Hotline gives Michigan students way to report threats

Candice Williams, The Detroit News 4:59 p.m. EDT September 24, 2014

Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Wednesday a new anonymous hotline students can use to report potential harm or criminal activities in school.

OK2SAY, a student safety initiative, is available to Michigan students starting this school year.

“Our students learn best in a safe environment, but dangerous behaviors threaten to disrupt our schools, and in the worst cases, take the lives of our students,” Schuette said in a statement. “OK2SAY will create an early warning system in our schools and communities to stop tragedies before they start. We cannot sit and wait for the next Columbine or Sandy Hook. We must be proactive to ensure our kids are safe, both inside and outside the classroom. If even one child is saved, this program will be a success.”

Schuette made the announcement Wednesday at University Prep High School in Detroit. He was joined by Detroit Chief of Police James Craig, University Prep Schools CEO Mark Ornstein, Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw, Sandra York, executive director of Michigan PTA, and recording artist Keenan West, an anti-bullying advocate who wrote the OK2SAY theme song.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette kicks off the presentation and talks about the OK2Say phone app. (Photo: David Guralnick , The Detroit News )
Continue reading

Attorney General Bill Schuette holds press conference at UPSM for new school safety initiative called OK2Say.

Schuette rolls out student safety tip line
Attorney General Bill Schuette was in Detroit this morning to talk about a new school safety initiative called OK2Say.

For the full story, please visit:

State officials are banking on a new student safety reporting system — called OK2Say — to help reduce school violence in Michigan schools.

“We want schools to be places of learning, not violence,” Attorney General Bill Schuette said during a news conference this morning.

Schuette and a host of other officials have been rolling out the new system, which began this month, across the state. Today, they brought the message to University Preparatory Science and Math Academy in Detroit.

“It’s important for all of us to make sure we take responsibility,” Schuette said. Continue reading

University Prep Schools announces new sailing program

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

University Prep Schools in Detroit announced a new sailing program in partnership with the Detroit Yacht Club on Friday.

U Prep Schools will offer the four-week class to 25 of its University Prep Science & Math (UPSM) middle and high school students this summer. The school system will pilot the program within the UPSM district, as an extracurricular supplement to the students’ science and engineering coursework. The program, which was made possible by an initial anonymous donation of $100,000, is slated to run from July 7 to August 1.

“We are really looking to change the game when it comes to urban education in Detroit; not only in the classroom, but beyond,” said Mark Ornstein, CEO of University Prep Schools, which oversees operations at UPSM and its sister district, University Prep Academy. “University Prep Schools’ students deserve every advantage and opportunity afforded students with significantly more resources. With the help of the community and that of the Detroit Yacht Club, we’re leveling the playing field with this program.”

Continue reading

Detroit charter academy system mixes math, science, swimming, sailing

A half-dozen dinghies slowly sliced through the still blue-green water, their young captains trying to angle the sails to catch a breeze.

The wind wasn’t cooperating. But that didn’t faze Josiah Walker, 14, who watched his classmates from a motorboat Friday morning as he awaited his turn to sail solo around the lagoon at the Detroit Yacht Club.

“I feel free, relaxed, independent,” the Hazel Park boy said. “I feel wonderful when I sail.”

Josiah and 20 other students from University Prep Science & Math in Detroit just completed a new program that mixes academics with swimming and sailing. It was launched in July through a first-of-its-kind partnership between the University Prep Schools charter school system and the yacht club, which generally offers its junior sailing courses only to members.

Continue reading

‘You have to tap into something other than the rote learning’

The three women who run the internship program at University Preparatory Academy High School in Detroit aren’t just giving students a peek into life beyond high school. They’re helping this struggling school, where test scores have slid in recent years, improve academic achievement.

The key to that work? Getting kids engaged in school.

The internships foster “good skills that every student needs in order to become a highly effective student,” said Randi Millard, the director of the program who works alongside Carolyn Matigian, the recruitment lead, and Jessica Martiny, the logistics lead.

And when kids are engaged, they tend to do better academically. The school is ranked at the 10th percentile.

Continue reading

Jamie Dimon: $100M investment in Detroit isn’t a JPMorgan Chase PR campaign

Scott Stump
TODAY contributor

May 21, 2014 at 7:40 AM ET

Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, tells TODAY’s Matt Lauer in an exclusive interview that his company’s $100 million investment in the city of Detroit isn’t about public relations.

Jamie Dimon, Matt Lauer


“The cynic would be wrong,” Dimon told Lauer when asked if the investment was in response to a $13 billion fine levied against the company in an exclusive interview.

“We invest and develop communities around the world. And we’ve been doing this since our heritage started 200 years ago,” said Dimon. “So that’s what banks do. They do it commercially. They do community development.”

Detroit, the largest U.S. city to seek bankruptcy protection, is $19 billion in debt and currently has an unemployment rate of about 14%, more than double the national average.

Continue reading

College decision day

May 1, 2014
Alexander Wilkinson had a decision to make. The University Preparatory Academy senior had been accepted at seven universities, and narrowed it down to three: the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Grand Valley State University. When his teachers encouraged him and 120 fellow classmates to make their decisions earlier this week, Wilkinson wrote down on paper, “the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor.” Today is National College Decision Day

#Congrats to #StephenHenderson, father of two U Prep Schools Elementary students and now also a 2014 #PulitzerPrize winner!

Free Press’ Stephen Henderson wins 2014 Pulitzer Prize for commentary

9:14 PM, April 14, 2014

Detroit Free Press Stephen Henderson reacts to winning Pulitzer: Detroit Free Press Stephen Henderson reacts to winning Pulitzer. Cassandra Spratling/DFP

JC Reindl
Detroit Free Press staff writer

Detroit Free Press columnist Stephen Henderson takes a congratulatory phone call from Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan after winning the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for commentary.

Continue reading

Best-selling Author Mitch Albom Donates $10,000 to U Prep Academy Debate Team

University Prep Academy named beneficiary of 2013 Second Annual S.A.Y. Detroit Radiothon at local press conference

Detroit, Mich. (March 26, 2014) – Mitch Albom, international best-selling author and noted journalist, today announced his $10,000 donation to University Prep Academy (UPA) High School’s tournament-winning debate team. The debate team is one of several local charitable organizations and programs benefitting from the proceeds raised at Albom’s 2013 Second Annual S.A.Y. Detroit Radiothon hosted at Somerset Collection on December 5, 2013. The funds will be used to help send members of the team to the uber-competitive Tournament of Champions (TOC) next month. Having recently received its fourth bid to attend the TOC, the UPA debaters will be the first African-American team to compete at this highly regarded national tournament. The day-long S.A.Y. Detroit Radiothon raised nearly $400,000 for its charitable partners.

Continue reading