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Dear UPark Community,

DPS has released the 2016 School Performance Framework (SPF), a tool for DPS families to understand a school's relative strengths and weaknesses in meeting DPS standards.  We have taken great pride in our "blue" status over the years, marking us among the top schools in the district.  This year, UPark's status is "green", and I would like to share my thoughts on this with you.
The SPF takes into account several factors: PARCC (literacy and math) test scores, PARCC (literacy and math) growth, parent questionnaires, early literacy data, student satisfaction surveys and more.  Our parent and student questionnaires are 87% favorable, of which we are very proud.  In addition, our PARCC scores are in the top 10 DPS elementary schools.  Growth (75% of the SPF) weighs most heavily in the SPF's consideration.  Growth scores indicate the amount of improvement in individual students' test scores year over year.  However, the more successful the school, the more difficult it is to show marked improvement in growth.
UPark is a wonderful place for students, staff and families.  Twenty-five schools dropped from "blue" to "green" this year, leaving only eight elementary, middle, and high schools "blue" (only 1 traditional elementary school). DPS cites the reason for the drop of so many schools' ratings as two-fold: standards have recently changed to better align with the Denver Plan 2020 and there is only one year's worth of PARCC data since the test is new.  UPark's rating is based on its comparison to ten "like" schools, not every school in the district (10 comparison schools - Asbury, Southmoor, Carson, Highline K-8, Park Hill, Teller, Edison, Odyssey, and Downtown Denver Expeditionary).
At UPark we are committed to being a wonderful place for students and families to thrive.  Our commitment is to make sure UPark is always growing and developing our students and staff in a variety of ways.  I truly believe that UPark is developing more than just great students.  We are striving to help mold great humans to help lead the way.
  Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions.
Thank you,
Grant Varveris
Team UPark

*Don't forget to download the UPark App  here!


Thanks to everyone who came out for the UPark Fun Run & Carnival on Sunday! It was a great  day for the kids and adults too. The day would not have been possible without the tireless  efforts of the Fun Run Committee, all the event volunteers, and our fabulous Committee Chair,  Melinda Davis!
Vote Yes on 3A & 3B
By now all registered voters in Denver should have received a mail-in ballot. We urge you to  vote yes on ballot questions 3A & 3B (the 2016 DPS Bond & Mill Levy) which appear on the  last page of the ballot.  Your children and all children in DPS will benefit from the money that these two measures will  generate for the district. Due to ongoing effects of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (Tabor), Colorado
currently ranks 42nd in our nation in terms of state tax dollars spent per student. We spend  $2,000 lower than the national average in tax dollars spent per student. The Bond is a one time  expenditure, and doesn't require Denver to raise taxes. The Mill Levy is an ongoing tax  increase; however, to put the increase into perspective, the median Denver home value is  $329,000, and taxes on a home valued at this level would increase by $120.  If you would like more information on why you should support the 2016 Bond and Mill Levy,  please read the 3A & 3B pamphlets (attached below) which provide more detail on why DPS is  asking for this funding and how DPS will use the money to improve our schools.

Fun Run and Carnival
A big THANK YOU to the following folks for helping make this year's carnival a blast: 
All of the UPark parent & child volunteers, The Radio Band (UPark parents Turi Gustafson and Tim Buckman) for the great music, UPark Alumni Student volunteers, South High School student volunteers, our "Grill Daddy's" for their awesome barbecue, Traci Samaras' Spirit Wear Tent, Geoff Babbitt and the Garden Committee for the wonderful Farmers Market, Carin & Alex Wagner's Apple/Raffle Booth, our art teacher Ms. Redmond, our PE teacher Ms. Hartin, Marzuk Umar - our maintenance support, the Keenan family, Dave Easton Elevation Realty, Campus Cycles, Orange Theory Fitness - Cherry Hills, Sprouts, Fire Station 24, and Denver Police Department.
*Special thanks to the Fun Run & Carnival committee members:
Merrell Aspin, Melinda Davis, Camille Ford, Stacey Hauhuth, Caryn Keenan, Becky Limanni, Traci Samaras, Joanna Shear, Julie Tremont, Kristen Wolf 
It literally TAKES a VILLAGE to put this amazing event together every year!  We hope all our attendees enjoyed the food, fun, exercise, and most importantly, the community bonding that is the primary purpose of our UPark Fun Run & Carnival.  See you in the spring for round two of our early morning running program!

UPark Apple Campaign

Our goal for the Apple Campaign is to raise $70,000 by October 31st. To date, we have only raised $45,000 - well below our goal. Please consider giving or pledging - any amount helps the school. Currently ONLY 13% of UPark families have contributed. Ask friends, family and neighbors. If we do not raise money, the PTA will not have the money NEXT year to fund two teachers and two paras. That means larger class sizes for our kids. Donations can be made by dropping a check in the apple box in the UPark office or online here. If you would like to make a pledge, you can complete a pledge card in the office or email

Our Spirit Wear 10-day promotion has started!
Colder days are approaching and University Park has some Spirit Wear items that will keep you warm and show your school pride. Our 10-day promotion started Sunday, October 23rd. Please Note - Our school will also receive 10% back for every order. If you need more information, please contact Traci Samaras (UPark Parent).

Drop off an order form in the office or place an online order  here. Orders are due Tuesday, November 1st!

Spirit Week is coming!
University Park is having a spirit week! Spirit week is a week where your child will dress differently for every day of the week. Spirit Week is October 31st - November 4th.
Monday: Halloween-come to school dressed in your costume.
Tuesday: Time Travel Tuesday/Decade Day-dress up in clothes from another decade.
Wednesday: Wacky Wednesday-dress in your wackiest and weirdest clothes (crazy hair, wear your clothes backwards or mismatched, mismatched socks and shoes, etc.).
Thursday: Kids Dress Up/ Staff Dress Down-kids come to school wearing nice clothes and staff dresses in things like sweat pants, old jackets, etc.
Friday: No School
Remember your child does NOT have to participate if they don't want to, it is optional, but we hope they will. Thank you!
The UPark Student Council

Classroom Parties/Halloween

University Park encourages celebrations that are based on healthy foods. We want to send the message that we care about our children's health! We ask that school community members provide foods and beverages that benefit our students' ability to learn and their overall well-being. Consider providing a fruit tray with yogurt dip for parties or vegetable or cheese trays along with other nutrient dense foods and sweets in moderation. Please speak with room parent or teacher when bringing in foods to be shared.

Please click here for information about our Halloween Celebrations.

Annual Thanksgiving Lunch
Wednesday, November 16th

University Park welcomes students and families to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with a turkey lunch in the school cafeteria on Wednesday, November 16th. The lunch will be held at your student's regularly scheduled lunch time. 

Prices for guests:
Child (Non-Student) $3.00
Adult $5.00
*You can pay for guests by cash or checks made out to University Park. Payments can be made to Stela in the lunchroom in advance or on the day of (please note the cafeteria will be busier than usual on the day of).

RSVP to Stela, our Cafeteria Manager, no later than November 11th!!

Red Apple Clothing Drive
November 1st - December 1st
Help support University Park and our sustainability efforts by donating unwanted clothing and shoes. Drop off your items during our clothing drive from November 1st - December 1st in the Red Apple Recycling drop-off bin. The drop off bin is the little red house located near the staff parking lot at the intersection of Iliff and Adams. Click  here for more information.

AM Fun Run Results

With an amazing 444 laps around the track, Mrs. Smith's class is the winner of our Before School Fun Run class party.  Congratulations!!
Individual winners are:  1st place- Jaymes in Mrs. Smith's class with 83 laps, 2nd place - Jenny in Mrs. Wilson's class with 82 laps and 3rd place- Jack in Mrs. Ostrom & Mrs. Wise's class with 75 laps.  Thanks to all the kids that ran in this fall's before school fun run.  See you in the spring!


Enrichment families please note the following classes that end before the last day of the Fall Trimester 11/18.

Last Class
Yoga (1)
Yoga (2)
Pioneers Power Play

Questions? Contact  or call 720-424-3417.

University Park Elementary Calendar

3 ways to access calendar information! Go to the University Park Website,  click on the CALENDAR ICON, or look below!  


5 Star Wizard Hat Students

Congratulations to last week's 5 Star Wizard Hat students! They were recognized by their teachers for positive behavior. 

Last week's students include: Benjamin Mendez, Carlee Erb, Ramsey White, Jayden Reed, Anderson Gray, Max Wagner, Zachary Collisson, Wynn Morris, Jude Zec, Leaira Harris, Ben Bignell, Isobel Erickson-Solonika, Rodena Elgadi, Oliver Colson, Amelia Hall, Cassidy Michas, Otis Metz, Kyra Hornung, Khloe Brown, Jeremiah Simpson, Addie Wester, Shreyas Rao, Tyzala Jeffries, Kaydence Howell, Ty'Davion Jeffries Burnistine, Finn Donahue. 

Wizard Hats are given throughout UPark to celebrate students' good choices and positive behavior. We use a common vocabulary and teach Critical Thinking skills using the BrainWise curriculum.  Each week there is a random drawing of 2 students done by classroom teachers. These children are photographed and receive a token of our appreciation. 
*At the end of each month we will be donating all clothing in the lost and found and anything left in the halls(all clothing will go into our little red school house in our parking lot).