DEARBORN — With COVID-19 cases rising again, the Dearborn Public School District’s Learning Lab Committee has decided to suspend in-school learning labs indefinitely.
School nurses and administrators met Tuesday and decided to suspend the labs effective Oct. 21 until further notice after receiving concerning news from the Wayne County Health Department in regards to positive COVID-19 cases. The district will continue with virtual learning labs and are allowing teachers to volunteer to host in-school learning labs for students who wish to take part.
The Wayne County Health Department reported the seven-day average has climbed to 4.6 percent positivity rate as of Oct. 20 and may increase. They also reported that the infection rate in Dearborn has increased.
Over the last week, the district had an increase in the number of students and staff exposed to the virus in the community.
The decision was made to maintain a safe school environment and keep the schools from becoming a source of COVID-19.
We are working hard to balance the health and safety of our staff, our students, and our community while also balancing the need for in-school learning — Superintendent Glenn Maleyko
Since Sept. 25, there have been no outbreaks in the school district and since Aug. 1 only three of 29 reported cases can be tied to a spread within the schools. A recent report on athletic participation from Dearborn High and Fordson shows there were a total of 694 student athletes taking part in more than 2,690 hours of contact since August and only 14 cases of COVID-19, all but one coming from outside the school.
The district will continue with high school PSAT tests scheduled for Oct. 27 and Oct. 29.
Superintendent Glenn Maleyko told The Arab American News that the district is very concerned with the direction the cases are heading.
“All the data shows that the numbers are going up,” he said. “Not just here, but across the country. We don’t look at the day by day data, we get a weekly report from Wayne County that we go by.”
Maleyko also said that it’s a balancing act.
“We are working hard to balance the health and safety of our staff, our students and our community while also balancing the need for in-school learning,” he said. “We have exceptions for the special needs students who require the in-school learning and we have limited all foot traffic in all buildings to ensure our community stays safe.”
The school board is expected to meet on Oct. 26 to revisit options of students returning to school.