Innovation Schools

What is an Innovation School?

Our Innovation Schools

View a comprehensive list of innovation schools in DPS. Learn more…

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. 

 Common Flexibilities

  • Innovation schools have the ability to seek waivers of select District policies, State Statutes, and Collective Bargaining Agreement provisions in order to improve student achievement.  All waived policies require a replacement policy that ensures schools are complying with the original intent and meeting minimum requirements.
  • Common District policy waivers include curriculum, schedule, and composition of the Collaborative school committee.
  • Common State Statute waivers include calendar and hiring processes.
  • Common waivers from the DCTA collective bargaining agreement include schedule, hiring, and dismissal procedures.