DPS continues to stabilize enrollment trends: Fall-to-Winter loss rates improve year-over-year data indicates the best improvement in four years

Winter Count recorded an increase in the number of students in elementary-middle schools –  with 44 additional students

For the second time in the 2015-2016 school year, Detroit Public Schools (DPS) has exceeded projected enrollment targets. The District closed the gap this school year with a loss of approximately 505 students, which represents the smallest change in enrollment from fall to winter since the 2012-2013 school year. Since that time the average student loss for this time period has been 646 pupils.

Further, the District recorded an actual increase of 44 students in the number of pupils in elementary-middle school grades in the winter count. Overall, 29 neighborhood elementary-middle schools recorded more students this semester than in the fall.

Twice beating budgeted student count projections signals continued progress toward enrollment stabilization. In the fall (October) count, the District budgeted for 46, 295 students, and actually enrolled 46,305 (10 students over budget). The District beat then beat its winter (February) count projections by 188 students with an actual to-date enrollment of 45,790 (45,602 was budgeted).

“Detroit Public Schools’ enrollment stability continues to be based on schools, educators, teachers and principals working extremely hard to deliver high quality educational programs focused on the needs of local communities, along with enrichment and support programs for students and parents, all within a safe and conducive learning environment and delivered with a positive customer service ethic,” said Steve Wasko, Executive Director of Enrollment, Strategy Division. “This data is a clear indicator that parents trust their neighborhood DPS Schools and are willing to put in the work to help stabilize the District.”

“We do not want to see any more children leave the District, and want more active parents,” said Lori Harris-Glore, parent of three students at Foreign Language Immersion Cultural Studies School (FLICS). “We have three girls at FLICS who all study Japanese: Zen (8 yrs) in the 3rd grade, along with Dream and Journey (5 yrs) in Kindergarten.  We enrolled our oldest in the District five years ago.  We love FLICS because our students ideally attend from kindergarten through 8th grade, and we believe the FLICS culture and climate are like family.  We want our students to have the best as they deserve the best; they work hard and have not given up and we shouldn’t either.”

The District’s successful expanded and replicated programs continue to attract additional students, as well. Academy of the Americas, which recently moved its new high school into a separate building from the original K-8 school locations, enrolled 27 additional students in the four months between the fall and winter Count dates. Additionally, several of the schools that the District restructured this school year are serving more students now than in the fall. These schools include Gardner, Henderson, and Carstens Academy of Aquatic Science.

“I’m very excited to see parents choosing DPS Schools for their children’s education. I want to thank our dedicated school-based staff who work hard every day to provide a high quality educational experience for our students.  It is because of their efforts that parents choose to enroll-and stay-in our schools.  As we continue to transform DPS, we need to consider how to better support our staff, and ensure that more resources make it directly to the classroom,” said Interim Superintendent Alycia Meriweather. “Our immediate plan includes working on the following five areas that have a direct impact on student success, Early Literacy with Pre-K – 2 curriculum; higher family and community engagement; enhanced Career Technical and STEAM focused education opportunities; new innovative methods to deliver education and the necessary wrap-around services to support our families and students.”


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