Dear DPS Community,
It is our great pleasure to present you with the Executive Summary of DPS Thrives: A Strategic Roadmap to the Denver Public Schools Experience. We built our strategic roadmap in collaboration and partnership with the DPS community. Starting with the listening and learning tour, then the transition team, and ultimately the development of the strategic roadmap, we have grounded our future direction in what we have heard from our students, families, community and team members.
In this strategic roadmap, we envision a new DPS experience. An experience that centers our students, with an intentional commitment to our marginalized students, while also elevating the experience of our adults. One that recognizes the role of systems in creating equity in education and justice in society. One that will turn our vision that Every Learner Thrives into a reality.
For almost 20 years, DPS has focused on developing great schools with strong, supportive staff and improved achievement for our students. While our trajectory has been upward, our progress has been incremental, and we have only moderately narrowed gaps between student groups. Our district has failed to provide the majority of our students with learning environments that allow them to thrive while they are with us, and accomplish their dreams after they graduate.
Since our last strategic plan expired, our society has faced immense change. Our students, families and educators within Denver Public Schools have experienced the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, social and political unrest and individual levels of uncertainty. This pandemic has intensified inequities in our educational system.
The opportunity for a great reset of the Denver Public Schools starts now. A return to the old “normal” would be a missed opportunity. Our future direction must be unapologetically bold — we owe it to our students and families. As a school district, we have an obligation to not only help our students overcome the obstacles of COVID-19, but to disrupt and redesign inequitable systems and practices, so Every Learner Thrives.
A call to action
If we are to accomplish our vision, we must reframe education as a series of experiences that promote an exchange of ideas, the pursuit of passion and a quest for justice. Families and community members, we call on you to partner with us. Help us see our biases and hidden spots, and celebrate progress toward a just society. Together, we can build a new DPS experience.
Dr. Alex Marrero