Hello Dearborn Public Schools Community,
From wind storms and blizzards to bone chilling lows and sweltering highs, once again Michigan weather is the topic of the day. As you may recall, last year we started the year with temps in the 90’s for the first few days of school and ended the year in June much the same way. This year, Mother Nature decided to give us summer like temperatures late in September.
The bad news, we will always have temperatures in the 90’s either in the spring or fall of the year. Welcome to Michigan! The good news, this weather pattern should break by Wednesday. I understand that it was uncomfortable in some of our classrooms throughout the District today and most likely will be the same on Tuesday. I remember teaching on the third floor at Salina and understand how the temperature can impact classroom activities. Today, I visited several schools that do not have airconditioning and was pleased to see students and staff adjusting their routines, being creative in planning lessons, and overall dealing with the warm conditions.
I know many of you have heard about Detroit schools and a handful of other charter, private, and smaller districts closing early due to the heat. We will not be closing schools in Dearborn. I have been in communication with other Superintendents in our area and a large majority of public school districts plan to remain open.
As Superintendent I work in collaboration with the Board of Education, Cabinet members, and school administrators to make the best decision with regards to all of our 20,700 students. In the case of holding school this week I could not justify keeping all students home and closing schools when each building has a unique situation regarding school temperatures. Closing the entire district would not only create an inconvenience for many of our families but we would be depriving our students of their education/learning opportunities. However, Parents always have the individual right to make a decision in the best interest of their child.
Every building in our district is unique. Some have air conditioning throughout, others in certain spaces, and still others have very limited air conditioning. Many of our older buildings, some more than 70, 80 and even 90 years old, have never had air-conditioning in the school. Over the many years, and thousands of students, our dedicated staff has always overcome any challenges and continued to provide our students with a high quality education.
Our Principals are working with their staff members to work through these conditions and continue to provide meaningful instruction to our students. We will take appropriate cautions, will ensure that students are hydrated, will limit physical activities, and will move instruction to cooler locations in the schools as necessary and as determined by staff in specific buildings.
Thank you for your support of Dearborn Public Schools and our students. I appreciate your efforts in helping us to provide our students, your children, with the very best education during our warmer days and throughout the year.
Glenn Maleyko, Ph.D