DPS and Mile High United Way Partner for Student Success
On August 19, Mile High United Way pledged to continue and expand their partnership with Denver Public Schools in the vison that Every Child Succeeds at the launch of DPS’ Denver Plan 2010.
The new Denver Plan 2020 is made up of five goals to dramatically raise student achievement and ensure that every DPS student succeeds. Mile High United Way works to increase childhood literacy rates and to make sure youth are getting resources they need to be successful, and the goals of this plan parallel those existing initiatives. Our mission is to change lives and transform communities, and an integral part of that is school success for the future leaders and citizens of Colorado.
The goals of the plan are as follows:
1) Great Schools in Every Neighborhood: 80% of all DPS students in every neighborhood to attend a high-performing school by 2020
2) A Foundation for Success in School: 80% of DPS third grade students will be at or above grade level in reading and writing and lectura and escritura
3) Ready for College and Career: the four-year graduation rate for students who start with DPS in ninth grade will increase to 90%; DPS will double the number of students who graduate college and career-read from 1,100 to 2,200
4) Support the Whole Child: ensuring that each school environment encourages students to pursue their passions and interests, supports physical and mental health, and ensures students continue to develop socially and emotionally
5) Close the Opportunity Gap: the graduation rate for African American and Latino students will increase by 25 percentage points, to 89%; third grade reading and writing proficiency will increase by 25 percentage points to 75%
DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg says that educators and community partners have made tremendous strides in increasing achievement for many students. He goes on to say "But we still have much work to do to prepare all students for success after graduation, and the Denver Plan 2020 outlines the goals, strategies, beliefs and values it will take to get there.”
When the first Denver Plan was launched in 2005, only 33% of students were at grade level on state assessments, and DPS had one of the lowest rates of year-on-year academic growth among medium and large districts in the state. Today, 48% of students are proficient on state assessments, and DPS has ranked at the top in year-on-year academic growth for three straight years among major districts.
There is still room for improvement. Persistent achievement gaps continue to exist for students of color, students who are learning English as a second language and students who are in poverty.
Denver Plan 2020 provides both DPS and community partners like Mile High United Way straightforward goals to take action on and meet these challenges through various programs and approaches.
Christine Benero, Mile High United Way President and CEO said, "Mile High United Way is a very proud partner of Denver Public Schools and we are excited to say that we play for Team DPS. The extraordinary thing about the Denver Plan 2020 is that there is a place for every one of us. As business leaders, as community leaders, we too can make a commitment.”