Pulaski students take part in Mock Election

Students at Pulaski Elementary-Middle School exercised their ‘right to vote’ on Thursday, October 30 during the school’s Mock Election.

Detroit Public Schools expands 6-month-old Parent University, adding expert-led parenting courses in partnership with Wayne State University, Detroit Public Library, Black Family Development and more

Registration is ongoing for courses that start December 1

Detroit Public Schools today announced it has expanded its 6-month-old Parent University to include accelerated parenting courses and new partnerships with Wayne State University, the Detroit Public Library and other organizations that will allow parents and guardians to earn a “Parent Leader” certification.

The new partnership courses include:

  • Wayne State University: Classes will provide parents with support around their children’s academic success: “Identifying and Supporting Your Child’s Learning Styles” and “Children’s Emotional and Self-Regulation Skills in Learning.”
  • Detroit Public Library: Classes will help parents develop professional skills in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and how to use the web.
  • Black Family Development: The organization will provide parenting classes utilizing the “Strengthening Families Curriculum” and courses on how to help manage teen stress.
  • Arts & Scraps: The non-profit organization will provide interactive learning activities with parents and Pre-K children to increase ways for parents to connect and build a strong relationship with their child.

Other courses include: Improving Basic Computer Skills; Creating a Family Tradition; How to Fund Your Child’s Education; Healthy Options during the Holidays; Improving Your Child’s Behavior; How to Learn from Your Child (Pre-K lessons) and more.

“We know that having actively engaged parents is a critical component to ensuring our students’ academic success,” said Emergency Manager Jack Martin. “Our newly expanded Parent University aims to educate and empower parents so they can serve as advocates for their children and lifelong teachers in their child’s education.”

A total of 33 free classes are being offered in December and a robust January calendar will be available by mid-December.

Registration is occurring now through November 28 at the district’s eight Parent Resource Centers. Courses are open to all DPS parents, primary caregivers and guardians. Classes for this semester, which are two hours long, will be conducted December 1 through January 23.

The DPS Parent University, which kicked off in Spring 2014, offers a semester of coursework for parents and guardians in four subject areas:

  • Track 1: Academic Success: Helping children succeed in school and in life
  • Track 2: Life Skills: Maximizing your potential
  • Track 3: Parenting: Effectively raising children
  • Track 4: Professional Development: Gaining skills to advance your career

To graduate with a “Parent Leader” certificate, a participant must complete 10 classes during the semester.

Also new this winter, parents can take “Accelerated Courses” in which multiple courses will be offered on December 22, 23, 29 and 30. Participants will partake in interactive activities that engage parents and children in learning together and will take field trips.

Parent University is one strand of DPS’ multi-faceted Parent and Community Engagement program, which is geared toward helping the district increase parent involvement. Programs include training camps that focus on parenting, fun and engaging workshops and much more.

Through a performance-driven partnership with Detroit Parent Network, DPS operates eight parent resource centers that are comfortable spaces for parents and guardians to meet. The centers, which are geographically placed across the city, provide training and resources to parents of DPS students, helping them to be more involved in their children’s education.

Providing parenting skills and increasing parent involvement are major elements of Detroit Public Schools’ five-year Strategic Plan. Through the Strategic Plan, the district launched the first phase of another nationally modeled program: Home-School Teacher Visitations. The visitations add to ongoing robust parenting programs throughout DPS, including workshops at Parent Resource Centers.

Cynthia Estrada Charity Fund donates $20,000 for two new bilingual textbooks series at expanded Academy of the Americas PreK-9

In support of the successful Academy of the Americas program in Southwest Detroit, which expanded this fall to include a new 9th grade class, the Cynthia Estrada Charity Fund has donated $20,000 to fund two new bilingual textbooks series – the SRA ¡Imagínalo! series for grades K-6 and the Scott Foresman enVisionMATH en español for grades K-6.

Maurice Staten, Assistant Director, Special Projects, UAW, General Motors Department (far left), Nicholas Brown, Principal of Academy of the Americas, DPS (far right), meet with Angela Reyes. Executive Director of the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation; Tammie Jones, Program Officer, Education at the Skillman Foundation; Punita Thurman, Senior Program Officer, Education at the Skillman Foundation and other members of the community and school’s students at the Academy of the Americas on Monday, November 24, 2014.

Maurice Staten, Assistant Director, Special Projects, UAW, General Motors Department (far left), Nicholas Brown, Principal of Academy of the Americas, DPS (far right), meet with Angela Reyes. Executive Director of the Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation; Tammie Jones, Program Officer, Education at the Skillman Foundation; Punita Thurman, Senior Program Officer, Education at the Skillman Foundation and other members of the community and school’s students at the Academy of the Americas on Monday, November 24, 2014.

The donation for the bilingual textbooks comes on the heels of $500 scholarships that are being offered to each incoming 9th grader (up to $15,000) thanks to an anonymous donor and a $10,000 Detroit Public Schools Foundation grant to fund an incoming 9th grader orientation program for students and faculty focused on culture and climate to ensure a successful start to the high school years.

Estrada is Vice President and Director, International Union, UAW, General Motors Department, the first woman and first Latina to serve in that role.

“The generous support of the Southwest Detroit community, our partners, the Detroit Public Schools Foundation and donors like Cynthia Estrada’s Charity Fund will help ensure that our successful bilingual immersion program will help lay the academic foundation for the next generation’s successful college graduates, leaders in world affairs, ambassadors and international entrepreneurs,” said Nicholas Brown, Academy of the Americas Principal. “Our students and staff could not be more thankful for this donation.”

Detroit Public Schools this fall expanded the successful Academy of the Americas K-8 program by adding a 9th grade academy. The school, called the Escuela Preparatoria Academia de las Americas, offers a dual language curriculum, honors classes, and rigorous academic standards. It is part of an overall rollout of several major educational initiatives in Southwest Detroit, including a new gifted and talented program, a new adult education site, and much more.

The development of these initiatives follows a strong community engagement process with many parents, students, partner organizations and agencies in Southwest Detroit.

For more information on enrolling in the 9th grade program at the Academy of the Americas, call (313) 596-7640.



ANNOUNCEMENT – Due to heavy winds resulting in the loss of power, the following schools will be closed on Tuesday, Nov. 25: Breithaupt, Charles Wright, Clippert, Cody Campus, Davis Aerospace, Dixon, Dossin, Emerson, Henderson, Golightly Career Tech, Ludington, Mann, Neinas, Renaissance, Jerry L. White

Bates Academy students on the rise

Congratulations to Bates Academy students Kayla Tate and Zharia Akeem!

Tate was recently announced as the Get Schooled Ambassador of the Week (SAOTW). She won a Playstation Vita and will be featured on the Get Schooled website November 24-28, 2014. According to Get Schooled, students from each Challenge school are selected to serve as Student Ambassadors. These students help promote the Challenge in their school, raise awareness of Challenge goals, increase school spirit throughout the Challenge and help their school finish at the top.

Click here to check out Kayla’s Get Schooled National Attendance Challenge SAOTW feature!  

Also, Zharia Akeem, was named the MIKidsCan essay winner for her piece titled “How I Keep Myself Active.” MIKidsCan is an initiative created by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to promote positive change in the health and well-being of Michigan youth.

 Click here to to read Zharia’s winning essay! 

Clippert Academy’s salute to Veteran’s Day

Clippert Academy hosted its annual Veteran’s Day Celebration on Tuesday, November 11. This year the school’s display was more extravagant thanks to the Detroit Children’s Museum. Don Bogart, a curator at the Detroit Children’s Museum, and staff assembled a large number of artifacts for the display including: a replica of the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, uniform coats and caps, and even a real shell casing. In addition, Mr. Baily, a veteran and special education teacher, brought in his medals, uniform, and bronzed boots. There were 50 veterans honored from the Clippert family this year.

Submitted by: Kathryn Meloche, teacher at Clippert Academy 

“Get Recognized” for Great Customer Service: See It. Believe It. Live It.

New campaign to honor teachers, staff, administrators, and community partners doing Great Things for our customers!

Dear Detroit Public Schools Staff,

The DPS Office of Communications is starting a new internal initiative as part of the “See It Believe It” campaign to recognize the outstanding work of teachers, principals, staff, community partners, and administrators who provide excellent customer service to our customers (parents, students and the community). Please email your inspirational stories/submissions to: communications@detroitk12.org. Throughout the year, we will publish stories highlighting the great work of our staff members and community partners. *Note: We will randomly select entries.

Rules and terms:

1. If you know of someone who should “Get Recognized” as part of the See It. Believe It. Live It. campaign, please send the following to communications@detroitk12.org:

  • Name of the person recommended for recognition
  • Title of the person recommended for recognition
  • Contact number and email address of the person recommended for recognition
  • Up to three paragraphs on why that person should be recognized (give examples)
  • Your name
  • Your contact number and email address

2. Disclaimer: The Office of Communications cannot verify the accuracy of submissions.

3. The winners will have their names and stories announced via the DPS Daily. Winners will also be recognized on the district’s Twitter feed, Facebook page and potentially on our website.

4. Winners will also receive a commendation letter and certificate, and other special visits. The campaign is designed to honor employees (both district and contractual).

ANNOUNCEMENT – Due to heavy winds resulting in the loss of power, the following schools will be closed on Tuesday, Nov. 25: Cody Campus, Dixon, Dossin, Emerson, Henderson, Mann, Renaissance, Jerry L. White

K-8 Youth Sports League to host Middle School Girls Basketball Championship Game & Jamboree Saturday, Nov. 22

Detroit Public Schools’ K-8 Youth Sports League will host the second annual Girls Basketball Championship Game & Jamboree Saturday, November 22 at Renaissance High School, 6565 W. Outer Drive.

Student athletes from schools including Schulze Academy for Technology and Arts, J.E. Clark Preparatory Academy, Munger Elementary-Middle School, Fisher Magnet Upper Academy, Ludington Magnet Middle School and Mackenzie Elementary-Middle School will compete on Saturday.

Game Schedule:

10 a.m.:           Semi-Final Game, Schulze vs. Clark, co-ed 3rd and 4th grade teams

11 a.m.:           Final Game, Munger vs. Winner of Game 1, co-ed 3rd and 4th grade teams

12 p.m.:           East vs. West, 8th Grade Showcase

1 p.m.:             Middle School Girls Semi-Final 1, Fisher vs. Clark

2 p.m.:             Middle School Girls Semi-Final 2, Ludington vs. Mackenzie

3:15 p.m.:        Championship Game

The K-8 Youth Sports League kicked off September 22 with six athletic programs for the fall season aimed at building healthy bodies for the district’s youngest learners and developing self-confidence, teamwork and leadership skills. DPS’ Fall sports lineup includes the new city-wide “Goal Detroit” soccer league endorsed by Mayor Mike Duggan and Detroit PAL (Police Athletic League). The range of K-8 Fall sports include: Girls Basketball (grades 7-8); Co-Ed Basketball (grades 3-4); Co-Ed Soccer (grades K-5); Flag Football (grades K-2); Boys Tackle Football (grades 6-8) and Co-Ed Golf (grades K-5).

More about the K-8 Youth Sports League

The K-8 Youth Sports League was launched in 2013 as part of the district’s new five-year Strategic Plan, which added programs such as more arts and music and youth sports at the elementary-middle school level. Roughly 2,500 students participated in last year’s K-8 athletic programs. The start date for Girls Middle School Basketball (30 teams district-wide), K-5 Soccer (20 teams district-wide) and Co-Ed Basketball (20 teams district-wide) was September 27. Middle School Tackle Football (seven teams district-wide) and K-2 Flag Football began the week of September 22. For more details, visit detroitk12.org/youthsports or call 313.240.4377.

Village Women’s Club Foundation and Divine Child High School team up to bring Sweet Dreamzzz R.E.M. Sleep Program to Bennett Elementary

Students at Bennett Elementary School received the Sweet Dreamzzz R.E.M. (Rest. Educate. Motiwvate.) Sleep Program on Thursday, November 13. The program was funded by the Village Women’s Club Foundation, a private city club which offers fine dining, cultural, educational, social and philanthropic opportunities, and was supported by students from Divine Child High School in Dearborn.

The Divine Child students made fleece blankets for the preschoolers in the program and volunteered for both set-up and distribution. Over 450 children and 40 parents learned about the importance of sleep and a healthy bedtime routine.

According to Sweet Dreamzzz, developing healthy bedtime habits early on is important. Research reveals children commonly do not obtain enough sleep, which is crucial for better health, learning, and function during the day. By providing sleep education and bedtime essentials, Sweet Dreamzzz empowers children and families to get a good night’s sleep forming healthy habits that last a lifetime.

For more information about the Sweet Dreamzzz Program, visit sweetdreamzzz.org.