DPSCD 2016-2017 Year in review

The DPSCD 2016-2017 school year is concluding and as we progress through summer school and prepare for the new school year, let’s look at a small sampling of our students’ accomplishments.

These accomplishments are a direct result of the hard work and dedication of our teachers, principals, staff and parents.

DPSCD offers a variety of programs and opportunities for all students. Check out our website, social media sites and visit a school for more information. For more information please call (313) 240-4377.

Cody MCH student defies odds, heading to college this fall

Congratulations to Cody Academy of Medicine & Community Health student Michael Brown! Michael was presented with The Detroit Rotary Club “Youth Citizen Service Awardee of the Year” award along with The Detroit Rotary Foundation Scholarship of $3,000.

Michael has overcome many obstacles over the past few years including escaping an abusive home to live in a homeless shelter. Although the shelter was a temporary fix by Child Protective Services, he decided to stay to help and care for new residents. He assists others in the shelter by cooking, cleaning and helping children with homework. During weekends, holidays and school vacations, when most children are busy with their friends, Michael volunteers his time with Life Remodeled to remodel and redesign the Cody neighborhood.

These hardships and set backs have made Michael who he is today. He is an inspiring leader and will go far with his desire to help others. Michael dreams of becoming a chef and own his own restaurant. He will attend Florida Memorial University in the Fall. Congratulations, Michael!

Renaissance Track and Field cross the finish line with record breaking numbers

Congratulations to our girls’ track and field champions at Renaissance High School! The team finished 14th overall out of 139 Division 1 teams. In addition, Renaissance girls were the only Detroit Public Sports League team to score in the State Championships. They put up impressive statistics to show their hard work all year long. The 4x400M relay team ran the team’s best time all year and the 4x100M relay team not only beat the Renaissance record but ranked as the 6th fastest relay time in Michigan history for girls! Way to go girls, you make DPSCD proud!
100M Dash
  • 9th – Mizan Thomas
300M Hurdle
  • 17th – Makylah Slappy
4x100M Relay Team 2nd place
  • Imani Jackson
  • Deshonda Johnson
  • Paige Chapman
  • Mizan Thomas
4x200M Junior Relay Team – 8th place All-State
  • Makylah Sappy
  • Mizan Thomas
  • Imani Jackson
  • Arinn Hayes
4x400M Freshman Relay Team – 10th place
  • Shania Shepard
  • Mizan Thomas
  • Imani Jackson
  • Paige Jackson
Shot Put – 4th place All-State
  • Camari McCarroll

Communications and Media Arts High School recognized as a nationally ranked high school

Communication and Media Arts High School is recognized in the U.S. News’ Best High Schools National Rankings along with Cass Tech and Renaissance High Schools. Schools are ranked based on their performance on state-required tests and how well they prepare students for college. CMA scored nearly 13 percent higher than the national average in English proficiency.  Read more about the methodology and calculations on how they were chosen as a top high school.
Congratulations CMA, Cass and Renaissance staff and students on this remarkable accomplishment!

Detroit Public Schools Community District’s Reorganization Complete for 2017-2018 School Year

As one of his first actions as the new superintendent of Detroit Public Schools Community District, Dr. Nikolai Vitti completed the district’s first reorganization. The reorganization is designed to increase support for schools in order to improve student achievement.

The process focused on several key priorities of the superintendent, including the shifting of more resources to schools from the district office; addressing the vacancy challenge; eliminating bureaucracy that slowed support to schools; revamping positions and personnel connected to curriculum and instruction and school improvement; and establishing a new team of district leaders with a track record of success in urban school districts.

“We must create a new culture at the district that is committed to directly supporting schools, which means principals and teachers,” said Dr. Vitti. “After listening to internal and external stakeholders, namely principals and teachers, it was clear that we needed to develop new systems and processes that are led by district leaders who have a sense of urgency about ensuring that the best service is provided to schools. This has not been occurring with consistency.”

The reorganization will generate more than $5 million of revenue, which will be provided to schools to improve technology access, programming, and teacher and principal professional development.

The move eliminates more than 60 Instructional Specialists positions within central office, which are filled by certified teachers on special assignment. “We must ensure that the district’s organization structure does not exacerbate our teacher vacancy challenges. Every one of our students deserves to have a fully certified teacher from the first day of school to the last day,” said Dr. Vitti. At the school level, principals will be empowered to keep an Instructional Specialist out of the classroom if the school is fully staffed. If not, then the Specialist will fill a classroom vacancy.

At the district level, dozens of administrative positions will be eliminated to increase accountability with greater ownership of responsibilities tied to specific departments and individuals rather than duplicative roles and functions. Before the superintendent’s entry, the newly elected School Board facilitated the process of issuing non-renewals to district administrators to allow the incoming superintendent to reshape central office. Mid-level management structures, such as the “Network” structure, will be eliminated to improve the flow of information and support from central office to schools. Departments associated with curriculum and instruction, professional development, and teacher and principal development will be revamped to improve quality and improve academic performance.

Newly created and vacant district positions will be filled by retained leaders at the district, recruits nationally and from areas where the superintendent has led reform, while other positions will be advertised to promote open competition internally and externally.


Summer school reminder

  • Summer school begins for staff on Monday, June 26
  • Summer school begins for students on Tuesday, June 27
  • Students in K-8 buildings are in session from 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • High schools are in session from 8 a.m – 3:30 p.m.
  • Summer school runs through July 27
  • Breakfast and lunch will be served

If you have any questions or concerns regarding summer school, please call the parent hotline at (313) 240-4377

Reminder of Special Board Meeting


Friday, June 23, 2017
5:00 P.M.

Fisher Building
3011 West Grand Boulevard, 12th Floor
Detroit, Michigan 48202-2711
(313) 873-7860

Official Minutes of the Regular Board Meeting are stored and available for inspection in the Office of the Secretary of the Board of Education, 3011 W, Grand Blvd., 12th Floor, Detroit, MI 48202-2711, 313.873.7860.
Please contact the Division of Operations at 313.873.6205 prior to the meeting if auxiliary aids or services are required for individuals with disabilities.
If language assistance is required, please contact the Office of Bilingual Education at 313.873.4171.

DPSCD to host transition enrollment fair for charter school family and staff

DPSCD will host a charter school enrollment fair for families and staff members encountering a transition on Wednesday, June 28 from 3 – 6 p.m. at the Michigan Science Center.

DPSCD representatives will help families discover everything they need to know about the district’s offerings including tuition-free Montessori, a new examination high school and STEAM education. The Enrollment team will be on hand to enroll students to provide families information to plan for a successful fall term. Representatives from the Human Resources department will be available to answer questions, accept resumes and schedule tentative interviews with qualified candidates.

The first 150 guests to RSVP will receive free admission to watch National Geographic’s 4D “Extreme Weather in the new Toyota Engineering Theater. To RSVP, visit here or for more information call (313) 240-3477.

The School Enrollment Fair also includes:

  • Free Michigan Science Center admission with RSVP
  • Free backpacks and school supplies
  • Win a family membership to Michigan Science Center

Free transportation is available with your RSVP from the following charter school sites:

  • Starr Academy, 19360 Harper, Harper Woods
  • Woodward Academy, 951 E. Lafayette, Detroit
  • Crescent Academy, 13400 Oak Park Blvd, Oak Park
  • Academy of International Studies, 3056 Hanley, Hamtramck

Cass Tech Principal nominated for national LifeChanger of the Year Award

Cass Tech Principal Lisa Phillips has been nominated for the 2017-2018 LifeChanger of the Year Award! Ms. Phillips, principal of Cass Tech since 2010, was nominated by her spouse. Under her seven years of leadership, Cass Tech earned over $47 million in student scholarships, secured a state-of-the-art recording studio and was named an International Baccalaureate School. In March, she earned statewide Michigan Principal of the Year award by the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals. Principal Phillips has also created a project for seniors who cannot afford college supplies for their dorms. Each students is “adopted” by a generous donor who provides them with what they need. Last year, she secured microwaves, sheets, towels and refrigerators for 185 seniors! She is a true leader and continues to put students first.

LifeChanger of the Year receives hundreds of nominations from around the United States each year and only 17 individual awards are given. Winners are announced via surprise award ceremonies held at their schools. The grand prize finalists will also be honored at a national awards ceremony in spring 2018 in Bermuda, where the Grand Prize Winner will be revealed. Winners are chosen by a selection committee comprised of former winners and education professionals based on the following criteria:

  • Make a positive impact in the lives of students
  • Enhance their school or district’s atmosphere, culture and pride
  • Demonstrate exemplary leadership at the school and/or district level
  • Possess a proven record of professional excellence
  • Show commitment to building a nurturing environment that supports learning
  • Adhere to the highest moral and ethical standards

For the 2016-2017 school year, DPSCD Nienas teacher Amy Lazarowicz was awarded a top five spot winning $5,000 and a trip to the national awards ceremony in Naples, FL.

Good luck Principal Phillips, you make DPSCD proud!

Camp Burt Shurly Open House

Camp Burt Shurly is hosting an open house on Saturday, June 24 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. for students and families to see what the camp is all about! You will have the opportunity to participate in activities like canoeing, rock climbing, archery, tours and visit the nature center. Visit campburtshurly.org for additional information on how to sign up today!
To RVSP for the open house, email david@campburtshurly.org and to reserve a spot on the bus, call (313) 873-7490 or email parent.engagement@detroitk12.org