Katie O’Donnell asked her students to take out a worksheet for a writing exercise that she had included in a packet of supplies. She teaches kindergarten at Detroit Achievement Academy, a charter school on the city’s west side that has been operating on a hybrid model since the fall.
One of her students, a boy she said shifts between his parents’ houses, didn’t have the packet with him, so O’Donnell asked him if there was anything else he could use to write on. She and her students watched online as he and his mother scrounged around their home for supplies. “All they could come up with was this tiny ripped-off sheet of paper, and they didn't have any pencils or anything.” O’Donnell recalled, and added that similar situations have played out several times over the last year.