Sep. 30, 2016
A Note from Superintendent Tom Boasberg:
Dear DPS Community:
Tuesday was one of my favorite days of the school year so far — we kicked off our first Superintendent-Parent Forum of 2016-17!
Hundreds of our families joined district and school leaders for a morning of activities designed to inform and spark discussion about how we’re working toward our vision of Every Child Succeeds. This week’s focus was the no. 1 goal of our Denver Plan 2020, how to ensure we have Great Schools in Every Neighborhood.
Our Superintendent Parent Forums are a great chance to share open engagement and dialogue with our parents, and I greatly enjoy the opportunity to have face-to-face conversations about issues impacting our children and our future. A popular topic on Tuesday was our bond and mill levy proposals, which are 3A and 3B on the Nov. 8 ballot. I wanted to share some of those questions, and our answers, with you:
- How do I know what my child’s school would receive under the bond and mill?
Answer: We have prepared a school-by-school list of projects on bond.dpsk12.org.
- If approved, how would mill levy funds be distributed to schools?
Answer: On a per-pupil basis. All schools would receive the funds. And, in keeping with our core value of equity, we will give more dollars to schools serving more of our highest-needs students, such as those living in poverty or learning English, so their schools can afford to provide the additional supports their kids need.
- Would schools with higher ratings still receive mill levy funds?
Answer: All schools would receive mill levy funding. Funds would be allocated based on student needs, not on school performance rating, so schools with higher performance would not see less mill levy funding based on performance or ratings.
- How quickly would air-cooling projects listed in the bond proposal be completed?
Answer: If voters approve the bond, 80% of the cooling projects would be completed in the first half of the bond, in summer 2017 or summer 2018. We are prioritizing the air-cooling projects for schools with the most significant challenges with classroom temperatures. Because of the narrow two and a half-month summer window we have each year for major construction/renovation projects in our schools, we are not able to complete all cooling projects in the first year of the four-year bond.
- Did the district or schools decide which bond projects would be completed at each school?
Answer: School leaders were surveyed about their needs while the district’s facilities team also weighed in. A 75-member community group then ranked bond priorities. A key feature of this year’s bond is a pool of flexible funding that will go to each school, which the school community will decide how to prioritize based on the needs of the school. See a list of proposed bond projects by school.
This week’s forum was just the first of five Superintendent Parent Forums we’ll hold throughout this year, each focused on one of our Denver Plan goals. We invite you to participate and we encourage you to keep asking questions. Please check here for dates and times. We want to hear from you because we know your questions, your perspectives, your experiences and, most importantly, your dreams of a brighter future for our kids will result in a stronger Denver Public Schools.
Read the full Our DPS Weekly newsletter online: FAQ from Our Superintendent Parent Forum