Guest Editorial: School District remains united in support for community’s children

By Jaleelah Ahmed
Hamtramck Public Schools Superintendent
Thus far, 2020 has been a far more challenging year than we could have ever anticipated.
The beginning of the school year is always one filled with anticipation and transition, but the circumstances we faced this year were unlike anything we have ever experienced.
I appreciate the support we have received from the entire school community – our students, our families, our teachers and our staff – in making the return to school, even via virtual learning, as smooth as possible.
While challenges certainly remain, having seen firsthand what we can accomplish when we are united in working together for our community’s children, I am confident that we will be stronger once we have successfully overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.
That said, as we move into the final months of the year, the number of COVID-19 cases in Wayne County is unfortunately increasing. Thus, we must remain vigilant in following recommended safety protocols throughout the community.
Despite all of the roadblocks, we have seen the Hamtramck community step up time and time again to assist our students and families. The flexibility, creativity and collaboration have paid off tremendously, as our student engagement rates have been high and our incredible teachers continue to provide challenging and unique lessons that promote academic, social and emotional growth. These successes have required hard work and commitment on all of our parts, and I am immensely grateful for all that has been done to support our students.
We have received many questions about when and how we will return to face-to-face instruction for all of our students. I know I speak for everyone at HPS when I say that we want to be back in the classroom – we miss the sounds of engaged learning and wish we could see our students in person.
While we all know there is nothing that can ever compare to face-to-face instruction, our first priority must remain keeping our students and our school community safe and healthy.
To be in the best position to open schools for in-person learning, we have to work together to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community. This means that we must follow guidelines around social distancing and wear masks when required.
Additionally, all social and community gatherings should continue to adhere to safe mitigation protocols. We’ve worked too hard over the last several months to reverse course now; we must all be diligent in our efforts to mitigate the spread of virus.
If you or someone in your household is feeling sick, please seek medical attention and stay at home. By doing so, you’re not only protecting yourself, but also the community as a whole. HPS, the City of Hamtramck and the Wayne County Health Department offer many resources to help all of us better understand what needs to be done to defeat COVID-19, and I encourage you to reach out for support, if needed.
Additionally, it’s no secret that social isolation and other factors over the past seven months are impacting mental well-being. Mental health services are available for our students, so if you have concerns related to the mental well-being of your child, do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s school.
It has never been more important for us to come together and support each other. When united, there is no problem that Hamtramck cannot solve, and no success we cannot achieve.
Thank you in advance for your continued commitment to Hamtramck and the community’s children.
Posted Oct. 30, 2020

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