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Home Bulletins Weekly Updates MAPSA Weekly Update - May 15, 2013
MAPSA Weekly Update - May 15, 2013
May 15, 2013

Good Things Happening in Our Schools:

Good Things Happening in Our Schools:

Detroit Merit Charter Academy Wins Teaching Garden Grant
Detroit Merit Charter Academy recently held a “Planting Seeds for Mind, Body and Spirit” festival to mark the official start of the school’s Teaching Garden grant it received from the American Heart Association (AHA). Detroit Merit is just the second school in Michigan to be awarded an AHA Teaching Garden grant.

The school was presented with a plaque and commemorative planting pot from Kathy Kauffmann, the executive director and vice president of AHA-Southeast Michigan, and Suzanne Cowles, a member of the Board of Directors for AHA-Southeast Michigan. Kauffmann and Cowles said the determining factors for awarding the school were Principal Sandra Martin’s extraordinary leadership, a dedicated staff, and parents committed to be involved with the project.

Approximately 200 students, parents, and faculty attended the festival to spread soil and plant the first batch of seeds that will be used in the AHA Teaching Garden program. Garden sponsor Health Alliance Plan (HAP) and other organizations promoting healthy living were also there to teach the families about the importance of good nutrition. Martin said when she heard the school earned the grant she was “super excited.”

“The Teaching Garden will provide us with endless opportunities,” she said. “When AHA said we got it, I thought to myself ‘Hallelujah.’ ”

Martin said the students will be responsible for maintaining the gardens year-round, and will use the crops in soups, salads, salsas and other foods served at the school.

Detroit Merit Charter Academy is authorized by Grand Valley State University and managed by National Heritage Academies.

Shown here, Detroit Merit Academy principal Sandra Martin (left) accepts an honorary plaque from AHA-Southeast Michigan board member Suzanne Cowles.

Please submit any announcements, news or event information for MAPSA's "Good Things Happening in Our Schools" feature to Buddy Moorehouse at

UPA Middle School Students Make History at Math Competition

For the first time ever, students from a Detroit school competed in the Delta College Middle School Competition in math.
Seventeen sixth- and seventh-grade students representing University Preparatory Academy (UPA) Middle School battled through the all-day math competition held on March 16. Of the nearly 400 students competing from 25 schools, they were the only Detroit students to participate in the event.

UPA Middle School math teacher Vladimir Sreckovic said it was a life-changing experience for him and his students. “It was beautiful to see us be right up there with the other students who have been doing these rigorous competitions for years,” he said.

Even though they were first-time competitors, the UPA Middle School students finished with strong results. Jaylen Campbell, a sixth-grader, came in 15th place out of approximately 130 students competing at the sixth-grade level, earning a medal in the process. Several other UPA students finished in the top 30 in their respective fields. UPA is authorized by Grand Valley State University.

FlexTech High School Hosts Project-Based Learning “Un-Conference”

Interested in learning more about how you can integrate project-based learning (PBL) into your curriculum? FlexTech High School in Brighton is hosting a Project-Based Learning "Un-Conference" on July 9-11, and the event is open to schools throughout Michigan.

The event is designed for schools that are currently using PBL, and those that are interested in learning more about it. The "Un-Conference" will feature a keynote address by Jenifer Fox, one of the country's foremost experts on 21st century learning. For more about her, click here.

For more information and to register for the PBL "Un-Conference," click here.

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The Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA) has been the unified voice of the public charter school movement in Michigan since 1996. MAPSA represents over 119,000 students, 16,000 public school academy employees, dozens of authorizers and more than 50 education service providers working in 276 public charter schools in the state. MAPSA assists the state's public charter schools in their mission to deliver achievement, choice and accountability through our advocacy, communications, technical assistance and professional development services. For additional information, please visit

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