Ensuring Access to Great Schools for All Students

DPS is committed to providing great schools for every student in every neighborhood, and our work is grounded in the following beliefs.

  • We believe that students and families thrive when they have high quality schools in their neighborhoods.
  • We believe that those who work closely with our students – teachers, parents, leaders and community members – should be supported and empowered to drive student learning.
  • And, we believe district leadership should support, oversee and hold a school’s performance accountable so students, leaders and teachers can thrive.

Through our family of high quality, diverse, autonomous public schools, including district-run traditional, district-run innovation, innovative management organizations (IMOs), innovation zones (iZones) and charter schools, we work to make these beliefs a reality – ensuring equity in school choice and accountability. This family of schools, sometimes known as a “portfolio” of schools, replaces a one-size-fits-all approach to education.

DPS’ Portfolio Management Team helps ensure all our schools, regardless of governance type, serve all students, have access to all district resources, and are held accountable in equitable ways. We refer to this commitment to equity across our family of schools as the “Three Equities” that are described below.

Three Equities

Equity of Opportunity means that the schools have equitable resources (most notably funding), support services from DPS and available facilities.

Equity of Responsibility and Access means that everyone in our family of schools must offer equitable and open access to all students regardless of socioeconomic status, disability, home language, or other status and share an equal obligation in District-wide responsibilities, such as:

  • Access for students with disabilities. All schools serve an equitable share of students with disabilities, and numerous schools of all types operate center-based programs to serve students with more significant disabilities. Such service is an expectation for all schools.
  • Enrollment practices. All DPS schools use a common enrollment system, SchoolChoice, which helps to ensure families have equitable access to all schools in the city. In addition, all schools have common expectations around other enrollment topics, most notably how they will serve students who do not participate in the Choice process (i.e., those who move in mid-year).

Equity of Accountability refers to the shared accountability system that applies to all schools through the School Performance Framework and the School Performance Compact. This system ensures a common set of expectations for academic performance across our family of schools.

Large group of elementary students playing on a large set of monkey bars

Authorizing, Cultivating and Advocating for High-Quality Schools

DPS Family of Schools

We offer diverse school models and programs across our more than 200 schools that promote school empowerment and family choice.

Learn about our family of schools »

Giving Families Choice

We offer every DPS student and family the opportunity to choose the best school for them, and we create new schools as needed to ensure access to high-quality schools in every neighborhood.

Learn about SchoolChoice »

Empowering Schools

We develop and manage systems and authorize processes that provide flexibility and empowerment to the DPS family of schools.

Learn how we empower schools »

Assessing School Performance

Our schools are responsible for serving all students with excellence, so we track and measure school performance and hold each school accountable for its results.

Learn how we assess schools »

Providing Oversight and Support

Our schools set ambitious goals to support student achievement. We provide guidance for schools that request or need additional support.

Learn about school oversight »