Thursday, February 23, 2017

DCIS Connect Newsletter (Feb. 23-March 1)

Weekly Newsletter for Parents, Staff and Students
February 23-March 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


  • 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
  • 9th GRADE TRIP: DPS Higher Schools Expo, Friday, March 24
  • DEBATE CITY CHAMPIONSHIPS: Saturday–Sunday, March 25–26, University of Denver
  • SPRING BREAK: March 27-April 3 (school resumes for students on Tuesday, April 4)
LETTER FROM THE PRINCIPAL ...                   

Dear DCIS Parents,

Thank you for your cooperation in making sure you drop off your students in the morning after 7 am and have them picked up in the afternoon before 3:30 pm. As mentioned last week, because of limited supervision and in the interest of safety, we cannot allow students in the building prior to 7 or allow them to stay in the building (unless they are part of a supervised club or sports team) after 3:30. Thanks for your support and for helping us keep all students safe and supervised at all times.

As promised, here are the complete notes from the Town Hall meeting on Feb. 8. You can view a PDF of the PowerPoint presentation from the meeting here and read the notes from all groups here for each of the three questions posed. They were transcribed exactly as written, which means they may contain incomplete thoughts or fragments. But they'll give you an idea of the rich exchange of ideas. The summary below highlights the most frequently mentioned ideas. The three questions were:

  • How can we (students, parents and staff) support the DCIS school culture?
  • How can consistent and shared expectations improve school culture?
  • How can we maintain passion for our school mission in a "post-application" world?
Some common themes that arose:
  • Culture: Define the culture, communicate it, and make it clear and visible within the building; make it even clearer to prospective students and parents exactly who we are and who we aren't.
  • Onboarding: Revamp 6th and 9th grade academies, and continue with culture training refreshers throughout the year for all grades — could use advisement for this (and for building culture); provide specific, detailed onboarding for staff; use older students to mentor younger students; use veteran teachers to mentor newer teachers.
  • Discipline: Create clear expectations and rules; make them consistent across the school; communicate them to staff, students and parents; and enforce them. Rules may differ between middle school and high school as those groups of students have different needs. Two groups mentioned hiring a dean of students  to oversee school culture and discipline.
  • Some groups suggested having more events for families to celebrate DCIS students and to increase parent involvement.

If you did not have the chance to attend the meeting but would like to add your ideas to the list OR if you attended but have additional thoughts to share, you can anonymously respond to the same three questions here.

In other news, the choice of studies process for students currently in grades 8-11 will begin in the next few weeks. All students will have time with a counselor to discuss course options, graduation requirements, etc. Students will select their courses online via Infinite Campus, and parents will be able to view and edit their child's course requests via Parent Portal during a two- to three-week window. Students currently in grades 6-7 will be placed into 7th or 8th grade schedules respectively, without needing to go through the choice of studies process. Look for more information in the coming weeks.

And finally, a request ... DCIS needs tissues! Classrooms are in desperate need of tissues, so if you can send a box or two with your child, please do. Believe me, hundreds of runny noses thank you!

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 TODAY, 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


Join the DCIS Foundation for an evening of inspiring speakers and delicious food with a global flair. The event takes place Wednesday, April 19, at the Denver Athletic Club. Cocktails at 6 pm, dinner at 7 pm. Tickets are $125 — buy yours today, or sponsor a teacher if you can't make it! Click here for info. More details to come ...

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.

Morey Middle School invites DPS families and students in all grades to their GT Family Fun Nights, both on Thursday, March 2 and April 27, 6–8 pm, 840 E. 14th Ave., Denver. 
  • Learn – Play - Serve
  • Advocacy
  • Fun
  • Service to the Community
Led by DPS gifted and talented high school students, each session will focus on a point of advocacy, providing a learning session for parents and a fun service learning activity for all. RSVP here or email Rebecca for more info.

Discovery Link, DPS's after-school program, is hosting its first Summer Opportunities Fair at Teller Elementary, Wednesday, March 15, 6–8 pm. More than 100 day and overnight camps, summer classes and unique program providers will be present to meet with families and talk about options available for kids ages 4-18 this summer. FREE and fun for the whole family! For more information, click here


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

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.


The BP Global Citizens of Tomorrow scholarship program provides full scholarships to financially challenged students ages 15–18 with strong academic records, an interest in the STEM fields and a desire to study abroad for a year in Brazil or India. Application deadline is MARCH 9! For more information and to apply, click here.


If you're 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


U.S. Presidents Edition

Did you know…

  • President Lincoln was a champion wrestler, winning all but one of his 300 matches.
  • President Garfield was ambidextrous and could write in Greek with one hand and in Latin with the other at the same time.
  • President Hoover and his wife lived in China for a time and would speak Mandarin in the White House when they wanted to have a private conversation.
  • President Obama's experience working at a Baskin-Robbins as a teen led him to hate ice cream.


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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