April 1 Letter to Families

See below for a copy of a letter from Ms. Srour. Select families should expect a hard copy of this letter in the mail sometime in the coming week.

An Arabic language version of the letter is found here.

April 1, 2020

Dear Henry Ford Family:

Dearborn Public Schools continues to follow the guidance of state officials in our response to COVID-19. Monday, March 23, Governor Whitmer announced a statewide “Stay at Home, Stay Healthy” order. This order will last for a minimum of three weeks and is focused on slowing the spread of COVID-19. During this time, Dearborn Public Schools and Henry Ford Elementary will continue essential services including food distribution and learning supports.

It is important for families to review the most up to date information from Public Health, including information on social distancing. Visit the Public Health website. Note that this website can be accessed in various languages by clicking “alternate languages” in the upper right hand corner. You can also find information regarding COVID-19 via the Dearborn Public Schools Website. Our collective well-being is dependent on each of us taking personal responsibility for slowing transmission of this disease.

While Henry Ford and the Dearborn Public Schools are closed, work will continue. Below is a summary of information regarding services available for you and your child’s personal and academic well-being.

Basic Needs Support and Resources

Student Meal Distribution & Weekend Food Support

One main priority has been to reduce barriers to food access during this time. The Dearborn Public Schools is providing daily breakfast and lunch pick-up at seven locations: Fordson, Edsel Ford and Dearborn High Schools; McCollough-Unis; Salina Intermediate; and Woodworth and Smith Middle Schools.

Parents or students can stop by any of the food locations between 10 a.m. and noon on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and grab bags of food plus milk for each child under 18 in the home.  Students do not need to be present, and the Dearborn School student does not need to attend at that building. A designated person can collect meals for multiple children. Meals for Saturday and Sunday can be picked up on Friday. Each bag contains food for both breakfast and lunch for the students. Signage at each site will direct parents and students to where to enter the building.  Food will be near entrances, usually near the kitchen, to minimize the amount of time community members spend in the facilities.

Basic Needs Supports

Should your family need assistance with basic needs during this time, our best supports are our school social workers, Ms. Zahra Zaarour and Ms. Liala Sobh. They can provide information for community resources. You can reach Ms. Zaarour at zaarouz@dearbornschools.org and Ms. Sobh at sobhl@dearbornschools.org

Supplemental Learning and Educational Support

Direct Support from Your Child’s Teacher

Teachers have been continuing communication with families and students in support of academic work throughout the closure. You are receiving this letter because your child’s teacher has not yet reached you and/or because your child is not communicating regularly with his or her teacher. Specifically, teachers are communicating to families via platforms such as remind and class dojo, as well as school blogs.  Students are being asked to engage with school work including work through platforms such as Zearn. Your child’s teacher is here to assist you in gaining access to these platforms.  

Daily assignments for academic enrichment have been provided via our school blog. You can find our school blog at hford.dearbornschools.org. The top menu has a link to “Online Learning” where you can click your child’s teacher and find their enrichment assignments. 

If you need support contacting your child’s teacher, please call 313-451-1766

Special Education Supports

We recognize that school closures can be especially challenging for our special education students and families. We have provided additional contact information to support families and parents can reach out at 313-827-7050.

Accessing our School Blog & Social Media

As mentioned above, much of this information and more is found at our school blog via hford.dearbornschools.org. Navigating here, you can find the link to online learning, school shutdown resources, teacher contacts and more. 

Social Media for Henry Ford Elementary can be found on both Instagram https://www.instagram.com/henryford.elementary/ and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/henryfordelem.

District Chromebook Lending Program

Over the week of March 16th, Henry Ford distributed over 200 chromebooks to families in our school. Families are able to check out one chromebook per family to be able to engage with online learning enrichment. 

If you did not receive a chromebook, you can email Principal Srour at srourl@dearbornschools.org. We are unable to distribute chromebooks throughout Governor’s Whitmers’ “Stay at Home, Stay Healthy” order, but can be in touch as needed as the situation evolves to provide your family with a chromebook at a later date.

Other Supports and Reminders

Student Mental Health Supports

We know that being away from school means not only being away from friends, teachers and instruction, it also means being away from services like counseling and mental health support. Many students access mental health counseling before, during, or after the school day, and with schools being closed, you may have concerns about how to have these needs met. 

Even if your child has not received counseling or mental health support at school in the past, you may notice that during this period of time your child might benefit from talking with a mental health professional about their thoughts and feelings. 

Some tips to support your child include:

  • Limit your children’s exposure to the media and television
  • Help children address their fears and keep open lines of communication 
  • Keep a routine/schedule for your children
  • Remain calm and reassuring
  • Review and model basic hygiene and healthy lifestyle practice

The Dearborn Public Schools has established a hotline to provide support to students and families who are experiencing stress and fear during this crisis. This hotline can be reached at 313-827-8500 or via email dss@dearbornschools.org

Athletic Fields and Playgrounds Are Closed Until Further Notice

All Dearborn Public Schools playgrounds and playfields district-wide are closed. This is a crucial step to increase public safety and social distancing. The closure of DPS  playgrounds and playfields will be in effect until further notice. Please remind children and others about social distancing recommendations.

School Shutdown Resource Numbers

The Dearborn Schools have established a variety of resource numbers you can contact should you need additional assistance at this time. Some of these numbers have been mentioned in previous sections of this letter. These numbers are as follows:

  • General Information: 313-827-3006
  • Social Emotional Hotline: 313-827-8500
  • Tech Support: 313-827-8400
  • Student Services: 313-827-3068
  • Special Education: 313-827-7050

Please continue to take care of yourself, your family, and loved ones. Dearborn Public Schools and Henry Ford Elementary  are committed to keeping you informed and sharing information as it becomes available. You can depend on communication directly via our school blog hford.dearbornschools.org as well as our district blog dearbornschools.org

Stay in contact with Principal Ms. Lamis Srour srourl@dearbornschools.org and Assistant Principal Ms. Samantha McGrath lambers@dearbornschools.org. As a next step from this letter, please:

  • Contact your child’s teacher directly or use our HFES number 313-451-1766 to receive assistance in reaching out to your child’s teacher
  • Visit hford.dearbornschools.org for an electronic copy of this letter. You will find live links to the information we shared.
  • When you navigate to our school blog, inform yourself of your child’s enrichment learning expectations and resources available through the school shutdown.

Please share with your students that their teachers and administrators miss them and are thinking of them during our time apart. We wish you and your family safety and health at this time. 

Sincerely,

Ms. Lamis Srour, Principal

Ms. Samantha McGrath, Assistant Principal

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