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Wayne-Westland School District launches Pre-K program to accelerate learning

Wayne County issues mask mandate for all schools this fall

Schools get comfortable with mask mandate
Schools get comfortable with mask mandate

WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. – Monday marked the first day of school in the Wayne-Westland Community School District.

For more than 100 children this was their first day of school ever.

This is the first year for the Young 5s program or pre-kindergarten. It could not be more critical given the need to accelerate learning from preschool to first and second grade amid the pandemic.

“With the Young 5s program it gives us the ability to kind of fast track kids and teach them how to be students and really we’re creating a balance literacy framework for Pre-K through second grade,” said Dr. John Dignan, superintendent of the Wayne-Westland Community School District.

Parents also have mixed feelings about in-person instruction amid the pandemic.

“Being alone you are literally just on a screen talking to a teacher and everything. There is no interaction, no human relationship getting built there,“ said parent DeJone.

Sarah Dabiero, a teacher with the Young 5s program says the main focus is preparing children for kindergarten.

“So making sure our students are socially and emotionally ready for kindergarten. Making sure they are academically ready for kindergarten. We’ll still be working on letters and sounds and counting,” said Dabiero.

Masking up in school is a big part of the day for the students. It is now mandated by Wayne County for all schools. It was easily tolerated by most of the children on their first day of school.

Read more: Wayne County issues mask mandate for all schools this fall

“My son wears a mask. He has not been vaccinated. He is comfortable wearing a mask and I saw other kids comfortable wearing masks,” said DeJone.

Michigan reported 5,020 new cases of COVID-19 and 26 virus-related deaths Monday -- an average of 1,673.3 cases over the past three days.

Monday’s update brings the total number of confirmed COVID cases in Michigan to 946,698, including 20,256 deaths. These numbers are up from 941,678 cases and 20,230 deaths, as of Friday.

Six of the deaths reported Monday are from a vital records review.

Michigan COVID: Here’s what to know Aug. 30, 2021

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About the Authors:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.