New Social Justice High School in Detroit Engages in Meaningful Community Partnerships to Drive Student Success
By Abner Oakes
ISA's Director of Outreach
Institute for Student Achievement (ISA) provides instructional expertise to new Equity Educational Management Solutions school
DETROIT, Michigan, November 12, 2014 – In its first year of operation, Detroit Delta Preparatory Academy for Social Justice (Delta Prep) has partnered with numerous Detroit-based organizations to engage its students in community service projects that raise awareness about social justice issues. The partnerships with local organizations are foundational to the school’s goal of ensuring that all students will be academically and socially prepared for college upon graduation.
“Delta Prep provides students with a unique and engaging opportunity that combines rigorous academics with community service to provide the most comprehensive educational experience to prepare students for success in college and careers in social justice,” said Meagan Brown, founding principal of Delta Prep. “We’ve worked hand-in-hand with our organizational partners to provide our students with rewarding experiences that positively impact their educational experiences, as well as our community.”
Delta Prep is the result of collaboration between Equity Educational Management Solutions, ISA, and the Detroit Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority to create a high performing educational community focused on changing the life trajectories of its students.
Once a week, Delta Prep students are released early so they can engage in mentorships with representatives from local organizations. Activities include: weekly cooking classes in partnership with the Henry Ford Health System to teach students about healthy eating and provide them with healthy ingredients to take home; a modeling class focused on self-esteem, etiquette and professionalism that culminates in an end-of-year fashion show fundraiser done in conjunction with a local designer; and more. In the coming months Delta Prep is adding driver’s education classes, self-esteem classes for boys, and offering support to a homeless shelter across the street from the school by volunteering at its soup kitchen and by hosting a hat and glove drive.
The students’ culminating social justice Legacy Project will focus on making a contribution to the city of Detroit. The school’s students, who are currently in 9th and 10th grade, will have the autonomy to define their own contribution and decide what the output of their project will be. When the students get to 11th grade, they will work with a local group and spearhead a project together and when they reach 12th grade, they will focus on a global injustice with the hopes of traveling to the area.
Delta Prep utilizes ISA’s comprehensive and collaborative approach to school design. It builds a high performing educational community focused on helping all students achieve higher education and successful careers. ISA’s focus on a college-ready curriculum, distributed counseling and personalization, and a culture of continuous improvement, creates vibrant, successful schools – such as Delta Prep – that are as unique as the communities they serve.
“ISA provides Delta Prep with the school, leadership and content coaching needed to ensure the ongoing success of both our students and teachers,” said Brown. “Together with ISA, as well as our community partners, we look forward to providing students with the most supportive and academically challenging high school experience.”
The Institute for Student Achievement (ISA) partners with schools and districts to transform public high schools so that students who are traditionally underserved and underperforming graduate prepared for success in college. Through a close partnership, ISA provides the organizational and professional development supports that schools, principals, and teachers need to succeed, giving students the opportunity to learn, grow, and achieve to their fullest potential. To learn more about ISA, visit //www.studentachievement.org/.
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