Highlights from the Board of Education Meeting – April 13, 2021
- The District will stay on pause from face to face instruction at least until the May Board meeting while the District continues to monitor infection rates.
- Learning Centers will open starting April 26 for ESE students and any student who need in-person support. Additionally, this will allow students who desire to take state tests to do so in the buildings.
- Permit teachers who want to go into the classroom to teach students, the ability to do so, provided that they have students whose families desire to have that instruction.
Superintendent’s Report-Vaccines and Testing
Dr. Vitti said DPSCD is planning to extend vaccine access to the community in partnership with the City of Detroit’s health department through the “Neighborhood Vaccination Week” program. Seven DPSCD schools are being used as sites to dispense vaccines to the community to help keep it safe during the week of April 12. You are invited to visit the DPSCD website at detroitk12.org and social media pages for more information on the anticipated extension of the program. Also, Dr. Vitti said the District implemented an optional saliva based COVID-19 test that is planned to be available for all students in May, the pilot is at Renaissance High School for more information visit www.detroitk12.org/health.
Dr. Vitti and the Board recognized the Frederick Douglass Academy for Young Men varsity boys’ basketball team, Coach Brooks and principal, Dr. White, for winning the Division 4 state championship last weekend. He noted how the team persevered even through COVID-19 by adhering to safety protocols, a reflection of the school’s commitment to discipline as well as academic success. In addition, he acknowledged the efforts of the Renaissance High School girls’ varsity basketball team, Coach Lawall, and Principal Stroughter, runner-up finish in their Division 1 state tournament championship bid.
A special life-time of excellence tribute was bestowed upon Mr. Tyrone Winfrey, currently serving as Executive Director of the District’s Government and Community Affairs office. Winfrey, who is battling cancer, is a Cass Technical High School graduate who has also served DPS as a board member. He is renowned for his laser sharp focus on student achievement and engagement, he is deeply respected in the community and his abilities to use key relationships for the benefit of District students and families, and City youth.
The Board passed a resolution in support of Arab-American Heritage Month, which runs from now until April 30.
During the meeting Tuesday evening, Board of Education member Georgia Lemmons made a motion to close in person learning for the rest of the 20-21 school year. The motion, however, would not have affected students who attend DPSCD Learning Centers, where students engage in online learning in district school buildings under the supervision of a staff member.
With two board members absent and due to board bylaws, the 3-2 vote failed on the table. Dr. Vitti advocated as a public school district to provide options for families based upon their needs, including in person learning, noting families and students could be disenfranchised and “shocked” by a hard closure without a broader board and community discussion on the matter.
A special board meeting is scheduled on Thursday, April 15 at 5 p.m. You can participate by logging on or joining by telephone. Please see details below:
Join by Computer: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84228132722
Join by Telephone: 1-646-558-8656
Webinar ID: 842 2813 2722