In March, Detroit Public Schools appointed Alycia Meriweather as its interim Superintendent. On July 1, the district changed to Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) but Meriweather’s responsibilities remain the same.
Her responsibility as interim superintendent is to ensure that the entire district is moving in the right direction.
“We have almost 6,000 employees, 45,000 kids, 93 buildings, and 97 schools,” said Meriweather. “All of that fall under my leadership.”
Every Wednesday, a cabinet meeting is held with the head of talent, academics, finance, and Meriweather to discuss the situations that effect students and staff. She wants her cabinet members to come with ideas to resolve problems and not simply come with the problem.
“My approach in these meetings is to identify the problems quick so that we can find solutions quickly,” said Meriweather. “Everyone is working together to make sure we are doing what’s best for the kids in the city of Detroit.”
On July 1, DPSCD was established because of the debt that lingered with DPS. The debt strangled the old district. Approximately $1,100 of each student's allocated funds went toward paying the interest and not the debt DPS owed. The new district, DPSCD, is debt free.
“The legal change was necessary because they had to separate legally and financially the old books and the new books,” said Meriweather.
Even though there are negativity in the media regarding DPSCD, Merriweather wants to show the many positive aspects of the district.
“I know that every time I open my mouth I not only speak for DPSCD, but I represent the students and what they need in order to succeed,” said Meriweather.
Meriweather was born and raised on Commonwealth Street in Detroit and attended DPS since age four. She attended the University of Michigan (U of M) in Ann Arbor. After graduating from U of M, Meriweather returned to Detroit and taught science at Farwell Junior High School. After twelve years, Meriweather left the classroom to become a supervisor for middle school science then she led the science department for DPS. After this move, she was promoted to curriculum supervisor for all subjects: science, math, social studies, E.L.A., athletics, and performing arts.
“Every time I get a chance to interact with kids, I love it,” said Meriweather. “Once I left the classroom I cried a bit because I missed teaching so much.”