Denver Public Schools Announce Districtwide Progress on School Performance Framework

DENVER — Denver Public Schools released the results of the eighth School Performance Framework (SPF), which looks at a comprehensive set of factors to create a rating for each of the district’s nearly 200 schools. These parent-friendly ratings range from Distinguished, or Blue on our ratings “stoplight,” to Accredited on Probation, or Red.

The overall rating summary for the DPS 2016 SPF:


% of Schools

Distinguished (Blue)


Meets Expectations (Green)


Accredited on Watch (Yellow)


Accredited on Priority Watch (Orange)


Accredited on Probation (Red)


DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg highlighted examples of strong growth in the results this morning at Trevista at Horace Mann, a Northwest Denver school that was rated Red in 2013. Boasberg and Denver Board of Education Vice President Barbara O’Brien joined Trevista Principal Jesús Rodríguez, Trevista teachers, and students to celebrate that school’s first-ever Green rating. 

“I know how hard it is to get here,” O’Brien, who served with community members and families on the Northwest Working Group to improve area schools, told the Trevista team. “It’s heroic work, and we all thank you for what you’ve done.”

Rodríguez said the school is determined to reach the very highest rating or Blue.

“Last year, we painted our doors blue because we want everyone … to see that we are on a mission to be blue,” he said.  “We know we have a long way to go, but the determination of our staff and community make the future bright blue for us.” 

“Our families entrust our work and partner with us to fulfill the hopes and dreams of the children that we share,” said Trevista teacher Jessica Mullins. “We celebrate our kids… who show us on a daily basis the possibilities for their futures.” 

Joining in the celebration at Trevista were school teams from Fairview Elementary, University Prep Charter School, Collegiate Prep Academy, DSST: College View High School Charter and Respect Academy, a multiple pathways school. All of these schools saw strong results on the SPF.

“This means we are closer to ensuring that our students who struggle the most with poverty have a great education,” said Fairview Principal Antoinette Hudson, whose school on the edge of the Sun Valley neighborhood. “Setting high expectations for student learning is extremely important.”

“Clearly one of the things these schools have in common is overwhelmingly serving students who come from families in poverty and helping … those students achieve extraordinary growth,” Boasberg said, telling the assembled school leaders: “The work that you are doing to drive the growth of our students is the most important work we have in our society today, and I speak on behalf of our whole community in thanking you for that work.”  

Among other highlights in the data: 

· Among schools identified as alternative education campuses, 7 of the ten schools that were rated Orange or Red in 2014 increased to Yellow or Green.

· Among our 23 schools receiving intensive district supports because of a history of poor performance, 14 improved their ratings between 2014 and 2016; 5 stayed the same and four went down.

Boasberg said the SPF also highlighted challenges the district is facing.

“Overall, the number of Green and Blue schools are down this year, which comes as no surprise with new state standards,” he said. 

The 2016 SPF is the first released by the district since the implementation of more rigorous academic standards and assessments. Boasberg has supported the tougher standards as more in line with what students truly need to be prepared for success in college and career.

“We celebrate the achievement of our schools that have achieved Blue status, but we also want to work to achieve a higher bar for our schools,” he said. “For example, next year, we will have a higher bar for our high schools.

He also noted the significant gaps among students by ethnicity, race, and income: “Our commitment as public schools is to ensure all of our kids succeed, and it is fundamentally a civil rights mission.” 

For the first time this year, DPS schools are receiving an equity rating based on how well they are supporting students in poverty, students of color, English learners and students with special needs.

The rating is determined by performance on existing measures, such as state assessments, but it’s being pulled out to emphasize high expectations for all kids, Boasberg said. While it is not part of a school’s overall rating this year, it will be included on the 2017 SPF. 

“A year from now, all schools will be required to be closing gaps in order to be Green or Blue,” he said, “so we can ensure we are serving all of our students.”

Learn more about how DPS monitors, supports and holds schools accountable at The site also is available in Spanish.


The post Denver Public Schools Announce Districtwide Progress on School Performance Framework appeared first on North Denver Tribune.

North Denver Tribune

Escuela Tlatelolco returns to school’s original roots

Ken Lutes | [email protected]

WEST HIGHLAND—After more than a decade as a contract school with Denver Public Schools, Escuela Tlatelolco’s principal Nita Gonzales says she looks forward to returning to the school’s roots, which arose from the social justice work of her father, Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales, in 1970.
Last year, the school’s professional service agreement with DPS—more than $ 800,000 in yearly operational costs—came to an end. “We now have no relationship with DPS,” Gonzales said. “We had support but not the same as what a charter school would get. It’s true we got a significant amount of money, but it was in exchange for sometimes giving up our own soul.
“We were a round peg put into a square hole, and we couldn’t do that anymore. It’s as though a burden has been taken off our shoulders. My teachers will tell you that they can breathe air again. When all of our effort and energy goes to assessment and testing, that’s not educating our youngsters.
“Of course, I want them to do well on classroom tests, but I also want them to be good human beings.” She said the PARCC standardized testing system imposed by DPS doesn’t work for a school like Escuela, whose class sizes are typically below the minimum number for a DPS classroom. This year, the NW Denver dual-language Montessori school at 2949 Federal Blvd has enrolled 175 students in grades pre-K through 12.
Escuela Tlatelolco was a private school before the contracting years with DPS, and the school has always maintained its non-profit 501(c)(3) standing.
“Fundraising is extremely challenging, particularly during a major election year,” Gonzales said. “Those campaigns suck up dollars from many of the conventional places where we look for funding, and from individuals who support Escuela and help sponsor scholarships for most of our kids.”
Gonzales is a seasoned fundraiser who has learned to educate potential donors on why the school is “different and unique.” She has confidence the school’s every need will be met.
“When you create relationships with people and have them come see our youngsters and the work we do, they generally are supportive,” Gonzales said. “Their donations may be small in the beginning, but they grow.
“We are more a community working together than the conventional hierarchy of an organization where staff, board, and fundraising are kind of divorced from each other,” she said.  “And now we have quite a few alumni who are interested and supportive of our school.
“Our challenge will be to continue to raise the funds to support our educational model, and to get people excited that this model still exists. Having said that, I’m also reluctant to concentrate on just that end of it. If I dwell on it, that takes away my energy and effort.”
Gonzales spelled out the school’s emphasis on giving youngsters the wherewithal to choose their life path. “We’re helping our youngsters to dream again, to believe in themselves and have confidence, to have faith, hope and the tools to do that. They may be drawn to college or to a trade—an electrician or plumber, or to become a writer; they may choose to own a business. I’m not talking simply that they become financially successful but that they learn to give back.”
One former Escuela student who gives back to this community is Francisco Gallardo, program director for GRASP—Gang Rescue and Support Project. As a youth, Gallardo was a member of a north Denver gang and once faced a possible 48 years in prison, according to the GRASP web site.  Gonzales said, “At his graduation from Escuela, Cisco said, ‘Escuela Tlatelolco taught me to be proud of who I am as a person and not to fear the differences in others. It taught me how to think, not what to think.’”
For Gonzales, what means more to her than a student scoring 35 on the ACT is when a graduate like Cisco Gallardo comes back to say, “I’m not drinking, I don’t do drugs, and I am walking the right road.” Gonzales said that Cisco found his path to help keep kids out of gangs—and he did go to college.
“72 percent of our alumni have their undergraduate degree—we have three kids at Regis,” Gonzales said. “33 percent have graduate degrees and 22 percent own their own businesses. Our school is small, but we’re powerful. And our attendance rate is 93-94 percent daily.”
Gonzales says that language is an integral developmental part of all cultures and that youngsters must become literate in their first language. “You cannot just submerge them in English, because they will struggle with that. You will find in the ECE and elementary grades the English model and the Spanish model. We staff for that. When students are reading and writing in Spanish, they will excel in reading and writing in English.”
Speaking about the “soul” of Escuela Tlatelolco, Gonzales talked about growing up in a family of eight kids. “My father believed having a good education was the leveling field. He started this school with the philosophy and belief that education should serve to help you find who you are and to make you a good human being. At the dinner table, we read the newspapers and discussed what inhumanities existed and how we could rise above them.
“My father was a student of life and political science. Many people influenced him immensely: Venezuelan political leader Simon Bolivar, Brazilian educator and author Paulo Freire (“Pedagogy of the Oppressed”), and many others. “He had a full set of works by Dickens and all of the classics, and we had to read them all,” Gonzales said.
“He demanded we do our best all the time. He was engaging and sensitive to know where you needed a push to help you make good decisions. He believed that school was a safe place to make mistakes and learn from them.
“He also integrated the concepts of human rights and social justice. I thought all that was normal to every household, but as I became a teenager I found it was not. Another thing we kids learned was that you keep your word, to yourself, to your family and to your community—you have integrity and you have principles. How do we teach young people that? It’s through modeling and experience, messing up and learning from mistakes.”
Escuela Tlatelolco teacher David Orr said in a June 23 letter to The Denver Post, “The thing that makes Escuela Tlatelolco school great is its true commitment to cultivating free-thinking, self-actualized global citizens—individuals who know that doing the right thing is often unpopular and difficult. I have never worked at a school that has gone out of the way more to work with students and families in the most difficult situations.”
Gonzales says this school year will be tuition-free for students. Her goal is to build a scholarship fund for Escuela, so the school can keep the promise that her father made 46 years ago. That promise was to provide an educational environment that would ensure academic success, but also ensure that students would find their voice and be proud of who they are and their history and their place in this world; to be change-agents for their community.

The post Escuela Tlatelolco returns to school’s original roots appeared first on North Denver Tribune.

North Denver Tribune

Denver Beauty Schools: Arming the Modern Cosmetologist

You would not expect less from professional cosmetologists–they have the ability to make any face beautiful on pageant-level. Knowledge on the tools of the trade in the field account for the best results cosmetology in general can offer. The skills gained in providing such services are the fruits of years of certification or licensure training in the field, particularly the how-to in using modern beauty-enhancing techniques.

Skin peeling

Chemical peeling solutions are used for exfoliation, making the skin smoother and more brand new. Skin peeling can range from superficial to intensive, depending on the condition of the skin. It is essential to learn the different chemicals used in skin peeling, as some people might have allergic reactions to certain solutions. There are at least eighteen different skin peeling techniques to learn.

Laser technology

Lasers play a critical role in the field of medicine, let alone cosmetology. Most dermatologists use lasers in a variety of ways such as for removing unwanted hair or varicose veins. Proper handling of lasers is a skill cosmetologists must learn to promote safe and effective treatments. This is an extensive course because there are different kinds of lasers for specific tasks.

Herbal medicine

A natural method of healing may be necessary especially if people prefer such over artificial means. Denver beauty schools teach the art of making herbal medicine such as teas, extracts and tinctures. This is recommended for aspiring aestheticians who plan on selling homemade remedies in their offices. Such a skill may come in handy due to the fact that people are eventually shifting to natural healing methods.


Knowing the right kind of makeup to use is also a skill that can be learned at a Denver beauty school. Whether for stage plays or special events such as marriages, makeup artists must know the different tools and the right time to use them. The concept of makeup can range from basic blush-on and lipstick to something more advanced such as prosthetic makeup. Think of it as a kind of art where the face is the canvas.


Reiki is a Japanese art of natural healing that offered in most spas and massage parlors. It is a non-invasive procedure that heavily involves the natural healing ability of the human body to alleviate the effects of stress. Studying Reiki in Denver beauty schools is basically studying its massage techniques as well as the methods of balancing life energy.

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Denver Technical Schools

Are you have difficulty deciding what you will do after high school? Are you a working adult looking to expand your horizons? Read on to find out what Denver technical schools can do for you.


For those living in Denver, the decision about which technical school to pick can be a difficult one. There are more than 10 technical schools within a few miles of Denver. These Denver technical schools cover a variety of topics, ranging from animal technician training to phlebotomy, and also include a number of more generalized schools. For example, Emily Griffith Technical School offers more than 500 individual courses spread out over 40 different degree programs.


The variety of options for Denver technical schools make them a great choice both for students who know exactly what they want to study, as well as those students who have yet to make up their minds. What the course of study is to be, there is a Denver technical school to meet that need. It is also a less expensive and faster alternative to a traditional four-year college or university while the undecided student determines a course of action.


In some ways, choosing a Denver technical school over a traditional four-year university in the same area is actually the smarter career move. Most technical schools, including those in Denver, offer certification and licensing courses that relate directly to a specific job function. This type of correlation between career and college is not so obvious for most undergraduate degrees. When a student walks out of a Denver technical school, he or she already knows where to start looking for a job. Potential employers can see right away from a transcript or resume that a student from a technical school is qualified to fit a position in that field. Denver students who wish to enter the workforce quickly should choose a Denver technical school to help them meet their goals.


Other students choose to use technical schools as a stepping stone to a four-year degree. There are many students whose career plans require an undergraduate or graduate degree, but for financial or academic reasons can’t go to the college of their choice. If the student completes a pre-undergraduate program with high grades, it will prove to colleges that the student is ready for a college courseload. On the financial side, as mentioned above, technical schools are much less expensive than other types of colleges. Completing a portion of the required credits at a technical school, and then transferring them to a 4-year university, reduces the amount of time the student has to spend at the more expensive school. In addition, the class schedule at a technical school is usually more accommodating of students who hold part-time or even full-time jobs when compared to a traditional university. Students who choose this option, then, not only spend less money but also build up savings, reducing their student loan burden later.


While they may not be initially as appealing, Denver technical schools are undoubtedly a more practical option for many students. Attending a technical school allows a student to determine what course of study he or she will follow, provides the student with qualifications that directly tie into job functions, and assists students in improving their academic record, all without breaking the bank. Before selecting a college or university, all Denver students should take a good look at what the Denver technical schools have to offer.


Visit TechInstruction and search hundreds of  technical schools that offer A+ certification. The best place to research top technical schools by college degree , trade school location, training online and technical program.

Search hundreds of technical schools and programs. The best place to research top technical schools by college degree , trade school location, training online and technical program.

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