We Love Our DPSCD School
Parent Describes the Sense of Comfort and Community the District and Academy of the Americas (AOA) School Provided during the COVID-19 crisis
Ginnie Wilkinson, whose son, Everett is a rising 1st grader at the District’s Academy of the Americas (AOA) school, admits that distance learning has been challenging since COVID-19 hit Detroit in March. However, even with its challenges, she has felt proud to be part of the DPSCD family, thanks to the supportive environment of AOA and the District’s flexible Distance Learning Plan.
When Ginnie and her family moved from Austin, TX, they were looking for a Spanish immersion public school and decided to give AOA the once over.
“Every time we visited, we had such a pleasant experience. We had this very warm, loving feeling. The AOA staff are there for the children, and that is beyond any metric that you can identify. So, we tried it and I have got to say that we love it,” Ginnie beamed.
She continued. “We are thrilled. It’s a lovely school. The teachers have been wonderful and engaging. The community is diverse and warm and the Spanish exposure he’s getting is amazing for practical skills. It’s rare that you can find a school that offers dual language immersion at the kindergarten level.”
During the Stay at Home Stay Safe order due to the world-wide pandemic, Ginnie worried about being disconnected from friends and family. She was particularly concerned about the loss of important interactions that would take place at school for Everett.
“Prior to COVID-19, we went on several field trips which included theater performances, museums, and so much more. It was taken away with COVID-19. Even with the loss, I noticed immediately how AOA rallied with creative programs and teaching techniques during Distance Learning to keep us and Everett engaged,” Ginnie said.
In particular, Ginnie appreciated that the District provided both hard copy packets and online lessons, an educational one-two punch that helped with Everett’s learning.
“The hard copy packets were lovely because every day, twice a day he had small group lessons with his teachers and his classmates. It allowed him to follow the teacher on the computer while doing the work in his workbook. This helped Everett to continue to learn to write and to pick up on those things he would normally practice in the classroom,” said Ginnie.
She is also impressed with the District’s Whole Child approach to education and community as Ginnie and her husband adjusted to working from home while ensuring Everett’s schoolwork was complete.
“During the closure, AOA’S outreach officer would call and text me regularly,” Ginnie recalled. “She would see if there was anything we needed, such as picking up packets, or getting information on the District’s Summer Enrichment program. I am grateful for the service the District provides to my family,” Ginnie said, noting that food service programs such as Grab and Go breakfast and lunch as well as breakfast and lunch at school were helpful when her and her husband were working or not able get what they needed at the grocery store during the early stages of the pandemic.
Ginnie is looking forward to having Everett participate in Summer Enrichment opportunities through DPSCD’s continued online learning programs. You too can help keep your child engaged in learning through the District’s Summer Enrichment program. Please visit detroitk12.org/curriculum to get more information.