Friday, Jan. 13, 2017

 When Our Teachers Lead, Our Kids Win
"We don't believe our students can make the academic progress they need to be successful in college and career without investing in the continuous improvement of our teachers' instructional practice.  
 
Dear DPS Community,

Supt. Tom Boasberg
What happens when we ask some of our best teachers to coach and lead other teachers in their schools and extend their impact beyond a single classroom? Something amazing for our teachers and our kids:
 
"It is so powerful to have an effective educator observing me and giving me feedback. I immediately put suggestions she gives me into practice on a regular basis."
 
"I believe that her coaching has made me grow as a teacher each and every day."
 
"Without her as my coach, I would not be as effective as I am in my classroom. She is dedicated to helping me succeed as an educator and I truly value her opinion and presence in my classroom and in our school! She rocks!!!!"
 
Those are just a few of the comments we received recently when we asked our teachers to provide feedback about their leaders who, in the case of our Teacher Leadership & Collaboration model, happen to be other teachers in their schools serving in their roles as Team Leads .
 
This means teachers are receiving their primary coaching and support from their teacher Team Leads in their buildings -- highly effective teachers who know their kids, understand their communities and are still teaching themselves for part of the day.
 
"She is still close to the classroom so her feedback is valuable and immediately implemented. She knows how to coach, and truly coaches to improve teachers' practice."
 
 
Click to watch a video about TLC.
We began implementing Teacher Leadership & Collaboration, or TLC for short, in 2013 and it has expanded to more schools every year. Next year, in 2017-18, TLC will be in nearly every district-run school.
 
Schools craft the leadership model to fit their unique needs but, in general, a TLC school has four to six teacher leaders who each coach , support, lead and evaluate a team of teachers.
 
We invest in TLC because we know that great teachers make a difference for our kids. We don't believe our students can make the academic progress they need to be successful in college and career without investing in the continuous improvement of our teachers' instructional practice.
 
Our focus on TLC has drawn national attention, with more than one in-depth study touting its effectiveness and the U.S. Department of Education selecting Denver to host a national Teach to Lead summit. In March, teachers from Martin Luther King Jr., Early College will present the teacher leadership model in their school at the prestigious South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas.
 
But the best evidence so far that TLC is working comes from our own teachers. This year, 89% of teachers who work in our TLC schools rated their teacher leaders as effective or very effective leaders. More of their comments:
 
"She helps me plan strategically to make sure I am thinking about how to push students to the next level. She is a great listener and always gives me feedback that helps me become better."
 
"I have never had such meaningful feedback."
 
"I am a better teacher because of her leadership."
 
Best,
Tom
 
Pictured above: A senior Team Lead collaborates with her teacher team at High Tech Elementary. 
 
Celebrate the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The DPS community is invited to join
Denver Board of Education members, Superintendent Tom Boasberg, educators and students as they come together Monday, Jan. 16, to commemorate the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the 31st annual MLK Marade.
   
"The goal is for Team DPS to publicly come together and affirm our deep belief in, and support for, Dr. King's ideals of opportunity and equality for all members of our community. These ideals are at the heart of public education," said Boasberg, who marches annually in the Marade.
 
Student groups such as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College drum line, Manual High School basketball team and Denver Center for International Studies at Montbello student leaders will be in attendance during the Marade and at commemorative events around Denver.

Those interested in joining DPS should meet at the front entrance of East High School -- at the "E" -- at 16th and Esplanade. A program, including the laying of the wreath at the MLK "I have a Dream" memorial, begins at 9:30 a.m., followed by a walk to Civic Center Park at 10:30 a.m. Learn more about the Marade on this city webpage.
State Enrollment Data Shows DPS Continues to Grow
Denver Public Schools continues to outpace districts across the state in growth and stand out as one of the fastest-growing school districts in the nation, even as the pace of enrollment increases slows statewide, as shown through enrollment numbers released this week by the Colorado Department of Education.

DPS surpassed neighboring Jefferson County Public Schools three years ago to become Colorado's largest school district. State data shows enrollment in DPS has increased by more than 18,000 students -- or 25% -- since 2007.

"I want to thank our teachers and school leaders for their incredibly hard work in our schools, which is driving these enrollment gains," said DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg.

DPS' official fall 2016 enrollment in grades preschool through 12 is 91,132, an increase of 897 students or 1% over the fall 2015 enrollment count. Colorado's total student enrollment grew 0.7%, the smallest statewide percentage increase since 1989, according to state officials. Learn more. 
School Expos: Find a Great School in Your Neighborhood
To help families find a great school in their neighborhood, DPS will host three separate school expos across the city on Saturday, Jan. 21. The expos will provide families an opportunity to meet with representatives from traditional and charter schools, as well as learn more about the SchoolChoice enrollment process, which is open now through Jan. 31.

The expos will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at the following locations:
  • Evie Dennis Campus (4800 Telluride St., Building 1) in the Far Northeast region
  • Manual High School (1700 E. 28th Ave.) in the Near Northeast region
  • Kepner Campus (911 S. Hazel Court) in the Southwest region
Click here for more information.
COMING UP...

Jan. 16: Schools and DPS offices closed in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Jan. 16: Join Team DPS in the annual Marade

Jan. 23:
DPS Alumni Night with the Colorado Avalanche  
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