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Great Accomplishments for Education in Detroit

Dan Varner, Excellent Schools Detroit's CEO, talks about the third issue of Education Detroit, as well as the new GreatSchoolsDetroit.org

Content brought to you by Excellent Schools Detroit

Snow is falling as I type this. But I hope that by the time you read it, winter will have become a distant memory. One of my highlights this winter was seeing the huge smile on my daughter's face when she won a gymnastics meet. For me, it was about her happiness, not the medal. As any parent knows, seeing your children set goals and achieve them is a pretty big win.

When it comes to setting and achieving goals, I'm a big believer in youth sports. In my 20s, I co-founded an organization called Think Detroit, which merged with and is now called Detroit PAL. Detroit PAL provides kids with positive athletic and leadership experiences by providing safe places to play sports, with the help of caring adults. In this issue you'll see sportsmanship tips, ideas for family field trips and even ways to get your younger children (who might be too young for organized sports) active at home. So be sure to check out the On-the-Go Learning section.

It's also exciting to share with you profiles of three Detroiters who are committed to making the lives of local children better each and every day. You'll meet Betti Wiggins, who is the food services director for Detroit Public Schools. She not only creates meals that are delicious and nutritious for thousands of students, but is adamant about promoting a resilient and sustainable food system in the city too. You'll also meet Ronald Jenkins and Ralph Bland, two men breaking down barriers and stereotypes to serve as excellent male role models in Detroit's current educational landscape.

Around here at Excellent Schools Detroit, we spend a lot of time trying to understand how parents select schools. In this issue, we profile three parents who explain what factors they considered when selecting their child's school. We also explore the different issues for parents to consider when picking a school – and how to understand different school ratings systems, including Excellent Schools Detroit's Scorecard.

Without the right tools, like our scorecards, Detroit's educational landscape can be hard for families to understand and navigate. So, on behalf of ESD and our partners, I am proud to share with you a new website: GreatSchoolsDetroit.org. We have partnered with GreatSchools.org to get you better information on schools and access to their parent tips and information. Check it out! You can even post your own review of your child's school and see how other parents rate it.

Please let us know what you think about Education Detroit and GreatSchoolsDetroit.org, and what other resources you feel might help you and your family. We want to hear from you. Are there resources we can connect you to? Or issues you'd like to see us cover? As always, send me your thoughts on Education Detroit.

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