District answering FAQs from school closures

We realize the abrupt closure of all the District schools for weeks is causing concern about many issues.  As we have answers, we will post them here. Keep in mind, this type of closure is unprecedented in modern times, so the District needs time to figure out dozens of different issues.  Also, information may change as the situation and our planning continues to evolve. Check back here for updates. New information will be added to the top.

Posted April 1, 2020

Can I still borrow a Chromebook for my child to use for online learning?

Not at this time. With the Governor’s shelter-in-place order, we are not handing out Chromebooks. If the order is lifted, or if Gov. Whitmer orders schools to provide online learning, then we may do another limited distribution. Contact your child’s principal to see if they have a waiting list for Chromebooks if we do distribute again. Chromebook loans are limited to one per Dearborn Public Schools family. A responsible adult will need to sign that the device will be returned to the District when school reopens.

Posted March 31, 2020

How was selection for the Collegiate Academy impacted by the school closure for COVID-19?

Current 10th grade students who were interested in starting the District’s Henry Ford Collegiate Academy in the fall should contact their high school counselor this spring. Admission to the program will now be based on test scores from the fall. See more information about next year’s Collegiate Academy admissions in this PDF. The Collegiate Academy allows students to attend a combination of high school and college for five years, earning a high school diploma and an associate degree at no cost to the family.

Posted March 31, 2020

Is the District still distributing free meals for students?

Yes, although we are now distributing three days a week at the seven locations. Read all the details in a separate post on the meal program.

Posted March 31, 2020

Can we still use the playgrounds and fields at the schools?

The public is asked to stay off the playgrounds and fields during the Governor’s shelter-in-place order. Equipment is not sanitized, and there is a risk someone could contract COVID-19 from touching the surfaces or from playing with friends on the playground. Playing sports on the athletic fields also carries a risk of spreading coronavirus germs from one person to the next, so again, people are asked to refrain from using those facilities.

Posted March 24, 2020

What about GSRP registration?

GSRP registration for the 2020-2021 school year, which was scheduled to start on March 27th has been postponed. We’ll update you with more information as we have it.

Posted March 23, 2020

How does the Governor’s shelter-in-place order affect schools?

Gov. Whitmer’s order extends the scheduled school closure through Monday, April 13.  We are now scheduled to return, Tuesday, April 14, but obviously that could be changed again.

Posted March 23, 2020

With the order, will meals still be distributed for students?

Yes.  We plan to continue distributing free lunch and breakfast for students.  In fact, we are now planning to continue the service through April 13. Initially, we planned to stop before the scheduled spring break. See the full article for details.

Posted March 23, 2020

Does online learning count as class time?

While current state law says the learning cannot count as “seat time,” Gov. Whitmer has clarified that “does not mean that school work done during the mandatory school closure won’t ‘count’ toward grades, credits, or graduation.”  At some point, state legislators may opt to modify requirements for this year given the required school closure. (Note, teachers and students are still officially scheduled for spring break from April 6-10, so there might be a week off during your weeks off.)

Updated March 20, 2020 to add Smith site

Will the District still provide meals to students?

Bags with free breakfast and lunch can be picked up at one of six locations between 10 a.m. and noon on weekdays. Pickup locations are at Fordson, Edsel Ford, and Dearborn high schools; McCollough-Unis; Salina Intermediate; Smith Middle School; and Woodworth Middle School. Food will be near entrances to minimize the amount of time community members spend in the facilities. Please note, meals are available to anyone age 18 and younger. Students do not need to be present, and the Dearborn School student does not need to attend at that building.  A designated person can collect meals for multiple children. Meals for Saturday and Sunday can be picked up on Friday. 

Posted March 20, 2020

How do I contact the District during the school closure?

General information 313-827-3006 or communications@dearbornschools.org.

Social emotional hotline 313-827-8500 or dss@dearbornschools.org
Tech support 313-827-8400 or parenthelp@dearbornschools.org
Student Services 313-827-3068 or mashhoi@dearbornschools.org
Special Education 313-827-7050

Updated March 18, 2020

Will the state testing scheduled for April be postponed?  (SAT, PSAT, M-STEP, WIDA, etc.)

That decision will have to come from the Michigan Department of Education. MDE has asked the U.S. Department of Education to waive the testing requirement for this year.

Posted March 17, 2020

Will the District still provide meals to students?

Bags with free breakfast and lunch can be picked up at one of six locations between 10 a.m. and noon on weekdays. Pickup locations are at Fordson, Edsel Ford, and Dearborn high schools, McCollough-Unis, Salina Intermediate, and Woodworth Middle School. Food will be near entrances to minimize the amount of time community members spend in the facilities. Please note, meals are available to anyone age 18 and younger. Students do not need to be present, and the Dearborn School student does not need to attend at that building.  A designated person can collect meals for multiple children. Meals for Saturday and Sunday can be picked up on Friday. 

Posted March 17, 2020

Will the District deliver meals?

At this time we do not plan to deliver meals.  We are hoping community members can work together to coordinate delivery for friends and neighbors who cannot make it to the school during the pickup times.  

Posted March 17, 2020

Can we borrow computers if we do not have technology at home for online learning?

Individual schools are coordinating the loan of Chromebooks for families who need them. Check your building blog or email your child’s principal to learn more. Parents will be asked to sign an agreement to return the device once schools reopen.

Posted March 17, 2020

Will the state testing scheduled for April be postponed?  (SAT, PSAT, M-STEP, WIDA, etc.)

That decision will have to come from the Michigan Department of Education.  We are awaiting word.

Posted March 17, 2020

What about my AP classes and tests?The College Board is sharing more online resources with teachers and studying options for moving the tests online. Read more here. The College Board has also canceled its May 2 test date for the SAT.

Posted March 16, 2020

How long will schools be closed?

Gov. Whitmer ordered all schools closed until April 5.  Dearborn Schools was already scheduled to have spring break the following week, so the District currently plans to be closed through April 12.

Posted March 16, 2020

Will this mean extending the school year? Changing graduation dates?

We don’t know yet, but possibly.  The Michigan Department of Education will need to provide schools direction on this topic.

The reality is that even if the state waives the required number of school days, the content our students are supposed to learn will not change.  Missing three weeks of school will leave students behind academically.

Posted March 16, 2020

Will students be offered online learning?

Yes. We are using the resources we have to continue online learning for students, including iReady, Eureka Math, Kahn Academy, Google Classroom and more.  Teachers will be monitoring how students are using these resources and checking email to answer questions from students or parents. Many teachers already use these and other online resources to supplement classroom instruction. Middle and high school students should watch their school emails for word from teachers about possible assignments and/or online classes. 

That said, we do not anticipate being able to move to entirely virtual schools for all 21,000 students. We also realize that many of our students do not have access at home to computers or the Internet and cannot effectively complete lessons.

Elementary parents – in most cases, your child can access their online learning tools by accessing Clever.  (See how to access Clever.)  Their student ID number is on their report card.

Parents should also be checking their child’s individual school websites for updates and information. 

Posted March 16, 2020

Will the district offer access to computers and the Internet for online learning?

We are looking at the options. Meanwhile, Comcast is waiving the first two month’s fees for the Internet for some low-income families through its Comcast Essentials program.  See https://www.internetessentials.com/covid19

Posted March 16, 2020

Is our school event canceled?

Yes.  If you had a school or public event planned in a District building between March 16 and April 10, assume it is canceled.  High school parent-teacher conferences, school fundraisers, athletic events, PTA meetings, scouts, concerts and more are canceled or postponed while the buildings are closed.  (You can still check with your event’s organizers to confirm.) A few smaller, District-related meetings will still occur, but staff should look for specific guidance on those.

Posted March 16, 2020

Will schools and buses be cleaned during the time off?

Yes.  Crews are working on sanitizing the schools during these first few days off, and buses, already sanitized once, will be wiped down again before school resumes.

Posted March 16, 2020

Will schools be open so I can get my belongings? 

Schools were open on Friday, March 13 so students and staff could collect personal belongings. If an extremely important item was left at the school, please reach out to your teacher or principal to possibly arrange a way to retrieve that item on March 16 or March 17. There is no guarantee that you will be able to get the item from the school.   Schools are being thoroughly cleaned on March 16 and 17, and after those days they will be closed to all staff, students, and parents.

Posted March 16, 2020

Who do I contact if I have more questions?

Please reach out to the District Communications office at 313-827-3006 or communications@dearbornschools.org. You may also be able to email teachers and staff if you have more specific questions.