Ben Carson High School Announced as One of Six Lenovo Scholar Network Mobile App Competition Winners

National Competition Encourages Greater Student Interest in STEM While Providing High-Tech Skills For Success

Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine (BCHS) is excited to announce its selection as one of the six winners in this year’s Lenovo Scholars Network Mobile App Competition. The national competition originated to encourage greater interest among underserved high school students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects while providing them with high-tech skills to succeed in the 21st century.

The National Academy Foundation (NAF) students, once again, participated in the national competition and spent months designing, coding, developing, and testing their mobile apps. Steps to Success, the app that one of the school’s teams created, features games and activities that support the development of literacy skills using a combination of auditory, visual, and motivational features to engage children.

BCHS’ team “The KCs” – Oluwakemi Dauda, Katlyn Day, Caitlyn Harrison, Jacarla Pope and Camryn Simmons – will join the five other winning teams from across the country to present their app at National Academy Foundation’s annual professional development conference, in Orlando, FL July 2016.

By participating in the Lenovo Scholar Network mobile app development program, students are provided with the knowledge, resources, and practical experiences to support their college and future career success. Students are also granted access to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab’s App Inventor development tool, a web-based tool for creating Android apps, to build and test their apps on Lenovo devices. NAF and MIT work together to provide technical assistance and to develop support materials for teachers using the MIT App Inventor.

Additionally, BCHS is encouraging community to explore the six apps and vote for their “Fan Favorite” now through July 19. The Fan Favorite winner will be announced at the conference and be recognized on stage for their accomplishments.

To learn more about the apps, the Student Teams that collaborated and developed them, and to help choose the 2016 Fan Favorite, visit www.lenovoscholars.com/vote2016.

To find out more about the Lenovo Scholar Network and follow along with students’ app creation journey, visit www.lenovoscholars.com or check out #LenovoScholars on social media.

Congratulations Michigan Chronicle S.W.A.G. Scholarship Finalists

The Michigan Chronicle along with Talmer Bank is holding the First Annual S.W.A.G. (Students Wired for Achievement and Greatness) Scholarship ceremony on Wednesday, May 25 at 6 p.m., at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. The Michigan Chronicle will award 25 scholarships to Detroit High School seniors.

DPS finalists include:

Cass Technical High School

  • Alana Crawford
  • Lisbeth Garcia-Leon
  • Raheida Khalique
  • Terria Davis
  • Alyson Grigsby
  • Jonae’ Maxey
  • Krishana Castro
  • Daria Bailey
  • Shahera Khandaker
  • Chyna Ross
  • Kiryn Swain
  • Lori Goodwin
  • Kala Coston

Detroit International Academy for Young Women

  • Papia Aziz

Detroit School of Arts

  • Ejiro Enajero

Renaissance High School

  • Leonard Rowe
  • Paige Sims
  • Akia Hewitt

Western International High School

  • Lucy Arias

Congratulations finalists!

Calling all 8th graders and their parents or guardians!

Nearly two dozen Detroit Public Schools would like to invite you to a  high school and career and technical education fair! 

Don’t miss out on your chance to secure your placement for the fall! The fair will be held Wednesday, June 1, 2016, 4 – 7 p.m. at Detroit International Academy for Young Women, 9026 Woodward Avenue. There will be free parking and free Refreshments, first come, first served!

You will be able to:

  • Meet High School Representatives!
  • Learn about two-year tuition-free scholarship opportunities!
  • See exciting Career and Technical Program demonstrations!
  • Experience a Henry Ford College/ DPS/ UAW Manufacturing Partnership and Demo!
  • And Learn about Dual Enrollment to obtain college credit while in High School!

Call 313 240-4377 for info! And don’t forget to join us Wednesday, June 1 at Detroit International Academy for Young Women!

2016 Ford Freedom Awards Program

The Annual Ford Freedom Awards Program, sponsored by Ford Motor Company in collaboration with the Charles H. Wright Museum and Detroit News invites middle schools throughout Metro Detroit to encourage students in grades 4-8 to write an essay on a selected theme. This years subject was ” Men Of Courage”.

Three of our middle schools  produced four finalists:

  • Golightly Education Center- 2
  • Paul Robeson Malcolm X Academy -1
  • Wayne Elementary School-1

However, among a total of  14 finalists throughout Greater Detroit, the first place winner is Damond Dixon, a sixth grade student from Golightly Educational Center. He was awarded a $5,000 Scholarship from Ford Motor Company. Congratulations to Principal Shirita Hightower and to Golightly School Counselor Penny McKenzie who encouraged Damond to write when she heard about the relationship he had with his older brother Aaron, a Man of Courage in “his world.” Damond was interviewed by Reporter Vickie Thomas, WWJ/CBS Radio.

This is a first  for DPS! The District has only received honorable mentions in the past! The announcement was made at Orchestra Hall where dozens  of school groups, with half from DPS, were entertained and engaged by an interactive presentation by former Detroit Mayor and NBA Star Player, Dave Bing. Further, school groups were given a nutritional lunch as they boarded the free buses to return to their schools.

All  14 finalists received $250 and a pizza party for their entire classroom!

Damond along with the 2nd-4th place winners and their parents were invited to the evening Max Fisher Gala where celebrity entertainment was on hand.

Submitted by: Dr. Barbara Smith, Director, DPS Office of Guidance & Counseling

Enter the “I Love DPS” Essay Contest!

In support of Detroit Public Schools’ Third Annual Literacy Fair, the Office of Enrollment is calling all DPS students to express their DPS Love in an essay contest! Show your DPS Love by expressing what Detroit Public Schools means to you or what your individual school means to you. We want to hear how and why Detroit Public Schools has impacted or made a difference in your life. Tell us why you love your school! Be creative and passionate!

I Love DPS Essay Contest Details!

Essays must be submitted to your Language Arts/English teachers by May 20, 2016. Schools should email selected essays to enrollment.growth@detroitk12.org by May 27, 2016. If submitting handwritten essays, please scan and email.

Any questions, please call (313) 409-5603.

Maybury Principal Kathleen Keenmon receives Spirit of Detroit Award

Maybury Principal Kathleen Keenmon received the Spirit of Detroit Award on Tuesday, May 10. Principal Keenmon was honored with the award by Detroit City Councilwoman Raquel Castañeda-López.

Read Principal Keenmon’s story: Maybury’s Kathleen Keenmon commended for good citizenship

New Montessori, more STEAM, Honors, Language Immersion schools and programs planned in Detroit Public Schools

Program innovations selected from those submitted by educators in the second year of the District academic proposal solicitation process

Detroit Public Schools Interim General Superintendent Alycia Meriweather announced today that innovative programs in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) will expand, and the first public Montessori schools in Detroit will open as a result of proposals selected from 36 school initiatives developed by teams of DPS principals, teachers and  educators.

The dozen innovations announced today include an Arabic Dual Language Immersion and Technology Academy, an expanded Academy of Blended Learning, accelerated academic programs and smaller high school learning communities.

“Detroit Public Schools teachers, principals and educators are not only focused on their ongoing passion to educate Detroit schoolchildren, but on the task of improving education and making the District more competitive by adding programs that will allow us to better meet the current and future needs of our students and families,” said Interim General Superintendent Alycia Meriweather. “We were thrilled with the number of proposals that our educators submitted this year, which is the second year of this solicitation process at DPS. This year, we received proposals that covered programming in a total of 43 DPS schools, which is 44 percent of our school portfolio.”

All of the new initiatives are designed to raise academic achievement, better service children and families, invigorate communities and enhance enrollment. Academic review teams considered the initial letters of intent from educators, and then sought full proposals on 18 of these through a process that began in February. A total of 12 proposals made the cut for implementation.

The new initiatives for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years include:

  • Montessori/Open Schools;
  • Arabic Dual Language Immersion and Technology Academy;
  • Smaller Learning Communities at Detroit Collegiate Preparatory High School at Northwestern;
  • Project Lead The Way at Cass Tech High School;
  • Additional STEM Academies (Cooke S.T.E.M. Academy of North Rosedale, ready to go for 2016-17; John R. King STEM and Performing Arts Academy, to begin transformation for 2017-18 school year);
  • Over-Age ELL Classroom at Priest;
  • Accelerated program at Mark Twain;
  • Additional outdoor learning opportunities at Neinas Dual Language Learning Academy;
  • Expanded choice offerings for innovative programs at A.L. Holmes Academy of Blended Learning and Clippert Multicultural Honors Academy
  • Grade extensions will take place at Ronald Brown Academy, which will retain its 7th grade, as well as planned grade level additions at Academy of the Americas High School, A. Philip Randolph Technical High School and Neinas Dual Language Learning Academy;
  • DPS has also confirmed that for the third consecutive year there will be no school closures. All current programs will remain active for the 2016-17 school year.

In many cases, such as the Cooke S.T.E.M. Academy of North Rosedale and the A.L. Holmes Academy of Blended Learning, the new programs and offerings will be ready for this school year. In some cases, such as the Montessori/Open Schools, further review is necessary to establish an opening for 2016-17 or for the following year. That determination will be made no later than the end of May. In all cases, it will be assured that programs will be implemented with fidelity, and that all proper planning is in place for success.

The District will also launch a broader effort to look at STEAM and STEM in a holistic way that supports each of the schools interested in this model.

Earlier initiatives implemented successfully in DPS resulting from the first year of the annual academic proposal solicitation process include: Academy of the Americas and A. Philip Randolph High Schools, Ludington Magnet Middle School Honors Program, International Baccalaureate pathway from FLICS and Renaissance High School, Sampson Webber Leadership Academy’s partnership with Lawrence Technological University, and Neinas Dual Language Learning Academy.

These programs have played a key role in recent District enrollment stabilization, helping to raise enrollment by more than 20 percent at some schools, and assisting with the reversal of enrollment declines by up to 35 percent. Taken together, the new programs announced today, when all fully implemented could result in an additional 638 students enrolled or retained in the District, or a potential for more than $4.8 million in added revenue.

To enroll or receive further information on these innovative new programs, parents should call 313-240-4DPS or go to www.detroitk12.org/enroll. Updates on the new programs will be posted at www.detroitk12.org/schoolinnovations .

 

Program Thumbnails

  • Implement the first two PK-2 Montessori/Open School programs in the City of Detroit to create new educational opportunities for parents who want their children to have opportunities to explore, build, negotiate, and create, and to bring to Detroit Montessori’s rich tradition at raising student success for students in most need.
  • Phase in an Arabic Dual Language Immersion and Technology Academy in partnership with key community and educational providers to raise academic performance, increase enrollment from current and new families and serve as a new magnet for educational and social-support services for families whose predominant home languages are English or Arabic.
  • Detroit Collegiate Preparatory High School at Northwestern will adopt the smaller learning community concept for educating students beginning Fall 2016.  Each themed academy would be an integral component of the core of the school campus.  These will include a 9th grade Success Academy, Science Technology Engineering Medicine Academy, and Entrepreneur and Community Leadership Academy, and the Learning Community theme into instruction is expected to occur at all grade levels and within all content areas.
  • Phase in both the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Biological and Computer Science pathways at Cass Technical High School over the next three years. PLTW is a K-12 nationally certified and recognized curriculum and is the nation’s leading provider of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs. PLTW offers a learning approach in science and mathematics that enables students to think deeply, make sense of information, and be able to solve complex problems.
  • Cooke S.T.E.M. Academy (CSA) of North Rosedale will offer all students one hour of hands-on Mathematics infused Science, Technology or Engineering (Robotics or Small engine) exposure daily. The school will also offer monthly Saturday workshops where teams of students will be immersed in real-world applications of a STEM education by completing labs, building models, preparing presentations, or engaging in environmental projects.
  • The transformation of John R. King (STEM) and Performing Arts Academy into two pathways creates options for both students and parents where the school can bring new, emerging students to the school and assist those who are in need of assistance in the Science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM).
  • Priest Elementary Middle School, along with the support of staff and community, will add a classroom for over-aged English Language Learner (ELL) students that is designed to teach basic skills in English. These students will learn the necessary listening, speaking, reading and writing skills that will allow them to effectively communicate with their English-speaking peers.
  • Mark Twain School for Scholars will offer an Accelerated Scholars Advanced Program (A.S.A.P). The impetus behind designing this program is to meet the needs of students who demonstrate advanced skill in the academic area of reading and math. A.S.A.P. will begin on a small scale and continue to grow over the course of three years.
  • Neinas Dual Language Learning Academy is working with partners to transform three vacant lots in front of the school into a Nativescape. Another outdoor classroom would be created to supplement the school’s rich use of outdoor science learning currently.
  • A.L. Holmes Academy of Blended Learning: A.L. Holmes was one of the first K-8 schools in the nation to implement this model schoolwide. The key components of a station-rotation model of blended learning include: flexible student groups, a teacher-led small group instruction rotation, a technology rotation and an independent/collaborative rotation.
  • Clippert Multicultural Magnet Honors Academy: The Honors School choice for Southwest, consistently ranked in the top 5% achieving schools in the State.

Cody MCH’s American Heart Association Metro Detroit Heart Walk Challenge

Medicine and Community Health (MCH) Academy at Cody would like to challenge all Detroit Public Schools to walk in the American Heart Association’s Metro Detroit Heart Walk, on Saturday, May 14 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Wear your school colors to show your school pride! Fundraising is optional.

For more information about the event, visit www.miheartwalk.org. If you accept MCH’s challenge, e-mail sarah.willis@detroitk12.org with your school’s name and the number of students you are expecting to participate.

Interim Superintendent Alycia Meriweather’s Welcome Back Message

Greetings DPS Family,

I want to take this opportunity to welcome everyone back from spring break, and to share some thoughts about how this new season relates to Detroit Public Schools and our important work at hand. Please read below or listen.

The last several years have been extremely challenging for Detroit Public Schools, leaving many of us feeling discouraged and frustrated.  A culture of distrust, fear, and retaliation has been prominent in this District making it very difficult for people to feel good about our working environment.  However, because of our love for our students and a deep desire for them to have what they deserve, we have stayed dedicated to the mission of providing not only instruction, but also multiple other elements of support to our students, parents and each other.  I want to thank each of you for your sincerity and your sacrifice, consistently placing the needs of our students ahead of your own, and withstanding conditions that have been very difficult.  In many ways, I feel that what we have experienced as a district has parallels to the negative traits often affiliated with the winter season.  Usually, Michigan winters are harsh, unforgiving, and seem to last too long.  We all wait with anticipation for spring.

As we observe the current seasonal change, I am struck by the fact that this district needs spring now more than ever, and we have been waiting for a very long time.  We are in need of new growth and life, additional light that provides new perspective, and the time-honored tradition of Spring Cleaning that allows us to sort, retain, and remove.

Alyicia's daffodils for webJust a couple of days ago, the daffodils in my front yard bloomed.  I took a picture and shared it here.  Significant to me is not only the green of the leaves and the yellow of the flowers, but also the contrast between those colors and the dreary brown of the dead leaves left over from the winter.  Interestingly enough, the dead leaves provide compost, nutrients, and insulation for the bulbs hidden underground, but we don’t usually celebrate dead leaves.  There are some DPS traditions and embedded culture that we need to put to rest, and in a very strange way, those decaying experiences have provided a very clear outline of how not to do business, and also allow us to celebrate new beginnings all the more.  There are certainly some things that we have done traditionally that remain beneficial but it is also time for DPS to come from the space that has confined us and move into new ways of thinking and doing business.  I also want us to consider the daffodil as a symbol of a new District culture — a culture of positive and servant leadership, integrity, respect, kindness, and compassion — and to really strive to be what we want our students to see and to become.

The second feature of spring that is important for us to consider is around light.  Once we pass the vernal equinox, the number of minutes of light per day continues to increase.  The additional light allows us to get more done, see things we haven’t seen in recent months, and simply makes us feel better. Additional light is important for DPS because we need to see things we haven’t seen before, and we need to shed light on issues and concerns that have previously been ignored, hidden, or denied. The only way for us to improve is to use the light to our advantage, and have honest dialogue about what should and can be changed, without threat of retaliation or consequence.  Specifically, I want to challenge us to consider what ideas have been abandoned, dismissed or ignored, and placed into the category of “that won’t work here”. These ideas need to be revisited and where appropriate given life. This applies to every level of the organization, from central office to the school level, to the individual classroom.  As a secondary note, just having more light doesn’t automatically cause us to change our perspective, or become honest.  Those are intentional choices.  My second challenge to the DPS family is to be intentional around using the light to call things out that are not correct, to expand our perspective, and to contribute solutions.

Finally, probably one of the most necessary events during this season is Spring Cleaning.  While there may be a few of you reading this who really thrive on this tradition of washing windows, dusting, scrubbing, sorting, and discarding, most of us do not enjoy the process but do appreciate the results.  Detroit Public Schools must do a figurative and literal Spring Cleaning.  We must take an unapologetic approach to examine every angle of our District’s operations; this includes personnel, programs, policies, and personal interactions, both at central office and throughout the district.  Every decision made must be well informed, and be in the best interest of students, staff, and the district as a whole.  I need to be transparent here and say that this Spring Cleaning process, although necessary, will not be easy and may result in decisions that everyone will not like.  However, I am committed to a more inclusive process, so that when major decisions are made, they are not completed in secret by small groups of people.  We need everyone’s help in order to understand the educational ecosystem in Detroit including the assets and liabilities of the current Detroit Public Schools and the creative solutions that may exist with both internal and external partners. My third challenge to the DPS family is to actively participate in the Spring Cleaning process individually within the arenas where you have direct control, to provide honest feedback when asked, and finally to be an active listener when others are sharing their understandings and insights.

In the last few weeks I have received several hundred emails, mostly from current DPS teachers.  The majority of the emails were well wishes, encouragement, and commitments to pray for me and for our district, all of which are much appreciated sentiments.  The other common theme in most emails was around hope; people stating that for the first time in a very long time, they have hope for our District and who we can be in the future.  As the spring season brings hope, it is my intention that we learn some lessons from this natural phenomenon that will provide new life, new perspective, and a time of Spring Cleaning for Detroit Public Schools.  Embracing this process will allow us to become a District that we can collectively be committed to-and proud of-moving forward for the benefit of our students, staff, and this city. I invite each and every one of you to join me on our mission as we usher in a new beginning for Detroit Public Schools. As you know, no one person can do this work alone.  I’m looking forward to working alongside you as we undertake this historical transformation in Detroit Public Schools. Just as the daffodils are transforming my yard’s gloomy space left over by winter, we must do the same for our District, providing both our students and ourselves hope for a bright and successful future.

In gratitude for your faithful service and with hope for a better future,

Alycia Meriweather
Interim Superintendent

Please use this link to access responses from Judge Rhodes to May 18 Board of Education Meeting Questions

Please Click to Access Judge Rhodes’ Responses to May 18 Board Questions

 

Kelsey’s Law Distracted Driving Awareness Scholarship for Michigan Seniors

Michigan Auto Law is proud to announce the first annual Kelsey’s Law Distracted Driving Awareness Scholarship for Michigan high school seniors.

Michigan Auto Law teamed up with Kelsey’s Law, which prohibits the use of cell phones for Level 1 and 2 drivers in the state, and Kelsey’s mother, Bonnie Raffaele, to honor Kelsey, inspire change in teens who drive distracted and help prevent car accidents.

Details for the Kelsey’s Distracted Driving Awareness Scholarship can be found at: www.michiganautolaw.com/kelseys-law-scholarship. Submissions from students can include a video, graphic or Tweet that compels teen drivers to stop distracted driving.

The contest goes through the end of August. In October, Michigan Auto Law will award $5,000 worth of scholarships to Michigan students.

Durfee students visit Sault Ste Marie

Durfee Elementary-Middle School students traveled to the Soo Locks, Sault Ste Marie on Thursday, May 19 for a 3-day educational adventure! The trip was part of a service learning project “Rivers for the Common Good.”

Durfee fourth graders experienced “The Locks” by boat where they gazed upon Lake Superior and hiked through Tahquamenon Falls State Park! The students even slept in the dorms at Lake Superior State University!

Durfee Soo Locks Trip 2016

Greenfield Union Multicultural Event

Students and staff at Greenfield Union Elementary-Middle School hosted a Multicultural Event on Friday, May 20. The event was a huge success that allowed students to learn and acknowledge the contributions and relevance of all mankind.

The students, staff, and visitors dressed in native attire while enjoying native foods from specific regions. Student-lead stations were also in place to discuss the significance of the chosen cultures. Visitors from the Arab-American and Chaldean Council were in attendance in addition to Leaders from Network 2 and the Office of Enrollment.

Special thanks to the Detroit Children’s Museum and all staff and families that provided cultural materials for the event.

School Beautification Project at Paul Robeson Malcolm X Academy

Meemic Insurance Company of Auburn Hills, with a crew of 50 employee volunteers, visited Paul Robeson Malcolm X Academy on Saturday, May 21, 2016 and worked hard to revive the school’s front yard landscape, along with transforming an old storage room into a beautiful teachers’ lounge! The volunteers, including the CEO of Meemic, worked diligently from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. to make the school’s beautification project possible and the PRMX students and faculty are truly grateful!

 

Priest Multicultural Night

Priest Elementary-Middle School held its Multicultural Night on May 11, 2016. This event is one of four family nights that Priest hosts annually.

Students and teachers prepared displays and activities for their countries. Participants collected stamps on a “passport” as they toured the many cultures displayed.

Jamaica served tropical punch, Ireland served shortbread, and Canada held hockey tournaments! Iraq and Yemen provide henna art on hands! The Detroit Children’s Museum provided many artifacts for this event.

Wednesday, May 25 Priest will host a Family Science Night and display students’ science projects for an upcoming Science Fair.

These Family Nights are roaring success every year!

Gompers Gentlemen of Promise Celebrate 7th Annual Mother’s Day Breakfast

The Gompers Gentlemen of Promise celebrated its 7th Annual Mother’s Day Breakfast on Tuesday, May 18. Gompers eighth grade young men spent time with their mothers by honoring them with flowers and songs from the heart.

Gompers Men of Promise was founder by Mr. Kenneth Conley who is an Instructional Specialist, but who is a father determined to give back to the young men at Gompers.

The mission statement of Gentlemen of Promise is a band of brothers who are committed to becoming positive young men in the community and setting concrete examples for the younger generation. The vision is to create an atmosphere conducive to exposing our young men to positive interaction through community service and outreach opportunity and mentorship experiences.

Story and photography provided by: Mr. Harold Harris

DPS Book Stock contest winners

Congratulations 2016 Book Stock contest winners!

  • Davison Elementary-Middle School: Winner, Lay’la Billingslea, Cat and Mouse in a Haunted House
  • Gompers Elementary-Middle School: Latrice Reed, Cinderella 
  • Harms Elementary School: Andres Cordova
  • Chrysler Elementary School: Ivan Ruffin, Encyclopedia Brown Sets the Pace 
  • Davison Elemenatu-Middle School: Nahida Sultana, Dead Girls Don’t Write Letters

The winners were also featured on Live in the D on WDIV!