DPS Board of Education not afraid of the dark

Photo courtesy of the Dearborn Public Schools Using cell phones, flashlights and portable lights, Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education members continue their meeting March 13 despite losing power halfway through the meeting.

Photo courtesy of the Dearborn Public Schools
Using cell phones, flashlights and portable lights, Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education members continue their meeting March 13 despite losing power halfway through the meeting.

Power outage felt across district; schools, administration building, and even board meeting goes dark

DEARBORN — If there is one thing that most elected officials do not like it’s being “in the dark,” but that is exactly what happened to the Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education at its March 13 meeting.

A power outage at the administration building occurred about 8 p.m. just as the board was about to hear a special report on March is Reading Month. Power had been restored to the building earlier in the day after being out since high winds blew through the area March 8.

Although there were no microphones, computers or television cameras, there were enough cell phones, flashlights and battery-operated television lights to provide just enough illumination to continue the meeting.  The board was able to hear an abbreviated version of the Reading Month report, but a second report on Leadership Development was postponed until April.

The board also took time to hear from both current and former students who are part of a committee requesting that the board name the television studio at Dearborn High School after founder of the program and longtime educator Russ Gibb.

The board was favorable to the idea and suggested that rather than naming just a physical space after Gibb, now in his 80s, the committee consider naming the program in honor of the retired teacher and mentor. The board will consider the recommendation from the committee before a formal vote is taken at an upcoming meeting.

Across the district several schools were impacted by the power outage that left more than 800,000 people without power for several days. Supt. Glenn Maleyko provided the board with an update on the impact of the storm.  On March 9 more than 12 schools were without power. The number decreased to six by March 10 and by late March 13, only Edsel Ford High School remained without power. The school was back online at 3:30 a.m. March 14.

“The Board of Education and I appreciate the hard work and dedication of all our staff members,” Maleyko said. “They showed a real commitment to support our schools and especially our students during these difficult conditions caused by the power outages and winter weather.”

Maleyko posted a letter to the community on his blog that describes how he and his team made the decision to close all schools on March 9 and keep the district open on March 10. The complete letter can be read at: https://superintendent.dearbornschools.org/2017/03/10/the-last-48-hours-with-power-outages-and-the-decision-to-close-schools.

“Over the past few days we saw many examples of staff members who stepped up, helped one another, and demonstrated the team philosophy that shows the commitment to our vision statement of students first; inspire, educate, celebrate,” Maleyko said. “I couldn’t be more proud to be the Superintendent in Dearborn.”