By Charles Sercombe
Although the coronavirus pandemic is still spreading, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is allowing schools to re-open in March for in-person teaching.
The governor’s directive, however, is not mandatory.
For the time being, Hamtramck Public Schools will remain virtual instruction only, said Superintendent Jaleelah Ahmed.
In a statement on the district’s Facebook page, Ahmed said:
“At Hamtramck Public Schools, the safety and well-being of our school community has been — and will remain — our top priority. While we are eager for students to return to our buildings, we will be continuing with virtual learning for all HPS students out of an abundance of precaution for our school community.
“We are working closely with medical and public health professionals, the Board of Education, district leadership and staff as we plan for our return to in-person learning.
“We will keep the community informed as those conversations move forward. In the meantime, we appreciate your continued patience and understanding as we work toward a safe return to face-to-face learning for all students.”
District students have not been in their schools since last March, when the governor ordered all schools to close because the pandemic was beginning to spread aggressively.
In the past 10 months, Hamtramck has recorded over 1,700 COVID cases and as of this week, 37 deaths.
Hamtramck’s population is about 22,000.
Despite the ongoing spread of the disease, there has been a growing call for a return of in-person teaching. For many parents, the responsibility of overseeing virtual classes has been a burden.
It’s also been noted that, as students remain at home, their attention spans for virtual learning have been diminishing.
“The value of in-person learning for our kids is immeasurable, and we must do everything we can to help them get a great education safely,” said Gov. Whitmer said in a recent statement.
“Over the last 10 months, medical experts and epidemiologists have closely followed the data and have learned that schools can establish a low risk of transmission by ensuring that everyone wears a mask and adopting careful infection prevention protocols. … I strongly encourage districts to provide as much face-to-face learning as possible, and my administration will work closely with them to get it done.”
Posted Jan. 16, 2021