By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — Parents of Dearborn Public School students had the opportunity to voice their issues and concerns during a meeting with Supt. Glenn Maleyko March 7.
Maleyko hosted the meeting as another form of open communication with parents allowing them to ask questions regarding the district.
He encouraged parents to sign up for various social media platforms in order to have access to more information.
“I love the students of this district and connecting with them on a personal level,” Maleyko said. “I want students to feel comfortable enough to approach me when they have an issue.”
Maleyko briefly spoke about the district’s strategic plan which outlines the vision, mission, commitment, core values, partnerships and more through the 2018 school year.
He then answered a wide range of questions from the parents at the open forum-style meeting.
One question focused on the shortage of staff which has impacted districts statewide, but Maleyko said that wasn’t an issue in Dearborn.
“We have the advantage of the stability of our student enrollment every year, size of our district and the instruction we provide,” he said. “Deans at universities have told me there are fewer students going into the education field which is why we are aggressive at job fairs.”
Another question focused on the science curriculum at Fordson High School because the parent has had students attending the school since 2006. She wanted to know what was being done to incorporate more lab experience into the classrooms.
“I’ve been at Fordson a lot recently and have seen a lab increase,” Maleyko said. “A STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) resource consultant has been hired to look into the next generation of science careers needs for the future of education.”
Fordson Principal Heyam Alcodray said funding she has received is allowing for the purchase of more hands-on equipment for the science classroom.
“The money that has been given to the school has been shared with the science department creating more lab opportunities.”
Another parent asked about the possibility of removing the district’s mid-winter break and end school earlier for students.
“That is up for discussion next year because our contract with the teacher union expires,” Maleyko said. “What I’m concerned about is the research on summer learning loss which shows making the summer longer is not beneficial.”
The next scheduled meetings are March 30 at Miller Elementary School, 4824 Lois St., with the school staff at 4 p.m. and parents at 5:30 p.m.
For more information on the meetings and upcoming dates, go to superintendent.dearbornschools.org.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at email@example.com.)