Thursday, February 16, 2017

DCIS Connect Newsletter (Feb. 16-22)

Weekly Newsletter for Parents, Staff and Students
February 16-22, 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.

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  • PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES, Thursday, Feb. 16, 3:30–7 pm. Parents should contact their student's teachers to schedule conferences.
  • 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


  • CSC MEETING, Thursday, Feb. 23, 4:30–6:30 pm, DCIS Community Room (103)
  • MUN FOSSIL RIDGE CRISIS COUNCILS CONFERENCE, Saturday, Feb. 25, 7:45 am, Fossil Ridge High School, 5400 Ziegler Rd., Fort Collins (map)
  • SPEECH AND DEBATE TOURNAMENT, Saturday, Feb. 25, Mapleton
  • PARENT-PRINCIPAL COFFEE: Tuesday, March 7 (English), and Wednesday, March 8 (Spanish), 8:15–9:15 am, DCIS Community Room (103)
  • DPS FAMILY LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE, Thursday, March 9, 9 am–12:30 pm, PPA Event Center, 2105 Decatur St., Denver (map)
  • 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.
  • THIRD QUARTER ENDS: Friday, March 17
  • SPRING BREAK: March 27-April 3
LETTER FROM THE PRINCIPAL ...                   

Dear DCIS Parents,

I hope you are enjoying springtime in February as much as I am! Students have been taking advantage of the beautiful weather to eat outside at lunchtime and soak up the sunshine.
A reminder that our spring semester parent conferences are TODAY. Please make an appointment with any teachers you would like to see between the hours of 3:30 and 7 pm. Many teachers already have several time slots filled, but many slots are still vacant, so if you haven't scheduled your conferences yet, you can still do so.
I also would like to remind all parents that the school building opens at 7 am. There is no supervision before then, so please do not drop off your children before 7 am. The doors will remain locked until 7 am to ensure students are safe and supervised at all times. There also is no supervision for students after 3:30 pm, so unless your child is in a supervised activity (like a club, drama rehearsals, etc.), they must leave the school building by 3:30. An increasing number of students are staying in the building until 5 pm or later, which is not permitted. Please make plans for your child to be picked up or to ride the bus home by 3:30 every day. Thank you for your cooperation.
Finally, a quick update on our very productive and well-attended Town Hall last week ... We are in the process of capturing all the ideas participants wrote on chart paper throughout the meeting and will send that out next week. In the meantime, I can tell you about several major themes that emerged. One is around the need for more intensive on-boarding for both students and staff to underscore the core values and mission of the school. Examples might include changes to our interview and training process for new teachers, and revamping our 6th and 9th grade academies to front-load more information about the importance of being committed to DCIS and our school model. Another major theme is the need for consistent application by staff members of school policies related to, for example, hall passes, cell phone use and tardies. A third major theme is the need for additional resources and planning to accommodate the changes in our school that have resulted from the elimination of the interview/application process. Examples include the need to hire a dean of students for clear and consistent discipline, additional social/emotional supports for students, and additional academic support for students who are functioning below grade level in mathematics and literacy.
Look for more information soon and for a follow-up meeting in April to begin digging into these major themes more deeply as we move forward together as the Rising Phoenix!
Enjoy the three-day weekend, with no school for students or staff on Monday, Feb. 20. Hope to see you tonight at DCIS for parent conferences.

Theresa McCorquodale
DCIS Principal

The PTSA School Beautification team is looking for photos of DCIS and its students, DCIS student and staff travels (local and abroad), and general scenic photos of different regions of the world, which will be displayed in the front entrance and hallways of the school. Please email any photos you'd like to share to Because most of these photos will need to be enlarged, please send us photos with sufficient resolution. Also, 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 photos, where appropriate).

We also need volunteers to help with creating these photo displays and other parts of the beautification project. To see a slideshow of the team's vision for the school, learn more details about the plan or to sign up to help, click here. There are several ways you can raise your hand, by making a donation, helping from home on your own time or helping to put things up at school. This project is happening now, so if you'd like to help, please sign up today!

The CSC's next meeting is Thursday, Feb. 23, 4:30–6:30 pm. The first 10 minutes of every monthly meeting are open for public comment, and we welcome and encourage ALL families to stick around for the entire meeting. If you have something you would like the CSC to discuss or questions you'd like answered, we encourage you to reach out to one (or all!) of your representatives (student/teacher/parent) and let us know what's on your mind. On this month's agenda:

1.  Public comment
2.  Dean of Students and Culture job description input
3.  Debrief from Town Hall meeting/next steps for district funding requests

The winners of the PTSA's coffee fundraiser last semester got to enjoy one of their class prizes on Wednesday, Feb. 15 — a homemade gourmet breakfast. Ms. Cox's class (top photo) won for highest participation and chowed down on egg sausage casserole, hazelnut waffles, banana chocolate chip pancakes, cinnamon chip scones, bacon, fruit salad and orange juice. Mr. Brown's class (bottom right) raised the most money and enjoyed egg sausage casserole, baked french toast, chocolate chip muffins, bacon, fruit salad and orange juice (pictured below). Congratulations to all!


SCAM ALERT: Just a heads-up about an email you might receive suggesting you "apply for the Pell grant." The email asks for your Social Security number, among other information. DO NOT RESPOND TO IT! The email is bogus and may be used to gather identifying information. Your FAFSA application, not this email, is your Pell grant application.

Check out the Adelina Gomez Scholars Summer Institute at the University of Colorado–Colorado Springs. Applications are due April 14. More information here

The Medical Career Collaborative (MC²) is a two-year program and requires a commitment from selected students for both years (junior and senior year). Based on this timeline, the MC² selection committee will accept applications only from students who are currently in their sophomore year. Download the application here

Registration for next year's courses will begin next month. Students in grades 9–11 will be bringing home a registration form with course offerings. Students are encouraged to speak to their parents about courses and choice of study. More information will be provided in the upcoming weeks.

Core Courses
Most colleges require students to take general education "core courses" (English, reading, math and social science), regardless of their major, which provide students with the critical, analytic and writing skills they need to be educated, well-informed members of society. 


DCIS students are welcome to try out and be a part of these CHSAA-sanctioned activities at West:
  • Coed Track and Field
  • Girls Soccer
  • Girls Tennis
  • Boys Baseball
  • Girls Golf
Please email any questions to Larry Gile, West HS Athletic Director, at

This exhibition of more than 60 photo-based works by 12 artists living in the U.S. and abroad reflects the tension inherent in the presence, or absence, of people in a place, whether in their native land or abroad. The artists, all who are affected by the Middle East diaspora of the past 20 years, explore what it means to leave something, and in some cases, someone, behind, whether by choice or by force, and how cultural heritage and the past are interwoven with the present. FREE. Center for Visual Art (CVA), 965 Santa Fe Drive, Denver 80204. More info here.

965 Gallery, a student-run gallery within the CVA, will feature a photography exhibition — concurrent with PRESENCE — of four artists exploring natural environments and their relation to them. FREE. More info here.

Film has the power to awaken us to the world around us, educate us on important issues and inspire us to act. This year's festival features 48 films from around the world — from Fairview High School in Boulder to the Zanskar Valley of northwest India, from Joshua Tree National Park to British Columbia. These films tell the story of the Flint, Michigan water crisis and allow viewers to compare and contrast that to development of the third-largest hydroelectric dam on the Amazon River in Brazil. FREE. Thursday–Saturday, Feb. 23–25, American Mountaineering Center, 710 10th St., Golden. Student filmmakers can also submit work for next year's festival. More info here.

Board members must be in grades 8–12, be at least 13 years old and have parental permission to participate on the board. Board members attend monthly meetings and monthly author events. A board member who misses more than three scheduled events (either the monthly meeting or the author event) will forfeit their position on the board. Apply here.

Feb 7–March 234-5:30 pm (open studio 3:30-4)
This free after-school workshop allows youths 11–21 to experiment with manipulating photography. Learn more here.

Every Wednesday, 6:30–7:30 pm
Denver Public Library, Schlessman Family Branch
100 Poplar St., Denver, Meeting Room 1

Get your questions about immigration and citizenship answered by an attorney who specializes in immigration and citizenship law. FREE.


We still have a number of out-of-state college travel stipends available. The stipends are for $150 to go toward plane fare. Stipends are a reimbursement after travel, upon submission of an airline receipt and a written reflection of the experience. Please apply with your counselor. Double stipends ($300) will be considered but must be approved. Stipends are available on a first-come, first-served basis.


If you are looking for a reason or two or three to host an exchange student, short term or longer, please read this article, "What Foreign Students Can Teach Host Families About America," by Donna Bryson, a DCIS parent and host family pro! In this global world, one can easily reach across the table to share cultures right here in Denver or wherever you live! Thank you, Donna, for your words of wisdom.

Stop by the Travel Center or email Geri Badler (address below) to learn about a variety of summer programs. 

For up-to-date information on trips, scholarships and travel opportunities, as well as summer programs, 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


Central America Edition

Did you know…

  • There is no spot in Central America more than 125 miles from the ocean.
  • Belize is 1,195 square miles larger than El Salvador, but El Salvador has 30 times the population.
  • El Salvador gave more than 40,000 Jews fake citizenship papers to save them from concentration camps during World War II.
  • When the TV show "Breaking Bad" used "trip to Belize" as a euphemism for murder, the Belize Tourism Board wrote a letter offering the whole cast an actual trip to Belize. 


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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