Crain Communications and MSU High School Journalism Program Documentary

Check out the documentary featuring Detroit Public Schools student journalists in the Crain Communications and Michigan State University High School Journalism Program.

The film was directed by Emmy Award winning film maker, Stephen McGhee for Steven McGhee films and Crain Communications Detroit.

Detroit high school students finding their voice – Crain MSU Detroit High School Journalism Program

 

Principal Bobbie Posey-Milner Honored at the Detroit Institute of Arts

Gompers Elementary-Middle School Principal Bobbie Posey-Milner was honored at the 79th Annual Detroit Public Schools Student Exhibition. Principal Milner was selected as the 2016 Detroit Public Schools Office of Fine Arts/Data Visual Arts Administrator of the Year! Principal Milner received the award due to her continued dedication to make a difference in the life of visual arts students, in school and in the community around Gompers. The event was held at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Additionally, Gompers students’ artwork, displayed currently at the DIA, received 1st place award at the exhibit! Guests can visit the DIA and see the students’ art currently on display until June 5, 2016.

Special thanks to the Office of Fine Arts for selected Principal Milner for this great honor.

Story and photos submitted by: Harold Harris

Cody MCH’s American Heart Association Metro Detroit Heart Walk Challenge

Medicine and Community Health (MCH) Academy at Cody would like to challenge all Detroit Public Schools to walk in the American Heart Association’s Metro Detroit Heart Walk, on Saturday, May 14 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Wear your school colors to show your school pride! Fundraising is optional.

For more information about the event, visit www.miheartwalk.org. If you accept MCH’s challenge, e-mail sarah.willis@detroitk12.org with your school’s name and the number of students you are expecting to participate.

Interim Superintendent Alycia Meriweather’s Welcome Back Message

Greetings DPS Family,

I want to take this opportunity to welcome everyone back from spring break, and to share some thoughts about how this new season relates to Detroit Public Schools and our important work at hand. Please read below or listen.

The last several years have been extremely challenging for Detroit Public Schools, leaving many of us feeling discouraged and frustrated.  A culture of distrust, fear, and retaliation has been prominent in this District making it very difficult for people to feel good about our working environment.  However, because of our love for our students and a deep desire for them to have what they deserve, we have stayed dedicated to the mission of providing not only instruction, but also multiple other elements of support to our students, parents and each other.  I want to thank each of you for your sincerity and your sacrifice, consistently placing the needs of our students ahead of your own, and withstanding conditions that have been very difficult.  In many ways, I feel that what we have experienced as a district has parallels to the negative traits often affiliated with the winter season.  Usually, Michigan winters are harsh, unforgiving, and seem to last too long.  We all wait with anticipation for spring.

As we observe the current seasonal change, I am struck by the fact that this district needs spring now more than ever, and we have been waiting for a very long time.  We are in need of new growth and life, additional light that provides new perspective, and the time-honored tradition of Spring Cleaning that allows us to sort, retain, and remove.

Alyicia's daffodils for webJust a couple of days ago, the daffodils in my front yard bloomed.  I took a picture and shared it here.  Significant to me is not only the green of the leaves and the yellow of the flowers, but also the contrast between those colors and the dreary brown of the dead leaves left over from the winter.  Interestingly enough, the dead leaves provide compost, nutrients, and insulation for the bulbs hidden underground, but we don’t usually celebrate dead leaves.  There are some DPS traditions and embedded culture that we need to put to rest, and in a very strange way, those decaying experiences have provided a very clear outline of how not to do business, and also allow us to celebrate new beginnings all the more.  There are certainly some things that we have done traditionally that remain beneficial but it is also time for DPS to come from the space that has confined us and move into new ways of thinking and doing business.  I also want us to consider the daffodil as a symbol of a new District culture — a culture of positive and servant leadership, integrity, respect, kindness, and compassion — and to really strive to be what we want our students to see and to become.

The second feature of spring that is important for us to consider is around light.  Once we pass the vernal equinox, the number of minutes of light per day continues to increase.  The additional light allows us to get more done, see things we haven’t seen in recent months, and simply makes us feel better. Additional light is important for DPS because we need to see things we haven’t seen before, and we need to shed light on issues and concerns that have previously been ignored, hidden, or denied. The only way for us to improve is to use the light to our advantage, and have honest dialogue about what should and can be changed, without threat of retaliation or consequence.  Specifically, I want to challenge us to consider what ideas have been abandoned, dismissed or ignored, and placed into the category of “that won’t work here”. These ideas need to be revisited and where appropriate given life. This applies to every level of the organization, from central office to the school level, to the individual classroom.  As a secondary note, just having more light doesn’t automatically cause us to change our perspective, or become honest.  Those are intentional choices.  My second challenge to the DPS family is to be intentional around using the light to call things out that are not correct, to expand our perspective, and to contribute solutions.

Finally, probably one of the most necessary events during this season is Spring Cleaning.  While there may be a few of you reading this who really thrive on this tradition of washing windows, dusting, scrubbing, sorting, and discarding, most of us do not enjoy the process but do appreciate the results.  Detroit Public Schools must do a figurative and literal Spring Cleaning.  We must take an unapologetic approach to examine every angle of our District’s operations; this includes personnel, programs, policies, and personal interactions, both at central office and throughout the district.  Every decision made must be well informed, and be in the best interest of students, staff, and the district as a whole.  I need to be transparent here and say that this Spring Cleaning process, although necessary, will not be easy and may result in decisions that everyone will not like.  However, I am committed to a more inclusive process, so that when major decisions are made, they are not completed in secret by small groups of people.  We need everyone’s help in order to understand the educational ecosystem in Detroit including the assets and liabilities of the current Detroit Public Schools and the creative solutions that may exist with both internal and external partners. My third challenge to the DPS family is to actively participate in the Spring Cleaning process individually within the arenas where you have direct control, to provide honest feedback when asked, and finally to be an active listener when others are sharing their understandings and insights.

In the last few weeks I have received several hundred emails, mostly from current DPS teachers.  The majority of the emails were well wishes, encouragement, and commitments to pray for me and for our district, all of which are much appreciated sentiments.  The other common theme in most emails was around hope; people stating that for the first time in a very long time, they have hope for our District and who we can be in the future.  As the spring season brings hope, it is my intention that we learn some lessons from this natural phenomenon that will provide new life, new perspective, and a time of Spring Cleaning for Detroit Public Schools.  Embracing this process will allow us to become a District that we can collectively be committed to-and proud of-moving forward for the benefit of our students, staff, and this city. I invite each and every one of you to join me on our mission as we usher in a new beginning for Detroit Public Schools. As you know, no one person can do this work alone.  I’m looking forward to working alongside you as we undertake this historical transformation in Detroit Public Schools. Just as the daffodils are transforming my yard’s gloomy space left over by winter, we must do the same for our District, providing both our students and ourselves hope for a bright and successful future.

In gratitude for your faithful service and with hope for a better future,

Alycia Meriweather
Interim Superintendent

DPS Go Green Challenge News From The Schools

Detroit International Academy for Young Women
The Green Team at Detroit International Academy for Young Women (DIA) finished their pond made out of an old cabinet. The pond was created to go along with a living wall that they are creating for their school. The team did all of the work on their own and the pond turned out beautifully.

The team had to seal two cracks on the cabinet so that water wouldn’t leak from it. They then put in two pond liners (that are used when creating out door ponds). They also, put in a pump system so that they could have a fountain in the middle of the pond. They removed the cabinet doors and will be using them as bulletin boards to sit next to the pond. The team spray painted the outside of the pond neon to match picture frames that they also, recently painted.

Lower East Gardens
Three schools on the lower east side started transplanting their gardens last week! The schools that did this were: Marcus Garvey Academy, Golighty Education Center, and Nichols Elementary-Middle School. The act of transplanting a garden includes taking seedlings of plants and putting them into the garden bed. The reason for doing this is to make sure that the seeds start out their life journey from seed to plant in the most optimal environment.

The schools started by transplanting their cold crops. Cold crops are plants that are better suited to grow and thrive in cooler environments and are typically planted in late April/early-May. Once the cold crops have completed their growth the students and teachers will remove these crops and plant their warm crops. This process will happen towards the end of June.

Submit YOUR News From the Schools!
Does your school have a great story to share with the other DPS Go Green schools? We’d love to feature you! You can submit a story that highlights your green team’s work directly by email – or work with your AmeriCorps Green School Coordinators to develop the piece. Please include a photo or two to liven up your story!

Also – remember to check out our website here for updates on the DPS Go Green Challenge!

Paul Robeson Boys Varsity Basketball Team receives Spirit of Detroit Award

Paul Robeson Malcolm X Academy varsity boys basketball team, lead by Head Coach Terrell George, received the Spirit of Detroit Award on April 12, 2016, presented by the Detroit City Council. The team received the award for their back-to-back championship wins.

Due to handwork, dedication and teamwork, the young men not only won the championship title but also continue to succeed academically. The majority of the team members are eighth grade students who have been accepted to the top three high schools in the district.

Congratulations Coach George and Paul Robeson Malcolm X Academy athletes!

WDIV: Spirit of Detroit Award

Bow Celebrates “Month of the Young Child”

Bow Elementary-Middle School’s pre-school and kindergarten classes celebrated “Month of the Young Child’ throughout the month of April. Teachers and staff incorporated various activities, each week, to acknowledge the different aspects of early development. The month concluded with a special musical parade where all students and staff wore purple in honor of MOYC. Special thanks to Bow teachers Mrs. Saffold-Jones, Mrs. Miller-George, Mrs. Dixon Ms. Hurd and Ms. Dingle.

Submitted by: DaRhonda P Evans, Bow Elementary-Middle School Academic Engagement Administrator

More About Month of the Young Child®
According to miaeyc.org, each April Michigan celebrates Month of the Young Child® (MOYC®). This is a time when communities and individuals recognize the needs and rights of young children and their families.

Since 1971, one week in April has been celebrated nationally as Week of the Young Child. In 1985, Michigan expanded the celebration to the entire month of April, with each week having a specific focus. Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children (MiAEYC) coordinates the campaign with support from local and state organizations, businesses and public agencies.

For more information, visit www.miaeyc.org

DPS Students Participate in Kroger’s Ninth Annual “I Can Make History” Contest

Student winners in Kroger’s ninth annual “I Can Make History” competition received more than $71,000 in scholarships and other prizes during the contest’s awards dinner held Saturday, April 16 at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. More than 400 students, family members and teachers gathered to honor 93 “I Can Make History” award recipients recognized in four categories: art, essay, music and poetry.

The Kroger Co. of Michigan received 1,835 entries this year from Michigan students in the 4th through 12th grades. Professionals in each category evaluated the entries and selected the winners.  All entries addressed one of two themes:

  • Name an African American past or present that you admire and describe how that person impacted or continues to impact history.
  • How do you feel young people today can make an impact on history?

Juanita Moore, president and CEO of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit delivered the evening’s keynote address, and Glenda Lewis, co-anchor of 7 Action News on WXYZ-TV served as co-host.  The Kroger Co. of Michigan holds its “I Can Make History” contest every February.

DPS’ 2016 “I Can Make History” Winners included:

  • Matthew Lewis, Cass Technical High School
  • Evan Stallworth, Cass Technical High School
  • Jaylen Bradley, Renaissance High School
  • Joy Wingate, Renaissance High School

Read more: Michigan Students Awarded More than $71,000 in Prizes during Kroger’s Ninth Annual “I Can Make History” Recognition Dinner

 


 

FLICS (Foreign Language Immersion and Cultural Studies School) is closed today due to a DTE power outage.

Scholarships, Free College Planning for DPS High Schools

College Funding 123 and Former Lion James Ihedigbo To Offer Scholarships and Free Seminar to Four Detroit Schools 

College Funding 123 and former Detroit Lions Safety James Ihedigbo are offering 32 scholarship opportunities and free college planning seminars to high school sophomores and juniors at four Detroit Public Schools this May.

College Funding 123 partnered with James Ihedigbo’s HOPE Africa USA charity in 2015 to provide scholarships and college planning education to students and families with the aim of establishing a continuing system of resources to help make the dream of a college education an affordable reality for students today and in the future.

The free college planning events will be offered to high school sophomores, juniors and parents at:

  • Detroit College Preparatory High School at Northwestern on May 10, 2016 at 11:30 am
  • East English Village Preparatory Academy on May 12, 2016 at 10:00 am
  • Douglass Academy for Young Men on May 17, 2016 at 9:00 am
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School on May 19, 2016 at 10:20 am

“Engaging students in college planning and scholarship opportunities are invaluable resources and a major priority of the school counseling program,” said Dr. Barbara K. Smith, Director of the Office of Guidance and Counseling. “Experiences like this will definitely help increase post-secondary enrollment.”

“Access to higher education is so important,” said Ihedigbo.  “These scholarships help students in a unique way.  Rather than offer a flat dollar amount, we are connecting students with the pros at College Funding 123, who will provide each student with the best access to choices for college admissions and annual funding for the duration of their collegiate career.”

“This is a great opportunity for DPS students,” said Edward Vosganian, President of College Funding 123.  “The seminars will offer students a chance at the scholarships along with some excellent advice on 10 things sophomores and juniors should be doing right now to help them plan for a great college education.”

College Funding 123 has been helping students and families successfully secure college admissions and funding since 2003, while providing testing assistance to help high school freshman, sophomores, and juniors prepare for ACT testing; raising ACT scores by 6-7 points on average.

Ihedigbo launched HOPE Africa USA in 2007 to help deserving African and African-American students excel through education by providing them scholarships, support, and resources.

Scholarship applications are available at www.collegefunding123.org until June 1, 2016.

About College Funding 123

Since 2003, College Funding 123 has helped hundreds of families and students meet their college goals by maximizing funding offers from colleges, saving thousands on tuition, and reducing the need for student loans and student debt. Their advisers help families through the entire process from career planning and college search and selection, to connecting students with colleges and universities, both public and private, who are willing to provide merit-based endowment and scholarship funding.  For more information visit www.collegefunding123.org

About Hope Africa Charity

Helping Our People Excel. HOPE Africa.  Started by a Nigerian-American family who knows first-hand the sacrifices involved in leaving one’s home, attaining an elite education and giving back, HOPE Africa wants to boost future young African leaders.  To achieve its goal, HOPE Africa provides academic scholarships and a broader structure: volunteer opportunities, internships, and a network of people to help them create sustainable projects with the aim of establishing a continuing system of resources for future generations.  For more information visit www.hopeafricausa.org

 

PLEASE NOTE THAT STAFF SHOULD CHECK THE DISTRICT’S INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY ON WWW.DETROITK12.ORG TO DETERMINE IF THEY SHOULD REPORT TO WORK

DPS Inclement Weather Procedure for Reporting to Work

The following schools will be closed today, Tuesday, May 3 due to teacher sickouts. Academy of Americas, A.L. Holmes, Ann Arbor Trail, Bagley, Bates, Bennett, Blackwell, Brewer, Ronald Brown, Burton International, Benjamin Carson, Bow, Carstens, Carver, Cass Tech, Charles Drew Transition Center, Chrysler, Clark, Roberto Clemente, Clippert, Cody: APL, DIT, MCH, Coleman Young, Communication Media and Arts, Cooke, Crockett CTC, Davis Aerospace, Davison, Detroit Collegiate Prep, Detroit International Academy, Detroit Lions Academy, Detroit School of Arts, Dixon, Dossin, Duke Ellington, Durfee, Earhart, East English Village, Emerson, Fisher Lower, Fisher Upper, Fleming, FLICS, Frederick Douglass, Gardener, Golightly CTC, Golightley Education Center, Gompers, Greenfield Union, Harms, Henderson, Hutchinson, Jerry L. White, J.R. King, Keidan, Ludington, Mackenzie, Mann, Marcus Garvey, Mark Twain, Marquette, Thurgood Marshall, Mason, Maybury, Moses Field, Munger, Neinas, Nichols, Noble, Osborn: Evergreen, Osborn MST, Osborn Prep, Palmer Park, Pasteur, Priest, Pulaski, Randolph High/CTC, Renaissance, Robeson/Malcolm X, Sampson-Webber, Schulze, Spain, Thirkell, Turning Point Academy, Wayne, Western International High School, West Side Academy, Charles Wright Academy.

Dear DPS Families, we want to apologize for the inconveniences caused by today’s teacher sick outs. We remain confident that the funding issues for DPS will be resolved, and have been working daily with Lansing to move the reform legislation forward. Despite these ongoing efforts, the DFT has called for another sick out tomorrow, Tuesday, May 3, 2016. As of 10 p.m., the district has not closed any schools. Please stay tuned to the District’s Facebook page and website, as well as our local media to learn about any specific school closings later this evening or tomorrow morning. We will notify you as soon as possible of any closures. We encourage all DPS families to contact their legislators to share their opinion on the pending legislation and to reach out directly to the DFT with your response to their actions. Thank you for your continued support of Detroit Public Schools.