Policy Overview

The mission of Denver Public Schools is to provide all students the opportunity to achieve the knowledge and skills necessary to become contributing citizens in our diverse society. In addition, Denver Public Schools makes safety a priority in all schools.

The policies and procedures of Denver Public Schools are established by the Board of Education and serve as the guide to fulfilling the DPS’ mission.

All policies can be accessed on BoardDocs. Policies in other languages can be requested by contacting your student’s school.

Policies are divided into the following twelve sections:

A: Foundations and Basic Commitments
B: School Board Governance and Operations
C: General School Administration
D: Fiscal Management
E: Support Services
F: Facilities Development
G: Personnel
H: Negotiations (Currently no policies)
I: Instructional Program
J: Students
K: School-Community Relations
L: Education Agency Relations (Currently no policies)

Review of Policies

The Denver Public Schools Board of Education, with the assistance of the legal department, is continuously reviewing all DPS policies to ensure that the district has policies and procedures required by law. This review also evaluates the appropriate governance level for each policy. Through this process, the board will revise existing policies or adopt new policies on issues legally requiring action by the board. Issues that do not require board action may be delegated to staff.

Policy Governance Model

The Denver Board of Education prepared over several months for a shift to a Policy Governance model.

The Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB) provided implementation training to assist the board in more clearly outlining the roles and responsibilities of the board and the superintendent. The board voted on the specific policies under consideration at its Oct. 21 and Nov. 18 meetings.

The Policy Governance model establishes clear roles, responsibilities and relationships between the board and the superintendent. Under the new model, the board will be able to focus on collaborating with constituents and advancing the board’s vision for the district. Policy Governance will also empower the superintendent — as the day-to-day leader of DPS — to select and manage the programs and policies needed to achieve the board’s vision.

Community members will still be able to interact with the board as they always have — policy governance does not disrupt that. Public comment and direct communication with board members remain the best way to provide feedback on the board’s vision for DPS.

The board developed policies for four set categories:

  • Ends/Goals Policies: Description of the long-term goals for the district
  • Executive Limitations: Legal and value boundaries that serve as guardrails for the superintendent to achieve stated goals
  • Board/Superintendent Relationships: The roadmap used to define how the board and superintendent will interact and how the superintendent will be evaluated
  • Governance Process Policies: Operational guidelines for the board, including code of conduct and role of the board president

The proposed policies were available for a ‘first read’ by the community, and later voted upon by the board. Policy drafts focusing on Board/Superintendent Relationships, Ends and Governance Policies, were available for first read on Oct. 21 and were voted on at the board meeting on Nov. 18. Executive Limitations was up for a vote on Oct. 21.