Guest Column: Building Momentum Across Hamtramck Public Schools

By Jaleelah Ahmed, Superintendent of Hamtramck Public Schools

As superintendent, it is my honor to personally greet our children as they return to school each fall. This year is just as exciting to me—if not more so—as we are once more welcoming students back in person. Teachers, administrators and students alike have been eager to start school together again, and it’s a joy to experience the back-to-school buzz in our buildings once again.

After almost two years of online learning, I see students engaged in our classrooms now more than ever. Hands are raised high in class, and active participation is easy to come by. Upperclassmen are proving themselves excellent leaders this month by helping the younger students navigate their new schools. I also see success in our elementary and middle schools with students creating stronger friendships and bonding with one another in this first month.

In-person classes are not the only success I have seen to date. Students in our Virtual Learning Institute are taking an active approach to their education by staying on top of assignments and participating in lectures. I believe this option is already proving an excellent alternative for families who are choosing virtual learning this fall.

Only through participation in COVID-19 safety precautions is this reunion possible. Prior to sending your child to school each morning, parents and guardians should conduct the at-home daily Health Screening to determine if it is safe for your child to attend school. We remain in the midst of a pandemic, and having your child stay home when they are ill, experiencing signs and symptoms of a communicable disease, or when a non-vaccinated child has come into close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, is critical to minimizing the spread of illness to others. In fact, it could make the difference between disease control and outbreak.

I want to thank those in our community who are engaging in these vital measures to keep our schools safe, healthy, and thriving. I know HPS is not alone in this successful start. Neighboring schools and others around the state are seeing the enthusiasm in students as we gather again this 2021-22 school year. It is my honor to work with our community’s children, and I look forward to greeting familiar and new faces this year.

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