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Denver Public Schools Redesigns the High School Experience (Photos)

Oct. 4, 2017

Contact: Alex Renteria, Manager of Media Relations, Alexandra_Renteria@dpsk12.org

Students Usher in New Era of Learning Experiences Reimagined for the 21st Century

A West Campus student shows Supt. Tom Boasberg how to reassemble hardware.

A West Campus student shows Supt. Tom Boasberg how to reassemble hardware.

Denver – Denver Public Schools (DPS) is redesigning the high school experience and preparing all students for college and career success in the modern world. Retooling how high schools prepare students for college and career is more important than ever. Employment projections show that 74% of all Colorado jobs by the year 2020 will require education beyond high school – such as a college degree, trade school, an apprenticeship or military service.

On Oct. 4, West Early College and West Leadership Academy students led an interactive tour of their career-focused, hands-on classes. The classes ranged from video game design, to graphic design, to a tech apps class in which students simultaneously earn college credits.

“I want to be an astronomer after I graduate from college,” said Jason Martinez, a West Early College 9th-grader. “Taking classes where I can earn college credits at the same time will prepare me for my dream job.”

Superintendent Tom Boasberg joined the tour and spoke to educators’ dedication to the DPS mission, that Every Child Succeeds, with notable recent recognitions related to college and career:

  • Placement on the National AP Honor Roll – DPS fostered a districtwide increase in overall participation in AP courses and an increase of African-American, Latino and American Indian/Alaska Native students enrolled in Advanced Placement courses. While growing the program, the district simultaneously improved scores significantly.
  • National SAT Prep Award – DPS was nationally recognized for students having logged the most minutes on the SAT practice exam. Throughout the district, 4,300 students participated in the program, and completed over two million SAT practice problems with three million minutes of preparation.
    • Since 2009, DPS has more than tripled the number of Concurrent Enrollment courses taken, and the pass rate has also increased (4.7%). DPS provided opportunities for 3,923 students to earn free college credit, an increase of 7% compared to just four years ago.
    • Most scholarship dollars ever was received by the Class of 2017, a total of $90,031,389!
Students learn graphic design at West Campus.

Students learn graphic design at West Campus.

In celebration of College and Career Readiness Month, schools throughout the district will be highlighting programs students can take advantage of to reach their potential. These programs include Early College High School, which allows students to simultaneously earn a high school diploma and associate’s degree for free, and the new CareerResidency Youth Apprenticeship Program, which combines the traditional high school classroom learning with on-the-job experiences and gives students access to high-opportunity careers in top fields.

Thanks to Denver voters who approved the 2016 bond and mill levy, the school district has five newly-designated early college schools, an expansion of the Concurrent Enrollment program, the launch of CareerResidency Youth Apprenticeship Program, along with many other program and facility improvements.

Throughout the month of October, DPS students will share their plans for the future, and inspiring stories on how they are reaching their goals, using the hashtag #myplanDPS. Be sure to follow DPS on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to catch up on all the amazing ways our students are preparing for college and their careers.

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