Review of Policies

The Denver Public Schools Board of Education, with the assistance of the legal department, is continuously reviewing all DPS policies to ensure that the district has policies and procedures required by law. This review also evaluates the appropriate governance level for each policy. Through this process, the board will revise existing policies or adopt new policies on issues legally requiring action by the board. Issues that do not require board action may be delegated to staff.

Policy Governance Model

The Denver Board of Education prepared over several months for a shift to a Policy Governance model.

The Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB) provided implementation training to assist the board in more clearly outlining the roles and responsibilities of the board and the superintendent. The board voted on the specific policies under consideration at its Oct. 21 and Nov. 18 meetings.

The Policy Governance model establishes clear roles, responsibilities and relationships between the board and the superintendent. Under the new model, the board will be able to focus on collaborating with constituents and advancing the board’s vision for the district. Policy Governance will also empower the superintendent — as the day-to-day leader of DPS — to select and manage the programs and policies needed to achieve the board’s vision.

Community members will still be able to interact with the board as they always have — policy governance does not disrupt that. Public comment and direct communication with board members remain the best way to provide feedback on the board’s vision for DPS.

The board developed policies for four set categories:

  • Ends/Goals Policies: Description of the long-term goals for the district

  • Executive Limitations: Legal and value boundaries that serve as guardrails for the superintendent to achieve stated goals

  • Board/Superintendent Relationships: The roadmap used to define how the board and superintendent will interact and how the superintendent will be evaluated

  • Governance Process Policies: Operational guidelines for the board, including code of conduct and role of the board president

The proposed policies were available for a ‘first read’ by the community, and later voted upon by the board. Policy drafts focusing on Board/Superintendent Relationships, Ends and Governance Policies, were available for first read on Oct. 21 and were voted on at the board meeting on Nov. 18. Executive Limitations was up for a vote on Oct. 21.

Reasonable Interpretations and Monitoring Reports

Ends Policies

Ends 1 – Equity

Ends 2 – Academic Success

Ends 3 – Student and Staff Well-Being

Ends 4 – Health and Safety

Ends 5 – Post Graduation and Global Citizenship

Ends 6 – Climate Action

Executive Limitations

EL 1 – Global Executive Constraint 

EL 2 – Emergency Superintendent Succession

EL 3 – Development of Administration Policies, Regulations, and Procedures

EL 4 – Communication and Counsel to the Board

EL 5 – Commitment to Accomplishment and Accountability

EL 6 – Educational Program

EL 7 – Instructional Materials Selection & Adoption

EL 8 – School Year Calendar

EL 9 – Treatment of Students, Parents, Families, and Communities

EL 10 – Student Conduct, Discipline, and Attendance

EL 11 – School Safety

EL 12 – Employee Treatment 

EL 13 – Staff Compensation

EL 14 – Staff Evaluation

EL 15 – Budget Monitoring

EL 16 – Financial Administration

EL 17 – Asset Protection