Institute on the Common Good Initiatives The Institute on the Common Good at Regis University is actively involved with the Denver metro area community as well as across the state of Colorado and the country, facilitating conversations between individuals and groups, offering events, sharing our expertise, and collaborating with a wide variety of civic and social organizations. The projects listed below are some examples of the institute's current work. Colorado'sFutureDemocracyLabNWWCTBDColoradoSWEducationAdditionalInitiatives The mission of Colorado’s Future is to build public trust and improve the processes of public policy decision making in a way that will build a better Colorado. The Institute has partnered with Colorado’s Future to address fiscal issues affecting the state, strengthening representative governmental systems and rebuilding public trust in government. The two organizations interact primarily through the Building a Better Colorado through Civic Engagement pilot program, which brought together around 200 “grass tops” leaders in three areas- Grand Junction, Lakewood and Pueblo. The Institute is supporting the project in a variety of ways, in particular offering expertise on practices of deliberative and participatory democracy and collaborative political processes. For more information, please visit their website. Democracy Lab is a program of online learning for classroom and co-curricular use for college and high school students. The centerpiece is its course-based forums, through which students engage in small-group, deliberative dialogue about timely public issues with peers from schools around the country. The program is based out of the Institute’s offices on the campus of Regis University. After careful consideration, The Institute on the Common Good has decided to take our Democracy Lab Program offline for the near future. We have received a considerable amount of input over the past few years, and recognize that to ensure we maintain high quality standards in the curriculum and facilitation; we would need to invest additional monies and time. With the current economic conditions, we simply are unable to ensure adequate resources for the maintenance of excellent support and for up to date technology and innovative practices. We thank you for your support and interest in the online courses. If you have any questions or comments, please direct them to Malia Crouse. Denver Public Schools (DPS) and the Institute on the Common Good at Regis University (ICG) announce the formation and first meeting of the Northwest Denver Education Collaborative Committee. The committee is charged with defining the community’s goals and expectations for performance of its schools. About 70 committee members representing the majority of schools in the Northwest Denver region of the district, teachers, school administrators, principals, students and neighborhood organizations have been invited to attend the first committee meeting from 5:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7 in Regis University’s Mountain View Room. The public is also welcome to attend. The three committee chairs — jointly appointed by ICG Director Paul Alexander and DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg — are Ramon del Castillo, associate professor and chair of the Chicana/Chicano Studies Department at Metropolitan State College; Suzanne Leff, a DPS Parent Forum member representing Edison and an attorney at Winzenburg, Leff, Purvis and Payne, LLP; and Ana Soler, a parent and youth program director at Civic Canopy. As the lead convener, the Institute on the Common Good at Regis University serves the community at-large by promoting the common good and providing a safe and effective space for community dialogue, communal discernment and public deliberation. The ICG received more than 101 applications for participation on the committee, which will examine a variety of challenges facing Northwest Denver and make recommendations to: improve academic performance; establish clear ECE-12 feeder patterns; support and inform the long-term future options at NHS; address school capacity, facility utilization and continuity of programs; address program offerings at existing schools including high school configuration; consider options for new schools; and review strategies to meet the needs of English language learners and students with special needs. “It has been important to us, as the lead conveners of this process, that there is balanced and diverse representation on this important community-based committee that is focused on quality education of students in DPS schools,” said Alexander. “This process will give a voice to our community and help to ensure effective engagement when it comes to strengthening our children’s education and neighborhood schools,” said Boasberg. For more information about the North West Denver Education Collaborative Committee visit their website. What is TBD Colorado? TBD Colorado is a public engagement initiative designed to create a dialogue among Colorado residents about some of the most important issues to the state's future. What are the goals? Short Term Goals • Develop pragmatic, realistic solutions and consensus on policy issues (for example, do citizens in Colorado support longer class days or longer school years; are we willing to allow any of our schools of higher education to explore privatization; how do we handle the increasing health care needs of our aging population; and how are we going to address our growing transportation and infrastructure needs?) • Create better methodology to evaluate issues • Obtain various perspectives from all regions of the state • Build muscle strength in Colorado for working together to solve complex problems and working across party and regional lines Long Term Goals • Form an enduring culture that leads to better ways of driving public policy goals • Develop a credible mechanism for non-partisan deliberation of public policy issues • Involve a broader (and younger) spectrum of Coloradans in determining the direction of the state. What does the name TBD mean? TBD is an acronym for "To Be Determined." The name refers to the initiative's purpose—to engage Colorado residents in determining the future of the state. Who is in charge of TBD? TBD has a volunteer board of directors who set policy and provide guidance. Kae Rader serves as Executive Director. The board includes: • Greg Maffei (President and CEO Liberty Media) Chair • Heather Caroll (Joseph Henry. Edmondson Fundoundation) • Maria Garcia Barry (CEO, CRL Associates) • Letty Bass (Executive Director, Chambers Familyies Fund) • Russell George (President, Northwestern Community College) • Kristin Richardson (Private Sector Representative) • Roxane White (Chief of Staff, Governor Hickenlooper) What is the agenda of TBD? TBD will focus on important issues facing Colorado. They include: • P-12 Education • Higher Education • Health Care • Transportation • Structural budget • Structural talent Who set the agenda for TBD? The initial agenda has been set by the Governor, bipartisan advisors, and the TBD Board. Future agendas will be set by Colorado residents who participate in the process. How is this initiative connected to Governor Hickenlooper? The Governor believes that navigating the difficult challenges the state faces will require the ideas and support of the entire state. TBD Colorado seeks unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of Coloradans to come up with efficient, effective and elegant solutions. What is public engagement? Public engagement is a term that refers to initiatives that seek to educate and involve the public regarding key issues, and then to identify areas of consensus and agreement that can be acted upon. Who wrote the educational materials? Small framing committees for each of the priority areas identified key challenges, opportunities and resources for each area. Facilitators then created accurate, neutral material so that all participants would have a common starting point for dialogue. How are the participants selected? Participants were selected because they were identified by others or themselves as having a useful perspective they wanted to share and a passion for making their state a better place to live. Is TBD a project or an organization? TBD is a legal organization with a board and executive director. The major project of TBD for 2012 is the public engagement project that will focus on the issues identified above. What does TBD mean by values? Values form the basis for our actions, attitudes and beliefs. Often public dialogue focuses so much on outcomes that the important values that should underlie what we do are lost. TBD will seek to identify values in such a way that Coloradans can include values in conversations about what we hope for and what we want to do. What does TBD mean by Colorado Values? Colorado, with its Western heritage and diverse population and geography, has a distinct spirit that both celebrates the individual and knows that collaboration is needed to solve most public problems. Get involved at www.tbdcolorado.org. WELCOME TO THE SOUTHWEST DENVER EDUCATION COALITION! The Southwest Denver Education Coalition (SWDEC) is an organization dedicated to advocating for improved education for all students, insuring adequate resources for all SW DPS schools, enhancing family and community involvement, and improving the public awareness of the success and challenges of SW DPS schools and communities. We are parents, teachers, administrators, and community members and believe that by working together, educating our communities on the challenges we face and offering forums for community input we can positively impact our schools and our communities. Everyone is welcome to be a part of this diverse group: parents, teachers, students, home owner associations, local businesses, individual schools, churches, and anyone who cares about education in Southwest Denver. Make a difference and join the coalition today by contacting our team. AT-LARGE DENVER BOARD OF EDUCATION CANDIDATE FORUM SEPTEMBER 21, 2011 7PM TRAYLOR ACADEMY Sponsored by Bear Valley Improvement Association (BVIA) and Southwest Denver Education Association (SWDEC) You are invited to the School Board Candidate Forum. We are excited to sponsor this event as an educational opportunity for students, staff, parents and community members. This year's election is very important for our children's education. Please join the BVIA and SWDEC for a district-wide, at-large school board candidate forum on Wednesday, September 21, 2011, 7 pm, at Traylor Academy, 2900 South Ivan Way, Denver, CO 80227. You will have a chance to ask your questions. The larger the turnout the better for your SW DPS schools. See you there! School Board Elections affect your school’s & DPS’ future. Come learn about the candidates who will shape your child’s education if they are elected. What does school reform look like? How should charter schools, innovation schools and co-location of schools be decided and implemented? What changes to academics would they like to see? How will they involve YOU and your concerns in school reform? What do they see as the most important aspects of school funding? Do they like DPS’ current plan or do they see a different future? How will they support Special Needs, English Language Acquisition, Gifted and Talented, International Baccalaureate (IB), Montessori, Arts? Questions from the audience will be included in the forum. You can submit questions in advance by email. Board of Education, At-Large Election November 1, 2011 This forum is co-sponsored by the Bear Valley Improvement Association (BVIA) and the Southwest Denver Education Coalition (SWDEC) CONGRATULATIONS KENNEDY HIGH SCHOOL BOETTCHER SCHOLARS ALYSSA KASPERSEN AND RICHARD MAEZ Celebrate the good things in life! Way to go Kennedy students Alyssa Kaspersen and Richard Maez for receiving the prestigious Boettcher Scholarship. Alyssa and Richard have been DPS students since the ECE and were one of the first groups of students to go through the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program at Henry World School and Kennedy High School. Richard is completing the IB Diploma Program and Alyssa is finishing the AP path for college. These outstanding students clearly demonstrate the Boettcher requirements of Superior Scholastic Ability Evidence of Leadership & Involvement Service to Community and School Outstanding Character The Boettcher Scholarship covers the cost of tuition fees and books as well as a stipend for living expenses. For the full story of the four DPS students who were offered the Boettcher Scholars click here. Also, congratulations to the entire Kennedy High School, Henry World School, Sabin World School and Traylor Academy communities for educating and nurturing these wonderful kiddos into their adulthood. The SOUTHWEST DENVER EDUCATION COALITION Newsletter We are excited to announce our first newsletter, Get the community's take on the Southwest Denver Schools. Join the Southwest Denver Education Coalition Facebook group to view the newsletter. Mission The mission of the Southwest Denver Education Coalition is to advocate for our schools by building community-based schools, school-based communities and an educational network within Southwest Denver where neighborhood families are confident and proud to send their students. History The Southwest Denver Education Coalition has its roots in the highly successful Henry Middle School Revitalization Effort. The parents, staff, and community came together to design an innovating and invigorating program for Henry MS. As a result of their success, it became evident that this is only the beginning. There is much more work to be done and the Southwest Denver Education Coalition is dedicated to continuing this tradition. Celebration of Excellence Awards The Southwest Denver Education Coalition (SWDEC) hosted our fourth annual Celebration of Excellence Awards on January 26, 2011 to recognize the staff, volunteers, and students of southwest Denver Public Schools who exemplify excellence. There are many spectacular things happening in our southwest Denver Public Schools that are not frequently recognized – students are engaged and working hard, staff members are dedicated and innovative, and volunteers are enthusiastic and committed to their schools. Join the Southwest Denver Education Coalition Facebook Group CHECK OUT THE WONDERFUL SW DPS SCHOOLS Denison Montessori Elementary Grant Ranch K-8 School Gust Elementary School Henry World School Grades 6-8 Kaiser Elementary School John F. Kennedy High School/World School Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy Sabin World Elementary Traylor Academy Dialogues on Immigrant Integration Dialogues on Immigrant Integration (DII) is a coalition of community members and leaders seeking to build understanding in an increasingly diverse Boulder County and to encourage collaborative responses to the challenges of immigrant integration. Through the support of the Institute on the Common Good, DII coordinates facilitated conversations throughout the county, engaging a broad spectrum of perspectives. The Institute also supports this process by offering facilitator trainings, dialogue consultation and financial assistance. Council of Public Policy Education Council of Public Policy Education (CPPE) has partnered with the Institute to offer workshops, forums and other activities based on a National Issues Forums approach to discussing critical community and national issues and to engage students and other community members in dialogue about issues that affect their daily lives. Communities Strengthening Colorado Communities Strengthening Colorado (CSC) is part of a statewide service-learning initiative funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service and Learn and Serve America to engage Colorado communities and youth. The CSC initiative is a faith-based community/governmental partnership, fostering youth development through “voluntary action for the common good.” Mediators Without Borders Mediators Without Borders (MBB) is a non-profit, humanitarian organization established to partner with communities worldwide to build their conflict resolution capacity for preventing, resolving and healing from conflict. Regis University is establishing one of four chapters in the country, with the assistance of the Institute. The Institute also is partnering with three local schools that have implemented or will implement Restorative Justice as part of their discipline policies through the Denver Public Schools’ Violence Prevention and Intervention initiative.