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 joins with local leaders, alumni to launch extensive 2014-15 Retain/Gain Enrollment Campaign during first “Ambassadors Breakfast”

DPS unveils new branding – “See It Believe It”

Detroit Public Schools’ Emergency Manager Jack Martin joined dozens of community leaders, alumni and other partners Thursday, July 31, to launch the district’s 2014-15 Retain/Gain Enrollment Campaign following the district’s first “Ambassadors Breakfast.”

DSC_0040Martin informed the partners of the district’s newest developments, academic programs and goals, while securing their partnership in the important enrollment initiatives.

“We wanted to ensure our partners heard firsthand the strategies to bolster our 2014 fall enrollment,” Martin said. “To ensure that we transform our schools, we realize that it requires the inclusion and partnership of all stakeholders including: civic, faith, grassroots and labor leadership.”

Martin also unveiled the district’s new branding, “See It Believe It.” The new branding was developed over the course of the last year using the “design thinking” process, which sought extensive input from key stakeholders, including parents (those with students in DPS, as well as those who no longer attend or never attended), principals and administrators, and the community.

DPS FINALS NEED PMSThe new branding seeks to demonstrate the school system’s commitment to providing academic programs and initiatives that families desire, and making strategic decisions to attract and retain families.

Ultimately, what the district came to understand is that the public needs to be reminded that amazing things are happening in each and every one of its 97 schools each and every day; that programs are being offered at Detroit Public Schools that parents can’t get anywhere else. And, if people take the time to visit/explore our schools and interact with the students, teachers and administrators in those schools, they will see proof of this progress.

Detroit-based creative agency Skidmore Studio assisted the District with developing its new branding.

“Detroit Public Schools’ 2014-15 budget—and our decision-making—are focused on creating and offering increasingly relevant programs, undertaken on new platforms, presented to new markets, leveraged by public and private resources, while devoting new across-the-board energy to retention strategies,” Martin said.

New strategic initiatives designed to bolster enrollment being offered this year 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;
  • 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;

“In all cases, these new, expanded and restructured programs follow our detailed strategy to replicate successful academic programs, and to raise the bar academically throughout the city,” Martin said. “We know that the only way we will continue to stabilize and grow enrollment—which will bring with it long-term fiscal stability—is through academic excellence.”

To underscore the “See It Believe It” Campaign, Martin also highlighted 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.

“We are making changes at DPS… positive changes. And we appreciate the support of our partners in ensuring the community is aware—and that they “see” and “believe” in the great things happening at our schools,” Martin said.



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.



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Upcoming Events

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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