Current Call for New Quality Schools

The 2018 Call for New Quality Schools: For New Schools Intending to Open in Fall 2019 or Thereafter

The Call for New Quality Schools, also known as the Call, is open to all school developers, District-run and charter, in alignment with our commitment to equity across school types. The Call is three things:

  • public document, which transparently articulates the needs DPS has for new or expanded school programs.
  • quality authorizing process, through which DPS evaluates the quality of proposals for new district and charter schools, engages with communities and supports the Denver Board of Education in making decisions about which schools to approve or deny in a public vote.
  • placement process, through which approved schools compete for placement in a district facility under the Facility Allocation Policy, and are placed by the board in a public vote.

Call for New Quality Schools Document, Process & Timeline

The Call document transparently articulates District needs for new schools and defines the requirements for service and placement in a District facility to meet those needs. Given current conditions, DPS is not making the promise of facility support in this year’s Call for New Quality Schools.

2018 Quality Authorizing Process Timeline

  • Letters of Intent are due February 9, 2018 via email to Letters of Intent can be found in the Application Hub.
  • New School and Replication Applications are due April 2, 2018 by 5:00 PM. Please see the application for specific submission requirements.
  • Applicant Interviews will occur between the weeks of April 16 – May 2, 2018
  • District Sponsored Community Events for new schools will occur between April 16 – April 27, 2018
  • Applicants will present to the DPS Board of Education and the Board will host Public Comment on May 10, 2018
  • The DPS Board of Education will vote on May 17, 2018

A detailed timeline can be found in the 2018 Call for New Quality Schools Document.

New and Replicating School Application and Rubric

2018 application materials for new and replicating schools are listed below (updated 1/22/18):

Innovation Zone Application Materials

DPS has released applications for schools to create new and/or join existing innovation zones as described below.  Letters of intent for all applications are due February 9 (now due February 15, 2018) For additional dates, carefully review each application. Three alternative organizing structures, as follows:

  • Entry into the Luminary Learning Network (LLN): The district’s first innovation zone is designed to empower school leaders and teachers with the autonomy needed to design and run excellent schools. The LLN has four member schools and is seeking applications from additional schools interested in joining. Interested schools will have their readiness assessed by the LLN and DPS, which will also consider the zone’s capacity to take on additional schools. Innovation Zone Expansion Application
  • Creation of New Innovation Zones: Innovation zones are a structure established under state statute for innovation schools that share common interests. DPS is accepting applications for two types of new innovation zones, described below. 2018 New Quality Innovation Zones
    Request for Proposals

    • New Innovation Zones with Governance Innovations: This zone would operate separately from the district instructional network structure and be overseen by an external nonprofit and its board. This board will be responsible for support and oversight of the member schools, although the district maintains ultimate legal responsibility.
    • New Innovation Zones within District Network Structure: This is a zone that would allow schools the opportunity to organize around common interests, while remaining within the district networks and reporting structures. Some additional autonomies would be available to these schools, but many decisions would still be made by the district.

We encourage any interested parties to review the documents closely and reach out to Maya Lagana (720-423-2588) with any questions. 

Additional Resources for the 2018 Call for New Quality Schools

School designers interested in applying for the 2018 Call for New Quality Schools should contact Ashleigh Madonna at or 720-423-2482 for more information and to ensure they are included in all communications and updates about the new schools process.