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Message from the Superintendent

February 5, 2021

Greetings Parents, Students, and Community Members, 

Ever since the announcement of a COVID-19 vaccine there has been an on-going and somewhat confusing discussion on where and how to receive the vaccine.  However,  I’m happy to share very positive news regarding our efforts to get our staff vaccinated. 

We have built an outstanding relationship with the Wayne County Health Department and continue to work directly with them and Wayne RESA to secure appointments for staff members. On February 1st, the County began notifying select school districts to schedule vaccine appointments for their employees. The District was contacted by the County and it looks very promising that our turn could occur as early as next Thursday and Friday, February 11 and 12.  This means that we will plan to make February 11 an asynchronous instructional day across the district. Feb. 12 is already a vacation day for mid-winter break. The more staff that are able to get the vaccine, the safer it will be for our students, staff and community. 

The County is the primary source of vaccine distribution for school employees. We know they have a huge task in front of them in their efforts to vaccinate more than 20,000 school employees working in Wayne County.  Therefore, we have been in discussions with other healthcare providers to secure vaccines for our staff.  Those efforts have been beneficial as almost one thousand vaccines will be given to Dearborn Public School employees by a hospital in the Detroit area. The distribution of these vaccines is also scheduled for next Thursday and Friday.     

In addition, we have been encouraging all staff who may be eligible to be vaccinated to pursue any and all options to make an appointment with outside organizations. We have provided staff with a list of resources to aid in their efforts and to date we are aware of almost 400 staff members who have already received the vaccine. 

The work of our District Vaccine committee, the incredible work of Wayne County Health, our partnership with a local hospital, and the efforts of individual staff members will very likely result in all 2,700 staff members in the Dearborn Public Schools who want to receive a vaccine having that opportunity by the end of next week.  

Looking ahead, our new message is one of continued patience, unwavering perseverance, and never ending hope. We have weathered a great storm for almost a year, and although the winds may have calmed, the sun shining through the clouds, the storm is not over.  The vaccine brings great hope to a return to normal and adds one more layer of protection in our efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and keep our community healthy.  

Stay safe, be healthy, and remember to Mask Up! 

Regards, 

Glenn Maleyko, Ph.D.

Superintendent

Dearborn Public Schools 

Remaining Late Starts to be replaced by Half Days

Dearborn Public Schools is canceling the four remaining late starts scheduled for this year and will replace them with one half day on a Friday still to be determined.

The late starts scheduled for Feb. 10, March 10, April 21 and May 5 are canceled, and students and staff will have a regular day of school those days in whatever format the district is conducting class at that time.

Instead of the late starts, students will have a half day of school on the Friday before the district restarts learning labs.  Teachers will use the afternoon to prepare for students returning to the classroom. The district does not yet know what day that will be.  

The Board of Education has set two measures for when the district will reopen schools.  Both are based on reports from the Wayne County Health Department. Dearborn has already improved to at least a D grade on the COVID risk matrix, which is the first requirement.  The second requirement is that Wayne County, outside of Detroit, falls to a 5 percent or lower positivity rate on the weekly report.  This week’s report showed the area down to a 6.2 percent.  The most recent reports are available on the district’s COVID page.

The district expects to tell staff on a Tuesday and the public on a Wednesday when both conditions have been met.  The half day would be that Friday to allow teachers to prepare to return to working in the school buildings.  The Monday after the announcement, learning labs would restart, including those for special education programs funded through Act 18.  Students would start returning to class in buildings for blended learning two weeks later.  The board-approved reopening timeline is posted on the district’s back-to-school website.

This year’s school calendar originally included seven late start dates.  Late starts are Wednesdays about once a month where students report to class an hour later to allow the staff time for professional development before school.  This year, the three late starts in the first semester were cancelled after the district opted to have a soft start to online school.  With this announcement, the district has eliminated all the late starts for this school year.

“In a typical year, late starts are a great tool to allow staff time to come together with their peers for teambuilding and professional development,” said Superintendent Glenn Maleyko. “However, this is not a typical year, and teachers and administrators feel the time would be better used to help make a smoother transition to restarting in-school learning.”

See the revised calendar or visit our district calendar page.

Important Message

UPDATE: Per our health officer at WCHD, “Upon return from international travel, an individual should self-quarantine for 7-days, and at the end of the 7-days have another COVID PCR test that needs to be negative before the individual/student returns to school.”

وفقًا لمسؤول الصحة لدينا في WCHD ، عند العودة من السفر الدولي ، يجب على الفرد الحجر الصحي لمدة 7 أيام ، وفي نهاية الأيام السبعة ، يجب أن يكون اختبار COVID PCR آخر سلبيًا قبل عودة الفرد / الطالب إلى مدرسة.

Letter from Dr. Maleyko

Office of the Superintendent

January 15, 2021

Greetings: 

By now, all of you have heard about the Governor’s recommendation to return all students to some type of in person learning by March 1st. The Governor’s announcement, along with the announcement on vaccines, came quickly with very little notice for school districts. We all know how important it is to return our students to the classroom but we still must balance that with keeping students and staff healthy. 

Although I want to focus this announcement on our plans for returning to in person instruction, I want to mention that staff members in the Dearborn Public Schools may soon be scheduled to receive the vaccine through the Wayne County Health Department. However, the County is waiting to receive the appropriate number of doses and must complete the vaccination process for those in the first priority group. The County will be the primary source of vaccines for school employees while other organizations will focus on other priority groups such as those over 65 years of age. The vaccine provides us with hope for a return to a more normal school experience.  However, the process will take weeks if not months to ensure all staff members who want the vaccine will have the opportunity to receive one.  

For us to return to our schools we must remain committed to procedures and protocols we have in place. We must continue to wear a mask, social distance, wash our hands, and avoid large gatherings. Lowering the number of COVID 19 cases in our community will create the safe environment we need in order to safely return to school. COVID 19 information related to our school district, city, and county can be found on our special COVID 19 webpage. Although COVID numbers for the county, and specifically Dearborn remain high, the trend is moving down. The county Positivity Rate (one of the key measures for a safe return to school) has dropped from 15% in December to just over 10% last week. If this downward trend continues, we could see 5% rates as early as mid February.  These are encouraging signs as we plan for our safe return to in person learning.

We will look at a potential hybrid reopening plan that would be phased in possibly starting some time in mid to late February.  In my discussions with our new Board President Jim Thorpe it was decided that the Board will discuss and possibly vote on an updated Return to School Plan during a Board Retreat that is scheduled for January 23, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. This scheduled meeting will be used for its initial purpose, to discuss Board related items, but will now include the back to school planning. The discussion on a possible plan for returning to school will occur later in the meeting around 1:20 p.m. Additional details on where to view the meeting will be shared on our district newsletter page The First Bell.   

As many of you are aware, we already have a solid Back to School plan that was approved by the Board of Education on October 26, 2020 and was reaffirmed at every Board meeting since that time. The plan includes a phased in hybrid model for reopening in order to limit numbers in the schools and reinforce safe protocols.  Our team is in the process of revising that plan and seeking input from a variety of stakeholders including but not limited to our union leaders. We are very proud of the great partnerships we have with our unions and will continue to work in a collaborative manner to ensure the health and safety of our students, staff and the community. 

We are only a few weeks into a new year and already so much has happened.  I know we are all anxious for a quick resolution to the COVID-19 pandemic but, as said many times, we must all continue to be patient. This is still a very active disease and we cannot rush our decisions because the decisions we make affect the people in our community, in our schools, and in our families. I can assure you that I, and our Board, are very much aware of this fact. 

The balance between the physical health and the emotional well being of our students weighs heavily on our minds at all times. We also know that the decisions we make will not please everyone. However, I am confident that any plan we bring forward will be successful because of the outstanding work of our staff members and the support we receive from our students and parents.  I am inspired by the accomplishments that I’ve seen over these past ten months and cannot thank you enough for your support of the Dearborn Public Schools and our students. I wish you and your loved ones all the best for safe and healthy days ahead.

Please remember to Mask Up and Avoid Large Gatherings.

Regards, 

Glenn Maleyko, Ph.D.

Superintendent

Dearborn Public Schools  

A message from Dr. Maleyko

November 11, 2020 

Greetings,  

As someone who enjoys a good long run there have been a few times when I’ve reached that point where I wasn’t sure if I could push on. They call that “hitting the wall.”  It’s that point when your body feels it can’t go any further. There is a physical component that allows you to get past that point and continue, but your mind, your will, your mental determination to overcome plays a much greater part in conquering the wall.   

We as a community, as a state and nation, have seemed to hit the wall in our fight against the spread of COVID 19. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of covid cases over the past several weeks and the term “COVID fatigue” has been heard more and more to describe just one of the reasons why this is happening.  After eight months of cancelled plans, uncertainty, worry, and continuous efforts to mitigate the spread, we are all just getting tired of “dealing with this.” We are all hitting our wall. But now is the time where we must dig deep and conquer the wall. We must help each other, remind each other, and continue to work together to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Last week the District took steps to help mitigate the community spread of the virus by suspending our remaining in-person learning labs. Since infection rates in the community, and in the state, continue to increase we feel the responsible action at this time is to take further steps now rather than later to help slow the spread of this virus.  

The District will be reducing the number of staff in buildings and encouraging students, parents, and community members to help support these measures.  

School offices will remain open, with minimal staff, during normal school hours. We highly encourage parents and community members to communicate with staff electronically to avoid entering the building. It is understood that in some cases it may be necessary to enter a school in order to address an issue or concern. In these instances please contact the school to set up an appointment.  

The Administration building will be open for public access by appointment only during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Please call (313) 827-3005 for Student Services, (313) 827-3002 for Human Resources, (313) 827-3100 for Payroll and Benefits, and (313) 827-3006 for all other questions.  

The District has been following very stringent mitigation strategies that have proven to be effective in our schools.  We are taking these additional proactive steps to help slow the spread of COVID- 19 and to keep our staff, students and the community safe.   

We have been wearing a mask, washing hands, social distancing, and for the most part avoiding large crowds.  The increase in the number of cases is driving our decision making on school operations and our concern for the safety of students and staff. Many health experts are attributing part of the increase to extended family and friend gatherings. These events tend to create a false sense of safety and therefore people become more relaxed about following the rules. This may play an even bigger role in the spread of the virus as we move into a holiday season centered around family and friends coming together. I encourage everyone to do their part and remain committed to following safe practices and protocols that we know are effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and helping all of us as a community to overcome the wall.      

Please avoid large gatherings and Mask Up Dearborn!

Volume Control for your chromebook issues

With all of the Zooming going on around the district, we are aware of an issue with some Chromebook microphones. The good news is, updated Chromebooks now give you the ability to adjust your microphone volume.

But first, you have to make sure your Chromebook is up-to-date, which is always a good idea. To do this, click on the clock in the lower right corner of the Chromebook screen. Click the gear for settings:

gear button

Next, select About Chrome OS.

settings menu

Finally, click on the Check for updates button.

check for updates button

Once your Chromebook is updated, click on the clock again. Then, click on the arrow next to the volume button. This will open up your audio settings.

arrow for audio settings

From here, you can use the slider bar to increase or decrease the volume of your microphone.

slider bar for microphone

Kroger Community Rewards

Kroger Community Rewards

Link your Card to an organization.

Selecting the organization that you wish to support is as simple as updating the Kroger Community Rewards selection on your digital account.

1. Sign in to your digital account.

2. Search for your organization here.

3. Enter the name or NPO number of the organization you wish to support.

4. Select the appropriate organization from the list and click “Save”.

Your selected organization will also display in the Kroger Community Rewards section of your account. If you need to review or revisit your organization, you can always do so under your Account details.

Weekly free meal distributions on Fridays during online

Dearborn Public Schools is continuing to offer a weekly distribution of free student meals during online learning. 

The district distributes meals every Friday from 10:30 to 1 p.m. at 15 locations.  Each bag contains breakfast and lunch for the week for one child.  Any adult or older student can come and pick up the meals for any child 18 or younger in the household or any older special education student still attending Dearborn Public Schools.  Students do not need to attend the building distributing the food. 

With the restart of school online, the district doubled the number of locations where student meals are distributed.  Meals will be available for pickup 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. 

At most locations, adults will be able to stay in their vehicles and pull up to have food loaded in their car.

Initially, the district was preparing to gather student names and student ID numbers for each meal pack distributed during the new school year. However, a last minute change from the U.S. Department of Agriculture allowed us to postpone collecting student information.  Currently, we expect to be required to start collecting student information for each meal by the end of December, if not sooner.  When that change happens, parents will be encouraged to pre-order their meal packs through the Nutrislice system. Then student information can be entered once into the app instead of provided to staff at each meal pickup.

The meal distribution program will also change when the district moves back towards in-person learning.

Dearborn Public Schools began offering free food distribution in March just days after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered schools to close to slow the spread of COVID-19.  Food distribution was initially funded under emergency provisions of the School Lunch Program.  Food distribution continued over the summer through a separate federal summer nutrition program, which ended in Dearborn with the distribution on Aug. 27.  Neither of those programs required the district to collect student information.  With the restart of school, though, Dearborn Public Schools switched back to the School Lunch Program, which normally requires each meal to be linked to a certain student.  

The district has been distributing more than 60,000 meals a week and has handed out more than 1.25 million meals since the shut down in March.“We know many of our families rely on these free school meals, and we are glad to be able continue to serve our students in this way,” said Superintendent Glenn Maleyko.