D11 Academic Master Plan

March 2022 Update

Big picture

Quality Neighborhood Schools

In last month's edition of this newsletter, we shared information about the 5 Essentials Survey and the D11 Graduate Profile, which we anticipate will become part of the D11 definition of Quality Neighborhood Schools (QNS). Additional components under consideration include: the Colorado School Performance Framework (SPF), student and staff safety, school improvement planning initiatives, curriculum, professional development, parent participation, teacher collaboration through Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), and the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS).

Why are we developing a common definition of Quality Neighborhood Schools? There are several reasons, including:

  • Quality Neighborhood Schools are the promise we make to every family, regardless of zip code.
  • Quality Neighborhood Schools, when regularly reviewed, provide a change engine for excellence. The review cycle highlights practices that others can learn from, and generates findings to be acted upon.
  • The final step in the review process is a reflection by the school team that results in growth, achievement, and excellence.

Our next steps include a review of the draft version of QNS components by principals at all levels, as well as a steering team which will include teachers and ESP staff.

Pathway Schools

In January, we released an application for our elementary schools to become a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math School (STEM), an Arts Integrated School, or an Outdoor and Environmental Education School (OEE). We are pleased to announce that eight elementary schools submitted an application for one of the pathways! Those eight schools are: Bristol, Columbia, Howbert, Madison, Martinez, McAuliffe, Steele, and Taylor. In addition to submission of in-depth and thoughtful applications, each of these schools engaged in an interview process that included school leaders, staff members, parents, students, and community partners.

The next steps include a review and recommendations from an AMP Leadership Team, as well as district senior leadership. We anticipate that the Board of Education will consider these recommendations and give final approval in April. This will allow us to launch the work, learning, and partnership with these schools before the summer!

We look forward to partnering with pathway schools for a successful launch in the 2023-24 school year. This will allow us to complete the necessary professional development, planning, and acquisition of supplies and materials in the 2022-23 school year.

Innovation Status

The third opportunity for schools within the Academic Master Plan is Innovation Status. From time to time, schools will identify a need to try a new or different idea to meet the needs of their students. We are proud to partner with schools as they approach innovation as a responsible professional opportunity. The partnership includes a supported visioning process, identification of community partners who will support the innovation, identification of possible innovation waivers, securing the support of staff and stakeholders, and an application process.

Currently, the following schools are engaging in the innovation process:

  • North Middle School (innovation status has been approved by the D11 Board of Education and the Colorado Department of Education)
  • Mitchell High School (innovation status has been approved by the D11 Board of Education and is pending with the Colorado Department of Education)
  • Tesla EOP and Spark Online Academy (both are in the planning stages, with anticipated board presentations in the near future)