Welcome Back Letter
Greetings to all Parents/Guardians:
I want to welcome back our students and extend a warm welcome to the new students coming to Drew. The purpose of this communication is to provide you information about the 2020-2021 school year at the Charles R. Drew Transition Center in the Detroit Public Schools Community District. I also want to welcome and introduce the new Assistant Principal of Drew, Ms. Miriam Dzandu-Phillips.
I have been involved in education for 28 years. I am proud to say all my years have been with the Detroit Public Schools, serving the families and students of the great city of Detroit. Covid 19 has put us in uncharted waters and we are working hard to address our student’s needs. I pray that Covid 19 has not impacted you or your family. Families have a choice as to the mode of instruction for their young adult, online or face to face. We are making Drew Covid 19 ready; including having temperature checkpoints, adhering to social distancing, and having sanitizer in the classrooms. Our custodians will be cleaning high touch areas every hour. We have masks for the students. All staff will be wearing masks and /or face shields. All staff have been Covid 19 tested and cleared to report to work. Students will be self-contained for the majority of the day (first semester) and eat breakfast/lunch in the classroom. I am asking for your help. Please discuss the importance of your young adult wearing a mask. If possible, take their temperature before they leave in the morning. A temperature read of 100.4 or greater indicates you should not send your young adult to school. A process is in place to deal with a student that comes to school and has a temperature of 100.4. This includes placement in an isolation room and immediate communication to the family. All staff has been trained in Covid strategies and all have been cleared to report because they did not test positive for Covid 19. Drew is working hard to ensure that the building will be safe. Our ventilation systems have been checked and meet the CDC’s guidelines for building readiness. Drew will meet guidelines from the CDC, MI Safe Return, and DPSCD plans for reopening a school. I believe that all of us working together can achieve many things including dealing with this horrible pandemic.
Drew students were not provided tablets because of our Grade 14 status. Tablets were provided to students in the K-12 spectrum. All students that are promoted to Drew should have received a tablet from the school they previously attended (DPSCD school). Please know we have identified a funding source that will enable us to buy tablets for our students. We are currently working on vendor identification. Deployment is expected by the end of September to the middle of October.
Visitors to the Building
This is a difficult area for administration at Drew. We are proud of the school and love to showcase it to our families. However, at this point, we need to minimize visits as much as possible. If a parent wants to come to Drew please call the main office first (313-873-6880) and make an appointment to come. Remember you must wear a mask and you will have your temperature checked at the main entrance.
The first day of school for students is Tuesday, September 8, 2020. The school hours are 9:00 AM-4:10 PM. The transportation department (313-945-8600) will be mailing information to you on bus route numbers.
Please provide your student with a note/card that includes his/her name, contact number, and bus route information.
- Drew is an enclosed campus. This makes Drew a more secure facility. There is one main entrance, which is the parking lot off the West Chicago side. It is identified by a welcome guests/visitors sign made by the Drew students. We have the ability to let people in and out of our parking lot; thus, you must ring the bell to enter the building. All parents and visitors must sign in and out at the security desk. All visitors are expected to act professionally and in a courteous manner.
- Drew will continue to be the “One Stop Support Shop”. We will continue to provide information to families of persons with disabilities of all ages and provide onsite support from the Community Mental Health Agencies housed at Drew.
Emergency Contact Information
Please know that we need to maintain an emergency contact sheet for students that identifies individual emergency contacts and their phone numbers. I am a principal that wants to be proactive and not reactive. On several occasions last year, we had a need to contact a student’s family because of a situation that had occurred in school. Some phone numbers we had were disconnected and/or family members identified were no longer viable contacts. A form will soon be sent home with your student by his/her teacher on the first day of class. Your student should return it to his/her membership teacher the following day. For students that are online only, all forms will be available during the distribution of the instructional packets. Please notify us as soon as possible of any changes to your contact information.
Cell Phones/Electronic Devices/Head Phones
Cell phones have been the root of many problems at Drew. Therefore, the use of cell phones/electronic devices (e.g. radio headphones) during school hours is prohibited unless approved by the administration and teacher for educational purposes. It is a district policy that students must have their phones turned off and they must not be visible. A parent/guardian can get a message to their son/daughter by contacting the main office (313-873-6880). The first time a student is caught using a phone/electronic device during the day for other than educational purposes, they will receive a warning. If they are caught again, the phone/electronic device, will be confiscated until the end of the school day. Drew and DPSCD are not responsible for the loss, theft, damage, or vandalism to students’ cell phones or electronic devices. We cannot expend time looking for loss cell phones or electronic devices.
The reputation of the Charles R. Drew Transition Center is based to a great extent upon the behavior and appearance of its student body. Student dress should reflect the importance of the skills they receive and the education. All students are expected to dress and groom in a way that best reflects themselves, their families, and their school. Due to the number of different programs at Drew, it is difficult to be detailed to what a student is to wear. For example, a student who is in the horticulture program will be working with dirt. Thus, they should come to school dressed in a manner that is applicable to that type of work (i.e. no new clothes that they cannot get dirty). Items to avoid include the following:
- Ripped, torn, shredded, distressed, or otherwise modified clothing
- Clothing that is either revealing or provocative, showing abdomen region or cleavage, halter tops, or pants that sag below the waistline or that are excessively tight
- Bedtime attire such as pajamas, undershirts, or undergarments as outerwear
- Clothing that display statements or pictures that are related to the use of drugs, alcohol, tobacco products, or sex, that promote hate and/or violence or signify gang affiliations
- Attire that may be considered weapons, including but not limited to chain belts or wallet chains
- Jewelry or similar artifacts that are obscene or may cause disruptions to the educational environment
- Hats, caps, bandanas, or do-rags, except headwear worn for legitimate religious or cultural purposes
All students should dress appropriately!
I want you to know that I truly feel it is a privilege to continue to serve the parents and families of the Detroit Public Schools Community District. I hope everyone had a restful and joyful summer. I will continue to have high expectations for the students of the Transition Center. I will work hard to serve the families, students, and staff of the Charles R. Drew Transition Center. The Drew staff will continue to do everything within our power to ensure that students, families, staff, and community members have the best possible experience each time they call or visit Drew.
Robert Avedisian, Principal