Board of Education Update – February 15, 2018 Regular Meeting

Moment of Silence for Florida High School Shooting Victims

At the February 15, 2018 board meeting the Board of Education paid its respects to the victims of yesterday’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., with a moment of silence.

“We have yet another tragedy in one of our high school communities in this country and it’s  remarkable that we are sitting here again with broken hearts,” said Board President Anne Rowe, who noted 50 mass shootings have occurred in schools since Columbine.

Board member Jennifer Bacon, who grew up 10 minutes south of the high school in Florida, said, “My prayers and hopes are being sent home today.”

“I hope what we can learn from this is, we are the community and we as people have power,” Bacon said.

You can read Superintendent Tom Boasberg’s message to the community about the shooting here, including resources for talking with kids about school violence.

Resolution to Protect the Dream for All Kids 

Board members unanimously passed a resolution urging Congress to take prompt bipartisan action to save DACA and protect the DREAMers, providing them with the lasting solution they deserve and an end to the uncertainty they face.

With the program providing protections to young immigrants in limbo and facing a March 5 expiration date, two STRIVE Prep teachers discussed the anxiety their students and families are feeling. Board member Angela Cobian talked about five DPS educators facing possible deportation if the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program expires, saying that they wished to be public about who they are and the risks they are now facing.

The resolution also recognizes the importance of schools providing forums for student expression on the issue, teachers having materials to guide discussions and DPS continuing to provide supports for families impacted by DACA and other immigration concerns.

DPS was the first school district in the nation to hire DACA recipients as teachers; an estimated 17,000 DREAMers live, work and attend school in Colorado. Read the full resolution in English and Spanish here.

Innovation Schools’ Status Renewed 

The board also approved resolutions renewing the innovation status for 12 schools:

Established under the Innovation Schools Act of 2008, innovation schools are district-managed schools that have the ability to waive certain aspects of district policies, state laws and collective bargaining agreements. The goal of innovation status is to encourage schools and districts to design and implement innovative practices in a wide variety of areas for the purpose of improving student outcomes. All innovation school plans are available here.