Polaris teacher Katie Ray and her nine-year-old daughter, Avery, pose in the masks they learned to make together. See more of the amazing DIY masks from around DPS below!
April 23, 2020
Open Enrollment is Live: Take Action Today!
Benefits Open Enrollment is happening now through May 8 , and benefits-eligible team members must take action and enroll in or waive benefits.

Even though we aren’t together in our schools and offices, we are here to help you choose the best benefits for you. Check out these virtual resources to support you in making your choices:

  •  Virtual Enrollment Toolkit, where you can sign up for virtual one-on-ones with a benefits specialist, chat with vendors and access recorded and live webinars with Aetna and Kaiser.

  •  How-to Guide for enrolling in or waiving on the benefits enrollment site.

We will be giving away $50 prizes each week to team members who take early action. The earlier you complete your enrollment, the more chances you have to win!

As a reminder, any benefits-eligible employees who do not take action during open enrollment will be auto-enrolled in the Aetna 3500 CDHP plan, a Health Savings Account (HSA) and Sick Leave Bank.
Register for a Virtual Self-Care Workshop
Save the date for 10-11:30 a.m.  May 4 to t ake part in an upcoming virtual workshop, "Thriving as an Intentional Action," which is focused on how our new reality creates an opportunity for a different perspective on self-care. The Zoom conference will also include an optional question and answer period from 11:30 a.m.-noon. Click here to register for the course.  
Team Member Perspective: How DPS' Employee Assistance Program Can Support You
Taking time to care for yourself is always important and can be essential during these challenging times. We want to ensure all members of Team DPS know about the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which provides free and confidential services, including counseling sessions, work-life solutions, legal support, financial information and more.   Learn more about all of the benefits available through EAP by visiting The Commons.
" My job allows me to see the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows. The downers range from managing folks who disagree with our snow day decisions to writing messages to families about student deaths. Those lows wear on me. Our Employee Assistance Program helps me endure.

These confidential conversations with kind, caring and compassionate counselors have brought me out of tough places and helped me heal. Instead of dumping negative baggage on my family, I give it all to EAP counselors. These advisers always remind me that, whatever is going on, 'this too shall pass.'"
-- Will Jones, Director of External Communications 
Do you have a story you would like to share about how our EAP program has supported you? Let us know!
Top 5: DIY Masks Around DPS
We asked Team DPS to share your latest in mask fashion, and your responses were heartfelt and inspiring!

Check out the Top 5 here and view the entire photo gallery -- be sure to click the "I" information button in the top left of the gallery for a description of each photo. 
5. "I've been making masks for friends, family and colleagues in exchange for donations to Food Bank of the Rockies. My sewing machine and supplies had been gathering dust for years -- now I've got a new hobby, I'm protecting my community and we've raised almost $250 to help our vulnerable kids get the food they need during this pandemic!"
-- Eliza Eaton-Stern, Denver Green School
4. "My wife Amanda, who is a dental hygienist, has been home a lot more lately and has made custom masks for our friends and family near and far. Her masks are now donning the faces of our first responders at UCHealth and Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles." -- Adam Creapo, Northfield
3. "When I was going through my scrap box to make masks, I was delighted to find some Eric Carle fabric. I can still feel like an ECE teacher even when I'm at home!"
-- Betsy Keith, Colfax
2. "I bought a stack of fabric to make masks, and gave some to an elderly friend and one to my husband, who is a judge. He wears it to and from court, and came home one day asking 'Are these bunnies?' Yes. Yes they are."
-- Barbara Laff, Gust
1. "I lost my Dad a couple of years ago to Alzheimer's. I used his bandana to make a mask, so I could get a little extra protection from above."

-- Heather Walton, KCAA
Top 5 Callout: Funny 'Co-Worker' Stories From Home
As we continue to do our part and practice social-distancing, many members of Team DPS are sharing their workspace at home with new "coworkers." We want to hear your stories of how it's going with your new office mates -- whether they're your children, family or pets! We look forward to the fun stories and photos of the newest members of Team DPS.
Poll Results: Where Would You Rather Quarantine?
Even The Lumineers and fresh Colorado peaches couldn't beat out comfort food like pizza -- but it was close!
House 1 -- Lindsey Vonn, Nolan Arenado, One Republic, and Colorado-style Pizza

House 2 -- Missy Franklin, Duane "Dog" Chapman, Von Miller, and Pueblo Chile

House 3 -- Phillip Lindsay, The Fray, Amy Adams, and Bison Burgers

House 4 -- Molly Brown, Nathaniel Rateliff, Tim Allen, and Rocky Mountain Oysters

House 5 -- John Elway, The Lumineers, Chauncey Billups, and Palisade Peaches
Protect Yourself from Gift Card Fraud
The DoTS Information Security (InfoSec) team recently learned that gift card fraud has been on the rise in the past two months and has some tips for members of Team DPS to protect themselves from this type of fraud.

Scammers often start a simple conversation with wording like "Hi," "Are you available?" or "Urgent," and the email appears to be from your principal, manager or friend. They engage a conversation, convince you to purchase a gift card and share the card or its information.

Remember these tips to stay safe:
  • Only trust messages from DPS email addresses. DPS email addresses end with "@dpsk12.org" or "@dpsk12.net". 
  • Your principal would not contact you with their personal mail, so check the email address and not just the name.
  • Any email with a subject line including "[EXT]" is not from a DPS email address.
  • If you receive a suspicious request, email or call your school leader, use the Report Phish button in Outlook, or forward the email to reportphish@dpsk12.org and DoTS will investigate.
New Process for Purchasing Technology
If you have purchasing responsibilities for your team, take note! Beginning May 1, DPS will no longer use Dell Computer for technology purchases. Instead, we will now be ordering from DHE Computer Systems, Inc.

Requisitions will follow the "punch out" process, which has the look and feel of an online shopping experience. To access the new DHE order page, simply log in to the requisition center as usual.

Find complete instructions for this simplified process on the Requisition Center/Purchase Order page on The Commons. To request a quote for DHE products, email Merry Hammack at dpspurchasing@dhecs.com. If you have additional questions, email strategicsourcing@dpsk12.org.
Living Our DPS Honorees
With so many team members stepping up during these times, we will be showcasing two Living Our DPS honorees each week to spotlight all the amazing work happening across the city. Team DPS is rising to the challenge and living our Shared Core Values like never before. Congratulations and thank you to this week’s honorees! 
Maria Cruz
Facilities Manager, McMeen
Students First
 Equity
"Maria embodies many DPS Shared Core Values. For example, she put Students First by staying hours past her shift with our technology specialist at McMeen so all students could pick up their computers on distribution day. Maria also assisted with sanitizing cords and Chromebooks, modeling our Shared Core Value of Equity through her understanding that all students need access to the necessary tools to learn remotely. Additionally, Maria always has a smile on her face and willingness in her heart. Thank you, Maria, for making a stressful time less so and for your willingness to ensure all DPS students have what they need to learn."
-- B.A. Lofton, DoTS
Jason Rand
Director of Client and Field Services, DoTS
Students First
"Jason has been working around the clock to lead the team that is ensuring all DPS students have access to the technology they need for remote learning. I’m not sure of the last day off he's had since March 13 -- if at all. Whether it's setting up hot spots, coordinating and distributing devices, working with vendors to expedite shipments, or ensuring all remote learning platforms work and are safe for our students, he's done it all. Our students would not have the access to the devices they need to learn without Jason. He is showing what it means to put Students First."
-- DoTS Field Services Team
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