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What is the educational focus of the school? Our focus is on giving each students the foundation needed to be a prepared, creative, passionate, and curious learner who will be successful in creativity, college and career. First, that means making sure that they can read, write and do math. It means engaging our students through project-based learning, providing a firm foundation in art and design at a time when such subjects are being cut by many schools, and instilling a love of learning from their very first day at HFA: Elementary School. 

Where is the school located? HFA: Elementary School is located at the recently renovated Duane Doty Elementary School in Detroit’s Northend community at 10225 Third St., Detroit, MI 48202. This historic building is on the edge of the Boston-Edison District, just west of Woodward, between the Davison Freeway and Chicago Blvd. 

Where does learning take place? Our facility and its 21st century school design supports our educational program. HFA: Elementary School offers academic learning studios, a technology/media center, art and design studios, an exhibition hall, three open-learning commons areas, a dining hall, an administrative and reception suite,  student support studios, and a moderate-sized gymnasium with an assembly and performance stage. Students also learn in the greater community. We believe that education is truly about experiencing the world all around and teaching students to apply their knowledge to develop creative solutions to real-world problems.

How is the academic calendar structured? The school year runs from September to late June with appropriate vacations, including a mid-winter break. It aligns with the Wayne County Common Calendar. Additionally, there are half days scheduled periodically throughout the school year – on Wednesdays – for teacher professional development sessions. These sessions are designed to provide staff with more frequent opportunities to work together in reviewing student learning progress and making plans to adjust teaching to better serve your children. This is a very common practice in high performing schools and one that we feel will help us reach our goals.

What is a school day like? The school day begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 3:40 p.m., Monday through Friday. Early release days end at 1:30 p.m. All students receive instruction in Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Multiple times each week they experience Physical Education and Art & Design classes. Morning Meeting and recess are important daily experiences. Latchkey is available before and after school.

What are class sizes? Small class sizes are important to student learning. In grades K-1, the targeted average class size is 16:1. In grades 2-5, the targeted average class size is 21:1.

Where do students eat lunch? Students eat in our dining hall. HFA: Elementary School participates in the National School Lunch Program and provides eligible students with free/reduced-price breakfasts and lunches.

Do you offer after school programs?  Our after school activities include Academic Games, yoga and health and wellness (provided by our partner, Central Detroit Christian CDC), Cheerleading, Dance Team, Girl Scouts, and Boy Scouts (of Southeast MI) and competitive soccer (provided in partnership with the Mayor’s office and Detroit PAL - GOAL Detroit).

Questions? Contact Staci Williams, Manager of Community Engagement, at 313-414-9950 or

How can I be sure that HFA: Elementary School is a quality school?  HFA: Elementary School is developed and managed by Henry Ford Learning Institute (HFLI), a non-profit organization that offers highly regarded and innovative educational programs developed in partnership with other exemplary educational institutions. Families can be assured that the curriculum meets all state guidelines and national standards. Every instructor is highly qualified and holds a valid State of Michigan teaching certificate as a requirement of employment. We also have the support of corporate and community partners who, along with our parents, hold us to a high level of achievement. Our school district was designated by P21 as a 2015-2016 National 21st Century Learning Exemplar for our innovative teaching and learning practices; the HFA: SCS K-12 district is the first P21 Exemplar in Michigan. 

What is the connection to Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies? Students who complete 5th grade at HFA: Elementary School will automatically be enrolled as 6th graders at Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies (HFA: SCS), a public charter middle/high school serving grades 6 through 12. HFA: SCS is a Thompson Foundation 90/90 school, committed to graduating 90% of its students and sending at least 90% of those graduates on to college. HFA: SCS is located in the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education at 485 W. Milwaukee St., Detroit. Both schools are located in Detroit's Northend neighborhood.

What is an enrollment lottery? If there are more applications submitted by the deadline date (April 7, 2017) than available seats for a particular grade, HFA: Elementary School will hold a random selection lottery on April 14, 2017. All lottery applications will be drawn and placed on either the acceptance list or the waiting list for each grade based on the number they receive in the lottery. Please contact us at the number below with any questions.

What happens if my student’s name is added to the waitlist at the lottery? Students on the acceptance list have until the enrollment date to accept their spot at our school for the 2017-2018 school year. If a student does not accept that seat by that date, HFA: Elementary School will offer that seat to the next eligible person on the waitlist.

What are the chances that both of my children will be admitted? Each child must meet the eligibility requirements (lives in the State of Michigan, is of appropriate age for the selected grade and has formal records to indicate they are prepared to enter the selected grade), must complete the application for enrollment form and submit that form prior to the enrollment deadline (April 28, 2017). If one child’s application is selected during the random lottery, both students will automatically be offered an enrollment seat. Please note that families are not eligible for the automatic sibling preference for enrollment if they do not submit individual applications for each student and/or do not fill out the sibling statement on the application.

Is there a school uniform? Yes. Like many other schools of choice, our students wear solid color shirts with a school logo and navy or black pants or skirts. A hoodie and a fleece with the school logo are also available for chilly days.

What about transportation? Like many schools, HFA: Elementary School does not provide free bus service.

Updated 03/6/2017