On December 15, families from Schmitt and Goldrick Elementary Schools testified before the Denver Public Schools (DPS) Board of Education about the value they have found as engaged parents in a year zero turnaround school.
At the meeting, board members discussed recommendations about how to move forward with three struggling DPS schools, identified by the School Performance Compact. According to DPS, the School Performance Compact, “sets out a clear process for how DPS will identify the most persistently low-performing schools. The Denver Board of Education uses the policy to decide if the identified schools must be restarted or closed. The process will be objectively and consistently applied across all schools, both district-run and charter.”
DPS considers three aspects of school performance using the School Performance Compact:
- Historical school performance measured by the School Performance Framework
- Academic growth in the most recent year
- Overall instructional quality and learning culture measured by a School Quality Review
A few years ago, Schmitt and Goldrick were targeted for turnaround based on lackluster performance. They were deemed “year zero” schools, meaning the school and community would have a full year of planning time before the turnaround process was put in place.
Schmitt and Goldrick Elementary School parents testified to the board and advocated for the year zero model because it gave their schools and communities the opportunity to develop and rally around a comprehensive plan to improve their schools moving forward. As a result, Schmitt and Goldrick are seeing progress, parents are more involved than ever, and students are growing academically. Stand leader, Jeannie Nelson said in testimony to the board, “As parents, if you’re part of something and you see it getting better, there’s a sense pride and a want to make it even better. We have a sense of family in our community, and just like most families, we have challenges but seek to grow together.”