Alycia MerriweatherDetroit Public Schools Interim Superintendent Alycia Meriweather held a public meeting Wednesday at Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School along with the District’s 15 committee Academic Advisory Council.

The Council is comprised of more than 150 employees, staff, and parents who committed their time to develop recommendations for a long-term pathway forward for the new District. Meriweather also issued a call for the community to join Phase II. Phase II will be the development of the actual plan, which will require input from all stakeholders.

Each committee presented in their respective category from curriculum development to wraparound services for students and their families.

Some of the recommendations from the 15 committees include:

  • Redesigning the elementary curriculum to include cross-curricular and integrated thematic units that address the standards for the core subject areas;
  • Providing literacy intervention kindergarten through grade 12. Implement a process to identify at-risk students by first grade, district-wide;
  • Implementing an appropriately staffed Focus/In-school Suspension Room to provide students with reflection time along with out of class instruction;
  • Making wraparound services available to all students with the recommended staff to student ratios to provide individualized intervention services, assessments and resources:
  • Developing capacity within the District to maximize the potential of each employee and,
  • Restructuring the district’s attendance, promotion/retention, and behavior policies.

“I am greatly encouraged by the recommendations from the Council. People were excited to be able to participate in the initial stages of information gathering, conversation, and collaboration in an effort to advise the development of the new Academic Plan,” said Alycia Meriweather, Interim Superintendent, DPS. “More than 150 people have invested time and resources in creating a foundation that will enable our students to excel academically and be prepared for their futures. As we move to Phase II, we welcome additional community stakeholders to join in our Academic Plan development process.  We believe that one of the only ways for the new District to be successful is through collaboration, as well as constructive criticism. We are committed to improvement.”

The 15 committees are: school planning (building utilization, expansions, closures), grading schools, culture/climate, promotion, attendance and behavior policies, innovation, literacy, career technical education, wrap-around services, parent and community, capacity building, accountability, curriculum and instruction, and educational programs (afterschool, arts, blended learning).

Committees were charged with collecting current research articles on their topic/issue, identifying best practice models from other cities and districts, and engaging in dialogue around the specific needs for the Detroit Public Schools Community District moving forward. Today’s recommendations will provide the appendix for the District’s new Academic Plan. Phase II will be the development of the actual plan, which will require input from all stakeholders. Please send an email to academic.excellence@detroitk12.org if you are interested in participating in Phase II, or if you would be willing to provide feedback on the plan as it is developed.

The presentation is included here: https://vimeo.com/172845319 , along with a survey requesting feedback from the public. This can also be found at detroitk12.org.

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