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Welcome to Education Detroit: Excellent Schools Detroit's CEO

A letter from Dan Varner on the inaugural 2013 issue of a new magazine to help parents/guardians give kids an academic edge and find standout school options

It's my pleasure to bring you this very first issue of Education Detroit, a resource for Detroit parents. I know that you love and want the best for your children. I also know it takes a lot of work to give them the bright future they deserve. A great education is one of the keys to that future, from Day One to the day they leave for college (and beyond).

As a Detroit parent, you have big choices to make. There are so many options for where to send your young scholars. But which schools – cradle to career – are preparing your kids for success?

For the very first time, we share the Excellent Schools Detroit Early Learners Scorecard. In it, you'll see the early learning and care programs (we used to call these "day care") in the city that have earned at least three stars under the State of Michigan's quality rating and improvement system. If you're looking for a quality preschool, pick one of these. Excellent Schools Detroit also has developed a scorecard for the city's K-12 schools.

Both of these scorecards are all about giving you information, so you can make informed decisions to ensure your children's academic success. In it, you'll also find our Program & Resource Guide, a roundup of services like homework help, youth programs, parent resource centers and more, and a School Glossary to help demystify some of the educational jargon that can get so confusing to those of us who aren't teachers or school administrators. We plan to add to both of these guides in upcoming issues.

You'll also find our "On-the-go Learning" section, which is chock-full of ideas for expanding your child's educational horizons when they are out of school, and our "Parent Pages" section, which gives you an array of tips – from making a better breakfast for your child to myriad ways you can volunteer at your children's school.

Plus, in every issue, we'll share the stories of Detroit educational leaders and students who are making a difference. (This month, we feature a Detroit schools alumna who offers tips for overcoming peer pressure.) We'll also dig deep into key educational topics. For instance, in this issue, we offer answers to some of the major questions people have about preschool – including why it matters so much, how much it costs, when kids should start and, of course, how to pick the preschool that's right for your child.

Our next issue will feature everything you need to know about registering your child in school for the next school year. We know it seems soon; however, the process starts in early spring. Look for that issue in January/February 2014 to get the inside track on how it works.

By the way, to see inside Detroit early learning programs and K-12 schools, visit ExcellentNews.TV for a firsthand view of some of the great things happening.

Read more about Dan Varner, himself a father of three, in a Metro Parent profile interview.

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