Renaissance 2012 plan seeks community members for board training

The Detroit Public Schools' Renaissance 2012 plan seeks to convert 45 current DPS schools into charter schools, and the search is underway to find current charter operators in the state of Michigan with experience running urban schools with proven success from their students on statewide proficiency exams.

But charter operators are only one piece of the Renaissance transformation. DPS is also conducting training to find potential school board operators, who will serve as financial and educational stewards for every turnaround school in the program.

Renaissance 2012 project manager Kisha Verdusco says the two most important qualities for potential board members are time and a passion for improving educational standards in the city.

"Because of how important this role is, you need to be really committed," she says. "We're offering training, so people can come to us with the basic criteria and we can train them on the rest."

They've already received more than 100 reservations to attend training sessions for potential board members, and reservations are still being accepted for a second and third training session.

"Obviously, that's significant to show that the community wants to be involved in this," says Jennifer Morozowski, Executive Director of Communications for DPS.

The 45 schools that were identified as turnaround schools under the Renaissance 2012 program had persistent low academic performance, low or declining enrollment, high operational costs, poor physical conditions at facilities, or a combination of those factors.

The initial training for 50 people, set for Saturday April 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., is full, but a second workshop, scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 20 at the DPS Welcome Center, Conference Room A, 3031 W. Grand Blvd. DPS also soon will announce an additional date.

Training will be provided by the National Charter Schools Institute. If you're interested in joining a training session, email [email protected]. Find out more about the Renaissance 2012 program here.

Sources: Jennifer Mrozowski, Executive Director, Office of Communications,
Detroit Public Schools, and Kisha Verdusco, project manager, Renaissance 2012
Writer: Ashley C. Woods