Board of Education Update – February 12, 2018 Work Session

Changes to SPF Methodology Drive Improvement

At the February 12, 2018 work session the Board of Education received an update on changes to the 2018 School Performance Framework (SPF) methodology in order to better support our community in driving school improvement.

The SPF is an important resource for school communities, letting us know where a school is making progress and where we need to focus on improving. The SPF helps us drive improvement by establishing performance targets, promoting greater focus on traditionally underserved students, prioritizing resources and supports to accelerate student achievement, and by transparently communicating schools’ strengths and areas for improvement to school communities.

DPS reviews and makes changes to the SPF regularly to reflect our performance goals and aspirations, align with CDE requirements (such as assessment transitions and new graduation requirements), respond to suggestions and concerns from stakeholders, and improve approaches to measuring school performance.

In response to stakeholder feedback, including extensive school leader outreach and focus groups, three key changes will be made to the 2018 SPF:

  • Measures that do not have current year data will be removed
  • The Academic Gaps indicator will be applied to all schools without exemptions
  • Higher expectations around the number of students making progress in early literacy

School leaders were informed of these changes earlier on February 12 through a webinar and email. You can read the full board presentation, which includes all SPF measure changes and timelines, here. You can learn more about the SPF at

Progress on African-American Equity Taskforce Recommendations

The African-American Equity Task Force (AAETF) updated the board on current progress and accomplishments surrounding its recommendations. Led by Allen Smith, chief of the Culture, Equity and Leadership Team (CELT), the AAETF was made up of 100 parents, educators and community leaders with a mission to improve the experiences of African-American students, employees and families in DPS. After eight months of study, the task force presented prioritized recommendations to the board last spring.

The task force presented progress on structures for implementation and progress monitoring, while also connecting its work to other district initiatives, including the Far Northeast Education Commission and the Strengthening Neighborhoods initiative.

Since the establishment of the Equity team this fall, early successes have been focused around equipping and empowering community and families, identifying a universal framework for culturally-responsive education in DPS and creating strategic equity plans for improvement to close opportunity gaps.

“I’m not under the impression that we are going to solve these problems in my four- or eight-year term on this board, or in any of our tenures here,” said Board Member Lisa Flores. “But I am interested in making sure that we are putting systems and structures in place, and making progress. … and that healing is occurring.”

You can read more about current progress and accomplishments here and the full board report here.

Luminary Learning Network Paves the Way for Innovation Zones

In spring 2016, the DPS Board of Education approved DPS’ first innovation zone — the Luminary Learning Network (LLN), which includes Ashley Elementary School, Cole Arts & Science Academy, Creativity Challenge Community and Denver Green School.

As part of that approval, LLN and district staff work together to provide a progress update to the board semi-annually. Highlights of the report include that three of the four LLN schools met their zone’s performance goal of either exceeding 70% or moving up one color rating on the School Performance Framework.

Representatives from LLN’s Teacher Council shared with the board what they are learning as they create and lead their own professional development.

You can read the full report here.

Partnership Propels Kids on the Road to Reading

The board received a written update on the Road to Reading initiative. Road to Reading is a community partnership, guided by the Birth to Eight Roadmap and designed to support families, caregivers and educators to best support a child’s development from the start to ensure they enter school ready to learn. This partnership between Denver Public Schools, the Mayor’s Office of Children’s Affairs, community partners, families and caregivers is designed to help our students succeed and make Denver the most literate city in the nation. Read the full report here.