How Metro Detroit schools are managing safety and concerns

How Metro Detroit schools manage COVID fears and safety.

It’s a struggle every day for every district -- how do local schools balance COVID safety and prevent panic from spreading when the inevitable case is reported?

It’s a phone call that no parent wants to receive -- a confirmed case of coronavirus is at their child’s school.

George Mathis said he’s glad he received that call. While his son is currently quarantined and that is unnerving, Mathis said he’s satisfied with how the Fraser Public School District is handing COVID for students in face-to-face learning.

Jennifer Payne sees it a little differently for her son, who is a senior in the district.

“I’m starting to get frustrated,” Payne said. “The number of quarantines is increasing.”

The Fraser Public School District has nearly 5,000 students and like many districts, it is juggling the ravages of COVID in the community and an appropriate response for the students.

The district has actually been back to in-person education since before its winter break. As of March 4, there are 11 cases of COVID throughout the district -- 11 teachers and nearly 150 students are quarantined. That’s less than 1% of the district with 70% of its students opting for five-days a week face-to-face learning.

The key for Fraser has been to focus on mitigation. When coronavirus is in the community, it can come into the school system and the way to mitigate potential spread is to carefully chart the whereabouts of students when they are in school and do aggressive contact tracing and quarantining.

You can watch Paula Tutman’s full story in the video above.

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About the Authors:

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".

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.