Dear Governor Whitmer,
Our school is located in southwest Detroit, and approximately 90% of my students are English language learners (ELLs) that come from various Latin American countries. The majority of these families come from Mexico, but about 20% are from Central America.
Most of our students enter our school in kindergarten, speaking little to no English. However, with comprehensive ELL supports and dedicated teachers, we have gone from only 5% of these kids attaining proficient scores in state testing to over 20%. Additionally, my academy offers *door-to-door* transportation for nearly all students, which is something unique in the city of Detroit. Our students regularly face immigration issues and our approach to transportation keeps average daily attendance around 93%, which is over 10% higher than DPS.
We have increased proficiency in state testing from approximately 5% to over 20% in both math and reading. We are officially partnered with the Detroit Children’s Fund, which invests in schools that have demonstrable momentum in academics and effective leadership.
There are 17 teachers that work at Escuela Avancemos Academy, and the average teacher has been with the academy for three years. Our teacher retention rate has dramatically increased – only one teacher left between last year and this year.
Our teachers love to take ownership of their classrooms, often doing painting themselves. Many of our teachers stay well past dismissal. There are four teachers that support our daily after-school programming until 5:30 p.m., and several that stay even past that. All teachers serve on various academic and non-academic committees that are all dedicated to supporting school-wide goals of achievement and growth.
Please restore the funding increase for my Escuela students, and all the other charter student across MI.
Sean Townsin, Principal @ Escuela Avencamos