Here’s your guide to voting for education champions for the State Board of Education this November in four easy steps!  

1.) Learn more about the State Board.  

2.) Decide what’s important to you in a candidate!  

  • Do you want to elect someone that has experience in education? Is it important that your candidate talks about mental health supports for students?

3.) Research the candidates! 

4. VOTE! Be sure to complete your ENTIRE ballot and vote all the way through, including the At-Large candidate for State Board of Education.

You’ve got this! Your ballot needs to be dropped off by 7pm Tuesday, November 8 but no need to wait – you can drop it in a secure ballot drop box as soon as you are done voting. 

Welcome to the June edition of “This Month at the DPS Board”, a monthly newsletter sharing information about the Denver Public Schools (DPS) Board of Education.   

Our goal is simple: to share what is happening at school board meetings so you can engage with the board and the district even if you cannot attend hours of meetings every month. 

Note: The DPS Board of Directors is off for the month of July so we will resume our coverage following the August meetings.  

Work Session – June 2, 2022  

LGBTQ+ History Presentation 

In honor of Pride Month, two DPS high school students presented an overview of LGBTQ+ history and the importance of LGBTQ+ inclusion in DPS curriculums and schools.  

DMLK Student Presentation: African American Library 

Students from DMLK spoke about their trip to Washington D.C. and shared reflections on their experience and asked the district to commit to ensuring thorough inclusion of African American history in DPS schools by upholding and ensuring implementation of the Know Justice Know Peace Resolution. 

Declining Enrollment Committee Presentation and Discussion 

Superintendent Marrero and district staff presented an update on the district’s Declining Enrollment Advisory Committee work. First, the presentation covered the impact that declining enrollment has on students, teachers, and leaders in DPS such as insufficient opportunities for student interventions, teachers teaching multiple grade levels, lack of mental health/student supports, staff turnover and cutting programs. The Committee’s recommendations for criteria to identify schools for potential consolidation are outlined below.  

Declining Enrollment Advisory Committee Recommendations  

The Committee proposed three criteria for identifying Elementary and Middle Schools that are potential candidates for consolidation. Any school identified by one or more of these criteria is considered a potential candidate for consolidation. 

Criteria 1: Identify District-run schools with critically low enrollment  

Criteria 1 identifies District schools with critically low enrollment that are unable to provide quality programming without budget assistance or external sources of funding. Any District Elementary or Middle School with fewer than 215 students (not including ECE students) is considered a potential candidate for consolidation with neighboring schools.  

Criteria 2: Proactively Identifying District-run Schools with Declining Enrollment  

Criteria 2 proactively identifies District schools that are declining in enrollment before they enter a state of critically low enrollment. Any District Elementary or Middle School with fewer than 275 students and projecting an approximately 8-10% reduction over the next 2 years is considered a potential candidate for consolidation with neighboring schools.  

Criteria 3: Financially Insolvent Charter Schools  

Criteria 3 identifies Charter schools that are failing to remain financially solvent. Any Charter Elementary or Middle school that is not financially solvent for two or more years and identified as “High Risk” according to their Financial Performance Framework (FPF) and the Enrollment sub-section to be considered. 

Equity Guardrails 

If a school is identified as a potential candidate for consolidation, it then moves to the next phase where all three equity guardrails must be satisfied. Additionally, a community-centered process for designing healthy consolidation plan must be in place.  

Equity Guardrails:  

  • Ensuring Appropriate Programming for Students with Unique Needs  
  • Providing Access  
  • Promoting Equity 

The Committee also made recommendations for implementation  

  • Preserving programming 
  • Considering consolidation radius  
  • Identifying adequate facilities 
  • Providing clarity of timelines 
  • Honoring school choice and retaining families in DPS  

The board discussed the proposal identifying questions and concerns including the consideration of charter partner engagement, academic considerations, and plans to communicate with the DPS community.  

Community Engagement Planning 

Director Quattlebaum and Director Baldermann presented an overview of the proposed Community Engagement Governance Policy which aims to ensure the Denver Public Schools Board of Directors has a sustainable connection to the community in alignment with district Board Policies. 

The board is expected to vote on whether to adopt the policy by the end of the summer.  

Updates/Presentation of Healthy Start Times Committee Work & Discussion 

In April 2021, the DPS Board of Education passed the Healthy Start Times Resolution stating that all middle schools and high schools (district-managed and charters) start no earlier than 8:20 a.m. each school day to support healthy sleep habits in adolescents. Multiple studies have demonstrated the benefits of changing to a later school start time including better academic outcomes, better attendance rates, higher graduation rates, less depression, and fewer car crashes.  

The Committee began community engagement in October 2021 to collect information on opportunities, concerns, and support needed. The committee collected feedback from 12,000 community members, primarily via survey. New Healthy Start Times were shared in May 2022 to “allow ample time for families to plan for 23-24 School Choice”. The current focus is on school specific mitigation and implementation planning and the Committee will continue to collect leader feedback and support highly impacted stakeholders.  

Transportation Impact of Healthy Start Times  

Schools that will have full transportation cuts beginning 2023-2024 include Denison Montessori, Denver Language School, Polaris, STRIVE- Sunnyside.  

Denver School of the Arts will only receive service to the Far Northeast region.  

Morey Middle School will maintain Highly Gifted and Talented transportation services in the Southwest, Central, and Far Northeast regions and will maintain general education and special education routing as well.  

Shuttle service will not be impacted. Schools not serviced by DPS transportation will be able to select bell times for the 23/24 Choice window.  

District 5 Vacancy Discussion 

Board members discussed priorities for selecting the candidate for the district 5 vacancy including a commitment to equity, Black Excellence plans and the Know Justice Know Peace resolution. Additionally, board members stated a desire for the candidate to demonstrate a willingness to collaborate to implement policy governance and to build a relationship with Dr. Marrero and district staff.  

The board discussed individual candidates and shared strengths and concerns about each.  

Focus on Achievement – June 6, 2022 

Strategic Regional Analysis 

Staff presented the Strategic Regional Analysis (SRA), which represents what is happening across the district in terms of enrollment and school capacity. Overall, enrollment is forecast to continue to decline through 2026 and likely to continue beyond. This year’s SRA includes census data, which is unique. This decline in enrollment started in 2014 and has continued due to “slowing birth rates” and increasing housing costs leading to smaller household size. These factors lead to smaller elementary enrollment and then declines at the middle and high school levels as those students move through the system. According to the SRA, a growing proportion of DPS students are white, while the percentage of Hispanic students has steadily declined. The percentage of Black and other minority students has remained steady. Any growth expected is in the northern part of Central Park and the DIA Gateway area.  

Multilingual Education District-Wide Advisory Committee (MLE-DAC)  

The Multilingual Education District-wide Advisory Committee (MLE DAC) meets monthly and provides a forum for parents whose children speak a language other than English to learn how DPS is supporting their children and other multilingual learners. Multilingual councils should exist at the school level as well. There are 205 languages spoken throughout DPS. The top eight most spoken languages are provided interpretation services as standard practice and interpretation is available in other languages as requested.  

Superintendent Update: DPS Thrives  

Dr. Marrero presented an update on the strategic plan, which is being called DPS Thrives and is framed as a roadmap. The process of developing the roadmap has been done in three phases: phase one was the listening and learning tour, phase two was engagement with the transition team to develop recommendations, and phase three is developing the next “strategic roadmap.” The goal is to finalize this roadmap by early summer 2022. The updated mission statement for DPS is informed by their equity statement and is as follows:  

Educational equity is our collective responsibility. We prepare students for career, college, and life. We create conditions and partnerships where students, families and team members belong and thrive.  

Emergency Procedures Communications  

Staff presented emergency or crisis situation communication protocols. There are three communications protocols that are used depending on the situation and timing.  

School Board Meeting – June 9, 2022 

The board honored Director Reverend Brad Laurvick’s as it was his last meeting as part of the board. A resolution to select a replacement was voted on and Charmaine Lindsay was selected to fill the District 5 vacancy.  

Executive Limitations 12 Revisions 

Revisions for Executive Limitation (EL) 12 were read. EL 12 allows for more flexibility for innovation schools and their contracts. There was discussion about the viability of passing this revision, but the board voted to hold discussion and the 2nd reading until the next board meeting on June 16.  

Consent Agenda 

The board voted to deny three charter school applications, STEM, 5280, and RAAD. STEM was denied prior to public comment but 5280 and RAAD were held for after public comment. 5280 was denied because of questions around “viability” and even though the board agreed that RAAD’s arts programing is needed in the district, they voted to deny the school with the suggestion to add this type of programing to an already existing district school.  

Board Retreat – June 16, 2022 

Community Engagement 

The board stated a commitment to ensure a variety of voices are heard in decision making, explain to the community their role as board members and opportunities for the board to hear concerns. Board members shared ideas about ways to incorporate this work including holding recurring community meetings or visiting schools.   

Public Comment Discussion 

The board considered a draft proposal around changing where monthly public comment occurs (GP.15). If passed, these changes would go into effect for the September board meeting. Currently, public comment happens during the monthly board meeting and the board is working to adjust the timing, so they have a gap between public comment and voting during the board meeting.  

This proposal would shift public comment to the Monday prior to the monthly board meeting. It was suggested during the retreat that the “Focus on Achievement” meeting be renamed to be called “Public Comment and Progress Monitoring” meeting. Public comment would still take place in person (with access to free parking) and virtually to allow individuals to determine what works best for them. Board members also discussed how to remove barriers for students to engage. They are considering allowing students to submit a recorded public comment for board members to watch prior to the meeting. 

Special Board Meeting – June 16, 2022 

The board voted to approve the EL 12 Revision, closing the board’s 2021-2022 fiscal year.  

The board is officially off for the month of July and will reconvene for the new year in August.  

Engage with the Board

Do you want to let the board know your thoughts on any of these topics? You can sign up for public comment and speak directly to the board about what matters to you. You can sign up here

Welcome to the May edition of “This Month at the DPS Board”, a monthly newsletter sharing information about the Denver Public Schools (DPS) Board of Education.   

Our goal is simple: to share what is happening at school board meetings so you can engage with the board and the district even if you cannot attend hours of meetings every month. 

Work Session – May 5, 2022 

Budget Proposal 

Staff presented a draft budget for next year. The board will be asked to vote on the budget on June 9th and the budget must be adopted by June 30th. The goal of this budget is to align to the district’s “Ends Policies” which include equity, teaching and learning, student and staff well-being, health and safety, post-graduation and global citizenship, and climate action. 

Superintendent Update 

Superintendent Marrero outlined how the $9 million in savings due to the central office reorganization would be used. 

Black Excellence Plans Update 

The board received an update on the history and progress of Black Excellence Plans in DPS.  

Budget Advisory Committee Meeting – May 9, 2022  

The committee reviewed the proposed budget and school funding. They shared some of the revenue sources for the district such as state funding, enrollment, and this year, stimulus funding. This year’s upcoming budget is tied to the board’s “Ends Statements” as they move forward to align with the superintendent’s strategic plan.  

School Board Meeting – May 19, 2022 

Most of the meeting was spent in discussion about the Superintendent’s reasonable interpretation (RI) of the “Ends Statements.” They eventually decided to vote to pass the 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th RI but set aside the 2nd to vote during June’s board meeting. After public comment, the board went into executive session and returned to vote on the non-renewal list. One of the teachers was removed from the list and even though that educator will not return to their previous position, they may remain with DPS.  

Special School Board Meeting – May 26, 2022 

District Five Vacancy Interviews 

The board interviewed the candidates to fill the District Five vacancy during the meeting and heard public comment on the candidates as well. The board asked Adeel KhanJulie BañuelosCharmaine Lindsay, and Leonard Darnell to respond to the same set of questions during their time before the board and then board members asked specific questions to candidates as time allowed. Read more about the candidates in Chalkbeat. June 9th will be Director Laurvick’s last day and the board will appoint the new director then. 

Finance and Audit (FAC) – May 31, 2022 

Citizen Member Application Process and Timeline  

The Finance and Audit Committee is planning to add two “citizen members” to serve two-year terms. The application is now open through July 31, 2022. The application for citizen members can be found here.  

Request for Contract Approvals for Board Consent Agenda  

District staff presented requests for board approval on a variety of benefits and insurance contracts and construction budgets for building improvements, including: 

  • Benefits Contracts Over One Million Dollars 
  • Sunlife Contract 
  • DPS Insurance Renewals 
  • Architectural Services for Thomas Jefferson High School Project 
  • Ceylon E-8 Project 
  • Ford Elementary School Electrical Project 
  • Glenbrook Greenhouse Project  
  • Irrigation Bundle Project  
  • Kunsmiller/Johnson Project 
  • Rishel Cooling/MEP Project 
  • Smedley Elementary Classroom Cooling Project   
  • Air Filters, Fire Alarm Systems, Elevator Services, and Fire Sprinkler Systems  

Grants Report 

District staff presented grant reports for April and May 2022. They highlighted grants awarded to Early Childhood Education (ECE) programming in DPS to support facility costs, wages and salaries, financial relief to families by waiving tuition, and retention efforts to retain ECE professionals.  

Purchasing Report 

District staff presented purchasing report of contracts below $1,000,000 for April and May 2022.  

Q3 Financials 

District staff presented the Q3 financial report for board review.  

Full and Final Settlement  

District staff presented information related to settlement for the board’s review. The district anticipates reaching a confidential settlement this summer regarding claims related to grants received in the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years.  

Engage with the Board

Do you want to let the board know your thoughts on any of these topics? You can sign up for public comment and speak directly to the board about what matters to you. You can sign up here

En español

Bienvenidos a la edición de mayo de “Este mes en la Junta de DPS”, un boletín mensual que comparte información sobre la Junta de Educación de las Escuelas Públicas de Denver (DPS).     

Nuestro objetivo es simple: compartir lo que está sucediendo en las reuniones de la junta escolar para que usted pueda participar con la junta y el distrito, incluso si no puede asistir a horas de reuniones cada mes.   

Sesión de trabajo – 5 de mayo de 2022   

Proyecto de presupuesto   

El personal presentó un proyecto de presupuesto para el próximo año. Se pedirá a la junta que vote sobre el presupuesto el 9 de junio y el presupuesto debe ser adoptado antes del 30 de junio. El objetivo de este presupuesto es alinearse con las “Políticas de Fines” del distrito que incluyen la equidad, la enseñanza y el aprendizaje, el bienestar de los estudiantes y el personal, la salud y la seguridad, la ciudadanía global y después de la graduación, y la acción climática.   

Actualización del Superintendente   

El Superintendente Marrero describió cómo se utilizarán los 9 millones de dólares en ahorros gracias a la reorganización de la oficina central.   

Actualización de los Planes de Excelencia Afroamericana   

La junta recibió una actualización sobre la historia y el progreso de los Planes de Excelencia Afroamericana en DPS.    

Reunión del Comité Asesor del Presupuesto – 9 de mayo de 2022    

El comité revisó el presupuesto propuesto y la financiación de las escuelas. Ellos compartieron algunas de las fuentes de ingresos para el distrito, tales como la financiación estatal, la inscripción, y este año, la financiación de estímulo. El próximo presupuesto de este año está vinculado a las “Declaraciones de fines” de la junta mientras avanzan para alinearse con el plan estratégico del superintendente.    

Reunión de la Junta Escolar – 19 de mayo de 2022   

La mayor parte de la reunión se dedicó a la discusión sobre la interpretación razonable (RI) del Superintendente de las “Declaraciones de Fines”. Finalmente decidieron votar para aprobar la 1ra, 3ra, 4ta y 5ta RI pero dejaron de lado la 2da para votar durante la reunión de la junta de junio. Después de los comentarios del público, la junta entró en sesión ejecutiva y volvió a votar la lista de no renovación. Uno de los maestros fue removido de la lista y aunque ese educador no regresará a su posición anterior, puede permanecer con DPS.    

Reunión especial de la Junta Escolar – 26 de mayo de 2022   

Entrevistas para la posición vacante del Distrito Cinco   

La junta entrevistó a los candidatos para llenar la posición vacante del Distrito Cinco durante la reunión y escuchó los comentarios del público sobre los candidatos también. La junta pidió a Adeel Khan, Julie Bañuelos, Charmaine Lindsay y Leonard Darnell que respondieran al mismo conjunto de preguntas durante su tiempo ante la junta y luego los miembros de la junta pidieron preguntas específicas a los candidatos según el tiempo disponible. Lea más sobre los candidatos en Chalkbeat. El 9 de junio será el último día del director Laurvick y la junta nombrará entonces al nuevo director.   

Finanzas y Auditoría (FAC) – 31 de mayo de 2022   

Proceso de solicitud de miembros ciudadanos y calendario    

El Comité de Finanzas y Auditoría está planeando agregar dos “miembros ciudadanos” para servir términos de dos años. La solicitud está abierta hasta el 31 de julio de 2022. La solicitud para los miembros ciudadanos se puede encontrar aquí.    

Solicitud de aprobación de contratos para la Agenda de Consentimiento de la Junta    

El personal del distrito presentó solicitudes para la aprobación de la junta en una variedad de beneficios y contratos de seguros y presupuestos de construcción para las mejoras del edificio, incluyendo:   

  • Contratos de beneficios de más de un millón de dólares   
  • Contrato de Sunlife   
  • Renovación de seguros de DPS   
  • Servicios de arquitectura para el proyecto de la escuela secundaria Thomas Jefferson   
  • Proyecto Ceylon E-8   
  • Proyecto eléctrico de la escuela primaria Ford   
  • Proyecto del invernadero de Glenbrook    
  • Proyecto de paquete de irrigación    
  • Proyecto Kunsmiller/Johnson   
  • Proyecto de ventilación/MEP de Rishel   
  • Proyecto de ventilación de las aulas de la escuela primaria Smedley     
  • Filtros de aire, sistemas de alarma contra incendios, servicios de ascensores y sistemas de rociadores contra incendios    

Reporte de Subvenciones   

El personal del distrito presentó los reportes de subvenciones de abril y mayo de 2022. Destacaron las subvenciones concedidas a la programación de Educación Infantil (ECE) en DPS para apoyar los costos de las instalaciones, los salarios y los sueldos, el alivio financiero a las familias mediante la exención de la matrícula, y los esfuerzos de retención para retener a los profesionales de ECE.    

Reporte de compras   

El personal del distrito presentó el reporte de compras de contratos por debajo de $1,000,000 para abril y mayo de 2022.    

Finanzas del tercer trimestre   

El personal del distrito presentó el reporte financiero del tercer trimestre para la revisión de la junta.    

Liquidación completa y final    

El personal del distrito presentó información relacionada con la liquidación para la revisión de la junta. El distrito anticipa llegar a un acuerdo confidencial este verano con respecto a las reclamaciones relacionadas con las subvenciones recibidas en los años escolares 2015-2016 y 2016-2017.    

Involucrarse con la Junta  

Quiere comunicar a la junta su opinión sobre alguno de estos temas? Puede inscribirse para hacer comentarios públicos y hablar directamente con la junta sobre lo que le importa. Puede inscribirse aquí.