"At DSST, when I walk into this building, I feel at home.”
Roxana, DSST: Byers Class of 2020
As we look forward to the year ahead, we know our students will amaze us. Students like Roxana, who plans to become an astrophysicist at NASA, inspire us to give our best in service of their dreams every single day.
WATCH as Roxana shares her hopes for the future, and how the DSST community is helping her get there.
Of course, like Roxana, we’re not just thinking about the year ahead, but to the future. We are thinking about how to ensure our students find happiness and success in every part of life. We know that to prepare Roxana and each one of our kids for the world ahead, they need so much more than rigorous, college-prep academics. They need strength of character, confidence, and the ability to see themselves for who they uniquely are and to see themselves as leaders of the future. I think the importance of DSST's educational communities is highlighted well in this week's article in The 74: 10, Years, 100% College Acceptance: Inside a Most Remarkable Decade at the Denver School of Science & Technology.
“At DSST, I feel safe to speak my own thoughts,” Roxana says. “I feel accepted and welcomed by all of my peers. And I’m really, truly happy.”
Now more than ever, we want our schools to be places that foster a sense of belonging for each one of our kids. In celebration of the one-of-kind DSST community that we build, we’re turning the spotlight on amazing student, teacher and parent leaders. Over the next few weeks, we hope you’ll join us as we share a brief series of videos and some helpful resources that underscore the power that our schools have to bring out the best in all students. Look for the tag #BelongAndBeYourself, and join the conversation.
Thank you for all that you do for students like Roxana, and so many more, every day
CEO, DSST Public Schools
The 74, a non-profit, non-partisan news site that covers education in America, recently published "10 Years, 100% College Acceptance: Inside a Most Remarkable Decade at the Denver School of Science & Technology," highlighting DSST's strong record of academic success.
Taking a deep dive into DSST's focus on the whole child, the 74 explored aspects of our culture that makes our community uniquely strong, supportive, and academically successfull. From "celebrating our students like athletes" at Senior Signing Day to our fierce belief in our core values, the 74 shined light on DSST's belief that a culture of support is just as important as rigorous STEM academics.
Read the full article here.
At DSST, we will stand by our students, staff and community members who are DACA recipients and strongly condemn the plan to end DACA. We will be holding facebook live events this fall where we will have an immigration lawyer and policy experts available to answer any questions you may have about changes to this program. This will be an opportunity for you to hear practical steps you can take and to get connected to helpful resources. Stay tuned for specific dates.
Additional resources can also be found on our website: http://www.dsstpublicschools.org/community-resources.
Colorado recently announced state test results from the 2016-17 school year. I am pleased to share that DSST continues to produce outstanding student achievement and college-readiness results while supporting our students to become the best versions of themselves. Here are a few highlights:
- On the Colorado statewide SAT College Admissions Test, DSST has three of the top four performing schools of Denver’s 60+ high schools. DSST: Stapleton, DSST: Green Valley Ranch, and DSST: Cole high schools are Nos. 1, 3, and 4, respectively. This past year, Colorado switched from the ACT to the SAT as the statewide 11th grade assessment.
- 73% of DSST 11th grade students were college ready vs. 39% of Colorado students statewide.
- CMAS scores were also released today. On average, DSST students continue to outperform their peers in the state and district on the CMAS assessment. Of particular note, DSST: Green Valley Ranch ninth graders showed the highest growth scores in math within DPS secondary schools, and DSST: Cole ninth graders had the second-highest ELA growth scores in all of DPS.
Lastly, you also may have seen our announcement earlier this week that two DSST schools are finalists for the prestigious 2017 Succeeds Prize for Excellence in Education. DSST: Byers Middle School is one of three finalists in the state for the STEM school category and DSST: Green Valley Ranch High School is one of three finalists in the state for the High School category. The winners will be announced on Oct. 3rd.
While we are excited to celebrate these continued strong results, we also know we can do better. Our achievement gaps continue to be too large between students of color and white students, between students with disabilities and students without disabilities, and English language learners and native English speakers. DSST is committed to both closing these gaps and ensuring all of our students reach their full potential. It is important to us that our graduates stand out with both a strong liberal arts foundation and the STEM skills to open up unlimited professional pathways. We have significant work to do as an organization to achieve these goals.
Thank you for your continued support of DSST. Without the collective effort of our students, families, staff, board and friends, none of this would be possible. I know the entire DSST community is ready to get to work this school year with the goal of ending educational inequities in Denver.
CEO of DSST Public Schools
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the Southeast Texas area is now beginning its recovery efforts, and DSST is pitching in!
Jamelle Austin (Stapleton Middle School) and Quincy Shannon (Green Valley Ranch Middle School) are collecting donations for the victims in Houston and surrounding areas devastated by the storm and flooding.
Supplies for young children, including diapers, wipes, and formula are in demand. In addition, local school districts and charter networks also are asking for school supplies, as well as canned food and water, to help their families. Local officials have asked no more clothing be donated as they have enough.
DSST campuses are encouraged to set up a box where students and staff can drop off donations. Austin plans to visit each campus Thursday, Sept. 7, and Friday, Sept. 8. Shannon will drive a box truck filled with supplies to Houston on Saturday, Sept. 9.
If you have any further questions, please contact Jamelle Austin at Jamelle.Austin@scienceandtech.org.
Photo from NASA.