- Associated Press - Saturday, April 26, 2014

DETROIT (AP) - Individualized programs for students and other offerings by the Detroit Public Schools will be showcased during the shrinking district’s annual spring open enrollment period.

Beginning Monday, pre-kindergarten students in each elementary school will take part in daily activities with kindergarten classrooms, according to the district.

The weeklong “Spend a Day in K” transition program will be followed on May 3 by four open enrollment fairs. Open enrollment runs through May 20 and is part of the Detroit Public Schools’ five-year strategic plan to retain current students and attract new students.

Fall enrollment in grades 9-12 totaled 15,208 students and across all grades was 48,923. High school enrollment was up about 14 percent from the same period in 2012, but overall enrollment was down about 2 percent.

About 183,000 students were enrolled in the district in 1993.

“We’re doing things differently to showcase our wonderful schools and programs to parents,” said Jack Martin, the district’s state-appointed emergency manager. “Through our recent customer service surveys, parents said they want to know more about specialized services programs.”

An open enrollment fair will be held May 3 for students with special needs. A Cinco de Mayo outdoor enrollment fair also will be held that day for students in southwest Detroit. The kindergarten through eighth grade All-Schools Open House and high school and career academy fair for ninth-graders also are scheduled.

“We know that the more stable our enrollment is, the better our chances to maintain the new programs we offer - such as art and music at all k-8 schools, our new Career Academy program and k-8 sports leagues,” Martin said in a release.

The Detroit district has struggled with finances and came under state oversight in 2009. Its general fund deficit has dropped in recent years from $327 million to about $76 million. The fiscal year 2014 deficit is projected at $92 million.

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