Lauren Craig
Operations & Development Coordinator

Lauren is Stand's Operations & Development Coordinator

You’ve probably been hearing a lot about the plan that Denver Public School’s (DPS) has created to improve their lowest performing schools.  The process, known as the School Performance Compact (SPC), was designed to remove the mystery that can appear to surround school turnaround, restart and closure decisions. The process will begin shortly, as soon as the district releases the most current version of the School Performance Framework. ,

Stand Colorado supports the School Performance Compact. Both the DPS Board and district leadership deserve a lot of credit for tackling one of the most critical issues facing school districts around the country. Students have been stuck in chronically low-performing schools for too long; families and communities deserve a transparent and open process where their needs are considered as the district weighs the various options. Whether the option is a traditional turnaround designation, restart with a new high-quality school plan, or closure due to unsustainable, low enrollment, parents need to engage in the conversation to make sure student needs are met and they have the information in a timely manner.

In order to help our readers understand what is happening, we’d like to give our readers an overview of what they can expect in the next several months.

WHO Decides?: In December 2015, the Denver Public Schools Board of Education adopted the new School Performance Compact. In order for the process to be successful, parents must be involved in community conversations so that more schools are offering the high-quality education our students deserve.

WHAT is the SPC?: The SPC is an umbrella term for the entire process of designating which schools will receive interventions, including turnaround status, restart, or closure. These can sound like daunting and scary terms but really what we’re talking about is a process by which the DPS Board will consider new school proposals aimed at dramatically improving student achievement (see ‘How’).

WHEN does it all happen?: After the School Performance Framework is released on late-October, the schools that are both in the bottom 5% of school ratings and have not experienced blue or green growth in the most previous year, will then be evaluated using School Quality Reviews. As part of this process, school and district leadership will be meeting with parents and the community to talk more about the review process and what options may exist for improving their school. 

WHERE are these schools located?: While schools have not officially been identified, we expect an overwhelming majority of schools to be located in three different parts of town that have higher concentrations of low-performing schools: Northwest, Southwest, and Far Northeast Denver

WHY do we need the SPC?: The SPC was designed as an open and transparent process to identify which schools will receive the most immediate and intense interventions. Previous decisions were not driven by as formal of a process and there are often times a lot of questions about why particular schools were selected for turnaround and why others were not.

HOW will the schools change?: Once schools are designated under the School Performance Compact, the district will issue a “Call for Quality Schools.” DPS will review proposals from community members, school leaders, and charter operators about the potential options for restarting chronically failing schools.

For more information:


Step 1 (October 20): The School Performance Framework identifies the bottom 5% of schools in DPS.

Step 2 (October 20): The schools in the bottom 5% that also don’t show Blue or Green growth will move on to the School Quality Review Process.

Step 3 (late October-early November): School Quality Reviews begin.

Step 4 (December): Schools that must provide “quality school” plans are announced.

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