Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016
Students from Morey Middle School take part in exploratory field trips in this Top 5 first semester memory.
Top 5 First Semester Memories
It has been a memorable first semester! You shared your top moments from the first half of the school year and we chose the Top 5. Congratulations to this week's giveaway winner, Larry Botnick at Summit Academy. 
  1. "Every year, I raise money so I can give Thanksgiving baskets away to some of our families who might not have a Thanksgiving meal.This year, I put together 49 baskets (we have 220 families in our school). After the break, one our students came into my office and thanked me for the Thanksgiving basket. She said this year was her best Thanksgiving ever. She said when they went around table saying what they are thankful, she told them that she was thankful for me. This brought a tear to my eye and I realized that coordinating and raising money for the Thanksgiving baskets was totally worth it."  -- Larry Botnick, Summit Academy
  2. "My favorite memory is seeing students learn how much they are loved and supported through succeeding at something brand new. Friday of the first week of school, Morey took all our kids on exploratory field trips. Sixth-graders went hiking, seventh-graders went stand-up paddleboarding and eighth-graders went rock climbing. Staff and students went out on limbs together and while doing so created positive relationships key to our school feeling like family." - - Darcy Barr, Morey Middle School
  3. "We started a new club called Kids with a Conscience. The students had to come up with a community service project and research how to accomplish it. They collected and delivered 1,693 health and food items to the Colfax Community Network!" -- Katy Hoops and Laura Dellaira, Ashley Elementary School
  4. "My favorite first semester memory was Character Day. Both my school-based teams wore Shared Core Value shirts and modeled Fun and our Personal Success Factor of joy. Each student at Florida Pitt Waller completed a Gratitude project and my Waller Lead Fellows (Sheila Hughes and Michelle Holmes) planned a literacy fellow potluck lunch. My Oakland team introduced two-minute brain breaks with that reflect our Personal Success Factors and Shared Core Values. We also completed our 'Joy Factor' professional development!"  -- Mechelle Salley, Denver Literacy Fellows
  5. "The Sources of Strength Peer Leaders at Hill Campus of Arts and Sciences made some great posters to educate other students in their building about the Sources of Strength program. Specifically, the posters focused on the importance of reaching out to trusted adults when needing help, whether it be for bullying or any other challenge."  -- Michel S. Holien, Student Equity and Opportunity
Prepare for Mid-Year Conversations

Across Team DPS, in schools and in school support services, we're preparing for mid-year conversations that focus on progress toward our annual goals. For our teachers, this is part of our growth and performance system known as LEAP. For many of our school support staff, this growth and performance system is called LIFT/EPMP. While these systems may have different names, the intent of the mid-year conversations is similar: to take the time to reflect on our annual goals, celebrate progress, discuss challenges and consider what additional supports might be necessary to achieve success.

For LIFT/EPMP eligible employees
Mid-year is the time to reflect on your demonstration of LIFT Competencies and check-in on goals in Infor GHR Talent Management. Take time to:
  • Reflect on your demonstration of LIFT competencies for your level of leadership. What competencies have you been focusing on? What competencies do you want to grow and develop in the next half of the year?
  • Ask your manager to approve any goals that are pending.
  • Comment on active goals to document progress, roadblocks and changes. Commenting throughout the year makes year-end easier because all comments will be included on the year-end appraisal.
  • Set new goals. Goals can be set at any time during the year as projects come up and work changes.
  • Ask your manager to inactivate goals that are no longer relevant. Priorities change and work sometimes gets put on hold. Your manager can inactivate any goals that won't be worked on for the remainder of the year.
Visit the  LIFT/EPMP website  for step-by-step guides on how to complete these goal-related processes in Infor GHR Talent Management.
Win a Giveaway! Top 5 Call-out: Share a Holiday Video Message with Team DPS
We're a week away from holiday break and we'd love you to share a holiday video message with Team DPS. Record your classes or teams singing, dancing or spreading holiday cheer. You can also video your holiday concerts or pageants! Then, upload them to YouTube and send us the link! Or, just send us the video. We'll feature the Top 5 holiday messages in our newsletter next week and we'll select one winner for a giveaway!
Boost Your Contribution to Team DPS!
There's still time to participate in the I Give for Team DPS annual employee-giving campaign!
Join us and take advantage of a generous boost to your contribution courtesy of Superintendent Tom Boasberg Interested in other ways to get involved? Check out our special offers page where we currently have discounted tickets to the National Western Stock Show and a Nuggets game!
Apply for a CenturyLink Technology Grant
The CenturyLink Teachers and Technology Grant Program is a competitive grant open to Pre-K through 12 public and private school teachers in CenturyLink's residential service areas. The program is designed to help teachers implement technology in their classrooms to increase student achievement.  The CenturyLink Clarke M. Williams Foundation will consider requests of up to $5,000 submitted by full-time classroom teachers employed by a public or private school in a CenturyLink residential service area.  Apply online Applications will be accepted until Jan. 12.  For more information, contact or 303-992-9560.
The Commons: Use Our New Homepage Footer to Request a Substitute, Access Webmail, Find a School and More! 
We updated the footer on The Commons to provide easy access to DPS' internal portals and tools. Use our new footer by scrolling to the bottom of the intranet homepage (or any page on the site) to quickly access links to the following:
  • Denver Classroom Teachers Association website
  • Infinite Campus
  • Master School List
  • Principal, Secretary and Teacher portals
  • Request a Substitute
  • Webmail
In the footer, you'll also find an updated FAQ and access guide for The Commons. This update is one of many recent developments on our intranet. We also launched a new Department Directory and created a resource section on the homepage to keep you informed about new internal resources being added to the site each week. Questions? Feedback? Please contact us
Living Our DPS Honoree:
Nick Simonette
Mechanic, Transportation Services

Nick Simonette in Transportation Services lives our Shared Core Value of Accountability. 
Nick Simonette in Transportation Services demonstrated Accountability throughout the 10-Week Challenge and left a lasting, positive impression on others!

Nominate  one of your colleagues to be featured as a Living Our DPS honoree, and read more about Nick Simonette's commitment to Accountability. 

"Nick Simonette, of the Transportation team, and I participated in the 10-Week Challenge, a health and fitness class offered by our Employee Wellness team. Nick was an unrelenting positive force in the class. He demonstrated our Shared Core Value of Accountability throughout the 10-Week Challenge. Each week, he motivated others to push themselves harder in their workouts. He could often be heard shouting, 'Great job! You've got this!' He asked for tips and feedback to improve his health and fitness, and he shared details about his own health and wellness journey to motivate and benefit other participants. So many components of the challenge require accountability; you're accountable for your attendance, your participation in classes and your progress. Nick demonstrated Accountability time and again during the challenge, making great progress toward his goals. He demonstrates Accountability, too, in his role as a mechanic for Transportation Services. His colleagues have told me what an excellent teammate he is and how worthy he is of this recognition!"
-- Joey Peña, Communications
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