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Denver Public Schools Info

About Denver Public Schools

Widely recognized today as one of the best urban school systems in the country, Denver Public Schools serves the residents of the City and County of Denver, Colorado.

While its roots can be traced to 1859, when the city was founded, the district was officially created in 1902 when voters approved a constitutional amendment that created the City and County of Denver. The same constitutional amendment consolidated five school districts into today’s School District No. 1.

Denver Public Schools are thriving.

Reforms abound. Recent voter approval of ProComp, the voter-approved Professional Compensation System, establishes a revolutionary teacher pay plan that is drawing national attention for rewarding teachers for their professional accomplishments and linking their compensation to the district's instructional goals. Schools are being revitalized through community-based discussions about needed change and improvements. And the district is enjoying a renaissance of art, music, dance and theater instruction in all elementary schools. The district is keeping up with growth of new neighborhoods in far northeast Denver and in one of country's largest redevelopment efforts at Stapleton, already home to 5,000 residents. The number of families at Stapleton is growing rapidly each year and schools are being built to meet the need. The district is home to seven schools that are rated excellent by the state of Colorado, proudly possesses a state basketball championship, and enjoys a close working relationship with Mayor John Hickenlooper. In addition, new Superintendent Michael F. Bennet - formerly Mayor Hickenlooper's Chief of Staff - has immediately set his sights on transforming the district into "the best big city school district in the country." With that goal in mind, Superintendent Bennet has spelled out three goals.

First, each school must have a highly skilled faculty with access to robust professional development and real-time assessment data that will allow teachers to better evaluate the progress children are making and where they might need extra help.
Second, each principal should be equipped to be the instructional leader for the faculty in their school.
Third, every school and classroom shall provide a safe and orderly environment.
The district's mission is clear:

"...to provide all students the opportunity to achieve the knowledge and skills necessary to become contributing citizens in our society." Keep watching as Denver Public Schools continues to challenge itself, reform and grow.

Schools: 151
Elementary: 73
K-8 Schools: 15
Middle: 17
High: 14

Charter: 19
Charter schools receive public funding but may receive waivers from the local board of education's policies and procedures. Each charter school has its own governing body and determines its own enrollment. Access www.dpsk12.org/dps_today for descriptions.

Other: 6

Other schools are those into which students may enroll at any time. Access www.dpsk12.org/dps_today for descriptions.

Alternative: 7

Schools into which students may enroll or be placed based on special circumstances.

Student Enrollment: 73,018 (based on October 1, 2005)

1.2% American Indian
3.1% Asian
18.7% Black
57.4% Hispanic
19.7% White

English Language Learners: 14,450 (20%)
Spanish speaking students: 13,337 (1,113 student speak one of 86 other languages)
Foreign languages taught - Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Lakota, Latin, Russian and Spanish.


Total employees: 13,452
Full-time: 6,853
Part-time: 6,599
Teachers: 4,061

Starting Teacher Salary: $33,301
Average Teacher Salary: $52,271

2005 Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP)

(% Proficient and Advanced)

Grade 3: 52%
Grade 4: 39%
Grade 5: 44%
Grade 6: 38%
Grade 7: 36%
Grade 8: 36%
Grade 9: 35%
Grade 10: 40%

Grade 3: 34%
Grade 4: 29%
Grade 5: 34%
Grade 6: 36%
Grade 7: 31%
Grade 8: 27%
Grade 9: 24%
Grade 10: 27%

Grade 3: 46%
Grade 4: 43%
Grade 5: 41%
Grade 6: 31%
Grade 7: 21%
Grade 8: 17%
Grade 9: 12%
Grade 10: 13%

Grade 8: 20%
Escritura (Spanish-language writing test)
Grade 3: 46%
Grade 4: 33%
Lectura (Spanish-language reading test)
Grade 3: 59%
Grade 4: 42%

Graduation/Dropout Rate

Graduation rate: 76.9%
The graduation rate is determined by following one group of students (a cohort) over a four-year period from grades 9 through 12.

Dropout rate: 4.6%
The dropout rate is a one-year snapshot of all students who drop out of school during one school year. This rate considers all students in grades 7 through 12.

Denver Public Schools is a publicly funded organization
Enrollment: 72100

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