2011 January 7 – Great Things are Happening in DPS

From the desk of Robert Bobb:

Parents, staff and community,

With the beginning of the New Year, we are pleased to launch this new electronic newsletter to keep you informed about the Great Things Happening in Detroit Public Schools. We want this to be a place where you learn about exciting announcements, changes and important school news. In this first week of 2011 alone, we have a lot to tell you, such as information about our major infusion of technology including 35,000 netbooks for students and the launch of the DPS Volunteer Business Corps, a new program aimed at garnering support from the business community to improve academic achievement. Please share this with your friends and encourage them to sign up, too, so they can learn about the Great Things Happening in DPS. Thank you for your interest and continued support of DPS. Together, we are making a difference.

Sincerely,

Robert C. Bobb, Emergency Financial Manager

New Business Corps:

Major firms partner with DPS in new Volunteer Business Corps aimed at improving student achievement

Leaders from banks, a major university, an aviation company, the philanthropic communities and other firms joined DPS to launch a new school adoption program aimed at improving academic achievement and supporting the district’s rigorous five-year academic plan.

Flanked by representatives from PNC Bank, The Doubletree Fort Shelby Hotel, Michigan State University, Office Depot, Fox 2 News, the Detroit Regional Chamber and City Year Detroit, Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb announced the creation of the Detroit Public Schools Volunteer Business Corps/B.O.L.D. program (Businesses/Organizations Optimizing Learning in Detroit), which aims to create new school partnerships throughout the district and ensure those partnerships are working to the maximum benefit of both schools and organizations.

“The range of business partners who already have committed to helping Detroit’s schoolchildren succeed and learn, including major banks, hotels and universities, and recently General Motors’ extraordinary commitment of support, shows that this community believes in DPS and knows that we all have to work together to create a world-class school district,” Bobb said. “With the greatly enhanced rigor we’ve instituted in the classrooms, it’s the right time for all businesses — large and small, in Detroit and the suburbs — to join with us so that every school has the resources it needs to become a Center of Excellence.”

A kickoff event for the B.O.L.D. program is scheduled for Thursday, January 27, 2011, from 5-6:30 p.m. at Renaissance High School, 6565 W. Outer Drive. Businesses and organizations will learn more about how they can get involved in the program. To sign up or to learn more, call (313) 870-3799, email businesscorps@detroitk12.org or visithttp://detroitk12.org/businesscorps.

Technology Infusion

DPS to purchase 40,000 laptop computers for teachers, students in grades 6-12 as part of a technology infusion

Detroit Public Schools will invest more than $49.4 million in classroom school technology upgrades, thanks to federal stimulus funding that is being used to purchase 40,000 new netbook computers and more than 5,000 desktop computers, as well as multi-purpose printer/scanners for every classroom in the district.

“An infusion of technology on this scale is unprecedented in Detroit Public Schools, and will truly create 21st century learning environments,” Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb said. “This investment will ensure that any barriers to technological accessibility are removed for our students and open up their classrooms to the world.”

Every DPS student in grades 6-12 and every teacher in the district will receive or have access to an ASUS EEE Netbook, as part of a massive technology infusion that began last summer with the distribution of HP desktop computers, 4,550 document cameras and 4,291 multi-purpose printer/scanners. An additional 533 HP desktop computers were purchased for the 138 early childhood classrooms in the district, and Wayne RESA received $1.5 million in Title I grant funds to purchase 273 SMART Boards for the district’s 38 School Improvement Grant buildings.

To read more, go to http://detroitk12.org/news/article/2149/.

Alumni Association

New DPS Alumni Association adds online payment option

Detroit Public Schools alumni can now pay online to join DPS’ new Alumni Association.

A membership offers opportunities and benefits, including a network of business professionals, exclusive discounts, fun and exciting members-only events, business listings, special mailings and email notifications of reunion activities, and a free membership card. Alumni Association Members also assist in Detroit Public Schools’ efforts to provide opportunities for DPS students to achieve and succeed.

Annual membership fees, which are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law, start as low $10 for students and $25 for Alumni and Friends.

To register and pay, go to http://detroitk12.org/alumni and click on Register Today.

Academic Eligibility

Minimum 2.0 grade point average will be required in core courses

Parents, coaches and Detroit Public School League scholar-athletes are reminded that beginning in the fall semester 2011, a minimum 2.0 grade point average will be required in the core courses of math, English, science and social studies to be eligible to compete in PSL athletics. Please make it a priority to consult your school about tutoring services that are geared toward meeting the higher academic standard for athletic eligibility.

DPS School Spotlight

Young women at Detroit International AcademyDetroit International Academy for Young Women
9026 Woodward
Detroit, MI 48202

Detroit Public Schools’ Detroit International Academy is the only all girls’ K-12 public school in Michigan. The school’s academic focus is on math and science, and the program boasts a variety of Science, Technology, Math and Engineering (STEM) extra-curricular activities and class offerings at every grade level, including FIRST Robotics, VEX Robotics, Lego League and “You Be the Chemist.”

The school’s mission is to equip students with the skills to be positive, competitive, articulate and competent leaders in the school, community and in an ever-changing global society. Students and staff, who wear uniforms, are creating a “community of sisters” that stresses academic achievement.

Detroit International Academy also has a heavy emphasis on reading, sponsoring a “100 Book Challenge,” where students are challenged to read 100 books or more. Last year, nine students met the challenge and were awarded Kindle book readers.

The academy also offers competitive sports and activities, such as volleyball, basketball, swimming, tennis, cross-country, cheer, citywide dance, and a JROTC battalion, whose Color Guard was designated first place in the district.

The school’s all-girls robotics teams are highly competitive. The robotics program offers four branches: a robotics class for students in grades 9-12 where students learn C++ programming, sensors, mechanical and electrical engineering concepts and more; an after-school Lego robotics team for grades 5-8; and after-school VEX team; and an after-school FIRST team in its fifth year, which recently won first place in a local competition for its robot that can target and launch T-shirts. The VEX team recently placed in the top 4 percent in the 2010 VEX Robotics world championship.

Parent Resource Centers

New Workshops in PRCs

The DPS Parent Resource Centers have a host of new workshops, including:

  • Jan. 10- 14: Building Relationships part 2- quality vs. quantity; Learning ways to connect with your child through interaction and replacing technology with you
  • Jan. 17- 21- Communication part 2- Are you surprised with where your child is? Did they pass? What are you going to do now?
  • Jan. 24-28- Planning and preparing- Get ahead of the game; Choosing a school starts now! What is the application process?
  • Jan. 31- Feb 5 – Understanding your child- How to connect the dots; Matching your child to the right school; Knowing your child’s academic strengths

For more information on the Parent Resource Centers, go to http://detroitk12.org/admin/communications/parent_and_community_engagement/engagement2.0/

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