Our Denver, Our Schools

On April 28, 2016 a group of parents, students and educators gathered at Lincoln High Schools to celebrate the formation of Our Denver, Our Schools.

The purpose of this community organization is to advocate for Denver children and demand transparency, accountability and results from district leadership to ensure every student has access to high-quality educators, programs, and facilities, so they have the opportunity to succeed.

Our Denver, Our Schools exists to support and promote a high quality public education for all Denver children by engaging parents, students, educators, and the broader community in education issues and empowering people to take action to ensure our students have the schools they deserve.

Our Denver, Our Schools will engage the community in developing and realizing a vision for a school district where the community’s voice is honored and respected, and where all students in DPS have access to a high quality education option in their neighborhood, and a system that is designed to unify rather than divide our neighborhoods and communities.

“As a parent in DPS, I am very concerned about how decisions are being made, and that there appears to be a political agenda driving decision making instead of what is best for our kids.  I am looking forward to working with people who share my concerns and want to work for change,” said Scott Gilpin, parent at Valdez Elementary.

Currently, Denver students and communities are experiencing a lot of challenges including an increase in outside money influencing our school district and district leadership, high teacher turnover, increased class sizes and lack of transparency and accountability at the district level.

“As a teacher in the district, I witness the impact the district’s decisions have on our kids every day. I am excited to stand with members of our community who want to be heard on a district level.  We all want what's best for kids, but when only one side of the conversation is echoed, balanced decisions are not made,” said Jocelyn Palomino, teacher at Lincoln High School.

In the past, Our Denver, Our Schools has advocated for facilities upgrade at Valdez elementary, and for the continuation of Gilpin Montessori. Now, we need to advocate for all community schools that have been left to falter without supports.

The eduction reform ideology is a flawed economic approach that mistakes the beauty of numbers for the truth of education.

Denver Public School's Portfolio Management approach values:

  • Autonomy for individual traditional public schools
  • Increase the number of charter schools
  • Reform or close low-performing schools
  • Assessment as a portion of school evaluation

We ask the District see the imbalance of this approach and its inherent harm it causes communities of color as well as low-income students. Our Denver, Our Schools believes support of all schools, combined with research based best practices will bring everyone up. Denver does deserves good school, but it's going to take more than a reform approach wrapped in lip service.