This is the first in a series of profiles of Community Planning and Advisory Committee (CPAC) members. Comprised of parents, teachers, students and community members, the CPAC is working to develop a set of recommendations for the 2020 bond and mill levy packages that will go to the DPS Board of Education for approval in June.
Denton Wilkinson is a senior at DSST: Byers and is one of six students on the CPAC. Denton also serves as a co-chair of the Technology and Safety subcommittee. Below is Denton’s first-person account of his motivation for serving on CPAC and his goals for potential bond and mill levy funding:
My journey with education activism and involvement started with an organization called Students for Education Reform (SFER). We worked hard to ensure that students with mental health issues were supported by the district and by their schools. This topic is important to me personally, as I have struggled with mental health for several years. One day, someone that I had worked with in SFER put the CPAC program on my radar and sent me a link to the application.
I was initially very excited to hear about the opportunity. This enthusiasm only grew as I read about the purpose and goals of CPAC; this committee was a way for me to directly input my voice and my opinions into Denver Public Schools’ spending practices. I applied and was accepted.
My hope is to work with the other CPAC members to propose a bond package that will have a real impact. As a student in DPS, I have encountered my share of problems, just the same as any other student around the country. Problems are part of the education system and part of life, so anyone that says they’ve never faced any in their district, or that their district doesn’t have any, is lying. The point, in my opinion, of committees like CPAC is not to completely eradicate all problems, but to provide the necessary tools for members of the community to grow and adapt and ultimately become better.
As a student in a 1:1 laptop school, I opted to serve on the Technology & Safety subcommittee because I know that technology in schools is a very valuable tool. Technology helps students like myself to navigate the tough world that is education before college. Doing research, getting homework help, and communicating with teachers and peers are just a few things that the 1:1 laptop program allows me to do. On the Tech & Safety subcommittee, I would like to see more schools become 1:1 technology schools.