DPS Releases 2018 SPF Framework Results

Oct. 12, 2018

Denver Public Schools announced its 2018 ratings on the School Performance Framework (SPF). For the second year in a row, data showed strong districtwide growth in early literacy, which provides a crucial foundation for students’ success in college, career and life.

“We have made much progress in DPS, yet we know we still have much work to do, especially to improve opportunities for our traditionally underserved students. Our SPF ratings reflect both that progress and the work that lies in front of us to meet our shared goals,” said Superintendent Boasberg.

Results of the 2018 SPF – the district’s annual report card for schools – were released at a celebration at the Kepner campus in southwest Denver. The three middle schools that shared the campus in the 2017-18 school year – Kepner Beacon, STRIVE Prep – Kepner and Kepner Legacy – were all rated green, or Meets Expectations, on their overall SPF ratings.

“Ninty-nine percent of our kids were students of color, 98% received free- or reduced-price lunch, 80% spoke English as a second language, and 100% of our students deserved to be in a school that served their needs,” said former Kepner Legacy Principal Elza Guajardo. “It took a lot of hard work to move our school from red to green. I could not be more proud of our students and faculty.”

“From day one, Kepner Beacon Middle School focused on culture and a new model for the southwest Denver community,” said Alex Magaña, executive principal of the Beacon Network. “It just goes to show, when people come together for kids and focus on one goal, our kids will come through.”

Chris Gibbons, founder and chief executive officer of STRIVE Prep, also expressed pride in his school’s accomplishments. “It’s been incredibly rewarding to see STRIVE Prep – Kepner earn green status two years in a row, working with the same students, in a building that was formerly one of Denver’s lowest performing. I applaud the work and dedication of the staff, families and students who cultivated Kepner’s strong foundation, which is imperative as we continue our work.” 

To find 2018 school-by-school SPF ratings, click here.

Among the highlights of the 2018 SPF:

Higher bar for proficiency in effect this year: With the introduction of the new state assessments in 2015, DPS announced that it would set a higher bar for proficiency over time. That higher bar for proficiency has come into place this year, as previously communicated. The DPS SPF continues to put the greatest weight on how much growth students make from one year to the next, because what matters most is how schools help kids learn, regardless of the academic level at which a student starts the school year. As DPS also values the importance of grade-level proficiency, this is the year, as previously communicated, that there are higher expectations for student status on measures across all grades.

Early literacy performance continues to improve across the district: As previously announced, in 2017-18, DPS raised the bar for early literacy measures. Many schools successfully met that higher bar this year.

Continued focus on equity: The Academic Gaps rating highlights the importance that our community places on the success of our schools in serving all kids and closing opportunity gaps. This is the second year that DPS has established the requirement that a school be green (meets expectations) on the Academic Gaps rating in order to receive an overall rating of green. This year, 22 schools did not meet expectations on the Academic Gaps indicator, and therefore did not receive an overall rating of green. With higher performance standards for all students, it is not surprising to see the number of schools impacted by the Academic Gaps indicator increase, and DPS is providing targeted supports for schools that are not meeting expectations on the Academic Gaps indicator.

Supporting schools: Intensive supports are resulting in better schools for DPS kids. This year, 91% of intensive tier schools improved their overall SPF rating to yellow (approaching expectations) or green (meets expectations).

The SPF is part of DPS’ efforts to achieve its top Denver Plan 2020 goal: Great Schools in Every Neighborhood. Visit to learn more about how DPS supports all schools.