Southfield schools to begin school year with all remote-learning only

For those unable to make remote-learning work, the district has a Plan B

Southfield schools will begin the year with all remote learning.

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. – The Southfield Public School District, one of Metro Detroit’s largest districts, announce it will begin the 2020 fall semester with remote learning “due to a large number of COVID-19 cases in our region,” the district announced.

Original story: Southfield Public School District to start school year with remote learning only

Southfield Public School officials looked at the COVID-19 numbers, which jumped from a 2.4% infection rate to 5.4% infection rate in the community in less than a week. Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Green didn’t just look at the infection rate, but at the Oakland County COVID-19 numbers of children under the age of 18.

“July 14th, we had 200 plus young people,” Green said. “It doubled in a matter of 14 days.”

READ: Here’s what Michigan school districts have planned for the fall amid the pandemic

The decision for the District was clear -- no in-person learning for the 6,000 Southfield students when school resumes Aug. 31. The district will go to a 100% remote learning model until the science says otherwise.

What is different about the Southfield model is the Plan B, put in place for parents with children under the age of 13 who cannot do remote learning because they have to work outside of the home or have other extenuating circumstances. The district has just inked a deal for a brick-and-mortar drop off. It will not be face-to-face teaching, it will be child care and supervision for remote learning at the Birney K-8 facility on Evergreen.

The caveat is that parents will have to pay up to $200 a week for the day care remote option. Thought the district is looking for community corporate leaders to help defray the cost for parents who can demonstrate need.

The district also has about 30 days to secure 3,000 devices for half their student body who do not have digital devices to call their own.

About the Author:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's married and the stepmother of three beautiful and brilliant daughters. Her personal philosophy in life, love and community is, "Do as much as you can possibly do, not as little as you can possibly get away with".