Starting New Schools

great schools in every neighborhood

Why are new schools needed in Denver?

DPS determines if new schools are needed in our district based on two primary factors: enrollment growth and school performance. For the past several years, DPS has been the fastest growing urban school district in the nation. Although that fast pace of growth is beginning to slow, there are still some neighborhoods in Denver that continue to grow, creating a need for new schools.

In some cases, the Denver Board of Education votes to restart or close an existing school, or not to renew a charter authorization, due to persistently low performance. In these cases, DPS may seek a new, high-quality school to better serve our students.

What is the Call for New Quality Schools?

The Call for New Quality Schools, also known as the Call, is three things:

A public document, which DPS uses to announce the need for new schools to serve changing enrollment and capacity needs and to replace persistently low-performing schools.
A quality review process, through which DPS evaluates the quality of proposals for new schools, engages with communities and supports the Denver Board of Education in making decisions about which schools to approve or deny in a public vote.
A placement process, through which approved schools compete for placement in a district facility under the Facility Allocation Policy, and are placed by the board in a public vote.

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How can our community be involved in selecting new schools?

Successful new schools – and quality applications -- are formed through collaborations between families, community members and exemplary school leaders who design rigorous programs tailored to student needs. There are many ways to get involved:

  • Work with a founding team to propose a new school
  • Write a letter to the Denver Board of Education supporting a specific new school application
  • Volunteer to serve on an Applicant Review Team (ART)
  • Meet new school applicants and provide feedback on proposed schools at regional community meetings hosted by the Denver Board of Education
  • Speak to the Denver Board of Education about the new school options during public comment sessions

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What happens when a new quality school is approved by the Denver Board of Education?

Once applicants have been approved through the Call, district staff and the Board of Education use the Facility Allocation Policy to determine which schools will be placed in a district facility.

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