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Teaching in Denver

Teaching in Denver

“We will not consign our children to a second rate education. We have a lot of work to do.” – 2006 Denver Plan.

Denver Public Schools need additional high-quality, driven individuals, like you, to join their efforts to ensure that all students succeed. We know that we can, and must, do more when less than half of our district’s students are graduating and when an achievement gap exists between African American and Hispanic students and Caucasian students. Research shows that the single most influential factor in raising student achievement is the teacher in the classroom. This is your chance to change careers into the field of education, in order to make a difference where your talents, knowledge, and commitment are needed most.

Denver Public Schools (DPS) serves close to 74,000 students - a diverse community of children that are 57% Hispanic, 20% Caucasian, 18% African American, 3% Asian, and 1% Native American. The district (School District No. 1) is comprised of 151 schools, including 73 elementary, 15 K-8, 17 middle, 14 high schools, and 19 charter schools. The mission of DPS is " provide all students the opportunity to achieve the knowledge and skills necessary to become contributing citizens in our society." DPS calls on you to become a teacher in one of the district’s highest-need public schools by applying to the Denver Teaching Fellows program.

Many of our students come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds; close to 65% of students are eligible for Free/Reduced Lunch. Our students represent great cultural and ethnic diversity; nearly one fifth of students are English Language Learners. DPS has a challenge and an opportunity to do more to set and meet high expectations for each one of these students. Tom Boasberg, DPS Superintendent , has defined his goal as transforming the district into "the best big city school district in the country." Joined by the governor of Colorado Bill Ritter, the mayor of Denver, John Hickenlooper, and the state education commissioner, Dwight Jones, Superintendent Boasberg is driving a momentum of change and improvement in our public schools. Denver Teaching Fellows will form a dedicated cohort of new teachers with a shared mission of closing the achievement gap and impacting the lives of Denver’s children.

Fellows will hold themselves accountable for their students’ academic achievement. DPS students’ scores on the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) continue to show a significant achievement gap between white students and their minority peers.  Among third graders, only 23% of Hispanic and 25% of black students are proficient or advanced in writing, compared to 58% of white students. Similarly, 76% of white third grade students are proficient or advanced in math, in comparison with only 41% of black and 43% of Hispanic students.

Teachers in high-need schools are especially committed to overcoming the challenges they face in helping their students to achieve, overcoming these grim statistics. The first year for any new teacher is challenging, and Fellows should anticipate an intense effort, especially at the beginning of the year. A full teaching day is just under seven hours, from start to finish. Beyond the formal school day, Fellows should expect to spend substantial time out of class preparing lessons, grading student work, and communicating with parents and guardians. They may have after-school meetings with school staff, their grade-level or subject team, or students’ family members. Fellows will also attend courses as they pursue their teaching license, as well as professional development activities to support their classroom efforts.

Denver Teaching Fellows understand that their hard work can make a difference in the lives and academic achievement of Denver’s children.

Visit the Denver Public Schools website for more information about the district.

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