School Performance Compact

DPS believes that all schools – regardless of governance type and model – are responsible for serving all of our students with excellence. When schools do not meet expectations for academic growth and achievement on the School Performance Framework, DPS provides intensive support to help them get back on track. If schools are still not able to show improvement after significant support efforts over time, we believe that the students served by these schools deserve a major change in their learning environment.

The School Performance Compact (SPC) is a policy adopted by the Denver Board of Education in December 2015 with the intention of defining a clear process for how DPS identifies and supports the most persistently low-performing schools.

Four key principles form the foundation of the SPC:

  1. Accountability Across School Models
  2. Transparency
  3. Equity
  4. Engagement with Communities and Families


Restart, Turnaround and Closure

Although a restart, turnaround or closure is never an ideal outcome, it is sometimes necessary in order to improve student achievement and ensure every student has access to great schools. If the DPS Board of Education decides to close a school or the school itself decides that the best way to improve student achievement is to close, the district and school work closely together to protect the interests of students and families, as well as to ensure public funds are handled appropriately.

For questions about the School Performance Compact, please contact Ericka Burns, Manager of Policy.

Two middle school students playing a piano with headphones on

SPC Implementation

The DPS Board of Education decided in fall 2018 that the previous implementation guidelines of the SPC would not be applied. Considering the community dialogue, they launched new implementation guidelines during the 2018-19 school year, and these guidelines will continue during the 2019-20 school year. The Board and the District share an ongoing responsibility to ensure students have access to high-quality schools in their neighborhoods and the SPC continues to provide important guideposts in efforts to improve DPS schools. The basic guidelines for the SPC implementation are as follows:

  1. Schools (district or charter) that are “red” on the SPF will participate in the SPC process. This includes written improvement plans, school stakeholder interviews, and Board presentations regarding their ongoing or planned improvement strategies, their planned or needed supports, and their their improvement goals over time;
  2. PMT will provide a data dashboard for each “red” school that includes culture, academic and operational data; and
  3. The SPC will supersede the charter renewal process, and any charter school that is SPC eligible and up for renewal will work with PMT on a plan for a modified charter renewal timeline. Read about the charter renewal process.

The Board will use this information to exercise oversight of struggling schools’ improvement plans, understand the needed supports and make decisions to move forward with those plans or choose an alternate path.

For information on past SPC-eligible schools, including their school-developed improvement plans and district-developed dashboards, please visit this page.

If you have questions about the policy, please contact Ericka Burns, Manager of Policy.