Spain Elementary-Middle School



3700 Beaubien Street, Detroit MI, 48201-2118

Phone: (313) 494-2081 • Fax: (313) 494-1508

Principal: Ronald Alexander

About Us: Spain Elementary Middle School – “Students in Tune with Excellence”

School Brochure

Charles L. Spain Elementary-Middle School is located in the heart of the Midtown cultural district. The school offers a college preparatory curriculum for students with a love of the performing arts.

Spain is an application-based school with high standards and expectations.

Does your child want to play the cello? Oboe? Violin? Trumpet? Or does he or she want to participate in an award-winning choir?

Spain students, who will have an opportunity to showcase their talents in the school’s Zodie A. Johnson Center For The Performing Arts, are able to take introductory courses, as well as intermediate and advanced studies in dance, drama, vocal music, band and orchestra.

Spain also offers a variety of extra-curricular classes and activities such as art, an award-winning chess program, academic games, DAPCEP, computer applications, swimming, and pre-engineering.

The Performing Arts program is a five-year program that begins at the fourth grade and extends to the eighth grade.

Students must fill out an application, present references and submit an essay. Students living in the Spain School enrollment area will get priority placement.

Spain also works hard to make use of its well-situated location in the heart of Midtown and within walking distance of the city’s cultural center. Field trips are frequent to the Michigan Opera, Charles Wright Museum of African American History, The Detroit Institute of Arts, Wayne State University, The Detroit Public Library’s main branch and more.

Sports offerings include Basketball (girls and boys) and will include archery, swimming and other activities thanks to a new partnership with Golightly Education Center and Burton International Academy.

Believing that Every Child Will Learn, Spain School in cooperation with parents and the community commits to successfully educate students in a clean, safe, and healthy learning environment conducive to the development of responsibility, self discipline, and academic achievement. Spain provides a learning centered community which will meet the needs of the whole child. Through a creative and diverse curriculum, Spain will educate students using a variety of effective strategies to achieve measurable yearly progress. The school wide character education initiative strives to prepare Spain students for success in adulthood.

Application and Brochure

Business Partnerships to Expand Students’ Horizons

Community and university partnerships abound at Spain school, including with Detroit Mercy Dental School, WSU College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, VIP Mentoring, Michigan Regional Carpenters and Millwright Association and a new partnership with Whole Foods for student accounting programs.

A partnership with Detroit Symphony Orchestra supports the school’s performing arts focus.

Experienced, Caring Staff Dedicated to the Arts

Spain’s staff is dedicated to cultivating students’ love of the arts and ensuring students are prepared for the rigors of high school. Principal Ronald Alexander, a veteran of Detroit Public Schools, has served as a teacher, counselor, and assistant principal prior to his role as principal. Principal Alexander’s first education degree is a Bachelor of Arts in Music. Later, he pursued a graduate studies degree in Educational Leadership.

After school care

Knowing that working parents may need extra care for their children, Spain offers a fee-based latchkey Program.

Spain: where parents are valued and parent engagement is encouraged

Spain welcomes parents to participate actively in their child’s educational development and offers many opportunities for parent engagement.

Some regular parent activities include Doughnuts with Dads, Muffins with Moms, Grandparent Recognition for grandparents serving as guardians, parent outings and parental workshops on topics that include stress of homework, finance tips, resumes and jobs, and more. To create an inviting atmosphere and encourage parent engagement, the school’s computer lab is open to parents.

Parents are solicited to help chaperone field trips, school dances, evening performances, and to assist in the classroom. Spain annually hosts Math and Science Family Night.

School of the Week: Spain Elementary-Middle School

Posted on September 29, 2014

Early in 2014, the non-profit Aspen Institute and Detroit Symphony Orchestra were looking for a performing arts-focused Detroit school to hold an Arts Strike, which is defined as an event in which celebrated artists engage educators and students, and other to share the unique power of the arts to empower, enrich and educate.

The choice was obvious: Spain Elementary-Middle School, which has worked closely with the Symphony, is near Orchestra Hall and has been offering students a comprehensive performing arts curriculum combined with top-notch academics for more than 40 years.

The Arts Strike on April 4, 2014 brought legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma and former New York City Ballet Principal Dancer and Director of the Aspen Institute Arts Program Damian Woetzel to Spain. Yo-Yo Ma and Woetzel, and other acclaimed artists and musicians from around the world, performed for and collaborated with Spain students, offering them a once-in-a-lifetime artistic experience.

The event was undoubtedly extraordinary. But then again, Spain students are used to “extraordinary.”

“Students in Tune with Excellence”

“What makes Spain special is our academic excellence,” Principal Ronald Alexander. “We believe in giving students the best education possible. We have high standards for our children, and they reach for that.”

But to be a well-rounded student, Alexander and his school staff passionately believe that students should experience and master a wide array of extra-curricular activities, including a special emphasis on music and the performing arts, for which the school is renowned.

“Music is the universal language,” said Alexander, a former music teacher who sings in his church choir and plays the piano and a variety of instruments. He added that music incorporates elements of all the core subjects including English-Language Arts (writing and reading music); math (counting beats and notes); science (formulas of sounds and musical combinations) and social studies (history of musicians and genres).

“Music brings children alive,” said Alexander, who has been principal of the Midtown school for 18 years. “It allows them to express themselves. When (our teachers) find ways to make meaningful connections to the academics, as well as to music, our children begin to blossom, they begin to grow… We want our students to be ‘in tune with excellence.’ That’s our motto.”

View Spain’s School of the Week Feature!

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

Vision Statement

Our job is to educate, develop skills, and build confidence and self-esteem. We envision a school of excellence, where all students are literate, aware of their heritage, and motivated toward success in school and in life.

Mission Statement

Believing that Every Child Will Learn, Spain School in cooperation with parents and the community will successfully educate students in a clean, safe, and healthy learning environment conducive to the development of responsibility, self discipline, and academic achievement. Spain will provide a learning centered community which will meet the needs of the whole child. Through a creative and diverse curriculum, we will educate students using a variety of effective strategies to achieve measurable yearly progress. Our school wide character education initiative strives to prepare Spain students for success in adulthood.

Uniform Requirements

Light Blue and White Polo Shirts.  Black or Navy Pants/Skirts.

Bell Schedule

  Morning Afternoon Half Day
Mon–Thur 7:30 AM 2:40 PM 10:45 AM
Friday 7:30 AM 1:50 PM
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