My second grader is thriving. He is happy and eager to go to school. At times I have wondered if he was learning enough because I was used to a stricter Montessori setting, but he is indeed learning tons. Music and art are part of the weekly schedules. Teachers are friendly, casual and approachable. The kids there are smart, interesting funny little people interested in the world. There seems to be a fairly large international community. I counted five languages being spoken at our after school soccer game. I love that. As for bullying, I asked my son if he knew any bullies and he said he had only ever seen a bully on TV, never at Ann Arbor open. There really is a culture of kindness and acceptance there. It is a lesson taught as much as anything else. I think that has value in my sons development that is immeasurable. I can see the influence that this happy community has on his overall good attitude in life. There are a few teachers who parents grumble about but overall, it is a great place to raise happy, confident, interesting kids.
What a wonderful school for community learning, building relationships, self discovery in education. Everyone is involved in every single child.
Wonderful colleagues, a principal who goes to any length for every student and staff member. Supportive and creative parents.
Ann Arbor Open at Mack is an absolutely wonderful school! From their magnificent principal, to their amazing teachers, this school has been a treasure for our son. AAO is unlike most public schools, as each student is nurtured and celebrated to their full potential, with the support and growth that they individually need. AAO is also very parent involved. For example, one parent (who is a writer) has chosen to volunteer weekly to teach the kids how to write poetry. Another organizes the sale of SCRIPP. Others may volunteer to do something only for a few hours, like working at the multicultural fair. We all help to make our child's experience here as successful as possible.I believe our kids are richer on the inside for being a part of the AAO family. The jump from 5th to 6th grade is such a big one for most kids, but this year was very smooth for my son, as he continues at AAO and will remain there until he enters high school in the 9th grade. Bullying is not tolerated and out-casting social clicks aren't prevalent. Everyone is a part of this big family, from K-8th grade. As parents we cherish the love and excitement that our son has about going to school and learning! J.Nelson
There is a flaw in the system when there is an entire school worth of kids who are wait-listed because they didn't win the lottery to get into this school. Some of us moved into the district a week after kindergarten registration, so our kids will never have a chance to see if they'd thrive in an open school environment. What is more cutting is that we live two blocks from the school, and have to pass the school on our long, dangerous journey to our kids' distant and apparently lacking schools. That would be easier if many of the Mack parents weren't rude drivers who block the crosswalks as we try to leave our neighborhood to walk to our far-away school. Why aren't there two open schools in A2 so that all kid who wanted an open school could go to one, and not have to leave the neighborhood they love to do so?
I chose Mack Open over Burns Park for my children. Here they were thriving, they were learning because they really wanted to - they were constantly inspired, encouraged by the best human beings, their teachers. They were always encouraged to express their own opinions, never told that they have no right to speak because they are children - they were always LISTENED TO - something that does not happen unfortunately in other schools. My children were encouraged to think independently, seek their own solutions and ask their peers advice first before turning to and adult. What a life lesson! Teachers in Ann Arbor Open are exceptional in a sense that they are not offering ready made solutions, orders, drills etc. They provide kids with tools to find their own answers. They support the creation of an independent, self motivated individual not a cookie cutter kid churned out by tests, drills and fear of an adult. I would encourage any parent to visit this school and talk to the children there - they will be able to express themselves very eloquently and describe their school environment in the best possible way!
This school is bad news. Not all the teachers know their subjects very well. Some teachers are intimidating students and some don't reply to your emails. They really don't give out text books. Bad news.
This school is truly the best of Ann Arbor Public Schools! Students are involved in many activities throughout the day, and have a strong work-ethic. They participate in Focus Studies, which are classes that they take of their choice, such as jazz ensemble, movie-making, etc. The music program is amazing, as well as the technology. Every December, the students participate in a Multicultural Fair in which they make their classroom turn into a country from around the world. The school is very diverse, and laid back. Students have freedom, and there are even couches in the class. Simply the best school ever!
If the quality of education a child receives can be measured by that child's eagerness to attend school everyday, then my kid is having a first-rate experience. The music classes I've attended were nothing short of inspirational!
It's the best! We have a caring environment, combined with high academic standards and the expectation that kids will be kind and respect each other.
Ann Arbor Open is, simply, the best K-8 school around, my two children are so very blessed to be a part of this amazing community.
They do such a great job at building community and critical thinking skills! I would be so much smarter if I went to my kids' school!
Yes, I work there. But I didn't really appreciate how this school helps kids Bloom until my daughter started attending. Wow!
As a parent I feel like I'm part of a community instead of just a school. My kids love going to school.
Ann Arbor Open is a very caring school. Teachers are more mentors, and kids are encouraged to question and share opinions. There is a lot of respect among the students and they treat each other well.
Ann Arbor Open is an alternative magnet program in Ann Arbor's public school system that has many of the aspects of a non-traditional free school. It is a sanctuary for project-based learning and participant direction in the educational process. Our kids love it and we are very happy they go there.
Great teachers and an individualized program. Gets get to work with other kids from other grades. Teachers really like teaching.
Ann Arbor Open is a wonderful community of involved parents and teachers. The multi-age classrooms and individualized teaching are allowing my daughter to thrive.
Students at Ann Arbor Open learn so much more than the typical elementary/middle school curriculum. They learn that every person has a voice, that problems can be solved by working together and that learning can be fun.
Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.
The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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