Monday, Nov. 16, 2015

Dear DPS Community,

We would like to let you know that our superintendent, Tom Boasberg, is choosing to take unpaid family leave for six months beginning in January. After seven years as one of the country's most successful superintendents, Tom will have the opportunity to spend half a year with his family, and resume his duties as superintendent in July. 

We believe it is a sign of the health of our district that, with such a strong team and dedicated school board, we can grant this opportunity to Tom and his family. We have every confidence in the DPS leadership team and staff to continue to drive our work forward under our Denver Plan 2020 during these six months. 

We will meet to name our acting superintendent right after Thanksgiving, on Tuesday, Dec. 1. We have discussed this matter in detail as a board and with Tom, and we believe it is right to allow our newly elected board to be sworn in next week and then formally address the matter Dec. 1. 

At seven years, Tom is one of the longest-serving superintendents in any major U.S. city. That leadership continuity has been critical for our progress, and we look forward to his continued service when he returns in July.
In those seven years, DPS' progress is clear:
  • Enrollment is up by more than 15,000 students, evidence of our families' belief in our schools.
  • DPS students, who once lagged their classmates across Colorado, now show greater academic growth than their peers in every other large district in the state.
  • An additional 1,000 students are graduating each year from our high schools, continuing on educational journeys that will lead them to far brighter futures.
This work has been driven not by one person but by the exceptional team at DPS, starting with our teachers and our school leaders. Yet, we know our work is far from finished. Our job during these six months and beyond is not to put our feet on the brake but on the gas pedal. We will not slow in our efforts to improve our schools for our families during this time. The needs of our kids are too urgent and our Denver Plan 2020 goals too important to pause this work. We ask that you join us in supporting Tom in this decision.

Thank you for your support of Denver Public Schools and the children we serve.

Happy Haynes, President, Denver Board of Education
Anne Rowe, Vice President, Denver Board of Education