Friday, Nov. 18, 2016
 What We're Thankful For
Dear DPS Community,
Supt. Tom Boasberg
 
One of the very best parts of my job is the opportunity every day to be with our kids. They are remarkably resilient, hardworking and joyful. As we prepare for our Thanksgiving break, I wanted to share what some of our kids, from the very youngest to those nearing graduation, say they're grateful for:

"I am thankful that many people, besides me, have water and food. It's not just about me."  -- Tate, first-grade

"I'm thankful for the food that the lunch ladies make. I am also thankful that we have forks and spoons to eat with. Oh, and the milk! And our water fountains at school so that I can stay alive!" -- Jeikob, first-grade
 
"I am thankful for my family because I love them and they love me!" -- Torri, first-grade

"I'm thankful that I get to spend the night at my Grandma's house sometimes because she lets me play games on her phone." -- Xzaivier, first-grade

"I give thanks to the mitochondria for producing energy inside my cells." -- Miguel, high school 

"I'm thankful for having a place to live and the opportunity to study." -- Fransee, high school

"I'm thankful for a new day." -- Iván, high school 

"I'm thankful for always having my friends by my side." --  Yesenia, high school

"I give thanks for having the opportunity to be educated in the United States and for having a united family." -- Yoana, high school

Best,
Tom

Pictured above: Students from Marie L. Greenwood Academy participated in the school's annual Turkey Trot run.
DPS Board Unanimously Approves Resolution Reinforcing Schools are Safe Spaces for All Kids
DPS board members on Thursday cited concerns they've heard from students and families in unanimously approving a resolution reinforcing the district's commitment that all schools are safe spaces for all kids. 

Board Member Happy Haynes said the resolution tells students "that we stand united with them."

"I have heard heartbreaking stories about the fear and anxiety our children and their families are feeling," she said. "I think this effort of ours is to wrap our arms around our teachers and families and students, who should be focusing on learning and not about their basic safety in our community."

Added Board Member Lisa Flores:  "This resolution is not about political affiliation at all. We are in the business of educating our children, and in order to do that, our students need to feel safe, and respected, and that is what this resolution is about."
 
Superintendent Tom Boasberg read aloud the resolution, which underscores the legal right of every child -- regardless of immigration status -- to receive a public education.  "In times like this, our mission is more critical than ever," he said. "We believe education helps bridge our differences and brings us together with respect and understanding rather than fear."
 
Also this week, DPS released an Immigration FAQ for parents and families (also available in Spanish, Arabic and Vietnamese as well as additional languages here).
Denver Police Serve (and Protect) Thanksgiving for DPS Students
Click to watch the video of Denver Police officers serving students at Henry World School.
Denver Police traded handcuffs for hairnets and radios for rubber gloves on Wednesday when they served a Thanksgiving meal to students at Henry World School in southwest Denver.

"Oh, this is great. I love it. It's a great time of year," said Rich Blea, a school resource officer at the Henry Campus, as he scooped turkey and mashed potatoes onto plates for students moving through the cafeteria line.

Blea and other officers also chatted with students and sat down to lunch with them as part of the ongoing effort by the department and DPS to build strong relationships.
You're Invited: Serve on a Bond or Mill Levy Oversight Committee
We couldn't let a Thanksgiving newsletter pass without another Thank You to Denver voters! We are grateful for your support of our kids and our schools. As we begin implementation of our 2016 bond and mill levy measures, we want to ensure you know where to follow along for updates -- bond.dpsk12.org. And we encourage you to serve on one of our robust citizens' oversight committees.

These committees are charged with reporting to the Denver Board of Education and community that funds are spent as originally intended and represented to voters. In forming 2016 oversight committees, we are targeting parents, teachers and community members from across the district who are interested in learning more about these initiatives and serving in these oversight roles. The commitment to be on one of the committees is approximately 7-8 meetings a year, along with occasional school visits. 

To apply to these committees, please fill out the online application form available here (Spanish) and specify whether you are more interested in the bond, the mill levy or both. Applications will be open until Friday, Dec. 16 and applicants will be notified by mid-January. Note that all oversight committee meetings are open to the public. If you have any questions about the committees or application process, please reach out to Dustin_Kress@dpsk12.org
 
Helpful Resources to Prepare for SchoolChoice Season 
SchoolChoice season is here! To assist you in finding the best fit for your child, our 2017-18 enrollment guides are now in schools and online in English and Spanish. These guides include profiles of every DPS school, definitions of different types of programs and responses to questions such as "How are schools rated?" and "What is an enrollment zone?" 

In addition, our Family and Community Engagement (FACE) team has created a guidebook in English and Spanish to help families and students evaluate what is important to them in choosing a school. The guidebook, available on the FACE website, also is available in print through the FACE office and through Choice and Enrollment Centers. For more information, please contact FACE at face@dpsk12.org and/or visit our website to download the new guidebook in English and Spanish.

Remember, Round 1 of SchoolChoice for 2017-18 runs from Jan. 5 to Jan. 31. Be ready on Jan. 5 to fill out the SchoolChoice form online.  If you are new to DPS and wish to participate in online SchoolChoice Round 1 for the 2017-18 school year, you must fill out a Pre-Enrollment Form. Learn more about pre-enrollment here. Be ready on Jan. 5!
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