Elementary/Middle School
2015 - 2016 School Improvement Plan (Elementary / MiddleSchool)


Detroit Community Schools Announces a Green Science Fair! DetroitCommunity Schools will be holding a school-wide Green Science Fair on May21-23,2013. All students in Kindergarten through Eleventh grade willparticipate with projects that demonstrate the breadth of the students'knowledge in life and earth sciences, as well as green energy applications.Projects that demonstrate solar and wind energy, ecology projects which arepart of the school's outdoor classroom, water resources projects, avianstudies, pollinator studies and energy conservation projects are all part of thescheduled events.

Detroit Community Elementary School (Kindergarten throughFifth grade) will host the Science Fair Open House on Wednesday, May 22 from1:30 pm to 3:30 pm. Parents and friends will be welcome to go to theirstudent's classroom from 1:30­ 2:45 pm to view their own child's classroom andthe projects the students created. Baby chicks, butterflies, frogs and variouseco-systems are all part of the projects on view; Then at 2:45 pm, all parentsand friends are welcome to view the other classroom projects. The event willclose at 3:30 pm. Middle and high school students (Grades 6-11) semi-finalistswill compete on May 23 from 8:30 am to 11:00 am in the school cafeteria.

Theprojects will be judged by a panel of individuals including board members, arepresentative from the Honors College from Eastern Michigan University, andstaff members at Detroit Community Schools. There will be one overall winnerfor each grade level from 6 through 11. Parents of the semi-finalists areencouraged to attend on May 23. All of the semi-finalists entries will be ondisplay outside the gym after the competition. Please be sure to drop by andsee the students' work!



Brightmoor Bikes and Trailers
Anotherafter school entrepreneurial program was established that trains middleschool students in bicycle repair and maintenance. DCS students havean opportunity to “Earn-a-Bike” at the end of the school year.This program, in conjunction with the Brightmoor Alliance is intended tohelp create a “bicycle community” in the Brightmoor area of Detroit.In addition to providing our students with a marketable skill, it alsoaddresses the issue of poor public transportation in this area ofDetroit. As in all of our other Extended Day Activities, participatingstudents must attend school regularly and not violate the student codeof conduct.
Brightmoor Woodworkers
TheBrightmoor Woodworkers program is a DCS student led/student runbusiness that produces high quality, hand crafted wooden signage forsale in the community. The program incorporates workforce skilldevelopment out of the apprentice, journeyman and master model andrequires those students who have attained proficiency in their craft tobecome peer trainers for the next round of students. For instance, highschool students will be responsible for teaching middle schoolstudents. The academic design component features applied mathematics,geometry and entrepreneurship.As in all of our other Extended Day Activities, participating studentsmust attend school regularly and not violatethe student code of conduct.
Environmental Learning Laboratory
TheEnvironmental Learning Laboratory at Detroit Community Schools providesan outdoor classroom space for students and faculty to extend in-classacademic work by utilizing project-based, experiential learning. TheLaboratory has been built by DCS students over the past six years,transforming a former industrial storage yard into a beautiful andfunctional part of our campus. Facilities include:•solar pavilion and weather station•greenhouse•teaching garden;•gazebo structure offering a place for classes to be held•storage area•small orchard•bird and butterfly sanctuary, as well as a nature path.The area provides several different habitats for students to study andobserve as well as active areas for learning horticultural skills. Amarket garden is currently being constructed that will feature producegrown in raised bed gardens that will be for sale through a CSA (aconsumer cooperative which will be available to families and staff).Subjects that are available to be taught in the area includeenvironmental studies; ecology; biology, life sciences, soil sciences,geology, climatology and green and sustainable energy. The schoolsponsors high school students to work in the Laboratory each summer toextend the facilities that are offered. In addition, a number ofprojects in Kindergarten through 12th grade are demonstrated in theLaboratory as part of our Green Science Fair in the spring of theacademic year.
Sphinx Violin
ADetroit based not for profit, Sphinx, provides free violin education toour 2nd and 3rd grade students. The program consists of classes 2 daysper week.
YDS Chess
DetroitCommunity Schools are using the services of Youth Development Services,Inc. (YDS). The YDS Chess programs use computer technology to maximizethe effectiveness of their accomplished, knowledgeable and ranked chesstrainers. Our students learn by interacting directly with theinstructor during the online classes in an informative and funenvironment. Students are also able to use the YDS Chess server to playchess matches outside of class. Then the YDS staff can review thematches to check student progress. Learning chess rules and strategiesteaches students critical thinking skills and strategy and improvesfocus, patience, responsibility and sportsmanship. Many prominenteducators feel that chess programs improve student’s math and readingscores.Currently, the YDS chess program is an after school program. We areworking to integrate the program into the elementary school curriculum.In the future, students will represent the Detroit Community schools inchess tournaments around the city.