Southeastern HS resumes in-person classes after closure for flood damage repairs

A calculator sits on a desk as students work in a math class at Southeastern High School in Detroit, MI. Photo by Anthony Lanzilote/Chalkbeat �June, 2019 photo�
Students and staff at Detroit’s Southeastern High School returned to their classrooms on Mar. 15 after two months of online learning. (Anthony Lanzilote / Chalkbeat)

In-person classes have resumed at Detroit’s Southeastern High School, which closed in January because of significant water damage that forced the school to pivot to online learning.

Students and staff returned to their classrooms on Mar. 15, according to Nikolai Vitti, superintendent of the Detroit Public Schools Community District.

The building had been closed for repairs since early January, when officials found that a pipe burst over winter break and waterlogged classrooms. Construction work continues on the school’s hallways, Vitti said, which need new tiling. That project is expected to be completed before the beginning of next school year.

The district last month considered moving Southeastern’s roughly 600 students temporarily to another DPSCD building, such as Frederick Douglass Academy for Young Men near Midtown Detroit, or switching to a hybrid format.

But students, staff, and families who were surveyed said they preferred to continue with online learning until the repairs were done, Vitti told Detroit school board members during February’s monthly meeting.

Vitti said attendance remained high throughout the online learning period, with roughly 95% of students attending online classes.

Ethan Bakuli is a reporter for Chalkbeat Detroit covering Detroit Public Schools Community District. Contact Ethan at ebakuli@chalkbeat.org.

The Latest

The city enlisted Accenture to help analyze supply and demand for preschool seats. Their initial findings, obtained through a public records request, don’t shed much light on the topic.

Longtime activist cites his own health issues, and the recent death of his sister.

The leadership change at the city’s largest network of charter high schools comes as Chicago’s Board of Education has increased scrutiny on charters and school choice.

The federal Office of Civil Rights’ investigation found students didn’t get the support the law guaranteed them. The Michigan Department of Education wants the case thrown out.

Across all high schools in the city, 1 of every 5 students are mandated to receive special education support under an IEP. At specialized high schools, that number is only 1 of 50.

Access to acceleration has long been wildly inequitable. Here’s what schools can do to reduce the financial and logistical barriers.