DPSCD Superintendent Nikolai Vitti Speaks Out Regarding Coronavirus

After receiving a bevy of emails from concerned parents, DPS Superintendent Nikolai Vitti is speaking out regarding COVID-19. While other collegiate schools such as the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan have switched to online classes, Vitti stated that DPSCD would not close its doors. He also talked about sanitation methods that will take place at all DPSCD schools.

Here’s the entire letter below, which can be seen on the DPSCD website:

“In addition to the emails I have already shared with you and the letter that was due to go home to students’ families last week, I wanted to provide you with additional information about our position on growing concerns with COVID-19 (Coronavirus), especially in light of the Governor’s “State of the Emergency” declaration last night.

The Governor rightfully made this declaration; however, her intent was not to create fear or panic but to ensure that local health authorities and health care providers receive the resources and assistance needed to address the virus through state and federal funding. We are not in a position or need to cancel school at this point. As you know, “online learning” is not an at scale option for the vast majority of our students and families. However, as a district, we are committed to ensure your health and safety and that of our students.

We have directed all custodial teams to expand cleaning and disinfection work to include frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, handles, and light switches daily. Additional supplies of hand soap and disinfectant solutions were also ordered, and soap levels are now checked more frequently throughout the day. If this is not happening, then please inform the

building principal and use the accountability measures I outlined in my last email.

In addition, we have canceled all student study aboard trips for the spring/summer. All previously approved in and out of county travel is proceeding unless employees and-or students who were due to participate have indicated that they no longer feel safe to travel. At this point, we have no intention of discontinuing our participation in ongoing sport/academic

tournaments or spring sports/extra curriculum activities.

Please continue to use the following strategies to protect your health and that of your students:

  • Washing your hands with soap and water.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoiding contact with people who are sick.
  • Staying home if you are sick and contact your healthcare provider.

COVID-19 symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus. They include fever, cough, and-or shortness of breath. Please visit your primary doctor if you demonstrate these symptoms. The district will share any and all confirmed COVID-19 cases of the virus with employees and families and manage those incidences on a school building and district department level based on possible exposure.

We will ensure ongoing communication regarding this subject with you and will continue to follow the direction of federal, state, and city health authorities.”

Sincerely, Nikolai P. Vitti, Ed.D.

Superintendent

Detroit Public Schools

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