As you may know, a group of 75 community members from across Denver is helping DPS prioritize investments that could be included in a bond and mill levy request this fall. We want to share with you some additional details about the priorities the Community Planning and Advisory Committee (CPAC) is considering, before they make recommendations to the Board of Education in June.
The priorities were featuring this week are Social-Emotional Well-being and Classroom Upgrades. How can we help ensure students are ready to learn, even if theyre facing challenges at home? How can we bring older school buildings into the 21st century and create flexible and personalized learning environments?
One of the top five priorities identified in our five-year strategic plan, called the Denver Plan 2020, is providing more support for the whole child. As this language suggests, whole-child support includes a wide variety of strategies that surround and enrich academic learning.
A clear focus within these strategies is supporting students social and emotional well-being. Not all students have a strong support system at home and this can affect their ability to be present in school and focus on learning. The CPACs Mill Levy subcommittee is considering significant funding that would be provided directly to schools to support more staff such as mental health professionals and counselors, and ensure students are getting the assistance they need.
Did you know that the average age of Denver schools is 43 years, with 85 buildings that are 65 years old or older? For this reason, a significant focus within the investments being considered for a bond and mill levy request include maintaining and protecting our older school buildings.
A highlight of the CPACs Capacity & Quality Learning Environment subcommittees considerations is funding for classroom upgrades that would be provided directly to schools on a per-student basis. There can be big differences between classrooms in older buildings and those in newer buildings, and this funding would help schools upgrade older classrooms to create personalized learning environments that support modern teaching and learning. The subcommittee is also recommending that school communities have flexibility to prioritize different learning environment upgrades, based on their students unique needs.