Friday, Oct. 14, 2016
 Subject line: Our Birth to Eight Roadmap for Success
"We know that quality preschool and kindergarten programs are critical to laying a strong educational foundation for a child's academic success, but we also know how important the stages are in a child's development before they reach kindergarten."
Dear DPS Community,

To close our educational and societal gaps, we know there are no easy answers, no magic solutions. But there are some critical investments that we do know will pay off. One of them is early literacy.

Supt.Tom Boasberg
Research has shown that children who are proficient readers in third grade are four times more likely to graduate than those who don't.That's why we've focused one of our Denver Plan 2020 goals squarely in this area.

And that's why we've teamed up with the City of Denver's Office of Children's Affairs and several community partners to launch our Birth to Eight Roadmap. Yesterday at Munroe Elementary School, I was joined by other leaders from DPS, the City of Denver and across the community to share some of the details of our citywide early-literacy partnership.

We know that quality preschool and kindergarten programs are critical to laying a strong educational foundation for a child's academic success, but we also know how important the stages are in a child's development before they reach kindergarten. That's why it is so important that our schools, community organizations and the city work together to provide both educational opportunities for kids and supports for parents to help them guide their children's language development.  

"The commitment we have made through the Birth to Eight Roadmap is not just as a district, but as a complete city," said Denver Board of Education member Happy Haynes, who co-chaired the Birth to 8 Commission with fellow board member Barbara O'Brien and Erin Brown, executive director of the Mayor's Office of Children's Affairs. "We will make sure our youngest learners are so prepared -- from the moment they are born to the day they head to higher education -- that they will achieve their full potential."

Watch this video to see Denver Public Schools announce the Birth to Eight Roadmap.
Watch this video to see Denver Public Schools announce the Birth to Eight Roadmap.
The Birth to Eight Roadmap has five guiding principles: Engaged and supported families, effective professionals, citywide culture of language and literacy, shared leadership, and continuous improvement.
Families clearly are our first and most important partners in the education of our children, and we're committed to providing them with important opportunities like early screenings, speech-language therapy, home visits and playgroups to support their children's educational development, starting at birth.

All of that helps build throughout our city a culture of language and literacy, supported by shared leadership at the state and local levels, with a commitment to continually finding ways to improve the services we're providing to our families.

That's the roadmap to success for every child. It's a map with no gaps in opportunities, no disadvantages based on zip code or demographics. It's not an easy road. It takes a lot of commitment, a community of partnerships, serious investments in resources and talent, and a lot of hard work.

But it's absolutely essential to giving all of our children the early-literacy development they need to be ready to succeed when they walk into their first preschool classroom, when they sit down to read their novel and when they take that first step off the graduation stage toward the great future they see ahead for themselves.

Best,
Tom

Pictured above, from left to right: Happy Haynes, DPS Board of Education member and Birth to Eight Roadmap co-chair; co-chair Erin Brown, executive director of the Mayor's Office of Children's Affairs; Tom; Dr. Lisa Roy, newly hired DPS executive director of early education, holding her granddaughter.
Students Discuss Civics and Equity with Mayor and Superintendent
In an effort to bring civics to life, South High School teacher Rob Duren invited Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg to talk about equity with nearly 100 civics students at the school in southeast Denver.

During the Q&A session on Wednesday, students quizzed the mayor and superintendent about protesting for equity and what DPS is doing to close the opportunity gap.

"The gaps we see in schools are the gaps we see in society," said Boasberg. "There is no place with more potential to close those gaps than our schools. It is up to us to refuse to let any kid fall behind or fail."

"With protest comes great responsibility," said Hancock. "It is courageous to bring about change, especially when you are willing to roll-up your sleeves and take a seat at the table where change is made."

Watch the DPS Features video on YouTube and Vimeo.  
Concerns Prompt Clown Costume, Makeup Ban
DPS is one of several school districts across the country taking the precaution of banning all clown masks and makeup from our school, school grounds and athletic facilities during this Halloween season. A number of Colorado schools have reported online threats of violence by clowns in recent weeks.
     
Our Department of Safety has been working with Denver police to investigate all reports of suspicious activity. At this time, there are no credible threats in DPS; however, the anxiety and fear are real. Because safety is our priority, the district is banning all clown masks and clown makeup. Our hope is that this effort also minimizes any concerns about this issue that our students, families and educators may have.
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