DPS expands program that gives underprivileged students priority access to better schools

DENVER —Denver Public Schools announced Tuesday a new program aimed at increasing diversity in the district’s schools.

Students who qualify for free- and reduced-price lunch will now get priority seating at select high-performing schools during the school choice enrollment period, which begins Feb. 1.

Colorado is one of 10 states that allows parents to opt out of sending kids to their default neighborhood school in favor of a school of their choice, without restrictions.
 
“Research shows that at whatever income level, all students benefit from being in diverse schools – that is true both academically and socially,” said Superintendent Tom Boasberg. “We hear from students and families about how much they value being members of a diverse community. They want to make sure their classrooms and their learning experiences are ones that they’re sharing and learning from students all across Denver who represent the racial, ethnic and economic diversity that is a strength of our city.”

The district tested a similar program in 2016, and are now expanding it district-wide after receiving positive feedback.
 
DPS said its priority seating effort maintains the school district’s enrollment priorities and promotes vibrant neighborhoods.
 

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