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DPSCD Board of Education January Meeting Highlights

Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) intends to return to in-person learning either the week of January 24, 2022 or January 31, 2022 once City of Detroit infection rates decline, reported DPSCD Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti and the Board of Education at January’s Regular Board meeting held on Tuesday, January 11, 2022. 

Superintendent’s Report 

As part of his informative monthly report, Dr. Vitti said the temporary shift to online learning, underway since Thursday, January 6, 2022 following the District’s Holiday Break, prevented further COVID-19 related outbreaks among employees, contractors, and students. He added that DPSCD will continue with its groundbreaking COVID testing program. Features of the program include:  

  • Mandatory weekly testing of all employees and an upcoming mandate that all employees be fully vaccinated.
  • Weekly testing of all students preceded by the requirement that student consent forms must be on file with District by January 31, 2022.
  • Adherence to federal, state and city health requirements, with Dr. Vitti adding K-12 contract tracing quarantine requirements have changed. He said details of the changes will be shared by the District this week (week of January 10, 2022).
  • Vitti also shared that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Detroit Health Department (DHD) have agreed to provide the District direct access to the vaccine. While full details are being developed, it is anticipated that the vaccine would be administered at schools by trained school and contract nurses starting initially at a handful of schools.  

While noting that in-person learning remains the most productive learning model for educating DPSCD students, Dr. Vitti highlighted the importance of improving online attendance during this temporary shift period. He showcased how online attendance had improved by 12% over a three-school day period, however, further improvement is needed to stay in compliance with state thresholds. Dr. Vitti also detailed available resources provided by the District to assist families:

  • Grab and Go meals offered through all schools on Monday’s and Thursday’s from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • IT Hubs operating from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Renaissance High School, Western International High School, Fisher Upper Magnet Academy and Martin Luther King Jr., Senior High School. IT support can also be reached at (313) 240-4377.
  • Mental Health and Homework Assistance can be obtained by calling the hotline number at 1-833-466-3978 Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m.-8 p.m.  

Facilities Engagement Timeline:  

Dr. Vitti also provided a rough timeline for the District’s facilities improvement plan which will be funded by federal COVID relief dollars. Dr. Vitti anticipated that once Board of Education engagement is completed, a series of public meetings will be held either at the of January or in early February to engage the community on facilities investments. Those initial meetings will be followed by meetings at schools in the early spring with a final recommendation to the Board of Education anticipated sometime in June or July.

Board Updates:   

Prior to the Regular Meeting, the Board conducted its yearly Organizational meeting. With current office holders serving until 2023, no election of officers was needed for this year’s meeting. In addition, all Board members serving on committees and external positions accepted re-appointment to their current duties.  

Led by Board of Education President Angelique Peterson-Mayberry, the Board recognized the District’s Foreign Language Immersion and Cultural School (FLICS) Techno Phoenix robotics team that was crowned state champs at the recent state robotics championship. In addition, the Board urged the community to pursue assorted college scholarship opportunities now available. Information can be found on the Detroit Public Schools Foundation web page at https://www.dpsfdn.org/funding-priorities/scholarships/

Finally, Dr. Vitti took a moment to acknowledge the dedicated service of Board members during School Board Recognition Month, ongoing throughout January. Dr. Vitti presented each Board member with flowers and a certificate and thanked them for their leadership and commitment to the District and the children of the City.