Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017
On our annual CollaboRATE survey, DPS scored well on how we communicate our vision to our teams.
A Note from the Superintendent: CollaboRATE Results are in!
Dear Team DPS:
This December, more than 9,200 members of Team DPS -- 73% 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.
Superintendent Tom Boasberg
Most impressive this year was the team's connection to our vision, Every Child Succeeds. When asked if DPS has communicated a vision of the future, and if the DPS vision is motivating to me, team members shared an impressive 17-point improvement over 2015, jumping to 71% of participants agreeing or strongly agreeing (up from 54% in 2015). Our vision is at the core of all the work do, and it's exciting to see more team members connecting to that vision to stay motivated in their work.
Additionally, Team DPS members once again shared that they are engaged in their work and that they feel they're making a difference, with scores on par with those of the 2015 survey:
  • 89% of participants said their job has a positive impact on DPS
  • 84% shared they enjoy their work at DPS
  • 90% of team members find their job to be challenging and interesting
Finally, as part of CollaboRATE, every DPS educator gets to give feedback to and rate their supervisor, which is a very important source of feedback. Our leaders continue to receive strong ratings, especially our Teacher Leaders, who were given an overall 89% effective rating by the teachers they lead.
Along with what we're doing well, the CollaboRATE survey also highlighted areas that we must continue to improve. For the first time this year, the survey asked about our Denver Plan 2020 goals and if team members are aware of what we're doing to achieve them. Sixty-eight percent of participants said they are aware of what's being done to ensure our kids are college and career ready, while only 58% know what we're doing to achieve Great Schools in Every Neighborhood. We need to do a better job of sharing our work in these areas so everyone is aware of and a part of this important work.
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 feedback they received and their action steps in response with their teams. Thank you to our leaders for your openness in receiving this feedback and taking action to improve upon it when needed. We are committed to making DPS the best place to work so that every member of the team knows they're valued and empowered, and in turn can best support our kids.
Schools and departments are beginning to share results for both the district and school level. I encourage you to engage in these conversations so we can together build new ideas and solutions for improvements.
DPS is a learning organization -- not only for our students, but for our team members as well. Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey and shared their voice to provide this valuable insight. 
Join Team DPS Members Marching in Monday's Marade 
Please consider joining Denver Board of Education members, Superintendent Tom Boasberg and other members of Team DPS as we march during Denver's Marade honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, Jan. 16. 
Tom, who marches annually in the Marade, said 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."
To participate on Monday:
  • By 9 a.m., meet at the front entrance of East High School -- "at the E" -- at 16th and Esplanade. Begin walking to City Park at 9:15 a.m.
  • A program, including the laying of the wreath at the MLK "I have a Dream" memorial, begins at 9:30 a.m.
  • At 10:30 a.m., begin lining up for walk together to Civic Center Park.
Learn more about the Marade on this city webpage 
Resources to Support DPS' Shared Core Values Week Jan. 16-20
The week of Jan. 16-20, DPS is encouraging schools to incorporate existing instruction or plan new events and activities around our DPS Shared Core Values each day of the week. Of course, we encourage you to incorporate our Shared Core Value of Fun in all activities:
  • Monday, Jan. 16 -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day -- Equity. While schools will be closed in observance of the holiday, we encourage discussion of this day in concert with our Shared Core Value of Equity.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 17 -- Integrity
  • Wednesday, Jan. 18 -- Collaboration
  • Thursday, Jan. 19 -- Accountability
  • Friday, Jan. 20 -- Inauguration Day -- Students First
To support you, we have compiled a collection of resources by Shared Core Value, grade level and complexity of activity in this spreadsheet.   
We encourage you to share how your school and students are participating in Values Week here, and by using the hashtags #teamDPS, #DPSvalues and #StudentsFirst in social media posts.
Use the New 2017 Employee Reimbursement Form
The 2017 Employee Reimbursement Form is now available. Please use this updated form -- which reflects the IRS' new mileage rates -- for all reimbursements on miles driven on and after Jan. 1, 2017. The 2016 form should continue to be used for reimbursement requests for miles driven prior to Jan. 1, 2017. Both forms can be found on the Accounts Payable Forms page on The Commons. 
New Year, New You: Check Out Employee Wellness Offerings
Shanna Hubbard at Smith Elementary completed the fall Passport Wellness Challenge. 
DPS Employee Wellness supports your wellness goals. Whether it's joining a gym, mindfulness, losing weight or planning your finances, we have resources to support your total well-being! 
Visit the Wellness section on The Commons
to learn more about our programs, including gym discounts.   
Shanna Hubbard, a Smith Elementary teacher, participated in the fall Passport Wellness Challenge. " [The challenge]  really made me evaluate my eating, exercising and sleeping habits. I didn't  realize how different my body feels when I give it the three components c onsistently. I lost five pounds through this journey and I rediscovered my love for  exercising. Thank you!" Check out the Wellness calendar on The Commons to register for Wellness opportunities!
It's Your Last Chance to Get Discounted Avalanche Tickets
Join Team DPS on Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. at the Pepsi Center to see the Avalanche take on the San Jose Sharks. Tickets start  at $28 and each ticket comes with an exclusive Avalanche-Team DPS puck. Also, a portion of every ticket sold benefits DPS schools!  Purchase tickets here.
Discount Alert: Save 20% on Tickets to 'Fun Home' and More!
The Denver Center for Performing Arts (DCPA) is offering 20% off select seats at select shows this season, including the 2015 Tony Award winning Best Musical," Fun Home." You can also check out discounts on seats to " The Christians," " Two Degrees," Motown The Musical" and " Circus 1903 -- The Golden Age of Circus." Click here for more information on DCPA's discount for members of Team DPS.
Living Our DPS Honoree:
Alise Lawrence
School Technology Coordinator, Cory Elementary
Students First

Alise Lawrence lives our Shared Core Value of Students First.
Putting Students First means giving students the tools and resources they need to succeed and advance. That's exactly what Alise Lawrence did at Cory Elementary to help one student thrive.
"Alise Lawrence is a wonderful school technology representative at Cory Elementary who always puts Students First. Recently, Alise saw a troubled student struggling at recess and she took it upon herself to do something. Alise conferred with the student's teachers to develop strategies and techniques to help him socially, and then focused on making a positive connection with him. Every day she seeks out the student and works with him on incremental steps to improve his recess and grow his social circle -- and it's working! The student is learning valuable social skills and has become a more positive student in the classroom. He used to come in the classroom with anger related to his negative social interactions; now he comes in with a positive attitude, ready to work! Thank you to Alise for putting Students First and making a huge difference in the life of a troubled fourth grader!"
- Sara Laughlin, Cory Elementary

Nominate one of your colleagues to be featured as a Living Our DPS honoree.
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