Monday, January 30, 2017

Help Us Transform DCIS!

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Dear DCIS Family:
The DCIS Beautification Committee is ready to begin implementing our plan to transform the school into a much more appealing and dynamic environment, and we would love for you to help us out! We need as many volunteers as possible to accomplish what we want to do by year's end. If we can gather our resources and put in some time together going forward, DCIS will look like a very different and much improved school by this May!
First, here is link to a Google spreadsheet with specifics of the plan (click on the link in the green box once you open the Plan document to see the slide show), a timeline, and a request for materials and labor: DCIS Beautification Plan Please look the spreadsheet over and see what might be of interest to you in helping out. We would appreciate anything you can offer, whether it's a donation, a task you can do from home on your own time, or your presence at the school for much needed labor :) There is a place to add your contact information for a specific task on the spreadsheet.

Second, an integral part of this beautification project is displaying photos throughout the school of DCIS and its students, DCIS student and staff travels (local and abroad), and general scenic photos of different regions of the world. If you have any photos you'd like to submit, please email them to us at: Because most of these photos will need to be enlarged for hallway displays, please send us photos with sufficient resolution, and please include a short description or label of the photo (for example, "Photo of DCIS Trip to Costa Rica" or "Great Wall, China" or the names and grade levels of the students in the pictures, where appropriate).
Your help is essential to making this project a success! If you have any questions or ideas, please feel free to contact either Laurie Harris at or Karen Mortimer at Thanks so much!

Copyright © 2017 DCIS Connect, All rights reserved.
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Thursday, January 26, 2017

DCIS Connect Newsletter Jan. 26-Feb. 1

Weekly Newsletter for Parents, Staff and Students
January 26–February 1, 2017

(Leer en Español usar el traductor de Google aquí.)
Every Thursday while school is in session, you'll receive this DCIS Connect newsletter in your email inbox to keep you up to date on all the events and happenings at our school. It's also available on the DCIS Connect app, which you can download at the Apple Store or Google Play.

If you don't wish to receive the newsletter, click the Unsubscribe link at the end. If you're receiving multiple copies of the newsletter, please email to report the problem; be sure to indicate your first and last name and preferred email address so we can update our records.

Newsletter submissions are due by 10 am on the Tuesday preceding the issue date. Email submissions to


  • MIDDLE SCHOOL BASKETBALL at Grant Ranch, Friday, Jan. 27, 4 pm (girls), 5 pm (boys) (map)
  • DCIS AND DENVER EAST MUN CONFERENCE: Saturday, Jan. 28 (all day)
  • SPEECH AND DEBATE TOURNAMENT: Saturday, Jan. 28 (all day)
  • MIDDLE SCHOOL BASKETBALL vs. Grant, Monday, Jan. 30, 4 pm (girls), 5 pm (boys), at DCIS
  • SCHOOL CHOICE DEADLINE: Tuesday, Jan. 31, 4 p.m. 8th grade DCIS students must submit a choice form this year, even if they plan to stay at DCIS. If you haven't yet completed an application, you can do so online here.
  • MIDDLE SCHOOL BASKETBALL vs. Henry, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 4 pm (girls), 5 pm (boys), at DCIS


  • DEBATE TOURNAMENT: Denver School of the Arts Invitational, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 3–4 (all day), 7111 Montview Blvd., Denver (map)
  • NO SCHOOL (non-student contact day), Friday, Feb. 3 (note that Monday, Feb. 6, will be a GREEN day)
  • NAEP TESTING: 8th graders, Monday, Feb. 6 
  • MIDDLE SCHOOL BASKETBALL vs. Kepner, Monday, Feb. 6, 4 pm (girls), 5 pm (boys), at DCIS
  • PARENT-PRINCIPAL COFFEE: Tuesday, Feb. 7 (English), and Wednesday, Feb. 8 (Spanish), 8:15–9:15 a.m., DCIS Community Room (103)
  • DCIS TOWN HALL, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 6–7:30 pm, DCIS cafeteria
  • DRUG EDUCATION SEMINAR, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 7 pm, Denver School of the Arts, 7111 Montview Blvd., Denver (map). Free to all DPS parents and students. For more information, click here.
  • SUPERINTENDENT PARENT FORUM: Healthy Child, Whole Child Agenda, Thursday, Feb. 9, 9:15–11:15 a.m., PPA Event Center, 2105 Decatur St., Denver (map)
  • DRAMA CLUB ONE-ACT PERFORMANCES: Fri.-Sat., Feb. 10-11, 6 pm, at DCIS
  • PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES, Thursday, Feb. 16, 3:30–7 pm. Parents should contact their student's teachers to schedule conferences.
  • CSC MEETING, Thursday, Feb. 16, 4:30–6:30 pm, DCIS Community Room (103)
  • PRESIDENTS' DAY — NO SCHOOL, Monday, Feb. 20
  • SPRING MUSICAL AUDITIONS, Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 21–22, 3–4:30 pm, Auditorium; call-backs on Thursday, Feb. 23
  • ADOLESCO YOUTH EXCHANGE MEETING: Saturday, March 11, 2–4 pm, Sam Gary Library (Stapleton), 2961 Roslyn St., Denver. RSVP here. Click here for more info about these family-to-family immersive exchanges for students 9–18 in France, Germany and Spain.
LETTER FROM THE PRINCIPAL ...                   

Dear DCIS Parents,

On Monday we held Passages Day, which is a special day each year when our juniors present their findings from a 15-page academic research paper they completed during the fall semester. Every junior is required to give an interactive and informative 45-minute presentation on their topic to a room full of students and teachers. Students in other grades spend the day in a variety of activities, as well as attend several Passages presentations. This is one of the most "DCIS" days of the entire year. All students in the presentation audiences respect the process and the enormous amount of work every junior has put into their Passage. Younger students participated, listened, asked questions and even gave feedback. Older students served on Passages committees, which support and evaluate presentations, based on a rubric.

I can't say how proud I am of all our juniors! I also am so proud of all our DCIS students who listened and learned and supported their fellow students. Many of our 6-10th grade students are already thinking about what their Passages topics will be, once they become juniors. Passages Day truly is an inspiration and such a valuable part of our curriculum. In fact, the DCIS graduates who come back to visit us from time to time say that the single most important thing they did to prepare them for college throughout their time at DCIS was their Passages research. So kudos to the entire student body for their dedication to Passages overall, and kudos to our amazing faculty, especially our Passages teachers, for their support of the junior class.

Speaking of things that are vitally important to DCIS and our culture, please plan to attend our Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 6 p.m. in the DCIS cafeteria. We will discuss some challenges the school has faced, and work together to propose solutions and action items for going forward to ensure we grow even stronger as a community and in our mission as an international studies school. We are the Rising Phoenix!

A couple of administrative notes ... We are providing all students an opportunity this year to take a practice version of their CMAS (grades 6–9) or college admissions (grades 10–11) test (SAT) so they can get some feedback on what they know and are doing well at this point, as well as the specific standards or areas of focus where they can improve between now and when they actually take the test in March or April. Getting this feedback ahead of time will enable students and teachers to spend classroom time on targeted, specific support for each student, based on what they each need to improve, rather than on general test prep.

Finally, please be patient with us regarding absences that get reported even though your child is at school. We do the best we can, but sometimes, depending on what else is going on at the time, entering all the attendance records can take a few hours. If we don't have everything entered by a certain time, it triggers an automatic "absence call" from the district, even though we know your child is at school. Thanks in advance for your cooperation! We appreciate our parents.

Hope to see you at the Town Hall on Feb. 8!

Theresa McCorquodale
DCIS Principal

"Well done, DCIS students!" Our juniors did an incredible job making their Passages presentations on Monday and fielding questions from their peers and teachers. With topics ranging from "Minority Representation in the Media" (pictured) to "The Future of Gene Therapy" to "Procrastination," the breadth and depth of the students' work was impressive and inspiring. 

At each all-school meeting on Friday, students who have been nominated by staff as having been "caught in the act" of exemplifying one or more of the DCIS core values are called up to the stage amid bursts of applause. We want to let our larger school community know about these weekly accolades so they can join in congratulating our amazing students. To see the list of students "caught in the act" for Jan. 20, click here.


DCIS' Challenge 5280 student Gizelle Ortiz, with the editing help of teacher Sara Finnegan-Doyon, wrote the following about how their 5280 group, Reclaiming Color, celebrated Social Justice Week.

Noticing the emotional grief the DCIS community experienced after the elections in November, the DCIS Challenge 5280 team, Reclaiming Color, wanted to create a week during which the community would celebrate social justice. The purpose of Social Justice Week was to bring a diverse community together and celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy. We also wanted to build a supportive and enriching space for students and staff who were feeling hopeless and displaced because of the situation in the United States.

Social Justice Week started with the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Marade. We invited our school community to march and chant with us. It was an inspiring experience for students, who were able to listen to speeches and confront the rhetoric and policies of oppression and privilege.

Tuesday was Kindness Day. Throughout the day we asked students to perform acts of kindness and act with respect, kindness, compassion and civility.

Wednesday our community celebrated Pride Day. We asked our community to interpret it as they wished. Students celebrated school, cultural and LGBTQ pride.

Students and staff showed up to school with international clothing on Thursday for International Day.

Inauguration Day, Friday, Jan. 20, was Blackout Day at DCIS, with students dressing in black as a sign of mourning. Toward the end of the day, Reclaiming Color held an event for the entire school. In a blacked-out auditorium, students were asked to use the flashlight on their phones to find their seats. As soon as everyone was seated, the spotlight illuminated a DCIS teacher, Gerardo Muñoz, who captivated students with a slam poem. Students and other staff performed poetry and shared words of wisdom. Soul Ashemu was the keynote speaker. He delivered inspirational words to students about modern-day segregation. There was an interactive portion where students were given the opportunity to share their views and perspectives. Additionally, in Advisement classes, students were instructed to write letters that will be sent to the president and to use the hashtag #dearpresident.

Overall, the week's events gave students and staff an image of America alive with tolerance, diversity and unity. The community engaged in transformative discussions and addressed critical topics of diversity and social justice impacting our community so we can develop a better future together.


All juniors and sophomores are taking a practice SAT during advisement. Juniors took the practice test on Wednesday, Jan. 25, and sophomores will take it next Wednesday, Feb. 1. Students can practice on their own at no cost using the Khan Academy link here.
Students who are taking a concurrent enrollment course at DCIS or off-campus have until Monday, Jan. 30, to drop the class without penalty. Please email Ms. Monteon if you have any questions.
Seniors who signed up for the Seal of Biliteracy AAPPL exam will be taking the exam Tuesday, Feb. 7, starting at 8 am. Students have been informed and will be reminded in the coming week.
Registration for next year's courses will begin next month. Students in grades 9-11 will be bringing home a registration form with the  available course offerings. Students are encouraged to speak to their parents about courses and choice of study. More information will be provided in the coming weeks.
ACCUPLACER: The ACCUPLACER is the computerized assessment tool the College Board uses to determine new students' skill levels in reading, writing and mathematics. Prospective students can prepare for the test by practicing online
Girls and boys youth rugby, ages 6-15. Season starts Tuesday, April 11. For more information, visit 303 Rugby's website. For questions, please email J.R. 


DCIS will host eight students from Brazil for two weeks, Feb. 25–March 11. This is our fifth year hosting students as part of the US Brazil Connect program. It is hosting "light" — easy, fun and always a good experience. Click here for more info. Please email Geri Badler in the Travel Center ASAP if you can host! Obrigada!

The following students were awarded DCIS Foundation Travel Scholarships for spring trips! Bon voyage and safe travels!

Anika O'Brian
Brittany Loya
David Olivias
Emi Herrera
Sailor Stephenson
Kalista Talusan
Maya Dominguez
Dhiona Jaramillo
Radley Weigler
2 middle school students

Italy (Tabano)
Yadira Diaz
Gabriela Ortiz
1 middle school student

Italy Exchange (Bishop)
Lukas Lopez Jensen
Camilla Green
Lucero Montoya
Raquel Meza

Canyonlands 10th Grade Trip
18 students

Mr. Brown is testing the waters to see if there is student interest in a trip to Iceland in summer 2018. The trip would be open to high school students only (students currently in grades 8-11). For more information and/or to let him know you're interested, please see or email Mr. Brown.


For up-to-date information on trips, scholarships and travel opportunities, be sure to check the Travel Center page on the DCIS website and the DCIS Travel Center Facebook page. Information is also posted on the Travel Center bulletin board in the hall near the main office (across from the old Travel Center) and outside the new Travel Center (room 204).

Geri Zabitz Badler
Travel Center and Community Partnerships
Office Phone: 720-423-9043

Mondays: 7:45 am–12:15 pm
Wednesdays, Fridays: 7:45 am–1:30 pm
Room 204


The Drama Club tech team needs some set, prop and costume items for the upcoming one-acts. If you have anything from the list below that the tech team could have or borrow, please email Ms. Kerswill. Thank you!

  • Fancy cups and small plates
  • Dishes
  • Coffeepot
  • Vial on a chain
  • Bathrobe
  • Steak knife/dagger
  • Newspaper
  • Fancy dining room tablecloth
  • Dining room chairs
  • Filing cabinet
  • Blue wigs (5 needed)
  • Crowns
  • Frilly apron
  • A bench of some sort
  • Purse
  • Pocket watch
  • Any dresses/clothing/Halloween costumes that look like they're from the Middle Ages (things queens and kings at the time would wear)
Philanthropy Field Trips makes it easy and fun for people to get involved with nonprofits in their communities through educational and service outings.

Homeless Count (Monday, Jan. 30)
The key to solving homelessness is understanding who is homeless and why. Please help conduct the statewide homeless Point-in-Time survey and work alongside service providers to conduct interviews with homeless individuals and families. This is a great way to get involved with this issue in your own neighborhood!

Food Prep for People Who Are Homeless (Friday, Feb. 10)
We will be doing lots of chopping of fruits and vegetables for people who are hungry and homeless. Please join us 9 am-noon at Denver Inner City Parish, 1212 Mariposa St. Sign up here.

Advocacy Days
Spend the morning being educated on the legislative process and how to talk with legislators. Then go practice what you have learned during a fun afternoon at the Capitol.
  • Join LGBTQ Coloradans, their families and allies at the State Capitol for the annual LGBT Lobby Day on Monday, Feb. 27.
  • Speak up for kids! Colorado Children's Campaign Lobby Day is Wednesday, March 22. Must sign up by Wednesday, Feb. 1.
For all the details on the above, including times and age restrictions, please email Michelle at Philanthropy Field Trips. 
Letters of Love
This is an activity you can do at home, and it's fun for all ages! Consider making Valentines for those who might be feeling alone. They can be delivered to senior centers, Meals on Wheels, hospitals or other locations near you. Send Michelle an email for a list of places near you.

Helen Chavez, the Gifted & Talented teacher, has completed the advanced learning plans (ALPs) for the identified GT students. She will be meeting with each of the identified 6th graders and should get the ALPs to students by the end of the month. Parents who have any questions about the program should email Ms. Chavez.

South America Edition

Did you know…

  • In 2014, Columbia was ranked the happiest country in the world according to the Barometer of Happiness and Hope.
  • The Amazon rain forests are called the "Lungs of the Planet" because they produce around 20% of the oxygen on the Earth.
  • Brazil contributes a lot to your breakfast; this country exports the most coffee, sugar and orange juice in the world.
  • The Bolivian community enjoys eating from local vendors, rather than buying from large chains.  Hence, Bolivia became the first Latin American country to get rid of McDonald's.


DCIS Website
DCIS Facebook Page
DCIS Parents Group (closed, non-school-sanctioned) on Facebook
DCIS Drama Club Facebook 
DCIS Travel Center Facebook
DCIS Foundation Facebook
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Copyright © 2017 DCIS Connect, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email newsletter because you are a member of the DCIS community. If you do not wish to receive the newsletter, please click the Unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email.

Our mailing address is:
DCIS Connect
574 W. 6th Ave.
Denver, CO 80204

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