Our educational design allows teachers to stay with their students for a two year period as they are promoted from one grade to the next. The following year, students will receive a new teacher for another two years. This approach allows continuous learning over a multi-year period which builds meaningful relationships and ensures that students receive adequate, individualized support and academic challenge. Students will “loop” with their teacher for grades K-1, 2-3, and 4-5.
To support the mission, vision, and values, the Academy has selected five guiding principles. These principles serve as the foundation for all curricular development, instructional programs, and activities for the school. The principles also address many of the 21st Century skills and interdisciplinary themes necessary for success.
“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation….. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” Aristotle
The Academy promotes, encourages, and supports academic excellence. Teachers utilize a “blended learning” approach to teach several content areas. This approach provides increased opportunities for individualized instruction to assist students with mastering a determined body of knowledge within the state required core curricula and acquire the skills necessary to successfully graduate from twelfth grade.
The Academy’s curricular programs and resources assist in the development of academically accomplished young men and women who are confident in their abilities, innovative in their thinking, and ethical individuals who are active members of their community.
In addition, the Academy’s academic programs provide learning experiences to guide students in becoming:
- voracious readers,
- effective oral and written communicators,
- creative and analytical thinkers, and
- proficient with technology.
Students also apply mathematical and scientific principles and appreciate and value artistic expression. The school recognizes that learning differences exist within its student population and work within its mission and resources to determine the best strategies for developing individual students’ potential.
The Academy has established a goal for students to make at least 1.25 years growth annually as measured by the Northwest Evaluation Assessment (NWEA).
Health & Wellness
“True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind and exercise of the body; the two are ever united.” Humboldt
DIA is dedicated to promoting and supporting a healthy lifestyle. Students will participate in a comprehensive health, wellness, and physical education program that fosters self-discovery, personal responsibility, teamwork, leadership, and a positive sense of accomplishment.
We are committed to collaborating with our lunch provider and local organizations to offer a healthy breakfast, lunch and snack.
We will work closely with the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit and medical facilities to provide on-going health screenings, information and classes on healthy strategies to implement at school and home. The YMCA and the Detroit Innovation Academy are devoted to improving the health and well-being of our students, families and communities.
“A leader is someone who helps improve the lives of other people or improve the system they live under.” Sam Houston
The Academy believes in strong, well grounded moral values and ethical behaviors in developing a foundation for one’s life and in becoming responsible citizens. In keeping with these beliefs, the school will engage students and integrate student learning experiences across the curriculum that will incorporate the basic tenets of values and ethical behaviors, which are essential to responsible citizenship within a democratic society. These tenets include a respect for diversity, an understanding of the importance of inclusion, fundamentals of group work and conflict resolution, and the fundamentals of ethical behavior. By valuing both differences and similarities among students, faculty, families and the community, students will be encouraged to develop a positive self-image and a respect for the rights of others.
DIA is inspired by Dr. Stephen Covey’s book, “The Leader In Me” which incorporates the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, with academic achievement as a strong foundation for the school’s culture.
7 Habits of Highly Effective People:
- Habit 1: Be Proactive® • You’re in Charge
- Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind® • Have a Plan
- Habit 3: Put First Things First® • Work First, Then Play
- Habit 4: Think Win-Win® • Everyone Can Win
- Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood® • Listen Before You Talk
- Habit 6: Synergize® • Together Is Better
- Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw® • Balance Feels Best
The habits show students the importance of being a leader, making good choices, and developing a good work ethic, all of which are characteristics of a successful college student and/or employee. The process also teaches students personal leadership and 21st century life skills, such as goal setting, time management, teamwork, problem solving, respecting diversity, and life balance. Building a culture of success and addressing each student as a whole person is essential to the achievement of every student at DIA.
For more information visit www.theleaderinme.org.
“…we all have an obligation as citizens of this earth to leave the world a healthier, cleaner, and better place for our children and future generations.” Blythe Danner
The YMCA and the Academy is committed to working with students to acquire an appreciation of world cultures, diversity, foreign language and global inter-connectedness. DIA will partner with the YUSA International Group and other organizations to:
- Increase students awareness of global issues
- Cultivate respect and appreciation for diversity
- Help students understand the connections between their local actions and experiences and what is happening in the rest of the world
- Prepare students for 21st century careers
Throughout the school year, students will participate, organize and lead a variety of activities including:
- International speaker series
- International celebrations and festivals
- Oversees/International experiences for students
- Virtual interactions with students from other countries
The goal is for students to leave the Academy as well-educated, responsible, compassionate individuals who make a positive difference in the world.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that has.” Margaret Mead
The YMCA and DIA are committed to Healthy Living, Youth Development and Social responsibility. We believe that each student has a role to play in serving others. Staff will connect community service projects to classroom learning. Students will collaborate with staff and community members in the planning and design of service projects. Students will also engage in thoughtful reflection following each project and create presentations that will be shared with the community.
Community service projects will help students:
- Apply academic, social, and personal skills to improve the community
- Make and influence decisions with real results
- Grow as individuals, gain respect for peers, and increase civic participation
- Experience success no matter what their academic ability level
- Gain a deeper understanding of themselves, their community, and society
- Experience reciprocity
- Develop as leaders who take initiative, solve problems, work as a team, and demonstrate their abilities while contributing to community development
The YMCA Detroit Innovation Technology Plan is a 3 Year Strategic Technology Plan. It has been formulated to ensure that technology tools utilized by our students and staff will be current and accessible. It is our intention that the school create a learning environment which will promote proficiency in, as well as an appreciation for technology as an artistic expression.
The Academy provides a wide range of wraparound programming to its students through the Metro Youth YMCA (“MYY”). MYY strengthens the community through empowering youth and families to reach their maximum potential by setting high standards, providing holistic experiences, and establishing community connections.
Common elements of all initiatives include: 1) exposure to a number of positive adult role models, 2) opportunities to build positive friendships, 3) opportunities to plan, to lead and to articulate points of view, 4) involvement of parents to increase their capacity for self and family development, and 5) delivery of programs through goal and team based activities that foster learning and enhance creative, critical thinking.
The Academy’s wraparound services focus on three core areas: career and college preparation, community service, and academic enrichment. All programs are rooted in the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets. Programs are primarily offered during non-school hours including before and after-school, on the weekends, and during the summer.