Superintendent Vitti looks ahead to the 21-22 school year
July 9, 2021
Dear Detroit Public Schools Community District Family,
I hope this letter finds you and your families well. As I write this, please know that all district employees are excited to see you and your students in person this Fall, especially our teachers! Based upon many conversations with our families and the greater community, I know the hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic are lingering and we are still coping with its challenges. As a district, we will continue to do everything we can to support your children and our families as we move to the other side of the pandemic. As we direct our focus to the next school year, we are as prepared and focused as ever to reengage your child in person academically, socially, emotionally, and athletically/artistically.
As previously shared, the District will offer a separate virtual school for students this school year. The virtual school will also be available to students with an IEP or 504 so long as a review of their IEP/504 plan determines that it is possible to deliver free and public education (FAPE) in a virtual environment. We encourage families to only consider the virtual school option if their child was not chronically absent last year and passed all of their second semester courses. However, we are willing to work with families if they feel that the virtual option is still the best option for their child’s academic success this fall despite attendance and performance challenges last year. You may access the virtual school application at bit.ly/VirtualDPSCD. We know that most students will thrive when they return to school in person. This school year, with an additional $1.2 billion in COVID-19 Relief funding, we will have fully staffed classrooms, smaller class sizes, more technology for your child, expanded after school programs, and a nurse and mental health support at each school. We are also continuing to expand our literacy support with more small groups and one-to-one support for students who are below grade level. These additional investments will ensure that your child is better supported in the Fall.
Although the COVID-19 vaccine and testing are readily available for individuals 12 years of age or older, the District will continue to take rigorous safety precautions in every building and on buses for employees, students, and families. This will include weekly COVID-19 testing, daily temperature and symptom checks, smaller class sizes, maintaining three feet of social distance, deep cleaning of classrooms and offices, individual employee access to fans and air purifiers, and ample access to soap and hand sanitizers. DPSCD will continue to be a leading district and organization in the safety and health of students as we return to school in the Fall. Nothing is more important to us than your child’s health and safety.
I am personally excited to see you in the Fall! It has been a difficult year for all of us, including me. Nothing makes me more optimistic than knowing we can serve our students in person again next Fall. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me, your principal, or our district team. We are looking forward to seeing you on the first day of school, September 7, 2021!
Dr. Nikolai P. Vitti
Detroit Public Schools Community District