Learn more about DPS’ superintendent search at supersearch.dpsk12.org.

Welcoming Our Youngest Students on Their First Day of School | Denver Public Schools
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Welcoming Our Youngest Students on Their First Day of School

Aug. 24, 2018
 
Families and students celebrated the first day of school at Escalante-Biggs Academy on Monday.

“Funds from voter-approved bond measures make it possible for us to develop classroom learning environments that inspire creativity and collaboration.”

Supt. Tom Boasberg

Supt. Tom Boasberg

Dear DPS Community,

As I helped welcome families to Escalante-Biggs Academy on the first day of school this year, it was thrilling to watch our youngest students start their DPS journeys at one of our Early Childhood Education (ECE) centers in the Far Northeast. There were lots of smiles and high-fives — and perhaps a few tears from parents — as three-, four- and five-year-olds met their teachers and entered their classrooms for the very first time.

(Watch this DPS Features video about back to school.)

The schools I visited on Monday are a powerful reminder of how important it is for our district to invest in Early Childhood Education (ECE) for our students’ future success. Eric Love, principal at Escalante-Biggs Academy, sees the impact from these investments every day.

“I know the importance of early childhood education because I witness the transformation of our students throughout the year,” he said. “There is so much learning and development that happens in these early years of life. Seeing their growth from day to day as they acquire the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in elementary school and beyond is remarkable!”

A student from Escalante-Biggs Academy holding a sign saying, "My first day of Kindergarten."

A student from Escalante-Biggs Academy holding a sign saying, “My first day of Kindergarten.”

I am proud of the work we have done to expand ECE in Denver and grateful to Denver’s voters for their support for early childhood. We have dramatically increased preschool opportunities thanks to the voter-approved Denver Preschool Program, our mill levies and our Bond Program. Escalante-Biggs is one of three new ECE centers (along with the Pascual LeDoux and Sandra Todd Williams Academies) we have opened in our high-need communities of Montbello and Westwood in the last decade.

Where students from low-income families used to sit on waitlists for preschool, they now sit in — and play in — purpose-built classrooms for our youngest learners.

I also had the opportunity Monday to see the fruits of the 2016 bond’s focus on innovative classroom environments. Our goal is to work closely with school communities to develop classroom learning environments that inspire creativity and collaboration. And, that is just what I saw at the remarkable new STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) lab and makerspace at John H. Amesse Elementary, also in the Montbello neighborhood.

Over the summer, two traditional classrooms were transformed into a space that is uniquely designed for hands-on, experiential learning. In this new STEAM lab, students now have the room they need to deconstruct, invent, examine and discover amazing things for themselves.

Whether students are starting preschool, high school or somewhere in between, the first day of school is an exciting time for everyone. Thanks to the dedication and expertise of our teachers and school leaders, I have no doubt that this first day was just the beginning of many incredible learning adventures in the year ahead.

Best,
Tom

Pictured above: Families and students celebrated the first day of school at Escalante-Biggs Academy on Monday, Aug. 20.


Superintendent Search Update: Community Engagement Meetings Announced

As part of the first step in a three-phase process, the Board of Education recently announced the first six dates in a series of community engagement meetings. In an effort to hear from the broader community about their hopes and dreams for our next district leader, the board wants to engage community members and stakeholders in a series of conversations around the district:

All meetings are held from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Additional dates are being confirmed in Green Valley Ranch, Montbello, Near Northeast and Central, West and Northwest regions. Dates, times and locations will be posted on supersearch.dpsk12.org. Updates will be sent to those who have signed up through the website, as well as shared on social media and via invitations to school communities. Everyone is welcome at these meetings, not just those who attend the school hosting the meeting.

Sign Up to Receive Superintendent Search Updates


2018 CMAS, PSAT, SAT and READ Act Results Update

For the eighth year in a row, DPS students outpaced their classmates statewide in academic growth in English language arts and math. DPS moved from last place among the state’s 12 largest districts in combined academic growth in literacy and math to first place, holding the lead among large Colorado districts since 2012!

However, results of the 2018 PSAT/SAT exams were disappointing. On this year’s new PSAT 9, ninth-graders significantly underperformed compared with their peers statewide in terms of both status and growth. Board Member Carrie Olson expressed interest in hearing from both students and teacher leaders once they’ve had time to analyze the data.

Students from all demographic groups have made sustained academic progress. For example, students of color gained seven points in English language arts proficiency over the past three years, and English language learners now significantly outperform their peers statewide — but DPS still continues to see persistent gaps in performance.

DPS is studying these results carefully and will come back to the board to discuss areas of interest at future Focus on Achievement sessions. Read the full presentation about this year’s assessment results here.


COMING UP…

Aug. 31: Discount: Tickets to the Rocky Mountain Showdown at Mile High
Sept. 3: Labor Day — DPS Schools and Offices Closed
Sept. 7-9: Discount: Tickets to see the Colorado Rockies


Bienvenida a los estudiantes más pequeños en su primer día de clases

“Los fondos procedentes de las medidas del bono aprobadas por los votantes hacen que sea posible crear entornos de aprendizaje que fomentan la creatividad y la colaboración”.

Superintendente Tom Boasberg

Supt. Tom Boasberg

Estimado equipo DPS:

Mientras daba la bienvenida a las familias de la Academia Escalante-Biggs durante el primer día de clases de este año, fue emocionante ver a los estudiantes más pequeños comenzar su travesía en DPS en uno de nuestros centros de educación prescolar del Extremo Noreste. Hubo muchas sonrisas y saludos, y tal vez algunas lágrimas de los padres, cuando los niños de tres, cuatro y cinco años conocieron a sus maestros y entraron a sus salones de clases por primera vez.

(No se pierda este video de DPS Features sobre el regreso a clases).

Las escuelas que visité el lunes me recordaron intensamente lo importante que es que nuestro Distrito invierta en educación prescolar para el éxito futuro de nuestros estudiantes. Eric Love, director de la Academia Escalante-Biggs, ve el impacto de estas inversiones a diario.

“Conozco la importancia de la educación prescolar, porque soy testigo de la transformación de nuestros estudiantes a lo largo del año”, comentó. “Durante estos años tempranos de vida, se lleva a cabo un gran aprendizaje y desarrollo. Es destacable ver su crecimiento día tras día a medida que adquieren los conocimientos y las destrezas que necesitan para triunfar en la escuela primaria y más allá”.

Estudiante de la Academia Escalante-Biggs.

Estudiante de la Academia Escalante-Biggs.

Me siento orgulloso de la labor que hemos realizado para ampliar el prescolar en Denver y agradezco a los votantes de Denver por su apoyo a la educación prescolar. Hemos incrementado considerablemente las oportunidades de prescolar gracias al programa de educación prescolar de Denver aprobado por los votantes, el programa del bono y el impuesto sobre bienes raíces. Escalante-Biggs es uno de los tres nuevos centros de prescolar (junto con el de la Academia Pascual LeDoux y la Academia Sandra Todd Williams) que hemos abierto en las comunidades que más los necesitaban, los vecindarios de Montbello y Westwood, en la última década.

Los estudiantes procedentes de familias de bajos ingresos solían estar en listas de espera para ingresar a prescolar y ahora están, y juegan, en salones construidos especialmente para nuestros estudiantes más pequeños.

El lunes también tuve oportunidad de ver los frutos del enfoque del bono de 2016 sobre los entornos de aprendizaje innovadores. Nuestra meta es trabajar estrechamente con las comunidades escolares para crear entornos de aprendizaje que fomenten la creatividad y la colaboración. Y eso es lo que vi en el nuevo e impresionante laboratorio de STEAM (ciencias, tecnología, ingeniería, arte y matemáticas) y en el espacio de creación de la Escuela Primaria John H. Amesse, también en el vecindario de Montbello.

Durante el verano, dos salones de clases tradicionales se transformaron en un espacio exclusivamente diseñado para llevar a cabo un aprendizaje práctico y experimental. En este nuevo laboratorio de STEAM, los estudiantes tienen ahora el espacio que necesitan para descomponer, inventar, examinar y descubrir cosas sorprendentes por sí mismos.

Ya sea que los alumnos comiencen el prescolar, la preparatoria o alguno de los otros grados, el primer día de clases es una ocasión emocionante para todos. Gracias a la dedicación y los conocimientos de nuestros maestros y líderes escolares, no me cabe ninguna duda de que este primer día fue tan solo el principio de muchas aventuras de aprendizaje increíbles que tendrán lugar este año.

Atentamente,
Tom

Arriba: Las familias y estudiantes celebraron el primer día de clases en la Academia Escalante-Biggs el lunes.