SOUTHFIELD, Mich. - Southfield Public Schools has opened an honors high school, University High School Academy, with smaller classes emphasizing science, technology, engineering and math, The Detroit News reported.

About 440 freshmen were admitted this year, chosen on the basis of a test and essay, according to The News. Once accepted, the students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average. Superintendent Wanda Cook-Robinson told The News that the school will add a grade each year and that eventually the academy curriculum will be replicated throughout the district's high schools.

The district is partnering on the effort with the Ann Arbor and Dearborn campuses of the University of Michigan, the Lear Corp., and Michigan First Credit Union.

Marcia Williams, dean of the academy, told The News that, "We wanted to create another option for families who want a smaller high school environment, with about 24 students per class, but who want access to a rigorous curriculum with more focus."

The Detroit News, "School offers mental workout," Nov. 6, 2008

Michigan Education Report, "It's hard, but it's fun: Project seeks to enlarge ranks of scientists, engineers," July 15, 2008