Our Education Pioneers Fellows are making an impact on important initiatives, creating valuable resources for our schools, and providing fresh perspectives on our work.
- Shayne Spalten, Former Chief Human Resources Officer, Denver Public Schools

Serving a large and diverse urban community, Denver Public Schools (DPS) is committed to meeting the educational needs of all students in Denver by providing great schools in every neighborhood. DPS serves over 87,000 students in 185 schools. After being unanimously appointed in January 2009, Superintendent Tom Boasberg has led the districts efforts to accelerate its progress in student achievement and better serve the families of Denver. DPS has become the fastest-growing urban school district in the country by a large margin, and the fastest-growing urban school district in terms of student academic growth.

With a goal to provide all children in Denver with rigorous, enriching educational experiences, DPS has seen significant academic growth since it developed its strategic vision, The Denver Plan 2020. This five-year strategic plan was crafted with the help of almost 3,000 voices in the community and carries the vision of Every Child Succeeds to prepare all students for success in college and careers. In six years, DPS’ dropout rates have been cut in half and the on-time graduation rate has risen by 24 percent. Across the country school districts are looking to Denver as a leader in thoughtful school innovation, and seek to study and replicate the initiatives in DPS that have produced positive results for students. One such program hosted by DPS was one of the nation’s most ambitious and comprehensive school turnaround projects aimed at improving the feeder pattern of persistently low performing schools. 

Our Impact

 With over 4 years of a strong partnership with DPS, 20 Education Pioneers Fellows have impacted various departments across the district. Education Pioneers have:

  • Supported DPS school leaders in scaling effective programs that deliver high-quality instructional resources, enhance classroom practice and aid school leaders in building data and practice systems.
  • Helped transform the leadership structure of 120 DPS schools that shift teacher evaluation responsibilities onto “Teacher Leads” in order to provide more frequent and effective instructional support.
  • Developed a data structure and evaluation program for the English Language Acquisition department to ensure that Denver’s linguistically diverse students receive an equitable education. 
  • Created tools for the Office of School Reform and Innovation that allows leaders in DPS’ autonomous charter and innovation schools to easily access student data and ground their key decisions. 
  • Served as project manager to revamp the Teaching & Learning team's professional development website, making it more effective and user-friendly for teachers. 
  • And more.