Dear DSST Community,
Last Friday, I sent the message below to our staff about recent student protests at our DSST schools. I am proud of our students and the collective actions they have taken in the past week to express an important voice on issues of race and bias. As this important conversation about race and bias continues—here in Denver and throughout the country— I wanted to share my message with you and talk about our continuing efforts to support student voice. We remain committed to creating more space for students to share their perspective, insights—and to learn from each other within a supportive school community. As you may know, there have already been incredibly thoughtful conversations in advisories, at morning meetings and in our classrooms. I have asked our staff to continue these dialogues over the next few weeks and months— and to include parents, community members in these efforts. We view these discussions as an opportunity for all of us including DSST Public Schools to learn together and to tackle very important societal issues of race, bias and justice.
We welcome your thoughts, feedback about the best ways to support student voices during this important time.
Thank you for your continued support of DSST Public Schools.
Dear DSST Team,
As you may know, a number of students at our GVR and Cole campuses participated in student protests over the last two days. I am proud of our students for expressing our core values in powerful and meaningful ways. Participating in peaceful and respectful expressions of belief is a critical part of equipping our students to be future leaders of our communities. I had the opportunity to speak with several of the GVR students who led protests these past couple of days. They are very thoughtful, reflective, and committed to living our values. I am very proud of them. And I am very proud of our school teams who have done an outstanding job of facilitating a positive learning environment for our students to grow through this learning experience. I look forward to continuing very productive conversations on how we turn beliefs and protests into positive action.
DSST was created as a “peaceful protest” to the American public education system. We started our organization ten years ago on two core beliefs – that much of the rest of the institutional public education system did not share.
- The belief that all students from all backgrounds can learn and succeed at getting a world class education. When DSST started ten years ago, I can assure you that many people in Denver did not believe that and that the system of schools in this city provided little opportunity for this to happen.
- That we ought to create schools where all students from all backgrounds can go to school together – not in a tracked environment that largely separates kids by race and income in the very hallways of a school – but rather an integrated school with students all capable and supported with the same goal – to get access to a high quality education.
Our actions speak louder than words. Our student success both inside the classroom and outside the classroom have been the greatest form of protest to an institutional classism and racism that has plagued American public education. I am looking forward to our students expanding their impact as they continue to wrestle with these issues, complete college and ultimately become leaders of our communities. I am confident DSST students will lead the way.
Our joint work gives us a very powerful role to play every day. We can equip our students to be those leaders. We can provide them with a world class education to help them fulfill their dreams. Proving that integrated schools can work and proving that our students WILL succeed will be a lasting legacy that will empower many future generations of students.
Thank you for your ongoing work to change the opportunity for all students in Denver to get a world class education.