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Detroit Public Schools enrollment fairs help parents decide between virtual & in-person learning

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Posted at 6:06 PM, Aug 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-13 18:06:51-04

DETROIT (WXYZ)  — The Detroit Public Schools Community District always hosts enrollment fairs, but this year they look like none you have seen before.

Like enrollment fairs in the past, there is fun. Balloons, music, and books. There is free health care and food.

Unlike any other fair in past years, they are socially distanced and the top questions from parents had to do with how the school would offer either quality virtual learning or safe in-person learning. They are focusing not just on enrollment but on making the decision.

Will you send your children to school virtually or in-person? Some have decided.

“I decided to sign her in because I have to work. Me, myself being a teacher,” said Teresa Barabo.

“I am glad to go back to school," said Rosita Barabo. “I miss my teachers.”

Rosita said it will be hard not to hug her friends when she returns to school, but she is preparing herself to practice social distancing.

Another parent who works at the district said she feels comfortable enrolling her children because they attended summer school already.

“They were socially distanced so it was completely safe. I asked my daughter the highs and lows, she said the first day, well I actually learned something,” said Rosanna Ramos, who has a 7-year-old and 8-year-old child in the district.

Others still don’t know.

“I checked off on the survey we are going virtual, but we have the option to change our mind. I am waiting to see closer to school start, what’s the numbers?” said one grandmother.

“If you plan on doing in-person or on-line, our district owns making sure we support whatever option parents are choosing for their families,” said Sharlonda Beckman, Assistant Superintendent for Family & Community Engagement.

Buckman says right now the district estimates about 65% to 70% of families will choose virtual learning, allowing for social distancing in classrooms. She says some have asked why Detroit Public Schools Community District is offering both options, while some schools are only offering virtual.

“I think we have a diversity of families that we serve. A majority of families going in person are essential workers. They care for you and me,” said Buckman.

To learn about future pop-up enrollment fairs go to https://www.detroitk12.org/enroll.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

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