Ann Arbor opens Skyline principal job to internal applicants
Daniel Brenner | AnnArbor.com file photo
Existing principals and assistant principals within the district have until March 26 to submit an application for the leadership role at Skyline High School.
It is not clear whether the position will be opened to external applicants after the window for internal applications has closed.
Founding Skyline High School Principal Sulura Jackson resigned Monday to take a principal's job at Chapel Hill High School in North Carolina. She said in an email to parents the decision to leave took much soul searching, prayer and discussion with her family.
"No matter how exciting the book has been or how eagerly you looked forward to the next chapter, there comes a time when the story has run its course and the words 'The End' must be read," Jackson wrote. "Then, it is appropriate to close the cover, put down the volume, and review it in your mind...
"The time has come for me to move on. Life will continue, and I will continue to hold the volume close; I will continue to review its contents in my heart; I will continue to wish that perhaps there might have been a few more pages. Thank you for all the good and wonderful thoughts that flood my mind as I remember you all."
The district is looking for whomever it hires to have the following education credentials or experience:
- A master's degree from an accredited institution with emphasis in supervision, administration, curriculum or a related field.
- Specialist degree, doctorate or advanced graduate work in administration, supervision, or curriculum development.
- Three years of successful administrative experience at the secondary level or equivalent administrative experience.
- Five years of successful teaching and/or counseling experience at the secondary level.
Skyline High School is facing a great deal of uncertainty right now as the Board of Education and central administrators scrutinize the program, which was considered an experiment on many levels when the school first opened — with its mastery learning concept for credit recovery and retaking tests, a trimester schedule, magnet programs for students to pursue specific interests and "Skytime" development hour.
AAPS officials have said moving Skyline from a trimester schedule to a semester schedule could save the district $300,000, as officials try to cut another $17 million to $20 million from next year's budget. But it's possible if a switch is made that a minimum of two or all four of the school's magnet programs could not continue on semesters, school officials said.
Student enrollment and specifically the number of applications fielded through the open enrollment process are down at Skyline. The decline in enrollment could be due in part to Skyline's location and district-wide cuts to transportation in recent years, AAPS Communications Director Liz Margolis said in a previous interview.
Recent data showed that 26 percent of classes at Skyline High School exceeded 30 students in 2011. In 2012, just 17 percent of classes had more than 30 students. The percent of classes exceeding 30 students at Community High School is 38 percent; it's 42 percent at Huron and 51 percent at Pioneer.
Additionally, Skyline has not made Adequate Yearly Progress the past two years. The first year, school officials said this was because not enough students in the special education subgroup scored proficient on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) exam. The second year, it was because Skyline did not test enough students in its African American and multi-ethnic subgroups. Schools are required to have 95 percent of all students in each subgroup take the test in order to meet AYP.
On the 2012 ninth-grade social studies MEAP test, 51.9 percent of Skyline students scored proficient, compared with 47.7 percent at Huron, 57.5 percent at Pioneer and 67 percent at Community.