Category: Community Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
Just when you thought things could not get stranger with the Detroit mayoral primary election, it does.
Fox 2 News reported that an Ingham County circuit judge in Lansing Thursday put a halt to the state review of the contested 20,000 write-in ballots as a result of a lawsuit filed by D. Etta Wilcoxon, a candidate for Detroit city clerk, who is challenging the state’s legal authority to handle the contested ballots.
Fox 2 News Reports:
A Fox 2 source says Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Joyce Draganchuck has ordered a "stay" in the tabulation of votes until cause can be shown that the canvassers have the authority to do so. A hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday, September 3rd, in Draganchuck's courtroom. This means Detroit's votes remain uncertified until at least next Tuesday.
Last Updated on Friday, 30 August 2013 02:04
Detroit Firemen’s Fund Looking for Volunteers for Television Show / House Renovation / Block Clean-Up
Category: Community Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
Detroit Firefighters have a unique perspective on the changes, both good and bad, that have taken place in the City of Detroit. We spend day after day, and year after year, in areas of the city that most people are never exposed to. It is often frustrating to watch homes that have relatively minor fire damage decay with each passing year. We cheer when a home we saved from the ravages of fire is restored and reoccupied. Those cheers have been few and far between in Detroit.
It is no wonder that the Detroit Firemen’s Fund is issuing a challenge to firefighters, and non-firefighters alike to take part in saving one such home and be on the DIY Network’s television show Rehab Addict. The show stars Michigan native Nicole Curtis. They are rehabbing a partially burned, 1929 Tudor style home in southwest Detroit and are looking for volunteers to work on the restoration and be filmed for an upcoming show.
The Detroit Firemen’s Fund heard of the project from a Detroit firefighter stationed in the area. When they learned of the need for volunteers they stepped up. With assistance from DFDLegacy.com, they are putting out the a challenge to Detroit firefighters, surrounding fire departments, and anyone else who wants to get involved. Additionally, the Fund will be providing drinking water and lunch for those volunteers.
This Thursday and Friday, August 29th and 30th, crews will be working and filming at the house located at Campbell and Horatio (link to map) from 9:00am. – 5:00pm. There is no need to come for the entire time, if you only have a few hours to give we will gladly accept the help.
For more information, visit www.dfdlegacy.com.
Last Updated on Thursday, 29 August 2013 09:37
Category: Community Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
Neighborhood-centered quality schools serve expanded needs of students, families and the community
Schools unite communities.
That’s the premise of Detroit Public Schools (DPS) efforts to house a wide variety of student, family and community support services within its local schools beginning this fall.
“Schools are widely used buildings,” said Emergency Manager Jack Martin. “So it’s only logical that we open them to the public, creating a place where neighborhood residents can meet to support education and overall community improvement efforts.”
The school hubs are a part of DPS’ 5-year strategic plan in which the district expanded its commitment to support Detroit families with the highest quality public education available and, ultimately, an educated regional workforce capable of driving the city’s economic rebirth.
More than 600 internal and external stakeholders helped to develop the transformative plan that includes more Pre-Kindergarten programs, new neighborhood-centered Community Schools, more Arts and Music enrichment classes, a new Parent University and Career Academies, according to DPS’ Martin.
This wider spectrum of its “Neighborhood-Centered, Quality Schools” programming is DPS’ commitment to listen and respond to the community’s evolving needs.
“The most important component of the DPS plan is that it was driven by the wants and desires of the community,” stated Karen Ridgeway, Superintendent of Academics of DPS.
The process began with an intensive five-week strategic planning process which involved parents, students, teachers, principals, staff, clergy, civic and community leaders and policy makers committed to working to help Detroit Public Schools better understand how to improve its performance and customer service, broaden services, and provide desired programs, all within a safe learning environment, according to Martin, who noted that participants helped drive decisions which ultimately lead to a better school system for the Fall.
“We have 97 neighborhood-centered, quality schools located throughout Detroit that have top-notch staffs, including dedicated principals and teachers, as well as clerical, instructional, food service and custodial staff that make our schools some of the best in the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan,” Martin stated.
“Detroiters, however, need to have confidence that when they send their children to Detroit Public Schools, they will get a high-quality education, in a safe environment. They also need to understand the full range of academic and enrichment programs that are available to help round out their child’s educational experience.”
The Strategic Plan will play out in ways big and small including new transportation routes to serve the needs of families, according to published reports.
“In addition to the major components of the plan, DPS is becoming more nimble to quickly address the needs of families – even creating new initiatives based on feedback during the district’s door-to-door August enrollment campaign,” said Ridgeway.
For families of the new Mark Twain School for Literary Scholars at 12800 Visger in Southwest Detroit, that means new transportation stops for River Rouge and Ecorse, and sections of Allen Park, Melvindale and Lincoln Park.
For Marcus Garvey Academy at 2301 Van Dyke, that means a new shuttle bus, providing transportation from Detroit’s northeast side. The shuttle promises to expose more families to the rich offerings at Garvey, including its Harambee Center, Parent Resource Center, Target Library Makeover, school clinic, renovated pool, urban garden programs and proximity to adjacent Butzel Family Center and playgrounds, along with the school’s meaningful partnership with Compuware Corp.
A new after-school Midtown Activities Shuttle will connect students of Burton International, Spain and Golightly Education Center to the activities offered at the three schools – including track, swimming, instrumental music – so the three schools together offer a more robust educational experience.
RENEWED COMMITMENT TO
At every school, front office staff members have taken a Customer Service Pledge, recommitting themselves to putting the needs of parents and students first.
The plans are designed to dramatically change mindsets, and the district has pledged to be courageous and bold — and to plan to win.
“We know that, ultimately, these strategies, will improve academic outcomes for all children,” Martin said.
Last Updated on Thursday, 29 August 2013 09:10
No longer having a monopoly on education, DPS creates initiatives to serve parents, families and students
Category: Community Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
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.
Last Updated on Thursday, 29 August 2013 09:16
Category: Community Written by G. Strand
Sixth grader Kynndel Johnson, can rattle off multiplication in rapid fire. Speaking in Chinese in a sing-song fashion, she said, “1 times 2 is 2; 2 times 2 is 4; 3 times 2 is 6; 4 times 2 is 8…” And on and on… all in CHINESE! “The Chinese times tables are easier to learn because it’s fast and gets in your brain,” she said. The FLICS program is designed to prepare exiting eighth-graders to be proficient in their chosen second language and to succeed at a college-preparatory high school.
Exiting eighth-graders are assessed for second language proficien-cy and have the opportunity to earn high school credit in global language and Algebra. FLICS also capitalizes on its proximity to Renaissance High School through male and female peer mentoring programs and a new grade 9 – 12 language continuation, allowing stu-dents to take advanced language courses taught by FLICS teachers at Renaissance. Detroit Public Schools’ technol-ogy-infused curriculum provides unique opportunities for students to polish their skills with native speak-ers.
Throughout the district, all students in grades 6-12 will have access to Net-book computers, and every teacher has a Netbook for classroom and home use. FLICS, like other schools, has new Apple MacBooks, and iPod touch units. Mobile learning is em-braced at FLICS; help-ing to reach students with the tools they use. Another program, begun last year, allows Spanish-speaking stu-dents to Skype with a class at the Institución Educative Distrital La Magdelena in Columbia, creating a real-time teleconference with students across the world. And even kindergartens are skillful with using iPods and other high-tech devices to hone their for-eign language skills.
The rigorous curriculum means that many FLICS students eventually matriculate to the district’s elite ex-amination schools like Cass Tech and Renaissance, but the school also has many programs for students who strug-gle in traditional classes. The school examines test data for each child, assessing their strengths and weaknesses, and caters individ-ually to children where they need assistance, according to Principal Losié. “We have extremely unique offer-ings that no other district has,” Losié said. “That’s how we roll.” Si! Oui! Shi! Hai! Who is at the Helm at FLICS?
Todd Losié is a veteran college-preparatory, high school language teacher and former High School Teacher of the Year. He is also a national speaker on second language instruction and a contributing writer for three French-language textbook series. What is Unique?Students (6th – 12th grades) and teachers are provided with Netbook computers, in addition to access to Apple MacBooks and iPod touch units.
All FLICS students are provided with iPods for classroom use. International Studies classes like the Institución Educative Distrital La Magdelena in Columbia, are avaialable via SKYPE.
Last Updated on Thursday, 29 August 2013 08:57
- Going Global: Multilingual Students Prepare To Participate In A Multinational Economy
- Franklin Wright Settlements: Still Serving Families in Need
- WATCH: Let Freedom Ring Ceremony Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
- Michigan lawmakers OK Medicaid expansion
Digital Daily Signup
Sign up now for the Michigan Chronicle Digital Daily newsletter!
- Detroit Begins A New Chapter as Detroit Bankruptcy is Allowed to Proceed (1)
- Joyce Hayes Giles retires after 35 years with DTE (2)
- Sarah Palin accuses Obama of Libya ‘shuck and jive’ (1)
- Detroit is eligible for bankruptcy, pension cuts (2)
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network among lowest priced health plans on Michigan’s ACA health insurance marketplace (1)