Greetings Students, Parents and Community Members,
Are you still shaking sand out of your shoes and the backseat of the car? Is the propane tank on the backyard grill almost empty? Are you packing up the camper for one last weekend get-away? Well if you answered yes to any of those questions then you most likely are enjoying your summer. Although we still have the weekend left , the first day of school for students will be Monday, August 26, 2019. You may recall we made this change last year to meet the state required number of instructional days.
A brief recap of last year and a preview of 2019-2020 includes:
- Our work is driven by the Strategic Plan. Our new plan is finalized pending board approval which should occur by the Fall. The plan has been revised to become more user friendly and will be available at the following link.
- In July the Board approved language to place a bond proposal on the November ballot. The proposal is being called the BRICS Bond and will generate $240 million while keeping the millage rate at current levels. The funds generated can only be used for specific projects approved by the State and will be used to address an aging infrastructure in our district. BRICS is an acronym to remind residents that the bond will be used for Buildings, Renovations, Infrastructure, Capacity and Safety. Click here to find out more.
- Graduation rates and NWEA growth data continues to improve. For the second year in a row graduation rates are at all time high of 95% across the district and NWEA data shows we are well above national averages in student growth. In addition, we are one of the top districts in the state that are sending students to college at 82%. This is 20% above the state average. We have students that attend Harvard, Yale, Brown, Dartmouth, Princeton, Stanford, the University of Michigan, Michigan State, University of Michigan-Dearborn, Wayne State, and Henry Ford College, to name a few. We promote a wide variety of opportunities for our students at the post-secondary level.
- STEM middle school was recognized as a Blue Ribbon School. This is the second school in the history of Dearborn Schools in many years (Becker 2017) to receive this very prestigious award. Only 13 are given out across the state by the US Department of Education. This was a positive reflection on our entire district and we anticipate the recognition of an additional school this year.
- This year, for the first time in several years, we needed to make reductions in order to balance our budget. The main reasons for these reductions came from a small decrease in enrollment and uncertainty about funding amounts from the State. We do not know what our budget will be from the state even though we had to officially approve the budget by June 30, 2019. Fortunately, at the time of writing this post, almost all of the 15 instructional staff members laid off have been called back. We are hoping to restore all positions but cannot hire new staff and add positions until the State has settled the budget and we have actual enrollment numbers.
I’m excited about the year ahead, building upon our success, continuing to improve, and of course always working to put “Students First.”
As mentioned, our school year begins on Monday, August 26, 2019 with a half day of instruction. I plan to visit everyone of our 35 buildings during the first two weeks of school. The success of any school district is really about the success that happens at each school, in each classroom, and with each student. Our awesome school community in Dearborn is responsible for the success of the Dearborn Public Schools. I truly appreciate the positive support for our students and I look forward to seeing everyone on Monday and beyond. Looking forward to a great school year. Welcome Back Students!!