During our Preparing for Denver Kindergarten classes, we spend quite a bit of time discussing the differences between traditional, innovation, and charter public schools.
Check out some high level information on these three types of Denver Public Schools:
Traditional Public Schools (78/119 Elementary Schools)
- Answer to the DPS Board of Education
- Fixed: Teacher Recruitment Strategy, Salary Model, Tenure Program, Funding allocation, Curriculum Models
- Set Calendar (late August – early June)
- PTO often fundraises for para professionals and enrichment/extracurricular activities (neighborhood disparity)
- Stapleton Enrollment Zone (SEZ): Bill Roberts, Westerly Creek
Touring Bill Roberts or Westerly Creek? Ask them what programming, curriculum, and/or innovative initiatives they have underway! Ask them what sets them apart from the other SEZ schools.
Innovation Public Schools (20/119 Elementary Schools)
Innovation schools are district-managed schools that have the ability to get various waivers to encourage and implement innovation. All waived policies require a replacement policy that ensures schools are complying with the original intent and meeting minimum requirements.
- Common District policy waivers include curriculum, schedule, and composition of the Collaborative School Committee (CSC).
- Common State Statute waivers include calendar and hiring processes.
- Common waivers from the DCTA collective bargaining agreement include schedule, hiring, and dismissal procedures.
- Each Innovation School has a published Innovation plan at http://cde.state.co.us/choice/innovationschoolsarchive.asp.
- SEZ: High Tech, Inspire, Isabella Bird, Swigert IB
Touring High Tech, Inspire, Isabella Bird, or Swigert? Ask them what being an Innovation school means to them, and what that looks like at their school.
Full list of DPS Innovation Public Schools at http://portfolio.dpsk12.org/our-schools/innovation-schools/innovation-schools-of-dps/
Charter Public Schools (21/119 Elementary Schools)
Charter schools are independently operated public schools.
- Independent Board of Directors for each School
- Freedom re: pay for teachers; Freedom re: who they hire; Funding allocation
- Can be longer school day/year; Can have different vacation schedule
- If it’s not working, it will close; If a teacher is not working, they will not stay
- Do not act as boundary schools (but almost all have sibling priorities, some have location priorities)
- Some have a minimum % of low income (Free/Reduced Lunch) students
- Most focus on and serve their individual, unique communities
- Not better or worse, depends on your child
Full list of DPS Charter Public Schools at http://portfolio.dpsk12.org/our-schools/charter-schools/charter-schools-of-denver-public-schools/.
Full list of just DPS Charter Elementary Schools at http://www.preparingfordenverkindergarten.com/dps-public-charter-schools
And, did you know that DPS also has Montessori, Expeditionary, Dual Language, International Focus, International Baccalaureate (IB), and Arts and Science Focused public schools, too? Stay tuned for a future blog post to explain them all!
Want to learn more?
We are offering a Stapleton-specific Preparing for Denver Kindergarten class 02/10/18 from 9:30am – 1:30pm at the Moorehead Recreation Center. $75 per couple with FREE childcare for 2 kiddos aged 2 years+. You can register now at www.preparingfordenverkindergarten.com/register.
We also offer hourly and package consultations – like us at www.facebook.com/PreparingforDenverKindergarten to stay up to date, and to add yourself to our email list!
You can also contact the Colorado League of Charter Schools and DPS directly to learn more:
- Colorado League of Charter Schools: http://coloradoleague.org/
- DPS Portfolio Management Office: http://portfolio.dpsk12.org/
- DPS Choice Office: http://schoolchoice.dpsk12.org/ (ask for the SEZ specialist)
- DPS Gifted & Talented Office: https://studentequity.dpsk12.org/gifted-talented/
- DPS Early Education Office: http://earlyeducation.dpsk12.org/
- DPS Discovery Link (SEZ Before & After Care): http://discoverylink.dpsk12.org/program-locations/