Thursday, April 4, 2019

DCIS Connect Newsletter (April 4-10, 2019)

Weekly Newsletter for Parents, Staff and Students

April 4-10, 2019

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


  • DCIS Drama Fundraiser: Monday, April 8, 5-9 pm, Chipotle, 6th and Broadway
  • PSAT/SAT TESTING: Tuesday, April 9, all day (9-11 grade-all other grades do not attend schoolPlease have your student bring their own calculator (if they have one)


  • DCIS Drama Club Rehearsal: Saturday, April 13, 12-4 pm
  • CSC Meeting: Thursday, April 18, 4:30–6 pm, DCIS Community Room (103)
  • DCIS Drama Fundraiser: Wednesday, April 24, 4-10 pm, Pizzeria Locale, 6th and Broadway
  • DCIS Foundation Passport Dinner: Wednesday, April 24, 6 pm, Denver Museum of Nature and Science
  • DPS Shakespeare Festival: Friday, April 26, 10am-3pm, DCPA Performing Arts Complex
  • NO SCHOOL: Non-student contact day, Monday, April 29
  • DCIS Drama Spring Musical: The Drowsy Chaperone, Thursday-Saturday, May 9-11, 6 pm (+ 2 pm matinee on Saturday)
  • College Signing Day: Friday, May 3, 8:30 am, DCIS Auditorium (parents welcome)
  • Graduation: Wednesday, May 22, University of Denver, 6 pm

Dear DCIS Families,
In an effort to increase school-to-home communication, I'm going to shift these updates to short-and-sweet information about what's happening at the school. I hope you'll stay in touch with questions and continue to push us to make the most of this partnership as we support students together.
  • We continue to hold the McCorquodale family in our hearts. Knowing further updates aren't expected before the summer, we know that school will be starting up in August so the DCIS team is moving forward with planning to set up everyone for success in the fall.
  • The March CSC meeting focused on the bylaws for that committee, the process of School Choice (admissions priorities) as we look ahead to 2020-21 recruiting, more talk about the importance of world languages at DCIS, and a general school update. The next meeting will be on Thursday, April 18.
  • The March SLT meeting focused on small changes to the bell schedule for next year, using the last day of school as a day of service (with a BBQ and other fun activities), preparing for August events to launch the new school year, and some work opportunities for staff members in June.
  • Both Coffee with the Principal meetings were focused on general school updates, looking ahead to May Teacher Appreciation, and dress code friendliness as we head into spring.
  • Lunch Bunch conversations with students have been focused on the need to talk about and address mental health across the school, the importance of hallway etiquette, and other ways the high school and middle school students can work together to make our school great.
  • All-School Meetings have celebrated students "Caught in the Act" as they demonstrate our school values and also have promoted the good work of the Climate Change Awareness club, the UNICEF club, and more. This month we'll be celebrating college acceptances every week too.
  • The Personnel Committee is in the final round of hiring for a few new teachers we will be welcoming next year.
  • The counselors are working to launch the student choice work for electives in the 2019-20 school year (we expect to have a draft schedule for every 7-12 student before the end of the year).
  • The Operations team is working on filling the limited seats available in the second round of School Choice for 9th graders to join DCIS next year.
  • This week we welcomed home students and teachers from two trips (Spain/Morocco and Germany) as part of their development of global citizenship over spring break.
  • During the school day we are relentlessly focused on making the most of the time we have with students in these last nine weeks. We have critical testing (started already this week) and fewer than 24 lessons left in every class, and we know that ending the year with focus and strong academics will lead to a good start to the 2019-20 school year. We are eager to engage students through challenging and interesting material that meets their needs.
We ask for your action to support the work we are doing here at school. Please continue to ask your child about what they're studying in class every day and work with them to make connections between classes and the world outside of school. Please ensure students get a good night's sleep before they test, and help them know that doing their best is all we ask of them (in everything they do). Please talk with parents of current 8th graders in your community (at work, in the neighborhood, at church) to brag about our award-winning high school and remind them that they can use Round 2 of the School Choice process to join our community next year.
Together in the work,
Jenn Zinn


The benefits of spring testing include the following: 

  • Students and teachers work hard all year, and these tests allow students to demonstrate their incredible growth. 
  • The data testing provides on students' mastery of course content is used to inform instruction. 
  • Taking standardized tests in any grade is great practice for SAT, ACT and AP exams, whose scores largely dictate where a student will be able to attend college.

While you may opt your students out of these exams, we ask that you take these points into consideration before making your decision. In order to properly prepare students for these exams, we ask all parents who are opting out their students to inform the school in writing by this coming Monday, April 8. We may not be able to accommodate opt-outs after this date.

Please direct any questions or concerns to your student's adviser or Assistant Principal Mario Giardiello at and (720) 423-9102.

The schedule for upcoming tests is below:

6th Grade: MATH and ELA tests — April 22-24,  8 am

7th Grade: MATH and ELA tests — April 8, 10, 11, 8 am

8th Grade: SCIENCE and ELA tests — April 16–18, 8 am (MATH testing in class started April 2)

9th, 10th, 12 Grades: No CMAS/PARCC testing

You're Invited to the DCIS Foundation Passport Dinner! The Magic of Morocco. 

Join us Wednesday, April 24, at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science for our annual Passport Dinner. We are proud to honor these outstanding members of our community with the following awards:

  • Melanie Grant Global Ambassador Award | Gabriela Cornejo Figueroa, Native of Chile
  • Community Ambassador Award | Amy Schwartz, BuildStrong Education
  • Student/Alumni Ambassador Award | Joanne Schwartz, Civitas

Individual Tickets: $125 | Table for 10: $1,250. To purchase tickets, sponsor a teacher/student or donate, please visit or send a check with instructions to DCIS Foundation, P.O. Box 9044, Denver, CO 80209.


As we look ahead to the 2019-20 school year, we wanted to share with you some updates on the budget that was approved earlier this semester. We are excited to have the budget to increase the number of classes offered in world languages, to add a teacher leader role that we plan to fill with a literacy specialist, and to maintain our Restorative Justice team and other programs, including Math Fellows. The committee did approve eliminating one social studies position, which we will accomplish as we celebrate Mr. Tabano's well-deserved retirement at the end of the year. We feel confident that the budget will support the goals and priorities of the school as we move forward.


DPS Futures Volleyball was designed to promote the sport of volleyball in Denver Public Schools. The program began in Spring 2010. Since the program's inception, the number of participants in high school volleyball has increased dramatically. Where DPS once had HS programs that struggled to host one level of volleyball, schools now have complete freshman, JV and varsity programs.

The level of competition has also increased significantly. Teams regularly participate in the state tournament, and Denver East even reached the semifinals of the state championship in 2015. Well over a dozen student/athletes from the Futures Program have received athletic scholarships to attend college.

If your 6th, 7th or 8th grade student is interested in participating, click
here to learn more.

Tami Schmidt
Middle school

Melisa Springsteen
High school last names A-J

Ted Brugman 
High school last names K-Z


April 9th testing for grades 9 through 11
No school for middle school students and 12th graders.

Time:  Test starts at 7:45 am (please arrive by 7:30). Test will end between noon and 12:30 pm (depends on whether the student is taking the test with a needed accommodation and/or completing the essay portion).

Location: 11th graders in the gyms, 10th graders upstairs & 9th graders downstairs (more info the week of)

What to bring:

  • Water
  • A snack
  • Two sharpened #2 pencils (not mechanical pencils)
  • Calculator with working or backup batteries (DCIS has a limited number, so it is very important that you bring one if you have one). Acceptable calculators
  • Cellphone
  • Smart watch
  • Computer
  • Really, any electronic outside of a calculator will not be allowed in the testing room


Parents and 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.

May 3 — 12th grade college signing day during All-School Meeting and districtwide at University of Denver

  • Parents and families are invited to our college signing day during our All-School Meeting (starts at 8:30 am)
  • More info on the DU event soon
May 22 — Graduation 6 pm at the University of Denver
  • Students must arrive by 5 pm
  • Doors open for families 5:30 pm; ceremony starts 6 pm
  • Families will receive 10 tickets each (more available first-come, first-served basis). Students get tickets May 17 (once they check out)


Scholarship Newsletter and Other Documents

The April DenverRAP Activity Calendar is here! This calendar provides information about free activities happening in the Denver area. You can find the calendar (as well as a printer-friendly version) online. Please share this with anyone who might benefit from this resource. You can also have information about free activities happening in Denver sent directly to your phone by texting "DenverRAP" to 67076.


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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