Metro Detroit schools face tough decisions as COVID cases surge

Districts weigh in-person education, virtual education

With coronavirus infection rates on the rise, many Metro Detroit school districts are scrambling to make tough decisions.

DETROIT – With coronavirus infection rates on the rise, many Metro Detroit school districts are scrambling to make tough decisions.

The Detroit Public School Community District announced Thursday that it will be returning to virtual learning until at least April 12.

READ: Detroit public schools to temporarily switch to virtual learning after spring break

Similar discussions are taking place in districts all over Metro Detroit.

School districts are experiencing their first spike in confusion for the 2020-21 school year. In the 2019-20 school year, there was a lot of confusion over almost everything. In the fall, the question was about face-to-face education or remote-learning and in winter, most districts shut down in-person education to slow a surge.

A year into the pandemic, we know more about the disease, but it doesn’t mean the choices to shut down schools is any easier.

“I don’t know the right decision,” said Romeo Community Schools superintendent Dr. Todd Robinson. “It’s really difficult.”

Districts face difficult decision on remote learning coming back from spring break

The Romeo Community Schools district begins spring break Friday, and -- at the moment -- the decision is to return to face-to-face learning afterward.

Robinson said that while Macomb County superintendents have been talking about the pandemic multiple times a week for several weeks, he is inclined to fully return to face-to-face learning, but treat in-person learning on a school-by-school basis.

School District of the City of Pontiac spokesperson Heidi Hedquist said they are trying to make a decision by Friday so parents will be able to plan.

Detroit Public Schools Community District has made it clear: all students and even the learning centers will go back to 100% remote after spring break to give teachers a chance to isolate and to keep the virus out of the schools which are surrounded by a 10-percent infection rate in the community.

More: Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s what to know April 1, 2021

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.