Meijer and SKECHERS Donate 22,500 Pairs of New Shoes to DPS Students

Students from Detroit Public Schools and Variety Detroit also visited the Detroit Zoo, met professional athletic team mascots  

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Meijer, SKECHERS and Fashion Delivers/K.I.D.S. teamed up earlier this week to give away 2,000 new BOBS from SKECHERS shoes to Detroit children in need during a day of fun at the Detroit Zoo.

An additional 20,500 pairs of BOBS shoes were also donated to Detroit Public Schools for distribution to its students throughout the school year.

“Meijer was built on a fundamental philosophy of supporting the communities where our customers and team members work and live,” said Lynn Hempe, group vice president of softlines for the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer. “We’ve worked with SKECHERS for a decade, and are thrilled to bring that partnership to another level by providing children with a brand new pair of shoes that they can call their own. It was a fun day for everyone involved.”

“Through the BOBS from SKECHERS shoe donations we have done in the United States and around the world, we have seen the impact a new pair of shoes can have on a child,” said Jeff Jones, national sales manager at SKECHERS. “We were moved by Meijer’s desire to reach children in Detroit, a community that has been hard hit economically, and believe that the BOBS donation event not only brought smiles to many children, but also may have given them confidence as they begin a school year with a brand new pair of shoes.”

Since the BOBS from SKECHERS program launched in 2011, SKECHERS has donated more than 8 million pairs of new shoes to children in need in more than 30 countries worldwide.

Along with receiving their new shoes, the children had lunch and visited their favorite animal exhibits inside the Detroit Zoo. The shoe donation event also included an opportunity for them to meet the Detroit Tigers mascot “PAWS,” Detroit Lions alumni players and mascot, “Roary,” and the zoo’s mascots.

“The Detroit Zoo strives to be relevant to our community, including providing ways to help address community needs,” said Paul Good, community and government relations manager for the Detroit Zoological Society. “We were happy to be a part of this effort to help families meet their back-to-school needs.”

K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers worked with the Detroit Public Schools and Variety Detroit to identify children to receive the shoes.

“We are so thankful for this wonderful partnership with SKECHERS and Meijer,” said Karen Ridgeway, superintendent of academics for Detroit Public Schools. “Our students and parents were able to enjoy a day at the Detroit Zoo, and more than 20,000 students will receive brand new BOBS shoes to help ensure they have a great start to the school year. I know that this is a day they will never forget.”

“Today reminded our children that people care about them,” Variety Detroit Executive Director Jennie Cascio said. “They were thrilled about the new SKECHERS, as well as the school supplies they received from Meijer. Variety Detroit is so thankful for all of the organizations involved in this great community event and giving our children the opportunity to spend the day at the Detroit Zoo and enjoy just being kids.”

About Meijer: Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 213 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. As a pioneer of the “one-stop shopping” concept, Meijer stores have evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive electronics departments, garden centers and apparel offerings. Additional information on Meijer can be found at Follow Meijer on Twitter and or become a fan at

About SKECHERS USA, Inc.: SKECHERS USA, Inc. (NYSE:SKX), based in Manhattan Beach, California, designs, develops and markets a diverse range of lifestyle footwear for men, women and children, as well as performance footwear for men and women. SKECHERS footwear is available in the United States via department and specialty stores, Company-owned SKECHERS retail stores and its e-commerce website, and in over 100 countries and territories through the Company’s international network of subsidiaries in Canada, Brazil, Chile, Japan, and across Europe, as well as through joint ventures in Asia and distributors around the world. For more information, please visit, and follow us on Facebook ( and Twitter (

About K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers: K.I.D.S./Fashion Delivers unites retailers, manufacturers, foundations and individuals to provide people impacted by poverty and tragedy with new merchandise, effectively distributed through a network of agency partners to improve the well-being, self-esteem and dignity of at-risk families and individuals. To date, over $1 billion of donated products have been distributed through our network, serving the poor and disadvantaged worldwide. For more information, visit:

DPS announces recruitment for 205 Pre-K classrooms during ribbon-cutting events for new early childhood classrooms at Moses Field and Chrysler Elementary

As part of its commitment to expand early childhood offerings, the district also is announcing new partnerships with non-profit agencies to provide new Head Start programs for ages 0-5 in five schools

MosesField1Detroit Public Schools announced it will continue its commitment to expand early childhood educational opportunities by providing 189 Pre-Kindergarten classrooms across the district in both its Great Start Readiness and Title I Pre-K programs.

The district is also announcing it will partner with two non-profit agencies, Development Centers, Inc. and Southwest Counseling Solutions, Inc., to offer 16 additional early childhood classrooms for ages 0-5. In total, DPS will house 205 Pre-K classrooms across the district, which is an increase in early childhood programming.

New Pre-K programs will be housed at Chrysler and Moses Field, a feeder early childhood program to Nichols Elementary. Chrysler and Nichols have never before offered parents an early childhood education option. There are no income restrictions for City of Detroit residents attending the Title classrooms, such as those at Moses Field and Chrysler.

moses field 2 Pre-Kindergarten classrooms will be leased to the agencies at Beard, Earhart, Durfee, Gompers and Mark Twain. Annual expected lease revenue generated at the sites will total $256,150, including leased office space at a sixth site.

DPS also invited the community to two ribbon-cutting/enrollment events for the new Pre-K classrooms at Moses Field and Chrysler Elementary. Free ice cream and give-aways were be offered at both sites.

Detroit Public Schools’ Pre-Kindergarten classroom curriculum is aligned with the National Early Childhood Standards and Michigan State Board of Education Early Childhood Standards of Quality. To ensure fidelity to the standards, the early childhood programs are monitored through an inclusive and collaborative approach.

chrysler1The building principal, central staff and program supervisors monitor teaching and learning through the Pre-Kindergarten classroom visitation system, teacher evaluation, student assessments Child Observation Record (COR), and through a formalized process, the Program Quality Assessment (PQA).

Parents interested in finding out more about DPS’ early childhood education program offerings should call DPS’ Foundation for Early Learners at (313) 347-8923.

Recommitting to providing a top-quality education experience, Detroit Public Schools announces continued implementation of strategic programs and cancellation of student class size increases and employee wage reduction

Emergency Manager challenged staff, stakeholders, parents, partners and the media to join in and spotlight the district’s strategic initiatives and enrollment campaign to secure long-term district stability

As part of Detroit Public Schools’ commitment to making decisions that create a top quality educational experience, Emergency Manager Jack Martin on Tuesday, August 26 announced that he will not implement proposed student class size increases, will cancel a planned 10 percent employee wage reduction that had been included in the district’s Deficit Elimination Plan and will continue strategic implementation of programs that families desire.

“Detroit Public Schools’ sole focus is and must remain providing the highest quality education possible to the children of Detroit,” he said during today’s announcement and saluted the passionate and dedicated teams of educators and caring adults that exist within the district’s 97 schools.

To assist the District in covering the costs of rolling back these two strategies, DPS is proposing the extension of its Deficit Elimination Plan through 2021. At that time, not only will the deficit be eliminated, but the District will also be free of its legacy debt, which is currently at $53 million a year.

Prior to the recent announcements of planned wage cuts and class size increases, Martin had been working around-the-clock with Chief Financial and Administrative Officer Bill Aldridge and his team to identify alternate strategies to address the continued challenge to eliminate Detroit Public Schools’ $127 million projected deficit and meet the legal requirement that DPS and other school districts and cities must have balanced budgets — at the same time district revenues continue to be significantly reduced.

The District’s most recent Deficit Elimination Plan, which was required to be submitted on Aug. 15, 2014, included the revenue reduction and the particularly difficult decision to cut employee compensation by an additional 10 percent, assuming those strategies would facilitate an expedited approval of the Deficit Elimination Plan, which was needed for the District’s annual State Aid borrowing, Martin said.

Some of the alternate strategies that are now being considered are: not filling budgeted vacant positions based on current vacancies and those that will come from attrition; further staff reductions through restructuring and process re-engineering efficiencies; potential additional layoffs of non-school-based employees; additional surplus real estate sales; continued, responsible expense reductions; and, the pursuit of additional grant funds. Teacher service will, however, be consistent with per-school student enrollment, Martin said.

To bring needed stability to the District, Martin reiterated the need for all employees to participate in the district’s comprehensive student retain and gain campaign.

“As I have said numerous times before, maintaining and growing our student base is the only way to ensure that the district is sustainable into the future,” he said, thanking the volunteers and staff members who have participated in the school-based and district enrollment campaign. “The retention and attraction of students is absolutely critical to our future, and this year’s and future enrollment will be a key determinant in not only the reduction of our deficit, but more importantly growing the district.”

He also the reiterated the school system’s commitment to providing academic programs and initiatives that families desire, and making strategic decisions to attract and retain families.

To that end, Martin said that he heard the concerns of families and staff about the proposed increase in class size in grades 4-12 and, therefore, that change will also not be implemented.

Class sizes will remain at 25 for grades K-3 (which would not have been altered even under the previous plan), 33 for grades 4 and 5, and 38 for grades 6-12. Martin also noted that based on average daily attendance, DPS’ class size across the district last year averaged only 16 students.

“While we developed strategies to mitigate any potential negative impact, the only sure way to avoid impacting students’ learning environment is to keep class levels the same as last year,” Martin said. “It is my hope that any parent that was considering taking their child out of a DPS school will reconsider and have them remain with their teachers and classmates for another year.”

Martin also underscored the many positive developments in the school district, such as new strategic initiatives designed to bolster enrollment being offered this year, and challenged the public to spotlight those. They 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 and new International Baccalaureate program at Cass Technical High School;
  • 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.

Martin also encouraged the media to focus on the District’s 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.

The district also announced today that it will expand the number of Pre-Kindergarten opportunities, bringing to 205 the total number of classrooms. The programs include additional Great Start Readiness Program seats, new Title I classrooms, two of which will hold ribbon cuttings today, and partnerships with two non-profit agencies to bring 0-5 programs into schools this school year.

“We appreciate the support of our parents, partners, stakeholders and the media in rallying around Detroit Public Schools at this critical time to ensure the greater community is aware – and that they “see” and “believe” in — the great things happening at our schools,” Martin said.

PSL football teams to open the season this weekend in the spotlight

Chuck Johnson
Media Information Director
DPS Office of Athletics

With a bevy of gridiron talent that makes the Detroit Public School League the envy of every high school league in the state, the 2014 football season kicks off this weekend with the PSL appropriately in the spotlight.

chargeCass Tech, the defending city champion and one of the state’s most successful teams in recent years, will open Friday at 7 p.m. against tough nonleague foe Oak Park.

The game is one of three marquee matchups involving PSL teams in this year’s Prep Kickoff Classic at Wayne State University. Cody also takes part in the event with a 1 p.m. Friday game against Warren Mott, while East English Village faces Lansing Sexton at 11 a.m. Saturday. Advance tickets to the Prep Kickoff Classic can be purchased at participating schools for a discounted price of $9. A portion of the proceeds from advance ticket sales benefits the participating schools. Tickets at the gate are $10.

Thursday’s nonleague openers involving PSL teams include: Denby at league foe Renaissance, 7 p.m.; Douglass at Bishop Foley, 7 p.m.; Pershing at league foe Henry Ford, 7 p.m.; and Southeastern at Southfield Lathrup, 4 p.m.

Friday’s nonleague openers include: King, last year’s PSL runner-up, at Port Huron, 7 p.m.; Western vs. league rival Osborn (at Mumford), 5 p.m.; Mumford against visiting Grosse Pointe South, 7 p.m.; CMA, in its first season of varsity football, against Westside Christian Academy at River Rouge, 4 p.m.; and Central against Allen Park Academy at Hamtramck’s Keyworth Stadium, 5 p.m. DCP-Northwestern’s scheduled home opener against Highland Park (no program) has been cancelled.

2014 Detroit Public School League varsity football schedule
The drive toward the PSL championship begins in week 2 with a field of 16 teams competing in one alignment (no divisions). The top four finishers will play off for the championship, while the fifth through eighth-place teams will vie for the consolation title. The league semifinals are Friday, Oct. 17 at DCP-Northwestern High School, pitting the second-place and third-place teams at 5 p.m.; and the first-place vs. fourth-place team at 7 p.m.

The consolation semifinals are Saturday, Oct. 18 at DCP-Northwestern, featuring the sixth-place vs. seventh-place team at noon; and the fifth-place vs. eighth-place team at 2 p.m.

The PSL championship doubleheader is slated for Friday, Oct. 24 at Ford Field, beginning with consolation game at 4 p.m. and the title game at 7 p.m.

Cass Tech, the state Division 1 champion in 2011 and 2012, reached the state semifinals for the fourth season in a row last year. Coach Thomas Wilcher’s Technicians return several key players off last year’s team (12-1 overall, 6-0 PSL West), including senior running back Mike Weber, who is verbally committed to the University of Michigan. Other key returnees include senior defensive lineman Josh Alabi (Ohio State), junior defensive back Lavert Hill, sophomore wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones and senior quarterback Jayru Campbell, who is expected to re-join the team about midseason.

King, which lost to Cass Tech 20-14 in last year’s title game and finished the season 10-2 overall, 5-0 PSL East, should be a prime contender again. Coach Dale Harvel’s Crusaders are led by senior linebacker Tyriq Thompson and lineman Kyonta Stallworth, a pair of two-way standouts who both are verbally committed to Michigan State.

The PSL’s array of Division 1 college-bound stars includes Western senior running back Romello Ross (Central Michigan) and East English Village senior quarterback Anton Curtis (Western Michigan).

All PSL teams will wear a special “GC” decal on their helmets this season, which has been dedicated to the memory of George Coker, the Osborn football coach who passed away suddenly in April.

Sidney Wright, Coker’s former assistant, is among four first-year PSL head coaches. The others are Douglass’ Duane Carter, Pershing’s Kareem Sadler and Southeastern’s Travis Martin.


DPS welcomed hundreds of families and showcased new programs at first-ever literacy-themed Open Doors Day Saturday, August 23 at all elementary and middle schools!

Schools offered thousands of FREE sackpacks, books, school supplies and other fun give-aways

DETROIT – Pete the Cat, Madeline and the Bad Hat and the Big Bad Wolf made guest appearances at schools throughout Detroit Public Schools on Saturday, August 23 during the district’s first-ever literacy-themed Open Doors Day.

All elementary and middle schools were open across the district from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday to showcase their offerings and new programs, like the gifted and talented program at Mark Twain School for Scholars. All schools developed their own creative itineraries to engage families!

Among the highlights were DPS’ foreign language immersion courses for grades PreK-8, performing arts programs and free full-day high quality Pre-Kindergarten classes. New and current parents were able to take tours, meet staff, and learn about all the great offerings in DPS, including arts and music, K-8 sports leagues and scholarship opportunities.

Schools also offered thousands of FREE books, sackpacks and school supplies donated by Office Depot, arts and crafts kits by Arts and Scraps, and other fun give-aways (first-come, first-served). Immunizations took place at Marcus Garvey Academy, 2301 Van Dyke.

Keeping with the literacy theme, the Parent Resource Centers at Detroit International Academy, Ludington Magnet Middle School, Marcus Garvey Academy, Priest Elementary-Middle School, and Bennett Elementary School hosted BINGO for Books from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Parent Ambassador Trainings were be held from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Schools with some of the most creative themes were graced by a special visit from Karen Ridgeway, Superintendent of Academics, who was dressed as a Sparkle Fair Princess with a magic bubble wand!

Some school-specific literary themes include:

Madeline in Paris

Pete the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes

Fairy Tale Ball


Cass Technical High School first high school in Detroit to earn International Baccalaureate designation

Detroit Public Schools’ Cass Technical High School has become the first high school in the City of Detroit to receive the prestigious International Baccalaureate (IB) World School designation, Detroit Public Schools announced today.

Cass Tech joins the ranks of other high achieving Michigan IB high schools including Bloomfield Hills High School, Detroit Country Day, Midland Dow, International Academy, Northville High School and Notre Dame Prep, Washtenaw International and West Ottawa High School.

“This will greatly support our mission to continue the legacy of excellence that has always existed at Cass Tech,” said Principal Lisa Phillips.

The IB Diploma Program at Cass will involve students in extended independent essay writing around a topic of global importance, a theory of knowledge critical thinking course, as well as creativity, action and service programs. Upon graduation students complete a written assessment marked by external IB examiners.

Faculty at International Baccalaureate schools are committed to intensive professional development, collaborating with a dynamic global network of professionals committed to best practices in teaching and learning. Sixteen Cass Tech teachers in all subject areas became certified after preparing for two years prior to receiving the designation and 8 others will be certified in October.

“IB programs aim to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect,” according to the program.

The new DPS Mark Twain School for Scholars is in the process of becoming the only International Baccalaureate Primary Years program in the City of Detroit. The newly opening Gifted and Talented school is taking applications and will provide students a pathway to Cass Tech upon matriculation to high school.

Cass Tech received financial support from UAW-Ford and the Skillman Foundation in preparing for the IB designation.

Grammy Award winning artist & DPS alum Big Sean visits two DPS schools to distribute more than 1,000 sackpacks and share a positive back-to-school message

DETROIT—Grammy Award winning artist Big Sean, along with his mother Myra Anderson, president of the Sean Anderson Foundation, returned to his hometown on Thursday, August 21, 2014 to provide school supplies at two Detroit Public Schools: Carleton Elementary-Middle School and Blackwell Institute.  This year’s giveaway marks the Sean Anderson Foundation’s 2nd annual Back to School Giveback. Courtesy of the Office Depot Foundation, Sean and his non-profit organization distributed more than 1,000 sackpacks containing essential school supplies and children’s books to DPS students and potential new students at Blackwell Institute and Carleton Elementary-Middle School.

Both Cass Technical High School alums shared a positive back-to-school message with DPS parents and students as part of the “See It Believe It”Retain/Gain Enrollment Campaign. The message:  Be ready to start school on September 2nd on time, all day, and every day. Both also shared their support for DPS and the high-quality educational programs offered to Detroit students, as well as their personal experiences as former students.

Blackwell and Carleton schools were selected for the special visits on Thursday to help boost enrollment and excitement for the first day of class.

Big Sean said to the students: “You have the power to create anything you want. If you can think it, you’re already on your way to achieving it – whatever that ‘it’ is. Know that you can achieve anything.”

“I grew up in this city, just like all of you,” he added. “We have something special about us that no one else has: We were built tough. We’re strong. We’re resilient, and we can overcome anything. So when you grow up to achieve your dream careers, and begin to travel around the world, proudly represent Detroit.”

The event was held in conjunction with Detroit Public Schools’ new “See It Believe It” Retain/Gain Enrollment Campaign launched this summer to ensure the district retains all current students and gains new enrollees. The new branding seeks to demonstrate the school system’s commitment to providing academic programs, initiatives and partnerships – such as with Big Sean and the Sean Anderson Foundation – that families desire, and making strategic decisions to attract and retain families.

“Big Sean, Myra Anderson and the Sean Anderson Foundation are true partners of Detroit Public Schools,” said Jack Martin, DPS Emergency Manager. “We’re always excited to see alumni return to the district to help inspire and motivate our students. Both Sean and Myra truly embody the spirit of coming back and giving back to your community.”

Big Sean and the Sean Anderson Foundation have made it an annual tradition to return to Detroit Public Schools to provide school supplies, help promote positive attendance and share motivational messages with DPS students.

Later in the day on Thursday, Big Sean joined the Office Depot Foundation at the Office Depot store in Oak Park to donate 3,500 sackpacks containing school supplies to Detroit Public Schools and several area nonprofit organizations. The Foundation is donating 350,000 sackpacks to children across the United States and internationally in 2014 through its National Backpack Program.

On June 12 Big Sean served as “Principal for the Day” at Bates Academy, an Excellent Schools Detroit “Top K-8 Recommended School.” Competing against thousands of students from 37 Detroit Public Schools’ middle and high schools, Bates won the Get Schooled Detroit Attendance Challengethis spring for a chance to have Big Sean spend the day with students. In an effort to combat chronic absenteeism across the district, DPS partnered with Get Schooled and its founding partner, Viacom, through the company’s Viacommunity social responsibility umbrella, to offer the Detroit Attendance Challenge in support of the district’s “On Time. All Day. Every Day.” Campaign. More than half of all participating schools posted attendance increases during the challenge.

In 2013, Big Sean returned to Detroit to personally pass out thousands of sackpacks at Eastern Market to DPS students during the district’s Back to School Campaign.

About Big Sean

Big Sean attended the Detroit Waldorf School, a school of art, from kindergarten to eighth grade. He later attended and graduated from Cass Technical High School. The chart-topping artist was first signed to Kanye West’s music label GOOD in 2007 and then to Island Def Jam in 2008. Following the release of the trilogy of mixtapes for which he was initially recognized, Def Jam dropped the artist’s hit album, Finally Famous in July of 2011, followed by the award-winning mixtape Detroit in September 2012 and Hall of Fame, which debuted at number three in the Billboard 200, in August of 2013. Big Sean has sold over 10 million records to date.

About Sean Anderson Foundation

The Sean Anderson Foundation is a Michigan non-profit corporation organized on May 24, 2012 for charitable and educational purposes. The inspiration behind the foundation is derived from its name sake Sean Anderson, a recording artist raised in Detroit, and his unwavering commitment to improve the quality of life for children and families in his hometown.

About Detroit Public Schools

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.

JOIN US! DPS showcases new programs at first-ever literacy-themed Open Doors Day Saturday, August 23 at all elementary and middle schools with special guest appearances by costumed characters, craft-making and more!

Schools will offer thousands of FREE sackpacks, books, school supplies and other fun give-aways

DETROIT – Pete the Cat, Madeline and the Bad Hat and the Big Bad Wolf will all make guest appearances at schools throughout Detroit Public Schools on Saturday, August 23 during the district’s first-ever literacy-themed Open Doors Day.

PeteAll elementary and middle schools will be open across the district from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday to showcase their offerings and new programs, like the gifted and talented program at Mark Twain School for Scholars. All schools have developed their own creative itineraries to engage families!

Among the highlights will be DPS’ foreign language immersion courses for grades PreK-8, performing arts programs and free full-day high quality Pre-Kindergarten classes. New and current parents will be able to take tours, meet staff, and learn about all the great offerings in DPS, including arts and music, K-8 sports leagues and scholarship opportunities.

Schools also will give away thousands of FREE books, sackpacks and school supplies donated by Office Depot, arts and crafts kits by Arts and Scraps, and other fun give-aways (first-come, first-served). Immunizations will take place at Marcus Garvey Academy, 2301 Van Dyke.

Keeping with the literacy theme, the Parent Resource Centers at Detroit International Academy, Ludington Magnet Middle School, Marcus Garvey Academy, Priest Elementary-Middle School, and Bennett Elementary School will host BINGO for Books from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Parent Ambassador Trainings will also be held from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Some school-specific literary themes include:

Madeline in Paris

Pete the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes

Fairy Tale Ball

Additionally, Skechers is partnering with Meijer to donate more than 25,000 pairs of BOBs shoes for K-6 students. A total of 1,500 students from 15 pre-selected schools will attend a Sketchers-Meijer shoe distribution event at the Detroit Zoo on Tuesday, August 26. The remaining 23,500 pairs of shoes will be delivered to the DPS Warehouse for distribution to students on the first day of school.

To attend the Sketchers-Meijer shoe distribution event at the Detroit Zoo, current or NEW Enrollees of the following 15 schools must attend the DPS Open Doors Day event on Saturday, August 23 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at one of the participating schools. Current students will be verified. NEW students must enroll in order to attend the event. The 15 participating schools are:

  1. Brewer
  2. Pulaski
  3. Noble
  4. J.R. King
  5. Charles Wright
  6. Carstens
  7. Carleton
  8. Carver
  9. Mann
  10. Dossin
  11. Marshall
  12. DIA
  13. Neinas
  14. Gardner
  15. Twain

Students (K-6) participating in this event will receive a FREE pair of Sketchers BOBs and a day at the Zoo including lunch, compliments of Sketchers and Meijers. A total of 100 vouchers will be distributed at the Open House events as an incentive at the 15 pre-selected school on a first-come, first-served basis. Parents and students who receive vouchers to attend the event will then return to the school on Tuesday, Aug. 26 to ride the bus to the Detroit Zoo. Transportation will also be provided to return families to the school.

For more details, call 313-240-4DPS.

DPS authorizes fewer Priority schools, has 1 Reward school

Detroit Public Schools has fewer charter schools performing in the bottom 5 percent of Michigan schools, according to 2013 Top to Bottom ranking data released in August 2014 by the Michigan Department of Education.

DPS has gone from having 6 schools in the bottom five percent of Michigan schools in 2013 to 2 schools in 2014. Both schools that remain in the bottom five percent, also called Priority Schools, improved their percentile ranking based on their performance on the 2013 MEAP.

Detroit Public Schools authorizes 13 public school academies, seven of which were converted from traditional public schools to charter public schools. Five schools were converted in the 2011-12 school year and two were converted in the 2012-13 school year.

In addition to the dramatic reduction in Priority schools, one DPS-authorized charter school was named a Reward school this year. Martin Luther King Jr. Education Center earned the status by Beating the Odds.

DPS has closed three poor-performing schools since 2012.

For more information on the Top to Bottom rankings and Priority and Reward schools, visit:,4615,7-140-22709_56562—,00.html

For a full listing of DPS-authorized charter schools, visit:

ENROLLMENT FAIRS: DPS partners with Youth Connection at Belle Isle and Cody Rouge Community at Don Bosco Hall Sat., August 16 for two action-packed back to school fairs

Both events will feature entertainment, information about the upcoming school year, free backpacks, school supplies and free food!


Detroit Public Schools has partnered with two Detroit community organizations, The Youth Connection and Cody Rouge Community, for two one-stop-shop back to school fairs on Saturday, August 16.  Representatives from Detroit Public Schools will be on-site at each location sharing valuable information about the district’s unique schools, programs and parent essentials.

On the east side, the Youth Connection, a non-profit organization dedicated to connecting our youth to a brighter future, is hosting its 13th Annual “After-School/Back-to-School/College Fair” on Belle Isle. The event, where 1,500-2,000 Detroit families are expected to attend, gives thousands of Detroit kids the opportunity to connect with more than 80 vendors representing after-school programs, activities, college essentials and take-home backpacks filled with school supplies, bike helmets, shoes, books and more! Free food will be provided and an ice cream truck will be on site, compliments of Radio One.

On the west side, an action-packed day filled with family fun and entertainment is in store at Don Bosco Hall. The “Cody Rouge Family Fun Day & Back to School Rally” is a celebration of the Cody Rouge community in conjunction with the major remodeling occurring at the Cody Campus as part of the Life Remodeled make-over. Life Remodeled is a non-profit organization with a mission to remodel lives—one neighborhood at a time. The organization is dedicated to remodeling a Detroit Public School each summer and aims to partner with local residents of each area served to remove blight in the surrounding area to create safe and inspirational pathways to and from school.

At the back to school fair, families can take part in pony rides, face painting, bounce houses, free lunch, a DJ, art activities, a community resource tent and a showcase from the Don Bosco Hall Youth Showcase. Free backpacks and supplies will also be available.

13th Annual Youth Connection Back to School Fair
12-4 p.m. Saturday, August 16, 2014
Belle Isle Casino
1 Casino Way, Detroit

Cody Rouge Family Fun Day & Back to School Rally
12-4 p.m. Saturday, August 16, 2014
Don Bosco Hall
19321 W. Chicago, Detroit