Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016
Students at McKinley-Thatcher satisfy their curiosity by exploring a globe.
CollaboRATE: Only One Week Left to Participate!
Sharyn Guhman, Chief Information Officer for the Department of Technology Services (DoTS)
There is only one week left to take our CollaboRATE survey! Every year, we hear stories from team members and leaders about how they used their CollaboRATE results to make positive changes within their departments or schools. Here is one example of how CollaboRATE results were used to improve culture on a central support team.
 
"On the first CollaboRATE survey in 2013, 71% of the Department of Technology Services (DoTS) team members reported being engaged. Sharyn Guhman had been Chief Information Officer (CIO) for less than a year and knew there was room for improvement. Employee culture -- strong or weak -- directly correlates to employee satisfaction and the ability to achieve our vision, Every Child Succeeds.
 
"Aligning to John Kotter's Model for Organizational Change, Sharyn started a journey with the department to build a coalition and case for change. She engaged and empowered the team while communicating the need for improvement. Throughout this journey, DoTS leveraged CollaboRATE as a powerful tool to monitor its evolving culture and drive focus to areas important to the team. We were happy to see in 2015 that 84% of DoTS team members reported being engaged; a gain of 13 percentage points from where the team started."
- Robin Stehle, Deputy Chief Information Officer, DoTS
DPS Takes Proactive Steps on Overtime Eligibility
On Nov. 22, a federal judge ordered a preliminary injunction that will delay the implementation of the new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which governs federal minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. It was originally scheduled to be effective Dec. 1., 2016. DPS is committed to ensuring fair pay for all employees and is supportive of the plan to raise the salary threshold under which employees are eligible to earn overtime. Even though the status of the federal plan is uncertain, DPS is moving forward with its plan to implement the requirements of the FLSA. This decision is in alignment with our Shared Core Values of Integrity, Equity and Accountability. We have taken steps to raise salaries for some employees and made others eligible to earn overtime. While we are committed to creating an environment that supports work-life balance, we realize there are times when overtime is necessary and we want to ensure that our employees are appropriately compensated for this time.
Principal Baruti Kafele Will Lead Dec. 8 "ED Talk" on Culturally Responsive Education 
Principal Baruti Kafele will give an "ED Talk" on Culturally Responsive Education.
The Culture, Equity and Leadership Team's (CELT) "ED Talks" are designed to bring educators and community together to discuss issues affecting our schools and to help us learn from each other in pursuit of our district vision, Every Child Succeeds
The series was created following the  recent report by Dr. Sharon Bailey  documenting race and equity issues in our schools.
 
The next scheduled speaker is Principal Baruti Kafele, a teacher and principal who led urban school turnarounds before becoming a nationally-known speaker, writer and consultant. Principal Kafele will speak on Culturally Responsive Education from 5 to 7:30 p.m Thursday, Dec. 8 at Manual High School. Read his bio here and register for the event here Additional speakers include Dr. Steve Perry  on " Education Truth " in February. Stay tuned for more!
Win a Giveaway! Top 5 Photo Call-out: Send Us Your Favorite Thanksgiving Break Photos
Whether you're cooking, traveling or enjoying a quiet staycation, we want you to share photos from your Thanksgiving break. Send us your selfies, your food photos, your travel pics -- we want to see the fun! Email us at  newsletters@dpsk12.org and we'll choose the Top 5 responses for the Dec. 8 newsletter. Then, we'll select one winner to receive a giveaway!
The Commons: Check Out Our New Department Directory and More Resources
We recently added more than 60 department sites to DPS' social intranet, The Commons. Within these sites, you can easily find key internal resources -- contacts, organization charts, document libraries and more! Check out our new department directory here or on the main navigation of The Commons to access these department sites, including: 
  • Department of Technology Services (DoTS)
  • Facility Management
  • Family and Community Engagement (FACE)
  • Professional Learning Center
  • Transportation
Is your department missing? Contact The Commons team to find out how to add a department, or check our homepage each week to see what new resources are being added to the site.
Give to Team DPS by 1 p.m. Friday and Win Concert Tickets 
Maria Lomeli, winner of two tickets to The Fray concert
If you participate in the DPS Foundation's annual employee giving campaign, I Give for Team DPS, by 1 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 2, you could win
tickets to two concerts -- the sold out Sing It To Me Santa concert featuring Michael Franti on Dec. 10, and Decadence on Dec. 30.  The DPS Foundation, DPS' fundraising partner, works to support all schools and to benefit all students. The foundation generates resources, builds relationships and champions public education to impact system-wide achievement. It also provides classroom grants for teachers each semester.
 
Congratulations to the winner of The Fray concert tickets, Maria Lomeli, who works with federal grants for DPS . No contribution is necessary to win. For more information, click here
Be a Mentor: Become an AVID Tutor
Become an Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) tutor and be a mentor to one of our kids! AVID tutors are dedicated to lifelong learning, and assist AVID students in developing integrity and self-respect. Tutors are needed to volunteer at various middle and high schools on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays, and are needed throughout the school day, depending on the location. Visit www.avid.org to familiarize yourself with the AVID philosophy and mission. Then, get started by completing an AVID Tutor Interest Form. Additional application materials are required and will be made available once the interest form is returned. All non-DPS employee volunteers are required to submit to a background check coordinated by the DPS Office of Volunteer Services before school placement by the AVID District Director can occur. Please share this announcement with friends and family interested in a great DPS volunteer opportunity.  
Invite Parents to the Dec. 8 Superintendent Parent Forum to Discuss College and Career Readiness 
Superintendent Tom Boasberg
The December Superintendent Parent Forum is an opportunity for parents at your school to engage with Superintendent Tom Boasberg on the following topics:
  • The Denver Plan 2020 goal of College and Career Readiness
  • New graduation requirements
  • How to know if your child is on the right path to graduation
  • 2016 Bond and Mill Levy next steps
Register online here. Interpretation, meals and childcare (for ages 3 to 12) will be provided for free. If you have questions, email face_events@dpsk12.org or contact Nelvis Alvarez at 720-423-3135. The forum will be from 9:15 to 11:15 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 8 at Temple Emanuel, 51 Grape St., Denver. 

Afterward, the English Language Acquisition District-wide Advisory Committee (ELA-DAC) board meeting will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. ELA parents who were nominated as board members will meet to discuss DPS commitments to equity and inclusion, shared goals and receive additional updates. All ELA families are invited to attend this session.
Benefits Terms Giveaway: $15 Gift Card
Here's what you've been waiting for. We've "decoded" four benefits terms in our Team DPS Weekly newsletters, starting in the Sept. 29 edition. Now's your chance to win a $15 gift card from some of the following vendors: Amazon, iTunes, REI, Target and more! All you have to do for a chance to win is email us the correct answer to the following question: 

What is: an online medical consultation with a Kaiser Permanente Advice Call Center Registered Nurse for non-urgent medical conditions?

Send the correct answer to newsletters@dpsk12.org, and one person will be randomly selected to win a $15 gift card!

Congratulations to Valeria Nevarez-Varela at Barnum Elementary School, last week's winner of a $15 gift card!
Living Our DPS Honoree:
Ellie Foust
Senior Team Lead and Seventh Grade Teacher, Denver Discovery School
Fun

Denver Discovery School's Ellie Foust lives our Shared Core Value of Fun.
You can count on Denver Discovery School's Ellie Foust to bring our Shared Core Value of Fun to the classroom. Whether she's partnering with Denver Botanic Gardens or the Denver Zoo, her lessons are always exciting!

Nominate  one of your colleagues to be featured as a Living Our DPS honoree, and read more about Ellie Foust's commitment to Fun!

"Denver Discovery School's Ellie Foust radiates Fun, positivity and excitement in and out of the classroom. Our principal has described her as 'magical' and that is an understatement. She creates meaningful projects for her students and leads them with energy and charisma. For example, Ellie created a project for our students where they were asked to design a plot of land outside our school that would educate students and better the community. She works hard to bring in authentic audiences and speakers from organizations like Bluff Lake and Denver Botanic Gardens. During our adaptations unit in seventh grade science, Ellie worked very closely with the Denver Zoo to provide our students with purposeful investigations. She is full of exciting ideas to help bring fun and excitement to the classroom"
- Heidi Roth, Denver Discovery School
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