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Being Your Child’s First Educator and Advocate

Students from Valverde Elementary pose with their family.

“The research is clear — when parents and families get involved in their children’s education, their academic performance improves. And parents don’t have to be perfect to make a difference for their kids.”

Supt. Tom Boasberg

Supt. Tom Boasberg

Dear Team DPS,

Every time I have the opportunity at our Superintendent Parent Forums to connect with parents, share experiences and talk about how we can work together to ensure that Every Child Succeeds, I come away feeling inspired.

This year, each of the five forums addresses the major themes of our Family and Community Engagement Plan. Wednesday’s event was the second forum of the year and focused on tools and resources to support families in being their children’s first educator and advocate.

Jeannie Nelson, a parent leader for Schmitt Elementary, spoke about how volunteering at school helps her children know that schoolwork is a priority. “It is helpful that they just know that I talk to their teachers and I know what their homework is and when it is due. It teaches all the other siblings that Mommy is going to make you do your work so you might as well do it now.”

Family support and involvement is vital to your child’s academic success. That’s why it is a critical component in accomplishing the goals set out in the Denver Plan 2020, our ambitious strategic plan.

The research is clear — when parents and families get involved in their children’s education, their academic performance improves. Reading a book or going over homework can make a huge difference for a child. In fact, just talking with your child — in any language — improves their language and literacy skills.

Watch this DPS Features video about the importance of building strong family and school partnerships.

Watch this DPS Features video about the importance of building strong family and school partnerships.

From the diverse range of panelists, including teachers, parents and DPS staff, we heard that parents don’t have to be perfect to make a difference for their kids. Parents don’t have to fully understand the subjects their child is studying or even be able to spend time in the school to advocate for his or her best interests.

Danielle Harris, a former DPS teacher who now leads culturally responsive education for the district, shared invaluable advice for working parents. “Being a single, working mom, it can be challenging to get into the classroom,” she said. “I think by sending emails, texting the teacher, letting them know that you are in Infinite Campus and Parent Portal, you get to know what assignments are missing. … Because sometimes our kids aren’t their own best advocates, communicating with teachers is critical.”

Supporting and advocating for our children is among the most important work any of us can do as parents and guardians. For families at all income levels, our involvement means that kids will be more likely to have better grades, social skills and attendance, and makes kids more likely to graduate and go on to college.

I hope you’ll join me for the next Superintendent Parent Forum on Wednesday, Dec. 13, which will focus on strengthening the voice of families and community in school and district decision making. For more information or to register to attend, visit face.dpsk12.org.

Best,
Tom

Pictured above: Pictured above: Students from Valverde Elementary pose with their family.

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 celebrated Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) at Valdez Elementary, recognized Denver Center for International Studies for winning the Highest-Achieving High School award from the Lakota Language Consortium and attended the Reach One Mentoring event at the Denver Botanic Gardens. Learn more about this week’s events in 60 seconds!

DPS News Now -- Oct. 30-Nov. 3, 2017 Lo último en DPS -- Oct. 30-Nov. 3, 2017

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.


DPS Purchases Samsonite Building in Far Northeast Denver

Students engaged at High Tech Early College.

Students engaged at High Tech Early College.


On Monday, DPS announced the $11.1 million purchase of the Samsonite building in Far Northeast Denver, which was made possible thanks to the support of Denver voters and the 2016 bond. The 113,000-square-foot building, once home to the world’s largest luggage manufacturer, currently houses High Tech Early College.

DPS had previously leased the property — and with the new purchase, we look forward to continue meeting the needs of growing enrollment in Far Northeast Denver in the space that can hold around 800 students.


Artists Paint Masterpieces at 3 DPS Campuses

Artists Paint Masterpieces at 3 DPS CampusesEarlier this year, Eagleton Elementary teamed up with The RAW Project (Reimagining the Arts Worldwide) in an effort to increase attendance by engaging its students with beautiful murals surrounding the school’s exterior.

Lee Rains Thomas, principal at Eagleton Elementary,
said the school has seen an increase in attendance and engagement since the mural painting project began in late summer 2017.

“Hope. I think all the art in general gives our community hope, and inspiration,” Lee said. “I hope they’re feeling a deep sense of pride in their school. This is their art.”

The RAW Project brings artists from around the world who use their culture and art to inspire and engage students with similar stories. The artists painted murals at three DPS campuses, including Eagleton. They have moved on to make art in other cities but hope to be back in Denver in the coming years.

To watch this DPS Features video, click here!


COMING UP…

Nov. 7: Eighth-Grade Career Fair