Telegram - Serving Metropolitan Detroit Since 1944

By Dr. Derrick R. Coleman
Superintendent of Schools 

River Rouge School Millage Renewal on August 2nd Ballot


Dear River Rouge Community:

The River Rouge School District needs your support for our upcoming Millage Renewal on Tuesday, August 2, 2022. Alan Autry once said, "You don't need a city charter to know that education is the foundation of any community." This quote is powerful and gives focus to the impact we have had on both the City of River Rouge and the school district since 2012.

When this administration arrived in June of 2012, the district had declining enrollment with less than 1000 total students in the entire system. Walter White and Dunn Schools had closed and the district was in deep financial trouble with a $3.4 million deficit. The future of the city was threatened because property value was going to decrease if the school district was forced to close because of the financial and academic challenges that threatened to keep the district open.

Those dark times gave us the inspiration to change and this city supported us in 2012. Voters passed a 10-year Millage Renewal and humbly, we have made you proud. Over the course of the last decade, we have grown the district to nearly 2,600 students. We were able to open the River Rouge STEM Academy in the closed Dunn Middle School. We have fed this community through our weekly food pantry at Ann Visger and the pantry at River Rouge High School.

We have provided over 20,000 Thanksgiving Dinners, conducted criminal record-expungement clinics to help people get their lives on track, and our graduates have received millions of dollars in scholarships and grants. We have completely renovated the football stadium and provided this city with its first High School Football State Champion. We have the only Marine Corps JROTC program in the State of Michigan; we have opened our META store and created a program that allows students enrolled in the district to create their own business.

So, we are asking for your support once again. We will continue to take excellent care of this district to help with the advancement of our students and the City of River Rouge. We are thankful for you entrusting us with your most precious asset and you can be rest assured our efforts to improve will exceed your expectations.

History provides us vivid images of cities and school districts forced to shut down and scramble to provide a quality educational setting for their children. With your resounding belief in us, it is without question that we will continue to "Defy the Odds" and I thank you in advance for your continued support.

Dr. Derrick Coleman

River Rouge Superintendent


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