More Metro Detroit Schools Take Preparatory Steps Ahead Of Statewide Closure

WWJ News
March 12, 2020 - 6:28 pm

LATEST 3/12:  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has announced the closure of all Michigan school buildings until April 5. >> DETAILS HERE

(WWJ) Prior to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's mandate to shut down all school buildings across the state of Michigan for three weeks, many metro Detroit schools were already taking measures to prepare for a potential shutdown.

Several schools in Southeast Michigan, including Detroit Public Schools Community District, Rochester Community Schools, West Bloomfield School District, and others, had announced they would be holding staff meetings Friday to discuss what steps could be taken to prepare for a prolonged closure.

Detroit Public Schools Community District Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti announced on Twitter Thursday night the district's students would not be attending classes Friday, while staff would report to work. DPSCD officials are "considering a defined closure strategy that is best for the long-term health and safety of our employees, students and their families," Vitti said.

Rochester officials announced the district will remain closed until further notice.

"The Board of Education and I did not make this decision lightly. We considered information provided by our state and local health departments, and the facts associated with this evolving international situation. We will do all we can to keep kids safe. Information about Pre-K programs will be provided tomorrow from the program director," a statement on the school district's website said Thursday night.

In Dearborn, Whitmore-Bolles Elementary closed earlier, out of an abundance of caution after a staff member came into contact with a confirmed case of the disease.

As for school sports, the Michigan High School Athletic Association announced Thursday that MHSAA winter tournaments are suspended, "effective immediately and indefinitely." This is a pause in the post-season. Spring sports are still in question. (More details).

Meanwhile, all of Michigan's public universities are suspending in-person classes in favor of remote learning due to the coronavirus. Macomb Community College and Oakland Community College are also following suit. Most schools plan to restart in-person classes in April. Students should consult their school's website for the latest information. (More details).

In Ohio, all public, private and charter K-12 schools were ordered by Gov. Mike DeWine to be closed at the end of the day Monday for three weeks.