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Universal Flexibility

Since 2015, all district-run schools in DPS have been able to make decisions around elements of their instructional programming to meet the needs of their students — specifically:

  • Curriculum,
  • Curriculum-aligned professional learning,
  • Assessment and
  • Small group instruction.

These school-based decisions around instructional programming are now known as “Universal Flexibilities” because they are available to all district-run and innovation schools, regardless of structure network type.

The Universal Flexibility decision-making process is one of the ways DPS is fulfilling its commitment to empower schools, in support of the theory that schools are the unit of change. Each year school leaders have an opportunity to analyze the district’s recommendations with their school teams and decide whether to opt into the district option or decline to opt in and receive funding, which can be used to purchase or develop an alternate resource. View the most recent Universal Flexibility Decision Handbook.

For more information about Universal Flexibility, please visit our Flexibility website or contact Lauren Anderson, Manager of Flexibility and School Support.

Teacher and students working on a science experiment together

School Leader Feedback on DPS' Universal Flexibility

  • A large majority of school leaders (80-88%) were both satisfied with the SY17-18 Universal Flexibility process and felt well-prepared to make their flexibility decisions, similar to SY16-17.
  • Very few respondents (5%) would advocate for less flexibility, and the majority (55%) would endorse being given more flexibility.
  • School leaders believe that earlier access to data and greater customization of flexibility options would help them improve their flexibility decision-making process.
  • The high cost of alternatives was the most commonly cited difficulty in declining to opt-in to district-supported options.