Eastpointe Middle School students returned to class face to face the week of Sept. 27, after spending one week in remote learning.

Eastpointe Middle School students returned to class face to face the week of Sept. 27, after spending one week in remote learning.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Eastpointe Middle School students return to face-to-face learning

By: Maria Allard | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published October 1, 2021


EASTPOINTE — After spending one week in remote learning, Eastpointe Middle School students were back in class face to face the week of Sept. 27.

The school year began Aug. 30 with the district returning to class in person, minus the families that chose the virtual option this year. However, because of a teacher shortage, the sixth and seventh grade students who attend Eastpointe Middle School went to remote learning Sept. 20-24. Technology devices were made available to families in need of them.

The reason for the remote learning was a staff shortage that resulted from a number of teacher resignations. The teachers reportedly left either to pursue other teaching opportunities or left the teaching profession entirely.

“All districts are having trouble finding teachers,” district Communication and Marketing Coordinator Caitlyn Kienitz said. Other positions — including bus drivers, paraprofessionals and cafeteria staff — have been difficult to fill, but “teaching is the one you notice the most.”

On Sept. 24, Eastpointe Community Schools Superintendent Ryan McLeod and Eastpointe Middle School Principal Stephanie Fleming distributed a letter to parents to inform them that Eastpointe Middle School would return to in-person classes Sept. 27. According to the letter, the district added three staff members with “a few more in the pipeline to bring on board.”

“While there is no magic bullet that will fix the nationwide teaching shortage overnight, we continue to work tirelessly to support, retain and attract staff members to work in our schools and support the learning of our students,” McLeod said in the letter. “We greatly appreciate our students and families for their patience and understanding this week.”

The middle school serves approximately 340 students. During the week of remote learning, the students were taught virtually by Eastpointe Community Schools teachers. The teachers used the Google Classroom model to teach virtually.

The district received calls from parents who were concerned that the school went virtual because of a COVID-19 outbreak and that the students needed to quarantine. But that wasn’t the case. It was the teacher shortage that prompted the virtual learning.

In the letter, McLeod and Fleming stated that the district has a number of teacher, paraprofessional, bus driver and food service positions available. If interested, call the Human Resources Department at (586) 533-3009 or email comeworkwithus@eastpointeschools.org.