By Mr. Griffin, Principal
On Monday, December 3rd, members of the Dennison/D’Evelyn 6th Grade Task Force presented to interested community members about their proposal for addressing 6th grade offerings between the two schools. A recording of the Dennison/D’Evelyn 6th Grade presentation is available for your review. The Task Force was comprised of administrators, parents, and teachers from both schools, as well as Jeffco Schools community superintendents responsible for supporting each school.
During a collaborative process that began in the Fall of 2017, Task Force members discussed and deliberated on an array of issues to reach their ultimate recommendation. Based upon those deliberations, the Task Force recommends the following transition and timeline for 6th grade between Dennison and D’Evelyn.
This conclusion was reached by the Task Force, but also in consideration of the community survey shared with families, faculty, and staff from both schools in the Fall of 2018. While the feedback in the survey showed mixed results, it was clear that both communities are sincerely committed to sustaining a strong K-12 academic program between the two schools and ensuring excellent academic opportunities for our 6th grade students.
The Task Force reached the conclusion to support the aforementioned proposal, in the interest of maintaining the quality option school programs offered at Dennison and D’Evelyn. The Task Force acknowledged that Dennison Elementary is an amazing school with outstanding student achievement for many years. In addition, the Task Force considered changes in enrollment trends at both Dennison and D’Evelyn, as well as the value of minimizing transitions between different schools for students in 5th-8th grade.
The D’Evelyn stakeholders are committed a thoughtful, collaborative approach to developing the specifics our new 6th grade program, and will work closely with Dennison administrators, faculty, and community members to ensure that we start an excellent 6th grade program at D’Evelyn. The Task Force and D’Evelyn Steering Committee have supported and approved the content shared in the presentation on December 3rd, which provides an overview for how D’Evelyn plans to meet the academic, personal, and social-emotional needs of our new 6th graders.
To clarify any questions or concerns regarding the enrollment and lottery process, please note that throughout this proposed transition, students that complete their elementary career at Dennison will continue to be granted automatic enrollment at D’Evelyn.
The Jeffco Schools Board of Education will consider the proposal in January/February 2019 and have the ultimate authority to approve the proposal. The proposal includes a request for additional construction of new classroom space for 6th graders at D’Evelyn. The design of the building and program will be dedicated to ensuring that 6th grade students have a structured, supportive environment that meets their academic, developmental, and social emotional needs.
To learn more about the proposal, we encourage you to watch the presentation from Monday, December 3rd night. As more information is developed, and opportunities for community engagement arise, the D’Evelyn administration is committed to providing timely updates to all community members.
The weeks between Thanksgiving and Winter Break offer D’Evelyn students, faculty, staff, and families many opportunities to attend extracurricular events to support our students. While it is a busy time of the school year, it is also an important time for us to come together as a community and celebrate the great achievements of our students. Please join me and our administration in attending the various upcoming student events.
The D’Evelyn Winter Sports competitive season began this week. The boys’ and girls’ basketball teams have already participated in their first tournaments, and the girls swim & dive team had their first meet over the weekend. There are many more competitions for all three programs between now and Winter Break.
For families interested in keeping tabs on the schedules and other happenings of D’Evelyn athletic programs, there are several valuable online resources available for your access.
The D’Evelyn Athletic Calendar captures information on competitions for all programs at all levels in the
school. You can access this calendar through the school website, or the Jeffco Sports
D’Evelyn teams, along with other programs in Colorado, utilize MaxPreps to organize and publish pertinent
information about their programs. You can visit the D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School landing page to get more information on all our programs on MaxPreps.
Additionally, D’Evelyn performers have many opportunities to show their talent and skills on the stage in the next few weeks. I hope that many of you had the chance to see our state champion D’Evelyn Marching Band perform during the 9News Parade of Lights last weekend. For those looking for even more opportunities to watch D’Evelyn musicians shine, we have plenty of performances in store.
On Thursday, December 6th, the D’Evelyn junior high instrumental and vocal musicians will put on their 2018 holiday concert in the Auditorium at 7 pm. We are fortunate to have such strong musical programs for junior high students, and it is an annual highlight to watch both groups of students come together to perform for the holidays.
On Tuesday, December 11th and Wednesday, December 12th, the D’Evelyn senior high instrumental and vocal musicians will perform their 2018 holiday concert in the Auditorium at 7 pm. Our high school musicians have been working diligently to offer an outstanding holiday performance.
Please join other members of the D’Evelyn community in support and recognition of these hard-working, talented students. We are fortunate to have rich and robust athletic and extracurricular opportunities for D’Evelyn students, both in junior and senior high school.
Thank you for your ongoing support of D’Evelyn students. I am personally immensely grateful for the opportunity to lead this great school and look forward to seeing many of these events in the upcoming weeks.
I am thankful for the opportunity to serve as D’Evelyn principal. I feel fortunate to lead a school that embodies an educational philosophy that so aligns with my own views of what school should be for our students. I am grateful for the great effort put forth by students, the dedication of our faculty and staff, and the support of D’Evelyn parents and families.
The D’Evelyn Education Foundation Annual Dinner Auction on Friday, November 9th was a great reflection of the support and enthusiasm I feel from our community. The enthusiasm and shared belief in the quality of the D’Evelyn education was on full display throughout the evening.
This year, the DEF Board of Directors established a new fundraising approach and set out to fundraise to support the complete renovation of the D’Evelyn Main Gym. This improvement to the school will positively impact D’Evelyn students, faculty, staff, families, and community members.
I am happy to report that the fundraising efforts from the Dinner Auction were a great success. After expenses, the Auction generated over $70,000 in new funds to support the operations of the Foundation as well as the gym renovation. Additionally, the Live Auction “paddle raise” netted over $30,000, which has been matched by the Foundation from general fund savings accrued over the years. We are on our way to reaching our $250,000 fundraising goal and the DEF will share more specific fundraising details with the community after Thanksgiving Break.
The passion, commitment, and support for D’Evelyn shown by our parents, family members, faculty, and staff are overwhelming. The event was sold out, meaning 250 D’Evelyn community members contributed to this outstanding fundraising effort. The community support we enjoy at D’Evelyn is a big part of the great success of the students in the school - past, present, and future.
I hope that you and your family enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving and associated Thanksgiving Break. I look forward to an excellent finish to the first semester.
It is hard to believe that I find myself writing to wish all members of the D’Evelyn community a Happy Thanksgiving and wonderful Thanksgiving Break. This semester has gone very quickly! While there are a few days of school remaining, please accept my very best wishes on a great holiday celebration with family, friends, and loved ones.
For D’Evelyn students, faculty, and staff, I am hopeful that the week off will be a great time to rest, relax, and recharge after a busy first 12 weeks of the 2018-2019 academic year. School breaks are an important time for all community members to change pace from the daily routine of school, but also a time for giving more undivided attention and energy to personal needs and interests. It is my
sincere hope that the week-long break will be a great time for students, faculty, and staff to enjoy time with loved ones, to travel, and to read and exercise for leisure.
It has been a great start to the year. D’Evelyn students have been doing outstanding work in the
classroom, athletes have achieved great success in competition, and our students in performing arts have turned in great performances and earned well-deserved accolades. Perhaps most importantly, I have observed an improved mindfulness of character amongst the student body over the course of
this semester, particularly since our Rachel’s Challenge assembly in October.
Once we return from Thanksgiving Break, we will have a busy and exciting four week until the conclusion of fall semester. I look forward to seeing the great work done in D’Evelyn classrooms to wrap up the semester, as well as the beginning of our winter sports season and the numerous winter musical performances from our vocal and instrumental musicians.
It is a privilege to serve as the principal of this great school. I am thankful for the hard work and
dedication of our students, teachers, and staff, and for the strong support of our parents and community members. I am also looking forward to spending more time with my family and friends over the Thanksgiving Break, and recharging for an outstanding finish to the semester.
In the first 24 years of the history of D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School, we have seen nearly 2,700 young adults walk across the stage of D’Evelyn graduations, dating back to the first class in 1998. In each ceremony I have attended, dating back to the Class of 2006 commencement ceremony, I always felt a sincere sense that these D’Evelyn graduates were well prepared for a happy, successful, and full life, regardless of the ultimate destination that each graduate seeks.
I had the good fortune last week of visiting with a member of the D’Evelyn Class of 2012, Lieutenant Junior Grade (LTJG) Alec Comito of the United States Navy. Alec graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2016, but before that, he was an outstanding student-athlete at D’Evelyn. I was privileged to teach Alec in my American Government and Economics courses during his senior year. It was a real pleasure for Alec to visit D’Evelyn, catch up with his junior/senior high school teachers and coaches, and tour the school.
Alec was visiting Colorado during a relocation from Florida to southern California, where he will be stationed to continue his service to the US Navy. In a few weeks, he will be deployed to Singapore, where he will embark on the USS John C. Stennis, and serve as a pilot of the E2-C Hawkeye aircraft.
I am very proud of Alec, and the accomplishments he has met in his young life. At D’Evelyn, he was an
outstanding student, and an accomplished athlete in football, basketball, and track and field throughout his four years as a Jaguar. It gives me great confidence and satisfaction that young men and women of Alec’s character, intellect, and dedication serve this country and protect this great nation.
There are thousands of D’Evelyn graduates living throughout not only Jeffco, but Colorado, the nation, and world, doing great things in their communities, within their families, and in their professional careers. As principal of this great school, it gives me great confidence knowing that I have the privilege of leading a program that so thoroughly prepares students for a successful life.
During this 25th year, the D’Evelyn administration has taken new measures to build connections within and among our alumni community. Our first step in this process is to build a communication
infrastructure to reach our alumni community with important and exciting updates in our school community, as well as sharing opportunities that alums can support the future success of D’Evelyn.
I have one request for those reading this article - please share the following link with alumni with whom you are connected, whether it is your child/children, or the children of friends and family. We are working to build a contact list of D’Evelyn graduates, and the best way our graduates of all classes can stay engaged in this great school, is by completing this very short survey.
Thank you in advance for your support of engaging our alumni base. I am grateful for your continued and ongoing support for our great school. I look forward to seeing many families at the D’Evelyn Dinner Auction on Friday night.
I am encouraged and impressed by the positive impact that Rachel’s Challenge has already made in the D’Evelyn community, and I look forward to witnessing the short-term and long-term benefits of this powerful program.
As the leader of the school, I felt challenged along with the students, faculty, staff, and families that participated in the Rachel’s Challenge events over the course of the week. It gave me an opportunity to reflect on areas of my own life, both personal and professional, where I can pay additional attention and dedicate extra energy towards positive interactions with everyone in my life - family, friends, colleagues, and D’Evelyn students and families.
With that in mind, I accept the five components of Rachel’s Challenge, as follows:
There are many ways that I can incorporate these important actions into my daily life and work, and I look forward to the continued opportunities to do so. It is my sincere belief that with all individual community members focused on these positive daily actions, our community will continue to grow stronger, and more supportive and engaging for all.
One important distinction that our Rachel’s Challenge presenter made really struck me. He noted that while in the pursuit of Rachel’s Challenge, it is important to know that the challenge is not about being perfect all the time. Considering the essential function of our school - to support the development of the hearts and minds of D’Evelyn students - I found that statement to be particularly empowering and uplifting.
D’Evelyn students are the future leaders of our communities - they are future parents, spouses, partners, workers, business owners, church members, and politicians. As a school community, and as outlined in the D’Evelyn Founding Document, it is our shared responsibility to help our students grow up to contribute positively to their communities in the future, no matter what that future holds.
Please join me and the D’Evelyn faculty, staff, and administration, and discuss Rachel’s Challenge as a family, taking the opportunity to start your own chain reaction. We are all working to encourage, support, celebrate, and at times, correct, our students in their pursuit of an excellent education that will prepare them for a happy, full, and enriching life. I am confident that the message of Rachel’s Challenge provides our students the proper foundation to consider the power and magnitude of their individual daily words and actions.
I am honored to share with you that we will be hosting Rachel’s Challenge on Wednesday, October 24th and Thursday, October 25th at D’Evelyn. Rachel’s Challenge is an organization started in memory of Rachel Scott, the first victim in the tragic Columbine shooting in 1999. In honor of Rachel’s life, Rachel’s Challenge was organized with a mission of “awakening individual transformation and promoting safer, more connected schools”, and the vision of seeing “a school free from harassment, bullying, and violence where teachers are free to teach, and students are awakened to learn.”
Each year, Rachel’s Challenge visits more than 1,200 schools and reaches 1.5 million people. The program is designed to encourage all community members to engage in random acts of kindness and compassion. We are fortunate to have this great resource available to all D’Evelyn students, faculty, staff, and families on October 24th and October 25th.
On October 24th, all D’Evelyn students & faculty will engage in the Rachel’s Challenge assembly in our Main Gymnasium. The assembly will replace the time generally allocated for 7th hour, and we will follow a modified bell schedule throughout the day. On October 25th, during 7th hour, student leaders and faculty/staff members will have a chance to receive additional leadership training.
Additionally, on October 25th, D’Evelyn students, staff, and families are invited to attend the Rachel’s Challenge Community Event presentation at D’Evelyn at 6:30 pm, so that they can learn more about this important message and begin to act throughout our school community. We encourage interested families to attend this community event to learn more about the program.
To learn more about Rachel’s Challenge, I encourage you to visit their website.
The D’Evelyn Founding Document states, “All students, staff and parents will be expected to maintain a behavior standard that demonstrates respect for authority, others, and self. Responsibility, honesty, self-control, kindness and fairness will be encouraged and expected.” There is an important message within this statement - D’Evelyn was designed to help prepare students for life, to be good people, hard workers, and contributing members in their respective communities. It is my sincere belief that the message and actionable elements of Rachel’s Challenge will very much help both students and adults in the D’Evelyn community embrace the importance of kindness and compassion in their life.
Thank you for your support of this important event. I appreciate you talking with your children about this program and emphasizing your support that our students attend this event with attention and an open mind. As an administration, we are confident that this training can be a great starting point in building an even stronger, more supportive community at D’Evelyn.