Detroit Public Schools Community District Encourages Staying Connected During the Pandemic

Families have returned to school both face-to-face and online and work continues to ensure student participation.

“I am a product of DPS. We are born fighters and have produced greatness. There is nothing that we can’t overcome or be successful at and I truly believe that. Onward and upward,” says Nakia Plummer, a teacher at Cooke STEM Academy.

For eight weeks, DPSCD students and teachers have returned to school during the COVID-19 pandemic and no amount of planning could have prepared families, teachers, staff or students for a year like this. For the District, it has become clear that staying connected makes all the difference in overcoming barriers to success amid COVID-19.

Through surveys, emails and social media feedback, DPSCD is preparing to make its first schedule adjustment for the second quarter and encourages all families to complete the district-issued survey. Even as DPSCD adjusts to today’s school climate, the District is planning for the future through rigorous academic programs including Examination High Schools.

DPSCD Examination High Schools

DPSCD offers enrollment in six selective admission high school programs. Known as “Examination High Schools,” they offer rigorous college and career preparation, competitive athletics programs and inspiring arts programs.

Applications for the 2020-21 admissions cycle are currently open electronically. Applications are available for students entering ninth grade in Fall 2021, current high school students seeking to transfer to an exam high school for February 2021 (mid-year transfer) or Fall 2021, and current DPSCD examination high school students who wish to transfer to a different examination school. Get more information or apply.

DPSCD’s Examination High Schools are a bright spot for the district, but all DPSCD schools carry out a rich legacy in Detroit of public school for all families. To ensure all DPSCD schools and students have the resources they need to thrive, Board members and Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti are working hard to secure much-needed finances for the District.

DPSCD announces exit from Financial Review Commission

DPSCD recently announced it received approval to exit the Detroit Financial Review Commission (FRC). The news is a historic milestone for the district, which has been under state control for over a decade. DPSCD now has full ownership of the District’s operations and finances, allowing elected Board members to responsibly deploy resources and provide equitable and transparent support for students.

DPSCD continues to show consistent signs of financial improvement and the milestone speaks to the District’s commitment to the success of its schools and students. At the same time, the District recognizes the need for the entire community to be engaged in ensuring students access the education they need to be career and college ready.

Door-to-door efforts get families connected

DPSCD is going door-to-door for the third time this fall to help families get connected and ensure students are back in class. Whether students are participating in online or face-to-face learning, the District is calling on the community to play a role in making sure students are enrolled and engaged.

As families continue to persevere in the face of adversity, DPSCD hopes its door-to-door canvassing efforts will provide students the tools and resources they need to thrive.

The District is looking for volunteers to join them as they hit the pavement and connect with families in the community. Those who wish to sign up can do so by filling out the Community Ambassador Sign-up Form.

To confirm your child is enrolled at DPSCD, call 313-240-4377 or visit the DPSCD enrollment page. DPSCD has several resources available to families once their students are enrolled, including an Online Learning Help Hotline.

Online Learning Help Hotline

As a reminder, families and students can reach DPSCD’s Online Learning Help Hotline between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (excluding District holidays). The Online Learning Help Hotline is available at 1-833-466-3978, and DPSCD staff is prepared to provide daily assistance.

During the evening, families will continue to have access to the homework hotline and the mental health support line using the same number: 1-833-466-3978.

Need support with your device or connecting to the internet? DPSCD families can use the following information for assistance:

Text “INTERNET4CF” to 562-372-6925​

Online form:

During challenging times, we’re reminded of the need to connect with one another in order to give and receive respect in all interactions. For that reason, DPSCD created the “Expect Respect” Character Development and Anti-Bullying Initiative last year.

“Expect Respect” initiative

DPSCD continues to promote the “Expect Respect” initiative as a way to build positive and trusting relationships among students. DPSCD guidance counselors and school social workers will provide grade-appropriate lessons to discuss positive character traits based on the Overcoming Obstacles curriculum, which aligns with the American School Counselor Association National Standards for Students.

The District encourages students, families and staff to take the pledge and commit to engaging with DPSCD on this initiative. Learn more here. The District also reminds parents and families to commit to doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Reminder: COVID-19 screening tool for families

DPSCD requires temperature checks and screenings daily before entering school and district buildings. Each day, families can give their children the following screening test to ensure their family is healthy. Should a child experience any of these symptoms, families are encouraged to keep them at home and call their health care provider right away.

Is your child experiencing any of the unusual symptoms below?

  • A fever (temperature greater than 100.4 F)
  • A new or worsening cough
  • A shortness of breath/ difficulty breathing
  • Runny nose and/or congestion
  • Body aches and/or tiredness
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • New loss of smell or taste

These are some of the basics. There’s a lot more to learn about DPSCD’s return to school plan, including helpful FAQs and additional resources. Visit DPSCD for more information.


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