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.

The impacts of the global pandemic, along with the continuing trend of declining enrollment across DPS schools of all governance types, makes for an uncertain environment for new schools in the district. As described in detail in the 2021 Strategic Regional Analysis, DPS expects these declining enrollment trends to continue in many regions of the city, with preliminary 2021 enrollment showing further declines rather than the slight rebound originally projected. In response to these trends, district leadership is currently considering possible new policies to address the growing number of under-enrolled schools in DPS. 

Based on the forecasts of the Strategic Regional Analysis, DPS has determined that existing schools have more than enough capacity to meet enrollment needs at least through the 2023-2024 school year in all areas of our city. Under the policies of the Denver Board of Education, DPS only makes facilities available on the basis of enrollment or restart/turnaround needs. For this reason, DPS is not making facility support available for 2022 new school applicants. 

Even in this uncertain environment, we honor our responsibility under Colorado law to consider new school applications annually. The 2022 application introduces the rigorous Quality Authorizing Process that DPS will implement for developers of new district-run and charter schools. It also provides important contextual information 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 4, 2022 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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