Sept. 2014: Detroit Public Schools has announced several major educational initiatives for schools in Southwest Detroit, including a new dual-immersion high school program, new adult education site, a new gifted and talented program and much more, following a community engagement process with many parents, students, partner organizations and agencies in Southwest Detroit.
“Through our new five-year Strategic Plan initiated in 2013, we’ve implemented many bold and courageous changes to benefit our students, staff, parents, stakeholders, and employees because we realize that ALL of these individuals are our customers – in a sense – and the product they seek is a high-quality public education for our students,” said Emergency Manager Jack Martin. “The exciting new programs we are launching in Southwest Detroit answer many of the needs and desires for quality educational options and programs that our families in this vibrant area have told us they want.”
“These new initiatives have involved many community organizations and stakeholders in their development,” Martin said. “The devotion of their time and energy to weekly planning meetings, as well as ongoing input through forums, surveys, and the DPS Strategic Planning process, is a true testament to their partnership.”
Numerous partnership organizations lauded Detroit Public Schools for its community engagement process, which included a rollout of the new initiatives before more than 150 people at the regular monthly meeting of the Partnership for Youth, Southwest Counseling Solutions.
“Today, in order to educate children so that all students graduate prepared for college, career and life, we all must work together toward that goal. We cannot afford to work in isolation,” said Helena Lazo, Project Coordinator, Partnership for Youth, Southwest Counseling Solutions. “We must be able to hear all voices, including the voices of youth. Too often we have done things ‘for’ youth, but now we need to do things with youth.”
The new programs include:
• A brand new high school program! Detroit Public Schools is expanding the Academy of the Americas Pre-K to 8 to include a 9th grade in the fall at a new site. The Escuela Preparatoria Academia de las Américas will offer a dual language curriculum, honors classes, and rigorous academic standards.
• A new adult education center: Beard Southwest Detroit Adult Education and Early Childhood Community Learning Center, 840 Waterman Street, will house a new Adult English Language Learner program for Spanish and Arabic and a Pre-Kindergarten Curriculum all on one campus.
• A new 5th grade at Maybury Elementary School, 4410 Porter: Maybury now houses Pre-K to 4 and offers a dual language immersion program, yoga, a new golf program, music and more.
• A new Gifted and Talented program at the Mark Twain School for Scholars, 12800 Visger: Twain will offer an International Curriculum, Art, Band, Choir, Sports, Foreign Language and an Academic Pathway to the best High Schools.
• Trained customer care staff fluent in the language of the community at all campuses.
• Added opportunities at DPS Neighborhood Schools: Detroit Public Schools educates more than 7,800 students in 13 schools in the Southwest Detroit community. Those include Academy of the Américas – Beard – Bennett – Clemente – Clippert – Earhart – Harms - Neinas – Maybury – Munger – Priest – Mark Twain - Western International.
• Enrollment opportunities at the area’s best schools! Six DPS schools are ranked among the best in Detroit by independent Excellent Schools Detroit. Those are Bennett, Roberto Clemente, Clippert, Harms, Maybury, and Munger.