Detroit public schools is phasing back face-to-face learning

With safety protocols in place, the Detroit Public Schools Community District has opened its doors for some in-person learning.

It all starts at the front door with hand sanitizer available, a thermometer scan, and a symptom checklist whiteboard on the wall to get inside any Detroit public school.  

"(We have) clear safety protocol in place," said Sakina Bolden, principal Detroit International Academy of Young Women. "They haven't changed since the beginning of the year."  

DPSCD is phasing back into face-to-face learning for its 100 schools.  

"I literally have no words, " Bolden said, barely containing her excitement. "This is a passion for most of us and it's truly a passion." 

Bolden opened the doors to Detroit International Academy Wednesday - its learning centers to start.  The learning centers are for students who need to get back in the classroom now.  

"A lot of our babies don't learn virtually the same," she said. "Some are not motivated, or they don't grasp the information, so hearing their cry to be in school and to be educated we are now able to provide that again."

Superintendent Nikolai Vitti based the decision on the city's positive Covid infection rate, which is consistently at 5 percent.  The hope is to return to face-to-face learning by mid-March when the infection rate is below 5 percent. 

We are told more parents are pushing for in-person.  

 "Education is more than opening a book or giving an assignment," Bolden said. "It's the conversations you not only get to have with kids but it's the conversations you get to listen to. \You get to see where are they and what do they need." 

Bolden adds that children have gotten used to masks and distancing, and it's here to stay.  

"It's nothing new to us to teach to wash hands, or to cough in your hand or arm, right? Now we need to add that extra layer," she said.  

DPSCD teachers aren't required to be vaccinated - but a poll taken by Detroit public schools shows 60 percent have either gotten the vaccine or will get it.