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Data Driven Detroit (D3) provides accessible, high-quality information and analysis to drive decision-making that strengthens communities in Southeast Michigan.

Are there any neighborhood schools left in Detroit?

by Kelly Goodman, Education Analyst

Another school year is starting, and students across metro Detroit are beginning their commutes to school. Many Detroit students travel long distances to attend school.  Some even travel into the city from the suburbs; during the 2011-2012 school year, there were over 1,300 such Detroit Public School students. To better understand this student dispersion, Data Driven Detroit (D3) has published over one thousand new maps.

Detroit Public Schools shared data on where all their 2011-2012 students live and go to school. D3 mapped the data to tell three kinds of stories:

  • where students who live in a given community go to school
  • where students live who attend a given school
  • where students live who attend all schools in a given community

Below are a few examples of how Detroit groups have used this student dispersion data.  You can use these maps to explore topics like whether schools primarily serve students who live near the school. After exploring the data, let D3 know what questions the student dispersion tool helps you answer.

Students Attending School

Q: Excellent Schools Detroit was curious if students at the closing Southwestern High School would be close to their newly-assigned schools.

To answer this question: choose the “By School” option from the drop-down menu, then click on the marker for Southwestern High School.

A: For the most part, large concentrations of Southwestern students live nearby Northwestern and Western.  However, those students living downriver (in the “dog-leg”) face a longer commute to school.

Q: The Woodward Corridor Initiative (WCI) wanted to know if students attending schools in New Center, North End, and Midtown might need transportation assistance.

To answer this question: choose the “Woodward Corridor Initiative” option from the drop-down menu, then click on Midtown. Choose an option under the “Residences of Students Who Attend DPS Schools in This Area” heading.

A: Younger students (pre-kindergarten through eighth grade) live in or close to the WCI area while high school students live throughout the city.

Students Living in Neighborhoods

Q: Black Family Development Inc. needs to know where students who live in its Promise Neighborhoods go to school.

To answer this question: Choose the “By Tract” option. Click on tract 5035 in Northeast Detroit (by Von Steuben) and tract 5233 in Southwest Detroit (by Clark Park).

A: A large number of students from tract 5035 attend schools in the neighborhood, while dozens of students attend school throughout Northeast Detroit.  Students from tract 5233 are tightly clustered in neighborhood schools, but a handful attend schools north of Michigan Avenue.

Q: The Brightmoor Pastors Alliance is considering a campaign to increase school attendance rates. It wants to know if it can reach Brightmoor students by focusing on schools in Brightmoor.

To answer this question: Choose the “Skillman Good Neighborhoods” option, then click on Brightmoor. Choose an option under the “Where Students Living in This Area Attend DPS Schools” heading.

A: Younger students who live in Brightmoor attend schools throughout Northwest Detroit; there are six elementary schools outside of Brightmoor with large concentrations of Brightmoor students.  Since there are no DPS high schools in Brightmoor, high schoolers are spread across the city.

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