Feb. 22, 2018
In Reyes Navarro-Gargallo's kindergarten/first-grade Spanish class at Math and Science Leadership Academy, a sense of belonging is critical to success.
Top 5: How Do You Help Kids Feel Like They Belong?
Our educators strive to make every one of our kids feel valued, safe and connected. We asked how you foster a sense a belonging for our kids. The Top 5 responses are below, and congratulations to our giveaway prize winner, Tara Aronson in Student Equity and Opportunity. 
 
5. "We begin every music class with a community circle. Kids come in, sit in a circle and we take 10 minutes to share out about ourselves through a question of the day and shout out class rock stars for the week.  Classes have created a protocol around respectfully giving everyone a chance to use their voice.  This practice has been amazing for my kids and has contributed to a culture in the music room where students feel that they have a voice and can make a contribution to the group." -- Sara Brunnschweiler, Asbury Elementary
 
4. "At Denver Online, we do a student profile every month. While some are competitive athletes, dancers and models competing and traveling all over the world, others are overcoming health and social/emotional obstacles, volunteering in special ways, working to provide for their families or getting a head start in college through our Concurrent Enrollment Program. They all are unique, but share a similar bond in connecting with a school that honors their personalized needs." -- Kaci Sintek, Denver Online High School
 
3. "I make sure my students feel like they belong through our morning meeting routine.  Every child is greeted and welcomed by me and their peers within the first 15 minutes of our day. Our students are our greatest resource, and I strive to make them all feel included and wanted every day. " --  Madeline Baird, Columbian Elementary
 
2. "In my small reading group at my school, I demonstrate and model respect, kindness and honesty. Children always feel a sense of belonging when they are helped and taught to be helpful and friendly to each other.  Belonging is an everyday practice to make kids feel like they have a place to go to express their feelings no matter what." -- Rashmi Gaitonde, Green Valley Ranch
 
1. "Many of our deaf or hard-of-hearing students are one of just a few -- in some cases the only -- deaf or hard-of-hearing students in their school. To better connect these students to the community, Andrea Steffanich and I have started a peer mentor program that includes one of the deaf or hard-of-hearing 11th-graders at DCIS Montbello. He visits with deaf or hard-of-hearing students at their schools. We plan to have him continue to visit schools so all of our deaf or hard-of-hearing students know they are part of a much larger community!" -- Tara Aronson, Student Equity and Opportunity
Top 5 Callout: Your Favorite Quote from a Dr. Seuss Book
Start every day with "Today is your day!" or live by the words, "The more that you read, the more things you will know"? March 2 is Dr. Seuss' birthday, and if you're a fan, we'd love to hear your favorite notable quote from a Dr. Seuss book. Send it to newsletters@dpsk12.org. We'll select the Top 5 for next week's newsletter, and one person will win a giveaway prize. 

Countdown to Creating Connections Starts Feb. 26
To gear up for the last 
Creating Connections  of the year on March 21, we will be counting down the days with celebrations, giveaways and more! Participate in the fun by answering our Team DPS trivia questions each week, referring others during Refer a Team Member Week and, of course, registering to attend Creating Connections! Participate in any of the activities and be entered to win DPS swag. To see the full countdown schedule and register for Creating Connections,  click below. 

Celebrate a DPS Family Member Today
We know our parents and families' support is key to the success of our students, and Team DPS is lucky to have so many parents and family members going the extra mile in our school communities. If you work with or know a parent or family member in the DPS community who embodies one of our Shared Core Values while supporting our schools, show your appreciation by nominating them for the Family Leadership Award
 
Honorees will be recognized at an upcoming Superintendent Parent Forum. Check out other award opportunities at thecommons.dpsk12.org/nominate. All nominations are due March 23. If you have any questions, email Our_DPSValues@dpsk12.org.
Revamp Your Materials with DPS-branded Templates 
 
Last week, we shared DPS' new
brand standards  with a set of tools and guidelines on how to use our branding elements . To further support our goal of a unified visual brand, we've also created several Word templates to take the stress out of creating one-pagers and fliers. All templates come with pre-set colors, fonts and placeholder photos. Our DPS-branded PowerPoint template offers several slide options to choose from. Easily customize your presentations with template slides, placeholder photos and text boxes that maintain our brand's fonts and colors as you type. Also check out branded letterhead templates available to download as a Word document or PDF, as well as one-pager templates for team members with access to Adobe InDesign. 
 
We encourage everyone to use these new resources whenever possible. Help us maintain a consistent brand across Team DPS and let us make your life easier! If you have questions on these new resources, email marketing@dpsk12.org
Explore or Share Paraprofessional-to-Teacher Pathways
Are you a paraprofessional interested in completing a degree and becoming a DPS teacher? Or do you know a paraprofessional who would make a great teacher? DPS is committed to providing opportunities for paraprofessionals to grow their careers and become classroom teachers. That's why we're offering full scholarship opportunities to incredible paraprofessionals to finish their college degrees while continuing to work with our kids in classrooms.
 
DPS has partnered with Guild Education and Western Governors University, the University of Northern Colorado's Center for Urban Education, and the University of Colorado Denver's NxtGEN Paraeducator program. The Guild application deadline is March 15; all other program deadlines are March 1. Complete your application today! For more information contact Leticia_Levi@dpsk12.org.
Promote DPS and Make Extra Cash through Employee Referral Programs 
Are you someone who is passionate about building relationships, promoting Denver Public Schools and wants to make extra money referring people to the district? You're invited to learn more about the Employee Referral Program and other recruitment initiatives at these upcoming events, all from 5-6:30 p.m.:
  • Monday, Feb. 26, at South High School's library
  • Wednesday, Feb. 28, at the Evie Dennis Campus' West Commons
  • Tuesday, March 6, at Emily Griffith Campus' 14th floor
There will be food, drinks and prizes at the events. RSVP below!
 
Living Our DPS Honoree
 
Seth Lavender
Teacher, Lena Archuleta Elementary
Collaboration
 
"Seth Lavender does a great job of living the Shared Core Value of Collaboration by meeting the needs of students as well as his team's professional needs. He frequently volunteers his planning time to support students in our Affective Needs program, and it is not unusual to see Seth eating lunch with students, tutoring students or offering them emotional support by being a listening ear.
 
Seth supports both new and seasoned teachers by helping them plan engaging lessons for our students. He recently volunteered to attend Balarat, a fifth -grade field trip, for a colleague who was unable to participate. His positive attitude and diligence to ensure everyone succeeds makes him a support like none other. One can honestly say that Seth Lavender truly embodies the Shared Core Value of Collaboration."

-- LaZedrick Jemison, Lena Archuleta Elementary

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