DPSCD Hosts First-Ever “All Schools S.T.E.A.M. Showcase” at Eastern Market on Sunday, April 2

More than 100 schools to Showcase S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) offerings; Family-Friendly event to include pony rides, petting zoo, giant games, face-painting, giveaways and more!

Detroit Public Schools Community District and major partners from the city’s largest and most exciting arts and scientific museums and venues will host the first-ever “All Schools S.T.E.A.M. Showcase” at Eastern Market on Sunday, April 2 — with S.T.E.A.M. standing for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. (Check out Jared and his enthusiasm on Facebook; by the way Jared has been accepted in the U.S. Air Force Academy)

Representatives from more than 100 schools, including all DPSCD schools, as well as participating Education Achievement Authority schools and DPSCD-authorized charter schools, will be on hand for this family-friendly event to help families discover everything they need to engage their children in S.T.E.A.M education.

Some of the fun opportunities include:

  • Petting Zoo
  • Pony Rides
  • Face Painting
  • Giant Family Games, including Chess, Jenga and Operation
  • Special Guest Appearances by Members of Parade Company’s Big Head Corps
  • Detroit Public Library – Library on Wheels (Bookmobile)
  • Other partner programs, including Science Crafts and giveaways by the Belle Isle Conservancy; Surrealist Drawing Games by the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; kids and adults building activities and giveaways by the Michigan Science Center and more!

The Showcase will take up the entire span of Eastern Market’s Shed 3, which will house the schools by geographic location and incorporate an “Innovation Lane,” where families can learn about exciting new programs planned for fall 2017. Those include expanded Montessori sites, a new Examination High School, the addition of Honors Academies at every K-8 school, a new partnership with the Detroit School of Arts and Detroit Institute of Music education, and much more.

The venue will incorporate a Center Stage that will have ongoing student performances, as well special performances by partners including Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s musicians.

Families will have a chance to win:

  • A free membership to the Michigan Science Center
  • A “Keep Growing Detroit” family garden
  • Enrollment in a S.T.E.A.M Summer Camp

And the famous Bert’s Marketplace is offering a special $2 Rib Snack to Showcase visitors.

The All Schools S.T.E.A.M. Showcase is the culminating event from a winter of STEAMy activities that including 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. Partners included 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, Music Hall, 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. For more information please visit detroitk12.org/enroll or (313) 240-4377.

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.

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

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

DPSCD’s two superintendent finalists, 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 two 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. Nikolai Vitti
Monday, April 3, 2017 – Derrick Coleman

WHERE:     Please see attached schedules for public meetings

“The board appreciates the community taking an active interest in the search for a permanent superintendent for Detroit Public Schools Community District. We have incorporated the input of hundreds of community members in this process. We will continue the process as scheduled,” said Iris Taylor, DPSCD board president.

 

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.”

 

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.