Public Schools

Detroit Public Schools to reopen learning centers Feb. 24; no date set for classrooms

Written by Mamie M. Arndt

Detroit Public Schools plan to reopen learning centers Feb. 24, assuming the city’s infection rate stays at 5% or less.

“Through our home visits and outreach to families and students, we know too many families and students are struggling with schools closed,” Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said Monday in a statement. “The challenges range from childcare for working families, access to food and the need for direct support with learning.”

The learning centers allow students to attend school daily, eat breakfast and lunch, login to online learning instruction, and ask questions of school personnel.

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Vitti said the district has not yet set a date to return children to school classrooms, but it hopes that might happen in early March. That decision will be driven by COVID-19 case data, he said.

“The district is committed to resuming in-person learning with teachers once the city’s positive infection rate is solidly below 5%,” Vitti said.

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Once that happens, teachers will have the option of returning to classrooms. Vitti said the number of teachers who have said they are willing to return has increased since the fall. Teachers who teach in-person are eligible for $750 in hazard pay, per quarter.

Teachers must be tested for COVID-19 before returning to classrooms, but the district is not mandating vaccination for them. Vitti said about 60% of district employees have said they plan to be vaccinated when they can get it.

More: Educators eager to receive COVID-19 vaccines

More: Vitti urges Whitmer to resume winter contact sports in Michigan schools

Detroit, like many districts offered some in-person instruction in the fall, though only about a quarter of students chose to attend. The rest remained in online learning.

Attendance at in-person instruction began falling in late October and early November as COVID-19 cases rose. 

Vitti said that parent surveys show a growing desire for in-person learning compared with the fall. The latest data show that between 40% and 50% of parents would like to send their children back to a school, Vitti said.

Contact John Wisely: 313-222-6825 or [email protected] On Twitter @jwisely

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Public Schools to reopen learning centers Feb. 24; no date set for classrooms

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Mamie M. Arndt