Sept. 20, 2018
Friends at Barnum Elementary enjoying a fall afternoon on the playground.
It's Election Time: Employee Do's and Don'ts
With election day just around the corner on Nov. 6 and Colorado voters deciding whether to pass the  Great Schools, Thriving Communities ballot initiative  (also known as Amendment 73), our legal team has compiled a memo to help members of Team DPS know the legal do's and don'ts of election activity.
Here are just a few examples of the clarity provided in the memo:
  • Can I donate my own money or walk in support of a ballot initiative or candidate I believe in? Answer: Yes, as long as it is outside of work time and not using district resources. 
  • Can I collect money from colleagues at work in support of a ballot initiative or candidate? Answer: No.
  • Can I print copies of a flier supporting a ballot initiative or candidate on a school/district copy machine? Even after work hours? Answer: No. 
  • Can I wear a campaign t-shirt, hat or button or display campaign materials at work? Answer: No. 
  • What if someone asks me questions about a ballot initiative or candidate -- can I answer if I'm at work? Answer: Yes, but it's complicated. Look to the memo for guidance.
  • Can I grant my employees paid time off to campaign for a ballot initiative or a candidate?  Answer: No.
  • Can I use district email to advocate for a ballot initiative or candidate? Answer: No.
  • Can I use my personal social media accounts to advocate for a ballot initiative? Answer: Yes
Please read the entire memo so you are informed of our legal rights and expectations as public employees as we head into the election season.

Top 5: Fall Favorites
Team DPS is passionate about fall! We received so many submissions about what you love most about this cozy season, it was hard to choose just five. Congratulations to our giveaway winner, Guadalupe Wiedeman at Grant Beacon Middle School! 

5. "Our ACE Connect students start their coffee shop and every Tuesday and Thursday they bring me a cup of my favorite tea." -- Haidee Halvorson, Abraham Lincoln High School 

4. "I know autumn has arrived when the farmers markets, my neighborhood in Aurora, and popups on Federal begin roasting peppers in earnest. It is a cozy and warming fragrance that makes my heart sing for changing of the seasons." -- Anita Murano, University Park Elementary
3. "Running in crisp, cool weather over crunchy leaves and under blue skies." -- Jennifer Gaff, Sabin World Elementary

2. "Football, fall decorations, cooler weather and the snow-covered mountains." -- Ashlee Workman, Inspire Elementary

1. "The excitement on my kids' faces because Halloween is coming." -- Guadalupe Wiedeman, Grant Beacon Middle School

Top 5 Callout: Your First Job
Whether it was waiting tables, walking dogs or scooping ice cream, we want to hear stories of your first job. Fill out this form and tell us about your very first job and be entered to win a giveaway! 
Share Your Voice and Join a Superintendent Search Community Meeting 
The board wants to hear from all members of Team DPS on their hopes and dreams for the future of the district and the qualities and characteristics that are most important in the next superintendent.  All DPS team members are welcome to attend one of the upcoming community engagement meetings:
  • 10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Montbello Recreation Center multipurpose room, 15555 E. 53rd Ave.
  • 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, at the Hiawatha Davis Recreation Center community room, 3334 Holly St.
  • 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, at South High School, 1700 E. Louisiana St.
  • 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, at West Campus (library), 951 Elati St.
  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, North Campus, 2960 Speer Blvd.
Create a Team and Register for the Health Trails Challenge
Are you up for a six-week wellness challenge? Gather your teammates and  register for the DPS Health Trails Challenge. You'll be entered to win prizes throughout the program! 

The goal is to travel 300-plus virtual miles by recording at least 30 minutes of exercise, eating five produce servings and expressing gratitude daily for five days a week. Add to your mileage by taking the daily "Tip Test." Aim for at least 50 miles a week to achieve the goal in six weeks.

Review Revised Purchasing Thresholds
If you have purchasing responsibilities for your team, take note! DPS is modifying its purchasing thresholds in response to changes in Federal Grant Guidelines. Effective immediately, purchases under $10,000 will be allowed on the Purchasing Card (p-card) and no price quotations are needed. For more information, please review the Purchasing Threshold Summary

If you have questions, email
Discount Alert: Westword Feast
Members of Team DPS can purchase discounted tickets to Westword's annual Feast event from 12-3 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 30, at the McNichols Building. Sample tasty snacks and beverages from restaurants at this annual celebration of Denver's restaurant scene. 

To purchase your discounted ticket, go to, click on "Buy Tickets!" then click "Buy Offer" and enter the promo code teacher

Perks at Work: DPS is Contributing More to Your Medical Benefits
As part of our commitment to supporting your health and well-being, DPS is now contributing more to your medical benefits. Since July 1, we are contributing an additional $120 per year ($5 per paycheck) to your Health Savings Account (HSA). 

If you cover dependent children on your medical plan, we are contributing an additional $372 per year ($15.50 per paycheck) to offset the cost of your premiums. 

Questions? Email

Living Our DPS Honoree
Calarri Cox
Program Manager, Teacher Leadership & Collaboration
"Calarri Cox lives our Shared Core Value of Accountability every day. She is the link that holds us all accountable to ensuring the hard work of Equity is transferred into our daily work.

Calarri has been working diligently behind the scenes to ensure our various departments have the tools and resources we need to support the work around Culturally Responsive Education (CRE). Calarri backwards plans like no one I have ever known and models the importance of Collaboration during the entire process. As if that were not enough, she also helps lead the TLC work around onboarding and training of Senior Team Leads (STL) and ensures their needs are met and they are prepared to take on their new role. If you have been a part of an excellent presentation recently, it is highly likely that Calarri was the wizard behind the curtain making everything happen. Her brain is wired specifically for this work and I am thankful she chooses to use her gifts and talents as part of Team DPS!"
-- Jennifer Harris, Growth and Performance Team 
Denver Public Schools sends all district newsletters and critical employee communications through Constant Contact. Please do not unsubscribe your email address from any message; if you unsubscribe from one newsletter or one communication, you will be removed from all other district-managed email lists in Constant Contact. If a specific message doesn't interest you, simply delete it and stay tuned for a future communication that will be of more interest. If you have any questions, please email