Prepare for the upcoming DPS school year

Literacy resources, online portals help students get ready for school


The 2018-2019 school year is around the corner — the start date for most schools in the district is Aug. 20.

With that in mind, Denver Public Schools has highlighted some important resources and new initiatives for students and parents:

New graduation requirements

New graduation requirements, which start with the Class of 2021, are less about grades earned for time spent in a classroom and more about students demonstrating they are prepared for the world after high school. To earn a DPS diploma, students will be expected to complete three components: ICAP,what is this? coursework and competency. Learn more here:

Use Parent Portal

Parent Portal allows families to view their students’ progress throughout the school year. The portal’s features include tracking students’ grades and assignments, keeping up with attendance and behavior and following schedules and courses. The portal also allows families to connect with their school and teachers. Learn more here:

Text messaging families

Beginning this year, parents will now receive text messages from the district. The text messages will only be sent in emergency situations such as a lockdowns and weather closures/delays. It is important for families to ensure their contact information is up-to-date on the Parent Portal.

Newcomer centers for families new to the United States

Newcomer centers are designed for students who are new to the United States, have a history of limited or interrupted education and have minimal literacy skills in their native language and English. Newcomer Center students receive English instruction that focuses on listening, speaking, reading and writing improvement with low student-adult ratios and state-of-the-art computer systems.

Newcomer centers are located at the following schools: Isabella Bird (ECE-5), Place Bridge Academy (K-5), Merrill Middle School, Abraham Lincoln High School, DCIS Montbello High School, South High School. Learn more at

Early literacy resources

Early literacy — which DPS defines as reading, writing, speaking and listening — is essential to building a strong foundation for success in school and in life. Research shows that students who are reading and writing proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to graduate.

State law (the READ Act) requires all kindergarten, first-, second- and third-graders be tested to ensure students are making progress toward reading on grade level by third grade.

Learn more about what your child should be learning at each grade level: Information is offered for grades K-3 in multiple languages.

Large-scale community dialogue

Three years into the Denver Plan, and with the benefit of the work from the African-American Equity Task Force and Strengthening Neighborhoods Initiative, the board said now is the right time to re-engage the community in a robust dialogue about what supports, opportunities, strategies and accountability should look like for schools and the district as a whole. The board intends for the engagement to be a sustained effort over multiple months, with opportunities for reflection in between various stages of the process. Watch for more information about the district’s new engagement effort in newsletters and on

Family and Community Helpline

The Family and Community Helpline, 720-423-3054, is where anyone can call to receive assistance in navigating Denver Public Schools. The goal is to address parent concerns in an efficient and effective manner. Call to get information on: a school or community concern, school-related questions, department or district resources, coaching and training to support parents.

Spanish-speaking staff and multilingual interpretation services are available.


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