Combining Classroom and Work Experiences

Dec. 8, 2017
Seven Breaux -- an apprentice through our CareerResidency Youth Apprenticeship Program
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“One of the most incredible benefits of the apprenticeship program is the opportunity for students to earn up to an associate degree while in high school, debt free, through the Early College model.”

Supt. Tom Boasberg

Supt. Tom Boasberg

Dear Team DPS,

I am constantly amazed by the talent our kids have, and inspired by how they are cultivating that talent on their path to college and career success.

This week, we caught up with one of our students, Seven Breaux — an apprentice through our CareerResidency Youth Apprenticeship Program pilot — to see what his day-to-day life is like as a Network Technician at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus. That’s right, as a part of our new apprenticeship program, he is a current DPS student — at High Tech Early College –and a working professional.

In his apprenticeship, Seven is attending high school three days a week and is working for two days a week alongside other IT technicians doing valuable, skill-building work — system support, telecommunications and network infrastructure — and getting paid for it. Can you imagine having this experience in high school, and what it would have meant to you professionally?

Internet Technology (IT) is a field Seven’s been pursuing for a long time, and he worked hard to earn a spot through this competitive apprenticeship. He’s in the inaugural cohort of more than 40 DPS apprentices, employed at 18 Colorado companies.

Watch this DPS Features video to learn more.

Watch this DPS Features video to learn more.

“I’m in the field I want to be in. Instead of reading books of what I want to do in the future, I get to experience it,” Seven said.

His supervisor at CU-Anschutz shared that, even though Seven has only been with the company for three months, he sees him as a regular employee. When Seven first started his job, he responded to technology help tickets with the help of another technician. Now, he is confident in his ability and manages requests all on his own.

And let’s not forget, even though he is working in a professional job two days a week, he is still a senior in high school and keeps a full course load with college-level classes at High Tech Early College. One of the most incredible benefits of the apprenticeship program is the opportunity for students to earn up to an associate degree while in high school, debt free, through the Early College model.

“I get to start early, coming straight out of high school, and I am so grateful. I get a college education, free of charge! It’s something that a lot of people didn’t get the chance to do at 18 years old,” Seven said.

What propelled him into landing this IT apprenticeship? A lot of thoughtful planning, and intentional exposure to the many career paths and ways there. To prepare him for his apprenticeship, he served as a tech intern through DPS CareerConnect’s CareerLaunch program. His internship was with Lena Archuleta Middle School in the Open World Learning program, where he taught elementary kids the basics of interactive coding, building robotics and technology-based projects.

I’m excited to watch the apprenticeship program expand next year to more than 100 spots for students, and I look forward to hearing many more stories like Seven’s.


CareerResidency Youth Apprenticeships are taking applications until Jan. 24, 2018.

Pictured above: High Tech Early College senior Seven Breaux is one of 44 DPS high schools students participating in the CareerResidency Youth Apprenticeship Program, which pays students to pursue their career dreams.

Want to get updates about the great things happening in DPS? Follow me on Twitter @SuptTomB.

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DPS News Now: Weekly Headlines from DPS in 60 Seconds

This week, we congratulated Deputy Superintendent Susana Cordova for being selected from hundreds of education leaders nationwide as a “Leader to Learn From”! We also shared that, for the first time in more than 100 years, DPS has an all-female board of education. Learn more about this week’s events in 60 seconds!

English: DPS News Now -- Dec. 4-8 Spanish: Lo último en DPS -- Dec. 4-8

Didn’t see last week’s DPS News Now video? Not to worry! DPS News Now videos are posted to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Vimeo every Friday. All DPS News Now videos are also available in Spanish as Lo último en DPS.

2018-19 Great Schools Enrollment Guides are Now Available

Enrollment Guides are available nowThe DPS Great Schools Enrollment Guides for the 2018-19 school year are now available! These user-friendly guides are the go-to resource for information on all DPS schools, including location, program offerings, contact information and more. The guides also feature districtwide information on how to enroll, transportation, programs and more. Browse the guides in both English and Spanish here.

Printed versions of the guides are also available. Visit your nearby DPS campus or contact the Office of Choice and Enrollment Services for a hard copy.

DPS Leaders Break New Ground, Honored for Focus on Equity

Denver Public Schools Board of Education

For the first time in its history, DPS is being governed by an all-female Board of Education. Denver voters recently elected Angela Cobián, Carrie Olson and Jennifer Bacon as well as returning Board Member Barbara O’Brien. They join Anne Rowe, Lisa Flores and Happy Haynes.

“I am deeply honored to work with this amazing group of people,” said Rowe, the board’s president. “Together, we are all committed to ensuring Every Child Succeeds while being role models to our young girls who aspire to lead.” Read the story.


Deputy Superintendent Susana Cordova

Deputy Superintendent Susana Cordova

Congratulations to our Deputy Superintendent Susana Cordova for being identified as a 2018 Leader to Learn From by the national journal Education Week. Susana, a DPS graduate, teacher and school leader, is being recognized for her unwavering commitment to equity for all students. Read the story.

Each year, Education Week identifies the nation’s most exceptional school district leaders. These leading-edge district leaders seized on smart ideas, executed them skillfully and are seeing promising results for their students and schools.


DPS Family and Community Engagement Chief Tameka Brigham

Family and Community Engagement Chief Tameka Brigham

Congratulations also to Tameka Brigham DPS Chief of Family and Community Engagement (FACE), who was profiled this week by Metro State University’s Insider magazine for her focus on service and advocacy. Read the story.

The MSU alumna, former DPS teacher and Teach for America leader is committed to justice-based advocacy and believes deeply in the transformative power of education.

“It’s part of my DNA to be aware of those who don’t have a seat at the table,” Brigham said.


Dec. 13: Superintendent Parent Forum
Dec. 22-Jan. 5: Schools Closed for Winter Break