Dear DPS Partners:
Last week I visited Summit Academy, our new Multiple Pathways Center in Southwest Denver, to talk with students and staff there about how that program is working and how it can be improved to better serve our students. As you know, Summit Academy and the three additional Multiple Pathways Centers that will be opening next year are a big part of the work that you have helped us. We could not have done this without you, our valuable community partners, who have helped us and pushed to provide better outreach and stronger, more impactful alternative-education programs to the thousands of the Denver-area students who need to get re-connected to a positive future. In fact, the work and recommendations from our community partners and DPS staff members that worked on the Task Force on Alternative Education (January, 2008), provided a foundation and clear steps that have helped guide our strategy and led to the realization of programs like the Multiple Pathway Centers. In visiting Summit, I also wanted to highlight the fact that our increased focus on alternative-education programs, as well as the continuing progress at our traditional high schools, has led to a dramatic decline in our dropout rate, which is down 42% over the past five years. That’s about 1700 more students who are back in school and back on the path to success in college and career. That progress simply would not have been possible without your involvement and your commitment to our kids, and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for helping us serve more students. A strong connection to the community is absolutely essential to our success in all aspects of providing great opportunities for young people, but it is especially critical when it comes to reaching teens who are in danger of falling through the cracks and missing out on their shot at an education and the chance to make their own future. You are that connection for us, and we deeply appreciate your partnership. I look forward to continuing to work with you to strengthen that partnership and better serve our students.