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 »

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Detroit Public Schools announces major educational initiatives in Southwest Detroit, including new dual-immersion high school program, new adult education site, new gifted and talented program

Announcement follows deep community engagement process and planning with Southwest Detroit community and organizations

Detroit Public Schools has announced several major educational initiatives for schools in Southwest Detroit, including a new dual-immersion high school program, new adult education site, a new gifted and talented program and much more, following a community engagement process with many parents, students, partner organizations and agencies in Southwest Detroit.

“Through our new five-year Strategic Plan initiated in 2013, we’ve implemented many bold and courageous changes to benefit our students, staff, parents, stakeholders, and employees because we realize that ALL of these individuals are our customers – in a sense – and the product they seek is a high-quality public education for our students,” said Emergency Manager Jack Martin. “The exciting new programs we are launching in Southwest Detroit answer many of the needs and desires for quality educational options and programs that our families in this vibrant area have told us they want.”

“These new initiatives have involved many community organizations and stakeholders in their development,” Martin said. “The devotion of their time and energy to weekly planning meetings, as well as ongoing input through forums, surveys, and the DPS Strategic Planning process, is a true testament to their partnership.”

Numerous partnership organizations lauded Detroit Public Schools for its community engagement process, which included a rollout of the new initiatives before more than 150 people at the regular monthly meeting of the Partnership for Youth, Southwest Counseling Solutions.

“Today, in order to educate children so that all students graduate prepared for college, career and life, we all must work together toward that goal. We cannot afford to work in isolation,” said Helena Lazo, Project Coordinator, Partnership for Youth, Southwest Counseling Solutions. “We must be able to hear all voices, including the voices of youth. Too often we have done things ‘for’ youth, but now we need to do things with youth.”

The new programs include:

  • A brand new high school program! Detroit Public Schools is expanding the Academy of the Americas Pre-K to 8 to include a 9th grade in the fall at a new site. The Escuela Preparatoria Academia de las Americas will offer a dual language curriculum, honors classes, and rigorous academic standards.
  • A new adult education center! Beard Southwest Detroit Adult Education and Early Childhood Community Learning Center, 840 Waterman, will house a new Adult English Language Learner program for Spanish and Arabic and a Pre-Kindergarten Curriculum all on one campus.
  • A new 5th grade at Maybury Elementary School, 4410 Porter! Maybury now houses Pre-K to 4 and offers a dual language immersion program, yoga, a new golf program, music and more.
  • A new Gifted and Talented program at the Mark Twain School for Scholars, 12800 Visger! Twain will offer an International Curriculum, Art, Band, Choir, Sports, Foreign Language and an Academic Pathway to the best High Schools.
  • Trained customer care staff fluent in the language of the community at all campuses!
  • Added opportunities at DPS Neighborhood Schools! Detroit Public Schools educates more than 7,800 students in 13 schools in the Southwest Detroit community. Those include Academy of the Americas – Beard – Bennett – Clemente – Clippert – Earhart – Harms – Neinas – Maybury – Munger – Priest – Mark Twain – Western International
  • Enrollment opportunities at the area’s best schools! Six DPS schools are ranked among the best in Detroit by independent Excellent Schools Detroit. Those are Bennett, Roberto Clemente, Clippert, Harms, Maybury and Munger.

Detroit Public Schools, LitWorld and Detroit Public Library launch new DPS summer reading initiative: Everything Literacy!

Detroit Public Library & Detroit Public Schools to work together to ensure that every DPS student has a library card

library card campaign flyer_Page_1To combat the “Summer Learning Slide,” the learning loss that happens when children are not engaged in reading during pivotal out-of-school time, Detroit Public Schools, the non-profit LitWorld and the Detroit Public Library are announcing a new district-wide summer reading initiative called Everything Literacy! to keep kids engaged with learning throughout the summer.

The Everything Literacy! initiative engages a variety of strategies to accomplish this goal, including a first-ever LitCamp in conjunction with LitWorld, Accelerated Reader online reading quizzes, and free books for many students, with support from Scholastic Inc.

Through this new partnership, the Detroit Public Library also will work with Detroit Public Schools to ensure that every DPS student has a library card and access to the world of fun and educational resources that a library card provides.  The Library will also work with DPS families to ease existing fees and fines on their child’s library record that keep many students from full use of the Library.

Activities for the Lit Fest

LitFest Flyer

Library Card Information

Library Card Campaign flyer and Card Application

Everything Literacy! seeks to challenge students to read throughout the summer to ensure they are ready to learn on the first day of school this fall,” said Dr. Deborah Winston, Executive Director of the DPS Office of Literacy.  “Research shows that children lose the academic skills they learned throughout the school year if they don’t keep their skills sharp and continue reading throughout the summer.”

A renowned 2007 study by Johns Hopkins University researchers that documented the “Summer Learning Slide” showed that while impoverished children progressed in reading at rates comparable with middle-income students during the school year, reading skills slipped away during the summer among low-income students. The researchers found that the achievement gap in ninth grade can be traced mostly to the differences in summer learning between those two groups throughout the elementary years.

library card campaign flyer_Page_2“The Detroit Public Library understands the importance of summer reading to ensure academic success.  Through this partnership, the Library and DPS will nurture a love of reading that will serve these students for a lifetime,” said Jo Anne Mondowney, Executive Director of the Detroit Public Library.

Pam Allyn, Executive Director of LitWorld and renowned literacy expert, author and speaker, has worked full force to combat the Summer Learning Slide.

“Reading matters so much to a student’s lifetime academic achievement, in fact, that even a summer away from nearness to books and experiences with reading has a detrimental impact on our children,” she said. “By sixth grade, the Summer Learning Slide can account for 80% of the achievement gap.”

This summer, Allyn and the LitWorld team are collaborating with DPS to run the first-ever DPS Summer LitCamp, a literacy and enrichment program designed by LitWorld specifically to combat the Summer Learning Slide. DPS, LitWorld, with support from Scholastic Inc., will also host a community-wide LitFest, an intergenerational reading celebration, in late July. LitWorld is dedicated to working with DPS to give children in the district the tools they need to stay on track this summer, and well into the future.

“LitClub and LitCamp programming cultivate a new generation of leaders, storytellers and academic achievers, effecting change for themselves, their community, and their world,” Allyn said. “We truly value our relationship with Detroit Public Schools, as we work together to create positive literacy outcomes for the wonderful children of this great city.”

The Everything Literacy! program includes:

  • A first-ever community LitFest to be held across all 37 schools holding summer school on Thursday, July 24, 2014 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. The LitFest will include group writing activities, oral story sharing, live storytellers, and a distribution of 7,000 books to participants; Click to see the  Summer School LitFest Sites!
  • A free book for thousands of DPS children to take home through partnerships with LitWorld and Scholastic Inc.;
  • A new partnership with the Detroit Public Library to ensure that every DPS student has a library card.  The Library will also work with DPS families to ease existing fees and fines on their child’s library record that keep many students from full use of the Library;
  • Access to Accelerated Reader Quizzes in Detroit Public Libraries thanks to a partnership with the Detroit Public Library. Parents and students received reminders prior to the end of the academic year and during the summer school session;
  • An Accelerated Reader Contest open to students of grades 1 – 6, sponsored by the Office of Literacy. Contest winners will receive books and the sixth-grade winner will receive a NOOK;
  • DPS’ first-ever LitCamp in partnership with LitWorld at Marcus Garvey Academy — a one week camp engaging 60 female students in reading, writing, speaking, and listening activities. Campers will also participate in activities such as vocal music, scrapbooking, and yoga. Through the innovative combination of active literacy support, community building, and interactive lessons that span a variety of disciplines and interests, LitCamps provide children with a fun, joyous, and safe way to learn and grow academically and personally and to see the value of a reading culture while creating one together;
  • A one week writing camp for DPS students in grades 3 – 12 through a partnership with the Office of Literacy and the Meadowbrook Writing Project of Oakland University. The fee is $100. Camp dates are:
    • July 14-18, 3-5th grade
    • July 14-18, 6-8th grade
    • July 21-25, 3-5th grade
    • July 21-25, 6-8th grade

Life Remodeled breaks ground on construction of new football field for Detroit Public Schools’ Cody High School

Detroit Lions to Donate Goal Posts

DETROIT, July 11, 2014 – The Detroit Lions will donate goal posts for Detroit’s Cody High School as part of a plan by non-profit Life Remodeled to build a new football field at the school. Construction of the field is major step toward Life Remodeled’s goal of renovating the school and its surrounding neighborhood this summer.

The Cody Comets’ former field sat on the same location as the new field until 2006 when vandalism and lack of irrigation caused the turf to become unplayable, forcing the team to play all games at “away” venues. When completed, the field will also be home to eight Detroit Police Athletic League (PAL) youth football teams and one Detroit PAL youth soccer team.

The 90,000 sq. ft. synthetic turf gridiron will be built on the Stein Playfield, just northwest of the school.

The cost of the athletic field project is $650,000, of which $291,000 has already been raised. Major contributors include the Skillman Foundation, the United Auto Workers, and a number of metro-area churches.

“Life Remodeled has always operated financially on a just-in-time basis,” says Founder and President Chris Lambert. “All of our projects have been nail-biters, often with labor, materials, and money not coming through until the last minute. But we have wonderful partnerships with the community and local businesses and we have faith that the job will get done.”

In addition to the Lions, major supporters of the football field project include general contractor Barton Malow, Foresite Design, Pittsburgh-based ProGrass is providing the synthetic turf and Edw. C. Levy Co. is donating the base stone.

Mark Dandar of Mark Land Surveying, Jason Arnold of Creative Site Solutions, and Mike Mentz of Turnkey Enterprises are also donating their services.

“What drew Life Remodeled to Detroit Public Schools and, specifically to Cody, was the hope that they saw in the school community as well as the neighborhood within which it sits,” said Emergency Manager Jack Martin. “Even though we have significant financial challenges, we all have hope for brighter days for our students and the members of the Cody community. We are extremely grateful to the Life Remodeled team and all of their volunteers and donors, who have demonstrated true community partnership and have helped reinforce this sense of hope.”

Since 2011, Life Remodeled has built six new houses and beautified surrounding neighborhoods in six cities throughout southeastern Michigan – each in just six days. In 2014, they shifted their vision to the city of Detroit and its schools. The majority of the work will be performed from Aug. 11-17, 2014, but Life Remodeled will remain in partnership with Cody High School for one year to help address more long-term needs.

In addition to painting, landscaping, roof and electrical repairs, and updating classrooms, Life Remodeled will partner with students, administrators, community organizations, neighbors, churches, and local companies like General Motors and Quicken Loans to demolish 10 nearby abandoned houses, remodel 20 others, and beautify over 100 surrounding blocks. Nearby Mann and Henderson Elementary Schools will also receive light facelifts.
The Cody Rouge neighborhood has the second highest concentration of youth in Detroit – but also one of the highest rates of crime committed against young people in the city. In spite of these challenges, Cody has proudly established specialized academies of public leadership, medicine, and technology in addition to its regular curriculum. The school’s graduation rate has increased from 40 percent just four years ago to over 80 percent today.

About Life Remodeled: Life Remodeled is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization based in Detroit, Michigan that exists to remodel lives, one neighborhood at a time. Our strategy includes remodeling a Detroit Public School each summer in order to create academic and athletic improvements. In addition, we believe that if we partner with the local residents to remove blight in the surrounding areas and create safe and inspirational pathways to the schools, we will help to sustain and build up a neighborhood that radiates hope to the rest of the city. All of this is made possible by thousands of highly motivated volunteers and very generous donor partners who are unified in working towards a common goal: to radically transform our community with enduring sustainability.

DPS to host three Regional High School Recruitment Fairs Wed., July 9

For the first time, 17 Detroit Public Schools’ high school programs will showcase their academic and college/career-track offerings at three convenient school fairs on Wednesday, July 9 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. The three regional locations for the fairs – eastside, westside and southwest – will feature schools serving those regions.

Programs offered include those in Medicine and Science, Aerospace, Design and Alternative Energy, Dual Immersion Bilingual, Communication Arts, Technology, Agriscience, Public Leadership, Fine Arts and others. Included are the state’s only two public single-gender schools. All high schools now accepting enrollment for available seats starting Fall 2014 will be featured.

Download the High School Passport showcasing each school’s unique offerings.

Also attending will be presenters on career track recommendations, safety presentations, interscholastic athletics, career/technical centers, and college scholarship information. DPS graduates scored more than $137 million in scholarships and grants for the 2013-2014 school year.

To ensure that customer care and dinner service is ready for all who attend, parents are asked to call (313) 873-6345 or email enrollment.growth@detroitk12.org. A drawing for a $200 Target gift card will also be conducted at each fair.

Regional locations

  • For Midtown/Eastside residents: Dr. Benjamin Carson High School of Science & Medicine, located at 571 Mack Ave.
  • For Southwest Detroit residents: Western International High School, located at 1500 Scotten St.
  • And for Westside residents: Cody High School Campus, located at 18445 Cathedral St. Cody will receive a massive makeover for the 2014 school year through Life Remodeled.

Importantly, the Safe Routes to School initiative with the DPS Police Department and community volunteers is expanding to cover every route to and from school that requires attention to ensure safe walking and bus routes each morning and afternoon.

Families may also visit any school for “Anytime! Office Hours” and a tour with one of our school leaders, now through July 23.

For more details, visit detroitk12.org/enroll.



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Upcoming Events

FREE BOOKS: Dog Days of Summer! DPS Family Days at the Detroit Children's Museum & PreK registration
7/26/2014 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

ARISE Detroit Neighborhood's Day
8/2/2014 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

13th Annual Youth Connection After-School/Back-to-school/College Fair @ Belle Isle
8/16/2014 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Big Sean Back-to-School Backpack Giveaway
8/21/2014 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

NAACP Back-to-School Picnic
8/22/2014 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

DPS Open Doors Day/ Summer Open House and Enrollment Fair
8/23/2014 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

First Day of Teaching and Learning

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