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🍎 Notes from the 2021-22 school year


The State Of Local Education

Today on the City Cast Denver podcast, we spoke with Denver Public Schools superintendent Alex Marrero about his first year on the job. (More on that below 👇) So I thought: Why not brush up on what else is going on with local education?

🎓 The pursuit for equity continues: Colorado’s high school graduation rates for hispanic students have improved significantly in the last decade — from 56% to 75%. But they’re still lagging well behind the state average and the success rates for white students. [Chalkbeat; COLab]

✏️ Survey says: A recent poll from Magellan Strategies revealed that most respondents believe Colorado public schools are on “the wrong track.” Results appear to show intense political polarization as the reason, with democrats and conservatives each thinking the other is injecting too much of their own political ideology into curriculum. [Chalkbeat]

🍎 Ch-ch-ch-changes:
The way teacher evaluations are conducted in Colorado will be getting an update for the first time in more than a decade. Standardized test scores will play a smaller part in teacher ratings, and educators with consistently high marks will face less scrutiny. [Chalkbeat]

🏫 School closures on the horizon?
A committee recently presented the Denver school board with recommendations to consider closing or consolidating any district elementary and middle schools with fewer than 215 students. Board members appeared hesitant to take such drastic measures. Superintendent Marrero said he plans to seek community feedback on the matter. [Chalkbeat]

💰 Financial aid:
Two new state laws will bring financial assistance to students and educators in Colorado. The first law aims to offer students more info and guidance around utilizing federal student financial aid. Another law will allow student teachers to access up to $22,000 in stipends while working to complete their educator prep programs. [Chalkbeat]


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More News You Should Know

🏈 The Broncos (might) have their new owner: And sadly, it’s not Peyton Manning. An initial report from Forbes announced that Rob Walton is expected to be the winning bidder with a $4.5 billion offer (the most in NFL history). Walton is an Arkansas resident, eldest son of the late Sam Walton, and heir to the Walmart mega-fortune. [Westword; FOX31]

🚘 Good news for Denver’s I-70 commuters: Beginning today, CDOT is testing out some new express lanes along a 7-mile stretch of westbound I-70 between I-225 and Colorado Boulevard. The lane will be free to use for the remainder of the year. [Denverite]

🎞️ Tracks nightclub is headed for the big screen: Local filmmaker Shawna Schultz is working on a biopic that will chronicle the history of one of Denver’s oldest and most cherished LGBTQ+ nightclubs. [Denverite]

🏆 Stanley Cup, here we come! The Colorado Avs ended their NHL Conference Finals series against the Edmonton Oilers in a sweep last night. Next up? The Stanley Cup. ’Sko Avs! 


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School Safety, Rumored Closures, And The State Of DPS

“This is about DPS leadership intending to reframe and reform the role and relationship that officers in the police department have with our community.” — Dr. Alex Marrero

Denver Public Schools let out for the summer last week, which means DPS superintendent Dr. Alex Marrero now has one full school year under his belt — and it was a rough one. Declining enrollment, student walkouts, mass shooting protocols — oh yeah, and COVID-19. Host Bree Davies sits down with Dr. Marrero to go through the ups and downs, and his plan for the future.

This Week’s Things To Do

🏳️‍🌈🌯 WEDNESDAY: Kick off Pride Month
Illegal Pete’s on Colfax invites you to celebrate the start of Pride with “burritos, buddies, and beer.” From 4 to 7 p.m. a portion of every Montucky beer sold will go toward Black Pride Colorado. [Free to attend]

🎭 WEDNESDAY: Get your theater fix
Enjoy nine local plays … in one night! This “play crawl” down Tennyson will take you to see nine 2-3 minute performances at different venues. (5:30-10 p.m.) [$40]

🍿 THURSDAY: Catch a movie at McGregor Square
This week’s movie at McGregor Square is “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” Swing by early to nab concessions and the best spot on the lawn. (Movie starts at 6 p.m.) [Free]

🥂 THURSDAY: Celebrate Colorado Village Collaborative
The CVC is celebrating five years of providing safe sheltering options with an anniversary party at the recently relocated Beloved Community tiny home village. (5-7 p.m.) [Free to attend]

🔎 THURSDAY-SUNDAY: Get to know your city
Learn more about Denver’s rich history while scouring the city for clues in this citywide scavenger hunt. The search kicks off Thursday, but don’t worry, your team has all weekend to complete the task. [$12-$18]

🏳️‍🌈🍽️  ALL MONTH: Dine with Pride
From rainbow sprinkle pancakes to glitter-dusted milkshakes, these local restaurants are offering month-long Pride specials that give back to LGBTQ+ organizations. [Prices vary]

👉 Stay tuned for more: Don’t miss Friday’s newsletter for our regularly scheduled weekend event roundup!

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