Open main menu

Osborn High School, also known as Osborn Academy of Mathematics is a four-year high school in the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD), located in Northeast Detroit.

Osborn High School
20190111115105 Osborn High School.jpg
Osborn High School is located in Michigan
Osborn High School
Osborn High School
Osborn High School is located in the United States
Osborn High School
Osborn High School
11600 Seven Mile Rd East


United States
Coordinates42°26.0217′N 83°0.21438′W / 42.4336950°N 83.00357300°W / 42.4336950; -83.00357300Coordinates: 42°26.0217′N 83°0.21438′W / 42.4336950°N 83.00357300°W / 42.4336950; -83.00357300
School districtDetroit Public Schools Community District
PrincipalPashawn Johnson
Number of students532
Color(s)Red, white and blue

Currently, the school has over 20 course offerings some of which are: Engineering,  Finance, Spanish, Dual Enrollment through WCCCD, Honors and AP Classes, Reading, Web-Based Academic Tutoring, Extended Day Program, Credit Recovery Program, Internship Programs, Community Service Opportunities, Band, ROTC, Robotics Team, Literacy Circles, Chess, DAPCEP, Media Club,  Book Club, Recycling Program, Finance, Technology & Engineering Club, Alternative Energy Greenhouse, Drama, Cheer-leading, Student Government, Basketball, Football, Softball, Baseball, Volleyball, Track and Field, and Cross Country.[1]

Mildred Gaddis of WCHB said that Osborn "is considered the glue to the community."[2]



Laura F. Osborn High School was opened in February 1957. It was named after Laura Freele Osborn, the first female president of the Detroit Board of Education. When opened it had no auditorium, gym or pool, no facilities for vocational courses such as automotive. It took the Board of Education over four years to develop these, although the funds had been appropriated before January 1957. On the northwest side, Osborn's 'sister' school, Henry Ford had these facilities built by the end of 1959. Parents of Osborn students inquired and made visits to the Board offices and never received positive answers regarding the delay. The first student newspaper was called The Lance, the masthead designed by Gregg T. Trendowski(Class of June 1960). The teams were named the Knights, a name suggested by Gregg Trendowski (a member of the first student council and member of a special committee for name selections). Mr. Trendowski also designed the team logos and the yearbook (The Acolyte)logo in February 1957.{fact}}

In 2006 Kimberly Chou of The Michigan Daily said that the school was "often criticized for its lack of resources and tension among students."[3]

The school complex was divided into three separate schools occupying the same campus in 2009.[4]

In 2010 Robert Bobb, the emergency financial manager of the school district, announced that Osborn was closing.[2] In July 2010 Osborn High School was closed; it reopened in August of that year. DPS officials planned to keep the facility open for two years.[5]

An April 2011 report from the office of Mayor of Detroit Dave Bing stated that gangs have caused problems at Osborn High.[6]

Jeff Siedel of Detroit Free Press said that in the northern hemisphere summer of 2011 "as a wave of violence swirled around" Osborn as several students died in violent incidents.[7] On August 24, 2011, Osborn High star football player, Allantae Powell, was murdered in western Detroit.[7]

2012 Osborn High School was divided into four separate entities. Osborn College Preparatory Academy, Osborn Collegiate Academy of Mathematics, Science and Technology (Osborn MST), and Osborn Evergreen Academy of Design and Alternative Energy, previously occupied the campus. In 2017 all 3 small schools at Osborn were closed and merged. As of 2017 Osborn is just one high school again.

In 2016 Tanya Bowman, a former Osborn principal who engaged in a kickback scheme and took $12,500 by using false invoices, received a nine-month federal prison sentence and two years of supervised release.[8]


As of 2006 students frequently dropped out of the school. In August 2003, the 9th grade class had 700 students. By December 2006 that class had 200 students.[3] According to former DPS superintendent Dr. Connie Calloway, who was interviewed in the 2011 Dan Rather report "A National Disgrace," a typical class's student body declined from about 800-900 9th graders to 545 in the 10th grade, 345 in the 11th grade, and 245 in the 12th grade, with only 11 students passing the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP).[9] As of Fall 2017 694 students are enrolled at Osborn.

Hmong studentsEdit

A former teacher at Osborn High stated that the student body was about one third Hmong after the first wave of Hmong people moved into northeast Detroit following the Vietnam War.[4] During 1999, 250 of the students were Hmong, and the boys' volleyball team was 95% Hmong. Stan Allen, who served as principal, said that in 1987, when he first began working at the school, the Hmong students performed academically well and often received grade point averages of 3.5 to 4.0. In the ten years until December 1999 Allen said that the academic performance of Osborn's Hmong students declined.[10] As of 2013, about 20 to 30 Hmong students attended the Osborn High School complex. The Hmong population in the Osborn neighborhood had declined due to Hmong people moving to Warren and Sterling Heights. By 2013 the Hmong students at Osborn began educating people about their ethnic group through a multi-cultural show they created.[11]

Location and facilityEdit

Osborn is located along a street that features beauty supply stores, cell phone stores, churches, and fast food restaurants. As of 2010 a restaurant called Happy’s Pizza is across the street from Osborn. The manager, Mac Swift, said that the bulk of his morning business came from students. That year, when the district announced Osborn would be closed, Swift said that the closure would harm his business.[2] Osborn ultimately remained open.

In 2012 the school had a makeover intended to beautify the building and increase morale at the school. New carpets and new paint were installed. The remodeling used bright colors as a way of increasing morale. During the remodeling, the elevator was not functional, so American football players volunteered to carry new cabinets and desks to the school's third floor. Bowman said "In years past, this building looked literally like a prison."[7]


The school's Hall of Fame includes student who had athletic success in regional and state competitions, including Kelsey Johnson, who won the long jump event at the 1973 Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) track and field finals,[12] and Jimalatrice Thomas who won the 400-meter dash title at the 1988 MHSAA championships.[13]


Skillman, United Way of Southeastern Michigan, City-Year Corp., Wayne Mediation, Children’s Aid Society, Made Men, Neighborhood, ISA (Institute for Student Achievement), Black Family Development, Think Detroit P.A.L., Osborn College Preparatory Academy L.S.C.O., Osborn Neighborhood Alliance, and Detroit Parent Network.[14]

Notable alumniEdit


  1. ^ "Offerings".
  2. ^ a b c Gaddis, Mildred. "High school closure plan rocks Detroit neighborhood." WCHB. March 18, 2010. Retrieved on November 8, 2012. Alternate URL(Archived 2015-07-02 at WebCite).
  3. ^ a b Chou, Kimberly. "Growing up Hmong in Detroit" (Archived 2015-06-23 at WebCite). The Michigan Daily. December 7, 2006. Retrieved on March 13, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Rosen, Zak. "Meet one of Detroit's last remaining Hmong families" (Archived 2015-07-01 at WebCite). Michigan Radio. April 23, 2015. Retrieved on July 1, 2015.
  5. ^ Anderson, Elisha. "Osborn High School to reopen; remain open for 2 more years." Detroit Free Press. August 10, 2010. Retrieved on August 10, 2010.
  6. ^ Hunter, George and Mike Wilkinson. "Detroit's deadliest neighborhood" (Archived 2015-07-02 at WebCite). The Detroit News. September 2, 2011. Retrieved on November 8, 2012. "Gangs have caused big problems at Osborn High School on Seven Mile and Hoover, according to an April report from Mayor Dave Bing's office."
  7. ^ a b c Siedel, Jeff. "Jeff Seidel: Detroit Osborn football team tries to learn lessons from star's murder" (Archived 2015-07-02 at WebCite). Detroit Free Press. August 24, 2012. Retrieved on November 8, 2012.
  8. ^ "Ronald Alexander, ex-DPS principal who appeared on Ellen Show, sentenced to 1 year in prison". WXYZ-TV. 2016-09-08. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  9. ^ Transcript of "A National Disgrace" (Archive). AXS TV. p. 2/79. Retrieved on August 11, 2015.
  10. ^ Kaiser, Robert L. "After 25 Years In U.s., Hmong Still Feel Isolated." Chicago Tribune. December 27, 1999. 1. Retrieved on April 12, 2012.
  11. ^ Lewis, Matthew (Model D). "Young and Hmong in a Detroit east side neighborhood" (Archived 2015-07-05 at WebCite). MLive. September 29, 2013. Retrieved on February 19, 2014.
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "School's Partners".
  15. ^ Birchmeier, Jason. "music biography". Allrovi. Archived from the original on July 22, 2013. Retrieved July 19, 2008.

External linksEdit