Dec. 30, 2022
Closing the Chapter on 2022
Dear Team DPS,

As we reach the end of 2022, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on the many collective accomplishments of Denver Public Schools. The amazing work we are doing in DPS is being noticed and honored in new and exciting ways nationally. It is a sign that we must keep being bold in our leadership and vision for the future. Our students deserve nothing less.

Laying the Foundation for Future Success
In August, after extensive community engagement, we launched a new Strategic Roadmap that seeks to define the experiences of DPS students, adults and systems. We are committed to accelerating the upward trajectory of our most marginalized students. We have already focused on the dismantling of oppressive structures in DPS in part by reducing central office positions to remove silos and send more resources directly to students. We have also grouped our schools in Collaboratives so they can learn from each other and foster more collaboration over competition.

We understand that some students find it hard to learn because they are hungry, tired, hurt, sad, or have other basic needs that need to be met. Thus the concept for our six Community Hubs was born. These six new facilities will provide services to directly address these needs. We know that families and communities work hard to care for their kids, so the hubs will support family and community members as well. With these supports, our students will have a more equitable opportunity to learn and thrive. Learn more about the Community Hubs.

Financial sustainability is a crucial piece of a stable future of any public institution. Through intentional relationship building, we were able to find common ground with our Union partners. I am proud to say that, after ratifying our new agreements, the Denver Classroom Teachers Association (DCTA) and other bargaining units are the most competitively waged in the state of Colorado. 

These agreements allow for DPS to make long-term plans with regard to our finances, including developing a pathway to increase the minimum wage for all district employees to $20 per hour by the start of the 2024-25 school year.

Working with the community to create our new Strategic Roadmap, the launching of our Community Hubs, and ensuring all DPS employees are paid a livable wage are vital first steps in fostering an equitable community where everyone is valued and respected.

Although the recent administration of the Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) data was not as credible as prior years, we are fortunate to have eight schools that were removed from the state accountability clock. This indicates we have been successful in turning around those schools with leadership and most importantly academic success. In addition, we have articulated our two areas of focus for academics this year: to be safe, welcoming environments and to work on ensuring grade level tasks and reading.

In the summer of 2022, 1,869 students received a financial award from the Denver Scholarship Fund (DSF)! This is the highest number of DSF Scholars since its founding in 2006. These awards become even more impressive when you consider that it was accomplished at a time when national college enrollment rates are declining.

This school year, DPS staff are on pace for 10,000 student home visits. These visits are crucial to relationship building between the classroom teacher and the families of their students. Engaging outside of the classroom puts teachers and parents/guardians on equal footing and allows for the creation of a trusting connection, which becomes the foundation of future student success. These visits are an important part of our comprehensive family engagement strategy.

This fall, our student athletes once again demonstrated their prowess in the classroom and on the field of competition. Overall, 12 DPS varsity teams captured league or conference championships, including:

  • Northfield: Boys Soccer (3A/4A)
  • East: Boys Soccer (5A)
  • Northfield: Gymnastics
  • East: Boys Golf
  • Thomas Jefferson: Girls Volleyball (3A/4A)
  • South: Girls Volleyball (5A)
  • East: Boys Cross Country
  • East: Girls Cross Country
  • North: Spirit: Co-Ed Traditional
  • Northfield: Spirit: Poms
  • South: Boys Tennis
  • South: Football

In 2022, we also had four teams capture state titles! Earlier this year Denver East Ice Hockey won the 5A state title, and went on to win the national high school championship! In the spring, the girls of Northfield High School captured the 4A varsity soccer state championship. This fall, the varsity boys soccer team from Northfield High School captured their second consecutive 4A state championship. Not to be outdone, the Angels of East High School captured the 5A boys varsity soccer state title. This was the fourth boys soccer state championship for East High School.

There were also a number of individual students who captured state titles: 
  • Ben Kirk from East won in the 5A, 100m and 200m sprint
  • Giavonna Meeks of Northfield won in 4A, discus and shot put
  • Northfield Boys Track won the 4A, 4 x 100 relay
  • George Washington Boys Swim team won the 4A, 200 free swim relay
  • Xavier Hill of GW won the 4A, 100m swim butterfly

2022 has been a year of great accomplishment for the students and staff of Denver Public Schools. None of this could have been accomplished without the contributions of our tremendous community of educators. I am proud to be your leader. Thank you for making 2022 such a memorable year. Together we will make 2023 even better. Our scholars deserve nothing less.

In collaboration,

Dr. Alex Marrero

Catch up with Superintendent Dr. Alex Marrero by following him on Instagram and Twitter, both @DrAlexMarrero!

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