Ella White 2022

Welcome to Ella White Elementary

"Shaping Successful Students With Compassion."  

ella white logo

Ella White Weekly Update

Ella White Elementary 201 N Ripley Blvd Alpena, MI 49707 Phone: 989.358.5950 Fax: 989.358.5955

APS Snow Day Closure Decision Making Process

 The decision to close school includes several important factors. On evenings when road conditions are the concern, the Superintendent of Alpena Public Schools and Transportation Supervisor  get in their cars at 3A.M. to drive on several of the most challenging roads around the county to check the conditions. Our goal is to make the difficult prediction of what conditions, across the 604 square miles of the district, will be like at the time students are picked up and dropped off for the coming school day. Weather radar reports from the National Weather Service are reviewed, and there is consultation with the Alpena County Road Commission. There are also calls with Superintendents from the surrounding counties. Then an informed decision is made utilizing all the information from these sources. On the rare occasion when conditions change drastically it may require a late closure call or an early dismissal. 

When temperature is the question, similar consultation occurs. There is no district policy listing an automatic temperature that results in closure. The general temperature expectation for closure is a sustained -25 degree wind chill. We provide Facebook, School Messenger, APS app, website and radio updates on bus delays as an attempt to avoid prolonged exposure to cold temperatures for our students. Frostbite is always a concern, and the risk is calculated using wind speed/air temperature and time of exposure.(graphic attached) Each of these factors can vary greatly across our large district coverage area.

We would like to remind our families that YOU are the best judge of the conditions at your individual location. As a parent, it is your right to decide if it is safe for your child to attend based on your individual situation. Please call the school to excuse your child if you decide it isn't safe for them to attend. Families that keep their child home should be sure to find out about work that was missed and make it up like they would for any absence.



APS is Seeking Community Input on use of Mental Health and School Safety Grant Funds

 Alpena Public Schools is applying for a 31aa Mental Health and School Safety Grant. Districts are able to use these funds on student/staff mental health, school safety or a combination of the two. The purpose of this survey is to gather community input on which area(s) the District should focus the grant spending on. This is one-time funding and the estimated grant allocation is $424,000. Click HERE to provide input on how to use the 31aa grant funds. To guide your decision, we would first like to provide information on the District's current and upcoming expenditures on student/staff mental health and school safety.

Student Mental Health - Existing Resources- School psychologists, School social workers, School-based Behavioral Health Therapists, 5 Elementary/NEMSCA School Success Behavioral Technicians, 2 TBJHS Counselors, 1 TBJHS/NEMSCA School Success Behavioral Technician, 4 AHS Counselors, 1 AHS/NEMSCA School Success Behavioral Technician

Staff Mental Health - Existing Resources- Alpena Public Schools Employee Assistance Program (EAP), Mental Health Programs & Tools for APS employees receiving insurance (Blue Cross Blue Shield Benefits)

School Safety – Future Items- One-Button Lockdown & Strobe School Security System (stations for all 9 schools)




APS Celebrates Special Education Day!

Special Education Day is celebrated on December 2 to commemorate the signing of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act into law on this day in 1975 (IDEA). IDEA granted access to children with special needs to free and appropriate public education (FAPE).

December 2023 APS Superintendent Update

December 1, 2023


Congratulations to Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency (NEMSCA) for being awarded the 2023 Governor’s Service Award for their outstanding dedication to youth in development!  NEMSCA is an invaluable resource for our students, district, and community.


Have you heard about caffeine gum?  I was not aware of caffeine gum until we had a medical situation with someone in the district who had chewed too many pieces of the gum.  A cup of coffee has approximately 100 mg of caffeine.  Some caffeine gums have over 125 mg of caffeine per piece.  The recommended daily allowance for caffeine in ADULTS is 400 mg.  According to the Mayo Clinic, caffeine in moderation is safe for most healthy adults, but should not be considered a good idea for children.  The potential for ingesting an unhealthy level of caffeine when using caffeine gum alone, or paired with energy drinks is high. Parents should be aware that this product, while not new, is available.


We continue to have challenges with providing bussing to our students.  I apologize again for the disruption and inconvenience this creates for our families.  The district is working hard to avoid canceling routes.


I have begun the commercial driver’s license application and training process to support the transportation department.  I encourage anyone who has a CDL or is interested in obtaining their CDL to contact our Human Resources department to discuss the possibility of joining the APS team.  We pay for training and offer health and retirement benefits.  We are looking for a mechanic and relief and permanent drivers.  You can reach Human Resources at (989) 358-5030.


On November 1st, Lisa Hilberg (Retired APS Principal) and I met with 21 people representing 12 local human services organizations.  The goal of this meeting was to strengthen the relationship between the school district and local organizations to address the mental health and wellness needs of our students and staff.  The meeting was a great success.  Since the meeting, support for this effort has grown and more organizations have joined the conversation as word of our needs and desire to collaborate spreads through the community.


I wish you and your family the happiest of holidays!


Dave Rabbideau, Ph.D.


Alpena Public Schools

APS School Board Meeting November 27th 2023

APS School Board Meeting November 27th 2023 5:30 PM from Thunder Bay Junior High School Cafeteria

Streaming Link HERE

Enter at the rear of the building if attending in person

Main Office Staff

Meaghan Black
Nikki Oswald
Dean of Students
Jennifer Miller
Office Assistant


8:23 - Classrooms Open 
8:33 - Instruction Begins and Breakfast Delivery
3:42 - Dismissal




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Ella White School is a K-5 elementary school located in the city of Alpena. It has an enrollment of about 466 students, with as many as half the students living within walking distance of this neighborhood school.

This school is an established facility in the community, having been built in 1950 with additions constructed in the late 50's/early 60's and again in the 90’s. In 2021, Ella White underwent extensive upgrades thanks to the 2020 Safe, Warm, Dry Bond.  Upgrades included new flooring, cabinets, Main Office, parking lot, playground, and heating system.

Although located in the City of Alpena, At the present time, our facility is used to its capacity, including after-hours usage by the community, parents and students.

Ella White Elementary School's Vision:  "Shaping Successful Students With Compassion."  

ella white 1950sElla White in 1952

Ella White 2022

New EW Playground

New Ella White Playground

Ella M. White, the namesake of our school. Ella (1875-1966), taught primary grades for 16 years from 1934-1950. She was also the business secretary for the Alpena Board of Education for 36 years. Not only was she an educator, she was a major force in the Alpena community. She was a charter member and 2nd President of the Women's Civic League, found the Alpena County Chapter of the American Red Cross, City Editor of the Alpena Daily Echo (1913-914), and appointed by the Governor to the state Emergency Relief Committee. The school was named for her in 1952