Online learning in Dearborn will continue until at least mid October after the Board of Education approved the extension during its regular meeting on Monday, Sept. 14.
Dearborn Public Schools started the new school year on Aug. 31 all online until at least Oct. 1. The Board’s vote on Monday night extends online learning at least until their next meeting on Oct. 12.
The district is also delaying the small group in-school learning labs it had planned to start next week.
The Dearborn community has had a high number of COVID-19 cases per resident in recent weeks, and the board felt it was not yet safe for the community to return students to in-school learning. Besides the total number of COVID cases, the district considers the number of cases per resident and metrics like the percent of COVID tests that come back positive in the county, called the positivity rate. The Wayne County positivity rate has risen to its highest point in months at more than 6 percent.
Dearborn Public Schools has almost 21,000 students. About one-fifth of the students signed up to attend an online only Virtual Learning Program for this school year. The rest will return to in-building learning once the board approves the reopening of schools. At Monday’s meeting, the board heard different options for possibly reopening with blended learning where half of the students will attend school at one time while the other half works online from home.
The Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education will take up the issue of reopening schools again at its next meeting on Oct. 12. The public meeting will start at 7 p.m. in the Administrative Services Center, 18700 Audette, Dearborn. It will also be broadcast live on the district’s YouTube and cable channels, and community members will be able to submit comments online. State law requires the Board of Education to reevaluate local COVID-19 conditions and reconsider in-school learning every month this year.
The extension of online learning also means that the weekly free student meal distributions will continue on Fridays through at least Oct. 9. Food is available for any district student or any child under 18 in the household. Pickups are from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bryant Middle School, Dearborn High School, Edsel Ford High School, Fordson High School, Henry Ford Elementary, the Dearborn Heights Campus (Howe/STEM/Berry Center), Lowrey School, Maples Elementary, McCollough-Unis, McDonald Elementary, Miller Elementary, Salina Intermediate, Smith Middle School, Stout Middle School and Woodworth Middle School.
For more details on food distribution or for the latest information about online schooling, please visit the district website at www.dearbornschools.org.