Board of Education Update – April 25, 2019 Regular Board of Education Meeting

Update on DPS’ Districtwide Sustainability Efforts

The Denver Board of Education heard a presentation from Executive Director of Facility Management Trena Deane Marsal that included an update on the integrated approach to sustainability that DPS teams have been growing over the past 11 years.

“We’ve been building this program with the objective of creating a sustainable culture and focusing on results. Creating a mindset and a belief by all within DPS and within our DPS community that sustainable practices and sustainable ways of thinking are important – it’s critical,” Marsal noted.

The presenters shared highlights from four key areas in the district’s sustainability efforts:

  • SMART building technology
  • Energy education and awareness
  • Energy efficiency and renewables
  • Strong partnerships with utility providers like Xcel Energy and Denver Water

Board Member Happy Haynes took a moment to recognize the contributions of Jim Faes, who recently retired after serving as DPS’ Sustainability Director for the past 10 years. “Jim was hired on to start this effort, and when he started, we barely had recycling barrels in this district. He has taken this program from literally zero to what we see here today. Thank you and congratulations on your retirement,” said Haynes.

The full presentation is available here.

Board Approves DPS-DCTA Agreement for 2017-2022

As part of the consent agenda, the board voted to ratify the agreement between DPS and the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA).

The ProComp Tentative Agreement, reached in Feburary, required that the two groups integrate the terms of ProComp into the Master Agreement. The 2017-2022 final agreement is available here.

Recognizing the 50th Anniversary of West Riots

Metropolitan State University Chicano Studies Professor Karen Jaramillo addressed the board about the 50th anniversary this year of the West High Blowouts.

Jaramillo teaches Chicano Studies at West Early College and said, “It’s been wonderful to sit and talk with students and have them engage in the history. The blowouts were in response to the second-class treatment students were experiencing. They were being treated badly for who they were. They were empowered to have their voice heard. They were empowered to be seen and to be heard.”

Students at West recently staged a fair and wrote essays about the significance of the historic event.

Board Proclaims National Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month

Board President Anne Rowe invited members of the Asian Education Advisory Council (AEAC) to officially proclaim May 2019 National Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month.

In Denver, 3.6% of students are of Asian/Pacific descent. The proclamation recognizes the importance of “embracing our diverse history so that all children can see themselves in our Nation’s past and know that they have a crucial role to play in its future.”

Priscilla Shaw, a 25-year DPS teacher who also serves as chair of the AEAC, spoke about the council’s annual awards ceremony that celebrates Asian/Pacific Islander students for their leadership qualities and academic accomplishments. “Every first Sunday in May, we celebrate our Asian students, teachers, principals, parent volunteers, SSPs and community organizations, who work together to give back to our students and make sure we recognize their achievements, which is really important in our community.” she said.

The full proclamation is available here.

Abraham Lincoln, North Counseling Programs Receive National Recognition 

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) honored the counseling programs at Abraham Lincoln High School and North High School as Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) recipients.

The award recognizes schools that are committed to delivering an exemplary comprehensive school counseling program that fits with the dynamic needs of students. The ASCA national model provides a framework for comprehensive, data-driven school counseling.

The full proclamations are available here for Abraham Lincoln High School and North High School.