Frequently Asked Questions

Is New Student Academy required?

Yes. New Student Academy is required for all incoming students. Students who do not attend  may lose their eligibility to register for the school year.

Does DSST require students to wear a uniform?

Yes. The purpose of the uniform is to create a professional, safe and respectful community where students can place their focus on learning. Students are required to wear DSST: Byers uniform tops purchased through Denver Athletic and conform to dress code requirements for pants, shoes, and belts. Please refer to the dress code information in your orientation packet or in the DSST student handbook.

Families will have the opportunity to purchase uniform tops before the summer school program and during the course of the year. Students will be required to be in uniform beginning with their first day of summer school.

Gently used uniforms are recycled and will be made available at a discounted price. Please save your used uniforms and return them to the DSST: Byers front office when your student has outgrown them.

What time will school start and finish each day?

  • New Student Academy:
    • 8:00am until 11:30am
  • School Start and End Times for the 2019-20 School Year:
    • 8:00am until 4:05pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays
    • 8:00am until 2:15pm on Wednesdays

Schedules may be subject to change.  If a student has been assigned College Prep, Refocus, or Mandatory Tutoring during summer school or the normal school year, that student will stay 50 minutes later to serve their assigned session.

Will lunch be provided during New Student Academy?

No. However, students may bring snacks that they can eat after school. They may not eat snacks during school.

Beverages: Students are allowed to bring water bottles containing water ONLY.  Soda, energy drinks and other beverages are not permitted at any time.

Does DSST provide transportation?

No. It is the family’s responsibility to provide transportation for their student. Many families participate in carpool arrangements. You will receive a family directory to help you connect with other families in your area, and information from the Way To Go School Pool program to help arrange carpool or group walks or rides.

Does DSST have an after school day care program?

No. Students should be picked up immediately after their dismissal. Please be sure to make arrangements to have your student picked up in a timely manner. Only students participating in supervised clubs or athletic activities with written permission from parents are allowed to be on campus after their dismissal.

Does DSST offer extra-curricular or after-school programs?

Yes. DSST offers an Athletic program and after school clubs which vary according to the trimester and season. Please see the specific Athletic informational flyer for more information regarding our Athletics program. Clubs that DSST: Byers offered in past years included: Robotics, Book Club, Falcons Without Borders, Debate, and Yearbook. Clubs vary depending on the interests of students and availability of a club sponsor.

Will there be homework every night?

Yes. On average, students receive approximately 1 ½ hours nightly.  Homework for each of the different core classes takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes to complete. If you find that your student is spending more than this amount of time on homework on a regular basis, please be sure to contact his or her advisor. The advisor can assist you with strategies to improve your student’s homework load, as well as provide feedback to our staff if the homework load is heavier than our expected norm.

How does DSST handle discipline issues?

The DSST community is founded on the school’s six core values: respect, responsibility, integrity, courage, curiosity, and doing your best. Students, parents and teachers formally commit to doing their best to live and support these core values.  The core values provide students with the opportunity for self-improvement, individual growth, and character development as well as support stewardship of our entire community. We recognize that we all make mistakes, and that middle school students are practicing many skills as they move toward becoming teenagers and responsible community members. Violation of school expectations, however, will subject a student to disciplinary measures in accordance with DPS and DSST guidelines.

  • Most student errors are handled through direct conversation and using the mistake as a “teachable moment”.
  • The student may be assigned to a Refocus or College Prep session for specific behaviors.
  • Students who commit more serious offenses, or who receive 10 or more refocuses in a trimester may serve a suspension. Student’s prepare and deliver an apology to the community as part of the suspension process.
  • DSST follows Denver Public Schools’ guidelines regarding serious offenses. Please refer to the DPS website for more information

Can my student use a cell phone in school?  What about other electronics?

No. Cell phone use and the use of other electronics by students is not permitted within the school building. We understand that many students have cell phones for safety and communication reasons. However, cell phones and other electronics must be stowed in a students’ backpack or locker in the off position until the school day is over and the student has exited the building. If a student is seen using or holding a cell phone or other electronic device, or if a cell phone rings during the school day, the equipment will be confiscated until a parent can come and pick it up. Policies for eBook Readers are revised annually and may or may not be permitted for reading only.

What are the requirements for promotion to the next grade?

Promotion of students who may be struggling academically is reviewed carefully on an individual basis by our teaching team. However, the basic guidelines are as follows:

  • Students must receive a passing grade (70% or higher) in all of their core classes to be promoted to the next grade.
  • Students must also earn a passing grade (70%or higher) on their core classes year end final assessments.
  • Students who receive 3 or more failing grades in their core classes are likely to be retained in their current grade for the following school year, and students with 1-2 failing grades will be eligible for summer school and have the opportunity to earn a passing grade in that course over the summer.
  • Students must not miss more than 10 school days, or will be at risk of retention.

If a student completes promotion requirements for the DSST Middle School, will he or she automatically be eligible for the DSST High School?

Yes. Students who meet the requirements after the 8th grade will be promoted to the DSST high school on the same campus. DSST: Byers High School opened in the fall of 2016.

Will my student’s siblings have a preference to enter DSST?

Yes. Siblings of current DSST students are eligible for a preference to enter the same DSST campus the following year. To maintain this preference, an application for each sibling hoping to enter DSST under this preference must be submitted prior to the DPS First Round Choice application deadline. Only siblings with the same legal guardian living in the same household are eligible for the DSST sibling preference. Families will need to demonstrate proof of legal guardianship and residence to maintain eligibility.

How will DSST meet the needs of special education students?

Special Education students who are on an IEP or 504-plan will be served in an inclusion model; they will be in the same classes as other students. DSST has a special education team to support the student’s IEP goals. Special Education students may be placed in Math and English support and seminar classes in addition to their regular courses.  In these classes, students will be given more time to work on core skills, receive additional instruction, and reinforce necessary strategies. Please indicate whether your student has an IEP or 504-plan so we can coordinate services and schedule transition meetings prior to the end of this current school year.

How will DSST meet the needs of students who have been identified as Gifted and Talented?

DSST, along with Denver Public Schools, supports students with Advanced Learning Plans. DSST implements differentiated instructional practices to support non-tracked heterogeneous classes that level instruction to meet student learning needs. Teachers create multi-level approaches to challenge students at all levels. Levels of mastery and identification of learning needs are based on student performance on our Benchmark Assessments.

Can I become involved at DSST as a parent volunteer?

Yes. There are a variety of ways to become involved at DSST, including participating in the Science and Tech Parents (STP) group. Although volunteering is not required, it is highly encouraged. Participation in our Plus One program is a school-wide goal.