Detroit students back to school with district fully staffed

Detroit schools are fully staffed and ready for a new year of classes as students return a week earlier than normal this year.

As has been the norm these past few years, a different operation will greet students coming back for another year of school - but this one will look and feel more like pre-pandemic years.

"We've eliminated the social distancing in the hallways and lunchroom, we will reinstate the masks if the health department requires us, and you can test through a nurse through a rapid test, but we won't be doing weekly testing," said Dr. Nikolai Vitti, the school superintendent. 

Vitti also said the district managed to fill its open staffing positions - which is the exception these days. The district did it by boosting pay, allowing principals to recruit staff, and using other hiring means.

There are two phone numbers that Detroit Public Schools want students and parents to be aware of: one for transportation and one for mental health.

The Office of Student Transportation mailed postcards to families about potential issues getting kids to class. Transportation options are offered to students under four guidelines:

  • Regular education students in grades K-8 who reside more than three-quarters of a mile from their neighborhood school
  • Students in grades 9-12 can get a 31-day DDOT pass each month from the office at their home school. Students can use this DDOT pass to ride DDOT free of charge but must show their DPSCD student issued ID to the bus operator
  • Exceptional education students according to their IEP
  • Career and Technical Center Students between their high school and respective Career and Technical Center

To learn more, call (313) 945-8600.

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There's also a push to allow more mental health support among students by asking families to conduct behavioral health assessments for every student in grades 3-12. A mental health tipline is also available 24 hours a day at (800) 241-4949.