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DPSCD to Conduct Extensive Community Engagement on Board Approved 2020-21 Reopening of Schools Plan

DPSCD to Conduct Extensive Community Engagement on Board Approved 2020-21 Reopening of Schools Plan

Priority placed on parents’ needs for both in-person and online learning models, COVID-19 safety measures, academic support and whole child resources to meet families’ needs

DETROIT – August 3, 2020 – Detroit Public School Community District (DPSCD) announced a broad schedule to engage community stakeholders regarding its Reopening Plan approved by the Board of Education on July 14, 2020. The approved plan provides parents a choice of in-person or online learning, smaller in-person class sizes and daily safety protocols such as thorough cleaning, wearing masks and social distancing. The District is committed to meeting students and families where they are as we continue to support our students rise.

The plan is contingent on additional guidance by the federal and state government regarding the reopening of schools specifically whether schools would be fully funded to provide an online or in-person learning option.  The District would also abide by the Governor’s decision to shift to full online learning if health experts decided it was unsafe to reopen schools.

“Our role as a school district is to meet the needs of our children and families, even in the middle of a pandemic. We will do that by offering both a face-to-face and online option to parents and children while having the highest standards set for COVID-19 safety. The District relied on current best practices from local, state and federal health agencies to establish safety guidelines that also align to the Governor’s Return to Learn requirements,” said Dr. Nikolai Vitti, Superintendent, DPSCD. “We want to transparently engage all of our communities to ensure they have the information needed to choose the learning path that is best for them during this pandemic.  This is another test we will pass as we continue to educate our students. We will be faithful to the safety measures outlined.”

1,500 internal and external district stakeholders, including district and school level administration, teachers, students, school staff, and parents participated in engagement sessions to provide feedback on the draft plan in June  The District is currently offering families an opportunity to make selections for the Fall through a parent specific live survey. DPSCD is committed to keeping students and staff safe while remaining focused on raising student achievement. We believe parents should have an option for in person or on-line learning if the state and local health departments determine that it is safe to do so.

DPSCD is providing multiple ways to engage with families before the school year. The District is hosting a series of Reopening Plan Tele-Town Hall events for all District stakeholders. Led by Superintendent Nikolai Vitti and School Board Members, the Tele-Town Halls provide a breakdown of DPSCD’s Reopening Plan, address questions and better prepare families and employees for the start of the school year. The full schedule is below along with the dial in information, in accordance with Executive Order 160 we will continue to offer virtual townhalls to accommodate our community.

“It is critical as the largest school district in Michigan that our plans be medically sound, safe, and transparent, while also providing every avenue possible for our students to continue their education. We need to remain flexible while we are still fighting COVID-19, but the pandemic will not stop students from learning,” said Dr. Iris Taylor, DPSCD Board Chair.

To ensure the safety and health of students and employees participating in in-person learning, DPSCD is adhering to the following health and safety measures, as outlined in its Reopening Plan:

  • COVID-19 student and employee training
  • Employee COVID-19 testing
  • Daily temperature checks for students and staff
  • Smaller class sizes to ensure social distancing
  • Limited movement in the building
  • School meals served in the classroom
  • Daily cleaning of classrooms and buildings
  • Access to masks and gloves
  • Hand sanitizer stations
  • Contracted nurse at each school
  • Limited access to schools from the public
  • A dedicated isolation area for anyone who feels sick

By the fall, DPSCD students will be fully prepared for online learning through the Connected Futures Program if they select that learning option or if the state moves to online learning, where 51,000 students were eligible to receive devices and free wireless internet access as part of the program to close the digital divide in Detroit. Schools will plan for different scenarios based on choices made by parents. In all scenarios, the instructional school day for students may be limited to the minimally required six hours based on the 181 instructional days currently reflected in the calendar and additional emphasis may be placed on literacy and mathematics. DPSCD teachers will serve students face to face or online through their currently enrolled schools.

To view the complete Fall learning plan, visit detroitk12.org/ReturnToSchool.

Families can join DPSCD’s Reopening Plan Tele-Town Hall events by computer at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85013587678, or call +1 646 558 8656 and enter the webinar ID: 850 1358 7678.

DPSCD Reopening Plan Tele-Town Hall Schedule:

  • August 3, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • August 5, 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
  • August 7, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • August 10, 12 p.m.- 2 p.m.
  • August 11, 6 p.m.- 8 p.m.
  • August 12, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

About Detroit Public Schools Community District   

Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) is Michigan’s largest public education system. It is governed by a locally elected, seven-member board with Dr. Nikolai Vitti serving as superintendent. The District’s mission is to provide every student with a beneficial and rightful educational experience, preparing students to be career and college ready, and qualified to compete in the global market. The District has more than 100 schools and educates 51,000 children. For more information, visit detroitk12.org and follow @detroitk12 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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