Ann Arbor Open traditionally holds multiple events each year to enhance our engagement and connections with the school community. These events are open to all Ann Arbor Open students and their families.
Some events are coordinated by parents, and others by school staff, but all events need parent volunteers to make them happen. See the Volunteer Guide to learn how you can help! Most events are free or have a voluntary suggested donation.
Events are listed below in the order that they traditionally occur during the school year.
First Day of School Coffee
Join us outside for free coffee and bagels at the beginning of the day. All new and returning parents/guardians are invited!
For parents, guardians and staff only. This event, usually held in the second week of school, is intended for parents to meet their child's teacher in a group setting. Teachers will provide information on what your child will be learning during the year, classroom culture and logistics and volunteer opportunities. The principal will also speak about the upcoming school year. Generally, guardians for the younger grades (K-4) meet in their respective classrooms from 6-7pm, the principal speaks from 7-7:30 in the Auditorium and then the older grades (5-8) meet from 7:30-8:30pm.
Beginning of School Picnic
Meet new families and old friends at this fun, informal evening on the school’s lower playground (Miller side). Bring your own picnic dinner and reusable dishes. Free.
This semi-annual event (held every other year) is a major fundraiser for the AAOCC, and gives AAO families an opportunity to bid on items donated by members of the AAO community and the community at large. Typically held in late fall, it's a great venue for holiday shopping.
Students are invited to bring sleeping bags, pillows, etc. to watch a film in the auditorium (chairs will be provided for adults). Movie Nights are scheduled by grade level: K-2, 3-6, and 7/8. Older/younger siblings are also welcome. Parents/guardians must attend to their children at all times during the event. Concessions will be sold. Admission is free
This school-wide event takes place just before winter break, and transforms each classroom into the country, state, or time period that it has been studying intensively over the past several weeks. The Multicultural Fair also features a potluck and is the school’s major fundraiser for the library. Suggested donation.
National African-American Parent Involvement Day
Every February, AAO joins other schools in celebrating NAAPID. All parents/guardians are invited to join us in the morning for coffee and treats in the media center, and stay for other activities planned during the day. Free.
Typically scheduled in February, the Science Fair celebrates all of the ways AAO students investigate the world around them. It is a chance for students to share their science experiments, demonstrations, collections, and inventions. It is not a competition; instead all students receive positive feedback from volunteer reviewers. Free.
Disabilities Awareness Workshop
This is a hands-on, activity-based program during the school day, usually in March. Activities, including a wheelchair obstacle course and glasses that give temporary vision impairment, encourage an empathetic understanding of physical, speech, hearing, vision and learning impairments. The goal is for the students to learn through hands-on experience that people should be respected no matter how they may look, act, walk, talk, or learn. Parents assist in running the activities.
Come springtime, the Makers’ Fair gives students in our community a chance to exercise their creativity through construction. An Eiffel Tower made from egg cartons? The tallest Lego tower ever? The wooden bird house made for Grandma's birthday? Almost anything goes! Free.
Teacher Appreciation Week
In May, we set aside a week to show our teachers and other staff how much we value them. Activities include a book exchange, luncheon, and everyone's favorite, pie day! Donations requested.
Bring a book, and take a book! Families send in books they have read and are ready to pass along, and students get to pick out one to take home. This event usually takes place in May during the school day with parent helpers, and is sponsored by the Student Council. Donations requested.
Every May/June, AAO students in grades 2-5 can participate in a district-wide “Olympic”-style competition that tests their technical and scientific know-how. The students practice with parent coaches once a week after school beginning in February, on teams ranging from "A is for Anatomy" to "Water Rockets." Most of the events involve teamwork, group planning, and cooperation. The main goal is to learn about science through active, hands-on, group participation. Students need a team t-shirt, free t-shirts are available.
Ice Cream Social
As we wind down the year, this event—a major fundraiser for the AAOCC—invites AAO families and people from the community to eat, play and socialize. Ice cream, pizza, and other locally-produced goodies are available for sale. Enjoy carnival-style activities like face painting, the ring toss, dunk tank and more. Buy tickets for food and activities. Free tickets for Ice Cream Social are available for families in need; just ask in the office.
Y.O.R.K. Film Festival
Several years ago, a sixth grader in Mike’s class started the Yearly Open Review of films by Kids. Each June, kids in all grades are invited to submit their short (10 minutes or less) cinematic creations. This is a student-run event; kids also review the films, create a festival t-shirt, make the popcorn, you name it! There are typically 2 showings- one during the school day, and one in the evening. Free.
Field Day is a half-day of outdoor activities held near the end of the school year during the school day. Great fun, good exercise, popsicles and a very good chance of getting wet! This event is run by the school’s Physical Education teacher but parents are needed to assist in running the activities.