Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Parents, students, and other community members often have similar questions that they would like answers to. Below you will find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.
1. How can I be sure that HFA: SCS is a quality school?
Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies (HFA: SCS) is a partnership of College for Creative Studies (CCS) and Henry Ford Learning Institute (HFLI) which independently offer highly-regarded and innovative educational programs. 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 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.
2. How is HFA: SCS supported?
As a public school in Michigan, HFA: SCS receives state school aid and federal funds. We also received start-up support from the Thompson Educational Foundation, the State of Michigan Department of Education, The Skillman Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Ford Motor Company Fund. We continue to actively seek additional financial support through fundraising and grant writing.
3. What is a 90/90 school?
It's a short way of saying that HFA: SCS has committed to graduating at least 90% of every 9th grade class and sending 90% of those graduates on to colleges/universities.
4. Where is the school located?
HFA: SCS is located at the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education in the heart of Detroit's New Center area at 485 W. Milwaukee Street. The building is just south of W. Grand Blvd. between the John C. Lodge Freeway (M-10) and the Edsel Ford Freeway (I-94). It is bound on the north by Milwaukee, on the east by Cass Avenue, on the south by Baltimore Avenue, and on the west by Second Avenue. It is one block from the new QLINE.
5. Where do your graduates go to college?
HFA: SCS graduated its first class on June 11, 2013. Our graduates attend a range of colleges/universities, including the College for Creative Studies, Grand Valley State University, the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University. The Class of 2016 was awarded $5.48M in scholarships.
6. Is artistic ability a requirement for admission?
Artistic ability is not a requirement for admission, but art and design classes are a major part of the HFA: SCS experience. Students have art classes daily so students should like art and be open to developing those skills.
7. What is an enrollment lottery?
If there are more applications submitted by April 7, 2017 than available seats for a given grade, HFA: SCS will hold a random selection lottery. All lottery applications will be drawn and placed on either the acceptance list and/or the waiting list for each grade based on the number they receive in the lottery. If you have questions about the enrollment process, please contact us at (313) 481-4000.
8. What happens if my student's name is added to the waitlist at the lottery?
Students on the acceptance list are given until April 28, 2017 to accept their spot at HFA: SCS for the 2017-2018 school year. If a student does not accept that seat by that date, HFA:SCS will offer that seat to the next eligible person on the waitlist.
9. 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 date. If one child's application is accepted 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.
10. 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. New students attend an orientation as part of the regular class schedule starting in September. Activities focus on learning more about the curriculum, team building, daily life at HFA: SCS, and assessment of skill levels. We also provide resources for summer programs for our middle and high school students and connect them with a range of opportunities on college campuses and in the community.
11. What is a school day like?
The school day begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Twice a month students have a shortened day (8:00 a.m. - 1:25 p.m.) to allow for continued teacher training and staff professional development. All students receive daily instruction in core academic content and art and design. They participate in Forum (a small group advisory period for academic planning and goal-setting) daily and academic intervention programs are available for reading and math. Students also have regular interaction with professionals from CCS, local employers, community organizations, and area colleges and universities. Academic support led by certified teachers is available after school.
12. What are the class sizes?
Small class sizes are important to student learning. At HFA: SCS, the targeted average class size is 25:1
13. Where does learning take place?
HFA: SCS is a secure four-floor facility located in the Taubman Center. It includes learning studios and project laboratories that are designed to enhance student learning and build a sense of school community for our middle and high school students. They also use CCS facilities and learn in the greater community. HFA: SCS is truly about experiencing the world all around and teaching students to apply their knowledge to develop creative solutions to real-world problems.
14. Where do students eat lunch?
Students eat in CCS' full service cafeteria. HFA: SCS participates in the National School Lunch Program and provides eligible middle and high school students with free/reduced-price breakfasts and lunches.
15. Does HFA: SCS have extracurricular activities and sports?
With a modern, full-size gymnasium, HFA: SCS offers a number of competitive sports for boys and girls, as well as some intramural sports. A variety of after-school clubs and activities are offered to all students, ranging from youth leadership and mentorship programs to visual arts and performance clubs.
16. What about transportation?
Like many schools, HFA: SCS does not provide free bus service. However, students are able to receive a student discount card to utilize Detroit public transportation.
17. Do you serve students in grades K-5?
Our district includes Henry Ford Academy: Elementary School, which is approximately 12 blocks north of HFA: SCS. HFA: Elementary School opened in September 2012. Please call 313-826-1159 or visit hfaelementary.org for more information.