“We believe deeply in the potential of every child and we believe a great school is one that serves, challenges and supports all students well.”
Dear DPS Community,
On Thursday, the sound of children singing filled the entry at Holm Elementary, where we celebrated the release of the 2017 School Performance Framework (SPF). Shiny blue balloons reflected the smiling faces of Holm students, teachers and community members who had gathered to hear the great news that their southeast Denver school earned our highest rating of Distinguished — blue on the color-coded SPF — for the very first time.
It was particularly rewarding to celebrate Holm’s success alongside Principal Jim Metcalfe, who has led Holm Elementary — a very diverse school where over 80% of students come from low-income families and where the students speak two dozen language — for 23 years, the longest of any DPS principal. Jim spoke with obvious pride about his teachers, who had set going blue as their goal three years ago, and when they heard the good news this week, immediately set new challenges for themselves.
“I’m very, very proud of the students at Holm school, their families who have supported them constantly, and the teachers who continue to do a tremendous job,” Jim said.
The SPF, which is like an annual report card for DPS schools, measures many important aspects of what we know makes a great school — such as how satisfied students and parents are, how much students have improved their scores on state tests from year to year, and how well the school serves and challenges all of its students.
Across our district, a record number of DPS schools also have cause to celebrate their SPF ratings this year. In 2008, when we first implemented our rating system, we had just 64 top-rated schools (Meets Expectations/green or Distinguished/blue). This year, we have 122 green and blue schools — that’s over 60% of all DPS schools!
I’m also pleased that one-third of our schools increased their overall rating from last year, due in part to our students’ record growth in English language arts and early literacy. Our school report card puts special emphasis on student academic growth, or how much progress students have made from one year to the next. In DPS, we believe what is most important is not where kids start, but how much they grow.
Part of why we chose to celebrate our districtwide SPF results at Holm is because they not only earned an overall blue rating, but also earned a blue Academic Gaps rating, which measures the growth and performance of our students from low-income families, students of color, students with disabilities and English language learners. We believe deeply in the potential of every child and we believe a great school is one that serves, challenges and supports all students well.
Holm, a thriving school that serves a diverse community, shows us that serving all students well is possible. As Denver Board of Education President Anne Rowe observed, “You are an example; you are what we are striving for in terms of what we can do for our kids.”
Pictured above: Students at Holm Elementary shared a performance during the school’s SPF celebration Thursday. Check out our Facebook page to see the video!
Want to get updates about the great things happening in DPS? Follow me on Twitter @SuptTomB.
This week we publicly released the SPF and Academic Gaps ratings for all schools. We also had our first snow of the year! 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.
Lilian Nwaneto, a senior at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College, committed her summer to an internship at Blair Labeling, Inc., a family-owned, woman-owned and minority-owned company in Far Northeast Denver.
While Lilian’s internship at Blair taught her a lot about the high-tech industry of labeling — from the importance of checking for errors to ensuring every shipment is perfect — she says it taught her more about the expectations a company puts on their employees.
“This has helped me experience hands-on work, which isn’t something you get to experience staying at home or staying at school,” she said. “When you roll up labels, you know that what you’re doing, that’s what customers are going to see. It made me feel very mature.”
Lilian was the first intern Blair Labeling, Inc. has ever on boarded. She was among nearly 300 other DPS high school students who interned at companies in cutting-edge industries this past summer.
Click here watch this DPS Features video and learn more about Lilian’s internship experience!
With Monday’s wintry weather, there has never been a better time to review our weather delay procedures. We understand how important it is for our families to have a plan for snowy days and want to help you prepare as winter weather arrives.
The weather delay schedule is used when adverse weather conditions would impede Transportation Services’ ability to safely access students. The weather delay schedule allows buses an additional 60 minutes to access schools that start at 8:30 a.m. or later. If a school starts before 8:30 a.m., it will not be impacted and will start at its normal time.
To review weather delay schedules and school closure information, visit weather.dpsk12.org!
Oct. 13: EDUCA Radio — College and Career Planning
Oct. 15: DPS Night with the Colorado Rapids — Tickets Available Now!
Oct. 17: ED Talk: Conversations on Identity and Belonging
Oct. 19: Board of Education Meeting — Public Comment