Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Roy Roberts on Wednesday laid out several school changes and new academic initiatives.
The facilities changes include closure of nine school buildings, where in some cases entire programs will relocate to other buildings. Four schools will become new DPS-authorized charters and seven outdated schools will be consolidated into four brand new buildings. The four new schools are part of a $500.5 million voter-approved construction program.
Academically, DPS will also begin to create an individualized learning plan for each student in the district to help pinpoint strengths and weaknesses. The individualized learning plans will be automated and built electronically from existing data systems, using tests scores from the MME, MEAP, and benchmark assessments as well as other data, such as attendance.
The district has closed 130 school buildings since 2005 due to shrinking enrollment or their rundown physical condition. About 66,000 students were enrolled last fall — a drop of 38,000 since 2007.
Nine school buildings to close (one to be repurposed for consolidation of other administrative functions)
Due to declining enrollment and shifting demographics, DPS has 69,616 students, preK-12th grade, in a district with seats for 110,660 students. The vacant seats, taken together, represent what would be equivalent to the second largest school district in the state. Future trends call for continued reductions in school-age population. Rather than continue to support buildings that are far under-utilized, DPS will close, consolidate and merge schools, allowing for additional resources for a smaller group of higher-quality facilities and to the students in those buildings. In a number of cases, achieving programs such as Ludington Magnet Middle School and Mason Elementary School will remain intact, while the programs will move to newer, better facilities with room to serve additional students.
Buildings to be closed: City High, Day School for the Deaf, Jemison, Kettering High and West Wing, Ludington (program moving to current Langston Hughes which will renamed Ludington Magnet), Mason (program moving to current Farwell which will be renamed Mason), Maybury, Robeson Early Learning Center (kindergarten students moving to main Paul Robeson/Malcolm X Academy and pre-K to palmer Park), Southwestern
Four schools to be chartered with DPS as the authorizer
Detroit Public Schools will charter four schools that face enrollment and facilities challenges and have been under-performing based on state standards. The rigorous DPS process to select proven charter operators that have demonstrated success with raising academic achievement will provide a new opportunity for these schools. DPS will continue to serve as the charter authorizer and will monitor the schools’ academic and fiscal progress.
Schools affected: Cooke, MacDowell, Noble, Rutherford
Seven schools to consolidate into four brand new school buildings
DPS will open four additional brand new schools for the fall as part of the district’s bond construction project, which will allow the district to consolidate 7 outdated buildings so that 4,500 children may start the year in state-of-the-art facilities designed for 21st century learning. These four schools represent $150 million in educational investments thanks to Detroit voters. Already, some 10,000 Detroit students are learning every day inside new or renovated buildings opened the past two years through this program.
Schools affected: Logan and O.W. Holmes to new Munger, Parker and Barton to new Mackenzie, Mumford to new Mumford, Crockett and Finney to new East English Village Preparatory Academy (a new application school for 9th graders with current 10th-12th graders at Finney and Crockett High Schools offered enrollment)
Open Enrollment and Application Periods
A new Open Enrollment period for families will be held from March 15 – April 16 to allow for important decisions to be made. DPS, new DPS-authorized charters, and EAA schools to be announced will participate. DPS application schools will participate in an earlier application period from February 20 – March 15.