As few as a quarter of Detroit public school students may show up for face-to-face instruction next month amid coronavirus pandemic


Cass Tech High School in Detroit. - STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling
  • Cass Tech High School in Detroit.

Only a quarter of Detroit Public Schools Community District students may show up for face-to-face instruction when the school year kicks off next month amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The rest of the students would enroll in online instruction.

Based on a survey returned by about half of the district’s parents, DPSCD Superintendent Nikolai Vitti told Crain’s that he expects 25%-30% of students to return to classrooms at the start of the school year on Sept. 8.

That depends on whether Gov. Gretchen Whitmer decides whether it’s even safe for schools to offer in-person instruction.

"If the health departments are saying we can offer face-to-face, we believe it's an important option to give to parents," Vitti says in an interview on Crain's Detroit Rising podcast."From a reality point of view, most metro Detroit school districts are going to offer face-to-face (instruction) and online. City charters are going to face-to-face and online."

"Not only do we think it's a moral obligation on our part to offer an education option that's best for parents and students in a pandemic, but really from a competitive point of view, an enrollment point of view and a revenue point of view, I think that option is also important," Vitti added.

A coalition of parents, students, teachers, and others held a car caravan protest last month to urge schools not to reopen classrooms until no new COVID-19 cases are reported in 14 days.

Check out the podcast for a wide-ranging interview with Vitti.

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