Board of Education Update – May 2, 2019 Focus on Achievement Session

Focus on Achievement: Cohort Learning for Aspiring and Current Teacher Leaders

At the May 2 Focus on Achievement session the Denver Board of Education heard an update on Teacher Leadership and Collaboration (TLC), a leadership model that allows DPS’ best teachers to share the expertise they have developed with fellow teachers, extending a great teacher’s impact and helping more students grow.

Based on data and feedback, DPS launched two new learning cohorts in the 2018-19 school year: the Aspiring Teacher Leaders of Color Cohort (ATLOCC) to support teachers of color considering teacher leader roles, and the Thrive Fellowship to deepen the leadership of high-performing experienced teacher leaders.

Voices From the Field

In addition to hearing updates on the progress of the TLC program, the board engaged in a panel discussion with members of these groups:

  • Christina Anders, Green Valley Ranch, ATLOCC
  • Derek Pike, Lake Middle, Thrive Fellowship
  • Javi (Javiera) Ihrig Reyes, Gust Elementary, Thrive Fellowship
  • Kiara Roberts, MLK Early College, ATLOCC

“Loyalty is at the core of who I am, so being at DMLK, I was within those walls… I’m growing here – these are the opportunities I have. So the fact that my principal pushed that and was like, ‘hey, apply for this,’ allowed me to say it’s ok to grow outside of these walls and bring that learning into the building,” said Kiara Roberts.

“The most critical element that I’ll be taking with me from Thrive is the creativity, discomfort and vulnerability that it takes to truly move the dial and close achievement gaps for real. The systems and the institutions have historically been one way, and as you climb — no matter what kind of leader you are, no matter what color you are, no matter your religious background — if you’re climbing and there is no discomfort, all you’re doing is continuing the cycle,” said Derek Pike.

The full presentation is available here.

Update on Results of SchoolChoice Round One

The board also heard an update on the first round of SchoolChoice. Thousands of Denver families took an active role in selecting the best-fit school for their student during another successful SchoolChoice enrollment season.

The goal of SchoolChoice is to level the playing field by giving all DPS students access to a quality education, regardless of their address or socio-economic background. This year, SchoolChoice placed 92% of kindergarteners and 95% of sixth-graders in their first-, second- or third-choice school. Ninth-graders were placed in one of their top three choices 94% of the time. For all three grade levels, match rates for first or second choices were also strong: 89% percent for kindergarten; and 93% for sixth and ninth.

In a continuing effort to provide the best service to Denver families, DPS shifted the timing of the Choice window to close in mid-February, allowing the district to release results nearly a month earlier than in 2018. And the district opened a new walk-in enrollment center in the southwest area to better support families.

The full presentation is available here.