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Students Writing Their Own Narratives | Denver Public Schools
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Students Writing Their Own Narratives

Feb. 2, 2018
 
Superintendent Tom Boasberg and Board members Happy Haynes and Jennifer Bacon joined members of Manual High School's first African-American sorority, Kappavous, on Thursday to kick off Black History Month.

“We must all continue to empower our students not only to earn academic skills. We have to encourage them to become good citizens who give back and strengthen our communities.”

Supt. Tom Boasberg

Supt. Tom Boasberg

Dear Team DPS,

At the start of Black History Month, I had the privilege of meeting with 10 remarkable students at Manual High School. These young women came together this year to form Kappavous — which means “Thunderbolt” in Greek — the high school’s first-ever African-American sorority. They shared that their purpose in forming the sorority was both to support each other in dealing with the challenges they were facing individually and to come together to celebrate and realize the many hopes and dreams they have in common.

Board of Education members Happy Haynes and Jennifer Bacon joined me as we sat down to listen and learn from the individual stories of Kaden, Jasmine, Olivia, De’Angel and the rest of their sorority sisters. Students explained how their personal lives impact their academic lives and the importance of being a support system for each other. They talked about the strength they feel because they each know that someone is always there to push them, support them and keep them going, even through the tough times. They shared with us how hard high school can be at times, and how being a part of something greater than themselves keeps them focused and motivated.

Kappavous members discuss their challenges and dreams both as individuals and together as a group.

Kappavous members discuss their challenges and dreams both as individuals and together as a group.

I was very struck by their sense of purpose and their sense of mission. All of them are determined to create their own narrative when it comes to the meaning of what a woman of color should be. All of them have grade-point averages of 3.5 or better. Two young women have grade-point averages of 4.5 or better. They all have learned the importance of having that sense of purpose as individuals and that sense of purpose as a team to defy harmful stereotypes and write their own narratives.

Their stories were wonderful reminders to me of the importance of our work as educators, not only in the classroom but also in the community, as we prepare these young people for life after they graduate from our schools and move on to college and career opportunities. We must all continue to empower our students not only to earn academic skills. We have to encourage them to become good citizens who give back and strengthen our communities.

I am inviting each of them to share their student voices on DPS’ Wisdom Team — the advisory committee that is tasked with holding our Culture, Equity & Leadership Team accountable for driving the district’s mission, vision and culture efforts.

We adults know that, to go far in life, you need a sense of your own drive and you need a team. You need people who are going to be there to support you. This remarkable group of young people understands that. I am optimistic that by adding the energy, drive and optimism of the Kappavous to our efforts, Denver Public Schools will have added power as we all continue the important work of ensuring that Every Child Succeeds.

Best,
Tom

Pictured above: Superintendent Tom Boasberg and Board members Happy Haynes and Jennifer Bacon joined members of Manual High School’s first African-American sorority, Kappavous, on Thursday to kick off Black History Month.


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DPS News Now: Weekly Headlines from DPS in 60 Seconds

This week we kicked off the beginning of Black History Month with Kappavous, Manual High School’s first African-American sorority. Learn more about this week’s events in 60 seconds!

English: DPS News Now -- Jan. 29-Feb. 2 Spanish: Lo último en DPS -- Jan. 29-Feb. 2

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.


Woodworking Class Draws Students Back to the Trades

James Duran, a teacher at Skinner Middle School.A revival of sorts is happening at Skinner Middle School thanks to a teacher who has never forgotten his roots.

“I fell in love with woodworking at Lake Junior High School. I mean, I absolutely fell in love,” said James Duran, a teacher at Skinner Middle School.

Three years ago, Duran — a student advisor and teacher at Skinner Middle School since the mid-1990s — joined the school team in pushing for a return to electives connecting students to the trades. When the elective was approved, he moved out of a role focusing on discipline and into one guiding students on how to deal with the patience, frustration and celebration of woodworking.

“It would be special to start bringing the wood shops back,” Duran said, “because we’ve seen such a positive impact here on our school with our kids. I mean, the kids are crazy about this wood shop. And that’s a lot of my motivation.”

Watch this DPS Features Video


SchoolChoice is Now Open

The DPS SchoolChoice season for the 2018-19 school year is now open!We believe that all students should have the same access to quality schools, regardless of their background or where they live in Denver. Every DPS student is guaranteed enrollment in their neighborhood school. However, any student who wants to attend a school other than their neighborhood school should participate in SchoolChoice.

SchoolChoice allows families to apply to any school in DPS using the new online application, accessible through cellphones, tablets or computers. Simply rank up to five school preferences for next school year and submit the application by 4 p.m. Feb. 28. There’s no advantage to applying early — just submit your application by the deadline!

If you have questions or need application assistance, call the SchoolChoice hotline at 720-423-3493 or email schoolchoice@dpsk12.org. You can also visit the front office at your child’s school or go to schoolchoice.dpsk12.org.

Apply to a DPS School


Download the Revised 2018-19 Calendar

Please access and download the revised 2018-19 school calendar. Revisions of the original calendar include changes of End-of-Term dates. No other changes have been made.

If you have questions about the revisions made to the 2018-19 calendar, email office_communications@dpsk12.org.


COMING UP…

Feb. 6: ED Talk: Students Speaking Up
Feb. 8: Superintendent Parent Forum
Feb. 11: Get discounted tickets to DPS Night with the CU Buffs basketball team