PROGRAM — Charter School

As a parent, you are tasked with finding the school that is perfect for your child. After three schools, I found what is a hidden gem on the Eastside of Detroit. I was referred to Detroit Enterprise Academy and was told if I did not see improvement in my child’s cognitive level, then I could send him elsewhere. Well, to say the least, he will be going into his fourth year at DEA as a seventh grader.

“I am thankful daily that I found a school perfect for my child.”

I will tell anyone in a heartbeat that every school is not for every child. I am thankful daily that I found a school perfect for my child. The classroom size is not overwhelming and I appreciate that my child has a para-professional in his classroom to assist with the students who may need a little more assistance. They go above and beyond with ensuring that my child’s accommodations are met and on a real time basis. He has gained a team over his short period there who continue to follow his middle school journey. They support him inside the school doors but also during his after-school sports. Having his teachers show up at his baseball games or even watch them live from their phones makes my child want to show out on the field just as much as he wants to make them proud in the classroom.

If I had to describe Detroit Enterprise Academy in a simple phrase it would be the great slogan from the former Principal and now Director of Quality, Mrs. Chanavia Patterson: “Detroit Enterprise is the best school in the City of Detroit”. This slogan is not only embedded but a trademark for DEA. My child’s teachers are not just teachers in the classroom but in life.

After going through a transition of staff it went from one great leader to the next. Mrs. Gagon has not missed a beat and has certainly made it her own. I can walk in the office and be greeted by name and asked if my child needs to be called to the office without having to give his name. I can set up visits to meet with my child’s teachers when necessary. Communication is key for me and the school goes over and beyond not only informing the parents of what is going on with your child’s section of the school, but the entire school, so we are aware. You can message any of the staff and will certainly get a response in 24 hours or less. My child is able to be himself, which is the most important thing a parent can ask for. His strengths are exposed and utilized to help his classmates and/or teachers while his areas of improvement are challenged and pushed to do better at his pace to build confidence when needed.

I do not believe that a family’s income and financial dynamic should automatically determine the child’s school of choice. You see every day that the number of first-generation graduates are increasing. Our youth are our future and with technology advancing at a rapid rate, the opportunities are there. I personally attended a private school for elementary and middle school only to transition to a Detroit Public School for high school and realized I was behind academically. I realized the amount of resources and opportunities that I missed out on that my brother who began his public-school debut in middle school had. Money and costs do not always equate to better. Not every school, public or private, is right for every child. I feel that going to a large public school also better prepared me for college, teaching me lessons not only inside the classroom but outside as well.

Educators are among the most under-paid and under-rated professions, so I try to show my appreciation throughout the year. However, when you have an entire school from the principal to the janitor who adores your child, it can be challenging to show just how appreciative you are. They deserves kudos just as much as any other profession because they are helping to mold our future doctors, lawyers, public figures and workforce. I appreciate DEA and everyone under that roof. Kudos to each and every faculty member, student and parent of DEA to help the achievement of it being “The best school in the City of Detroit” because it truly takes a village and everyone to do their part.


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