Festive Way Detroit Is Attracting Families Back To Public School

Detroit's Summer on the Block events is a festive way public schools are attracting families back to the education system.

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner | Published

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summer on the block

Block parties are usually community efforts designed to bring neighbors together. They’re a festive way to enjoy the summer and get people involved. Now, the Detroit Public Schools Community District is hosting their own “Summer on the Block” parties to draw families back to public school

This event recently took place in front of Roberto Clemente Learning Academy and provided food trucks, information tables, and arts and crafts for the children. Detroit schools have experienced severe enrollment drops since well before the pandemic. In 2017 the Summer on the Block events was launched and held some promise. Instead of experiencing further enrollment patterns, the dip began to slow down. Schools in the city began to stabilize to a small degree. 

Then the pandemic brought excessive protocols like lockdowns and masking. Families in Detroit not only fled the system in record numbers but all across the nation. Now, many schools are left wondering how they can attract families back to public schools. These Summer on the Block parties are once again hosting masses of curious parents and children. 

After receiving billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded COVID relief money, districts like the Detroit Public Schools Community District are allocating portions of this money for community outreach. While the district applauds the ability to receive “equitable federal funding” some believe this is a misuse of the money. Countless public school districts in various states have spent COVID funds on critical race theory lessons, gender theory training, daycare, and summer camp. Americans did not necessarily approve masses of tax money to be given to failing public schools so they can throw black parties, like these Summer on the Block events, and implement socialist daycare programs.

The schools themselves are not even addressing this. They claim that Summer on the Block is all about recovering from learning loss. They believe that families want to utilize public education resources again and encouraging them to do so is a quick step to addressing learning gaps. 

Not only is the district committed to expanding Summer on the Block events, but they are also going door-to-door and reaching out to bilingual families or families who speak English as a second language. Whether these efforts will draw families back into the system is uncertain. Well after schools resumed in-person learning education alternatives have continued to gain popularity. Those who are fed up with Department of Education overreach may not take kindly to having public school personnel pressuring them in the comfort of their own homes. 

summer on the block

Whether Detroit schools continue to experience enrollment drops or not, they have received masses of COVID relief funds which will expire in the fall of 2024. In order to ensure that classes meet student needs, enrollment issues must be addressed. The Summer on the Block events work to directly provide a fun way to draw families back toward the education system. Combined with other efforts, school officials are hopeful that they can look forward to a prosperous school year, but whether that comes to fruition depends on the needs of the community and whether or not parents trust that public schools will properly serve their children.