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Detroit Public Schools Transition Team Recommendations – June 17, 2016

In June 2016, a 100+ person volunteer team presented Transition Manager Judge Steven Rhodes with Detroit Public Schools Transition Team Recommendations – June 17, 2016 in support of his transition leadership efforts and on behalf of Detroit Public Schools. This report is the work product of more than 100 volunteers with deep, cross-sector expertise and includes the review, analysis and recommendations for 12 distinct functional areas within DPS. For eight weeks in Spring 2016, members of this volunteer team contributed their time and knowledge to develop a comprehensive roadmap for DPS to use after the NewCo legislation and related funding are completed.

These volunteers and companies made contributions – offered up at no cost, along with the investment of personal time, talent and expense – to support Judge Rhodes’ transition strategy and to help create new opportunities for DPS students, families, faculty and staff. The 100+ person Transition Team organized the work into the following sub-teams:

  1. Academics (posting separately)
  2. Community Engagement
  3. Communications
  4. Human Resources
  5. Financial
  6. Legislative/Transition to NewCo
  7. Medical & Nursing
  8. Procurement
  9. Safety & Security
  10. Revenue Optimization
  11. School Portfolio & Real Estate
  12. Transportation & School Nutrition

Each report section and topic covers the following:

  • Long-Term Vision – 1-2 sentence vision for each area studied
  • Situation Analysis – a description of the current situation within each DPS department/team
  • Consultant Reports – since 2009, DPS has commissioned a variety of external analyses of DPS departments and initiatives. If any of these existing reports informed the recommendations in this new report, teams explained here and listed them by name.
  • Team Findings – a description of what appears to be working within DPS, and what needs improvement
  • Strengths – a concise list of current strengths within each area
  • Challenges/Opportunities – a concise list of current opportunities and challenges within each department
  • Recommendations – sorted by time frame, a description of what specific actions DPS should take in the immediate-, mid- and long-term
  • Estimated Costs & Budget Implications – a common sense estimate or range of costs to implement the recommendations, based on the limited information available in Spring 2016. These cost estimates have not been “market tested” as that could not be completed in this limited time frame
  • Additional Comments – optional notes for Judge Rhodes, the future School Board, DPS families, civic leaders, the Governor, the Legislature and the general public
  • Personal Reflections – optional comments with personal reflections on this overall volunteer process from individual team members

Because of the volunteer nature of this effort and short time constraints, the Detroit Public Schools Transition Team Recommendations – June 17, 2016 does not cover all issues or areas that need to be addressed for NewCo School District success. Rather, the volunteer Transition Team sought to isolate and examine the largest areas of opportunity and concern. And while this phase of transition work is done, the real work of fixing the system is not done. Detroit Public Schools Transition Team Recommendations – June 17, 2016 will give the District’s future leaders the chance to continue this important work.

For many years, many people inside and outside have worked hard to re-build a strong DPS. The Transition Team thanks those who have laid such important groundwork, and who created the reports, assessments and summaries that informed the recommendations in this report.


Interim Superintendent Alycia Meriweather’s Academic Advisory Council Presentation- June 30, 2016