As College and Career Success month kicks off,
Denver Public Schools announced a $10-million grant by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
It will better ensure college and career success… for African-American, Latinx and low-income students.
SUSANA CORDOVA / SUPERINTENDENT, DENVER PUBLIC SCHOOLS
“It really is going to give us the ability to invest in our teachers, our leaders and our students, to make sure we prepare all of our kids to meet the new graduation requirements.
The majority of the grant funding will provide for additional staffing in schools as well as additional opportunities for professional development… toward “improvement science.”
First, high school educators – working across campuses - identify challenges specifically impacting African-American, Latinx and low-income learners.
“They might be things like attendance, and coming up with solutions to attendance issues. They might be failure rates in 9th grade math.”
The funding allows high schools to develop and try out unique solutions to those challenges right away. It’s work that’s already underway in DPS during the 19-20 school year at ten district-run high schools, including at Bruce Randolph School.
MELISSA BOYD / PRINCIPAL, BRUCE RANDOLPH SCHOOL
So trying to understand why there may be a barrier to students successfully engaging in their first year of college. So we’ve actually engaged our students in a variety of empathy interviews to better understand what their motivations are, what their options look like in high school, how they’re aware of the options that exist for them, so we can better understand their perspective, to know what adult actions we might need to shift in order to change the student experience.”
There’s no time to wait, particularly as Colorado moves to new, more rigorous graduation requirements for the 20-21 school year and beyond.
JAMIE LOFARO / PRINCIPAL, CEC EARLY COLLEGE
“Half of our male freshman right now are failing at least one class. We’ve already put some steps in place and that number has greatly reduced.”
DPS will roll out these efforts to all 38 district-managed high schools over the next five years.