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Detroit schools superintendent on engaging absent students in remote learning

Catherine Nouhan, Michigan Radio |

Michigan’s public schools have moved online, following orders from the state Department of Health and Human Services. Nobody wanted to conduct a school year like this, least of all Nikolai Vitti, superintendent of Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD). 

Since fall, the school district has offered a hybrid model of instruction including online and in-person. 

To counteract the effect that online learning had on absent students, the school district implemented a home-visit program to meet with and engage students. The home-visit program reengaged 3,000 students who initially never logged onto their online classes at the start of the school year, according to Vitti.

“There’s no question that we’re seeing academic loss. We’re just not at a point to clearly identify what that looks like beyond more students failing their individual classes,” Vitti said. “So this is why the home visit process are important just to continue to problem solve and offer more and more and more services to try and meet our parents and children where they’re at.”

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