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Thursday Churn: DPS vote night

What’s churning:

Denver school board members tonight are scheduled to vote on nearly a dozen new school applications to open in fall 2013, plus a proposal to add middle school grades to Manual High School, turning the historic school into a 6-12 campus.

But the most closely-watched item is likely to be a decision on co-locating a new West Denver Prep charter high school at North High School, a plan that’s drawn plenty of fire from supporters of the traditional comprehensive high school.

A week ago, EdNews reported on a possible compromise reached between those in favor of placing the new charter from a high-performing network at the long-struggling North and those opposed to it. Tonight’s meeting agenda includes a resolution worked out by the two sides, though it has been tweaked since its public debut last Thursday.

The new resolution, available here, calls for the creation of a small working group to study alternate locations for the charter high school through Sept. 1 and to present a report to the board on Sept. 17 or 23. If an alternative isn’t approved by Sept. 23, West Denver Prep charter high school would move into a building on the North High School campus known as the “1913 building.”

The latest version of the resolution adds several more weeks to the search for an alternate location. Both public iterations of the resolution have emphasized that West Denver Prep students will receive classroom instruction separate from the North students, with the district agreeing to build additional classrooms if necessary.

Other decisions facing DPS board members tonight include:

  • Six schools have applied to become district-run performance schools, which have more freedom than traditional schools but are still overseen by the district. District staff are recommending the board approve four new performance schools – Denver Center for International Studies at Fairmont, replacing the existing Fairmont program; Excel Academy and Compassion Road Academy, both schools serving dropouts or those at risk of dropping out; and Denver Public Montessori Secondary School, to be co-located with Gilpin Elementary Montessori School.
  • Five new charter schools want to open in Denver and district staff are recommending four schools be approved. They are Highline Academy in Northeast Denver, Academy 360 in Far Northeast Denver, Downtown Denver Expeditionary School and the new West Denver Prep high school in Northwest Denver.
  • Actions affecting existing schools include approval of an innovation plan at Trevista at Horace Mann ECE-8 and moving Noel Community Arts School from the Rachel B. Noel campus to the Montbello campus while Collegiate Prep Academy would move from the Montbello campus to the Noel campus.

To learn more about the new school applicants, visit this DPS webpage and scroll down to “2012 New School Applications” or see this previous EdNews’ story, New DPS school proposals move forward.

What’s on tap:

The Colorado State University Board of Governors opens two days of meetings. The board has a retreat today and business meetings Friday, both at the Inverness Hotel and Conference Center in Denver. Agenda

Good reads from elsewhere:

New tool to narrow teacher candidate pool: Boulder Valley School District officials are using a “timed, online test designed to predict which candidates will be the most effective teachers based on attitudes and beliefs,” according to this Boulder Daily Camera article, which notes the district has received 3,300 applications for 164 teaching jobs.

Thompson school board fires superintendent: Five of seven school board members in Loveland voted Wednesday to fire Superintendent Ron Carbrera, agreeing to a contract buyout of $200,005. The sole remaining board member who hired Carbrera four years ago resigned immediately after the vote while the board president admitted it was not “a termination for cause.” Read the Loveland Herald-Reporter story.

Urging state to stay out of Dougco dispute: In a Denver Post editorial, the state’s largest newspaper says the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment should ignore a request for intervention from the Douglas County teachers’ union in its dispute with the district.

The EdNews’ Churn is a roundup of briefs, notes and meetings in the world of Colorado education, published during the summer as news warrants. To submit an item for consideration in this listing, please email us at EdNews@EdNewsColorado.org.

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