Slideshow | A closer look at the students at Bethune School in Detroit

Shantaya Davis remembers attending five schools before eighth grade, but can’t recall the name of one of them. She said one of the drawbacks of attending a new school is “you have to get used to everything all over again and sometimes (the school) might not meet your needs or your standards.” (Bridge photo by Anthony Lanzilote)

Makayla Vincent attended four schools by the time she was in eighth grade at  Bethune Elementary-Middle School in Detroit. “You get a new start. You get to meet new people and have a different experience.” (Bridge photo by Anthony Lanzilote)

After one in a series of family moves, Makayla Vincent and her twin sister enrolled in Bethune Elementary-Middle School after a neighbor recommended the school to their mother.  (Bridge photo by Anthony Lanzilote)

Gabrielle Elliott attended Bethune Elementary-Middle in fourth grade, left for fifth grade, then returned during eighth grade. She had a few academic setbacks last year and had to file an appeal to try to get into Cass Technical High School, one of the city's top high schools. By the end of the year, she found a way to fit in at Bethune and was planning to enroll at Cass this fall. (Bridge photo by Anthony Lanzilote)

Students share a computer at Bethune Elementary-Middle School in Detroit. (Bridge photo by Anthony Lanzilote)

Eighth-graders in homeroom 8B were constantly on the move. Thirty-one of them reported attending a total of 128 schools, or an average of more than four schools apiece.  (Bridge photo by Anthony Lanzilote)

Detroit has had  about 200 school closures since 2005. Today, more than 50 percent of Detroit children take advantage of school choice and pass up the traditional public school district to enroll in charter or suburban schools. Nearly 60 percent of students who live in Detroit — or almost 50,000 children — enrolled in two or more schools during the 2015-16 school year, data from Wayne State University researchers show. (Bridge photo by Anthony Lanzilote)

About this project

This story is part of a series, “Moving Costs: How students changing schools hurt Detroit classrooms,” a joint project by Bridge Magazine and Chalkbeat. Erin Einhorn is Detroit bureau chief of Chalkbeat, a national education news site. Chastity Pratt Dawsey is a Bridge reporter.

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