DEARBORN – Dearborn Public Schools (DPS) held a press conference at 6 p.m. on Wednesday to announce the closure of an elementary school in the district due to possible exposure to COVID 19. The video can be viewed on The Arab American News’ Facebook page.
A press release by the district says that on the advice of public health officials, Dearborn Public Schools announced the closure of one of its elementary schools after a staff member at the school was exposed to someone with a confirmed case of the COVID19 virus. The staff member is being tested for the virus. More details will be provided at the press conference.
The school closed is Whitmore-Bolles Elementary on Whitmore Street in Dearborn. At the press conference, DPS Superintendent Glenn Maleyko joined the school’s board of directors to say the district was coordinating with health officials and that measures were being taken to secure the safety of school staff and students.
“This staff member only works at Whitmore-Bolles Elementary,” he said. “Based on all the information and data provided today by the Wayne County health department, there determination is that the school is at a low risk, however, out of an abundance of caution, we’re going to close Whitmore-Bolles until the test results have been confirmed.”
During the school closure, custodial staff and contractors will do a thorough and deep cleaning of the school property.
The administration also fielded questions about converting to online learning. DPS said that while it has long supported online learning, it cannot quickly convert to entirely virtual schools. Any such change could also hurt students, especially low-income children who may not have ready access to suitable technology or Internet to complete lessons from home.
Here is what we know:
– The father of a teacher at Whitmore-Bolles Elementary school in Dearborn was diagnosed with coronavirus yesterday and is currently being treated at University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor.
– The Dearborn Public Schools administration announced the temporary closure of the Whitmore-Bolles Elementary school until the situation becomes clear and safe for the children to return to their classes.
– The teacher has remained at home and didn’t report to work after she found out that her father had been diagnosed with the virus.
– The teacher in question is being tested for the virus, the results are expected to be available and released to public by 5 p.m. tomorrow, according to DPS Superintendent Dr. Glenn Maleyko.
– Other schools in the district will remain open for now.