Thursday, October 31, 2019

DCIS Connect Newsletter (Oct 31 - Nov 6, 2019)

Weekly Newsletter for Parents, Staff and Students

October 31–November 6, 2019

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

There will be a mandatory meeting tomorrow, FRIDAY, NOV. 1, at lunch in the MUN room at 11:25 am for junior and senior students who are interested in taking a concurrent enrollment class next semester (spring 2020), where the process for registering will be discussed. Students who cannot make the meeting should contact Dr. Jenna Martin, counselor Ted Brugman or Tami Handley, or Assistant Principal Jen Warren.


  • Middle School Student Perception Survey: Monday, Nov. 4, 7:50–9:20 am
  • High School Student Perception Survey: Monday, Nov. 6, 7:50–9:20 am


  • Family Trivia Night: Monday, Nov. 8, 6–8 pm
  • CSC Meeting: Tuesday, Nov. 12, 4-6 pm, DCIS Community Room
  • Fall Play — Almost, Maine: Thursday–Saturday, Nov. 14–16, 6 pm
  • Dine Out for DCIS: Thursday, Nov. 21, 4–8 pm, Panera Bread, 640 S. Colorado Blvd., Glendale
  • NO SCHOOL: Nov. 25–29
  • Dining Fundraiser for DCIS Italian Exchange Program: Tuesday, Dec. 3, 4–10 pm, at Pizzeria Locale, 6th & Broadway
  • CSC Meeting: Tuesday, Dec. 10, 4-6 pm, DCIS Community Room
  • Travel and Language Fair: Thursday, Dec. 12, 5-8 pm, DCIS Cafeteria and Gym
Click here to access the schedule for all West High School sports.

Greetings DCIS Community:

First and foremost, I wanted to say thanks everyone for your flexibility over the past few days with our Colorado weather. Be it an early release or a snow day, the weather certainly keeps us all on our toes.
Additionally, I want to thank all the parents who either came to the School Performance Framework (SPF) informational sessions or shared their thoughts on the subject with me. I'm super appreciative for all the suggestions and feedback as it is clear we all want to see DCIS at its greatest.
For those who were unable to attend but are still interested in what is going on, I'll try to briefly explain the process. Because we received a red school rating (or Accredited on Probation) on the SPF, some processes are automatically kicked off on behalf of the district. We have had an external school review, looked at our foundational systems, discussed root causes and looked at our data, all with the help of some great district partners. At the same time, I've had the great pleasure to speak with numerous stakeholders to gather ideas and brainstorm solutions.
Now, we are actively planning for two different things. The first is what I'm calling DCIS 1.5 — in short, our plan to get better right now.  Students don't get a "do over" year, so we must adjust to make the second part of this school year even more successful than the first part. Then, we need to plan for DCIS 2.0 — what next year and the coming years will look like. Having spent some time rereading the original school plan for DCIS written by Dan Lutz, the school's founder, I fundamentally believe in everything DCIS was created to do . . . the global competency mindset, the power of language and the importance of community service. Although the plan is solid, I think the execution has been a little shaky. 
So, I'm currently in the process of submitting a plan to the school board that looks very much like the original school plan but with some updates and tweaks. We are going back to our roots while acknowledging all we have learned in the past 20 years. My belief is that we are going to need to get a little smaller and truly get back to some strong academic results in order to prove to ourselves and others just how great we are. It won't be easy, but by taking advantage of this reset, I know we will be stronger!
Dr. Gamba


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


ALL AP testing fees are due by TOMORROW, Friday, Nov. 1. Cost is $94 per exam, or $16 per exam for families that qualify for free and reduced lunch. Students are expected to take exams in all subjects they are scheduled for. If there is a financial hardship or students plan to drop the class at semester, or are unable to test for some other reason, they need to speak to Ms. Erin in the library before Friday, Nov. 1.

On Monday, Nov. 4, all 8th graders will be given the opportunity to attend the districtwide career fair at the National Western Complex. Find more information here


We're excited for the Seal of Biliteracy opportunity for our seniors! Please visit this page for information on how to earn the seal and this one for more info about the seal (the application and timeline). Applications are due tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 1! If you have any questions, please email Dr. Jenna Martin.

Cherry Arts will be setting up a community art show with the Mobile Art Gallery in our library Nov. 5-19. The two-week residency will include public tours for the community led by DCIS student docents. This gallery contains acclaimed professional art from the Cherry Creek Arts Festival in July. 

Summer 2020 LYNX Camp Dates
The LYNX National Arts and Media Camps are summer immersion programs for high school students interested in music and the arts hosted on the University of Colorado Denver campus and sponsored by the CU Denver College of Arts & Media. For more information on summer camp dates and the program, go to their websiteApplication deadline is Friday, Nov. 1. 
DCIS Drama Club
November 14, 15, 16 at 6 pm
in the DCIS Auditorium
A woman carries her heart, broken into 19 pieces, in a small paper bag. A man shrinks to half his former size, after losing hope in love. A couple keep the love they have given each other in large red bags, or compress the mass into the size of a diamond. These playful and surreal experiences are commonplace in the world of John Cariani's Almost, Maine, where on one deeply cold and magical midwinter night, the citizens of Almost — not organized enough for a town, too populated for a wilderness — experience the life-altering power of the human heart.
Tickets for the show can be purchased
online with a credit card or at the door (cash only). $5 for students, $8 for adults, $10 for first three rows.

Thanks to all who attended our CSC meeting on Oct. 24. The minutes are now available on the DCIS website, and more information about the CSC can be found here. As always, we welcome public comment at our meetings, or, if you are unable to attend a meeting, please reach out to one of your constituency members.

The next PTSA Board Meeting will be Thursday, Nov. 21, starting at 7 pm, at the "Dine out for DCIS" fundraising event at Panera Bread (640 S. Colorado Blvd., Glendale). RSVP here if there is something specific you want to place on the agenda. Otherwise just drop in and take part in the discussion. Everyone is welcome, even non-PTSA members. 

English teacher Andrew Crossley has posted a new request on Donors Choose to help build a culture of reading in the school, particularly among middle schoolers. Read about his project here, and please consider making a donation before Feb. 20. 

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. 
For a limited time (Tuesday, Oct. 29 to this Saturday, Nov. 2) your shopping with Amazon raises 10x the funds for DCIS! Do your holiday shopping and give back to DCIS. 

Thank you to DCIS Foundation staff and board for their dedication to our students. They conducted almost 20 interviews on Monday. These funds may mean the difference in whether a student is able to travel this year.

Trips with enrollment still open:
  • China with Ms. Liu for middle and high school students. Trip includes Beijing, the Great Wall, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai—$3,777 (Explorica) June 8 to 16
  • Guatemala with Ms. Miller for middle and high school students. Students will work on a service project, hike a volcano, learn about Mayan traditions, swim, kayak, zip-line through the jungle, and improve or learning Spanish—$2,963 June 1–10
Please contact the teachers for more information about these life-changing opportunities. 

Trips no longer accepting applications:
  • Japan with Mr. Matsumoto, who promises another one next year!
  • Italy with Ms. Quesada and Ms. Bishop. This student exchange takes place every two years
  • Rapid City, South Dakota with Gwen Holmes—Lakota Nation Invitation Language and Activities Tournament
  • Luby-Jenkins Mongolian-US Student Exchange Program: Saturday, Nov. 30 — drop by the Travel Center for information and applications.
  • CIEE: Friday, Dec. 6 — DCIS is the ONLY school in the Mountain West region to have earned the designation of Global Navigator School. This means our students who complete quality applications are given priority for scholarships amounting to $25,000, particularly for language and culture programs. Click here for more information. Click here for tips on receiving placement in a CIEE program and a scholarship.
Looking for fully paid, quality educational travel opportunities? The U.S. State Department offers a number of merit-based programs for high school students. See their website for more details about all their programs. Deadlines for most programs are approaching fast, so don't delay!

GRAZIE MILLE to Pizzeria Locale, which is donating 33% of all purchases made by people mentioning the DCIS ITALIAN EXCHANGE on Tuesday, Dec. 3, from 4 to 10 pm. 

Mark your calendar for Friday, Dec. 13, for the Italian Exchange wine tasting, silent auction and food extravaganza at the Alliance Francaise. Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.

The Italian Cultural Exchange will be selling coffee from Copper Door Coffee Roasters, which has a location right here in the Baker neighborhood. This woman-owned and -run business imports coffee by women-owned coffee farms from around the world. Samples will be available at the DCIS play nights, in bags at the DCIS Travel Fair, and by order from any student participating in the Italian Exchange. Support women, and support student travel! Buy delicious coffee from our travelers. 

Are you or your student looking for worldwide opportunities? 

Please join us at the 2019 DCIS Travel and Language Fair to meet exhibitors representing Gap Year, Student Travel, Study Abroad, Cultural Exchange, Language Immersion, Language Learning, Nonprofits, Service, and Volunteer Opportunities (national as well as international) at a unique event tailored especially to students from elementary to high school and their families from the entire DPS community and beyond. 

This Showcase of Opportunities for Students 4th to 12th grade is FREE and open to the PUBLIC on Thursday, Dec. 12, 5–8 pm at the school. Please visit here for event info, and follow announcements here

Buy unique gifts from our carefully selected vendors in the World Bazaar.

Adelitas Cocina y Cantina (1294 S. Broadway, Denver and 2609 W. Main St., Littleton) will be selling their delicious tacos at the fair on Thursday, Dec. 12, starting at 5 pm. Hope you come hungry! 
Please thank them for their continued support of our school here.

If you would like to exhibit and use this opportunity to interact in person with members of the entire DPS community and beyond, especially students from elementary to high school and their families, the registration form is here, or email Marie if you have any questions or comments.

Any STUDENTS AND TEACHERS CAN REGISTER FOR FREE to have a table at the Travel and Language Fair (we especially encourage food sales and travel and language fundraisers). Community service and event credits are available to student volunteers. 

Vendors and exhibitors pay a $100 participation fee or $50 for nonprofits, and we will provide a table and chairs; no electricity available. Please comply with the relevant tax regulations. #SendYourBanner

AFS-USA has been a leader in intercultural education for more than 70 years, with 120 programs in over 45 countries, varying from a full school year to a week of summer. Families and educators are encouraged to get involved by hosting AFS exchange students from more than 90 countries who come to the U.S. every year. We're always looking for volunteers to help us support our participants and expand our mission's reach of connecting across cultures, fostering global citizens and promoting peace through intercultural understanding.
Come by the AFS-USA table at the Travel & Language Fair to learn more!
#afsusa #afseffect #studyabroad #whyhostingmatters #exchangestudent #interculturaleducation #interculturalexchange


The 2019 Colorado General Assembly, through House Bill 19-1257, referred a measure to the 2019 November ballot. This measure is known as Proposition CC, and the ballot language states:
"Without raising taxes and to better fund public schools, higher education, and roads, bridges, and transit, within a balanced budget, may the state keep and spend all the revenue it annually collects after June 30, 2019, but is not currently allowed to keep and spend under Colorado law, with an annual independent audit to show how the retained revenues are spent?"
A "yes" vote on Proposition CC: Changes state law and means the state can keep all of the money it collects over its revenue limit to spend on education and transportation.

For a flyer on how Denver County will benefit from Proposition CC, 
click here
The November DenverRAP Activity Calendar is now available here. This calendar provides information about free activities happening in the Denver area. You can also find a printer friendly version of the calendar online. To have information about free activities happening in Denver sent directly to your phone, text "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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