‘Tis the Season in DPS for Celebrating and Sharing

Dec. 22, 2016

Reminder: DPS schools and school-support offices are closed for winter break. Offices re-open Tuesday, Jan. 3 and students return Monday, Jan. 9.

Recordatorio: las escuelas de DPS y las oficinas de apoyo escolar estarán cerradas con motivo de las vacaciones de invierno. Las oficinas volverán a abrir el martes, 3 de enero, y los estudiantes regresarán el lunes, 9 de enero.

‘Tis the season of giving and holiday celebrations in Denver Public Schools! All month, students, families, community members and Team DPS educators have come together to celebrate in the season of giving. See some of the celebrations being shared on Facebook below:

Academy 360

  • Northstar Commercial Partners brought festive winter cheer to Academy 360 classrooms on Dec. 19 when volunteers assisted students with arts and crafts hour and helped make snow globes and snowflakes.

Barnum Elementary

  • Barnum hosted a musical dance performance of The Nightmare Before Christmas. Teachers Mr. Galvan and Mr. Lisman helped to create a wonderful opportunity for students through the arts.

Cowell Elementary

  • Students showed off their music skills as they performed Jingle Bells and other holiday carols for students and staff throughout the building.

DCIS at Fairmont

  • First graders took action to spread joy when they made cards for kids who will spend their holidays in hospitals this season. Students personalized their cards with words of hope and encouragement.

Denver School of Innovation & Sustainable Design (DSISD)

  • DSISD hosted its second annual Christmas Door Decorating Showdown, with students and educators judging their favorites. The winning door was judged on originality, holiday spirit and school pride. In addition to bragging rights, the winner will receive a donut breakfast and off-campus lunch.

Doull Elementary

  • At the Doull holiday concert, kindergartners brought the audience joy through music as they sang and played instruments to several classical and modern tunes.

Florence Crittenton

  • Florence Crittenton educators and students decked the halls for some holiday fun as families and friends gathered for games, cookie decorating, story time around the fireplace and a visit from a special guest in a big red suit.

High Tech Elementary

  • High Tech hosted its annual Project Comfort and Joy where the school community came together to gift to seven different families — which included 24 children  — who were in need this holiday season. Each family was given $100 in gift cards to help make the holiday season a little brighter.

John Amesse Elementary

  • The fifth-grade boy’s group at John Amesse presented a $431 donation to The Rocky Mountain Fisher House, an organization that offers veterans and their family members free lodging while their loved ones are being medically treated.

Lake International School

  • Lake International hosted it’s traditional school Posada, which is a potluck celebration for the school community featuring original, homemade dishes and fun with a piñata.

Noel Community Arts School (NCAS)

  • NCAS hosted its annual vocal music and dance day of service throughout metro Denver. The Montbellas and two of the advanced dance students spent Dec. 14 giving back to the community through their art forms. These young ladies visited the Sunrise Senior Living facility at Cherry Creek, the Cherry Creek Mall, Union Station and 16th Street Mall before finishing the day at Children’s Hospital.
  • Students and educators also shared what they think to be true beauty in this holiday rendition of Hallelujah.

Skinner Middle

  • Skinner’s student leadership class ran their annual Spirit Week and Canned Food Drive for Bienvenidos Food Bank. Skinner students collected and helped load more than 1,800 cans of food and donated $300 for the food bank.


  • Stedman held their annual Winter Extravaganza and wowed the crowd of families with star-studded performances by students in every grade level.

STRIVE Prep – Rise

Trevista at Horace Mann

  • Volunteers from Saint Joseph Hospital Denver surprised students at Trevista on the morning of Dec. 15 with some great gifts just in time for the holidays.

Valdez Elementary

Wyatt Academy

  • The Winter Extravaganza at Wyatt Academy was nothing short of good ol’ fashioned holiday fun as scholars and families came together to sing songs and share the holiday spirit.

Community Partnerships

  • The Hispanic Contractors of Colorado (HCC) turned their annual holiday party into a tradition of giving for homeless students in DPS. This year, HCC will donate $15,000 from its annual cake auction. The tradition started in 2009, said executive director Helga Grunerud, “when we had only a couple cakes and were thrilled to raise $546” for homeless students. Over the years, the auction – and the cakes – have become far more sophisticated as the bidding has increased. Grunerud added that some companies form joint ventures to bid on a cake, resulting in a winning bid of $5,000 for one cake – which is generally a combination of a large company contributing several thousand dollars and several smaller companies chipping in $100 to $500. And, often unsuccessful bidders will sometimes buy a slice from the winners for $10 to $20. “Construction is a very competitive industry,” Grunerud said. “Most importantly, at the end of the evening, everyone has a great time for a very worthwhile cause.”