The History of
Denver Public Schools
One of the most widely used buildings in the school system is the Emily Griffith Opportunity School. Vocational education has been the operative word since Emily Griffith started the school in 1916. Miss Griffith came to Colorado in 1895 and was a substitute 6th grade teacher at Central School until 1904. From 1908 to 1912 she taught at Twenty-Fourth Street School. During this time, she also taught night school, Americanization, and literacy at Longfellow School.
She left the school to work at the State Department of Education but the determination to have an "Opportunity School" for the people of Denver never Wavered. The "go ahead", given by the school board for remodeling Longfellow School to fit the needs of an Opportunity School, was received by Emily Griffith on May 11, 1916. The school opened September 9, 1916 and Miss Griffith served as principal of the school for 17 years before retiring in 1933. A year later the school board renamed the school the Emily Griffith Opportunity School, a much deserved tribute to a great person, a lady of immense determination who brought vocational education to Denver.
The building that housed the Longfellow school was built in 1882 as an elementary school. In 1925 a modern building was added to the site and by 1933 the school had expanded to include the entire block of Welton between 12th and 13th Streets.
The School opened with an enrollment of 2,398 people. By Miss Griffiths retirement the figure had grown to almost 10,000 proving the need for an opportunity school.
During World War II, the school trained many people for the home front as well as the fighting front offering classes ranging from Defense Training and Airplane Mechanics to Administrative Staff and Restaurant Help Training. In 1956 the Opportunity School entered the modern era of technology by going on the air with KRMA-TV. Today KRMA-TV is an award-winning Public Broadcasting Station - Rocky Mountain PBS
Today Emily Griffith Opportunity School has an enrollment of over 14,000 people of all ages continuing the educational tradition Emily Griffith started 85 years ago.
In June of 2011, Emily Griffith Opportunity School officially changed it's name to Emily Griffith Technical College.