As described in detail in the 2023 Strategic Regional Analysis, an accumulation of changes over the past decade has influenced the landscape of Denver Public Schools. The overall adult population and demographics of Denver residents have changed. An inflow of young working adults, mostly without children, along with a gap between the demand and supply of housing has led to increased housing costs across the city. This, accompanied by lower birth rates, has resulted in a smaller student-age population in the city. This is not unique to Denver as urban areas across the country are experiencing similar trends but these changes have multiple implications for urban school districts. The strongest recent declines in DPS have been at the elementary level which are starting to cross into reductions at the middle school level, which will eventually lead to drops in enrollment at the high school level in the next five years. This makes for a very uncertain environment for new and existing schools in the district.
DPS has determined that existing and planned schools have enough capacity to meet enrollment needs at least through the 2024-2025 school year in all areas of our city. Under the policies of DPS, the district makes facilities available on the basis of enrollment or restart/turnaround needs. DPS is open to exploring facility support in the Far Northeast Denver Region for spring 2024 applicants planning to operate in fall 2025 and beyond.
We recognize the important roles new schools have played and can continue to play for our students and families, as well as our responsibility under Colorado law to consider new charter school applications annually. The rigorous Quality Authorizing Process for charter schools provides important contextual information that we encourage school developers and community partners to consider as they design new programs. DPS is encouraging new quality schools to offer bilingual programming in the Far Northeast Region beginning the 2025-26 school year. Currently, there are no bilingual programs available in the easternmost part of the region. The Far Northeast is the only DPS region forecast to increase in student population by 2027, most notably in elementary grades. For more information regarding this area, please review the Far Northeast Denver Considerations.
NOTE: Alignment with this request does not guarantee an application will be approved. Please see our Quality Authorizing Process Timeline for information on deadlines for this process; letters of intent are due no later than March 1 (30 days before submitting an application). Complete applications are due between February 1 and April 1, 2024. We recommend new school developers thoroughly review all available resources, including applicant supports available from the Authorizing & Accountability team, as well as links throughout the application to information about DPS priorities and requirements. It is our intention that the application and support will help guide each applicant to thoroughly consider how they can best support students in alignment with DPS’ shared values.
No later than March 1, 2024: Letters of Intent Deadline.
Between February 1 and April 1, 2024: Application deadline.
March - May, 2024: District hosted community meetings
March 2024 - May 2024: Applicant Reviews
No later than June 6, 2024: DPS Board Work Session for discussion of new school applications.
No later than June 10, 2024: Public Comment with DPS Board of Education
No later than June 13, 2024: DPS Board of Education vote on Applications.
Individuals or teams interested in applying through the New Quality Schools process should contact CNQS@dpsk12.net for more information and to ensure they’re included in all communications and updates about the new schools process.