The 21 school districts in Macomb County servicing over 130,000 students (K-12) have completed another successful year. Over 10,000 students graduated from high school in June and 90 percent will be attending post-secondary institutions of learning with the remaining 10 percent entering the workforce and military. Over 60 percent of Macomb County high school graduates earn either associate or bachelor degrees five years after high school. This statistic is just one indicator of the quality educational opportunities available to students in this county. We know that families move to Macomb County because of the great school systems. They want to grow their families and businesses here.
All districts in the county begin servicing students at a young age with high-quality preschool opportunities through the Great Start Readiness Program, Head Start and other tuition-based curriculums. These children are prepared to start kindergarten with social and academic skills for success. Early On and Macomb Infant Preschool Program support the youngest children with special needs. Additionally, all elementary schools in the county offer before and after school care to assist those parents who are working outside the home. Our elementary schools continue to score at or above the state average in state assessments and students have many opportunities to be involved in activities including green teams, Science Olympiads, scouting, technology clubs and other areas of interest.
Middle and high school students are academically challenged in all subject matters. They are also able to expand their interests in the areas of music, art, technology, athletics, student government, journalism and drama just to name a few. Macomb County students frequently are honored as merit contenders, career and technology national winners, robotics national finalists, journalism honors and state contestants in many different areas. All districts offer numerous advanced placement classes for students along with opportunities for dual enrollment.
Students who have unique challenges in the area of special needs are serviced either directly by the Macomb Intermediate School District (MISD) or through the local district. These students receive specialized services depending upon their disability. Macomb County is recognized nationally for its emphasis on helping special needs children and young adults. Children who are identified at birth with medical, cognitive or physical issues are seen immediately by staff from the MISD who begin to work with parents and caregivers from that point forward to make sure the needs of their children are met in a professional and caring manner.
Students who enter school without understanding or speaking English (there are over 90 different languages spoken in Macomb County) also receive specialized and intense assistance in learning the language but also understanding the culture of this county. All districts provide this service with assistance from the MISD.
Macomb County districts, in collaboration with the MISD, offer many unique programs for students. Two of those programs include:
- Early College of Macomb (current enrollment 700). It is a program for students in grades 11-13 who will earn their high school diploma and associates degree by the end of their 13 year. Students are able to attend their high school and Macomb Community College with all tuition, books and fees paid. The third cohort of students (over 120) graduated this past May earning over a 3.0 grade point average.
- Two International Baccalaureate academies offering the rigorous world-class Baccalaureate curriculum are available in the county.
Macomb County superintendents and boards of education have created the vision and positive opportunities for all students through their collaborative approach to management. For example, in the area of Career Technical Education (CTE), districts open their programs to students throughout the county and then are able to leverage their resources to offer over 250 programs for students. These award-winning programs provide excellent choices for students interested in different CTE clusters including health care, automotive design, mechatronics, public safety, culinary arts, etc.
These are just a few examples of the many programs, services and opportunities available to all students in Macomb County. Please visit the misd.net website and click on the Macomb Schools tab to search for specific districts and services they provide.
Dr. Judith Pritchett is chief academic officer for the Macomb Intermediate School District.