After months of planning and community outreach, Goldrick and Schmitt Elementary Schools presented their innovation application to the Denver Public Schools (DPS) board on August 18. We are so pleased to congratulate Goldrick and Schmitt for gaining approval from the board and continuing their journey to achieve greater flexibility through innovation status!
Stand for Children parent-leaders were involved in the early stages of the Goldrick and Schmitt planning committees, and played an integral part in the creation of the innovation application that was presented before the DPS board. Not only did they take part in the initial planning and design committee, but they also attended the DPS board meeting on August 18 and wrote letters of support. These leaders worked closely with other parents, teachers, and principals to formulate a robust plan that the community could get behind.
Diana Mercado, Stand parent-leader, was proud of the success of the innovation plan, saying: “This plan is a reflection of the unity between our community and school to make changes, with the flexibility to choose the best programs and structures for our kids.”
Historically, Goldrick and Schmitt have been chronically low-performing and are rated Red—the lowest indicator—on the DPS School Performance Framework. Despite efforts in previous years, they have struggled to offer an equitable education for their students. Under innovation status, schools in Colorado have greater autonomy from the district; they are allowed to craft their own budgets, determine their own set of curriculum, and control the length of time that students are in school. By giving Goldrick and Schmitt more flexibility to determine what is best for their students and teachers, we are hopeful they will implement a robust year-one turnaround policy and ultimately achieve Blue status.
We look forward to continuing conversations around the Goldrick and Schmitt innovation plans, and will be supportive of these schools as they present their proposals to the State Board of Education!
The Innovation Schools Act, passed in 2008, allows schools to better meet the individual needs of their communities by allowing for more autonomy to make decisions at the school-level.* This means that schools who meet certain requirements are given greater flexibility in their approach to teaching and learning. These schools, however, must gain approval from their district and the State Board of Education before being granted innovation status.