Statement from the Denver Board of Education | Nov. 23, 2020

TRANSCRIPT: Dr. Carrie Olson: « Hi, my name is Dr. Carrie Olson, president of the Denver Public Schools Board of Education. Thank you to everyone for your continued support and feedback as we navigate yet another difficult transition for DPS. We…

Statement from the Denver Board of Education | Nov. 23, 2020

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TRANSCRIPT:
Dr. Carrie Olson: « Hi, my name is Dr. Carrie Olson, president of the Denver Public Schools Board of Education. Thank you to everyone for your continued support and feedback as we navigate yet another difficult transition for DPS. We are sending this statement to speak to you, the Denverites, who are made up of our students, our staff, our neighbors and our community members. We speak to you as duly elected members, selected by you to represent your voice on the Denver Public Schools Board of Education. We are former teachers in DPS. We are organizers. We are parents of DPS students. We are bilingual. We are a recent alum. We are a reverend. A lawyer. A child of immigrants. And a former lieutenant governor. We are honored to lead the students of DPS into a future where all students can receive the best public education and to learn and thrive. Students are always at the forefront of all we do. We are grateful for the many comments, suggestions and voices that have provided us with a lot of feedback and much to consider. We welcome the chance to talk with everyone, including fellow elected leaders once we have a process in place. We also want and encourage the many voices in our community who care so deeply about our schools to help us during this process. We always receive feedback from the communities we represent we openness and reflection. Our goal has remained steadfast: ensuring we have the best schools for the students in our community. We have been working through a timeline for transition, naming an interim, and a process for superintendent search. We ask for your patience, keeping in mind that we are in the midst of a pandemic. We will share the process with the community before any decisions are made. We will announce an interim leader during the first week of December. The board has been clear that the superintendent and her staff should focus on the crisis priorities over the last six months in order to best serve our students and staff during this pandemic. In addition, the superintendent and the board agreed to delay work on the next Denver Plan to best meet the urgent needs of our families in DPS. And we know this board believes in community voice, as evidenced by the work we’ve taken on and how we’ve elevated students’, teachers’ and principals’ voices. In addition, we’ve elevated the voices of the communities that have elected us. We are committed to listening to all voices in our search, so that the students can have the public schools that they deserve. I’ll turn it over now to Vice President Bacon to say a few words. »

Jennifer Bacon: « Thank you, Dr. Olson. My name is Jennifer Bacon, and I’m the vice president of the DPS board of education. All board members were surprised, and saddened, by Susana Cordova’s departure. We wish her the best of luck in Dallas. Any superintendent taking over when she did would have stepped into a difficult position. When she started, DPS was in transition as we came off of a ten year administration. That meant there were challenging situations to manage with new points of views on the board. When we hired her, we recognized she had the skills and the passion to work with DPS. As we face leadership changes, one thing that will always stay the same is our commitment to the success of our students. How we spend our time over the next days and months will be critical. Any time we spend discussing external claims takes us away from our priorities – which are placed on focusing a safe and healthy return to schools in January, and placing an interim superintendent to help guide us through the transition and pandemic. Like we say to our students, be kind to each other. We are community and we will need each other. We call on everyone to model for our students how we can work together to build a strong public education system that we can all be proud of. We too always welcome constructive help and feedback. We particularly welcome any help from any city leader, former school board member and concerned community leader to help us reopen our schools again for a safe return in January. Again we look forward to finding the next great leader of DPS. We will continue to work towards our vision of grassroots decision making and elevating the voices of our most precious stakeholders. We commit to seeing this opportunity to take the time to reflect and not repeat the past, and embrace all of the possibilities that can be attained on behalf of our students. We will be providing updates to the community as we have them. And we look forward to finding the next great leader of Denver Public Schools. »

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