New Quality Schools Process

In its role as authorizer for new district-run and charter schools in DPS, the Portfolio Management Team offers resources for prospective applicants intending to apply as a new or replicating school or schools seeking a new district facility. These resources are designed to:

  • Provide relevant information and ensure all applicants have equitable access to information regarding the Quality Authorizing Process,
  • Improve the overall quality of applications received by clarifying expectations, and
  • Educate applicants about district needs, community engagement processes, enrollment, and performance trends.

DPS has now released its 2021 application materials for schools seeking to open in fall 2022. This year, DPS is not making facility support available for new quality schools. Under the policies of the Denver Board of Education, DPS only makes facilities available on the basis of enrollment or restart/turnaround needs. When such needs exist, DPS will provide facility support for new quality schools subsequently selected through community-based processes to meet those needs. Based on DPS’s most recent Strategic Regional Analysis, however, existing schools will meet enrollment needs at least through the 2022-2023 school year in all areas of our city. Furthermore, enrollment is declining in many areas of our city, due to a decline in the number of school-aged children. DPS also has not identified any schools for restart/turnaround under the Board of Education policy and process guiding those decisions. Finally, we note as well that there are already a number of approved new schools that have not yet opened due to facility or enrollment challenges, as well as other factors.

We simultaneously recognize our responsibility under Colorado law to consider new school applications annually. The 2021 application release introduces the rigorous Quality Authorizing Process DPS offers for developers of new district-run and charter schools and provides important contextual information, which include a focus on designing for equity, that we encourage school developers and community partners to consider as they design new programs.

To learn more about the process or to apply, read the application materials below. Letters of Intent are due February 26, 2021 by 12PM to

See below for supports available to applicants.

The Portfolio Management Team is available to coordinate direct supports, conducted virtually this year, with applicants who request it. Supports provided in the past have focused on areas such as the overall application process, Multilingual Education, special education, enrollment, and budgeting. Contact for more information about requesting direct supports.

The application includes various links to resources for school developers to consult in the development of their applications. The following resources may also be helpful:

Additional online resources may also be available. Email if you would like to request these resources. 

Individuals or teams interested in applying through the New Quality Schools process should contact for more information and to ensure they’re included in all communications and updates about the new schools process.

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Four smiling middle school students sitting outside of their building

**News and Updates**

Meet the Applicants for the 2019 Call for New Quality Schools

DPS invites you to attend community meetings to meet each applicant for the 2019 Call for New Quality Schools, the process by which DPS evaluates aspiring new schools seeking to open in Denver. Come learn more about how new schools are approved in DPS, ask questions of the applicant, and provide feedback on the school

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Release of the 2019 Call for New Quality Schools

On December 20, 2018, DPS released its 2019 Call for New Quality Schools (“the Call”). Click on the link to read the full document, and view the application materials under the “Current Call Documents” tab of this page. Questions? Email

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