DEARBORN HEIGHTS — Amid the surge in positive COVID-19 cases throughout the state, the Crestwood School District has decided to return to virtual learning temporarily.
With 36 positive cases among students and staff throughout the district and an estimated one to three close contacts to each case on average, Superintendent Youssef Mosallam said the decision was not an easy one to make.
“It was a difficult decision to make, but when we look at the numbers going into the holiday season, it’s a very tight turnaround time to when we come back,” he said. “They won’t show symptoms for a few days and we want to be proactive to protect the students and staff. This short-term delay will help with long-term results.”
In a letter to families in the district, Mosallam said that this is not something he would have expected to be a part of his daily routine.
“Throughout this COVID-19 pandemic, we consistently and constantly review the COVID-19 positivity rates for the community, as well as our schools,” the letter read. “It is not something that I ever thought would be a part of my daily briefings, but it is all too much a reality. Based on the surge in positive COVID-19 cases and the number of students and staff who are in quarantine across our district, we will be moving our instruction to live virtual instruction starting Monday, November 29, 2021, tentatively for one week, concluding virtual instruction December 3, 2021 and tentatively returning to in-person instruction on Monday, December 6, 2021.”
The staff will continue to teach from their classrooms in the live instructions following their regular schedule.
We are in this together and we must work together. — Superintendent Dr. Youssef Mosallam
Mosallam said that the district is trying to find a balance between safety and education and that even when a student or staff member reports a positive case when not in school, the district still does contact tracing to determine if they were in contact with anyone who is in the schools.
With vaccines now available for children ages 5 to 12, the district will also be hosting a vaccine clinic open to the public at Riverside Middle School from 3:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 3.
“Our goal is to vaccinate children ages 5 to 12, but we will not turn anyone away,” Mosallam said. “We want to mitigate spread in the community and continue to work together to mitigate risk.”
Mosallam also said that if anyone needs additional support or assistance with their children, the district is here to support them.
“Please, at any time you need assistance, reach out to the school, your child’s teacher first, then school administration,” the letter read. “We are in this together and we must work together. We know that this is not ideal, but we must identify short-term delays for long-term results. One day COVID-19 will be behind us and we will celebrate as one community. I also want to extend my sincere appreciation to our community for their continued support and for our staff who go above and beyond. We are truly working to make the Crestwood Schools a district that people want to be a part of, as staff and families. We are not perfect, but that does not stop us from being phenomenal.”