“MyTech isn’t just about giving computers to kids — it’s about how we use technology to fundamentally increase the personalization and quality of learning for our kids.”
Dear Team DPS,
This fall, 14 of our schools are joining together in an innovative cohort in our MyTech initiative, in which every student they serve will receive a laptop for use in class and at home. MyTech is designed to spur innovation in our schools, close the digital divide among our students and, through personalization of learning, fundamentally change how our kids learn. And we as a district will be learning right along with them.
MyTech, which was made possible by Denver voters’ approval of the 2016 bond and mill levy, is our district’s first foray into equipping entire schools with one computer for every student. Competition to participate in this pilot effort was tough, with 40 middle and high schools applying for MyTech grants.
We announced the 14 winning schools with the most well-thought-out and innovative plans at the Denver School of Innovation and Sustainable Design (DSISD), where high school teacher Caitlin Ross spoke passionately about how technology has leveled the playing field for her students with diverse backgrounds, academic skills and interests.
In a class blending ninth-graders performing at all grade levels, Ross said, students collaborated on projects that spanned the globe, from researching gentrification and affordable housing in Denver to transportation and pollution in New Delhi. Via email, platforms such as Google Docs and links to resources, she could quickly guide their work.
“If students have the choice in how they learn essential materials, rapid teacher feedback and engaging real-world projects,” she said, “the opportunity gap begins to close.”
Along with DSISD, our MyTech schools are Bill Roberts, Bruce Randolph, DCIS Montbello, Florence Crittenton, Hamilton, High Tech Early College, Hill, Lake, Manual, Merrill, North, Skinner and South.
MyTech isn’t just about giving computers to kids — it’s about how we use technology to fundamentally increase the personalization and quality of learning for our kids. Each of these 14 schools created a plan for the integration of technology to support academic goals and for the careful roll-out of devices to students and families. Their lessons learned will serve all of our schools.
MyTech is about equity. We know our less affluent families don’t have the same access to computers and digital resources as our more affluent families do, and we want to close that digital divide. Thanks to the 2016 bond and mill, all of our schools are receiving increased per-pupil funding for technology to help bridge this divide, with the 14 schools in the MyTech initiative receiving extra funding to pilot more in-depth use of computers in their academic programs.
Above all, MyTech is about learning, for our district, for our schools and for our students. We look forward to MyTech driving our thinking as educators about how to best use technology and digital learning for all of our kids. Denver voters, thank you again for investing in the future.
Imagine your best self. How does it feel? DPS educators are seeking and bolstering their best selves with something called mindfulness — the idea of showing up fully for each moment and being aware of one’s own needs.
Around DPS, educators and students are embracing the mental health practice, which sets time aside to relax, take a deep breath and find your “best self.” When educators and students are in that place, research also shows it helps reduce stress, keeps people focused and creates happier learning environments.
Mindfulness has been a life changer for West Leadership Academy junior Ana Samayoa.
“I’m really thankful to have it in my life,” she said. “Now I know that I’m not the only one who goes through this stress.”
Watch this DPS Features video to see how our educators are applying this to their lives and sharing the practice with their students.
The Denver Police Department (DPD) is proud to have many “star” officers on its force. Now, thanks to the third- and fourth-grade students at Isabella Bird Community School, the Mounted Patrol Unit has a “Galaxy” after the elementary students had the honor of naming the newest horse to join the unit.
Two weeks ago, the students greeted the American Quarter horse and submitted a list of their top names: Justice, Serene, Domino, Comanche, Winter, Izzy B Horse, Mr. Mustache, Galaxy, Hero, Lucky and Cloud. The DPD officers selected three of the names — Lucky, Justice and Galaxy — and the final choices were voted on by the students, who unveiled their chosen moniker, Galaxy, Tuesday afternoon.
“It was really cool to get to name a police horse. I’ve never ever ever done that before,” explained Isabella Bird student Xavier. “I used to be kind of afraid of horses, but once I started to get to know the horse, he seemed really kind and I’m starting to get used to horses now.”
Betty Robertson, a retired teacher and longtime supporter of the DPD, has donated horses to the unit for many years and, to honor her generosity, the naming rights of the new horse are traditionally given to DPS elementary students.
National Teacher Appreciation Week is May 8-12, and here at DPS we’re saying “thank you” to our educators throughout the week with celebrations, discounts, giveaways, teacher features, special visits and more!
Visit teacherappreciation.dpsk12.org to see everything we have lined up, including ways you can get involved and honor our teachers. And be sure to check back next week for new features and celebrations every day.
What are you doing to honor our educators? Share your celebrations on social media using #DPSlovesteachers.
Tune in to EDUCA Radio 1090 AM from 5-6 p.m. today to learn about the City of Denver’s initiatives and how they impact our families.
Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock will talk about Make Your Mark, Teacher Appreciation, the Birth to Eight Roadmap and immigration. Listen to 1090 AM or visit EDUCA online, and you could win four tickets to the Colorado Rockies vs. L.A. Dodgers game.
May 8-12: Teacher Appreciation Week