ACTION PLANS

As a Board Director, Mike will work with his Board colleagues to improve the learning opportunities for all students and to establish DPS as a leader in educational transformation by holding the superintendent accountable to address four main areas:

How Schools Deliver Education

Problems: *Students are not achieving to their full potential across the district at all levels.

                      *Jobs in the future require new skills that are not being taught today.

Proposed Solutions:

  • Incorporate newest research on how children learn to design learning and assessment systems based on these principles.

  • Redesign the learning programming to prioritize critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication skills, and other skills and mindsets students need to thrive in the future.

  • Expand opportunities for students to experience project-based learning, mentorships, internships, technology, apprenticeships, STEM, the arts, extra-curriculars, etc.

  • Require and fully fund art, music, and physical education in all elementary schools.

  • Support teachers with time and the necessary resources to unlock each student’s individual interests and passions.

  • Redesign ECE-12 curriculum to include relevant and student-centered approaches and teaching strategies.

  • Embed comprehensive mental health, social emotional, and counseling supports throughout the school day.

  • Establish clear, consistent, fair, just guidelines for restorative justice practices with consistent input from school leaders and staff to ensure a safe environment for all students and staff.

How Student Achievement and School Quality are Measured

Problems:

*Standardized testing is not a valid, reliable, or fair measure of overall student learning.

 *The current state school performance framework is not effective for all students and for all schools.

Proposed Solutions:

  • Deemphasize the use of standardized tests as a primary measure of student achievement and/or school quality.

  • Design and implement formative assessments along with summative assessments on core standards.

  • Encourage and support teachers to use their professional skills to monitor student progress in learning standards through relevant and meaningful engaging learning experiences.

  • Work with the state legislature to review all current education laws and specifically monitor the audit of the Colorado performance framework to ensure that any potential recommendations fully address the needs of all DPS students.

How Schools are Funded

Problems:  *Funding sources are inadequate and not transparent across the district schools.

       *Significant portions of the budget are spent on outside contracts and central supports to manage  and oversee schools in various governance systems: charter, innovation, and neighborhood schools.

Proposed Solutions:

  • Reexamine current budgeting practices to ensure that equitable and essential resources are going directly to the local school.

  • Develop system for all neighborhood school PTA and community leaders to visit schools in different regions to learn the different student needs, and to collaborate on strategies to address ways to change current budgeting systems across the district.

  • Ensure that all major central office services and staffing connect directly to identified student needs in local schools.

  • Establish oversight and governance for all schools through district policies that adhere to a vision of learning and well-being for every child regardless of school setting, e.g., charters, innovation, neighborhood schools.

  • Reimagine the current design for innovation schools and consider how to address budgetary needs through a programmatic needs-based system.

  • Reexamine existing school boundaries to reflect current population shifts and to support strong neighborhood schools, regardless of school size. Revisit board member boundaries to reflect equitable school populations.

  • Initiate consistent communication with city, community, and state agencies to address the full range of educational needs and advocate for increased funding for education. 

 How Employees and Community are Included in Decision-making

Problems:

 *Employees do not always feel valued for their contributions and are sometimes subject to unfair evaluation practices.

 *There is a lack of trust among staff, students, and community groups related to communication and decision making.

Proposed Solutions:

  • Reexamine the current evaluation systems for teachers, school leaders, SSP’s, paraprofessionals and all classified employees to ensure they are asset-based versus deficit-based systems.

  • Work with bargaining groups on interest-based, win/win bargaining. Establish guidelines on commitments from all groups to student-needs priorities in all discussions.

  • Establish Wellness councils with representation from all employee groups in each school/region to enhance morale, build trust, and improve communication across the district.

  • Use established school-based Collaborative school committees (CSC's) to channel parent and community voice to regional advisory councils that will meet directly with the Board.

  • Initiate and expand student advisory councils in all high schools to ensure consistent student voice in all aspects of their educational experience.

  • Expand all existing community governance advisory systems in each school type into a district level structure to ensure coherence and widespread commitment to shared district goals.

  • Expand family-school connections through community services and community liaisons for local schools.