Board of Education Meeting Update – November 16, 2017 Regular Meeting

Outgoing Board Members Recognized

The Board of Education and district staff took the opportunity at the November 16 Board meeting to recognize outgoing Board Members Rachele Espiritu (Northeast Denver), Mike Johnson (Central/East Denver) and Rosemary Rodriguez (Southwest Denver) for their service to Denver Public Schools. New board members Angela Cobian (Southwest Denver), Carrie Olson (Central/East Denver) and Jennifer Bacon (Northeast Denver), as well as returning Board Member Barbara O’Brien (at-large citywide), will be sworn in Nov. 27 and will begin their terms Dec. 7.

“I appreciate the leadership and partnership of all three of you and what extraordinary board members you have been in terms of your wisdom and vision,” said Superintendent Tom Boasberg.

Each of the board members spoke to the strengths their outgoing colleagues brought to the board and DPS. As each was presented with student art framed alongside a resolution the board member proposed during their time on the board, Board President Anne Rowe shared her appreciation for their contributions:

“Rachele, you are a gift to this board,” Rowe said. “To be able to have a person of your integrity and quality serve on this board is nothing short of extraordinary. While your time on this board was somewhat short, it was impactful to your colleagues and the district and your region.”

“Mike, I so appreciate your absolute willingness and bravery to push and ask the hard questions, and you ask it again and a different way and are somewhat relentless in your commitment to the students of Denver Public Schools.” Rowe praised Johnson’s commitment to authentic community engagement as being grounded in decision-making with the community.

“Rosemary, people have talked about you as a mentor, leader and colleague with courage. When you talk, everyone stops and everyone listens because when you speak you are speaking to truth and you get to the heart of the matter. When I think of what we can do in Denver Public Schools, I think of what has happened in southwest Denver as a result of your work. You empowered your district to demand great schools. Thank you.”

DPS Celebrates Veterans Day 

Each Veterans Day, school communities and students throughout DPS honor our service men and women, learning about their many contributions to our great democracy.

Deputy Superintendent Susana Cordova gave the board an overview of school celebrations of our veterans, highlighting students at North and East high schools. View the presentation here and a video here.

“We struggled with whether to take this holiday a number of years ago and ultimately decided that this was an opportunity for our students to learn about this holiday in a meaningful way, and these school events are a great example of exactly what we had hoped would happen,” said Board Member Happy Haynes.

Board Member Lisa Flores explained that, as someone who is married to a military veteran, she is “very pleased that the district is acknowledging this day.” She said that recent events in which people have dubbed acts of protest as “disrespectful” have disturbed her, and stressed the importance of students learning the “American value that you can protest — that you have the right and freedom to do that.”

Charter Renewals Approved

The board voted on resolutions supporting 14 schools’ charter renewals, approving the recommendations made by district staff Monday. These are the renewals by region (with contract extensions for meeting performance conditions):

Far Northeast:

  • DSST Conservatory Green Middle School — 3-year renewal with opportunity for 2-year extension
  • DSST Green Valley Ranch Middle School — 5-year renewal
  • Highline Academy Northeast — 2-year renewal with opportunity for 2-year extension
  • SOAR Charter School — 2-year renewal with opportunity for 3-year extension


  • DSST Cole High School — 3-year renewal with opportunity for 2-year extension
  • DSST Stapleton Middle School — 5-year renewal
  • DSST Stapleton High School — 5-year renewal
  • Venture Prep High School — 1-year renewal with opportunity for 2-year extension


  • Colorado High School: Osage — 3-year renewal with opportunity for 2-year extension
  • GALS High School — 2-year renewal with opportunity for 3-year extension
  • STRIVE Prep: Sunnyside — 2-year renewal with opportunity for 3-year extension
  • University Prep: Arapahoe Street — 5-year renewal


  • Justice High School — 2-year renewal with opportunity for 2-year extension


  • STRIVE Prep: Ruby Hill — 2-year renewal with opportunity for 3-year extension

Cesar Chavez Academy in Northwest Denver did not meet contract conditions (to meet more than 50% of growth points on the one year calculations on the 2017 SPF) and is ineligible for renewal. CCA will cease operations on June 30, 2018.

Additionally, the following schools met agreed-upon performance conditions (by being rated at least “Meets Expectations” on the 2016 and 2017 SPFs) and received agreed-upon contract extensions without going through renewal:

  • DSST College View Middle School — 2-year extension (through 2020)
  • STRIVE Prep: Lake — 3-year extension (through 2021)
  • STRIVE Prep: Montbello — 2-year extension (through 2020)
  • STRIVE Prep: Green Valley Ranch — 2-year extension (through 2020)

You can view the charter renewal supporting documents here.