Detroit expects return to classrooms by end of January | Michigan News

By COREY WILLIAMS, Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) — Detroit public school students could return to their classrooms in about two weeks.

In-person classes should resume by Jan. 24 or Jan. 31 at the latest, according to the district, which moved all schools to virtual learning last week due to rising COVID 19 cases. and the city’s low vaccination rate.

“This is a temporary e-learning period to allow the city’s infection rate to come down,” the Detroit Public Schools Community District said in an email Monday.

In Detroit, just 44% of residents ages 5 and older had received a dose of the vaccine last week, compared to a statewide rate of 63%.

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Detroit Superintendent Nikolai Vitti told parents in a letter that a return to the classroom would lead to “extreme levels of positive cases.”

Major school systems in Newark, New Jersey, Milwaukee, Cleveland and other cities have also returned to remote learning as infections soar and sideline staff members. Dozens of smaller districts followed, including outside of Detroit, Chicago and Washington.

Like most public districts in Michigan, schools in Detroit resumed in-person learning in the fall.

About 2,000 laptops were distributed by Detroit schools Thursday and Friday with the temporary return to virtual learning, according to the district which provides free internet access to students.

“Most of our students have a learning device at home that was previously provided by the district last year or this year,” the district said.

About 58% of the district’s 50,000 students attended classes virtually on Thursday. On Friday, attendance rose slightly to 61%.

During two days of e-learning in December, the average participation rate was around 75%. In-person attendance this academic year has been about 80%, the district said.

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