Emergency Manager Joyce Parker today met with the newly appointed board of education for the Highland Park Public School Academy System (HPPS) to discuss details of the HPPS’s agreement with The Leona Group LLC, to provide quality education services to the children of Highland Park, beginning this fall. HPPS Board members Andre Davis, Marcia Cotton, and
Archer Collins reviewed the contract during their initial public meeting and approved it unanimously.
Parker, HPPS board members, and representatives of the Leona Group will host an informational forum for parents, students and other interested community members on Wednesday, August 1, 2012, at 5:30 p.m., at Highland Park Community High School, located at 15900 Woodward
Avenue. Ms. Parker and HPPS Board members will discuss HPPS, the selection of The Leona Group and highlights of next steps.
Parker and HPPS board members will work collaboratively to support, review, and oversee The Leona Group’s performance, to set policy, manage resources effectively, and ensure that the students of Highland Park receive a quality education. Board members will confirm that the charter system meets all state and federal requirements.
“We are excited about this opportunity to work with the Highland Park community to rebuild the education system,” said Dr. Bill Coats, CEO of The Leona Group, LLC. “Students deserve a world-class education, something that is critical to Highland Park’s revitalization.”
The Leona Group has a successful track record in urban area schools, with several in Southeast Michigan. Leona’s Detroit-area schools have a four-year graduation rate that exceeds 86 percent. The college acceptance rate for the Leona Group’s Michigan Class of 2011 exceeded 91 percent.
Pamela Williams, a Highland Park native who headed up Leona’s Saginaw Preparatory Academy, will be the superintendent for HPPS. “I am honored that the Leona Group has entrusted me with such a tremendous opportunity,” said Williams. “Leona strives for academic excellence and sets high standards for our schools. I am a believer in collaboration so parents, guardians and all involved in the educational welfare of Highland Park students will have my attention. This is personal for me; I was born in this community and know the potential it has and must fulfill.”
For more information on The Leona Group, visit www.leonagroup.com or contact Mary Marshall at (602) 316-5131.
Joyce Parker’s decision to move forward with the establishment of a public school academy system in Highland Park was made in conjunction with her predecessor, Jack Martin, and was based on the determination that there is not adequate funding to continue the Highland Park Public School District’s (“District”) direct provision of quality educational services, which students and families deserve, to address the District’s growing deficit, and to repay the District’s estimated $11.3 million in debt.
The establishment of HPPS was the only viable option that allows children to attend school within the Highland Park community and which addresses the financial emergency and escalating debt that has crippled the District.