School district in Dearborn Heights focuses on teaching students how to socialize in person

School officials believe these skills will help students learn

There are some unconventional innovations as students head back to the classroom after a year of virtual learning.
There are some unconventional innovations as students head back to the classroom after a year of virtual learning.

DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. – There are some unconventional innovations as students head back to the classroom after a year of virtual learning.

Local 4 visited schools in the Crestwood School District in Dearborn Heights and found that academics are taking a temporary backseat to re-teaching basic social skills first as a way to pave the way for basic curriculum-based learning.

With relaxed state and federal standardized benchmarks and nearly two years of interrupted in-person learning, the district is focusing on emotional and mental well being in students. They believe this focus will accelerate the learning of the curriculum.

Every teacher in the district has undergone special training to teach students the basics including how to listen, how to talk in person and empathy.,

The goal is to teach students who have been learning behind a computer screen how to socialize in person again.



The district is asking parents to do their part by keeping children off electronic devices beyond homework and pushing them to join clubs or see their friends in person.


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.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.