Why MacDowell?

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Knowledge creates opportunity.

At MacDowell, our team is dedicated to providing a world-class education to empower our scholars and help them make their dreams a reality. The importance of a college education is rapidly increasing in our 21st-century economy. As part of our enduring commitment to creating opportunities for our students, we offer a college prep curriculum and a clear path to college through our network of schools. At the same time, we take a holistic approach to learning by supporting the unique interests of each child and helping our students develop individual excellence on the path toward achieving their goals.

MacDowell is unique in many ways:

Caring, neighborhood school Built in 1942, MacDowell Elementary School has served the Northwest Detroit community for decades. Thousands of students have attended the school and many remain loyal to the school to this day. Here's what one MacDowell alum had to say about the school:

community school
       "I attended in the MacDowell in the early 70's. It has always been an excellent community school. My experiences there have been lifetime memories. The friendships that I have established are still strong today. Our beloved MacDowell... MacDowell is about family and community which makes the education process that much easier."

It takes a village to raise a child. Our team understands the power of community and actively work to build the community in and around the school to create a comfortable, supportive, and safe learning environment for our scholars. 

Experienced, best-in-class managementOn July 1st, 2016, American Promise Schools was selected by the MacDowell Board of Directors to lead the day-to-day operations at MacDowell Preparatory Academy. Established by three veterans of the education reform movement, American Promise Schools is a non-profit school management group focused on transforming struggling urban schools into high-performing schools, and helping good schools become great. American Promise Schools also operates Voyageur Academy and Voyageur College Prep in Southwest Detroit and Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in Northwest Detroit. At American Promise Schools, over 90 percent of scholars earn admission into a four-year college or university.

Clear path to college - Navigating the path to college can become confusing and frustrating. We know how to get your child from Kindergarten to college. MacDowell's unique alignment with Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, where 90% of scholars received admission to college, provides a linear path to higher education opportunities.

Proven, effective teaching techniques
- To build our scholars' reading abilities, we utilize best practices from Lucy Calkins's "Reader's and Writer's Workshop" model. This allows for our scholars to rigorously engage with text and authentically grapple with their own writing techniques, instead of passively absorbing text through direct instruction, which is, unfortunately, too common in many schools. In addition, we strive to bring real-world problem-solving opportunities to our scholars as much as possible. By getting out of the school and applying skills learned in the classroom to real problems, scholars engage with content in a deeper way and are then able to apply the skills learned in a variety of contexts. We feel this type of learning environment is critical as scholars prepare for success in the 21st century.

Programming for scholars' unique passions
- We know what it takes to get children to get to and through college. At the same time, we recognize the individual strengths and passions of each scholar and work to connect their unique interests to the skills and character traits of scholars that succeed in college and in life. During the school day, we offer music and dance classes as part of our core curriculum and we partner with community organizations to offer after-school enrichment and athletic programming, such as RacquetUp Detroit. At MacDowell, your child will receive rigorous academic content and opportunities to cultivate their passions.

Worry-free transportation - Life can be hectic and it is made more difficult when a parent must walk or drive their scholar to school on a daily basis. MacDowell families have access to free bus transportation that provides a worry-free solution for our families.

Want to know more?
We would like to invite you to take a tour of our school, speak to our teacher leaders and join our MacDowell family. 
If you would like to find out more information and schedule a tour, please call our office at 313-494-8141. 
If you are ready to begin the enrollment process, stop by our office in person Monday-Thursday from 8-4
 or Fridays from 8-1. You can also fill out the virtual form on the enrollment page and a member of our team can 
reach out to you to answer your questions and discuss next steps.

We hope to see you soon at MacDowell Preparatory Academy!