IMPORTANT UPDATE to School Calendar; Schools Closed Nov. 19

DPS leadership has decided to make Friday, Nov. 19 a non-attendance day for students, and district-run schools and office buildings will be closed.

In addition to providing additional time for overall self-care, this also gives families additional time to consider taking advantage of the COVID-19 vaccine now being available for children ages 5-11. There are no remote-work requirements on Nov. 19 in order to give staff and families this additional day. Our partners at Denver Health have continuously emphasized that the vaccine is the best weapon available to us to end the pandemic. We’ve seen very strong compliance among Team DPS in meeting the requirements of the city’s public health order on vaccinations, and I’m so grateful for that. We now turn our attention to our families — to make sure they have complete and thorough information on the availability of the vaccine for children over the age of 5.
This decision regarding Nov. 19 is also in line with the recommendations of the U.S. Department of Education, which is urging school districts to provide paid time off to staff to get their own children vaccinated. 

Upcoming Webinar: Transgender/Non-binary Allyship 101, Nov. 3rd

On November 3, Prevention Services is hosting our third installment of the Lunchtime Learning Webinar for the 21-22 school year. During this webinar, Levi Arithson Program Manager of LGBTQ+ Equity Initiatives at DPS will provide information about how to support transgender and non-binary youth. Please see below is for more information about the event. I have also attached a flyer. Please share this information with anyone who would benefit from attending this webinar. To learn more about our Lunch Time Learning Webinar Series, which will take place on the first Wednesday of every month at noon, visit:

Upcoming Webinar: Transgender/Non-binary Allyship 101
November 3rd at 12:00 PM MST

There is no playbook on how to be a parent or caregiver. This sometimes becomes even more clear when a child comes out as transgender and/or non-binary. Parents and caregivers (including school staff, extend family, friends and anyone who loves and supports youth) can sometimes feel lost navigating complex and nuanced journeys around gender discovery. A child in transition can bring up a lot for adults: a range of questions, concerns, and emotions–from elation to fear and everything in-between. This talk will cover some high-level basics of supporting a child on a gender journey, dispel common misconceptions, and provide recommended resources as you travel this path with your student.  Register here.

Links:  here-

Upcoming MLE DAC Meeting for Families of Multilingual Learners

DPS is excited to invite all our families of Multilingual Learners to a virtual Multilingual Education Districtwide Advisory Committee (MLE DAC) meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 27, from 5-6:30 p.m. 
At this session, you will receive important information and resources about: Title 1 funds.Graduation requirements and career success.Financial aid and work-based learning opportunities.The DPS Board of Education, including meeting the candidates for districts 2, 3, 4 and At-Large.
Register here and join the meeting via Zoom. For more information, please visit the MLE DAC website or call 720-423-2040.

Participate in the 3 Free College Application Days

We’re excited to share that DPS is hosting three College Application Days on Oct. 1920, and 21, which mirror the state’s Colorado Free Application DaysOn these days, all 32 public colleges and universities in Colorado — and several private institutions — will be waiving their application fees to encourage all students to pursue a post-secondary education.
Watch the message from Gov. Jared Polis (in English and Spanish) below:
Students will receive application support and can apply to participating colleges for free! Students will also have the opportunity to attend helpful workshops on the Common Application and writing personal essays. Talk with your teacher or school counselor about DPS’s College Application Days to get a free head start on your path towards a meaningful career and post-secondary education.

Youth Transportation System for DPS Students

Youth between the ages of 13 – 18 who attend Denver Public Schools (DPS) and have a MY Denver Card can sign up for On MY Way! This is a youth transportation program provided by Denver’s Office of Children’s Affairs in which students can receive monthly RTD passes through their phones from October 1 – December 31, 2021.
Age: 13 – 18
Attending School: Denver Public Schools
Other: Must have a MY Denver Card (visit and a smartphone to access the mobile tickets.

1. Have your DPS student email* address ready.
2. Register here for On MY Way! (use DPS email).
3. Download RTD’s Mobile Ticket App and create an account (use DPS email).
* Participants must use their own DPS email address (i.e., siblings cannot use the same email).
Once your account is reviewed, monthly passes will be pushed to your RTD Mobile Ticket Wallet.

Denver Online Graduating Senior Info

Please see the load of information for Denver Online’s graduating seniors provided by Counselor Casey Burton (casey_

The linked SLIDES contain resources and more detailed information about many of the items I am sharing below. Refer back to it as needed if you have questions about any part of the college planning process.

Free College Application Day$ October 19th, 20th, & 21st– all 32 public colleges and universities in Colorado and several private institutions will allow students to apply for free on Tuesday, Oct. 19th, Wednesday Oct. 20th, and Thursday Oct. 21st as part of the third Colorado Free Application Day$. Applications must be submitted on those days. It is recommended that applications are complete before the 19th so they can be easily submitted on that day for free. 

*DPS Counselors are hosting Virtual Office hours from 10-2 on Tuesday the 19th to help with college applications. Seniors can sign up for a time slot HERE. 

*We are also hosting an In Person Drop In App Day from 10-2 at our Smedley building on Wednesday the 20th. Please RSVP by emailing

*Links to instructions and  FREE APP CODES for all Colleges can be found HERE.

Virtual College Visits- During our Friday Virtual Senior Meetings we will have two more college admission reps coming to join us this month. Deneshia Hearon from CU Denver on Friday Oct. 8th and Israel Sanchez from CU Boulder on October 29thLast week we were joined by Erin Ulrich from Metro.

SAT/ACT- If your senior needs to re-take the SAT or ACT, now is the time to register if they want those scores factored into their college admissions decision. Many colleges are going test optional this year, but I would still recommend that students take the SAT or ACT to bolster their applications.

Getting Grants and Student Loans to Pay for College- The best way to apply for loans and grants (free money based on income) is to complete the FAFSA which opens on October 1st for the 2022-2022 school year. The first step before applying is to create your FSA ID which serves as your digital signature. Parents and students must both create an FSA ID. Please see the linked SLIDESHOW for more information about the FAFSA.

Scholarships- Most scholarship $$ comes from the colleges where students attend, but there are tons of other scholarships out there (and some are really ‘out there’). Please see the linked SLIDESHOW for more information about Scholarships.

College Application/COMMON APP and Essay support– I am happy to meet with you and/or your students one on one via Zoom to help research colleges, complete college applications, and offer Essay support. Students can also reach to their English 4 teacher Sarah Woodard, as they have been working on their college Essay/Personal Statement in her class for the past few weeks.

Letters of Recommendation- Denver Online staff members are happy to write letters of recommendation for college and scholarship applications. We ask that your students give us at least 2 weeks’ notice before any deadlines and to accompany any request with a completed copy of the linked RECOMMENDATION REQUEST. (They will need to print or create their own copy of this form)

Concurrent Enrollment- Is your student interested in getting a jump start on College by taking tuition free college classes this spring? The Concurrent enrollment program allows students to take college classes at local Community Colleges or online via CSU Global. Students only pay for books and fees, and Denver Online covers the tuition. The only catch is that students must pass these courses with a C or better or they will have to repay the tuition. These classes are real colleges classes and can be transferred to most 4 year colleges in the US, plus they earn high school Honors credit for them. We will be starting the spring registration season in the next month, so please be on the lookout for more information about that if your senior is interested.

Accuplacer Testing- As part of the Class of 2022 Graduation requirements, all seniors must demonstrate College Readiness Competency. There are a variety of different measures for this such as the SAT or ACT, but we focus pretty heavily on the Accuplacer test. This test serves dual purposes.

1) Meeting the college ready benchmarks on English and Math means your student has completed the Competency Graduation Requirement

2) It is also the Community College Placement Test, so any student taking college classes for the first time will have to take this test before they can register for Spring College classes.

We are offering this test each Tuesday (REMOTE) and Wednesday (IN PERSON) on the following dates:

10/26, 10/27, 11/2, 11/3, 11/9, 11/ 10, 11/16, & 11/17. Students can sign up for a time slot HERE. Space is limited so sign up ASAP.

ASCENT– The ASCENT program is a way for your senior to earn another year of tuition free college credit next year if they complete 12 college credits (about 4 classes) before their graduation date in May. I will be sending out more information and the application process for ASCENT once I receive it.

Graduation Information- Given the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the pandemic we have yet to be able to set a date or secure a venue for Graduation, but rest assured we will have an in person ceremony (assuming the world continues on a path to normalcy).  Once we have a date and location we will be sure to inform you all so stay tuned. The linked SLIDES have more information about graduation (scroll to the last few slides).

Post-Secondary Paths Outside of College- Although I tend to emphasize college (a lot), I also understand that not everyone plans to go to a 2 year or 4 year College or Trade School. If your student needs help planning for their future outside of college (Work, Military, Independent Living, etc.), please reach out to me so I can help.

$10 Counseling Sessions

I am reaching out from the University of Colorado Denver Student and Community Counseling Center.  Our clinic provides counseling services for children, families, and individual adults for DPS at a rate of $10 per session provided by our Masters-level counselors.  We are hoping to spread the word to your students, families, and staff about this resource.  A flyer with more information is attached below.