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1) I will bring a change of leadership to Denver Public Schools. DPS has gotten away from ensuring that the district fully meets students' needs. To succeed, we must provide access to empowered educators to do their jobs and drive our conversations, policies, and work. As the at-large school board member, I will hold the district and board accountable for getting us back on track. I will prioritize creating environments and conditions where our students and educators can thrive.
2) School Must Be Safe. When I send my two sons to school, I need an unquestionable sense that they will be safe in their school. Our current DPS leadership is not providing that level of safety to our kids. I believe that as one of the largest districts in the state, we need to support gun safety policies and legislation that keeps guns away from kids. As the at-large school board leader, I will work to ensure that leaders and communities can thoughtfully staff their schools in ways that reflect the safety concerns of their parents, students, and community context. And even as we do this, we must disrupt troubling patterns of over-disciplining and over-punishing subgroups of students, including young people of color, boys, and students with learning differences.
3) Bringing School Culture Back Into The Conversation. We need to have a more expansive conversation about what it means to create safe and equitable schools. Sustainable school safety is rooted in a school's culture and climate. As a former educator and current parent, I know the answers to these questions start with asking the right questions. As the at-large school board member, I will work to hear stories from across the city, and ensure that all voices are part of the conversation about how to provide educators they support and skills they need to build cultures of belonging and inclusion.
4) We need a new vision of what a high-quality, equitable education looks like and a city wide strategic plan to get us there. We need to expand how and where young people can develop the skills, mindsets and knowledge they need to thrive both in school and once they graduate. Like other urban districts, we are grappling with challenges including declining enrollment, educator burnout, and challenges with our students’ and educators’ mental health. But we are also a city with a wealth of assets, including deep cultural roots, robust civic and cultural institutions, and a thriving business sector. As the at-large school board member, I will work with community, the Mayor’s office and other elected leaders to leverage these assets and provide every student in this city access to learning opportunities both inside and outside of school. This includes out-of-school time programming, internships, apprenticeships and other meaningful real world learning that will provide students access to multiple pathways after graduation.
5) We need district leadership aligned with this vision and willing to be innovative in how the district organizes itself to execute it. We need to take the best of what we have learned from the many educators and leaders doing great work for kids daily in schools around the city. We must organize the district in ways that allow us to hire, empower and support leaders, educators, and their communities to create instructional models that allow students to excel academically. This must include school cultures that prioritize relationships, connection, and overall well-being so that young people and educators can focus on the work of learning.
6) Keep It Simple: Student Success Is The Goal. Financial resources will always be a challenge. Yet, there are immediate steps we can take to save the district millions of dollars. The savings should be directed into teacher pay and expanding opportunities for students. Denver Public Schools should work closely with the City of Denver to electrify its buildings and transportation fleet using untapped bond dollars. We can support our local and state sustainability efforts and re-invest dollars to expand the programming and support we provide to our students and educators.
1177 Newport St
Denver, CO 80220
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