Last day for open enrollment in Detroit schools

Apr 16, 2012

Monday was the last day for parents of Detroit Public Schools students to pick schools for their children.

The district has a citywide open enrollment policy this year.

Parents who want to send their kids to schools outside their neighborhood can rank their preferred schools. The district takes that into consideration when placing kids.

Sonya Smith, a DPS parent who also works at the Parent Resource Center at Osborn High School, says the district has made the whole process easier for parents this year.

“They were able to have a first, second, and third choice, and only one place to turn the paperwork in, and not having to go to each school," Smith said.

DPS spokesman Steve Wasko says the open enrollment period is being held earlier than usual this year.

Officials hope that will lessen the confusion over staffing and enrollment that has plagued many DPS parents, teachers and administrators at the start of recent school years.

But some confusion still lingers in other areas. Things didn’t go too smoothly for Debra Rowaen, who took advantage of district-sponsored transportation to visit different schools.

Rowaen says the district did its part, but school officials at Southeastern High School weren't very helpful. “They had us come in, gave us a handshake, and told us the state was gonna take it over, and that was it,” she said.

By “take it over,” those school officials meant Southeastern is going into the Education Achievement System.

That’s the new statewide district for the lowest-performing 5% of schools. It will launch with 15 former Detroit Public schools in the fall.

Wasko says it's not yet possible to tell how many parents have taken advantage of open enrollment, but events held over the past month have shown "strong participation."