Board of Education Update – May 17, 2018 Regular Meeting

Celebrating Five Years of Teacher Leadership

 At tonight’s regular meeting, the Board of Education celebrated five years of the Teacher Leadership and Collaboration (TLC) model and recognized the five teachers who have served as teacher leaders for all five years of the program with a proclamation:

  • Kyler Albert, Gust Elementary School
  • Stacey Hervey, CEC Early College
  • Marie Gruber, Westerly Creek Elementary School
  • Sara Thornton, Schmitt Elementary School
  • Cheryl Cordova, Force Elementary School

“Thank you for being so innovative and allowing us to have this opportunity to work alongside teachers and support them in their instructional practices, which is then in service of our students making great gains in their academic success, as well,” said Cordova. “It has turned out to be the greatest work I have done as an educator.”

What is TLC?

At a TLC school, teachers are organized into teams guided by a teacher leader, who spends about half their time providing supports to teachers on their teams — such as coaching, evaluation, collaborative planning and reviewing student work — while continuing to work directly with students every day. Next year, almost one in 10 DPS teachers will serve as a Senior Team Lead or Team Lead.  The innovative teaching model, with a 90% effective rating from teachers, has been embraced by nearly every school in Denver.

“Five years ago, members of team DPS had an idea: what if you could take your absolute favorite teacher — the one with the uncanny ability to spark joy in learning in every kid — and spread that teacher’s impact beyond a single classroom,” said Board of Education President Anne Rowe. “That’s the goal of Teacher Leadership & Collaboration, a leadership model that allows our best teachers to coach and grow other teachers in their schools while staying true to their first love, teaching their own classroom of kids.”

You can read more about the TLC model here.

District 2018-19 Fiscal Year Budget Approved

The Board of Education unanimously approved the budget for the 2018-19 school year.  Of the nearly $25 million of new funding that will be available to district-run schools next year, all of it will go toward compensation increases, with the majority being for teachers. In accordance with the five-year contract that DPS and DCTA signed last fall, teachers will see an average increase of 4.4% next year, after an average increase of more than 5% this current year. In addition, DPS is making significant investments in raising the pay of our lowest-paid hourly workers.

In addition to the compensation increases, DPS is cutting district-level spending to increase school-based resources in the following areas:

  • Increasing funding for special education.
  • Increasing mental health funding for our schools to hire psychologists and social workers and increased funds for Affective Needs centers.
  • Increased funding for our highest-poverty schools.

You can read the full board report, detailed financial schedules and budget-related resolutions here.

District Accountability Committee Recommendations 

The District Accountability Committee (DAC) presented its budget recommendations memo to the board. The recommendations focus on what the DAC would like to see prioritized in general funding, and areas they recommend the district support should it receive additional funding.

“This is an extraordinary group of community leaders who spend a lot of time partnering with this district on behalf of the community, advising us on a wide range of topics, but most particularly this time of year they are extraordinarily busy with a duty that is a statutory requirement to advise us on the budget,” said Board Member Happy Haynes. “They really look at our budget in terms of whether our money is where our mouths are, and our budget reflects our values.”

Resolution to Best Support Students with Disabilities

Board Member Lisa Flores proposed a resolution to ensure that the reorganization of Student Equity & Opportunity best supports students with disabilities with equity through the creation of a plan to build out and implement the reorganization with specific criteria.

“We view this resolution as an accompaniment to passing the budget,” said Board Member Angela Cobian. “The reason we wanted to introduce it this evening is because it’s a directive to the SEO team as part of the budget passage.”

New Schools Approved

The Call for New Quality Schools — “the Call” — is how DPS announces, authorizes and places new schools in the district. Successful new schools — and quality applications — are formed through collaborations between families, community members and exemplary school leaders who design rigorous programs tailored to student needs.

Tonight, two new school applicants were approved by the board:

The board also approved the conditions for opening and the written program design for Compass Academy‘s proposed high school program, which was originally approved by the board in June 2014 as part of grades 6-12 design.

You can view all new school applications here.