May flowers are blooming as students head into their last lap of the 2016-2017 school year. Children and staff may reflect on what they learned this year. Hopefully, they all start their summers …
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May flowers are blooming as students head into their last lap of the 2016-2017 school year. Children and staff may reflect on what they learned this year. Hopefully, they all start their summers feeling confident and proud of all that they have accomplished. Seniors are heading off to start college or career programs. Younger children are moving to higher levels as they, too, progress towards colleges and careers. Everyone needs to take a deep breath and pat themselves on the backs for lots of hard work and growth.
DPS has created a Paraprofessional-to-Teacher Pipeline which builds a bridge to college graduation for paras who want to become teachers. This program is funded by Denver voters and community partners and will pay all, or nearly all, of the college expenses for selected participants. The inaugural class of 20 is sponsored by Gary Community Investments.
South's Anna Renkert, Cherry Ronolo-Valdez, and Keller MacLachlan won Boettcher Scholarships. Photo courtesy South High School.
As Denver continues to grow, many neighborhoods are struggling. DPS is creating the Strengthening Neighborhoods Initiative, establishing a committed group of partners who will work together to address racial and socioeconomic diversity in the schools and will also look at issues in school consolidation in neighborhoods that are losing the highest number of school-aged children.
Denver officials sent a letter to the local Acting Field Office Director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requesting ICE agents respect “sensitive locations” when carrying out their duties, especially at or near Denver schools or in Denver courthouses. The letter was signed by Mayor Michael B. Hancock, all members of the Denver City Council, Court Presiding Judge Theresa Spahn, District Attorney Beth McCann, DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg and Denver City Attorney Kristin Bronson.
DPS strives to provide high-quality public schools, district-run and charter. Superintendent Tom Boasberg responded to Secretary Betsy DeVos’ criticism which highlights significant policy differences between the Trump administration and DPS’ focus on high-quality public schools for all kids:
“We respectfully disagree with Secretary DeVos. We do not support private school vouchers. We believe that public dollars should be used for public schools that are open to all kids, whether they are district-run or charter,” Boasberg said. “A core principle in Denver and one of the main reasons we rank number one nationally in school choice is that we ensure equitable systems of enrollment among district-run and charter schools, where all schools play by the same enrollment rules and all schools are subject to the same rigorous accountability system. We do not support choice without accountability.”
Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week will be celebrated in May. Check with your neighborhood schools to see if you can do anything to thank the people who do so much for Denver’s children.
Congratulations to Cory Elementary, 1550 S. Steele St. for being selected as a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School, one of 279 public and 50 private schools out of more than 130,000 schools. Cory will have a Concert in the Green on Thursday, May 18. Field Day and a Talent Show will take place Friday, May 19. Contact Cory for more information: cory.dpsk12.org.
Lincoln Elementary, 710 S. Pennsylvania St., received an A- rating on the School Performance Framework, making it 90 out of 1015 schools! Many events are scheduled at Lincoln. Monday, May 1 and Tuesday, May 2, Lincoln will have Spring Concerts from 6:00-7:30p.m. Walk/Bike to School Day will be Wednesday, May 10. At 3:45p.m. that day, Lincoln will host a Bike Rodeo. Restaurant Night is Wednesday, May 17 at Illegal Pete’s on South Broadway. Customers, mention Lincoln when paying your bill and the restaurant will donate a portion of their proceeds to the school.
St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School (SVdP), 1164 S. Josephine St., has raised more than $80,000 to build an Outdoor Learning Lab for its students. This cross-grade, cross-curricular. STEM-inspired initiative will include raised garden beds for herbs, vegetables and flowers; a greenhouse for experiments with hydroponics; a butterfly garden and a coop for raising chickens and collecting and selling eggs. Seventh graders at SVdP created a video about the outdoor lab. Go to youtube.com/watch?v=nTj5YxV8QQM.
On Saturday, May 6 from 8:30a.m.-1:00p.m., Steele Elementary, 320 S. Marion St., will host the Garden DIG-IT Day. Garden volunteers will work to prepare the garden for planting. The garden beds need to be turned, weeds must be pulled, cages and trellises set up and much more. Bring shovels, gloves and tools and join the effort as families and friends ready the garden for a new season.
University Park Elementary, 2300 S. St. Paul St., personalizes student-learning through project-based learning. Teachers ask students to show what they know and understand in ways that extend beyond the traditional worksheet. University Park has developed a space in the school called the UPark Depot, which houses supplies such as recyclables, wire, construction paper, hot glue guns, etc. The materials are available to all students and teachers for use on projects. Learners say this about the UPark Depot: “The Depot is fun.” “It helps you understand things.” “The Depot is a place where you make all kinds of stuff.” “The Depot is a creation place.”
McKinley-Thatcher, 1230 S. Grant St., hosts its annual silent auction on Friday, May 12. The community is invited to attend the auction, the biggest fundraiser of the year, at the Dive Inn, 1380 S. Broadway. Tickets are only $10. For more information: mckinleythatcher.dpsk12.org or call 720-424-5600.
Field Day is Friday, May 26. Local firefighters will turn the athletic field into a waterpark with their hose truck. The Spring buy one, get one (BOGO) book fair is May 22-26 and provides a wonderful opportunity to purchase many great summer reading books for half price and to support the school’s library at the same time. The school is also excited to welcome new kindergarten students and their families to their first annual Kindergarten Round-Up on Thursday, May 4.
South High, 1700 E. Louisiana Ave., is enjoying the successes of many of their graduating seniors. Anna Renkert, Cherry Ronolo-Valdez, and Keller MacLachlan were awarded prestigious Boettcher Scholarships. Two students, Fatima Daak and Sordum Deeyaa, have earned Daniels Scholarships for academic performance, strength of character, community service and leadership potential. Shambel Zeru received the Denver Mayor’s Youth Award, recognizing youth between the ages of 13-19 who have overcome difficult situations by making positive changes and exhibiting strength and determination in the face of adversity. His goal is to become a doctor.
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