“To see so many of our young men and women succeed in school every year and graduate ready for the next steps in their lives is the part of this work that makes me proudest. Yet, I know just as keenly that our work is very much unfinished.”
Dear DPS Community,
Welcome back! The first bell of the 2018-19 school year is about to ring at most of our schools Monday, and I hope you are as excited as I am for all that’s ahead. Back to school is one of my favorite times of year. It’s a time of new opportunities, and is the start of so much learning, growing and joy ahead.
As we look to the future, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the extraordinary accomplishments of the Class of 2018, believed to be the largest graduating class in DPS history. With a preliminary count of 4,834 graduates in 2018, DPS saw 456 more students earning diplomas than the year prior. This represents an increase of 1,000 graduates over three years and an increase of 2,000 graduates over 10 years!
Particularly striking is the fact that we have doubled the number of African-American and Latino graduates in the last decade, creating better opportunities for thousands of students and families. I am very grateful for the hard work of our students and our educators that has driven such progress.
An area of greatest increase in the number of graduates has been in Far Northeast Denver. In 2010, before DPS replaced Montbello High School, 333 students graduated from Far Northeast schools. That number of graduates has now jumped to 768 students in 2018, a 130% increase in diplomas earned in eight years. And, every piece of data shows that graduates are better prepared for college than they were eight years ago.
There were understandable worries amongst our families when Montbello High School closed, and it is fantastic to see such an increase in the success of our students in the Far Northeast. One of new schools in the Montbello area, Collegiate Preparatory Academy (CPA), saw some of our biggest gains in their Class of 2018, with 124 seniors earning their diplomas — a 64% increase over the year prior.
“Here at CPA, we attribute our high graduation rate to our relentless focus on high expectations. We have developed teams that focus on ensuring every student, beginning in ninth grade, has a four-year plan that is aligned to their post-secondary goals,” said CPA’s principal Neisa Lynch.
To see so many of our young men and women succeed in school every year and graduate ready for the next steps in their lives is the part of this work that makes me proudest. Yet, I know just as keenly that our work is very much unfinished. Continuing to drive growth for our historically underserved students remains our overarching goal.
While this is my last back-to-school as Superintendent of DPS, I am excited for our year ahead. I believe in our educators and school-support team members who are committed to being there for our students. And, most of all, I believe in our kids and all the potential I know they can reach.
Pictured above: Graduating students from the Class of 2018.
The first phase of the three-phase search for DPS’ new superintendent is underway. The communications team is working closely with the Board of Education to develop community engagement plans. Meeting schedules and other opportunities to provide input are expected to be announced soon. Stay tuned to supersearch.dpsk12.org and follow us on social media for more information. If you cannot attend the meetings or want to provide input through a more private channel, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To receive the most up-to-date announcements, be sure to check the website or sign up to receive updates.
The beginning of the school year can be hectic, and we want our students to start the school year strong! We created backtoschool.dpsk12.org to help our families prepare for a successful start to the 2018-19 school year. Check out the back-to-school website for a complete list of DPS’ #Back2SchoolTools on everything from applying for free and reduced-price meals, parent engagement opportunities, bell times, graduation requirements and more!