Thursday, May 23, 2019

DCIS Connect Newsletter (May 23-29, 2019)

Weekly Newsletter for Parents, Staff and Students

May 23-29, 2019

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


  • NO SCHOOL: Memorial Day, Monday, May 27
  • Final Exams: Tuesday and Wednesday, May 28-29
  • 8th Grade Continuation: Wednesday, May 29, 6 pm, DCIS Auditorium
  • 6th & 7th Grade Day of Service/Students' Last Day: Thursday, May 30 (high school attendance optional)


  • DPS Parent Surveys Due: Friday, June 7
  • 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 are thrilled to announce the graduation of the DCIS Class of 2019! We celebrated their grit and passion in a beautiful ceremony last night, and we are very proud of all the graduates.

Friday we will clean out lockers, learn from Passages presentations, vote for Student Council and continue our strong classes as we drive toward the last week of school. Next week we have more finals and projects as well as our Continuation Ceremony (May 29) and a Day of Service for our 6th and 7th graders on May 30 (high school attendance is optional).

The DCIS faculty and staff have great wishes and expectations for the summer and the 2019-20 school year. We've been talking with students about performing acts of kindness this summer and reading books and trying new things. We continue to refine the master schedule and build out what student schedules might look like (including the addition of language classes in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese).

We're excited about our new hires, although we will miss our staff members who are leaving. And this week we learned that we will get a new principal. We'll continue to update the community as we gear up for the 2019-20 school year. 

Jenn Zinn
Acting Principal

The 8th Grade Continuation ceremony will take place on Wednesday, May 29, at 6 pm in the DCIS Auditorium. A reception will follow. We ask all students to dress up for this exciting occasion.

Students should continue to report their service hours and other elements of their DCIS work in addition to focusing on great grades in every class.

Please call the office with questions about the requirements and expectations for Continuation.


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!


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. There is an informational webinar on Wednesday, May 29, for interested students and their parents.  
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.

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.

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.


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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