Save the Date for the All Schools S.T.E.A.M.y Showcase April 2

Save the date for the district’s first ever All Schools S.T.E.A.M.y Showcase at Eastern Market on Sunday, April 2.

The theme, “Schools of Detroit” will be showcased throughout the shed. It will be subdivided geographically with “streets the showcase DPSCD schools and neighborhoods of Detroit.

Several partners will participate to provide a true Detroit scene to welcome our families, students and neighbors.

Please visit our Facebook Page and click going to this event. Join the celebration by sharing updates on Facebook leading to this grand event.

Congratulations DPSCD students who have garnered internships

Today the Interim Superintendent Alycia Meriweather acknowledge students who have been selected for summer internships. Congratulations!!

Check out this list of students who have gone above and beyond to earn internships in their field of choice. Internships are a great way to get a head start on a career path!

Student Work-Based Learning Internship Program

Last Name First Name Internship Placement
Anderson Jay Ia Perkins Law Group
Bradford Jennifer Detroit School for Digital Technology
Bricest Johnathon Detroit School for Digital Technology
Cole Jordin DTE
Collins Michael Detroit News
Del Angel Gisell Detroit School for Digital Technology
Enriquez Alejandra Detroit School for Digital Technology
Forman Tanai-Jah Shinola
Haliburton Stephanie Detroit Land Bank
Hough Rashay Shinola
Johnson Erica Golightly CTC
Johnson LaS Detroit EM News
Kincannon Tonaya DPSCD- Information Technology Dept.
Lake LaCharity PCI, LLC
Lovejoy Bryan Detroit EM News
Mandujano Jessica Detroit School for Digital Technology
Manning LaShanda Detroit School for Digital Technology
Matthews Ar’Lynda Perkins Law Group
Mattison DeMarco Detroit News
Mitchell Lance DPSCD- Information Technology Dept.
Ross Amiyah Detroit EM News
Sana Sajjad Academy of Information Technology
Scott Lorenzo Detroit Police Dept.
Thompson K’veon DPSCD-Office of Enrollment

DPSCD Welcomes EAA Families to Join Town Hall Meetings

Welcome to DPSCD!WELCOME ALL EAA FAMILIES!

The DPSCD family is extending a warm welcome to all EAA families, students and staff. Please join us at an upcoming Town Hall meeting at one of the EAA schools near you. These Town Hall meetings are designed to share information, provide answers to your questions and connect to make sure your student has a smooth transition in the fall.

Please download the schedule and share it with your neighbors. A post will also be added to our Facebook page for easy sharing.

S.T.E.A.M.y Winter Events Fun Family Educational Activities

DPSCD and Major Arts and Science Organizations Partner on Series of Winter S.T.E.A.M. Events: #STEAMYWINTER

LIST OF ALL EVENTS

Detroit Public Schools Community District and major partners from the city’s largest and most exciting arts and scientific museums and venues announced a series of free, fun and exciting events with a S.T.E.A.M. theme to engage DPSCD families in learning activities after school hours at the participating venues and at well-known family-friendly spots, including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Institute of Arts, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Belle Isle Nature Center, Michigan Science Center, Detroit Public Library, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Eastern Market and The Rink at Campus Martius Park. Other partnering organizations include Downtown Detroit Partnership, Detroit Public Television, detroitpbskids.org, and the Detroit Public Schools Foundation.

We will use #STEAMyWinter to highlight venues and events for the community to engage in this unique learning opportunity with our partners.

Many of the events will be open to the public, thanks to the partnering organizations. Some events will be specifically for invited DPSCD/EAA students that selected educators will choose based their display of S.T.E.A.M. ingenuity. Those students – called DPSCD S.T.E.A.M.-gineers – and a family member will receive special invitations. In cases where there are a limited number of slots for an event, DPSCD will make available a small number of free tickets for prospective students.

Details on how to RSVP for events with a limited number of tickets are listed below.

S.T.E.A.M.y Events

*Belle Isle Nature Center

176 Lakeside Drive, Detroit, 48207

Family-Friendly Birds and Bees Event

Saturday, Feb. 11, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 

Free Public event

Family-friendly Valentine’s event on “love” in nature with music, photography, bird seed and “bee mine” crafts and zookeeper talks on bird conservation & U.S. Forest Service. Nature Ambassador Joe Reilly concert at 2 p.m.

*Detroit Public Library – Main Library

5201 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, 48202

Concert: An Evening with Daniel Washington

Wednesday, Feb. 15, 7- 9 p.m.

Free Public Event

The DPL presents the 73rd Annual E. Azalia Hackley Collection Concert, “An Evening with Daniel Washington.” Dr. Daniel Washington, Professor of Voice at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, & Dance, has performed at the world’s major opera houses and concert stages.

*Michigan Science Center

5020 John R St, Detroit, 48202

Sunday, Feb. 19, 1 p.m., 3 p.m.

Dream Big IMAX® film

Limited free admission for DPSCD and prospective DPSCD students

DPSCD students only RSVP here for the 1 p.m. show: DPSCD Dream Big at the IMAX at 1 p.m.  THIS EVENT IS FULL. 

DPSCD students only RSVP here for the 3 p.m. show: DPSCD Dream Big at the IMAX at 3 p.m. THIS EVENT IS FULL. 

Prospective DPSCD students only RSVP here for the 1 p.m. show: Dream Big IMAX film at 1 p.m. THIS EVENT IS FULL

Prospective DPSCD students only RSVP here for the 3 p.m. show: Dream Big IMAX film at 3 p.m. THIS EVENT IS FULL. 

Select DPSCD/EAA students will receive exclusive free access to visit the Michigan Science Center and view the new IMAX® film –  Dream BigEngineering Our World. One hundred limited free admissions available for prospective DPSCD students. First come, first served; RSVP details to be at detroitk12.org/enroll beginning February 1.

*Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit – MOCAD

4454 Woodward Ave, Detroit, 48201

Contemporary Interactive Art Experience

Saturday, Feb. 18, noon

Free Public Event

The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit invites DPSCD students and their families to view The Architectural Imagination, an exhibition featuring drawings and models of imaginary buildings designed for real locations in Detroit (a lot in Mexicantown, a riverfront post office, parcels along the Dequindre Cut, and the Packard Plant) and to design their own dream buildings using their imaginations and the inspirational materials provided.

*Drew Farm at Drew Transition Center

9600 Wyoming Ave, Detroit, 48204

Starry Night at Drew Farm

Friday, Feb. 24, 6-8 p.m.

Free Public Event with RSVP

DPSCD Office of School Nutrition and Garden Collaborative offer a “Starry Night at Drew.” Event includes a cooking demo, healthy snacks, nature walk and bird feeder crafts at Drew Farms. RSVP required.  Please call 313-651-3457 or email garden.program@detroitk12.org to reserve.

*Detroit Symphony Orchestra, atrium

3711 Woodward Avenue Detroit, 48201

Concert and Activities: “Star Wars at the Max”

Saturday, Feb. 25, noon-1:30 p.m.

Limited free tickets for for DPSCD and prospective DPSCD students

DPSCD students only: RSVP here  –> DSO at the Max  THIS EVENT IS ALMOST FULL.

Prospective DPSCD students only: RSVP here –> DSO at the Max

DPSCD Montessori families only: RSVP here –> DPSCD Montessori Families

Tots to middle school students experience a Star Wars performance by a small ensemble of DSO Musicians, plus art and music making activities. Star Wars costumes welcomed. Limited free public tickets for prospective DPSCD students.  RSVP at detroitk12.org/enroll beginning February 1.

*Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History 

315 East Warren Ave, Detroit, 48201

“Meet the Scientist Saturday”

Saturday, Feb. 25, 2-4 p.m. 

Free Public Event

Curious students, young Einsteins, or future tech wizards who are always thinking of the next big thing are invited to discover and explore science with activities led by scientists and technologists with the hands-on exhibit, Inspiring Minds: African Americans in Science and Technology! Visit the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History for “Meet the Scientist Saturday” featuring David Head & Dr. Terrance Dillard on Saturday, February 25, 2017 from 2-4 p.m.

*The Rink at Campus Martius Park

800 Woodward Ave, Detroit, 48226

DPSCD Robotics on Ice

Sunday, Feb. 26, 10 a.m.

Free Public Viewing Event

DPSCD showcases a “Robotics on Ice” competition with invited DPSCD students at 10 a.m. Public is invited to view. Families can engage in Chess in the Park activities, sample cherry slurpies by DPSCD nutrition staff.

 

*Detroit Institute of Arts

5200 Woodward Ave, Detroit, 48202

“Get S.T.E.A.M.ed at the DIA”

Saturday, March 4, 11 a.m.- 2 p.m.

Free Public Event

Discover “Science Behind the Art,” a virtual field trip produced by DPTV, on the science of the DIA’s Conservation Lab; investigate technologies and innovations of ancient civilization; Career talk by Andrea Montiel De Shuman, Digital Experience Designer; Gallery games, drop-in workshops and more.

*Detroit Institute of Music Education (DIME)

1265 Griswold St, Detroit, 48226

DIME for a Dime

Sunday, March 5, noon-3 p.m.

Limited Free Public Tickets for DPSCD and prospective DPSCD students

DPSCD students only RSVP here: DPSCD DIME for a Dime

Prospective DPSCD students only RSVP here: DIME for a Dime event at noon

One-day event where students aged 12-19 can attend up to four 30-minute classes with the industry-professional faculty of DIME Detroit. Subject areas covered are guitar, bass, drums, vocals, songwriting and music business. Students rotate between designated classrooms. Very limited free tickets for prospective DPSCD students. Reserve at detroitk12.org/enroll beginning February 1.

 *Randolph Career and Technical Center

17101 Hubbell Street, Detroit 48235

Tour Innovative Programs/Free Home Repair Demos

Saturday, March 11th / 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Free Public Event with

RSVP here: STEAMy event at Randolph

Explore the innovative Skilled Trades and Business programs at Randolph and be amazed as you preview firsthand our Tiny House and Solar Paneling Project! In addition, while touring the facility, learn about our new, state of the art programs starting in fall of 2017. As a bonus, pick up quick tips from our free home repair demonstrations.

*Eastern Market, Shed 3

DPSCD “All Schools” S.T.E.A.M. Showcase

2934 Russell Street MI 48207

April 2, noon-3 p.m.

Free Public Event

Discover “Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math” S.TE.A.M. events with representatives of every DPSCD school. Give-aways! Science, tech and agricultural arts demonstrations. Learn about tuition-free Montessori, foreign language immersion and more.

####

The partners overwhelmingly chimed in with their support.

“Art is critical to helping children and families connect to our shared history and understand creative problem solving,” said Salvador Salort-Pons, Director of the Detroit Institute of Arts. “We are thrilled to be able to devote a day to demonstrating to DPSCD students and families the many ways that art and science intersect.”

“DIME takes community outreach work seriously, and embraces every opportunity to support and contribute to the development of Detroit’s music communities. We believe that contemporary popular music is a valid and valuable field of study, and that the modern music business offers varied and exciting careers for those who have the right skills and knowledge. Studying at DIME enables students to acquire the skills which are necessary for sustainable long term careers,” said Karl Middleton Head of Institute. “Our event on March 5th offers aspiring, young musicians the chance to attend a variety of informative, introductory classes and gain insight into DIME’s unique approach to music education.”

“At the Michigan Science Center, we believe that all children and all communities should have access to STEM experiences that spark their curiosity and encourage imagination,” said Dr. Tonya Matthews, president and CEO, Michigan Science Center. “Our newest IMAX® film, Dream Big, offers the perfect opportunity to inspire DPSCD students and their families. The film reveals how a diverse group of engineers is pushing the limits of innovation, proving that STEM is for everyone.”

“As part of our commitment to offering incredible musical experiences for all members of our community, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra is always seeking ways to be an advocate for Detroit students,” said DSO President and CEO Anne Parsons. “This partnership with DPSCD is the perfect opportunity to join with our arts and science colleagues and create an unforgettable series of events for Detroit families.”

“We are committed to providing unique learning opportunities that lead to the appreciation and stewardship of wildlife and wild places,” said Ron Kagan, executive director and CEO of the Detroit Zoological Society. “We are pleased to be working with our community partners in sharing authentic and meaningful STEAM-based educational experiences for our youth.”

“The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History is thrilled to be part of this DPSCD partnership. Today’s learners are tomorrow’s leaders.  This robust cultural collaboration makes learning STEAM exciting and unforgettable.  We look forward to welcoming participants to the Wright Museum,” said LaNesha DeBardelaben, Senior Vice President of Education & Exhibitions, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

“We are excited to support this effort because it only strengthens our ability to be in the community and amplify the work we’ve been doing with parents and educators,” said Tara Hardy, DPTV’s Education Specialist. “We are committed to our mission of engaging children in learning through our programming and various initiatives such as Digital Adventure and the new Detroit PBS KIDS 24/7 Channel.”

Amy Corle, MOCAD’s Curator of Education and Public Engagement, says that “MOCAD’s newest exhibition, The Architectural Imagination, is filled with perfect examples of how Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics intersect in the real world. We’re excited to show students and their families some of the wonderful possibilities that can happen when S.T.E.A.M skills and unlimited imagination are combined.”

“The Detroit Public Library will joyfully continue to support and encourage the Detroit Public Schools Community District families through fun and engaging S.T.E.A.M. events,” stated Atiim J. Funchess, Assistant Director for Marketing & Communications, The Detroit Public Library.

“The DPS Foundation is proud to support the district’s S.T.E.A.M.y Series of events,” said Pamela Moore, President and CEO of the DPS Foundation. It’s part of the mission of the Foundation to support S.T.E.A.M. in education and career pathways, and we have directed hundreds of thousands of dollars in supportive grants to initiatives that support Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts and Math in our schools! We highly encourage industry and community partners to reach out to us to see how you, too, can make a difference by supporting our students through donations to the Foundation.”

DPSCD’s Board to Host Superintendent Candidates’ Day in the District

Candidate schedules include school visits, community meetings and open interview sessions

The DPSCD Board of Education announced the superintendent candidates’ interview schedules today, which includes school visits, community meetings and a public interview session conducted by board members.

DPSCD’s three superintendent finalists, Dr. Orlando Ramos, Dr. Nikolai Vitti and Derrick Coleman have 12-hour interview schedules. They will start their day with an overview of the district’s finance and academic departments culminating with an open session interview conducted by the DPSCD Board of Education at 6 p.m. on each of their designated interview dates.

In addition to an overview of the district and the open interview session, the three candidates will have an opportunity to visit schools, meet staff, educators, parents and students. Supplementary public meetings are also scheduled with members of the community including faith-based, labor and business stakeholders. The board is seeking to avail the candidates to as many of the district’s key stakeholders as time will permit.

WHEN:     Wednesday, March 29, 2017 – Dr. Orlando Ramos
                   Monday, April 3, 2017 – Dr. Nikolai Vitti
Wednesday, April 5, 2017 – Derrick Coleman

WHERE:   Please see attached schedule for public meetings

Congratulations to the Winners of the NAACP Detroit 27th Annual Art and Essay Contest

Congratulations to our students and their teachers and schools!!

The Detroit Branch NAACP will host a reception for the winner on March 28 for formal recognition.

We are pleased to share with you the following DSCD student winners:

Elementary School

*1st Place Elementary Essay Justin Cunningham,  5th Grade        FLICS               Brandy Walker

*2nd Place Elementary Essay       Jay Cheatam, 5th Grade                FLICS               Brandy Walker

3rd Place Elementary Essay  Sanjida Zaman, 2nd Grade        Davison        Dr. Shraddha Jha

*1st Elementary Art              Kyla Hill, 5th Grade                FLICS               Brandy Walker

*2nd Place Elementary Art   Taryn Edwards, 5th Grade        FLICS               Brandy Walker

*3rd Place Elementary Art    Janiya Williams, 4th Grade        Dossin            Sharita Brooks

Middle School

*1st Place Middle Essay                Kennedi Reed, 7th Grade        Paul Robeson K. Jackson

*2nd Place Middle Essay               Joy James, 8th Grade             Paul Robeson Gregory Moore

*3rd Place Middle Essay               Carmen Tyson, 7th Grade        Paul Robeson Gregory Moore

*1st Place Middle Art           Demondray Brooks, 6th Grade        Duke Ellington       Larry Lambert

*3rd Place Middle Art           Ashley Mendez, 6th Grade        Munger          Glen Crawford

High School

*1st Place High Essay            Devin Heard, 12th Grade          Renaissance   Charlene Highsaw

*2nd Place High Essay           Kayla McCoy, 12th Grade        Renaissance   Charlene Highsaw

*3rd Place High Essay            Makyla Wheatley, 11th Grade        Cody – Medicine   Sarah Willis

*1st Place High Art        Raina Allen, 12th Grade         Renaissance   Charlene Highsaw

*2nd Place High Art               Jose House, Jr. 12th Grade        Cass        William Brown

*3rd Place High Art               Ivett Martinez, 12th Grade        Cass        William Brown

Statement from the Board Regarding Lawsuit Filed to Prohibit the SRO from Closing Schools

In an effort to block the state’s attempt to close schools, the Detroit Public Schools Community District has filed a Complaint for Declaratory Judgment and a motion for Preliminary Injunctive Relief against the State School Reform Office with the State of Michigan Court of Claims.

The Complaint outlines the grounds for its action including the following:

  • The SRO failed to publish a valid annual list of the lowest achieving 5 percent of schools in the state, as a precedent for closure.
  • Schools must be on the closure list for 3 years. The new district has not been in operation for three years, so its schools do not qualify for closure.
  • The SRO was given powers that are ill-defined, completely open-ended and, subject to arbitrary enforcement through a legislative act that may have been a constitutional violation.

“As a board, we are looking at several strategies to ensure our students have access to high-quality schools in every neighborhood. These strategies include a robust, research-based improvement plan, potential changes in the current legislation, partnering with the MDE, and looking at the capacity footprint of the district. This litigation is one of the strategies available to us,” said Iris Taylor, board president.

“We firmly believe DPSCD is entitled to operate schools for at least three years without the threat of closure or other SRO intervention. This issue must be resolved because our parents and children deserve stability. We do not want to be in this same space again next year. We cannot be expected to grow and improve if the threat of closure continuously looms over us. Amid our challenges, we are ever mindful that our goal is to equip and prepare our children for bright futures.”

DPSCD Board Selects Three Finalists for Superintendent

After conducting a nation-wide search, DPSCD Board of Education narrowed its search for superintendent down to three potential finalists during a Special Board Meeting.

“As a school board, our focus and our goal is always to do what is best for the children. This is our primary consideration in everything we do, and is also at the forefront of our thinking during this process.” said Board President, Iris Taylor.

The district retained Ray and Associates for the search in late January, followed by extensive community engagement that included surveys and focus groups. The highly competitive process attracted 75 applicants from around the country.

The search firm narrowed the applicants down to the 10 most highly qualified candidates and delivered those applications to the board on Thursday. The board reviewed the application packages, including videos in closed session without discussing the merits of each candidate in compliance with the Open Meetings Act. Board members were then given an individual number for anonymity and each member scored the applicants individually and submitted their score cards to the search firm. The firm then tallied the scores of applicants and gave each applicant a number prior to going into open session, so that names could remain confidential.

In open session, the board discussed the applicants, by number only, and further narrowed the selection down to three potential finalists. Those individuals are as follows:

Nikolai Vitti, superintendent of Duval County Public Schools.

Derrick R. Coleman, superintendent of the River Rouge district.

Orlando Ramos, regional superintendent for Milwaukee Public Schools.

Although DPSCD’s Interim Superintendent Alycia Meriweather was not named in the current round of potential finalists, the board would like to acknowledge her contributions during the past 12 months. “We have high regard and a great appreciation for Alycia’s efforts in moving the district forward. We are pleased that she will continue in her role through the end of the school year and we look forward to working with her in future endeavors.” said Taylor.

Meriweather’s existing contract under the previous administration is set to expire on June 30 according to PA192. The board reaffirmed the contract on March 14 to assure compliance with the law.

Next Steps in the Superintendent Search Process

Potential finalists will be given a rigorous interview schedule in the upcoming weeks. Interviews will be open to the public and will engage all DPSCD stakeholders including, but not limited to DPSCD staff, business leaders, elected officials and community residents.

“We are pleased to continue the vetting process of selecting a permanent superintendent to lead our district,” said Taylor. “The board will exercise due diligence to assure that the best candidate is chosen.”

DPSCD is Proud to Announce Cydney Gardner Brown and Oluwakemi Dauda Named 2017 Coca-Cola Scholars

One of the Nation’s Premiere Scholarship Programs Award
Detroit Students $20,000 for College

Cydney Gardner Brown (Renaissance), and Oluwakemi Dauda (Ben Carson), are exceptional Detroit Public Schools Community District seniors. They have been recognized among the country’s most outstanding high school leaders by the Coca‑Cola Scholars Foundation and have been awarded a $20,000 college scholarship. As a member of the 29th class of Coca‑Cola Scholars, Gardner Brown and Dauda not only exemplify superior leadership, service, and academics – they are change agents, positively affecting others in this community. Gardner Brown and Dauda were selected from a pool of nearly 86,000 initial applicants from across the country.

“This year’s Coca Cola Scholars were selected from over 86,000 applicants nationwide, which is highly competitive. Congratulations to Cydney and Oluwakemi, our two DPSCD winners,” said Alycia Meriweather, Interim Superintendent. “Your hard work has paid off, and will now contribute to your next level of education. We are proud of you!”

The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, a joint effort of Coca-Cola bottlers across America and The Coca-Cola Company, is one of the largest corporate-sponsored, achievement-based scholarship programs of its kind in the United States. The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation was established in 1986 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Coca-Cola and to bring better to the world through investment in exceptional high school students who are dedicated to leadership, service, and action that positively affects others. Including the 2017 class of Coca-Cola Scholars, the Foundation has awarded over 5,850 Coca‑Cola Scholars with a total of $62.5 million in scholarships. The Coca-Cola system believes that investing in students who are leaders, both academically and in service to others, will result in positive, lasting change and sustainable communities.

“Gardner Brown and Dauda are part of a diverse group of extraordinary high school seniors that have shown a steadfast commitment to educational excellence, leadership and service to the school and community,” said Claude Nielsen, Chairman of the Board of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and retired President and Chief Executive Officer of Coca-Cola Bottling Company United in Birmingham, AL. “The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation is proud to name Gardner Brown and Dauda as 2017 Coca-Cola Scholars.”

On April 20, Gardner Brown and Dauda will join other Coca-Cola Scholars as they travel to Atlanta, the international headquarters of The Coca-Cola Company, for Scholars Weekend. During this four-day weekend, the Scholars will participate in a Leadership Development Institute to further develop their leadership skills, tour local landmarks, engage with former Coca-Cola Scholars, and participate in a group community service project. The 150 Coca-Cola Scholars will also be the guests of honor at the 29th annual Scholars Banquet, where they will be celebrated by representatives from the Coca-Cola system, educators, local dignitaries, and friends of the Scholars Foundation. Jean Case, CEO of the Case Foundation and Chairman of the National Geographic Society Board of Trustees, will serve as the featured speaker.

In addition to receiving a $20,000 college scholarship, Gardner Brown and Dauda will be welcomed into a vibrant and growing family of 5,700+ alumni that fosters lasting connections with each other and the Foundation. This alumni network has become a powerful force for positive change, coming together with a shared goal to refresh the world.

For a full list of 2017 Coca-Cola Scholars and their high schools, please visit:

Cokeurl.com/2017Scholars

Neinas Elementary will be closed today due to a building problem

DPSCD Board voted to sue state’s SRO

DPSCD School Board voted to file a lawsuit against the SRO

During a closed session at the public board meeting on March 14, 2017 the DPSCD Board voted to pursue litigation against the State School Reform/Redesign Office. Below is the official statement issued by Board President Iris Taylor.

“The DPSCD School Board has one job. And that’s to ensure that every child in every Detroit neighborhood has access to a quality school. Just days after we took office and were beginning to get to work, the State School Reform Office informed us that 16 low performing DPSCD schools could soon be shut down. Thousands of our children could be forced to travel as far as Holly and East China just to get an education.

Together, with our parents, our students, our Mayor, our legislators and our neighbors, we stood up and spoke out…demanding that our school board have an opportunity to improve our schools not just shut them down.

We made our case and now we believe mass closures are off the table. (Please see FAQ)

The Michigan Department of Education has taken over the process and is offering school districts like DPSCD 18 months to improve schools that were once slated for closure. Duly elected school boards and district leadership will remain in full control of their schools, the curriculum and their districts. Interim Superintendent Alycia Merriweather and the DPSCD school board are open to building what we hope will be a constructive partnership with the Department of Education and our local partner, Wayne RESA.

We appreciate Governor Snyder for hearing our concerns and taking action. However, while we appreciate this opportunity, we continue to believe that SSRO’s actions were unlawful.

Among other things, we believe the legislation that created DPSCD in 2016 gave us a clean slate, which means under the law, our district is entitled to operate schools for at least three years without even the threat of closure. This issue and others must be resolved because our parents and children deserve stability. We cannot be expected to grow and improve if the threat of closure looms over us at the start of every school year. Detroiters deserve certainty.

For that reason, we will be filing a lawsuit to clarify our relationship with the SSRO going forward. While we navigate these legal questions, one thing remains certain and that’s our commitment to improving the quality of every school in our district. Superintendent Merriweather is finalizing an individualized improvement plan for each of the 16 schools and building critical partnerships with universities and other local stakeholders. She will present her improvement plans in the coming weeks.

We want to make it clear that filing suit is not a rejection of MDE’s offer to enter into a partnership agreement. It is simply the Board and the district ensuring that all options are available to us as we work through these challenges. In that spirit, we will continue to review the offer presented to us by MDE.

In the meantime, we stand united in our decision to file suit against the State Reform Office.

In the midst of our challenges, we are ever mindful that our ultimate goal is to equip and prepare our children for bright futures. Together, we will continue to build the district our children and our city deserve.”

 

DPSCD Spelling Bee Winners

Congratulations to our students who participated in the district’s annual Spelling Bee. Interim Superintendent Alycia Meriweather acknowledged students today in her Monday’s Message to district employees.

Elementary Winner:  Syleena McPherson (Golightly Education Center)
Elementary Runner-up:  Mohammad Hasib (Davison Elementary/Middle School)
Middle School Winner:  Tasnim Dina  (Davison Elementary/Middle School)
Middle School Runner-up:  Candace Montgomery (Marcus Garvey Academy)