Oct. 14, 2022
DPS students celebrated National Walk and Roll to School Day this week! Learn about becoming a crossing guard in your neighborhood below!
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Update on Declining Enrollment 
Team DPS,

We know that students thrive when their school has the resources to provide consistent staffing, robust academics, whole child support and meaningful enrichment programs. However, due to significant declines in enrollment caused by lower birth rates and a changing housing market, our smallest schools are struggling to offer these critical supports to all students. For the past several years, enrollment has been declining. Denver expects an additional loss of approximately 3,000 students over the next 4 years. Because school funding is primarily based on enrollment, this will result in an annual loss of $36 million to schools across Denver. 

Schools with the biggest drops in enrollment are receiving district subsidized funding to ensure basic programming is provided in order to keep these schools operational. This costs approximately 50% more per student. This additional payment is simply keeping the schools open, without robust programs or student support. Plus, in many cases this requires combining students across multiple grades into a single classroom-as well as cutting support staff to the minimum allowable requirements.

Through the DPS Strategic Roadmap we seek to dismantle the oppressive structures our system perpetuates, and replace them with equitable, transparent systems. We recognize the difficulty of these decisions and commit to humanizing this process beyond what has traditionally happened throughout the nation when school closures and consolidations have needed to take place. We commit to a process that results in schools with increased, sustainable enrollment, by bringing together the students and communities. School consolidation is about bringing communities together to solve for the enrollment decline, not because of school performance concerns, and we will treat them as such. In very rare instances, a small school may need to consolidate within an enrollment zone versus a specific school.

As we shared in September, we are working to determine how to apply the Declining Enrollment Advisory Committee’s (DEAC) criteria for identifying schools for consolidation or closure. In June, the DEAC delivered this robust recommendation to me and my team. Board members will vote on next steps on school consolidation in November. 

In collaboration,

Dr. Alex Marrero

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

Celebrating Black Excellence at the Robert S. Smith Coronation 👑 
Last Friday, Robert F. Smith STEAM Academy held their first Royal Court Coronation. This tradition, modeled after Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), is a wonderful example of how a school can affirm and celebrate student identities and cultivate a strong sense of belonging at school. In our Strategic Roadmap, we commit to consistently providing enhanced learning experiences like these so learners of all identities, ages and abilities across DPS feel a strong sense of belonging. Click here to watch highlights from the crowning ceremony!
DPS Receives an Invite to the White House
Did you know that in order to track the air quality in real time, DPS has placed air quality sensors in every school? DPS was one of two school districts across the country that was invited to the White House! Earlier this week, Superintendent Dr. Marrero had the opportunity to address White House officials regarding changes the district has made to air quality in our schools. Hear more about Dr. Marrero’s visit in this video!
National Walk and Roll to School Day Event ⚠️
DPS students got a bit more exercise this week for National Walk and Roll to School Day! At Trevista at Horace Mann, Dr. Marrero and Senator John Hickenlooper served as celebrity crossing guards to welcome kids to school safely while also drawing attention to the district-wide need for crossing guards. Crossing guards are an integral part of Team DPS, and we deeply appreciate the work they do to make sure Every Learner Thrives.

This event also highlighted the health, sustainability and safety benefits of walking, biking or rolling to school. Our Strategic Roadmap outlines our aim to become a national leader in incorporating more sustainable practices like National Walk and Roll to School Day into our practices and systems. Watch the video to learn more.

Interested in becoming a crossing guard in your neighborhood? Check out careers.dpsk12.org or talk to your local DPS school leader!
Skinner Middle School Celebrates 100 Years 🎉
Happy 100th Birthday to Skinner Middle School! To celebrate this milestone, the school held a ceremony and fall festival where members of the community along with school alumni were in attendance. Watch highlights from the Fall Fest in this video!
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