and announced that AAPS would move to a lottery system for filling slots at all three alternative schools. And thus ended another chapter in the colorful history of Community High.

ArborWiki Blogwarts

You can earn Summer Game points just for attending one of the ArborWiki Blogwarts sessions! And while you're there, former Ann Arbor Chronicle editor Dave Askins will lead you through the steps to become an ArborWiki contributor and begin to earn Summer Game badges for making useful edits to ArborWiki, the community-edited resource for all things Ann Arbor. Feel free to bring your laptop or tablet - there will also be computers available at the event.

ArborWiki Blogwarts

You can earn Summer Game points just for attending one of the ArborWiki Blogwarts sessions! And while you're there, former Ann Arbor Chronicle editor Dave Askins will lead you through the steps to become an ArborWiki contributor and begin to earn Summer Game badges for making useful edits to ArborWiki, the community-edited resource for all things Ann Arbor. Feel free to bring your laptop or tablet - there will also be computers available at the event.

ArborWiki Blogwarts

You can earn Summer Game points just for attending one of the ArborWiki Blogwarts sessions! And while you're there, former Ann Arbor Chronicle editor Dave Askins will lead you through the steps to become an ArborWiki contributor and begin to earn Summer Game badges for making useful edits to ArborWiki, the community-edited resource for all things Ann Arbor. Feel free to bring your laptop or tablet - there will also be computers available at the event.

Celebrating African-American History In Ann Arbor

Dating back to the Underground Railroad, Ann Arbor boasts a rich and vibrant history for African-Americans. A wonderful piece about this time in Ann Arbor’s history is written by Grace Shackman and can be found here.

There are many African-Americans that created their own piece of history in Ann Arbor. For instance, you can read about Ann Arbor’s first African-American mayor, Albert H. Wheeler, first African-American teacher and later principal at Northside Elementary, Harry Mial and his wife, Joetta Mial, Huron High School's first female African-American principal.

O.Herbert Ellis, who passed away last year is notable for being the first African-American to serve on and to chair the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners. You can read more history and the individuals that created it here.

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