Denver Public Schools
District Partner 2011-2012, 2014
In 2014, we partnered with DPS to incorporate a "System-Strategy" return-on-investment approach into their strategic planning, so the district can reach the ambitious student achievement goals of their 2020 strategic plan. Previously, we partnered with Denver Public Schools to complete a resource map of the district, and to support the evolution of their student-based budgeting system.
"We've looked closely at some of the improvements and best practices that other leading districts have put forward, and I've been struck by a common theme: a number of those districts have spent considerable time with ERS."
-Tom Boasberg, Superintendent of Denver Public Schools
- Resource Use: Assess current resource strategies and consider how to reallocate to maximize impact on student learning; also to dive deeper into the district’s resource flexibility strategy
- Return on Investment: Establish, with DPS, a common definition of what ROI means; apply an ROI approach to specific initiatives to identify which provides the best student-achievement return on their investment; build capacity at DPS to conduct ROI analyses in the future
Findings and Outcomes
- School Design: DPS invested in principal training in school design and has developed a school design assessment protocol
- School Funding: DPS adjusted its ELL weight to more accurately represent the additional cost of ELL instruction, and to better differentiate among different levels of need within the ELL population; our review of their compensation structure contributed to a major effort to evolve their system to include teacher leadership roles
- Budgeting: DPS incorporated a frank discussion of resource priorities and trade-offs into their budgeting and strategic planning process; the district also adapted our School Budget Hold'em game and played it with a group of 150 parents as part of an outreach effort, and feedback from the session has been very positive
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