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The next EdEquity Corner is 
 Wednesday, May 11 from 7-8:30 pm.
RECAP: In April we welcomed School Board Director Carrie Olson. We discussed community engagement, declining enrollment, and policy governance. Thank you Dr. Olson for sharing your thoughts with us.

COMING UP: In May, Colorado State Board of Education Member Lisa Escarcega will visit EdEquity Corner. We'll discuss how the state board's decisions impact schools at the neighborhood level, and how she engages with her constituents. See you there! 

Register today! EdEquity Corner is free and requires no ongoing commitment.

Declining Enrollment in Denver Public Schools

As you probably know by now, DPS projects that overall enrollment will decline significantly in the next several years possibly forcing the closure or consolidation of a number of schools. To prepare for this, the administration established a stakeholder committee of 34 parents, teachers, school leaders, central administrators and community members to create criteria to be used in deciding whether or not to close any particular school.  For more information about the committee’s work and to provide feedback, go to the committee website at

PHNEE has been asked to participate in an ongoing feedback session with other community-based organizations. Although overall enrollment may be declining, our view is that school closure/consolidation decisions should not be made solely on the basis of financial sustainability of a school under the current funding model known as student-based budgeting.

As noted in other articles in this newsletter, student-based budgeting has been shown to disproportionately disadvantage schools in low-income communities of color and exacerbates gentrification as does the competition inherent in school choice. We believe that DPS should eliminate student-based budgeting in favor of a funding model that ensures every school, whether large or small, can provide an equitable, comprehensive education. Once that has been achieved, a thoughtful consideration of district capacity and enrollment can occur in a context of transparency and trust with the community. 

DPS Citywide Art Show at DAM

Hallett and Stedman student artwork displayed at Denver Art Museum

How many elementary-aged kids do you know who have their art work displayed at the Denver Art Museum? We know quite a few! Student artists from Hallett Academy and Stedman Elementary were recently celebrated for this achievement at the DPS Citywide Elementary Art Show! 

The Art Show is an annual event featuring artists from grade levels ECE to 5th. Our Park Hill students joined 35 schools from across the district. The exhibit displayed 235 pieces including drawings, paintings, collages, and sculptures. On April 12, these students were honored for their creativity, talent, and personal expression in a program attended by well over 500 students, teachers, and family members. Here is a selection of some of the art on display that day. 


Fun Alert!

Join PHNEE's Summer Passport Program!

We are pleased to announce the second annual Summer Passport Program! This project provides a way for families to learn more about the Greater Park Hill neighborhood and its rich history through a FREE, fun, family-friendly, COVID safe activity for kids, parents, grandparents, and community members.  

It’s easy to participate! You can sign up here or scan the QR code below and we will send you a passport as soon as they are available. On the passport, you will find a map of key landmarks in GPH and activities that can be accomplished at each location. The map includes every elementary school and library in our neighborhood as well as a number of local businesses. Pick a location, walk, bike, or scoot on over, and perform the activity described on the passport or get a small prize from a participating business. You can then “stamp” your passport and move on to the next stop.

The project runs from June 4 - August 15 so you have plenty of time to get to each stop. When you have completed the passport you can take a picture of it and email it to or drop it off at the PHNEE office at 1961 Holly St. If you visit all 5 schools, both libraries, and at least 3 businesses you will be entered into a drawing for Grand Prizes including tickets to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, gift certificates from Sexy Pizza and School of Breaking, a day pass to Elitch’s and much more!

Volunteers Still Needed - Can You Help?

Greater Park Hill's elementary schools can always use volunteer support.
Contact for more information. Click here to complete a background check. 

What We're Reading

Declining enrollment in DPS and the related committee are hot topics this spring. Many community members, some of whom are serving on the committee, feel that the process suffers from the "same old flaws," in which the district solicits community input only to "check a box." School closure and consolidation has many negative effects on students and is very unpopular; yet, the committee is being asked to develop a criteria for closure and consolidation rather than exploring other ideas they have to address the problem of declining enrollment. 
School closures intensify gentrification in Black neighborhoods nationwide, Stanford study finds 

As Denver grapples with school closures and consolidations, there is data from Stanford Graduate School of Education that asserts school closures increased gentrification in Black neighborhoods. 

Park Hill's own Smith Elementary is featured in a Chalkbeat article that explores the intended and unintended consequences of DPS' weighted funding formula, called "student based budgeting." 
Copyright © 2022 Park Hill Neighbors for Equity in Education, All rights reserved.

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