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

Fall 2018 SPC Implementation

In spring 2018, the Board of Education made a decision that in fall 2018, the previous implementation guidelines of the Compact will not be applied. However, the Board also acknowledged that the Board and the District share an ongoing responsibility to ensure students have access to high-quality schools in their own neighborhoods and that the Compact continues to provide important guideposts in efforts to improve DPS schools. Given this, the following will take place in fall 2018:

  1. Schools (district or charter) that are “red” on the 2018 SPF and their operators will need to make a presentation to the Board regarding their ongoing or planned improvement strategies, their planned or needed supports, and their their improvement goals over time;
  2. The Portfolio Management Team will provide a data dashboard for each “red” school that includes culture and operational data, along with academic data; and
  3. The Portfolio Management Team will complete the charter renewal process for all charter schools whose contracts are up for renewal in 2018-2019, with any “red” charters also participating in items #1 and #2. 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.

The below links provide the school-developed improvement plans and district-developed dashboards for schools eligible for consideration under the SPC.