"We are best known for rigorous academics."
Students enrolled 729
Hours 8:00 - 3:30
School leader Ms. Sandra Terry-Martin
Transportation options None
District Detroit Merit Charter Academy
Before school Yes
After school Yes

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Contact this school

1091 Alter Rd
Detroit, MI 48215

School website
(313) 331-3328
(313) 331-3278
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Detroit Merit Charter Academy address.

4 stars
Based on 60 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

November 17, 2013
Detroit Merit Academy is a school of excellence. The administrative staff is easily accessible. The teachers are caring and understanding of all the students. The student have the opportunity to learn through real world experiences, field trips, in-school programs, after school tutoring and extra-curricular activities. DMA even has the best Latch-Key program around. Latch-Key provides the students the time to build life-long friendships that are often hard to establish during the school hours and instructional time. DMA faces one challenge. DMA needs a physical education facility. They have a great physical education teacher (Ms. Riley) but she faces challenges with implementing her program because she doesn't have a gym. Ms. Riley makes sure all of her students receive the proper hours of movement and large motor activities with the space she has but her program could really be GREAT if she had a gym.

- submitted by a parent
November 14, 2013
High school placement starts in 6th grade ensuring that over 95% of the graduaring 8th graders go to the high school of their choice, including the best high schools in the Detroit Metro area.

- submitted by a parent
November 10, 2013
Not good lunch your kid will take a long time to leave teachers really good plus Ms. Dennhy she's like really really

- submitted by a parent
October 31, 2013
Detroit Merit is a place where high expectations are continually set for students and staff alike. This is my second year teaching at DMA and I already feel like I am part of the family here, and take pride in what I am able to teach my students, and in turn what I learn from them, and my colleagues each day!

- submitted by a teacher
October 31, 2013
you should know that you can get into this school for free.Also,if you work afternoons,there is a after school program. there is also a surve that lets you benifit your childs learning.please,if you care about your childs learning,go to detroit merit charter academy

- submitted by a community member
October 31, 2013
My son has attended Detroit Merit Charter Academy since young 5's and he has continue to surpass his goals in every area. I absolutely love this school.

- submitted by a parent
October 31, 2013
Most of the teachers at Detroit Merit Charter Academy are extremely dedicated and never seem to mind answering questions and providing additional help when needed. I remain impressed that the faculty/staff/administrators really seem to know the kids personally and take a great interest in their success. While nothing is perfect I find that if I ask the staff is more than willing to help or give information when they can. They are professionals and I love that!

- submitted by a parent
October 31, 2013
Detroit Merit Academy has to be one of the best schools on the east side of Detroit. I find the staff to be approachable and cooperative with issues that derive, those academically and disciplinary. Mrs. Martin has a great way of reaching out to the parents through title one meetings, "Coffee with the principal" and weekly Sunday messages. I would recommend DMA to anyone because its staff has a great way of keeping the students balanced. Music is a great enhancement to the school. Mr. Phillips encourages my daughter to play the violin. My daugher is currently in the proficient class. There's lots of great things to speak about. After school clubs and tutoring classes are a great way to increase student success and engagement. However, a school gym and lunchroom is greatly need. I have an older daughter who is a DMA graduate. DMA prepared her for high school, she scored very high on the catholic school placement and was admitted to Regina High School based on her academic standing. I support DMA and encourage my daughter to display respect and integrity, which this school prides itself on. Again, DMA is a great school and I would refer this school to everyone.

- submitted by a parent
October 30, 2013
This is my daughter's fifth year at DMA. We absolutely love the school and she continues to surpass her goals. The teaching staff is exemplary! Ms. Cleveland and Ms. Morris are the most helpful administration on the planet, they help every student in the school and know them by first name. Overall this school is like a family. I would recommend any parent to bring their children to DMA to receive a first class education! Hands down Detroit Merit Academy is the BEST school in Detroit.

- submitted by a parent
October 30, 2013
My school is the best because at DMA we have great teachers. I think all of the other kids should come to my school to see what it is like here. At DMA they teach us new things every day, that is why I think you should come too.IT IS A GREAT PLACE TO BE!

- submitted by a community member
October 29, 2013
Detroit Merit is home away from home. It is true a child's first teacher is his/her parents. At the same time it was important to my family to find an educational institution that supported the moral values that shape our family as well as provide the kind of genuine emotional support our kids need. We found it! There isn't enough space to speak about how the academic staff goes above and beyond to ensure our children are well rounded productive members of the community.

- submitted by a parent
October 27, 2013
Detroit Merit should be the standard, an example for the charter school to come and already established. The care about the student and work together with parents to achieve the best possible outcome for the students education. The set a high academic standard for all students and they help them feel confident about obtaining that goal.

- submitted by a parent
October 27, 2013
I love Detroit Merit, they have created a safe and encouraging learning environment for my children. The teachers and administrators care a great deal about the children and parents. Both my son and daughter are being challenged academically and exceeding my expectations. My daughter started kindergarten writing her name, only recongnizing and knowing the sounds of half of the alphabet and only counting to ten. She knows the sound and can recognize every letter. She can read and write over over ten sight words as well as complete an addition problem on her own. My Son is in the first grade he has read two chapter books for 1-3 graders on his own, since school started and can complete multiplication problems. Thank you Detroit Merit for working with me to give my children the best education possible.

- submitted by a parent
October 24, 2013
Detroit Merit Charter Academy is one of the best schools In the state. Since kindergarten I have attended this school. My parents love it,and I do as well. I have learned a lot since becoming a Mustang. All of my siblings have gone to this school. My big brother has graduated from this school,and my little sister has just stared kindergarten here. I am in fourth grade with an amazing teacher in Ms.Mckinny. So far I have loved the DMA experience!!

- submitted by a community member
October 17, 2013
In general I think National Heritage Academies schools are an example of charter schools done right - they have strong central leadership, consistency of procedures, and a network of support - all things that I think are lacking in some charter schools (and even public districts.) However, DMA has something beyond that. Spend a little time in the building and you will sense that you are in a community - not just a school. Parents and alumni volunteers are in the school on a weekly or even daily basis. Students are lively but well behaved. There are creative, wonderful, and surprising things going on around every corner - colorful artwork and projects, 5th graders preparing to head off to Washington DC, middle schoolers reading stories to kindergartners, maybe even a hallway gym class coexisting relatively peacefully with lessons in the classrooms. (I never knew it was possible!) This school is not perfect, but it is a family. This is my second year teaching at DMA, and even though I drive a very long way to get here every day, something keeps me coming back. Come and see for yourself.

- submitted by a teacher
October 11, 2013
Detroit Merit Academy is filled with high achieving students and well educated staff. Many of our students attend High Schools such as Cass Tech, Renaissance, Liggit, De LaSalle, and Regina. We set high expectations for our students and inspire them to become life long learners.

- submitted by a teacher
October 10, 2013
Our staff and administration are constantly working to keep Detroit Merit THE best school in the D. We have a population of wonderful students and parents. Our goal together is to help each child achieve. Everyone in the building is committed to this goal from the children in Young Fives to the teens in 8th grade and from the lunch preparers to the principal.

- submitted by a teacher
October 10, 2013
This school is a team of hard-working administration, passionate teachers, and dedicated support staff all working together to educate their students. Students are learning in an environment rich with opportunity and excitement. I would send my child to this school.

- submitted by a teacher
October 10, 2013
Detroit Merit is one of the best Schools in the country with some of the most caring staff members!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- submitted by a teacher
October 10, 2013
Detroit Merit is an excellent school. The staff is dedicated to developing the minds of the students and helping them to reach their full potential. The administrative staff works hard to maintain excellent communication between teachers, parents and students.

- submitted by a teacher
October 10, 2013
Detroit Merit is a great school. DMA works hard to make sure that our school is looked at as one of the finest in the nation. DMA has a long stardard of successfully getting students into high quality high schools. I work at DMA because I know I make a differnce in the lives of students.

- submitted by a teacher
October 09, 2013
Detroit Merit Charter Academy is a gem on the Eastside of Detroit. All stakeholders are committed to building a community of life-long learners and tomorrow's leaders. There is a culture of high expectations and a family feel. Students know exactly where they are and where they need to be through goal setting. We believe at DMA that effort creates ability and success and our students, parents, staff, and board work hard to ensure our students have not only great high school options, but college opportunities. Of our 63 graduating 8th graders last year, 22 received full scholarships to elite, private high schools. Each year, alumni come back to volunteer at DMA working with teachers and groups of students. I absolutely love working at DMA because our parents are supportive and involved, our students shine like the stars in the sky, and our staff work together to do what is best for the students. This is why DMA is a Michigan School of Excellence, distinguished as one of the best Detroit schools by Excellent Schools Detroit, nominated by MAPSA for School of the Year multiple times, and received many other honors.

- submitted by a teacher
October 09, 2013
Great school, great staff, safe place for parents and students. Very dedicated teachers. A place where students learn how to look to the future as a college

- submitted by a teacher
October 09, 2013
The teachers, support staff, and administrators at Detroit Merit Academy hold the students to high expectations. They expect effort, not excuses; and the students respond by rising to those high expectations. The climate of the school is academically rigorous and behaviorally sound. It is a point of pride at DMA that 8th grade students are invited and accepted into all of the highest calibre high schools in the area and, more importantly, thrive and flourish in their high school and college careers. The pursuit of excellence promoted by the administrative team is supported wholeheartedly by the teaching staff and trickles down to the students, who hold themselves to their best efforts. Whether the child is a precocious Young Five or an 8th grade struggling reader, DMA constantly reinforces the idea that every child can succeed. And at DMA, they do.

- submitted by a teacher
May 31, 2012
This school is a prime example of what happens when too many students enter into a school without structure and a historic academia and leadership support system. With Many DPS schools closing in the area DMA has had a large influx of students. Under the direction of the new leadership team the past few years, the stern support system of values, academics and respect has fallen tremendously. I would also argue that many students grades have suffered as well. Much of the staff that had students enrolled have also removed their students from the school as well over the past several years much of which is due to the entire system failing. The teaching staff has gone from engaging to passing the time to even pathetic in many areas. I would no longer recommend this school of National Heritage Academies

- submitted by a parent
October 22, 2011
DMA is an awsome school...The teachers try to make us,the students achieve. Kids from DMA now go to awsome highschools. Some go to liggit or international. This year im going to aplly to those schools and cranbrook. This year im in 6th grade i love my teacher Ms.Dean. I have been at DMA since kindergarten and i have always been in proficient classes. I would really reccomend this school.Chanel Williams=D

- submitted by a community member
July 01, 2011
To agree with the parent who wrote a reveiw on 6/14/2011, I totally agree with her reveiw DMA has really gone down in every way since Ms.Benser has left...My daughter has taken her child on put him else where....i hear that the kids are involed in alot of fights there now....they dod not have as much respect for the staff as before.

- submitted by a community member
June 14, 2011
This school really was an exceptional school when my child first started there. I was very dissapointed this last year because the leadership at this school has went down since the change of the principal/assistant principals. The teachers seem to lack the care and concern for the children that they had in previous years. I was also dissapointed in some of the teachers inability to control the discipline problesms. The academic program is challenging for the students but I think they are missing the key elements that made them excel under the previous leadership. They pushed so hard after realizing they were not on track in the middle of the year (which I believe was due to lack of leadership) I think they not only burned the students out I also think they burned the teachers out too. Not sure if we will remain here.

- submitted by a parent
May 24, 2011
I heard so many positive things about DMA, I really expected something wonderful when enrolling my children. Unfortunately I found out it's not better or worse than any of the other charter schools in the the area. My kids previously attended Winans Acadmey which seems to have a more nurturing environment. DMA is more focused on the cirriculum which is great, but elementary aged kids need both. My children have been bullied at this school, and that's disappointing. There have been virtually no field trips this year. On the positive my children seem to be doing well academically. For some reason the school calls their eigth grade dance a prom, which I feel takes away from what prom really is or should be. Socially the children seem to far too advanced for their ages, I have seen and over heard behavior I consider to be inappropriate for this age group. I love the staff, the teachers are awesome and the assistant principals seem to truly care. The school principal however, I've never even met her out side of my very first to the school. I don't know if I will be reenrolling or not. I have changed schools once and don't want to keep switching things up on tmy kids.

- submitted by a parent
September 17, 2009
Hi. I am a student from dm and I just want to say this school is an Exellent school to enroll in. It challenges students to push the envolope and to succed. I am currently in 8th grade and will soon be graduating. Now I am doing 9/10 grade Math!!! It prepares us for high school and collge, and the staff are cool! They have us apply for GREAT high schools early, and teach us important moral such as wisdom, integrity, pudence, and so on. This is a great school! Shout out to Ms. Comer!!

- submitted by a student
June 22, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
May 27, 2009
I am a proud parent! my son has attended DMC from opening day! I love what this school it has given my son soooo much! He does excellent!!!

- submitted by a parent
October 13, 2008
they really have great forein language also the teachers are all qualified for the job a down point is they don't have a gym

- submitted by a parent
October 06, 2008
Best School Ever! The Students Get Along Great With The Entire Staff And All Together It's Just A Great School.It's Academically Great And Behaviorally Great.The Staff Gives The Students That Push They Need If They Need It And They Want Nothing Best The Best For Their Students! I Would Suggest This School If You Want Your Child To Have A Bright Future! Sincerely,Rashad Williams

- submitted by a student
no rating June 23, 2008
I love this school! DMA has provided a great education for my son since Kindergarten and now will be doing the same for my daughter. When my son needed tutoring DMA provided that free of charge! When he needed extra help and needed to be in a summer program to not be held back, DMA helped with that also! What other schools offer so much for so little in return! This school does not just pass your child on to the next grade when they cannot do the work like many schools do, they help them, and I appreciate that. I have never seen discipline problems at this school and have in fact seen DMA students behave better that students at my daughters school (Cornerstone). Thank you DMA, and Ms. Benser for providing a GREAT school! Sincerly the Rahmaan family

- submitted by a parent
June 09, 2008
I think Merit Academy is an excellent school. Yes the children are concerned about their color and the parents should be as well. I think the color system is excellent because it lets the parents know how their child is behaving. It is up to the parent to enforce rules about the color their child was on and discipline them when their behavior is out of control. The education that my son received at Merit is excellent. I would recommend a parent to send their child to Merit.

- submitted by a parent
May 19, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
January 25, 2008
This school is high on structure and low on discipline. The children are overwhelmingly concerned with what 'color' they are for the day as opposed to what they actually have learned. If you're looking for a balance in discipline and structure, this is not the school for your child.I have never seen an environment where teachers have no clue how to control their class or establish order, other than getting rid of the 'bad' kids. I'm glad I pulled my son out. He's doing great at his new school and we've had zero problems with his 'behavior.' Overall, DMA is better for grades 5-8, not little ones.

- submitted by a parent
December 13, 2007
I really love this school :) I have been attending DMA since the first year. DMA has grown extremely. The cirriculum is wonderful. And the teachers are great. The thing i love most about the school is how much they chalenge us to do better. Keep up the good work!!!!!!!

- submitted by a student
December 03, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
November 10, 2007
Detroit Merit Academy is a good school. We are extremely pleased with the academic standards at Merit. We initially had some concerns when we enrolled our children, but over the years, the Principal and staff have worked diligently to provide our children with the best services possible. Having visited some of the classes, the junior high classes were very structured! Our oldest has special needs and the principal not only hired an individual to work with him, but put everything in place to guarantee the best education and support possible. Our children are challenged, and not neglected! We know that the best support is revealed when parents and staff work collectively!

- submitted by a parent
October 09, 2007
Having three children that attend this school, I would have t say that I am very pleased with there academic progress overall. They far surpass the Detroit Public schools in our old neighborhood. We have since moved out of Detroit, but will continue to send our kids to Detroit Merit Academy. The middle school counselor has my daughter on a very successful path for High school. The curriculum they offer as well as the specialized attention to children that learn at all levels and paces is what keeps me coming back year after year.

- submitted by a parent
August 23, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a teacher
June 12, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
June 03, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
May 16, 2007
Having two nephews that attend Merit Academy, I can truly say that I am pleased at the Teachers and their willingness to go above and beyond the 'Call of Duty' to educate the children in such a great atmosphere. I am proud to say that Merit Academy has given the Caine Family, something to smile about. Keep up the good work. Again, thanks for your continued educational support!

- submitted by a teacher
April 03, 2007
This is in response to the parent who indicates that her child has fallen through the cracks. My child has been diagnosed ADHD and various medications we've tried have not worked so far. The teacher has been very understanding and works with me on helping my child succeed in class. Communication is key when working with a diagnosed child and I have not had any problems communicating and seeking extra support for my child.

- submitted by a parent
February 20, 2007
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a former student
January 29, 2007
In my opinion, the school does a great job on the academic content, as long as your child 'fits the mold' of a 'normal' student. They struggle with children who are behaviorally or mentally challenged because of a lack of experienced staff. If your child has ADD, ADHD or some other 'disability' I think they may fall between the cracks. Keep your eyes and ears open.

- submitted by a parent
January 27, 2007
Academically the school is pretty good. The principal and support staff provide adequate leadership. From what I can see, most of the staff are hardworking, and there seems to be great checks and balances. Many parents help out, which is essential. The school has a great communication program between parents and teachers. This is what all public schools should offer. My children appreciate the organization and the constant feedback on their work. There are some schools that will not give feedback until report card day! After speaking with parents that have their children in Ann Arbor school district, and other neighboring districts or charter schools, I think Detroit Merit Academy is quite comparable. If you are looking for a good place to start your children, DMA is a great choice.

- submitted by a parent
November 08, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 27, 2006
Good school with strong academics. The loud blasting music, and blocked traffic must end. Furthermore, this school needs air conditioning in the spring through fall. My children nearly bake on the second floor. Ms. Benser is doing a great job but I wish we could raise funds for a cooling system, and one more wing so that the junior high students could spread out, and so that the students could attend gym in their own building.

- submitted by a parent
September 21, 2006
This school has made significant progress in organization. I am however concerned with the high turnover, that I am certain coincides with most charter schools. I've also noticed that there are not enough instructors that relate to the students. My children have even noticed that the young instructors subconciously discriminate against some of the children. It's deep and almost tragic for a school that is doing so well in providing a progressive academic pace for urban children. No school can be perfect, so I will continue to keep my children there and provide a strong and uplifting message of self love at home!

- submitted by a parent
September 19, 2006
I think DMA is an exceptional school. My daughter has attended DMA since kindergarten. She is now in the second grade. Like one of the other parents stated, my daughters entire 1st grade class was on honor roll and by the second half of the school year they were doing 2nd grade math. She is now in a proficient 2nd grade class. The principal, Ms. Benser is one in a million. She truly cares and is doing an outstanding job. I just wish there was more parental involvement. Out of over 400 families, maybe 20 families are represented at PTO meetings once a month. We have to be there for our kids. We can't expect the schools to do it all!

- submitted by a parent
September 03, 2006
Here's the real deal...the school has a great curriculum, an ambitious principal, and 20% of the parents really participate with school activities and maybe half of the parents are following up at home. The problem is that the school is stuck with recruiting many of the rejects from the Detroit Public school population that are behavioral, and academic problems. This challenge hurts the school especially with its high turnover and staff of young teachers that are not always able to handle the problems that arise from some of the students and their parents. If the school could operate with a smaller population, it would be exceptional!

- submitted by a parent
July 31, 2006
I truly believe Detroit Merit is an excellent school. My son has attended kindergarten and 1st grade. He did not have any formal schooling prior to DMA. His Kindergarten teacher continually challenged him. She was a veteran teacher, however, his 1st grade teacher was not and she followed the same guidlines that his kindergarten teacher did. In fact, his whole class was excelling so quickly in math that they started on the 2nd grade curriculum. Talk about being pro-active. Even thouth my son does not take the MEAP yet,I am aware of DMA's scores. The past two years they have outshined many schools. They have also made AYP. This is proof that the principal Ms. Benser is doing things right!! She is constantly seen throughout the building... Leading, Supporting and Lending a hand whenever and whereever needed. Looking forward to another successful school year for my son at DMA!

- submitted by a parent
July 18, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a teacher
June 28, 2006
DMA is the best schools, it delivers an outstanding academic program, it is safe, and the focus is on what is best for kids. It doesn't get any better than this.

- submitted by a parent
June 03, 2006
This school is becoming a haven for desperately recruiting students to fill slots, and now it is failing. While the concept and academic programs are good, the school faces the challenge of too many unconcerned parents, too many children with no direction, and unfortunately too many immature staff members. All of this hurts the foundation of the school and the vision of the NHA organization.

- submitted by a parent
no rating May 07, 2006
My 6 year old daughter loves this school. The staff goes the extra mile to keep her and each child learning in a safe environment. The principle and staff has excellent rapport with the parents. One thing, my daughter loves every subject the school offers music, spanish,art, and including math. I recommend this school to anybody.

- submitted by a parent
August 28, 2005
I have three boys that attend DMA. The school has a very good academic program and parent involvement is excellent. I feel that my kids are very safe with the discipline program in place. I just wish the school had more extracurricular activities. Overall I'm satisfied with the school and staff.

- submitted by a parent
July 18, 2005
Highly impressed. Worked well with my quick talking 8 year old and brought her mind into perspective on why she was in school. She had a hard time developing in the public schools but thank god for CMA. It has changed our families lives.

- submitted by a parent
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Detroit Merit Charter Academy
1091 Alter Rd, Detroit, MI  48215
(313) 331-3328
Last modified Detroit Merit Charter Academy is a Charter school. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 6 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Detroit Merit Charter Academy Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 62 reviews.