Thursday, March 21, 2019

DCIS Connect Newsletter (March 14-20, 2019)

Weekly Newsletter for Parents, Staff and Students

March 21-27, 2019

(Leer en Español usar el traductor de Google aquí.)


Costa Rica Trip
Time is running out to enroll in the Costa Rica Conservation Expedition! This is a fantastic trip DCIS students participated in last summer filled with both fun and educational activities like surfing, hiking to a waterfall through the rain forest, rafting, and assisting with co
nservation and research efforts related to sea turtles. April 9 is the last possible date to sign up. We need four more students in order for this trip to go. Please see the link above or contact Kristen Miller (trip leader) or Sally Bishop (Travel Coordinator) for more details.
10th Grade Trip
TODAY, Thursday, March 21, is the LAST DAY to make your payments for either the Canyonlands or the YMCA of the Rockies trip. Contact Abby Hoffman
if you have questions. T-shirts and hoodies will once again be on sale on Friday at 12:30 pm in the hallway near the office.


  • Cafe con la Directora Interina (Spanish): Thursday, March 21, 8:30-9:15 am, Community Room
  • CSC Meeting: Thursday, March 21, 4:30-6 pm, Community Room
  • PTSA Meeting, Planning 2019-2020 (RESCHEDULED): Thursday, March 21, 6-8 pm, Community Room
  • SPRING BREAK: Monday, March 25–Friday, March 29


  • DCIS Drama Fundraiser: Monday, April 8, 5-9 pm, Chipotle, 6th and Broadway
  • PSAT/SAT TESTING: Tuesday, April 9, all day (9-11 grade) Please have your student bring their own calculator (if they have one)
  • DCIS Drama Fundraiser: Wednesday, April 24, 4-10 pm, Pizzeria Locale, 6th and Broadway
  • DCIS Foundation Passport Dinner: Wednesday, April 24, 6:00pm, Denver Museum of Nature and Science
  • NO SCHOOL: Non-student contact day, Monday, April 29
  • DCIS Drama Spring Musical: Thursday-Saturday, May 9-11

Dear DCIS Community,
I want to wish everyone a peaceful and happy Spring Break. We've been talking a lot about mindfulness and the importance of taking care of yourself as well as those around you. We hope you'll take this time to do things that make you happy, to rest when you need it, to focus on what is important, and to gear up for the last two months of school. We look forward to the excitement that will come right after the break!
Be safe,
Jenn Zinn and the DCIS Team

Anika showing the growth of bacteria on an agar plate before CRISPR was applied.
In high school, students are required to complete at least three passages. A passage comes from the term "rite of passage" because students are accomplishing and doing things outside of their comfort zones. During the first semester of the required junior-year Passages class, we write a 15-page research paper on a topic of our choice; for the second semester we do an experiential passage, which is a project students create, start to finish, around a topic they are interested in.

For our experiential passage, we decided to explore the world of biology, specifically the ability to edit genes using Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats Cas9 (CRISPR-Cas9). CRISPR will find/target the specific gene that will be edited, then Cas9 will bind to and cut the DNA. The internet has everything, including a do-it-yourself CRISPR-Cas9 kit. This kit allows us to do multiple experiments, including making a non-harmful strain of E. coli that is resistant to antibiotics, as well as being able to make yeast glow in the dark by using a gene from a jellyfish and inserting it into the yeast. These experiments are examples of medical discoveries that could be used to protect a person's good bacteria when antibiotics are present, or make a tumor glow to ensure that no part of the tumor is left behind in the body during surgery.

The goal of our passage is to better understand DNA and genetics while also preparing and completing college-level science experiments. We will be filming and writing lab reports on all three of our experiments, so that the public will be able to replicate our experiment. We will also be researching how gene-editing tools such as CRISPR-Cas9 will be helpful or harmful to the international community. So far, we have edited a non-harmful strain of E. coli to be antibiotic-resistant, and it worked!

We would like to give our sincerest thanks to the PTSA and the community for funding and supporting our passage.
Thank you,
Anika O'Brian, Aileen Jones and Rayne Veazey

Last year was a record-breaking year, and we hope to keep the momentum going! Join us in making an even bigger difference for the students of the DCIS schools. Your support allows students to take their knowledge from the classroom and apply it to real life — through travel, language immersion, community service and cultural exchanges. For more information and to purchase tickets, check out the DCIS Foundation website.


RESCHEDULED! MARK YOUR CALENDAR for Thursday, March 21, for a PTSA meeting from 6 to 8 pm in the Community Room to start our planning for the 2019-2020 school year. We can really use your input! Please see our SignUp Genius for specific asks, but we would love to hear from you if there is something else you would like to offer. Bringing something to eat or drink is optional, but much appreciated. Everyone welcome.

Safe2Tell Colorado wants every student to know: Telling isn't "snitching." Telling is when you need to keep yourself or someone you know safe from threats, harmful behaviors or dangerous situations.

Not sure if you should use Safe2Tell? If you don't, who will? We need your help to improve your school and community. By calling, you can help stop a friend from committing suicide, get another student off drugs or stop a bully from making other people miserable. If you have information about anyone in these situations, please call.

To make a report, call 1-877-542-7233 from anywhere, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The call is free. You also may
make an anonymous web tip or download the Safe2Tell mobile app from the Apple App Store or Google Play. Remember, your identity is safe. No one will ask for your name or number. There is no caller id., no call tracing, no call recording and no call forwarding. We only want to hear your concern and try to help.

The anonymity of all Safe2Tell Colorado reports is protected by C.R.S. 07-197. This Colorado state law means the reporting party remains UNKNOWN.

Safe2Tell Colorado is for serious concerns and focuses on saving lives of Colorado students. Should Safe2Tell Colorado become the victim of prank calls, the line will be forwarded and traced with law enforcement notified immediately. Deliberate false reports made by phone, online or mobile app may be investigated. Use Safe2Tell Colorado wisely!

In addition to Safe2Tell, DCIS middle and high school counselors are available if your students need to talk.

Our names are Kaia Havely and Helen Miller, and we are eighth graders working on our MYP community project at McAuliffe International School. For this project, we are working on raising awareness on the subject of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We would be thrilled if you would take a personal interest in this subject the same way we have, and help advocate for both students and adults with autism in your community. As beneficial and important any bit of help can be, one of the best ways to make a difference is to raise awareness and spread factually correct information to others. Here is some information we have compiled on this topic. If you can, please contribute to this cause and help make an impact where it matters.


Tami Schmidt
Middle school

Melisa Springsteen
High school last names A-J

Ted Brugman 
High school last names K-Z


Parents & guardians please sign up! Get text and/or email reminders about what is going on with the DCIS Counseling Department.


Early April — Concurrent Enrollment

  • Registration for off-campus college courses will begin.
  • If your student has already taken the ACCUPLACER and received a college-ready designation, please have them see Mrs. Springsteen.

April 9 — PSAT and SAT testing for grades 9-11

  • There will be no school for middle school students and 12th graders.
  • In addition, as a disclaimer to all students and families, it is very important that your student bring their own calculator (if they have one) to this test date. We have a limited number and cannot guarantee one for every student.  
May 3 — 12th grade college signing day during All-School Meeting and districtwide at University of Denver

May 22 — Graduation, 6 pm at the University of Denver

If your student is enrolled in a concurrent enrollment class, click here to see the drop/withdrawal deadlines.


Scholarship Newsletter and Other Documents


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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