“We want our children to have a rich set of lived experiences of studying, being friends and exchanging ideas with people of different backgrounds, races and economic status.”
Dear Team DPS,
As Denver grows, the staggering changes in income levels and housing patterns throughout many parts of the city have impacted our schools. While DPS has been nationally recognized for our innovative approaches to promoting school integration, demographic changes in our city continue to accelerate, making it even more important for us to address these issues head-on and proactively drive for greater integration in our schools.
We hear often from our students and families about the importance of school integration — about how much they want to learn and grow with classmates who reflect the wonderful diversity of our community. A rich body of research is clear on the benefits of school integration for students of all income levels and all races. And, today’s climate of deepening political and social divisions cries out for more opportunities for our young people to have shared lived experiences in a diverse community to break down stereotypes and build bridges.
That’s why in March 2017, led by Board Member Lisa Flores, the Denver Board of Education passed a resolution (available here in Spanish) that established the Strengthening Neighborhoods Initiative. Over the past nine months, the committee of several dozen community leaders grappled with how to promote greater school integration.
They wrestled with how to balance vital yet sometimes-conflicting values of promoting neighborhood schools, encouraging school integration and ensuring school choice in a city where housing patterns are often characterized by significant separation among neighborhoods based on class and race. The discussions were strengthened by dozens of meetings with parent and community organizations to hear community views.
Chief among these include:
Last night, the Denver Board of Education discussed and voiced its support for the committee’s work.
It’s been heartening to witness our community come together around these issues. We have much work going forward with our community about how we can pilot a number of the recommendations in the coming months. We look forward to these discussions.
I deeply appreciate the leadership our community has demonstrated by advocating for integration — ensuring that our children do not grow up in isolation, but have a rich set of lived experiences of studying, being friends and exchanging ideas with people of different backgrounds, races and economic status.
Our diversity is a fundamental strength of the Denver Public Schools. We celebrate it and are working hard to protect it now and in the future.
To learn more about the Strengthening Neighborhoods Initiative and how you might play a role, please visit dpsk12.org/neighborhoods.
Want to get updates about the great things happening in DPS? Follow me on Twitter @SuptTomB.
This week, we introduced our #DPSDelicious video series, which gives instructions on how we prepare some of our nutritious lunches. We also joined Denver Broncos’ Brandon Marshall at Swansea Elementary as he rewarded classes with a pizza party for having perfect attendance since his first visit in the fall. Learn more about this week’s events in 60 seconds!
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.
This week, Marshall did just that. He signed autographs, took selfies and brought along Broncos players Corey Nelson and Juwan Thompson.
A special thank you to Brandon Marshall for reminding our kids to continue to have strong attendance at school!
In DPS, we are working to modernize the school meal experience. Every day, our Food & Nutrition Services team prepares scratch-cooked, nutritious and delicious meals for all of our students. We use low-fat, low-sodium and minimally processed ingredients that never contain trans fats.
This year alone, we’ve added over a dozen new hot lunch items to our menu to ensure students are healthy and happy!
Watch this #DPSDelicious video to learn how DPS makes our chicken gumbo.
Stay tuned for more #DPSDelicious videos coming soon. Bon appétit!
The Denver Board of Education adopted the 2018-19 School Calendar proposed by the Calendar Advisory Committee. Key items include:
While this calendar applies to most DPS schools, some schools — including district-run, innovation and charter — may vary their schedules. Please check with your individual schools to confirm days off.
Click here to access the 2018-19 school year calendar.