Renaissance High School

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Renaissance High School
Renaissance High School is located in Michigan
Renaissance High School
Renaissance High School
Renaissance High School is located in the US
Renaissance High School
Renaissance High School
6565 W. Outer Drive
Detroit, Michigan
United States
Coordinates 42°25′05″N 83°11′42″W / 42.4180852°N 83.1949095°W / 42.4180852; -83.1949095
Type Examination High School of Choice/College Preparatory
Motto "A School for the Mind, A Mind for the Future"
Established 1978
School district Detroit Public Schools
Principal Anita Williams
Faculty 45+
Grades 9–12
Enrollment 1,126
Mascot Phoenix

Renaissance High School is a public high school located within the city of Detroit, Michigan. Renaissance is one of four magnet high schools in the Detroit Public Schools district; (the others being Cass Technical High School, Detroit School of Arts, and Communication & Media Arts High School).[1]

Founded in 1978 on the former site of Catholic Central High School, Renaissance's first senior class graduated in 1981. A new building for the school was dedicated in 2005 at the site of the former Sinai Hospital.


Admission is selective. Originally, 8th and 9th grade students from public and private schools took a proficiency exam before admission. A combination of the student's grades in middle school or junior high and the exam score determined school admission. This policy was changed in 1994 to allow transfer students to attend the school, although they must fulfill the same graduation requirements as other students. In 2006, more than 75% of the student's body was African-American. Renaissance opened in 1978 with first-year ("freshman") and second-year ("sophomore") students. Its first four-year graduating class received their diplomas in June 1982.

New campus[edit]

In 2005, the school moved into a $200+ million campus complete with a language and computer labs, and a football field. Features include solar collectors, a rainwater harvesting system, and innovative cooling systems. The school moved from the building that is now F.L.I.C.S., or Foreign Language Immersion Cultural Studies.

Detroit-based GunnLevine Architects (GLA) was selected by Detroit Public Schools as their Master Architect for the $128 million Sinai Educational Campus. GLA was selected due to their extensive healthcare background with notable educational expertise to design an innovative educational campus to meet Silver LEED certification requirements.

After a thorough feasibility study of the former Sinai Hospital, the principal concluded that programming would be compromised if renovations were to be implemented. The prior facility configuration and structural systems presented a liability in its net-to-gross ratio for its re-use as an educational campus. GLA offered alternative programming and suggested creative options that increased programming without affecting budgets. GLA also consulted community groups in the process.

Cost projections matched the client’s estimates and after preliminary designs were approved, GLA designed a new 397,000 sq ft (36,900 m2) 43-acre (170,000 m2) educational campus containing a blue-ribbon high school, vocational high school, and the Foreign Language Immersion and Cultural School (FLICS). Programming required 397,000 sq ft (36,900 m2), of which 76,400 sq ft (7,100 m2) is allocated for amenities such as a triple gymnasium and a 600-seat auditorium with a fly loft and orchestra pit will provide a much needed theatrical performance area in the district.

The theater is designed to serve the accessibility needs of the special education students and technology needs of all students. As the school colors are burgundy and white the school spirit is shown in the theater. The school will also serve as a regional sports facility with a triple gymnasium that embraces daylight harvesting along with an artificial track and football field.

Because of the specialized areas and needs within the program, GLA established a team of 13 consultants to ensure that this multi-purpose campus exceeded all expectations. Project Manager, Jennifer Durham, was responsible for managing the communication and coordination of all disciplines (including auditorium, acoustical, kitchen, pool, lighting, and sustainable design specialties).

Students from grade 9 to age 24 will have access to an adaptive physical education space and physical therapy area, as well as speech, occupational and vocational therapy settings.


The students of Renaissance must take seven courses a semester and complete a total of 200 community service hours in order to graduate. Although the students only take six courses a day, their schedules rotate in order to keep up with the seven course requirement. One way that the school provides students with the opportunity to fulfill the 200-hour service requirement is through its JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps) program.

School Alma Mater (to be accompanied by song)[edit]

We're proud of number one. Our hearts and spirits soar. For knowledge, strength, and dedication thankful evermore.

Oh Renaissance, We sing to thee our praise and gratitude eternally.

O hail phoenix the best for eternity!

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "Resource: Renaissance High School (Detroit, MI)". Davidson Institute for Talent Development. Retrieved 2/6/13. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)

External links[edit]