You've met your child's principal, and you know what time to set the alarm clock for.
But as Dearborn Public Schools students head back to school on Wednesday, Sept. 5, there are a few more important issues to take note of. Here's a look at some of the big changes to the district this year.
End to Pay-to-Play
Families with children in Dearborn Public Schools will no longer have to pay fees for their kids' after-school sports and extracurricular fees. The district said the decision was made to allow all Dearborn families equal access to school activities, but some community members are concerned that taxpayers will now foot the bill for schools' soccer teams or chess clubs.
No Child Left Behind is No More
Michigan is one of several states that, in August, was granted a No Child Left Behind waiver by the U.S. Department of Education. Dearborn schools officials say the change will mean little in terms of how students are instructed, but it will allow the district to have more say about what students' goals are and how they can best be reached.
Late Starts Nixed
A short-lived plan to allow high school students in Dearborn to opt for a later start time fell flat, the district confirmed. Signups were too low to warrant implementation of the program. For now, at least, all students will still start class–bright and early–at 7:20 a.m. Middle school and elementary school start times will also stay at 8 a.m. and 8:40 a.m., respectively.
Services Expanded for ESL Students
A review by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights resulted in the implementation of new services in Dearborn Public Schools. This includes the translation of more school documents, training for district employees, and the hiring of a full-time translation liaison.
$2 Million in Repairs
Like every summer, several Dearborn schools saw a number of repairs heading into the 2012-13 school year–including repainting of several buildings, new carpeting, and new doors.