Detroit school officials announced a new strategic plan last week that includes fewer school closings than anticipated; promotes its schools as neighborhood centers; and emphasizes early-childhood education, art and vocational education, as well as expanded learning time for the district’s 50,000 students.
Roy Roberts, the district’s state-appointed emergency manager, said the plan was a response to competition from charter schools and suburban districts: The rapidly shrinking district had more than 164,000 students just 10 years ago. A state-run agency, the Education Achievement Authority, also runs a number of schools in Detroit.
The new strategic plan was developed with close to 600 community members over the course of five weeks, according to a press release.
Starting this fall, the district will expand its preschool programs to reach all 4-year-olds, add parenting programs and life-skill training, and bring other services, including social workers and prenatal training, to its schools.
Only four schools will be closed, far less than the 28 that had been targeted for closure.
A version of this article appeared in the April 17, 2013 edition of Education Week as Detroit Officials Unveil K-12 Strategic Plan