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DSST Strategic Plan 2028

Charting the path to generational impact.

DSST Public Schools believes in eliminating educational inequity and preparing all students for success in college and the 21st century. DSST is committed to ensuring that each and every student has access to rigorous and rich STEM and college-preparatory academics, experiences and education that prepare them not only to succeed in college but ultimately to break systemic barriers and create multi-generational change. 

Over the course of the 2020–22 school years, DSST conducted a deep review of the organization and the metro Denver landscape to create a five-year plan that addresses the needs and demands of its community. DSST is excited to share some of the most important findings and chart the path forward with you. 


Develop and implement an inclusive, equitable and coherent program that supports students to break societal barriers in STEM fields and prepares all students for success in four-year college. 

  • Program Vision, Course Offering & Schedule: Redefine and implement a 6-12 program vision, course sequence and set of offerings and schedule that will support each student to achieve the aims outlined in the graduate profile.
  • STEM Vision: Redefine and publish a network-wide vision of excellence for STEM education and design and implement aligned programming and curricula, including pathways that ensure consistent, best-in-class STEM programming at all campuses.
  • Reading Intervention: Define and implement a vision and system for reading intervention across Tier 1-3 to close literacy gaps for our highest-need students.

Desired Impact
  • Students have access to rigorous, world-class STEM programming that focuses on preparation for high-skill STEM fields of the future. 
  • DSST students are prepared for and supported to be admitted to, select, enroll and succeed in four-year colleges and universities. All students’ needs are met so they are able to thrive.
Adopt and strengthen implementation of college-preparatory curriculum to provide high quality instruction to all students.

  • Standards-Aligned Bar, Assessment Vision & Building Content Knowledge: Name 6-12 standards across core courses, reset the purpose of assessment bringing clarity to assessment types and purposes, create standards-aligned item banks and implement equitable benchmark assessments aligned to north star assessments in order to effectively monitor and respond to student progress.
  • MS Math and Literacy Curricula: Continue to strengthen the quality and implementation of math and literacy curricula.
  • HS Math and Literacy Curricula: Adopt and implement high-quality Tier 1 curriculum in HS math and literacy to develop teachers’ capacity to teach effective lessons.
  • Access: Implement high-quality instructional practices that facilitate equitable access to grade-level curricula.
  • Instructional Enabling Systems: Design and implement/strengthen observation and feedback, data-driven instruction and student work analysis systems to develop teachers’ ability to execute rigorous, engaging and culturally responsive lessons and respond effectively to evidence of student understanding.


Desired Impact
All DSST students receive accessible, rigorous grade-level instruction and materials that prepare them with the academic knowledge and skills to be successful in four-year college and beyond.

Promote and strengthen students’ sense of self, belonging, purpose and values through a school experience that is joyful, inclusive and values-centered.


  • School Culture: Refine and implement a vision for inclusive, values-driven school culture and community that creates a strong platform for learning and a joyful, connected student experience.
  • Social Emotional Learning, Purpose, Identity: Define and integrate/implement identity, purpose and social-emotional programming and practices throughout the school day so that students develop competencies consistently throughout Advisory and their school experience.

Desired Impact
DSST schools are rich with an inclusive, values-driven school culture and community, and students are supported with strong social-emotional programming.

Recruit, retain and develop a highly effective and impactful team that is responsive and representative of our diverse student population.


  • Training and Development: Refine the vision for training and development for new and returning staff aligned to key change efforts and in service of “institutionalizing” our change work.
  • Leadership Development Pathways: Design and implement development pathways that support team members to move into new roles aligned with their career goals and organizational needs, ensuring at least one highly effective team member is ready for each leadership vacancy.
  • Recruiting and Pipeline: Design and implement vision and strategy to internally and externally recruit and hire team members in high-priority areas (ex: SpEd, Apprentice Teacher program, STEM, etc.).
  • Increase Staff Value Proposition: Determine approach and strategy to staff retention and recruitment, understanding market research and stakeholder perspectives to identify the most critical levers.

Desired Impact
DSST staff have access to development pathways that align with their individual goals as well as organizational needs. DSST continues to retain and develop staff while also building a strong pipeline of new, talented, values-aligned teachers and leaders.

Codify, communicate and implement equitable processes, systems and strategies that define and structure team member roles and responsibilities in order to maximize our collective impact, increase sustainability and successfully manage our growth.


  • Theory of Action and Home Office Effectiveness: Implement a revised DSST Theory of Action to increase clarity of Home Office and school roles, realign staffing models, and provide structures, systems and training for Home Office team members in order to increase Home Office effectiveness and better drive towards our report card outcomes.
  • Data-Driven Action: Establish a framework for performance management in order to monitor initiative implementation and progress toward key results so that DSST can respond to data and achieve ambitious and equitable results.
  • Calendar & Architecture of the Year: Establish an architecture of the year and annual calendar that supports effective assessment cycles and data-driven action, maximizes high quality instructional time, provides time and space for training and development and supports staff wellness and sustainability. 
  • Growth: Explore third-market opportunities for new school growth and determine criteria (e.g.: strength of student achievement results) that would indicate readiness to pursue growth if the opportunity arose.

Desired Impact
  • Academic outcomes improve through the replication and scaling of best practices, the development, training and support of staff and clear and consistent communication across the network.
  • DSST is prepared to scale its impact through growth in Aurora and a potential third market, if key performance indicators at current schools are met.



In the 2023-24 school year, DSST will focus on the following strategic plan priorities:


Excellent Instruction

Grade-level rigor and internalization practices to close the opportunity gap

Thriving Community 

Clear and consistent whole-school and classroom culture systems for equity

Transformational Talent

Learning and growing in our roles to be more effective for our students

Collective Impact 

Working better together


Share your ideas or feedback on DSST's Strategic Plan 2028. If you choose to submit your name and email, a member of the strategy team may reach out to ask for further information or to give you additional context regarding your comments.


A special thank you to the thousands of students, alumni, families, and community and staff members who participated in DSST’s Vision Working Group, focus groups, forums, surveys, and more. Your insight and perspective was instrumental in creating this plan-- and will continue to be so in the execution of it.