DPS receives $5.34 million state grant for small schools

Contact: Steven Wasko at 313-873-4542 or Jennifer Mrozowski at 313-873-8401

Detroit Public Schools is receiving a $5.3 million grant through the state’s 21st Century Schools Fund grant initiative to help Cody and Osborn high schools transform into smaller schools.

Michigan Department of Education officials are meeting with the principals of Cody and Osborn high schools Wednesday, Oct. 28, to discuss details of the grant and the school programs.

The new small schools at Cody’s campus are the Cody Academy of Critical Thinkers, Detroit Institute of Technology at Cody, the Medicine and Community Health Academy at Cody, the Cody Academy of Public Leadership and Cody College Preparatory Upper School of Teaching and Learning. The small schools at Osborn are the Osborn Academy of Mathematics, the Osborn College Preparatory Academy, the Osborn Evergreen Academy of Design and Alternative Energy and the Osborn Upper School of Global Communications and Culture.

DPS’ Small Schools initiative was started in 2008 as part of an effort to increase student achievement in district high schools.

The Skillman Foundation granted DPS funding to begin the development of small schools, including a site visit to New York to see the model in action and see how it impacted the student achievement there.

And in the fall of 2008, the district’s small schools initiative was awarded a four-year grant from the Greater Detroit Education Venture Fund, through the United Way for Southeastern Michigan and its partners.

The Venture Fund grant was to pay the costs of an intermediary, or turnaround partner agency, to assist with the transformation process at Cody and Osborn. The intermediary specializes in transforming large high schools to smaller learning communities.

That grant laid the groundwork for the application for the state’s 21st Century Schools Fund grant. The district submitted a proposal to the state in winter 2008. In February 2009, a select team of parents, students, principals from Cody and Osborn, as well as central office administrators traveled to Lansing to present the DPS proposal to the State Superintendent and his cabinet.
In September 2009, the district received notification that the state was awarding Detroit Public Schools $5.34 million for the small schools initiative at Cody and Osborn. Representatives from the Michigan Department of Education will be visiting the small schools projects on Wednesday, Oct. 28, to see presentations from each of the small school principals and to take a tour of the Cody campus.

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