Board of Education Update – Work Session, May 15, 2017

New School Applicants Recommended for Approval

At the May 15 Work Session the Board of Education heard staff recommendations for which new school applicants — both district-run and charter — should be approved based on the quality of their applications. Board members are scheduled to vote Thursday, May 18, on the applicants.

DPS uses the Call for New Quality Schools (the Call) to announce the need for new schools to serve changing enrollment and capacity needs, and to replace persistently low-performing schools. Within the Call process, the Board of Education is asked to first evaluate the quality of the proposed school and later, in a separate vote, determine whether it will be placed in a district facility. You can learn more about the Call in this video.

Learn more about the recommendations here. The District Accountability Committee (DAC) also reviewed the new school applications and arrived at the same recommendations as district staff. You can read the DAC presentation here.

District staff and the DAC made the following recommendations:

School Applicant Staff & DAC Recommendations
5280 High School (charter) Approve
Academy 360 Expansion (charter) Applicant withdrew
Colorado High School Charter GES Campus (charter) Approve
Colorado High School Charter South (charter) Applicant withdrew
Center for Talent Development at Greenlee (district-sponsored applicant) Approve
Cooperative Community School (charter) Applicant withdrew
The Cube (charter) Approve
Denver Elementary Community School (district-sponsored applicant) Approve
KIPP Sunshine Peak Elementary School (charter) Approve
Montbello Children’s Network: McGlone Academy & John Amesse School Partnership (district-sponsored applicant) Approve
PODER Academy Denver (charter) Deny
Rocky Mountain Prep 4, 5 and 6 (charter) Approve
SLAM Colorado (charter) Deny
STRIVE Prep Elementary (charter) Previously approved
STRIVE Prep Elementary 4, 5 and 6 (charter) Approve
University Prep III (charter) Approve
University Prep IV, V and VI (charter) Approve

New School Applicants: Restart Providers

District staff determined two schools in the case of Amesse Elementary School and one in the case of Greenlee Elementary School met the relevant school-specific conditions to be considered as a restart provider for that school. In each school’s case, a key school-specific condition was providing a Transitional Native Language Instruction (TNLI) model.

Amesse Elementary School

  • Montbello Children’s Network: McGlone Academy & John Amesse School Partnership (district-sponsored applicant)
  • STRIVE Prep Elementary (previously approved charter)

Greenlee Elementary School

  • Center for Talent Development at Greenlee (district-sponsored applicant)

Next Steps for School Applicants

In the cases of the restart applicants for Amesse and Greenlee, the applicants will meet with

each school’s Community Review Board (CRB), which includes governance-neutral representatives from the directly-impacted community, as well as professional review experts. The CRB will make its recommendations to the superintendent based on a rubric that follows the district’s Facility Allocation Policy.

Staff recommendations based on the CRB’s report will be presented to the board on June 12, and the board is scheduled to vote on which schools to place in district facilities on June 19.

Full applications and budgets for all applicants in the 2017 Call can be found here. The full Call document and other detailed information about the process can be found here.


ECE-3 Discipline Reform Input, Policy Changes

The board reviewed stakeholder feedback on its resolution to end suspensions and expulsions of our youngest learners. Based on input from 562 participants and numerous key community partners, staff is recommending that the board make a number of changes to Board Policy JK, including reserving suspensions in grades ECE-3 for only the most severe behaviors impacting student or staff safety and eliminating the use of expulsion in these grades, except as required by state statute. The board was also presented an outline of the top resources requested by ECE-3 teachers, schools and parents. Read the full presentation and proposed policy changes here. The board is scheduled to vote on these changes in June.


Wellness Policy Changes Under Review

As a result of federal regulations, school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program are required to develop a wellness program. While DPS adopted our School Wellness policy in June 2006 (and revised it in August 2015), updates are needed to align the district’s nutrition guidelines to be consistent with guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services in July 2016.

The board was provided with background, a summary of public input and policy recommendations regarding the latest Federal Local School Wellness Policy guideline updates. The updated policy must be in place by June 30, 2017. You can read the proposed revisions here. Additional guidance for schools will be forthcoming after the board votes on the policy changes.


2017-18 School Year Budget Update, Recommendations Made

The district’s final 2017-18 school year budget update was presented to the board, including District Accountability Committee recommendations.


West Career Academy to Move to GW High School Campus 

The district has worked closely with West Career Academy and George Washington High School and is recommending the relocation and change in the name of the pathways school to George Washington Career Academy. West Career Academy currently exists in a more central area of the district along with multiple other strong pathways schools. The southeast area of the district has long been in need of a pathways program and George Washington High School has requested an engagement center, and this move resolves those needs. Read the full recommendation here.


End-of-Year Human Resources Processes and Non-renewals

The board was updated on the district’s annual end-of-year Human Resources processes, including use of the LEAP (Leading Effective Academic Practice) growth and performance system and how the district makes non-renewal decisions. Read the full presentation here.


Safe and Welcoming School District Resolution to be Updated

The district is proposing revisions to align its policies with the direction of the Safe and Welcoming School District resolution, to include protections for immigration status. Read the proposed policy revisions here.


Manual High School Seeks Early College Designation

Manual High School is seeking the board’s approval to join Lincoln and John F. Kennedy high schools in seeking early college status from the Colorado Department of Education. The board will be asked to pass a resolution supporting Manual’s efforts at its meeting Thursday.

Early college designation mean that a school’s curriculum is designed to ensure that a student who successfully completes it will have earned either an associate’s degree or 60 credits toward completion of a college degree.