Carstens Elementary-Middle School at Remus Robinson

13000 Essex Avenue, Detroit MI, 48215-3243

Phone: (313) 866-5500 • Fax: (313) 866-5580

Principal: Donna Thornton

About Us

School Brochure

Carstens offers a nurturing environment so that all students can learn and demonstrate mastery of essential skills. With the support of many community groups, we implement a rigorous curriculum to promote growth and achievement for each student – preparing them with the skills needed for the future in a global society.

Carstens Elementary-Middle School is now located in what was the Remus Robinson building and serves Pre-School through 8th grade students.  We are a school-wide/Title 1 program that focuses on educating the whole child.  We partner with community programs, such as Gleaners, The Parent Network, Gift of Sight, and more to meet basic needs of students and their families, such as sending bags of food home weekly, coordinating visits from Mobile Dentist and Detroit Dental Sealant Program and securing eye-glasses for students who need them.   Carstens has a full time nurse through St. John’s Hospital.

School of the Week: Carstens Elementary-Middle School at Remus Robinson, where a family setting helps students to perform more efficiently

Posted on March 25, 2013

“There is a lot of love in this school. Also with a lot of love comes education,” says sixth-grade student Sh’tyra Hardy.

Every morning the students at Carstens Elementary-Middle School at Remus Robinson walk into a building of bright colors, ear-to-ear grins and open-armed hugs. Principal Donna Thornton truly feels that if the students are offered a nurturing environment where everyone is supported by the school as a community, then there is no question that students will achieve their full potential.

“I try to build a family environment wherever I go. That’s the glue, that’s what propels and supports children to do well academically and behaviorally to become successful,” says Thornton.

As a product of Detroit Public Schools, Principal Thornton has been with DPS for 20 years and has a strong connection with the community, people, and of course the students. Principal Thornton highlights the importance of getting children ready for their futures. Even though she is certified K-12, Principal Thornton has specialized for quite some time in grades 6-12, giving Carstens students an advantage on how to be fully prepared for high school and beyond.

Principal Thornton is also on a mission to bring a pop of color to the school, starting one ceiling at a time. Volunteers have begun painting the tiles on the ceiling vibrant colors such as canary yellow, blueberry and spring green to liven up the atmosphere.

Teachers, too, are honing in on their artistic skills and showcasing their creativity by decorating their rooms with bright colors, exciting pictures and inspirational quotes. Hallways showcase collections of art pieces made by the talented students from each grade. Pieces include colorful Easter eggs and Easter bunnies, decorations to highlight STEM projects and even ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic writing.

When asked what makes Carstens unique, sixth-grade student Ernez Bowen confidently answers, “Teachers. They are nice, intelligent and they help us learn.”

View Carstens Elementary-Middle School’s School of the Week Feature!

Watch Now! Learn more about Carstens Elementary-Middle School.

Beyond the classroom, Activities to nurture

Field trips offer beyond-the-classroom experiences to captivate and challenge students as they learn.  Carstens has monthly parent meetings to help parents support their children’s learning and development.  Incentives, such as books, pencils, gift certificates and even Netbooks and MP3 Players, are given to encourage students who are doing their best.  Children are also recognized at Student of the Month assemblies.  Our Academic Games participants develop mathematical, logical and teamwork skills while practicing and competing.  Carstens teaches students conflict resolution and implements programs and projects to create a No-Bullying Zone.  Project Seed helps students tackle higher-level mathematical challenges.  Our Children’s Choir performed at the Fisher Building. These are just a few of the things we do at Carstens to nurture and educate children.


Art, After-school tutoring/Extended Day program, Accelerated Reading/Math, Detroit Children’s Choir, DAPCEP, Recycling program, School garden, Student government, Volunteer Reading Corps, Business partnerships, Church/civic group mentors/tutors

High Quality Pre-Kindergarten

We offer a high quality early learning experience for special needs and general education students 4 years of age by November 1. Detroit Public Schools’ Pre-K classroom curriculum is aligned with the National Early Childhood Standards and Michigan State Board of Education’s Early Childhood Standards of Quality.

More information about Pre-K Programs

Bell Schedule

  Morning Afternoon Half Day
Mon–Thur 9:00 AM 4:10 PM 12:15 PM
Friday 9:50 AM 4:10 PM