Strategic Regional Analysis Identifies Gaps to Address

At the November 14 work session, the Denver Board of Education heard the Fall 2016 update of the district’s semi-annual Strategic Regional Analysis. The analysis is a key planning document that details the current state of enrollment, capacity and school performance by region, and identifies gaps in each area to guide future decisions. The analysis also supports the Denver Plan 2020 goal of having at least 80% of students attending a high-performing school in every region of the district. The full analysis is available here.

Key finding include:

  • Enrollment — DPS enrollment increased by 21,000 students (or roughly 30%) since 2000, driven mainly by a significantly higher percentage of Denver’s families choosing DPS for their children and population increases. But, the lower birth rate and increased gentrification has resulted in a decrease in the pace of growth since 2014. Low enrollment growth is forecast through 2020, and that growth will be concentrated in the Far Northeast and Greater Park Hill-Stapleton areas at all education levels.
  • SchoolChoice — SchoolChoice participation rates have increased by 3% since last year, and first-choice match rates were the highest they have been in the history of DPS SchoolChoice, at 84% this year.

The regional analysis demonstrated that implementation of an enrollment zone drives increased participation in SchoolChoice compared to a traditional boundary area. The board also heard additional analysis of the impact enrollment zones have on equity and diversity. One goal of enrollment zones is to increase social and racial diversity by encompassing demographically different neighborhoods.