(CBS DETROIT) – Dozens of Detroit Public Schools Community District Students missed the first day of summer school because of protesters blocking the gates of the westside school bus terminal on Greenfield Road, to rally against in-person learning.

“The students that were negatively effected from the protest unfortunately were our most fragile, our medically fragile children. So there are about 70 that signed up for summer school they were going to attend Jerry L. White and Charles Drew which is our special education center schools,” said DPSCD Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti.

Monday marked the first day of in-person learning since schools were shut down across the state back in March and a new precedent was set for safety to minimize the risk of spreading Covid-19.

“We Covid tested all of our employees. All the children wore a mask. Our employees wore a mask. We temperature checked. We went through a symptoms check for our employees and our children,” said Vitti.

DPCSD administrators told CW50 there was a parent demand for summer classes and we’re also told that the program is not a requirement for students or staff.

“We needed 170 teachers based on initial parent demand and 300 signed up. So it’s not as if we’re forcing teachers to work with our children, they’re willing to work with our children. They’re being paid obviously and i think it’s a win-win for our parents and our students right now,” said Vitti.

4,000 DPCSD parents signed up to send their kids to summer school.

Half requested face-to-face learning, while the other half preferred online courses.

Vitti says students entering classrooms will be separated 6 feet apart and classes will be equipped with personal protection supplies.

This standard will also be extended in the fall. 

“And a lot of our families need face-to-face instruction for their children right now and as long as we have employees that are willing to do it then i think we should,” he said.

DPSCD plans to offer both online and in-person learning in the fall if the state funds it.

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