School Performance Compact Update: Gilpin Montessori

At the January 19, 2017 Board meeting, the Board of Education heard from dozens of community members about its decision in December to close Gilpin Montessori School under its new School Performance Compact policy. Several board members cited concerns about the execution of the policy but declined to bring the decision back for another vote. Staff members reported on supports being offered to Gilpin families:

A Montessori Alternative

Deputy Superintendent Susana Cordova introduced school leadership and teachers from Garden Place Academy, which will offer a Montessori program in addition to its traditional program to ensure Gilpin students can continue in that model at a school in the Near Northeast Denver region. Garden Place Principal Rebecca Salomon told Gilpin families they are welcomed with open arms.

Transportation via the Success Express

Transportation Director Nicole Portee said students will be able to board a Success Express shuttle at Gilpin and get to schools throughout the region.Garden Place is a 15-minute bus ride from Gilpin.

Support through the SchoolChoice Process

Brian Eschbacher, executive director of Planning and Enrollment Services, said Gilpin students will have priority choice at schools across DPS, meaning they have priority after all boundary students and siblings of current attendees are seated. Gilpin students also are guaranteed seats at one of five nearby schools — Cole Arts & Sciences Academy, Downtown Denver Expeditionary School, University-Prep Arapahoe, Whittier K-8 and Garden Place Academy’s traditional program. In addition, a bilingual choice liaison is working 15 to 20 hours per week at the school to assist families.

Questions about School Quality Review Process

Portfolio Management Executive Director Jennifer Holladay walked through a presentation of how the School Performance Compact works, providing the board with additional detail and answering questions on how SchoolWorks — an independent third party — conducts the School Quality Review process, which is the third and final factor considered before the board makes school restart and closure decisions.

You can learn more about the School Performance Compact policy and its role in creating Great Schools in Every Neighborhood at