No longer having a monopoly on education, DPS creates initiatives to serve parents, families and students

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    DPS knows the days are long gone when anyone had a monopoly on the education of Detroit’s children. Through its new strategic plan and customer-driven approach, the teachers, principals, administrative staff and entire district are working hard to win the hearts and minds of families by providing the best quality educational experience possible.

    “We are dedicated to providing the best learning environment for all students through a research-based Strategic plan that our families and the community asked for, and building upon the academic gains we are already experiencing,” said Karen Ridgeway, Superintendent of Academics. “Together, we will ensure that Detroit Public Schools will be nationally recognized as an outstanding school district, instilling a passion for life-long learning among all students.”

    Among the new initiatives:

    Early Childhood: DPS will invest early in individual children through expanded preschool programs for all eligible four-year-olds. The DPS Universal Pre-K Program will add 25 new early learning classrooms to 14 sites geographically spread across the city, including 12 classrooms in five new DPS Early Learning Neighborhood Centers. In total, DPS will operate 215 Pre-K classrooms at 70 schools with a capacity for 3,530 young learners.

    Community Schools Model: 21 Detroit Public Schools’ buildings will soon become “12/7 Community Schools” to better serve the needs of families district-wide, extending beyond the traditional school day to offer services such as job skills training, child/elder care, financial literacy, food distribution and even medical care.

    New “Career Academy” programs: for students at Career Technical Centers where students can leave high school with a comprehensive high school diploma, associate’s degree, certification and paid apprenticeship

    Arts and Music Enrichment: The district is adding an art and music enrichment programs to ensure that every elementary school student has access to those programs by partnering with individuals and arts and music agencies with a proven track record in Detroit.

    Safety Enhancements and Safer Routes: DPS is adding to the ranks of its citizen, corporate and volunteer patrols and has instituted New Attendance and Code of Conduct policies.

    New Parent and Family Programs: DPS is expanding its parent and family engagement programs, including a new Parent University, using the Boston Public Schools Model that intentionally engages community partners immersed in every facet of what it takes to raise a child successfully.

    “Our parents will benefit from their expertise and upon program completion participate in internships working side by side within the agency partners as well as in the classroom strengthening their presence and continuing to confirm them as partners in educating our children,” said Sharlonda Buckman, President and CEO of the Detroit Parent Network.

    A new Customer Service ethic: DPS plans to be more customer-focused than ever before. Constantly and consistently exceeding expectations will become a new Detroit Public Schools Customer Service ethic that starts with how phone callers and guests are greeted and have their concerns resolved, and will infuse customer service into all aspects of the organization. The district has launched new training programs through an experienced and respected customer service leader and will make sure employees are motivated and rewarded.


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