September 10, 2002

Wayne State University and Detroit Public Schools initiate partnership project

Wayne State University (WSU) and Detroit Public Schools (DPS) have formed a partnership arrangement over University Public School (UPS), formerly operated solely by Wayne State.

Effective at the beginning of the 2002-2003 school year, all administrative responsibilities over UPS will be transferred to DPS while Wayne State remains as a vital partner in academic and support relations to the school.

The partnership is viewed by Wayne State University Board of Governors member Diane Dunaskiss as a positive proposition for all parties involved, particularly students and parents. "Students will now benefit from two education providers, the resources available from a world-class research university and a dynamic urban public school system. Such an arrangement is definitely a plus for students and their families," Dunaskiss said.

During the last several years, WSU and DPS have enjoyed over 180 partnerships and collaborative projects contributing significantly to the Detroit and metro area communities. For University Public School, this partnership represents yet another step towards enhancing the educational experience of Detroit's students.

"We are committed to improving achievement for all of our students. This is a very exciting time in Detroit Public Schools. All of our teachers and principals in the district are being trained in our new reading comprehension program. All of our students will benefit tremendously," said Dr. Kenneth Stephen Burnley, CEO, Detroit Public Schools.

In an effort to maintain the quality of services and continuity of programming, the principal and faculty of UPS have been extended an invitation to remain at the school. Wayne State and Detroit Public Schools foresee a smooth transition with University Public School remaining in its current facility for the 2002-2003 school year.

The importance of a seamless transition to ensure that students will continue to receive an outstanding delivery of services cannot be overstated according to Dr. Paula Wood, dean of WSU's College of Education. "University Public School has maintained an outstanding tradition of excellence in education- a heritage that we underscored during the planning of the transitional process," Wood noted. "During the planning process, we reminded ourselves about the school's stated mission to provide a secure environment in which learning and growing can occur through a collaborative relationship with our students, our parents, our teachers and our community.

Ultimately, the goal of University Public School, which offers instructional programs for grades 6-8, will continue to focus on the preparation of its students to enter the ninth-grade at one of the choice high schools of Detroit. "Many will see this as a great addition to our Schools of Choice program. We intend much more. Our goal is for University Public School to become a model school for effective instruction by maintaining our partnership with Wayne State University," remarked Dr. Lavonne M. Sheffield, chief of staff, Detroit Public Schools.

Contact: Stan Childress, Detroit Public Schools
Voice: (313) 494-2903
Fax: (313) 577-8154

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