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Detroit Leadership Academy Elementary School is a Pre - K through 5th Grade Facility that instructs over 300 students. Located in the Castle Rouge Area of Detroit. we serve students from that specific area as well as Brightmoor and Cody Rouge.  In conjunction with local partners, the long term vision of the school is to serve as both a school and community support to both students and their families. Providing a community school, closer in proximity to many families than that of the local school district, provides families with a greater chance of consistent attendance and therefore achievement for students.
Now in our sixth year of operation, we have created tremendous partnerships with organizations such as the Skillman Foundation, Gleaners, Forgotten Harvest, Kumon/Wellsprings, Detroit Area Pre - College Engineering Program, Students with Awareness Goals (SWAG), Department of Health and Human Services, as well as the YMCA just to name a few. 

Our school mission is to provide a stimulating and supportive environment in which a diverse student population can learn, grow and lead. This mission is fulfilled through the implementation of the CHAMPION Mindset which has five core areas:

  • Courage 
  • Compassion
  • Commitment
  • Conviction
  • Connection


Detroit Leadership Academy Middle School serves students in 6th-8th grade from Brightmoor and Cody Rouge.  In conjunction with local partners, the long term vision of the school is to serve as both a school and community support to both students and their families. Providing a community school, closer in proximity to many families than that of the local school district, provides families with a greater chance of consistent attendance and therefore achievement for students.

The Academy believes all students can achieve at the highest levels when provided with: a proven, research based instructional program; challenging and aligned standards; opportunities to build ownership; a focus on preparing students for high-level writing; and effective intervention.  The Academy embeds a tailored combination of proven, research-based practices from the work of John Hattie’s Visible Learning, the “Framework for Effective Instruction” (“FEI”), and “Visible Thinking” as its instructional program. The Academy’s instructional program is about what adults do to impact learning and student success.

1.     Student self-assessment/Self-grading: This refers to students’ expectations for and beliefs in themselves. It involves students predicting or self-reporting grades. In the upper grades, the Academy provides opportunities for students to set goals, track progress and reflect on performance to find out what students’ expectations are and push learners to exceed expectations.

2.     Response to Intervention (“RTI”): An educational approach that provides timely and systematic support to students who are struggling in one or more areas of learning. RTI seeks to improve academic outcomes through early intervention and frequent progress monitoring.

3.     Teacher Credibility: The Academy’s educational program works to develop teacher credibility; teachers must be viewed as being able to make a difference in the students’ lives and in student learning. The Academy works with teachers on four key areas of teacher credibility: trust, competence, dynamism and immediacy.

4.     Classroom Discussions: Powerful learning occurs through conversation. The Academy believes when the teacher stops lecturing and students get together to discuss important issues and concepts, ideas flow, thoughts gel and learning happens. Classroom discussion provides opportunities to develop strong communication skills by encouraging students to voice opinions and thoughts.

5.     Teacher Clarity: Academy teachers clearly communicate intentions for learning, assessment and behavior. Teachers are held accountable for articulating clear, daily learning targets describing the skills and knowledge students need to learn and demonstrate.

6.     Spaced vs. Mass Practice: Great instruction provides multiple exposure points for students to demonstrate understanding. The Academy works to develop instructional plans, programs and schedules that increase the frequency of different opportunities for students to demonstrate knowledge over time.

7.     Positive and Effective Classroom Culture: The Academy employs a set of classroom management processes that include improving student engagement and decreasing disruptive behavior. The Academy embeds positive behavior supports and expectations within and across classrooms focusing on: building relationships, teaching collaboration and using language to create safe, productive and rigorous classroom environments. 


Detroit Leadership Academy's academic program is rooted in building positive and culturally responsiverelationships. DLA believes in integrating positive youth development strategies into all aspects of DLA's culture to impact student achievement and build ownership. Effective youth development calls for a redundancy of opportunities and supports for every student, every year. This means more thana variety of random opportunities but rather the intentional efforts to ensurethat all students have multiple “hits” or “touch points” over time and multiple opportunities to practice and demonstrate learning.

Detroit Leadership Academy understands these multiple opportunities are both strategic and organic and are created because of effective relationships within the Academy culture. To foster such relationships, the DLA creates and sustains a school culturethat includes the following structures and elements:

1.    Academy wide gatherings, celebrations andnorms

2.    Meaningful opportunities for parents and families to engage in the DLA community

3.    A commitment by faculty and staff to learning and responding to personal and group identities and cultures of students


4.    Professional Learning Communities (“PLCs”) for faculty and staff.

5.    Integration of community participation, assets and culture

6.    Access to wrap-around support services that help students stay healthy and come to school every day


Detroit Leadership Academy focuses on embedding a balanced assessment system that effectively prepares students for all demonstrations of knowledge and skills, whether on standardized, high stakes state/national assessments or on authentic assessments. The purpose of assessments is to provide feedback to teachers about student learning; in other words, did students learn what teachers intended to teach? DLA utilizes the following assessment tools/practices:


1.     Performance tasks that allow students to demonstrate understanding of MAS and College Readiness Standards. These tasks are modeled on performances students would be expected to complete while in college including: research papers, lab reports, multimedia presentations, close readings, Socratic seminars and infographics.

2.     Interim Assessments: Students at the Academy take aligned interim assessments designed to provide data on students’ learning of MAS and College Readiness Standards. Data from these assessments are used to create targeted instructional plans that align with each content area’s curriculum scope and sequence.

3.     Continuous/Formative Assessments: Continuous assessment is critical in providing feedback to teachers on instructional effectiveness and to measure students’ understanding of the teaching points. Formative assessments also allow students multiple opportunities to demonstrate learning and for teachers to “check for understanding” of student learning.

4.     National Normed Assessments: Students at the Academy take the PSAT and SAT tests.

Enroll today

We are now accepting applications for the 2019-2020 school year! Click below to begin enrollment!