09/20/2012 11:24 am ET

Detroit Student Enrollment, Attendance Get High Marks for DPS, EAA districts

Students are attending Detroit Public Schools (DPS) in numbers that are beating the district's expectations. Daily attendance has reached 90 percent and enrollment has tenatively exceeded the fall term's budgeted forecast, according to enrollment reports released Thursday by DPS Emergency Financial Manager Roy S. Roberts.

Low attendance during the 2010-2011 school year cost DPS about $4 million in state funds.

The latest data available finds that 51,674 students have attended class in DPS' 100 schools this fall as of Tuesday. The district had predicted a fall enrollment of 49,852 for its adopted 2012-13 budget. The 90 percent attendance findings were also for Tuesday with with 46,668 students attending classes that day.

“I continue to witness that attitudes are different across our schools this year,” Roberts said. “This is based on an overall positive direction moving forward, a smooth start operationally and academically for the new school year, a
comprehensive effort in late summer aimed at ensuring parent and family readiness for the first day of school, and other new attendance initiatives.”

In addition to a Back-to-School door-knocking campaign, this year Detroit Public Schools debuted a new automated calling system to alert families about student absences. The system, which notifies family members if even one class is missed, has logged over 177,000 calls.

The district is smaller this year compared to last, with 15 schools leaving the system for the new state-run Educational Achievement Authority (EAA), a district composed of poorly-performing schools that will eventually be expanded to the entire state. The EAA has also announced it has achieved 90 percent of projected enrollment -- with
10,001 students attending classes Wednesday, the Detroit News reports.