Every school across the Grosse Pointe district is prepping for an open house that administrators hope will highlight all that is good about local public schools - and ideally attract new students and keep current ones from leaving.
On Sunday Nov. 11, from 1 - 3 p.m., all nine elementary schools, three middle school, both high schools and the Barnes Early Childhood Center will open their doors prospective and current students and families.
All current students are invited, especially Kindergarteners, fifth-graders and eighth-graders transitioning from one school to the next.
The district is working with the Grosse Pointe Board of Realtors and Chamber of Commerce to invite families considering relocation to the Pointes or Harper Woods, and there's a push to attract private and parochial school families who are currently opting out of a public school education.
The open house, while not a new concept has not been done on this scale before in the Pointes, is a part of a broader marketing effort launched by the district in recent weeks as enrollment is decreasing and taking with it per pupil funding from the state.
"We would welcome any and all in the community to our schools," said Dr. Jon Dean, deputy superintendent of education services. "We're excited to be able to showcase the opportunities that exist within our school system. We have a lot to be proud of and it's our opportunity to shine."
During the open house, each school will offer tours, brochures and access to the hallways, classrooms, parents and students. And besides doing deep cleaning, lining up volunteers and donations of refreshments in the days leading up to the open house, schools are planning special events such as:
* Boy Scout troops' flag raising ceremonies at elementary schools in honor of Veteran’s Day.
* North and South High School's annual electronics recycling event. For a suggested $5 donation, electronics are disposed of in an environmentally responsible way.
* Kerby Elementary School's choir will sing.
* Elementary gyms or libraries will be open.
District spokesperson Rebecca Fannon said the object is to convey not only what schools offer day-to-day but their overall successes.
"If they’ve ever been curious about what we have to offer, we’d love for them to come, talk to parents, teachers, administrators and support staff and learn about the amazing breadth of programming we provide," she said. "From our 21 Advanced Placement courses, to our magnet and multi-age programs, from our 6 world languages to award winning music and art programs, from our character education components to our tuition-based child development center at Barnes that starts with infant care and goes through preschool, we’d love to tell our story."