DSST News

9.28.16

DSST: Green Valley Ranch High School is one of 279 public schools recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School this year by the U.S. Department of Education. The Prestigious National Blue Ribbon Award recognizes the high degree of academic excellence at Green Valley Ranch. It speaks to the amazing Green Valley Ranch community and their commitment to ensure that every student is ready for college and life. You can watch the Blue Ribbon announcement by US Secretary John King at 11am MST here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heb5Mtr51BM. Congratulations Raptor Nation!

 

 

 

9.1.16

Friends of DSST,

We are committed to ensuring all of our students are four year college ready and leaving DSST schools prepared to succeed in college, careers and life.  Colorado state tests (CMAS) and college assessments (ACT) are one measure of many that we use to assess our success against this goal.  The Colorado Department of Education released results this morning and I am excited to share with you some of DSST’s outstanding results.

ACT

In 2015-16 DSST: Stapleton High School and DSST: Green Valley Ranch High School ranked #2 and #3 in Denver for their composite average ACT score.  They both ranked in the top 8% out of all high schools in Colorado. The graph below includes every other Colorado high school as a blue dot, DSST: Stapleton HS as a red dot, and DSST: Green Valley Ranch as a purple dot.  Our high schools continue to achieve radically different outcomes than virtually any other schools in the state serving a population representative of Colorado. 

 

Colorado State Tests (CMAS)

All four DSST high schools rank in the top five math proficiency rates on Colorado’s standardized test, the CMAS, out of Denver’s 49 high schools.

All four DSST high schools also rank in the top eight in Denver for combined proficiency of math and English language arts on the CMAS.

Additionally, DSST’s high school students who receive free and reduced price lunch (FRL) have the same level of math proficiency (52%) on the 2016 CMAS standardized test as Denver Public Schools’ non-FRL high school students. We were also enthusiastic to see that network wide DSST middle and high school students had higher proficiency rates than their Denver peers in the key areas of SPED, ELL and FRL students. Finally, DSST: Byers Middle School had the #1 math rank and #2 English language arts rank for middle school CMAS proficiency in Denver. 

 

Advanced Placement Scores

DSST’s high school students make up only 6% of DPS’ high school population but our schools make up a disproportionate number of passing AP scores in math and science courses:

I am proud of our students and our team for the consistent outstanding results they produce year after year.  These results represent hard work, a commitment to learn and desire to serve all students day in and day out. These results, however, also point to areas that we continue to need to grow.  We still have achievement gaps in our schools, and we are not getting all of our students to proficiency.  Change is already underway to address these gaps and we are committed to turning out even better results next year. 

All of this would not be possible without your continued support. Thank you for making our mission to end educational inequity in Denver come to life.  

Best,

Bill Kurtz

CEO of DSST Public Schools

 

8.19.16

 

 

Happy 2016-17 school year!

Our DSST team welcomed nearly 4,800 students across Denver to our 12 schools yesterday.  The excitement and enthusiasm of our students and families was contagious!  The pictures above and below capture a bit of that enthusiasm at our two brand new schools DSST: Henry MS and DSST: Byers HS.

Our new DSST: Henry campus welcomed 140 6th graders and our DSST: Byers High School welcomed nearly 140 freshman. Both founding teams worked incredibly hard over the last year for this moment and it was fun to see their planning and hard work pay off students as families arrived at school yesterday morning.

Ensuring that 80% of students and families have access to a high quality school in their neighborhood is a key goal of the Denver Public Schools “Denver 2020 Plan.”  We are excited to be able to partner with DPS to open these two new schools and to continue to help the district make progress toward its goals.

As I made my way around to all of our schools over the last 24 hours, three observations stood out to me:

  • The joy of our students: So many smiles, laughs and energy filled our common spaces and classrooms.
  • The enthusiasm of our team.  It was clear that our team of 545 strong was ready to be with students!   Enough pre-school work;  we were ready to serve and spark our students to be their best selves this year!
  • The commitment of our students:  Our mission to end educational inequity across Denver is so important.  Listening to students process the events of this summer, they are ready and committed to doing their part to help solve the inequities they experience and see around them.

I wanted to say thank you to our entire team for the hard work everyone invested in getting our schools ready for another great year.  There has been a ton of work, collaboration and late nights required and the smooth opening yesterday is a testament to our team’s careful work.

Best,

Bill Kurtz

CEO of DSST Public Schools

 

6.29.16

Along with five other finalists, Jeremy "Wick" Wickenheiser, the Director of DSST E-Ship, took the stage at the Aspen Ideas Festival to pitch E-Ship at the Booz Allen Hamilton's Big Idea competition June 28th.

Wick's pitch, "Entrepreneurship and an Innovation Economy Ready Workforce," proposes doing school differently. He asks, "What if we gave students the opportunity to work on meaningful problems while simultaneously learning both the necessary content and skills that will not only allow them to access the careers of the future, but to become the next generation of leaders and CEOs?"

As Wick explains, DSST E-Ship is working to answer that question by helping students "realize that they have the skills and talents to meaningfully contribute to world." Watch Wick presentation to a panel of judges and a live Festival audience here.

6.28.16

The National Alliance of Public Charter School inducted DSST CEO, Bill Kurtz, into the National Charter School Hall of Fame on June 28. As one of just three charter school leaders from across the country to receive this honor this year, Bill’s induction is a reminder that DSST is making waves in education nationally as well as at home. Congratulations, Bill!