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School board says Detroit public school teachers, students can return to the classroom Monday

Posted at 9:50 PM, May 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-19 21:50:14-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — The Detroit Public Schools Community District Board of Education has voted unanimously to allow teachers and students to return to the classroom starting Monday.

Parents can still continue to have their children learn remotely and teachers can also decline to return to the classroom and continue with their virtual lessons.

It's unclear how many teachers plan to return to their classrooms.

The safety protocols that will remain in place include masks and social distancing.

Anyone entering a school building must answer screening questions. All staff must be saliva tested weekly. Parents can opt their children out of that weekly testing.

Some teachers, including fourth-grade math and science teacher Benjamin Royal, believe learning should remain virtual unless testing and vaccinations are mandatory for students, teachers and other staff.

Click on the video above to hear from Royal and parents.

Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti released the following statement Wednesday:

"The board-approved new safety matrix will be now used to determine the opening and closing of schools. Districtwide, starting on Monday, all schools can offer in-person learning. As a reminder, teachers have the choice to teach in person based on the Reopening LOU with DFT, which expires June 30th. There are about 100 teachers teaching in person right now based on the board’s action last month to allow individual teachers the opportunity to work in person within their classrooms if they wanted. We expect more teachers to work in person with this latest announcement. Many felt more comfortable doing so if it was allowed districtwide by the district. Before the November spike when in-person learning was suspended, there were ~550 teachers working in person. As a reminder, nearly ~20K families requested in-person learning based on the latest survey. About ~5K are attending the Learning Centers right which allows students to learning online at school and receive academic support from personnel. The Learning Centers will remain open. As a district, we intend to fully meet students’ and families’ demand for a full schedule of in-person learning next Fall---along with a full schedule of virtual school if that is the option families want and the Legislature funds and allows it."

The district is holding vaccine informational sessions and vaccine events. View the flyer below for more information.

DPSCD TeensForVaccines-General Flyer by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd