Feb. 1, 2018
Garden Place Academy's Julio Martinez showcases our value of Students First.
A Note from the Superintendent: CollaboRATE Results Are In!
Dear Team DPS,
 
Supt. Tom Boasberg
Earlier this month, more than 9,500 members of Team DPS -- 76% of you -- shared your voice and let us know how we're doing as a district and as leaders through the annual CollaboRATE employee engagement survey. I'm excited to share that the results are in, and they show some areas of significant growth for Team DPS and some opportunities to improve.
 
We saw many positive increases on questions relating to equity and inclusion this year. When asked if diversity and inclusiveness are appreciated and encouraged at DPS, team members shared a 4-point improvement over 2017, increasing to 77% of participants agreeing or strongly agreeing. In a new question this year, we also found that 81% of respondents believe that their school or department is an inclusive place to work. We celebrate these gains and also acknowledge that the gap remains very wide for many of our educators of color. With this in mind, we continue to make diversity, equity and inclusion a priority in our district.
 
We found that team members continue to be engaged and enjoy their work at their school and department and at DPS overall.
  • Overall DPS engagement is 76%, a 1-point increase from 2017.
  • 88% of participants said their job has a positive impact on DPS.
  • 87% shared they enjoy their work at their school or department.
  • 90% of team members find their job to be challenging and interesting.
 
Finally, as part of CollaboRATE, every DPS educator gets to provide feedback on their supervisor. Our leaders continue to receive strong ratings
, and over the last six years, overall principal leader effectiveness has jumped from 62% to 82%!
 
Along with what we're doing well, the CollaboRATE survey also highlighted areas that we must continue to improve. Although we had gains in both feeling valued as an employee of DPS (up one point to 62%) and personal wellbeing (up four points to 58%), we need to deepen our focus to ensure that all team members feel that DPS values them and prioritizes their personal wellbeing.
 
Our leaders take your feedback very seriously (it's also a part of every leader's performance evaluation), and we expect every leader to share the overall results, feedback they received and their action steps with their teams. I encourage you to engage in these conversations so we can continue to improve Our DPS.

We are a learning organization -- not only for our students, but for our team members as well. Thank you to everyone who participated and shared their voice to provide this valuable
insight. Read DPS' results here, and email DPScollaborate@dpsk12.org if you have any questions.
 
Best,
Tom
Top 5: What's Your Favorite Shared Core Value?
By living our Shared Core Values -- Students First, Integrity, Equity, Collaboration, Accountability and Fun -- we are all working together to reach our vision that Every Child Succeeds. We asked which value resonates most with you and -- not surprisingly -- every response pointed back to our kids! The Top 5 are below, and congratulations to our giveaway prize winner,  Jeannette Martinez-Yackel at West Leadership Academy!

5. "Students First is at the core of my teaching values. If we approach everything by thinking of students' needs, abilities and best interests first, everything else eventually falls into place. At the end of the day, it's why we're all here." -- Matthew Easterwood, Pascual LeDoux Academy
 
4. " If every person in this district made an effort to put our Students First, it would change the lives of so many kids. " -- Elyse Gentry, Whittier ECE-8

3. " The value of Equity resonates most with me. I believe all students deserve a high-quality education, regardless of their background or the neighborhood they live in. Our team treats every child and family with the respect, care and attention they deserve. " -- Blaire Baldwin, Math & Science Leadership Academy

2. " Collaboration is how we get everything done at North High School. Without Collaboration there would be no way to truly put Students First! " -- Kate Berger, North High School

1. " Students First sums up all the other values. We Collaborate for the benefit of our students. Integrity and Equity are about wanting what is best for our kids. We hold ourselves and each other accountable to consistently keep an eye on the ball for our students. And Fun? Well, our kids make our jobs fun. It's all about them! " --
Jeannette Martinez-Yackel , West Leadership Academy
Top 5 Callout: Why are Your School Counselors the Best?
National School Counseling Week is Feb. 5-9 -- and it's our opportunity to recognize the tremendous impact our  school counselors have on our kids. Tell us why your school counselors are the best, and how they're putting Students First. Send your responses to newsletters@dpsk12.org. We'll choose the Top 5, and one person will win a giveaway prize. 

Join DPS Belong for the Spring Kickoff Event
Join the Culture, Equity and Leadership Team from 4:45-8 p.m. Feb. 7 in the North High School cafeteria for the DPS Belong spring kickoff.  DPS Belong groups are intentional spaces for people with similar backgrounds, beliefs and experiences to gather, celebrate and create community.  If you're interested in joining a Belong group, come to the spring kickoff to meet current members, learn about the work being done and find the right group for you. Dinner will be provided, so please RSVP using the link below. 
 
Save the Date for February's Equity-based Programs
Strengthen your commitment to Equity by attending these upcoming programs:
  • ED Talk: Students Speaking Up (Feb. 6)Join part two of our three-part series focused on belonging. Hear from our students on what it means to belong -- in DPS, in the community and in life -- through spoken word performances, personal stories and more during this afterschool event at Bruce Randolph. Click here for more information and to RSVP. 
  • Equity Boot Camp: Becoming a Trauma Informed District (Feb. 13 or 14)Two dates are available for this Equity Boot Camp session focused on unpacking what means to be a trauma-informed district and how to operate from a trauma-informed lens. Click here for more information and to register.
Living Our DPS Honoree

Jessica Dominguez
Senior Team Lead, 
Columbian Elementary
Accountability

"Jessica Dominguez is an incredible Denver Public Schools employee who embodies all of our Shared Core Values. However, her Accountability is what really shines through. As a co-worker, Jessica is always keeping herself accountable to her word and following up with others to make sure they are accountable for their commitments. As our early literacy specialist last year, she helped our school make tremendous growth through her tireless work in kindergarten, first and second grade. 

Jessica's commitment to our teachers, students and community helps us continue to grow from our success and capitalize on our next steps. Because of her Accountability to herself and others, our school earned accomplished ratings for our early literacy scores. Jessica works tirelessly as a first -grade teacher, senior team lead and ILT member. Denver Public Schools is a stronger team and better place to work because of Jessica Dominguez."

-- Madeline Baird, Columbian Elementary

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