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The Power of School-Family Partnerships | Denver Public Schools
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The Power of School-Family Partnerships

Sep. 22, 2017
 

“Positive school-family relationships lead not only to improved attendance, behavior and engagement, but they also translate into increased academic performance and ultimately, higher graduation rates and college enrollment for all students.”

Dear DPS Community,

Supt. Tom Boasberg

Supt. Tom Boasberg

Building strong, positive relationships between families and educators matters.

Did you know that students whose families receive a home visit have 24% fewer absences and are more likely to read at or above grade level? Or that direct communication to families results in a 40% increase in students completing their homework and a 15% increase in class participation?

Positive school-family relationships lead not only to improved attendance, behavior and engagement, but they also translate into increased academic performance and ultimately, higher graduation rates and college enrollment for all students.

To best support our DPS families as partners, we are guided by priorities laid out in our district’s new strategic engagement plan, which we debuted with more than 300 parents Wednesday at the first Superintendent Parent Forum of the 2017-18 school year. These top priorities are:

  1. Strengthening direct, personal contact between families and educators.
  2. Supporting families in being their child’s first educators and best advocates.
  3. Strengthening family and community voice in school and school district decision-making.
  4. Strengthening partnerships with the city, business leaders, non-profits and community groups.

You can watch this video to learn more about the focus of this important work.

Our own families shared stories about the impact of these partnerships at this week’s forum. Board of Education Member Rachele Espiritu described how, as an immigrant child in this country, her family’s relationship with her educators made all the difference in their ability to successfully navigate this new education system. She also described how her teenage son became re-energized and excited about school when he had an Asian-American teacher with whom he could identify.

Several Spanish-speaking parents shared their experiences with the Parent Teacher Home Visit Program. After initially being worried, they said that the home visits turned out to be among the most positive experiences they’ve had with their children’s schools.

Read this Chalkbeat story about the DPS Parent Teacher Home Visit Program.

Our goal is to deepen family and community partnerships in Denver Public Schools, in support of our vision that Every Child Succeeds. We want to hear from you — what’s working in your school? How do you believe DPS can deepen family and community partnerships? Email us at face@dpsk12.org. To learn more or get involved, visit face.dpsk12.org.

Best,
Tom

Want to get updates about the great things happening in DPS? Follow me on Twitter @SuptTomB.

Pictured above: DPS welcomed 300 families Wednesday to the first Superintendent Parent Forum of the school year.


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DPS News Now: Weekly Headlines from DPS in 60 Seconds

This week students at Swansea Elementary were challenged by Denver Broncos’ Linebacker Brandon Marshall and the Office of Business Diversity held their first DPS Reverse Trade Fair. Learn about this week’s events in 60 seconds!

DPS News Now -- Sept. 18-22, 2017 Lo último en DPS -- Sept. 18-22, 2017

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.


Denver Broncos Player Tackles Attendance

Brandon Marshall and students at Swansea Elementary in North Denver kick off the second annual Swansea Attendance Challenge.

Brandon Marshall and students at Swansea Elementary in North Denver kick off the second annual Swansea Attendance Challenge.

On Tuesday, Sept. 19, Broncos Linebacker Brandon Marshall joined Swansea Elementary Principal Gilberto Muñoz and Denver Public Schools’ students to kick off the second annual Swansea Elementary Attendance Challenge.

The Super Bowl champion announced the challenge to excited second-, third- and fourth-graders. At the end of the challenge, one class within each grade with the highest attendance will receive a pizza party with Brandon Marshall. Brandon’s mother, who is a former teacher, will also join the pizza party fun!

Marshall left students with a motivational message, “I try my best on the field, just like you guys try your best in school.”

Last school year, Marshall increased attendance at Swansea for the first time in several years. This year, he is continuing to create good habits that will raise awareness of the importance of attending class each day.


Teaching P.E. to Digital Natives

P.E. teacher Brian Hull uses technology to show students an easy way to embrace exercise.Brian Hull, a physical education teacher at Bruce Randolph, saw an opportunity to infuse the technology young people already embrace into an easy way for them to exercise — not only in P.E. class, but also at home.

Mr. Hull begins classes with a warm-up using Sworkit, a mobile app that gives users a randomized exercise routine. He then shows animated .gif files to provide examples of best practices on how to perform those exercises or techniques.

Students wear technology that monitors their steps, heart rate and overall level of exercise. It’s done to create friendly competition between students on who can work out the hardest, while also giving students a better understanding of how hard they should be striving to work out on their own time. Mr. Hull monitors heart rates and exercise levels throughout the class, encouraging students to keep moving while providing them with methods on how to keep their heart rate up. Students have embraced the technology as “cool.”

To learn more, watch this DPS Features Video here.


DPS Team Members Work and Learn in Kenya

DPS Team Members Work and Learn in KenyaFor ten DPS educators from McAuliffe International School, McAuliffe Manual, Skinner Middle School and Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy, summer break meant traveling to Kenya on a service-learning project.

During their stay in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city, the DPS educators journeyed an hour each way every day to work with and learn from other educators and students. The communities of Thigio and Kamulu welcomed them as they painted schools, went on home visits with the children, shared teaching strategies with teachers and provided much-needed materials and furniture for classrooms.

Thank you to Carla Frenzel, Dusty Starr, Linsey Olesiak, Cris Cardenas, Maggie Flynn, Matt Schweiterman, Lisa Strock, Kirsten Murphy, Rhea Lynn Anderson and Deb Maruyama for representing #TeamDPS and sharing this experience with the DPS community!


COMING UP…

Sept. 28: Board of Education Meeting
Sept. 15-Oct. 15: Hispanic Heritage Month