DPSCD Temporarily Halts All Face-to-Face School Instruction  

Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) announced this morning a temporary suspension for all face to face in-school learning beginning Friday, Nov. 13, according to a press release. All classes will be held online starting Monday, Nov. 16 because of the rapid increase in the COVID-19 infection rate in Detroit. Face-to-face learning and learning centers will remain open the remainder of this school week to offer families time to adjust to the interim educational support for students. As a courtesy to families, learning centers can be used on Monday if adjustments to childcare could not be made over the weekend, the release added. The suspension of face-to-face learning will continue until Jan. 11. If positive rates in the city improve then the District will think about reopening learning centers before then, the release added, in coordination with the city’s health department.  

All District schools will remain open for now to support families and students to acquire additional devices and educational materials, technology support, phone calls, serving meals, and any medical support through nurses, the release added. Currently, for online students, three meals will be distributed on Mondays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and four meals on Thursdays during the same timeframe, according to the release.

Per the DPSCD’s reopening of schools plan, the School Board and Superintendent Nikolai Vitti noted that if the rate of infection approached the 5–7% threshold, the District would consider discontinuing face-to-face instruction in schools. The city infection rate was nearly 5% last week and has been increasing this week, the release added.  

“The District relied on science and the data to reopen schools for in person learning this summer and fall and relied on the same [criterion] to decide that it was no longer safe for our students and employees to work in an in person school environment. Without a vaccine, we will remain accountable to that 5-7 percent infection rate,” said Vitti. “I am remarkably proud of District staff, principals and school level staff who have stayed faithful to our COVID-19 safety strategies. This has allowed us to keep schools open for in person learning and access to our learning centers with a limited number of outbreaks as compared to other districts and schools throughout the state. Despite the reality of COVID-19, we have been able to keep employees and students safe and serve them directly if their families needed that level of support. As we have been doing throughout this pandemic, we will continue to adjust to serve our students and families by expanding direct technology support for families while also continuing to feed students.”  

Families and students are encouraged to update their contact information at their child’s school to make sure they do not miss vital announcements. Schools will remain the main point of contact for families and students.  

Also, the District’s homework, technology, and mental health hotline will continue to support students and families, according to the release. Parent Academy sessions will continue to provide training for families supporting students with online learning. Beginning Dec. 1, the District will open 12 Technology Hubs across the city to provide families with direct, face-to-face technology support for online learning, device repair, and replacement. The District will also begin to provide COVID-19 testing at designated locations for families, students, and staff.  


The DPSCD Board, through the Chair, Iris Taylor said in the release, “This pandemic is a challenge we are working through alongside all of you. We are listening and making the necessary adjustments to uphold our commitment to provide the best public education option for Detroit’s students and that their opportunity is equitable for every family during this pandemic and beyond.  


The priority at this point is physical safety. All decisions are made with students’ best interests at the forefront and in consultation with health authorities. We ask everyone to follow the guidelines of the health authorities, wear your masks, wash your hands, stay home when you are not feeling well and continue to educate others around you.  


We are acutely aware there is more work to do, we are identifying better ways to support families during these unprecedented times. Please continue to share your input. We want to specifically thank the Detroit Health Department for ongoing guidance, readiness, and support. We ask the community to continue to share your ideas, philanthropy, and volunteerism to help us stay 100 percent focused on the individual needs of each child. We are committed to supporting your students rise!” 


(DPSCD) has over 100 schools and educates 51,000 children. 


For more information, visit detroitk12.org.  


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