Monster Jam drivers take 30 DPS STEM students under their wing for learning experience at Ford Field

Students from DPS’ all-girls Detroit International Academy and the all-boys Frederick Douglass Academy met Monster Jam drivers, enjoyed exclusive access to Monster Jam Trucks

View video footage at
View photos from the Detroit News

Feld Motor Sports, Inc. offered Detroit Public Schools’ students a once in a lifetime and exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Monster Jam on Friday, February 27 in connection with the district’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum. Thirty students from the all-girls Detroit International Academy and the all-boys Frederick Douglass Academy met one-on-one with Monster Jam drivers for personal mechanic lessons.

The opportunity provided students educational access to the world’s largest recreational trucks from the world’s most popular Monster Truck series.

Students enjoyed an up close and personal event with the drivers, crews and trucks to learn how they are built and experienced the overall engineering behind the machines.

The trip to Ford Field is part of the Monster Jam Attendance Challenge, where Feld Motor Sports, Inc. partnered exclusively with DPS to help boost attendance rates district-wide. The challenge offered all students who attended school on Count Day,February 11, the chance to receive two free vouchers to attend one of the country’s largest Monster Jam shows at Ford Field on Saturday, February 28!

Monster Truck drivers met with 15 female students from Detroit International Academy and 15 male students from Frederick Douglass Academy who are members of their schools’ STEM and Robotics teams, and who have an interest in the automotive engineering and mechanics fields.

About the schools: Detroit International Academy for Young Women (DIA) is the only public all-girls Pre-K to 12 program in Michigan. DIA offers a college preparatory curriculum in a diverse setting that allows students to excel academically with an emphasis on mathematics, science, technology, engineering and leadership development. DIA has the only all-girls Robotics Team in the district and offers a technologically-rich environment with an abundance of 21st Century tools including SMARTBoards, projectors, computers, Netbooks, Student Response Systems and E-Readers. Frederick Douglass Academy for Young Men provides a private school environment for young men in grades 6-12 in an urban setting. Frederick Douglass is the only tuition-free, all male college preparatory school in the state of Michigan. The school provides an atmosphere for young men to learn and grow and recently launched a new STEM Academy for 8th and 9th grade students.

AAA and DPS Announce New Driver’s Education Scholarship Program

75 Scholarships Available for DPS Students

Download the Application
Download the Schedule

AAA Michigan and Detroit Public Schools have kicked off a new Driver’s Education Scholarship Program. AAA is providing the funding for 75 Driver’s Education Scholarships to help DPS students who may need financial assistance to pay for their driver’s education training and an important step to attaining a Michigan driver’s license. This is part of AAA Michigan’s ongoing commitment to Detroit’s comeback and financial donations totaling over $288K in the last two years in support of multiple public safety efforts in the city.

This opportunity is open to all DPS high school students. Scholarships are currently being distributed to students on a first-come, first-served basis upon completion of an application. Over 46 percent of the scholarships have already been awarded to DPS students. Scholarship recommendations can also be made by principals and teachers.

Students are encouraged to apply for the scholarship by March 9, 2015 in order to register for the spring and summer sessions. For scholarship questions, call 313-240-4377 (4DPS) or visit The next Driver’s Education course begins on April 13, 2015. (See attached Scholarship Application and Driver’s Education schedule for upcoming course dates.)

“AAA is proud to continue its support of Detroit Public Schools students,” said Chuck Podowski, President and CEO, The Auto Club Group. “The donation of these scholarships represents our long-standing belief in the value of education, which includes learning to drive safely. We hope our assistance will allow more teen drivers to increase their independence, expand their employment opportunities, and further their education.”

AAA Michigan is part of The Auto Club Group (ACG), the second largest AAA club in North America with headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan.  ACG and its affiliates provide membership, travel, insurance and financial services offerings to approximately 8.9 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana.  ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with nearly 55 million members in the United States and Canada. Like us on Facebook:

Detroit Public Schools is creating Neighborhood-Centered, Quality Schools at 97 campuses with a mission to provide a comprehensive educational experience that is high-quality, challenging and inspires all students to make a positive contribution to society. DPS offers a wide variety of educational advantages to students and parents including Individualized Learning Maps for all students. New this year, arts/music and sports leagues for boys and girls are being offered at every elementary/middle school. Prekindergarten offerings have been expanded to 70 schools across the district for all qualified 4-year-olds. Twenty-one schools are now open as Community Schools, offering extended hours and services. Students in grades 8-12 enjoy take-home Netbooks and students in grades 6 and up have access to Netbooks in school. An outstanding Fine Arts program with instrumental music, vocal music and dance is also offered. Ongoing advantages include eight parent resource centers, Parent University and additional parenting programs, enhanced safety initiatives, a district-wide Customer Service focus, nine Detroit Rising College Preparatory Schools and DPS-authorized charter schools led by educators with proven track records of raising achievement. In 2014, DPS graduates earned $138 million in grants and scholarships. To learn more about Detroit Public Schools, visit or call 313-240-4DPS.

UPDATE: Count Day “Monster Jam” Vouchers

Please carefully read the memo below regarding Monster Jam Vouchers.

It has been brought to the attention of the Office of Communications that a total of 15 schools listed below have not received Monster Jam vouchers. As shared with each principal individually, we were informed by Feld Motor Sports, Inc. — the company coordinating the Monster Jam event — that some vouchers were not delivered to the DPS Warehouse on Friday, February 20.

The schools that have not received vouchers include:

Zone 1
Cass Tech

Zone 2
Cody APL

Zone 3
King H.S.

Zone 4
A.L. Holmes

Feld Motor Sports, Inc. fully acknowledged that this was their error and they are working to quickly deliver vouchers to those schools by Thursday, February 26, no later than Friday, Feb. 27.

Additional reminders:

  • Please be reminded that we informed parents and principals the vouchers would be delivered during “the week of February 23, 2015.” Therefore, we are still within the original timeline.
  • For schools that have received vouchers: You cannot request additional vouchers above your original request. This number was based on the total number of students that you, or someone from your team, submitted as being present on Count Day.
  • Each school’s attendance totals, along with the names of students, were provided directly to Feld Motor Sports, Inc. Feld Motor Sports, Inc. then packaged the vouchers for each school and delivered them directly to the warehouse. The Office of Communications did not create the packages and is not in possession of extra vouchers.
  • This opportunity is not available to DPS staff members. It is strictly for students.
  • Each student who attended school on Count Day is eligible to redeem two vouchers to “Monster Jam” on February 28, 2015 at Ford Field.
  • Students must have been present for the entire day in order to qualify for the “Monster Jam” vouchers.
  • The vouchers must be redeemed at the Ford Field Box Office.
  • Voucher redemption is subject to availability on a first-come, first-served basis and will not be valid on premium seating.
  • Vouchers can be redeemed at any time on the day of, or before, the event Feb. 28.
  • We strongly encourage redemptions prior to the event day, as there is a limited amount of seating and redemption is not guaranteed.
  • There is a limit of two (2) vouchers per transaction/per student.
  • Additional adjacent seating may be purchased at full price when the vouchers are exchanged at the Box Office.
  • Vouchers cannot be redeemed in large quantities for the entire school at once.

Thank you.

Western boys basketball ends 93-year PSL title drought; King girls stretch championship streak to four

Chuck Johnson
Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics

Two exciting games delivered a crowd-pleasing finale to the Detroit Public School League 2014-15 Big D basketball tournament Friday at University of Detroit Mercy Calihan Hall.

In rising to the occasion and living up to expectations, King’s girls and Western’s boys hoisted the championship trophies and emerged with their unbeaten records intact.


King High Lady Crusaders four-time defending PSL girls basketball champions

Coach William Winfield’s Lady Crusaders (12-0 league, 18-0 overall) are PSL champions for the fourth year in a row after defeating Cass Tech 66-53 in the first game of the championship doubleheader.


2014-15 Western International Cowboys win school’s first PSL boys basketball title since 1922

In the nightcap, Western held on for a 46-45 victory against Renaissance to earn the school’s first PSL boys’ basketball title since 1922. Coach Derrick McDowell’s Cowboys (13-0 league, 17-0 overall) have been the state’s No. 1-ranked team most of the season.

Senior guard Janae Williams led King’s victory with 24 points and 12 rebounds. Williams was honored between games with the Miss PSL award, which goes annually to the league’s top senior as voted by the coaches.  The boys’ coaches selected Ford’s Joshua Davis as the Mr. PSL recipient.

The PSL’s top two girls teams return to action Thursday with the Operation Friendship games. The games will be played at Birmingham Marian High School, featuring PSL runners-up Cass Tech (11-2 league, 14-4 overall) against Catholic League runners-up Dearborn Divine Child at 5 p.m., followed by PSL champion King against Catholic League champion Birmingham Marian at 7 p.m.

The boys’ Operation Friendship games are scheduled for Saturday, March 7 at U-D Mercy Calihan Hall. PSL runners-up Renaissance (8-5 league, 12-7 overall) will play the yet-to-be-determined Catholic League runners-up at 1 p.m. followed by PSL champion Western against the yet-to-be-determined Catholic League champions at 3 p.m.

For photos of the Big D finals PSL championship doubleheader, click on the Detroit Public School League page on Facebook:
Western 46, Renaissance 45
King 66, Cass Tech 53


School of the Week: Henderson Academy


This is the number of male mentors that Principal Deborah Manciel is determined to secure for the 443 young men of Henderson Academy. Through programs such as My Brother’s Keeper launched in January 2015, roughly 40 male students have been introduced to positive, career-driven male role models who help the students prepare for high school, college and career readiness. Seeing the impact that the program is having on her students, Manciel is putting out a call to action for more male mentors at Henderson.

Located on the city’s west side in the Cody Rouge neighborhood, the community surrounding Henderson is known to be tough, Manciel says. But programs like My Brother’s Keeper, DAPCEP (Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program), STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) programs, the 2015 Future City Competition, and the Michigan Department of Education’s TRAC Program – coupled with educators who treat each student as their own children – help Henderson students realize their success isn’t defined by their zip code.

“Every day, I try to remind my students that in spite of life’s challenges, they can live out their dreams,” says Manciel, a 35-year veteran educator. “In spite of their plight, circumstances, or social status, they can overcome all of those obstacles and achieve whatever they want by obtaining a high-quality education. And we give them that here at Henderson.”

Positive Role Models
Serving roughly 800 students, Henderson offers grades Pre-K-8. Although just as many mentoring programs are in place for girls, Manciel said she feels a special need to secure one-on-one mentorships for the boys.

The men of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated, Xi Beta Sigma Chapter, announced a partnership with Detroit Public Schools in January to provide the My Brother’s Keeper mentoring program at Henderson, the first school in the district to adopt the nation-wide program. Launched by President Barack Obama, My Brother’s Keeper aims to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential.

Through this initiative, the Administration is joining with cities, towns, businesses, and foundations who are taking important steps to connect young people to mentoring, support networks, and the skills needed to enter college and gain successful careers.

“They are really starting to turn our students around,” Manciel says. “I see a lot of character building and leadership molding. It’s only the beginning, but I see a difference. Our young men need these types of relationships to succeed in life.”

On the right “TRAC”
Efforts to ensure students prosper at Henderson go far beyond mentoring programs.

Educators like 7th grade science and DAPCEP teacher Wanda Bryant and Dianna Chapple, who teaches cognitively impaired 6th through 8th grade special education students, are constantly looking for new programs to provide their students with exposure to various careers.

Bryant’s students participate in a program titled TRAC (Transportation and Civil Engineering) sponsored by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). The students have been charged with building different transportation modules including a bridge module where the students utilize engineering software to design a bridge. Once the design is complete, they have to build a 12-inch bridge made of wood. The bridge that holds the most weight will win the MDOT TRAC competition. All program proposals were due on February 20, 2015. If Henderson’s bridge module is selected, the students will travel to Grand Rapids to stay overnight and compete against schools across the state.

Having such life-changing opportunities is the type of education that Henderson provides to its students, Bryant says.

“I have found that knowledge is power. And for many of our students, if they are made aware of the programs that are out there, that will give them more opportunities to make decisions regarding their career choices.”

Building Future Leaders
Both Bryant and Chapple coordinated separate groups of students to participate in the 2015 Future City Competition presented by the Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD) on January 26 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. Students from Bates Academy, Blackwell Institute, Clippert Academy, Durfee Elementary-Middle School and Henderson Academy participated in the annual Future City Competition. Henderson students took home awards for “Best Use of Materials” and “Most Healthy Community.”

According to ESD, Future City is a cross-curricular educational program where students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades imagine, design, and build cities of the future. Over a four-month period, students work as a team with an educator and volunteer mentor to design a virtual city using SimCity software; research and write an essay addressing the contest theme; build a model of their city using recycled materials; write a brief narrative promoting their city; and present their city before a panel of judges at the Regional Competition.

Bryant’s students created a city with white streets that better reflect energy to keep the climate cooler, vertical rooftop farms, and buildings with LED Lighting.

Chapple’s special education students built a city with lots of parks, clean air, and places where they can ride bikes. The group won the award for the healthiest city from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

“I noticed that when my kids competed in the Future City Competition – where they were the only special education class that competed, and they came back with a trophy – a lot of kids began to realize, ‘They’re just as smart as us,’” says Chapple. “Just because they may have trouble with reading, they may be pretty good in another subject.”

Chapple said she was most proud of her students’ social interaction and developing new friends.

“When they first got there, they had a hard time talking,” she recalls. “But after about two hours, a few engineers came up to talk with them to describe their city, and they began to open up.

“Building communication skills and confidence were my main objectives. Of course they can learn what kinds of careers are out there for engineers, but for my kids, they learned how to work as a team and share their thoughts with others.”

Chapple’s students have a few more bragging rights outside of winning the Future City Competition Healthiest City Award. Five students recently competed in the Special Winter Olympics and all earned medals in snowshoeing. They also participated in the Special Olympics: Project UNIFY where special education students are paired with traditional education students to help build respect toward everyone’s differences.

More offerings at Henderson: Creative Writing, Computer Labs, Netbooks, Robotics, Conflict Resolution, Mobile Library, Cheerleading, Basketball, Physical Education, Project Seed, Glory Math, Response to Intervention, Tutoring/Extended Day Program, Accelerated Reading/Math Program, Arts, DAPCEP, Go Green Environmental Program.

Due to severe cold temperatures and wind chill levels, all Detroit Public Schools will be closed on Monday, February 23, 2015. Central Office operations will remain open.

Due to severe cold temperatures and wind chill levels, all Detroit Public Schools will be closed on Monday, February 23, 2015. Central Office operations will remain open.

Tips for Staying Healthy During Flu and Cold Season

Download the flyer

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of February 6, 2015, despite declines in some key indicators, flu remains widespread across most of the country and severity indicators are still high.

National influenza-like-illness levels are declining slowly; at a regional level some parts of the country are seeing declines in activity while other parts of the country are seeing increases. According to the MDCH (Michigan Department of Community Health), Influenza (flu) activity remains at widespread levels in Michigan and across nearly all of the U.S.

Detroit Public Schools is taking a proactive approach to fighting colds and the flu in our schools. It is important to know the symptoms:

  • fever*
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • body aches
  • headache
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • sometimes diarrhea and vomiting

*It’s important to note that not everyone with the flu will have a fever. You can take some steps to stay healthy during these winter months.

Please use these tips to cut down your child’s risk of getting sick:

  • Encourage regular hand-washing with soap and water. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cough and sneeze into your sleeve and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with your hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick. Do not return to work or school until you are free of fever, vomiting and diarrhea for 24 hours without the aid of medication.
  • Drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest.

If your child comes down with the flu, watch carefully for signs of complications. Seek medical attention if your child has difficulty breathing, appears limp or extremely weak, is confused or does not respond, has a fever over 104 or a fever that lasts more than 48 hours, or a very dry mouth with no urine output for 8 hours. Call Children’s Hospital of Michigan Nurse Triage (313) 745-KIDS (313 745-5437) if you have any questions. Remember, children must be fever free for 24 hours before returning to school.

If you have questions about whether or not your child should attend school due to illness, please contact your child’s school. You can learn more about how to prevent the spread of the flu by visiting the CDC website.

PSL All-City basketball players to take a bow between championship games Friday at Calihan Hall

Chuck Johnson
Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics

Players selected to the Detroit Public School League 2014-15 All-City girls’ and boys’ basketball teams will be introduced Friday between championship games  of the Big D finals doubleheader at University of Detroit Mercy Calihan Hall.

The top 15 players, as voted by league coaches, comprise a first team, second team and third team and are listed (below) in order of how they finished in the balloting.

In addition to the All-City teams, this year’s Mr. PSL basketball and Miss PSL basketball will be announced between games. The awards represent the top boy and girl senior player as voted by the coaches and are presented annually by the Horatio Williams Foundation.

The PSL championship doubleheader starts at 5 p.m. with the girls’ game between three-time defending league champion King (11-0 league, 17-0 overall) and Cass Tech (11-1 league, 14-3 overall).

The 7:30 p.m. boys’ game matches No. 1-ranked Western (12-0 league, 16-0 overall) against Renaissance (8-4 league, 12-6 overall). Admission is $10

The 2014-15 All-City Basketball Teams


FIRST TEAM: Brailen Neely, 5-10 guard, Jr., Western; Karmari Newman 6-3 guard, Jr., East English Village; Justin Turner, 6-4 guard, Jr., Renaissance; Joshua Davis, 6-5 forward, Sr., Ford; Marquel Ingram, 6-3 guard, Sr., Pershing
SECOND TEAM: James Smith III, 6-2 guard, Jr., Douglass; Armani Lee, 6-4 guard, Sr., King; Robert Edwards, 6-3 forward, Sr., Cass Tech; Terrance Sewell, 6-3 guard, Jr., DCP-Northwestern; Demonte Jones, 5-7 guard, Jr., CMA
THIRD TEAM: Anthony Johnson, 6-5 forward, So., Southeastern; DeAndre May, 5-10 guard, Sr., Osborn; Jalen Hairston, 6-3 guard-forward, Sr., CMA; James Towns, 6-1 guard, Jr., Ford; Daniel Jefferies, 6-5 guard, Sr., Central

FIRST TEAM: Siyeh Frazier, 5-9 guard, Jr., Renaissance; K’lynn Willis, 5-4 guard, Sr., Cass Tech; Janae Williams, 5-8 guard, Sr., King;  Icesis Chandler-Poole, 6-0 guard-forward, Sr., DCP-Northwestern;  Brittany Hill, 5-9 guard, Jr., Pershing
SECOND TEAM: Taylor Parker, 5-7 guard, Sr., Cass Tech; Malayasia McHenry, 6-3 center, Sr., King; Tyesha Hood, 6-4 center, Sr., Mumford; Tiera Thomas, 5-9 guard, Jr., Ford; Deanna Fletcher, 6-0 forward, Jr., Mumford
THIRD TEAM:  Vantanae Garrett, 5-7 guard, Fr. CMA; Candice Tate, 5-7 guard, Sr., Cass Tech; Micaela Kelly, 5-8 guard, Jr., King; Alicia Norman, 5-4 guard, So., King;  Iresis Chandler-Poole, 6-0 forward-center, Sr., DCP-Northwestern


Six Detroit Public Schools ranked as Academic State Champs by Bridge Magazine

DPS_0058In February 2015, Bridge Magazine announced its first-ever rankings for thousands of Michigan schools as the 2014 Academic State Champs. More than 3,200 schools (traditional public schools and charters) were judged on state and national test scores over three years, with student income levels factored in for each school.

Four DPS elementary schools and three middle schools were ranked on the list of Bridge Magazine’s Academic State Champs:

Elementary Schools

  • Thirkell Elementary-Middle School*
  • Chrylser Elementary School
  • Davison Elementary-Middle School*
  • Dixon Educational Learning Academy

*Ranked among the Top 10 Michigan Elementary Schools

Middle Schools

  • Davison Elementary-Middle School*
  • Burton International Academy
  • Clippert Academy

*Ranked among the Top 10 Michigan Middle Schools

Martin Luther King, Jr. Education Center, a DPS-authorized charter school, was also ranked as one of the Top Schools in Michigan by Bridge Magazine.