Thursday, August 29, 2019

DCIS Connect Newsletter (Aug. 29-Sept. 4, 2019)

Weekly Newsletter for Parents, Staff and Students

August 29-September 4, 2019

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

DCIS has a brand-new online store where you can find more than 170 items (T-shirts, hoodies, shorts, polos, hats and bags) with the DCIS logo or the resurrected IRAPAN (I Respect All People and Nations) logo (at left). Order whatever you like and have it shipped directly to your door. Our vendor has informed us that Adidas is having some supply chain issues, so any Adidas apparel you order may be delayed. But there are many other options, some that ship in as fast as three days. Check out the store here or via the SHOP link on the school website, where you can find a 10% discount code. 


  • NO SCHOOL: Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2
  • Coffee with the Principal: "Percolate. Caffeinate. Participate — A Conversation with Kyle," Thursday, Sept. 5, 8–8:45 am, Community Room
  • Café con el Director: "Participar en una conversación con Kyle," Viernes, Sept. 6, 8:15–9 am, Habitación Comunitaria


  • Club Expo: Monday, Sept. 9, 7:50–9:20 am
  • Fall Play Auditions: Monday-Tuesday, Sept. 9-10, Auditorium after school
  • Back to School Night: Wednesday, Sept. 11, 6–7:30 pm
  • PTSA Meeting: Wednesday, Sept. 11, 7:30 pm, Community Room
  • CSC Meeting: Thursday, Sept. 12, 4:30–6:30 pm, Community Room
  • California Pizza Kitchen Fundraiser: Thursday, Sept. 19, 11 am-10 pm, Cherry Creek Mall
  • Homecoming: Saturday, Oct. 5, 7–10 pm

Greetings DCIS Community, 
First and foremost, thanks to everyone who was able to come to Taco Night! It was great to see so many families chatting with each other while enjoying the fabulous food. Many, many thanks to our PTSA for hosting and to all the folks who pitched in to make it such a successful event. 
Additionally, thanks to those parents who reached out to me for some clarity around some of our new policies and procedures. I want to take a moment to communicate about why some of the changes have been made.
In terms of the new cell phone policy in middle school, I have received both positive (mostly parents) and negative (mostly 7th and 8th grade students) feedback. While I understand that this change may have felt like an "overreaching authoritative crackdown," the great majority of staff agree that cell phones in middle school generally lead to more problems than good. Additionally, I realize just how hard this may be for our 7th and 8th graders who were allowed to use their phones last year and now feel as though a freedom has been taken away from them. In doing some research, I found few DPS middle schools that still allow cell phones and a lot of support for why middle schoolers should not have cell phones in schools. Please check out the following link for more info. 
We have also changed the lunch schedule this year so that our middle school and high school students go to lunch at different times Monday thru Thursday. This decision was made last year to better accommodate having approximately 700 students eat at the same time. This too has been hard for some students, as they don't have the freedom they once did to roam the building during lunch because classes are in session. Along with this change has been the need to limit the consumption of food to the cafeteria or outside in order to keep rooms clean and free of rodents, which were a major problem last year. So far, teachers have commented that hallways and classrooms look and feel much better, allowing for the focus to be on learning.
In terms of a new dress policy, I wasn't aware that this was new and was happy to support the team that created it. Tomorrow, we will be sitting down with students to discuss what a good dress policy should be. I'm optimistic that we can present an update to this policy in the coming weeks. 
If you would like to learn more or have some thoughts and suggestions to share, I would love to see you at our first parent-principal coffee: "Percolate. Caffeinate. Participate — A Conversation with Kyle." I'm more than happy to share more about myself and to discuss the why behind some of our decisions. We'll have a conversation in English on Thursday, Sept. 5, at 8 am and in Español on Friday, Sept. 6, at 8:15 am. 
Also, this is a friendly reminder to put Back to School Night on the calendar: Wednesday, Sept. 11, 6–7:30 pm. Again, I'll be there and would be happy to connect.
Finally, I want to let everyone know of the progress that we are making on updating our 1957 building. I'm proud that we have replaced more than 200 chairs, 100 desks and 25 tables. Lockers have been painted, and plans are in place to refresh some very outdated classrooms. We are making progress and need to make more. Thank you for noticing all the changes, and thanks for the support as I continue to learn and grow!
Dr. Gamba

We are looking for parents who can contribute food and/or drinks for our wonderful teachers and staff during Back-to-School Night! Please sign up here with what you can bring, and deliver your much-appreciated contributions to the Community Room after 5 pm on Wednesday, Sept. 11.

The Collaborative School Committee (CSC) would like to welcome Jason Coughlin and Vivian Masket as its newest parent/guardian members. The CSC received only two nominations, so an election will not be necessary. The first meeting is Thursday, Sept. 12, 4:30–6:30 pm in the Community Room, and meetings are open to the public. Hope to see you there!

DCIS is a registered charity on AmazonSmile! You can contribute to the PTSA by selecting our organization (search for DCIS PTSA) as your AmazonSmile under My Account. Make all your purchases at There is no cost to you, and Amazon will donate a percentage of your purchase to the DCIS PTSA. In order for the PTSA to get credit for your purchase, it must be made through the website. We are very excited about this fundraising opportunity for our school! Please participate in our community by adding this simple step every time you make a purchase from Amazon.

DCIS is now a Box Tops for Education school! Download the BTFE app to your phone, set up an account and scan your grocery receipts to earn money for DCIS. Or you can turn in your box tops or grocery receipts to the box in the main office and we will scan them for you! When everyone participates, we can earn thousands of dollars for our school! Back to School Night on Wednesday, Sept. 11, is the perfect time to bring in your collected coupons and grocery receipts. You can drop them at the office or give them to Allison Freeman, our new PTSA Treasurer, at the PTSA meeting that starts at 7:30 pm. 


Please join us at California Pizza Kitchen in the Cherry Creek Mall between 11 am and 10 pm on Thursday, Sept. 19, to Dine Out for DCIS. Can't stay for a sit-down meal? Takeout is included! Let your server know you're there to support DCIS and 20 percent of your check will be donated to the DCIS PTSA. Save yourself some time in the kitchen and raise some serious dough for DCIS!


Syllabi were sent home with all students and emailed, which parents should review, sign and have their student return ASAP. There are Remind codes for all classes if you'd like to be texted reminders for classes. Students in Film Production class must turn in their NR-R rated film permission slip before they may view any films in class, so please sign that and send it back with your student. 

The first Drama Club officers meeting is on Friday, Aug. 30, at lunch in the auditorium. We will plan and discuss when we will begin all club meetings, so stay tuned! Auditions for "Almost, Maine" are Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 9 and 10, by signup, and Tech Team forms are due by Thursday, Sept. 12.

Last week (Aug. 19–23) in 6th and 7th grade Art, students received a mystery box full of materials (a la "Chopped" on the Food Network) and worked collaboratively to create art with a theme that reflected our Art Room Ways: Safety, Respect, Industry, Serenity and Effort. You'll see their weekly success in their Process grades in Infinite Campus. Photos to come! In all classes, students created a piece of identity art to label their art folders. Currently: 6th and 7th grade students will make accordion idea journals, 8th graders will repurpose discarded hardbound books into creativity journals, and high schoolers will construct creativity journals from found and personal materials (brought from home) inspired by artists online. Please help your aspiring artist by encouraging them, asking about their art, and helping them choose materials (high school). 

Fall sports at Denver West have officially started! Students who want to play must complete their physical, family ID and registration. Registration for Fall Sports will end 9/1. Volleyball closed as of Friday, Aug. 23Get started here. Fees can be paid online and must be paid in order to participate. Students can choose from among the following sports:

Men's Soccer
Women's Softball
Boys' Tennis


Youth in Action is a local nonprofit that helps Denver-area teens become hardworking, responsible leaders. The program includes Japanese language and culture study, community service, and fundraising, culminating in a month-long cultural exchange trip to Japan in June 2021. Informational meeting Tuesday, Sept. 3, 7 pm, Highlands Methodist Church, 3131 Osceola, Denver.

Tami Handley 720-423-9006
Ted Brugman - 720-423-9094

For the second year in a row, the Colorado Department of Higher Education has teamed up with colleges and universities all across Colorado to waive college application fees for all Colorado students on Tuesday, Oct. 15. That means if you submit your application between 12:01 am and 11:59 pm that day, you can apply for free to any public Colorado institution and many private institutions.

Last year, Colorado students submitted almost 23,000 applications to Colorado colleges and universities for the state's first free application day. Officials from the state are hoping even more students take advantage of the opportunity this year.


The September DenverRAP Activity Calendar is now available. This calendar provides information about free activities happening in the Denver area. You can also have information about free activities happening in Denver sent directly to your phone by texting "DenverRAP" to 67076.


This nonprofit foundation was established to raise funds for DCIS students to experience national/international travel and cultural exchanges and to enhance their global understanding. Travel like this takes their knowledge from the classroom and applies it.

It takes a lot of smart and dedicated people to keep these funds growing for our students year after year. The foundation has raised almost $400,000. It has changed lives.

Please join us. We are looking for smart and dedicated volunteer members for our Event and Scholarship committees. Get involved! There's no more important use of your talent and a bit of your spare time. Email Theresa Conley, Executive Director, today if you're interested or with any questions.


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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