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Detroit Schools Going High Tech

As a new and growing fan of the hard work being done to improve Detroit Public Schools....Just wanted to share some pictures sent to me by DPS and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing. The company is working with the school district to upgrade its technology to the latest and greatest.

HMH was in the city Tuesday for Destination: Detroit, a day of service where more than 200 of the company's staff volunteered across the district.

The volunteers did a little of everything from professional development, reading and math tutoring, technology support, grant writing, library organization and building maintenance, among others. Additionally, HMH donated more than 1,000 books to the district to supplement school library collections.

The DPS/HMH project includes an interactive Web-based portal called Learning Village that would be fully functioning by the fall, according to The Detroit News.

Learning Village will allow the district to digitalize its textbooks, curriculum and lesson plans. Teachers can have access to students' assessment results and prospective lesson plans to more quickly identify struggling students. Parents can also log into the system to track their students' progress, print additional worksheets and view cumulative test results for a teacher's entire class.

Training teachers and parents to engage with the Learning Village portal will be key, but as the buy-in occurs, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, the district's chief academic and accountability auditor, envisions the district on the path to reversing the trend of the lowest test scores and graduation rates in the nation.

"I know I'm dreamer, but I do believe it's possible," she said of digitizing education.

Sampson Academy volunteer team captain Laurie Fiola from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt steps through “I'm In” door at the Destination: Detroit day of service rally at Douglass Academy Feb. 9.

[The blue “I'm In” door is part of Detroit Public Schools' student retention campaign that symbolizes positive changes at DPS and all who are a part of it saying “I'm In.”]

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