DEARBORN HEIGHTS — With the CDC changing its recommendations on mask mandates due to the rise of COVID-19 cases, local school districts discussed back-to-school options.
Dearborn Heights’ D7 School District has been one of the few districts in the area to have allowed parents to decide whether their children would learn virtually or in-person since the beginning of the 2020-21 school year, but had been adhering to the mask recommendations.
For the moment, D7 will continue to give parents and staff the choice to wear masks during the school day and at school functions. – Dr. Mary Ann Cyr, D7 interim superintendent
Dr. Mary Ann Cyr, D7’s interim superintendent, said that the district will continue to give parents and staff the choice.
“For the moment, D7 will continue to give parents and staff the choice to wear masks during the school day and at school functions,” she said. “We are committed to the safety of our staff and students. Similar to last year, we will continue with the employment of additional custodial staff to conduct touchpoint sanitizing and disinfecting throughout the school day.
“They will also clean rooms on a daily basis using the electrostatic sprayer. Hand sanitizers will be filled regularly and available throughout the buildings. Drinking fountains will be hooked up so staff and students can hydrate properly. Finally, we will do our best to abide by the 3-foot social distancing protocol in order to respect individuals’ personal space and safety.”
While the district will be offering virtual and in-person learning options for students this upcoming school year, Cyr said that parents looking to enroll their children in virtual learning should contact their building principal.
“Safety truly is of the utmost importance,” she said. “We will continue to monitor cases in our community, stay abreast of local and national guidelines from the CDC, the Wayne County Health and Human Services Department, Wayne RESA and other health agencies in order to keep the district apprised of any necessary changes or updates.”
Things can change, but we are looking at the health of all staff and students, educationally, socially and emotionally, and keep moving forward with the community. — Crestwood Superintendent Dr. Youssef Mosallam
On the north side of the city in the Crestwood School District, Superintendent Dr. Youssef Mosallam said that the district’s current plan is subject to change.
“We are being consistent and not making definitive statements as this is always changing, but as of right now the plan is to allow masks to be optional,” he said. “We are re-assessing every week based on cases in the community. We sent a survey to parents asking who would be interested in a full virtual program, which would be a full school year commitment. We are also discussing with staff if they want to teach these virtual classes.”
Mosallam also said that the district will continue to make decisions based on the numbers.
“As we continue to assess the situation and the numbers, we are going to make decisions based on all of the information we have,” he said. “We are in good standing staffing wise, the only concern is if we will have enough willing to do the virtual teaching. We did fill our special education needs and our math and science needs.”
With many of the job postings now intended to backfill retirements and support staff that is funded by grant dollars, Mosallam said that the district’s goal is to continue to grow.
“We are constantly monitoring the situation and communicating with the health departments,” he said. “Things can change, but we are looking at the health of all staff and students, educationally, socially and emotionally, and keep moving forward with the community.”