“As our students, families and team members look ahead, I am grateful for the accomplishments we’ve made together this year and excited about the work in front of us to continue to improve DPS.”
Dear DPS Community,
Yesterday, the final bell of the 2017-18 school year rang through our classrooms. The end of school is always a time full of emotions — with pride in all that’s been learned and accomplished, a little sadness in saying goodbye to classmates and educators, and of course excitement for the summer break ahead and anticipation of what the future will bring.
As our students, families and team members look ahead, I am grateful for the accomplishments we’ve made together this year and excited about the work in front of us to continue to improve DPS.
Our students are continuing to be engaged in new ways of learning, both academically and as young people. One of these innovative ways is through our new Career Residency Program, in which students split their time between traditional high school classroom learning, paid on-the-job apprenticeship experiences and higher education classes. Three-year programs in advanced manufacturing, business, healthcare and technology offer students a remarkable combination of professional and educational experiences to prepare them for both college and career.
Along with new kinds of opportunities for our students, this year we’ve also strengthened how our teachers learn and grow through our Teacher Leadership & Collaboration program. This year we celebrated five years of the country’s largest teacher leadership model that allows our best teachers to coach and grow other teachers in their schools, while staying true to their first love: teaching their own classroom of kids.
All of this work is paying off. Over the last couple of weeks, we have been thrilled to cheer thousands of DPS students across the graduation stage and toward a bright future. We are proud of the fact that over the last decade we have nearly doubled the number of our Latino and African-American graduates. Of our graduates this year, 2,300 of them have taken college-level concurrent enrollment classes, almost 2,000 completed Advanced Placement courses and more than 900 earned the Seal of Biliteracy for proving proficiency in a language other than English. Congratulations to these seniors, and thank you to everyone — parents, teachers and school-support team members — who helped get them here.
As we look ahead to the 2018-19 school year, we know we still have work to do to help Every Child Succeed. I look forward to sharing more information about our commitment to continuous improvement soon, including details about the launch of a large-scale community dialogue focused on our community’s aspirations for the success of our students and our schools.
Finally, I want to strongly encourage all of you to continue to invest in your children’s learning over the summer months. For parents, please read with your children, encourage them to visit our city’s remarkable libraries and museums, and our state’s beautiful outdoor spaces. Please set limits on kids’ use of our ubiquitous electronic devices and ask your students to spend as much time with books as they do with those devices.
Thank you for a great school year and for everything you do for our kids. Have a wonderful summer, and I look forward to coming back together in the fall to continue building a stronger future together.
Pictured above: Graduates from John F. Kennedy High School’s Class of 2018.
Eight chickens — with names like Phoenix, Chess and Water Malone — reside under the care of several students. Every morning, chicken coop manager James Murphy joins his classmates to clean the coop, change the water and feed the chickens.
“My favorite thing about this is hanging with the chickens and just seeing all their different personalities,” James said as he held a chicken named Lard (which promptly flapped its wings in James’ face).
Watch this fun DPS Features video on the rambunctious, vocal chickens at Denver Montessori!
Join DPS and the Denver community for the African-American Equity Task Force Community Meeting from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on June 12 at Bruce Randolph School. Learn about the current progress of the task force and share your voice to help make an impact on the ongoing work around the task force recommendations. Refreshments and childcare will be provided. Register here.
The African-American Equity Task Force is an initiative that was commissioned in the fall of 2016 with the goal to develop a set of recommendations that would improve the outcomes for the African-American community at DPS. If you have questions, email AAETF@dpsk12.org.