State says online learning cannot replace class time

Glenn Maleyko

March 20, 2020

Greetings Parents and Students, 

Hard to believe that it has been only a week since our schools were closed.  With all of the additional closures that have occured over the past week, this continues to be a challenging time for everyone.  All of us here at the Dearborn Public Schools appreciate the work that parents are doing to keep their students engaged in the learning activities that our teachers continue to provide.  

Today, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) shared a memo regarding instructional time during a mandatory school closure. The memo stated the following:

“There is no mechanism to earn instructional time during a period of mandated school closure. However, schools can and are encouraged to offer supplemental learning opportunities to students using distance learning methods as they see fit.“

Although the district is closed in accordance with the state-mandated closure, there are many opportunities for students to continue their learning at home. The resources shared by the teachers are intended to help students maintain skills. These resources will serve as enrichment activities for students and participation will not impact their grades.  

As of March 20, 2020 the state-mandated school closure is scheduled to end on April 3rd, 2020. If schools are required to be closed past that date, MDE will need to make decisions regarding several issues such as graduation, make-up days, ending the school year early, or extending the school year past the scheduled end date. Dearborn, along with all other districts in the state, do not have answers to these questions and will continue to seek further guidance from MDE as this very fluid situation continues to develop. 

We understand that the uncertainty of the school year is very unsettling and can cause stress and frustration for students and parents. We ask that everyone please have patience while we work through the current conditions. Please continue to check the teacher and school communication that is available as well as the district website for information as it becomes available. 

Have a safe and restful weekend! 

UpdateGovernor Whitmer later offered some clarification that work during the school closure can “count” as graded material.