about | news | announcements |donate

February 4, 2013

In This Issue
DSST Construction Update
DSST Schools Honored With Two Awards
DSST Alumni Return Home
DSST: Cole Gets Visit From Author
Slice of Pi is Coming Up!

Construction Update


Voters' approval of Denver Public School Bond Initiative 3B last fall is paving the way for DSST to improve current facilities and begin construction on several new school buildings in various quadrants of the city.


Bond-funded renovation activities will touch three DSST campuses throughout Denver during the coming years. Major upgrades - and brand new buildings - will take place at DSST: Cole, DSST: College View and DSST: Byers.


At Cole, interior renovations will begin in 2014 on Mitchell Elementary, a former elementary school that currently houses various DPS services and is located across Humboldt Street from DSST: Cole Middle School. When Mitchell renovations are complete in approximately summer 2014, DSST: Cole Middle School will move to the Mitchell building, making space for DSST: Cole High School to occupy the larger building. When all renovations are complete, the DSST: Cole campus, which also houses Cole Arts and Science Academy (a DPS ECE-5 innovation school), will serve students from ECE up through 12th grade.


In southwest Denver, the permanent home of DSST: College View is already taking shape. A 23-classroom middle school facility that will serve 450 students should be completed this fall, and a new high school facility will be close behind.


In the Byers neighborhood near Washington Park, renovations will begin this summer on the beloved but neglected 1921 building that once housed William H. Byers Junior High School. Work at Byers will include restoration of exterior masonry and a complete interior renovation, including the addition of a gymnasium. Click here to take a virtual tour of the future DSST: Byers building.


These construction projects put DSST's ultimate goal of serving 4,500 students on five campuses across Denver within reach. These schools' future success will be bolstered by this opportunity to design classroom layouts, teacher planning spaces, and student common areas that are customized to support DSST's educational program.



DSST Schools Honored with Two Awards

Students and teachers at DSST: Stapleton were once again awarded with the John Irwin School of Excellence and the Governor's Distinguished Improvement Award by the Colorado Department of Education.


Each of these awards honors schools that have demonstrated improvement in the area of academic growth gaps. The two awards differ however in that the John Irwin award honors schools that have exceeded expectations in annual academic growth, while the Governor's award honors schools that have exceeded expectations in long term academic growth. DSST: Stapleton high and middle schools have won the John Irwin award multiple times since the schools opened and the Governor's Distinguished Improvement Award for two consecutive years. DSST: Green Valley Ranch Middle School also received the Governor's Distinguished Improvement Award in 2011.   


Of the 179 individual schools from across Colorado honored with either award, only 64 schools received both, and only six of these schools are in the Denver Public Schools System.


The awards were announced at the DPS School Board meeting on January 17th and demonstrate that DSST students are reaching high marks within academic achievement. These awards also show students are on a path to long term, sustainable academic improvement. These metrics are pride-worthy and are indicative of progress and upward momentum.


Bill Kurtz, CEO of DSST Public Schools,blogs about these latest awards.  

DSST Stapleton Knight  


Want to keep up on what's happening at DSST Public Schools?
Read Bill's Weekly Reflection to get the latest updates from CEO Bill Kurtz.

Check out the individual campus websites for up to date news, events, and happenings.

View current announcements to read about DSST in the news.


View the 2012-2013 DSST Public Schools

Academic Calendar.


For up to the minute updates, follow us on Twitter at @DSSTPubSchools and @BillKurtz1.



DSST Alumni Return Home 

Many DSST students returned home to Denver for the holidays and everyone was welcomed back to DSST: Stapleton High School.


January 7-11 was the first DSST Alumni Week. Each day was filled with opportunities for alumni to interact and connect with current DSST students. Several alumni spoke to classes, advisory groups and even led morning meeting! On Tuesday, Jan. 8th, a reception was held for all DSST alumni. The event provided an opportunity for students to reunite with their former classmates, teachers and administrators.


For many students, it was their first time back on campus since they graduated DSST. For others, it was a chance to reunite with good friends.


Because of the success of this year's event, DSST plans to make this an annual celebration! 


DSST: Cole Visited by Professional Author

Thanks to Brad White, DSST: Byers School Director in Training, for submitting this article to our newsletter!    


At each DSST campus, students are deeply engaged in authentic learning across the disciplines. While we provide an outstanding S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) program, we also seek to provide our students with opportunities to extend their learning and creativity through art, music, social studies and English.


In January, DSST: Cole Middle School invited local Colorado author Donald Samson to give a presentation and writing workshop to students. Mr. Samson guided Cole's students through the journey of becoming a professional writer, sharing anecdotes of brilliant ideas saved on napkins and tiny Post-it notes. Mr. Samson reminded students that an open mind leads to constant and sometimes surprising moments of inspiration!


Mr. Samson also shared how small interactions with others helped form the very characters and scenes that fill the fantastic world of his books. Students applied this lesson to their own lives, learning that some ideas for creative writing can spring from seemingly ordinary experiences. Many students remarked that it was fascinating to learn about the relationship between an author and an illustrator, as Mr. Samson recounted how he struggled to share the vision he had created in his own mind with another person, a tall task to say the least.


Following his presentation to the entire school, Mr. Samson led a writing workshop for some  budding 6th and 7th grade authors at Cole. Several students left the workshop eager to begin writing their own stories or rework some of their recent creations.


As DSST: Cole's students continue to strive to become excellent readers and writers, Mr. Samson's visit provided the students with a valuable experience about what it takes to write a book! 


Thanks to Donald Samson for visiting DSST: Cole! To learn more about Donald Samson and his books, please visit www.thedragonboy.com 


Come Celebrate DSST on Friday April 12th!


  slice of pi logo 2013


Have you ever seen the DSST Robotics team in action? Want to get up close (but not too close) to an explosive advanced chemistry experiment? DSST's Slice of Pi is an annual fundraiser and event that celebrates student achievement and success. Join us for an evening of fun and a special program that will celebrate Governor John Hickenlooper and his support of DSST. 



Governor Hickenlooper has been instrumental in the founding and development of DSST Public Schools - helping it become one of the top STEM school networks in the nation over the last 10 years.  His passion, dedication, and belief in our work have helped DSST transform the lives of thousands of students and public urban education in Denver. We are excited to honor him at Slice of Pi this year.


Proceeds from Slice of Pi support existing DSST Public Schools programming.


Mark your calendars -- we hope to see you there!


Friday, April 12, 2013


DSST: Stapleton High School

2000 Valentia Street

 Denver, CO 80238


Tickets: $100 for individuals; $250 for patrons. Click here to purchase tickets or here for sponsorship opportunities on our website. If you have questions regarding tickets or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Nicole Landeck at Nicole.landeck@scienceandtech.org or 303.524.6395. 

Find us on Facebook    Follow us on Twitter    View our videos on YouTube    Visit our blog 

DSST Public Schools
DSST: Stapleton | DSST: Green Valley Ranch | DSST: Cole | DSST: College View
3401 Quebec St
Suite 7200
Denver, CO 80207