Board of Education Meeting Update – June 12, 2017 Work Session

Amesse, Greenlee Restart Applicants Present

The board tonight heard presentations from schools interested in serving as restart providers at Amesse Elementary, in Far Northeast Denver, and at Greenlee Elementary, close to downtown. The priority district needs were identified in the Call for New Quality Schools to replace persistently low-performing schools currently operating in those facilities.

In May, the board determined the following schools met the school-specific conditions to be considered as a potential restart providers (based on their linked applications), including the ability to provide a Transitional Native Language Instruction (TNLI) model.

Amesse Elementary School

Greenlee Elementary School

Community Review Board, Superintendent Recommendations 

Restart applicants met with each school’s Community Review Board (CRB), which included parents and community members from each school, as well as professional reviewers. Each CRB was responsible for developing an evidence-based recommendation for the superintendent that defines which of the available high-quality providers it believes is the “best available option” for its specific school community. More detail about the community matching process for restarts is available here.

Superintendent Tom Boasberg accepted the recommendations made by the CRBs and made those recommendations to board members to consider in their vote next week. View the CRB reports and recommendations for Montbello Children’s Network: McGlone Academy & John Amesse School Partnership and for the Center for Talent Development at Greenlee. 

The board will hear public comment on recommended school placements this Thursday, June 15 and will vote on facility placements next Monday, June 19.

Full applications and budgets for all applicants in the 2017 Call can be found here. The full Call document and other detailed information about the process can be found here.

District Staff Recommend Innovation Status for Morey, Inspire 

Leaders of Inspire Elementary and Morey Middle School presented board members with their school innovation plans tonight, and district staff urged board members to approve them.

Innovation schools are district-managed schools that are granted the ability to waive certain requirements in order to improve student achievement. Within the Denver Plan 2020’s strategy of flexibility, innovation status empowers schools to exercise flexible, school-based decision-making, including the use of resources. Typically, innovation schools make changes to their school calendars or schedules, their hiring processes and/or curriculum choices.

Innovation schools must be approved by the Denver Board of Education and the State Board Board of Education, and then undergo renewal of their innovation status every three years.

Read the full presentation and district recommendations here, and applicant presentations here. The board will vote on these schools’ innovation applications June 19.

DPS Strategic Engagement Plan Draft Reviewed 

District leaders presented a draft strategic family and community engagement plan for review by board members, who have highlighted their desire to sharpen the district’s focus on family and community involvement.

Board members praised the draft for its emphasis on strengthening relationships between educators and families in support of stronger academic outcomes for kids.

“I am impressed with how strategic (this plan) is in defining our area of focus and how we can make our work more robust,” said Board Member Lisa Flores. “I really like seeing how we are aligning the work of multiple teams and departments around engaging our families.”

They also asked to boost outreach for the broader community, including those who don’t have students in DPS.

“I think we have a great story to tell,” said Board Member Mike Johnson. “They’re just not hearing it.”

Added Board Member Rachele Espiritu: “I would like to see how we better address cross-cultural interactions and I just want to see that lens a little more synced up in this document.”

Read the full draft here.