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Serious incidents down, parental involvement up in Detroit Public Schools

August 2012: Detroit Public Schools Emergency Financial Manager Roy S. Roberts has reported that two supporting indicators of schools’ success, campus safety and parental involvement, are showing continued strong improvements, with the number of serious on-campus incidents decreasing by as much as 61 percent, and parental involvement increasing by 30-63 percent.

According to data compiled by the DPS Police Department on the district’s schools from the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years, overall on-campus incidents were down 10%, from 1,207 to 1,087 reported incidents, with 70 of 115 schools reporting declines in activity.

Reported reductions in serious crimes were sharper, with decreases of 15 to 61%: B&E’s, down 28%; arson, down 61%; felonious assaults, down 35%; concealed weapons, down 15%; and robbery, down 28%. There were 13 more reports of criminal sexual conduct cases, an increase of 26%.

DPS Police Chief Roderick Grimes said that the data will allow his department to provide services where they are needed most. “We will study the data, and for the upcoming school year deploy our resources to address our greatest needs, to create the largest crime reduction result. Although these statistics are encouraging, we will continue on our mission to create a safe environment for teaching and learning.” 

Independent surveys of 3,144 parents demonstrated that parent engagement in school programs has increased by 30%, parent involvement with their students’ activities has increased by 63%, and parents reporting their attendance at parent meetings has increased by 49% since last year.

A total of 4,868 parents attended workshops, a nearly three-fold increase, and the number of parent meetings held at local schools increased by a quarter. The district’s eight regional Parent Resource Centers (PRCs) witnessed more than 29,200 visits during the school year, a 7% increase. Sixty percent (60%) of parents reported satisfaction with district communications to families this year and, as a result, 75% of parents-28% more than last year-indicated that they feel more connected to their child’s school.

The most common areas of parent involvement included: taking their child to school on time, asking about the school day, assisting with homework, attending parent-teacher conferences, attending workshops and participating in fundraisers. A majority of parents reported helping their students with homework on a daily basis. 

Among the most valuable services provided at PRCs were workshops, computers, staff and family support, and academic toolkits. Home-school communications methods preferred by parents include phone blasts, flyers, personal phone calls and 1/1 communication.

Roberts said, “Against a backdrop of increasingly safe and conducive learning environments, and with strong parental involvement moving in the right direction, there’s a bright future for continued academic gains for our city’s school children to follow.”


Copyright © 1989 to 2012 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08/14/12 19:01:54 -0700.





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