On Monday, April 16, 2018 three schools in the district were closed due to a power outage, Bryant Middle School, River Oaks Elementary, and the Dearborn Heights Campus which includes the Berry Career Center, Academic Center for Excellence (ACE), Dearborn Magnet High School, Howe School, Dearborn Center For Math, Science, and Technology (DCMST), and STEM Middle School.
The district was in contact with DTE regarding a possible timeline for the restoration of power at these locations and a decision was made just prior to 5:00 a.m. on Monday morning to cancel school. The District uses a variety of communication tools when sending out school closing notifications. The school closing message for Monday was placed on the District’s website, Facebook, twitter, Cable Ch. 19, and on all local television and radio stations.
In addition, a separate system, the In-Touch Robo Call system, was used to send a phone call and e-mail message to those parents affected by the school closure. The call was placed at 5:21 am, the system displayed that the call was starting but when the system was checked around 7:45 am, it was still showing “starting” and eventually displayed “Failed”. We contacted technicians at Wayne RESA, who oversee the operation of this system, and they are working directly with In-Touch to determine the cause of the problem and ensure it doesn’t happen again. Many districts in the County, who use the same system, had similar issues.
We do apologize for the confusion this caused. We have heard from several parents who were concerned about their children waiting for busses not knowing school was closed. We are sorry that one of our communication tools failed and are working to make sure it does not happen again in the future.
At one point in time, not so long ago people would gather around the radio or television and listen for the list of school closings. Those days are long gone. People now rely upon a variety of tools and services for gathering news and information and as a result, the District uses a variety of tools to deliver important news. Just as we have changed our methods of delivering messages we encourage our students and parents to explore all options and consider more than one tool for collecting that information. School closing news is posted on the District’s Facebook and twitter accounts and on the Superintendent’s Facebook, twitter, Instagram, and on his blog https://superintendent.dearbornschools.org/. The district website, www.dearbornschools.org will also have school closing and other important news. To make sure the website is accessible; it has been formatted for easy reading whether you are using a desktop, laptop, tablet or phone. Also, since all of the metro area newspapers, television, and radio stations have websites with school closing information our messages are placed on all of these outlets as well.
Ice, rain, and wind can all be a part of spring weather in Michigan. We hope there will not be a need to close schools in the future but if there is please know that we are always working to make sure you receive the latest information in a timely manner.
Have a safe and productive end to the school year.
Director, Communications and Marketing