Highlights from the Board of Education Meeting October 12, 2021
The Detroit Public School’s Community District (DPSCD) Board of Education and Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti recognized student success, board member accomplishments and accepted the Superintendent’s report which included updates on the safety plan, enrollment and a presentation outlining plans for a refocus on the DPSCD Public Safety Department during the regular Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, at Renaissance High School.
Students Hailed for Arts and Essay Work
On behalf of the board, President Angelique Peterson-Mayberry hailed the efforts of a group of students in the recent Detroit NAACP Branch Fight for Freedom dinner annual Arts and Essay contest. The list of winners, including their category of their entry and school is as follows: Elementary School Art: 1st Place-A'zrah Pinson, 5th grade, Ronald Brown Academy; Elementary Essay: 1st Place-Raymond Trigg III and Amya Reed, 5th grade, Ronald Brown; Middle School Art: 1st Place-Erik Lomeli-Hernandez, 8th grade, Earhart; Middle School Essay: 1st Place-Ryan Lawrence, 6th grade, FLICS; High School Art: Kyndall McMillion, 12th grade, Cass Technical High School; High School Essay: Arise Rock, 12th grade, Detroit School of Arts.
Board Members Recognized
Board Vice-President Dr. Deborah Hunter-Harvill and member Bishop Corletta Vaughn received recognition from the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB). Dr. Hunter-Harvill is now recognized by the MASB as a Master Board Member and Bishop Vaughn is recognized for her service hours, she also received a Merit Award. Dr. Vitti announced Board President Peterson-Mayberry, as one of nine finalists for the Green Garner Award by the Council of Great City Schools, one of the highest honors in the nation for urban school district leaders.
Following Board Chair remarks, committee reports and the finance report, Dr. Vitti, presented the Superintendent’s Report, he provided his vision of the DPSCD police department’s new identity as DPSCD’s Department of Public Safety. He cited several current challenges faced by the department under its former identity that included satisfying the role as a police department during this era of calls to defund the police. In addition, Dr. Vitti noted how the move to a Department of Public Safety will empower school principals district wide to stand on a public safety platform. Further, the change will enhance Public Safety’s visibility in the community and schools, independent of traditional “policing” along with allowing for more opportunities for training and team building. It’s the new vision and expectations for the department of Public Safety which will be fully communicated soon to students, families, and stakeholders.
Dr. Vitti also noted as of Count Day (Wednesday, October 6, 2021), the number of enrolled students in DPSCD schools was just over 50,000, with 2,000 of those in the District’s new Virtual School. He said the schools continue to generally be well staffed with teachers, with 30 teacher vacancies. Dr. Vitti added the District continues to make progress with the hiring of security officers, having added 40 of them since the start of the new school year in September.