Reporting Pat Sweeting
DETROIT (WWJ) – It’s a plan to make schools more a part of the community. Detroit Public Schools on Thursday announced that 21 schools will now remain open 12 hours a day, seven days-a-week.
The schools will offer homework help, medical services, and parenting and pre-natal classes, as well as financial literacy and technology skills programs.
Carol Weaver, who directs the new DPS Community Schools program, said each of these schools will receive a community schools coordinator who will work with the school’s principal and staff to determine the needs of students and their families.
“He or she will also coordinate with the various community partners to ensure that families receive access to basic human services, mentoring and tutoring opportunities,” Weaver said,
Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Jack Martin says the cost is being handled, in part, by the state — which will provide 10 resource coordinators — along with DPS, which has budgeted for the expense.
“This is have to do work,” said Martin. “It’s not something that was nice to do; it’s something we absolutely have to do — bringing parents, communities together.”
At Clark Preparatory Academy, Principal Demond Thomas says that school’s aim is to elicit partnerships that will provide a full-range of health, academic, recreational and social services to students and families. A partnership with Lear Corporation has already proven beneficial to the school.
“The Lear Corporation reconstructed two computer labs here at Clark Preparatory Academy. In addition, the Lear Corporation funds the payroll for our East English Village students to come over and tutor our Clark students,” Thomas said.
The 21 Community Schools include: Bagley Elementary School, Bennett Elementary School, Clark Preparatory Academy, Cody Campus, Detroit International Academy, Earhart Elementary-Middle School, East English Village Preparatory Academy, Fisher Magnet Lower Academy, Fisher Magnet Upper Academy, Marcus Garvey Academy, Golightly Education Center, Gompers Elementary-Middle School, Harms Elementary School, Martin Luther King, Jr. Senior High School, Ludington Magnet Middle School, Mackenzie Elementary-Middle School, Munger Elementary-Middle School, Osborn Campus, Priest Elementary-Middle School, Mark Twain Elementary-Middle School and Western International High School.
DPS says the schools were selected based on existing community-wide programs already offered at the sites. From that pool of potential schools, educators and principals were required to complete training for the Community Schools model and submit a detailed proposal to the Office of Academics.