Office of Literacy

Detroit Promise

Any student who is graduating or plans to graduate from a DPSCD High School is eligible to receive a tuition-free path to an associates degree, technical certificate, or bachelors degree at any one of five participating community colleges or 17 four-year universities. (See list of schools below)

The Detroit Promise is for high school seniors attending any high school in Detroit and living in Detroit. Students must meet both requirements. Students who attended multiple schools are eligible as long as all of the schools were located in Detroit.  To qualify students must:

  • Successfully complete and submit the  FAFSA.
  • Register for the Detroit Promise by June 2018.
  • Be admitted to a participating college.

There are two college pathways: The Community College Pathway and the University Pathway.

Community College Pathway

  • The student must attend at least junior and senior year and graduate from any Detroit high school.
  • Reside in Detroit for at least junior and senior year of high school.

The following schools are Detroit Promise two-year Community College partners:

  • Henry Ford College
  • Macomb Community College
  • Oakland Community College
  • Schoolcraft College
  • Wayne County Community College District

University Pathway

  • Attend all four years and graduate from any Detroit high school.
  • Reside in Detroit for all four years of high school.
  • Must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA as of Feb. 15 in your senior year.
  • Must have a score of at least a 21 on the ACT or at least 1060 on the SAT. (colleges and universities may require a higher score)

Below is a list of partnering four-year schools. Unlimited partners have an unlimited number of scholarships available for Detroit Promise students. Limited partners have a limited number of scholarships reserved for Detroit Promise students.

Unlimited Partners

  • Albion College
  • Cleary University
  • Eastern Michigan University
  • Grand Valley State University
  • Madonna University
  • Michigan State University
  • University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
  • University of Michigan – Dearborn
  • University of Michigan – Flint
  • Wayne State University
  • Western Michigan University

Limited Partners

  • Central Michigan University
  • Marygrove College
  • Michigan Technological University
  • Northern Michigan University
  • Oakland University
  • Saginaw Valley State University
  • University of Detroit – Mercy

For more information, please visit The Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce or email

Supporting Educators

Through the priorities outlined in our strategic plan, Blueprint 2020, The Office of Literacy supports our educators by providing access to professional development, instructional materials, and teacher practices.

We support educators, staff, students, and families in numerous ways that align with the district’s priorities:

Outstanding Achievement: We are working to dramatically improve the academic experience of all students to ensure they are college and career ready by facilitating best-in-class professional development for educators and by selecting and implementing high-quality curriculum aligned with both the Michigan Academic Standards and related assessments.

Transformative Culture: To ensure that students, families, and staff feel safe, respected, and connected to our curriculum, we select curriculum materials that provide windows into the experiences of others, as well as mirrors of the student’s own reality. Through our curriculum students explore the unfamiliar, but also see their own experiences validated and valued.

Whole Child Commitment: The whole child is championed by ensuring our students have exposure to enrichment activities the build upon their natural talents in literacy.

Exceptional Talent: A team of dedicated staff serves our teachers, students, and families. Through our work supporting master teachers in literacy, we continue to cultivate exceptional talent in the classroom and work to build a pipeline for aspiring literacy teachers and leaders.

Responsible Stewardship: Through a district-wide allocation strategy and a rigorous vetting system we manage and deploy literacy resources responsibly, transparently, and equitably to support all teachers and students in the district.

Curriculum Overview

Instructional materials are one of the most important tools educators use in the classroom to enhance student learning. It is critical that they fully align to state standards—what students are expected to learn and be able to do at the end of each grade level or course—and are high quality to ensure meaningful instructional support.

The Office of Literacy is committed to ensuring that every classroom has access to a high-quality curriculum. As a result, throughout the remainder of the school year, we will be going through an adoption process, which will include collaboration with educators, staff, and community stakeholders.

For the 17/18 school year educators have continued the use of the curriculum from last year. See a listing of the “sunsetting” core materials below:

Grades K – 6:  Imagine It! Reading Series

Imagine It Pics. (2)
The SRA Imagine It! Reading Series is a research-based program that contains literature intended to expose students to a variety of different writing styles and genres. Lessons are delivered through systematic, explicit instruction.


Grades 7 – 8: Prentice Hall Literature and Prentice Hall Writing and Grammar

Prentice Hall Literature and Prentice Hall Writing and Grammar are the core components of the 7th and 8th grade English/Language Arts curriculum. Prentice Hall selections incorporate some of the classics along with high-interest contemporary literature. It also has a skills focus that emphasizes reading and vocabulary development.

Grade 7 Prentice Hall: LiteraturePrentice Hall: Writing and GrammarGrade 8 Prentice Hall: Literature Grade 8 Prentice Hall: Writing and Grammar

Grades 9 – 12: McDougal Littell Literature

McDougal Littell Literature provides core reading instruction for the 9th, 11th and 12th grade English/Language Arts curriculum. The 10th Grade edition of McDougal Littell Literature is used to supplement the Holt Rinehart and Winston African American Literature text. McDougal Littell material encourages students to explore the world of art, literature, and life’s big questions. The unique organization around clusters of standards allows for the teaching of major literary concepts across genres. Standards that belong together are taught together. Students analyze fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, and media across clusters of standards. Special features support visual and media literacy, along with research strategies.

Grade 9 McDougal Littell: The Language of LiteratureGrade 10 Holt Rinehart Winston: African American LiteratureGrade 10 McDougal Littell: LiteratureGrade 11 American LiteratureGrade 12 British Literature

Curriculum & Assessment Support

Khan Academy: Using Official SAT Practice

Khan Academy Logo
For the first time ever, students have access to a free, personalized practice program for the SAT through an exclusive partnership between Khan Academy and the College Board. By making world-class SAT preparation available to anyone, anywhere, we hope to level the playing field so that every student has equal opportunity for college readiness!


MyOn Family Access Flyer
MyOn is a program that gives students access to books and helps them learn to love reading. This flyer explains how to access MyOn from home.

To Access myOn

  1. Go to
    1. Teacher Username: Your DPSCD email address
      Teacher Password: Your employee ID
    2. Student Username: Student ID Number
      Student Password: 1st name initial (CAP) + last name initial + mmyy (4-digit b-day) + 2-digit code (boy=01, girl=02)
  2. i-Ready provides all families with access to a free app that promotes vocabulary development. How to access this app from home.

Enrichment Opportunities

Scripps National Spelling Bee

National Spelling Bee LogoStudents from across America are on a shared journey. It’s a journey full of hard work, determination and the opportunity to make memories and friendships that last a lifetime. This journey is the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and DPSCD students can take part in this great journey when you indicate your commitment to enroll your school.

Who: Detroit Public Schools Community District Schools (Grades 5-8)

Dates to Remember:

  • December 7, 2017 – Indicate commitment to enroll
  • January 29, 2018 – School Spelling Bee completion sate
  • February 2, 2018 – School Champion Registration deadline
  • February 2, 2018 – Need photos of School Champions
  • February 17, 2018 – The WXYZ Channel 7 Local Spelling Bee

Tell Us About an Amazing Woman: Student Book Competition on Heroines

Writing contest logoTo honor the vast accomplishments of women in the United States, the National Youth Foundation (NYF) is pleased to announce the Amazing Women’s Edition (AWE) competition. Sophia Hanson, Executive Director of NYF, stated: “In furtherance of honoring the vast contributions of women, we are hosting the Amazing Women’s Edition book writing contest. Get to know an extraordinary woman in your community and tell us HER story.” AWE calls upon students in grades K to 8 to write and illustrate original books on heroines in their communities. The winning book will be published in hardcover and donated to public libraries. Additionally, the winning student will receive $500 in prizes.

The winning book will be announced in March 2018, during women’s history month.

The deadline for the submission of completed books and applications is January 4, 2018.

Contest details and application material can be found at

For questions, please email or call or (610) 742-3671.
Contact: National Youth Foundation
Telephone: (610) 742-3671

Follow us on Social Media: Twitter: @NYFUSA NYFUSAFacebook: NYFUSA Instagram: National Youth Foundation

Current Happenings

Michigan’s 3rd Grade Reading Law

Michigan recently passed a new reading law (MCL 380.1280f) that will be in full effect for 3rd-grade students during the 2019-2020 school year. To begin the process, school districts must choose an assessment system for grades K-3 and deliver a student diagnostic report to parents during the current 2017-2018 school year. Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) has selected the i-Ready Diagnostic assessment. i-Ready is an online program that will assess each student’s individual needs and monitor their progress throughout the school year.

Beginning in November, parents will be notified of their child’s performance on the i-Ready Diagnostic. Students demonstrating a reading deficiency will receive an Individual Reading Improvement Plan. The Individual Reading Improvement Plan will outline how the school will address the reading deficiency and will also provide at-home recommendations and resources to improve reading skills. Parents of students who receive an Individual Reading Improvement Plan will be asked to attend a parent conference where they will be empowered to assist their child with a Read-at-Home Plan & Toolkit.

While this will not occur during the 2017-2018 school year, it is important to note that the law will require retention of 3rd-grade students with a reading deficiency based on state assessment during the 2019–2020 school year.

If you have questions about your child’s current assessment results or the Michigan 3rd grade reading law, please reach out to your child’s teacher or school leadership for additional help.

Upcoming informational sessions

Detroit Public Schools Community District will is holding informational sessions throughout the year for parents and guardians to learn more about understanding the Individual Reading Improvement Plan, getting reading help for their child and the new law.

Additional evening sessions will be held in January. Stay tuned for dates, times and locations.

Supporting Documents


MyOn is a program that gives students access to books and helps them learn to love reading. This flyer explains how to access MyOn from home.