While the State of the Union address failed to shine even a dim light on the state of education, remarks made two days later by the President about “vocational” being a “much better word than …
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While the State of the Union address failed to shine even a dim light on the state of education, remarks made two days later by the President about “vocational” being a “much better word than in many cases a community college” stirred up a response from the Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE). The response criticized the President’s use of “vocational,” stating that it is not a better word but rather one that is outdated. The ACTE explained the preferred term, “career and technical education,” is actually used in federal and state laws and by the U.S. Department of Education.
Data from the 2017 Colorado Department of Education’s (CDE) graduation and dropout rate study showed that 3,749 seniors graduated from DPS schools last spring, making it the largest graduating class in the district’s history.
In addition, Denver Public Schools (DPS) statistics show that students are grinding it out to graduation even if that means extending their time in school beyond the traditional four-year time frame. One of the programs that has propelled the district’s 75 percent, five-year graduation rate is Accelerating Students through Concurrent Enrollment (ASCENT). ASCENT, according to a Denver University fact sheet, “allows seniors to remain enrolled in high school for a fifth year consisting entirely of college classes, if they have met all of their high school graduation requirements, have taken 12 credit hours of college classes prior to the end of their senior year and are considered college/career ready.”
As Denver grows, the city is undergoing shifts in demographics and a major reduction of school-aged children in many neighborhoods. As a result, DPS began a pilot program in 2016 with the goal of creating more integrated schools. The pilot aimed to prioritize enrollment for students eligible for FRL, “an indicator of poverty” according to the district, in some high-performing, low-poverty schools. “Research shows that at whatever income level, all students benefit from being in diverse schools,” says DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg, “that is true both academically and socially.”
After receiving positive feedback from the community through DPS’ Strengthening Neighborhoods Initiative, more schools expressed interest in participating in this pilot. As a result, DPS opened priority seating at select schools during the 2018 School Choice process.
In the six years since Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School (2256 S. Logan St.) opened, they have grown to capacity, turning away potential students. As a result of an opportunity to lease the vacant school building at St. Louis Church, Our Lady of Lourdes will open a second campus. The South campus will open in the fall of 2018 at 3301 S. Sherman St. in Englewood that will house kindergarten, first and second grade classes.
Our Lady of Lourdes is one in a growing trend of Catholic schools that are reviving classical Catholic education which, according to a Washington Post story, “aims to include instruction on the virtues and a love of truth, goodness and beauty in ordinary lesson plans. Students learn the arts, sciences and literature starting with classical Greek and Roman sources.”
A first-ever cultural festival will happen at McKinley-Thatcher Elementary (1230 S. Grant St.) Friday March 9, from 6:00p.m. to 8:00p.m. "Around the World in One Night!" is a celebration of the variety of cultures represented at McKinley-Thatcher. Families, staff and students will share their culture through food, language, music and unique artifacts.
McKinley-Thatcher is also open for school tours throughout the SchoolChoice process in March, April and May. New families looking for individualized attention and experiential learning opportunities for their children are invited to schedule a tour. There are openings in ECE-4, kindergarten and first grade classrooms. In addition, openings are available in ECE-3 through fifth grade as well. For more information or to schedule a tour, please call 720-424-5600 or visit mckinleythatcher.dpsk12.org.
Iswari Natarajan will take over the principal role at St. Mary’s Academy (SMA) (4545 S. University Blvd.) when Kathryn McNamee finishes her 43-year tenure in July.
Natarajan has been part of the SMA community for seven years as both a parent and a teacher. She is the current Math Department Chair and teaches AP Calculus. Natarajan received the Outstanding Colorado Educator Award in 2016-2017.
Prior to joining St. Mary's Academy, Natarajan worked in various positions as an engineer and was the assistant director at Montessori School at Lone Tree. She is the co-CEO and co-founder of Guru Power Prep, an SAT and ACT test prep program.
Natarajan earned her Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Instrumentation from Birla Institute of Technology and Science in India and earned a Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park. She has a Montessori Teaching Diploma from Montessori Casa International in Denver.
Cory Elementary (1550 S. Steele St.) is putting on the 2018 Cory Auction Friday, April 20 from 6:30p.m. to 10:30p.m. at The Cable Center (2000 S. Buchtel Blvd.) Early bird tickets can be purchased until March 15. Proceeds from the auction support teachers and students by bringing technology into the classroom and will also help Cory to sustain art education programing.
The 2018 University Park Elementary School (2300 S. St Paul St.) auction is fast approaching. The event is scheduled for April 21 from 6:30p.m. to 10:30p.m. at the University of Denver. The goal this year is to raise $75,000 and all proceeds will go toward helping pay for two full-time and one part-time homeroom teacher to help maintain small class sizes. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and for more information.
South High School (1700 E. Louisiana Ave.) continues the College Fund Initiative. To date, the following community members and businesses have made a contribution: South Alumni Association, Waterway Gas and Wash, Denver Community Credit Union, JD Masonry, Common Threads, Washington Park Dental Center, South Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA), South Pearl Street Association, Jack and Christy Ryan, McDonald and Nelson families, Morgan and Barto families, Goldberg and Hood families, Lacher and Kisken families.
With the end of the winter sports season, the South girls Lacrosse team is looking to fill its roster. Preseason practices are held Monday and Wednesday from 4:00p.m. to 5:30p.m. No experience or equipment is necessary; just bring a willingness to learn and have fun. For more information, check out the website at email@example.com, contact Coach Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Coach Wentz in room 324.
Have school news? Email email@example.com.
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