[image_lightbox url=”/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Jack-Martin-Photo-Hi-Res-FINAL.jpg” title=”Jack Martin” align=”left”]Jack Martin[/image_lightbox]Detroit Public Schools need the support of the Detroit community now more than ever before. In fact, I believe the future of the district depends on our ability – working together as a team – to do everything within our power to not only retain our current student base, but also attract at least 5,000 students to the district this school year.

We have 97 neighborhood-centered, quality schools located throughout Detroit that have top-notch staffs, including dedicated principals and teachers, as well as clerical, instructional, food service and custodial staff that make our schools some of the best in the City of Detroit and the State of Michigan.

Detroiters, however, need to have confidence that when they send their children to Detroit Public Schools, they will get a high-quality education, in a safe environment. They also need to understand the full range of academic and enrichment programs that are available to help round out their child’s educational experience.

We understand that our schools know what they have to offer better than anyone and can best explain it, and we know that parents are most likely to make a decision on their child’s future education based on personalized contact, referrals, and visits to see the schools. So – for the first time – we have embarked on an aggressive grass-roots enrollment campaign through which our individual schools are canvassing their surrounding neighborhoods to explain to people exactly why their local Detroit Public School is the best educational option for their child. This campaign is based on the larger mission, from our community-driven Strategic Plan, to individually market each and every one of our schools.

That means principals and teachers, other members of the school’s staff, as well as parents, union leaders and members and community volunteers are out walking the neighborhoods surrounding their schools, knocking on doors and having real conversations with people. And it’s working. People are listening and enrolling their children in DPS.

However we only have a short time left before school starts and there are still many more doors to knock on and even more conversations that need to be had. Our schools cannot do it alone. We’re counting on all of our alumni, community partners and supporters to rally around them and volunteer to help support them in these critical efforts.

I’m going to be out there helping and I hope you will too! Every day several more schools launch their neighborhood outreach campaigns. To volunteer your time to support one (or more) of our schools, please email enrollment.growth@detroitk12.org, placing COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER in the subject line. Please be sure to include your name, phone number and email address. All volunteers will be promptly responded to and provided the training and support they need to make the volunteering of their valuable time worthwhile. This includes specific lists with contacts, school collateral material, T-shirts, refreshments and security.

Working together, I am confident we can achieve our 5,000 student goal, and create a stronger, more sustainable DPS.