About Detroit Public Schools

Detroit Public Schools is creating Centers of Excellence in every school in every neighborhood. The district’s primary mission is educating students to perform at high academic levels. DPS offers educational advantages to students and parents/guardians across the system and reforms throughout the district’s schools. Those include:

  • $138 million in student grants and scholarships
  • Art/Music enrichment for every elementary-middle school student
  • High Quality Pre-Kindergarten
  • Individual Learning Plans
  • Free healthy breakfast and  lunch for every child
  • Eight different world languages offered across the district
  • New Parent University and abundant parent programs
  • Safety initiatives with more community volunteers
  • Netbooks for every student in grades 6–12 and take-home Netbooks for grades 8–12
  • A new Career Academy, and high schools focusing on science and medicine, the arts and aviation

Learn more about Detroit Public Schools »

Information News Center

DPS announces recruitment for 205 Pre-K classrooms during ribbon-cutting events for new early childhood classrooms at Moses Field and Chrysler Elementary

As part of its commitment to expand early childhood offerings, the district also is announcing new partnerships with non-profit agencies to provide new Head Start programs for ages 0-5 in five schools

MosesField1Detroit Public Schools announced it will continue its commitment to expand early childhood educational opportunities by providing 189 Pre-Kindergarten classrooms across the district in both its Great Start Readiness and Title I Pre-K programs.

The district is also announcing it will partner with two non-profit agencies, Development Centers, Inc. and Southwest Counseling Solutions, Inc., to offer 16 additional early childhood classrooms for ages 0-5. In total, DPS will house 205 Pre-K classrooms across the district, which is an increase in early childhood programming.

New Pre-K programs will be housed at Chrysler and Moses Field, a feeder early childhood program to Nichols Elementary. Chrysler and Nichols have never before offered parents an early childhood education option. There are no income restrictions for City of Detroit residents attending the Title classrooms, such as those at Moses Field and Chrysler.

moses field 2 Pre-Kindergarten classrooms will be leased to the agencies at Beard, Earhart, Durfee, Gompers and Mark Twain. Annual expected lease revenue generated at the sites will total $256,150, including leased office space at a sixth site.

DPS also invited the community to two ribbon-cutting/enrollment events for the new Pre-K classrooms at Moses Field and Chrysler Elementary. Free ice cream and give-aways were be offered at both sites.

Detroit Public Schools’ Pre-Kindergarten classroom curriculum is aligned with the National Early Childhood Standards and Michigan State Board of Education Early Childhood Standards of Quality. To ensure fidelity to the standards, the early childhood programs are monitored through an inclusive and collaborative approach.

chrysler1The building principal, central staff and program supervisors monitor teaching and learning through the Pre-Kindergarten classroom visitation system, teacher evaluation, student assessments Child Observation Record (COR), and through a formalized process, the Program Quality Assessment (PQA).

Parents interested in finding out more about DPS’ early childhood education program offerings should call DPS’ Foundation for Early Learners at (313) 347-8923.

Recommitting to providing a top-quality education experience, Detroit Public Schools announces continued implementation of strategic programs and cancellation of student class size increases and employee wage reduction

Emergency Manager challenged staff, stakeholders, parents, partners and the media to join in and spotlight the district’s strategic initiatives and enrollment campaign to secure long-term district stability

As part of Detroit Public Schools’ commitment to making decisions that create a top quality educational experience, Emergency Manager Jack Martin on Tuesday, August 26 announced that he will not implement proposed student class size increases, will cancel a planned 10 percent employee wage reduction that had been included in the district’s Deficit Elimination Plan and will continue strategic implementation of programs that families desire.

“Detroit Public Schools’ sole focus is and must remain providing the highest quality education possible to the children of Detroit,” he said during today’s announcement and saluted the passionate and dedicated teams of educators and caring adults that exist within the district’s 97 schools.

To assist the District in covering the costs of rolling back these two strategies, DPS is proposing the extension of its Deficit Elimination Plan through 2021. At that time, not only will the deficit be eliminated, but the District will also be free of its legacy debt, which is currently at $53 million a year.

Prior to the recent announcements of planned wage cuts and class size increases, Martin had been working around-the-clock with Chief Financial and Administrative Officer Bill Aldridge and his team to identify alternate strategies to address the continued challenge to eliminate Detroit Public Schools’ $127 million projected deficit and meet the legal requirement that DPS and other school districts and cities must have balanced budgets — at the same time district revenues continue to be significantly reduced.

The District’s most recent Deficit Elimination Plan, which was required to be submitted on Aug. 15, 2014, included the revenue reduction and the particularly difficult decision to cut employee compensation by an additional 10 percent, assuming those strategies would facilitate an expedited approval of the Deficit Elimination Plan, which was needed for the District’s annual State Aid borrowing, Martin said.

Some of the alternate strategies that are now being considered are: not filling budgeted vacant positions based on current vacancies and those that will come from attrition; further staff reductions through restructuring and process re-engineering efficiencies; potential additional layoffs of non-school-based employees; additional surplus real estate sales; continued, responsible expense reductions; and, the pursuit of additional grant funds. Teacher service will, however, be consistent with per-school student enrollment, Martin said.

To bring needed stability to the District, Martin reiterated the need for all employees to participate in the district’s comprehensive student retain and gain campaign.

“As I have said numerous times before, maintaining and growing our student base is the only way to ensure that the district is sustainable into the future,” he said, thanking the volunteers and staff members who have participated in the school-based and district enrollment campaign. “The retention and attraction of students is absolutely critical to our future, and this year’s and future enrollment will be a key determinant in not only the reduction of our deficit, but more importantly growing the district.”

He also the reiterated the school system’s commitment to providing academic programs and initiatives that families desire, and making strategic decisions to attract and retain families.

To that end, Martin said that he heard the concerns of families and staff about the proposed increase in class size in grades 4-12 and, therefore, that change will also not be implemented.

Class sizes will remain at 25 for grades K-3 (which would not have been altered even under the previous plan), 33 for grades 4 and 5, and 38 for grades 6-12. Martin also noted that based on average daily attendance, DPS’ class size across the district last year averaged only 16 students.

“While we developed strategies to mitigate any potential negative impact, the only sure way to avoid impacting students’ learning environment is to keep class levels the same as last year,” Martin said. “It is my hope that any parent that was considering taking their child out of a DPS school will reconsider and have them remain with their teachers and classmates for another year.”

Martin also underscored the many positive developments in the school district, such as new strategic initiatives designed to bolster enrollment being offered this year, and challenged the public to spotlight those. They include:

  • No school closings for the 2014-15 School Year: For the first time in six years, the budget does not call for the closure of any schools for the 2014-15 school year, which the district has come to understand can have an extremely adverse impact on enrollment, recruitment, retention and revenues;
  • A renewed commitment to working with all partners on ensuring safe and healthy environments for all students, including on the routes to and from school;
  • Creation of a new gifted and talented school program;
  • Extension of successful dual immersion bilingual programs into a 9th grade collegiate prep setting;
  • Expansion of Career Academy and adult educational regional center programming;
  • Support for a K-12 International Baccalaureate program and new International Baccalaureate program at Cass Technical High School;
  • Addition of a prep period for K-8 teachers;
  • Expansion of programs for early childhood families, through reorganizing current programs and securing private and foundation support;
  • Art/Music expansion for elementary and middle schools. Across the district, DPS provides robust instrumental music, choral music, general music and visual arts instruction to help every student reach their full academic and creative potential.

Martin also encouraged the media to focus on the District’s tangible progress, including that the number of newly enrolled high school students reached a three-year high, and increased by more than 50 percent from the 2012-13 school year; Detroit Public Schools continues an upward academic trajectory, having closed the gap with state peers in all five subjects on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) since 2011; DPS’ 2014 seniors earned nearly $138 million in scholarships and grants; DPS this year had five Gates Millennium Scholars; and Renaissance High School was named the best high school in Detroit by U.S. News and World Report.

The district also announced today that it will expand the number of Pre-Kindergarten opportunities, bringing to 205 the total number of classrooms. The programs include additional Great Start Readiness Program seats, new Title I classrooms, two of which will hold ribbon cuttings today, and partnerships with two non-profit agencies to bring 0-5 programs into schools this school year.

“We appreciate the support of our parents, partners, stakeholders and the media in rallying around Detroit Public Schools at this critical time to ensure the greater community is aware – and that they “see” and “believe” in — the great things happening at our schools,” Martin said.

DPS welcomed hundreds of families and showcased new programs at first-ever literacy-themed Open Doors Day Saturday, August 23 at all elementary and middle schools!

Schools offered thousands of FREE sackpacks, books, school supplies and other fun give-aways

DETROIT – Pete the Cat, Madeline and the Bad Hat and the Big Bad Wolf made guest appearances at schools throughout Detroit Public Schools on Saturday, August 23 during the district’s first-ever literacy-themed Open Doors Day.

All elementary and middle schools were open across the district from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday to showcase their offerings and new programs, like the gifted and talented program at Mark Twain School for Scholars. All schools developed their own creative itineraries to engage families!

Among the highlights were DPS’ foreign language immersion courses for grades PreK-8, performing arts programs and free full-day high quality Pre-Kindergarten classes. New and current parents were able to take tours, meet staff, and learn about all the great offerings in DPS, including arts and music, K-8 sports leagues and scholarship opportunities.

Schools also offered thousands of FREE books, sackpacks and school supplies donated by Office Depot, arts and crafts kits by Arts and Scraps, and other fun give-aways (first-come, first-served). Immunizations took place at Marcus Garvey Academy, 2301 Van Dyke.

Keeping with the literacy theme, the Parent Resource Centers at Detroit International Academy, Ludington Magnet Middle School, Marcus Garvey Academy, Priest Elementary-Middle School, and Bennett Elementary School hosted BINGO for Books from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Parent Ambassador Trainings were be held from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Schools with some of the most creative themes were graced by a special visit from Karen Ridgeway, Superintendent of Academics, who was dressed as a Sparkle Fair Princess with a magic bubble wand!

Some school-specific literary themes include:

Madeline in Paris

Pete the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes

Fairy Tale Ball


Cass Technical High School first high school in Detroit to earn International Baccalaureate designation

Detroit Public Schools’ Cass Technical High School has become the first high school in the City of Detroit to receive the prestigious International Baccalaureate (IB) World School designation, Detroit Public Schools announced today.

Cass Tech joins the ranks of other high achieving Michigan IB high schools including Bloomfield Hills High School, Detroit Country Day, Midland Dow, International Academy, Northville High School and Notre Dame Prep, Washtenaw International and West Ottawa High School.

“This will greatly support our mission to continue the legacy of excellence that has always existed at Cass Tech,” said Principal Lisa Phillips.

The IB Diploma Program at Cass will involve students in extended independent essay writing around a topic of global importance, a theory of knowledge critical thinking course, as well as creativity, action and service programs. Upon graduation students complete a written assessment marked by external IB examiners.

Faculty at International Baccalaureate schools are committed to intensive professional development, collaborating with a dynamic global network of professionals committed to best practices in teaching and learning. Sixteen Cass Tech teachers in all subject areas became certified after preparing for two years prior to receiving the designation and 8 others will be certified in October.

“IB programs aim to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect,” according to the program.

The new DPS Mark Twain School for Scholars is in the process of becoming the only International Baccalaureate Primary Years program in the City of Detroit. The newly opening Gifted and Talented school is taking applications and will provide students a pathway to Cass Tech upon matriculation to high school.

Cass Tech received financial support from UAW-Ford and the Skillman Foundation in preparing for the IB designation.



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