DSST Public Schools (DSST) is dedicated to providing an outstanding liberal arts education, with a focus on science and technology, to a diverse student population. Our curriculum is designed to ensure 100% student proficiency on state standards in math, science and English and a 100% student acceptance and graduation rate from four-year colleges. By starting in the 6th grade, we feel we can reach this ambitious goal.
In order to meet these goals, our academic program is founded on the following principles:
- High Expectations: All students are required to complete a rigorous college- preparatory curriculum that includes 7 years of secondary math through pre-calculus -- regardless of their math level when they enter DSST in the 6th grade -- and 8 years of integrated laboratory science. There is no remedial track at DSST. Every student completes the core curriculum or a challenge course in each subject. Our requirements well exceed Colorado's higher education entrance requirements.
High-Accountability School Culture: DSST has created a high-accountability culture where doing your best in your classes is expected and doing well in school is cool.
- An advisor for every student, who monitors student performance and maintains regular communication with parents/guardians.
- College Prep, a required after-school study hall for students who have not completed their homework.
- Mandatory teacher tutoring for students who fail a quiz or test or need support.
- A learning culture that communicates to students that learning the concepts and skills is more important than grades.
- Weekly recognition of students for academic effort and success and demonstrating core values.
Remediation and Support: In order to help students meet our high expectations we require:
- ALL new-to-DSST students must attend Summer School.
- Required summer school for all current students who have not demonstrated grade-level proficiency in math and/or English.
- Math and English seminars for students who are still working to master basic fluency skills.
- Math and English support classes, courses that students take in addition to their regular courses, if they are performing below grade level and are at risk of failing courses for the year.
Balanced Curriculum Approach: DSST has a balanced pedagogical approach that includes:
- Combined traditional and inquiry-based instructional practices to ensure that students master both concepts and skills in all of their classes. We are committed to teaching students, rather than to a prescribed curriculum.
- Spiraling of concepts in our teaching, so that students revisit core skills and concepts many times throughout the year.
- Real-world application that reinforces important concepts in a pragmatic, inquiry-based setting.
Use of Technology: DSST employs technology to transform teaching and learning in the following ways:
- A wireless one-to-one teaching learning environment for all students and staff.
- Pedagogy that utilizes technology to enhance and transform outstanding teaching practices.
- The use of technology throughout school-wide assessment practices to efficiently analyze and act on data.