Thursday, May 30, 2019

DCIS Connect Newsletter (Last Issue 2018-19)

Weekly Newsletter for Parents, Staff and Students

Have a wonderful SUMMER!

(Leer en Español usar el traductor de Google aquí.)
Welcome to DCIS, Dr. Gamba!

DCIS will be welcoming Dr. Kyle Gamba as our interim principal for the 2019-2020 school year. The attached letter was sent out last week through IC. 



  • 2019-20 Registration: Tuesday, July 30, 7 am–1 pm; Wednesday, July 31, noon–6 pm, DCIS Cafeteria
  • First Day of School: Monday, Aug. 19
  • Taco Night and Chili Cook-off: Friday, Aug. 23, 5-9 pm (sign up for the Chili Cook-off here)


We are still in need of a permanent host family for a  17-year-old Norwegian boy who will be joining us at DCIS in the fall for the 2019-20 school year.

André is an excellent example of an exchange student. He is really excited and has the right expectations for a year abroad in the US. He is very family-oriented and friendly. André has a lot of energy and does many activities in his spare time, including soccer, skiing and dancing hip hop. He is very open-minded and the type of person who will try not to judge and to always be positive.

André is a student with EF High School Exchange Year and comes fully insured with health insurance and his own spending money. His American family would provide a bedroom to sleep in, meals at home and a loving home to call his own. Message or email Derek Chandler today to find out how you can make André's American dream come true. 


DCIS Families,

We have worked hard and pulled together as a community this spring. Congratulations go out to all the students, families and supporters who helped make this year a success. We hope you all will have summers filled with quality time together, reading interesting things, learning about the world around you and taking care of each other.
A few updates for this last 2018-19 edition of the newsletter:
  • Our Master Schedule work has become more nuanced than we originally planned (we are offering more concurrent enrollment classes and electives on campus), so the draft student schedule process is slowed. If you have specific questions about your child's possible schedule for next year, please email Ms. Zinn directly.
  • We are hosting some fun summer work for teachers this June. Several teachers will work on refining our curriculum, and more than 20 will be attending the Asia Society's International Studies Schools Network Summer Institute (co-hosted by DCIS) as well.
We eagerly await the registration process (July 30 and 31 — more details to come in the mail in July) and the opportunity to welcome some new students and all our returning ones in August.
Thank you for all the ways you make our community so special!

Jenn Zinn and the DCIS team
Where in the World?

Many of you will be traveling this summer. It would be super cool to have postcards from your travels on the bulletin board downstairs to show where you have been.

You can mail them to the PTSA at 574 6th Ave., Denver, CO 80204. If you don't want to mail them, you can just bring them in to school, put your name on them, and place them in The Travel Center Inbox in the front office when you return.

It's always fun to see where we have all been (from Breckenridge to Timbuktu) and sets the tone for adventure and travel for the school year. 

Thanks, and happy summer!



Parents/guardians, please join your student(s) at DCIS on Thursday, May 30, 11:30 am, for a special $4 lunch of a hot dog or burger with a drink and chips. Lunch will be served outside in the courtyard, and we can (almost) promise it will not be snowing! ALL DCIS students and their families are invited to spend the day at the school (6th and 7th grade students are expected to attend). Here's the schedule:

7:50 am: Auditorium: Attendance and overview of schedule and expectations

8:15–8:25 am: Transition

8:30–11:30 am: Service opportunities on campus and within walking distance off campus 

11:30 am–12:30ish pm: BBQ lunch in the courtyard

12:30ish–2:30 pm: Activities (student choice) include volleyball, soccer, kickball and dodgeball. If it rains, we'll show a movie in the auditorium.

2:30–2:50 pm: Ice cream/Popsicles and cleanup

We will be thrilled to see you!


Thank you for joining the DCIS PTSA! Please email us to set the wheels in motion — we will need your name, address, phone number, and your student(s) name, grade and the name of their Advisement teacher (if you know it). The cost to join the DCIS PTSA is $10 per person (students also pay $10). You can pay for your membership(s) online. Also, please see the SignUpGenius for ways you can be involved in 2019-2020. 

WELCOME! We are thrilled to have you.

Are you looking for opportunities to be Sponsor or a Donor? Please
see our Google Form for opportunities to give to our students or donate money directly.

Please contact Marie Meyer at 303-913-4845 or if there is something else you can offer; your help will be much appreciated.


Please remember to submit your Family Satisfaction Survey before Friday, June 7! They were mailed earlier this month and can be returned in the postage-paid envelope provided.

This survey is designed to measure the quality of family-school relationships and what you think about the culture at your child's school. We are eager to hear from ALL of our families about the concerns and kudos you have for DCIS. Your responses will provide our teachers and leadership teams with information that will be critical to their planning for the new school year.


DCIS students have been invited to participate in a unique opportunity this summer representing both our school and our home country in Chicago: the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) World Leadership Congress (WLC) at Loyola University,  July 20–27. 
The World Leadership Congress is a weeklong seminar that empowers ambassadors to be engaged leaders and global citizens. Any who attend will be representing alongside 400 fellow ambassadors from across the U.S. and more than 14 countries, including Argentina, Mexico, Turkey, China, Spain, Bolivia, Taiwan, Korea,and the United Kingdom.
WLC Ambassadors have the opportunity to:

  • Interact with global leaders through keynote speeches, panels and mentor meetings
  • Experience international diversity through mixed cultural student groups
  • Explore and exercise leadership through interactive workshops and activities
  • Participate in community service projects and field trips
  • Learn about other countries' cultures and their expressive identities
  • Earn two college credits through George Mason University (optional)
  • And so much more!
Visit the HOBY website for more information. To see what attending a WLC seminar looks and feels like, watch the 2018 WLC highlight video If you have any questions, please feel free to send them an email and let them know you're with DCIS.

CHINA 2020
DCIS Chinese teacher Ms. Liu will host a China trip the week of June 8-16, 2020. Students and parents are welcome to come along for what will surely be an amazing and rich experience. For details on the trip, click here, then type Liu-4980 in the search box in the top right corner.

Many thanks to the PTSA
for helping us accomplish our goals!

For our first activity passage, we set out to remodel two rooms in our school and turn them into functional, creative work spaces for the DCIS Drama Club and other students. Upstairs we turned an old storage room into a costume and design studio complete with a fitting room and sewing machine. The downstairs tech closet has become a shop space and storage area for wood, sets and props. We used our PTSA money to buy much-needed fresh paint and organizational supplies for the rooms.

Sophia Tribelhorn, Alison Gaty and Dimitri Svaldi


During the 2018-19 school year, the PTSA partnered with the DCIS administration, world language team, counseling team and the DPS world languages curriculum specialist to roll out an Advanced World Language Options program. Given that we have many students who max out of the highest level of world language study prior to the end of their DCIS career, and have heard from both current and prospective families that they wish there were a way for students to continue with world language study beyond the levels DCIS offers, we wanted to fill that gap for our students.

This DCIS-mission aligned project included compiling a list of concurrent enrollment options on the Auraria campus, a list of community-organization-based options, and a list of online course options. Additionally, we entered into conversations with two providers of advanced world language instruction — the Wellesley College Online AP Italian program and the Alliance Française of Denver — around possible partnerships at a reduced cost and in alignment with the DCIS bell schedule.  We solicited sign-ups from students/families interested in pursuing advanced language options at the end of May, and DCIS administration, counselors, and PTSA representatives met to chart out next steps to meet student needs.

While 22 students expressed interest, it was clear there had been some misunderstanding, as the majority of them had not yet completed the highest level of their world language offered at DCIS. We did have six students across four world languages who qualified for an advanced option, and the counseling team followed up with each of those students to ensure they had an option to pursue. Additionally, the counseling team followed up with the remaining 16 students to ensure they were enrolled in the appropriate next world language level at DCIS.

Given the number of interested students, we were not able to move forward with the possible partnerships for the coming school year, but left the door open for such partnerships in the future. Now that we have a system in place for advanced world language options, we will roll this out again for 2020-21 in the 2019-20 school year, and will be able to share an overview of the program with prospective families coming from immersion or dual-language schools.

We hope that, having planted the seed, a growing number of students will be interested in advanced world language options each year, and that we'll be able to support students in moving from proficiency toward fluency, with an increased number of students earning the Seal of Biliteracy and/or taking and succeeding in Advanced Placement world language courses.

Did you know that DPS students have access to a vast online catalog of materials:  electronic and audio books, movies, educational assistance, even graphic novels?!  A complete list of those resources is available here, or if you would like to get right to checking out ebooks and audiobooks through the Overdrive app, you can log in with your student account (the same one you use for the Student Portal) here.


Tami Schmidt
Middle school

Melisa Springsteen
High school last names A-J

Ted Brugman 
High school last names K-Z

If you are interested in setting up a home visit over the summer with one of our counselors, please email Tami Schmidt or Ted Brugman.

Summer is quickly approaching, which is causing many of us to daydream about lying by the pool and BBQs with friends. The long school break can also cause many of us to panic as we try to figure out how we will keep our children safe and entertained during the summer months. Click here for a list of free and low-cost summer programs for youth in the Denver area.


Motomaki (Denver) and the Denver Center for International Studies (DCIS) Foundation are partnering to raise funds to create a world of opportunity for DCIS students, by taking them out into it. The funds raised will help enable young people experience international travel and local cultural activities that enhance and deepen global understanding. These opportunities help students develop into globally competent people who are leaders and problem solvers and who take action in their communities.

Monday June 10,  4–9 pm

500 16th St Mall #184c, Denver, CO 80202

Donating Back: 20%


The DCIS Foundation has exciting news to share and wanted you to be the first to know! We've recently partnered with a program called the RoundUp App that allows you to "round up" the change from your debit or credit card purchases and donate it to us monthly.

This is an easy way for you to help us, to create a world of opportunity for students, just by donating your change. It's small change for you but truly a game changer for us!

You can download the app for iPhone or Android or create an account and designate the DCIS Foundation as you charity of choice.


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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