Tag Archives: Bruce Randolph School

Bruce Randolph Free to Enforce High Expectations, End Social Promotion

Denver’s Bruce Randolph School, which serves a challenging, high-poverty student population, is really working to change the culture from the ground up. The Rocky Mountain News‘ Nancy Mitchell reports that Bruce Randolph – led by Principal Kristin Waters – is putting a stop to social promotion. The school has signed contracts with the parents to ensure high expectations are kept and that students can avail themselves of needed interventions to help them make it to the next grade: Bruce Randolph’s part of the bargain was to closely monitor student achievement and to step in as soon as teachers saw a child struggling. So they launched tutoring Mondays and Wednesdays after school in the fall. They began Saturday school in October. They launched a week of intense remediation, which came to be known as “F-land,” in December. At the year’s midpoint, letters went home notifying parents if their children were facing retention. Letters went home again three-quarters of the way through the school year. In April, staff started weekly monitoring for failing grades. “All year long, we’ve talked to the parents,” Waters said. “And every time, parents have been supportive.” In May, teachers began calling homes to tell them the bad […]


Why Aren't Union Leaders Listening to Montclair's Request to be Free?

Last week I gave a “cautious hooray” to the new Innovation Schools Act, which makes it easier for individual schools to free themselves from the red tape and union rules that crush reform efforts. The movement came to life last December when Bruce Randolph School asked for autonomy. Bruce Randolph and Manual High School have had a hard time getting the local teachers union to approve their requests. Now another Denver school – Montclair Elementary – has come forward, reports the Rocky Mountain News, only to face similar obstruction: Montclair teachers voted 22-1 in favor of seeking autonomy, and the staff sent the request to DPS and to the teachers’ union on April 18. DPS board members unanimously approved the request on May 15. But Kimmal and his principal, Shannon Hagerman, say they’ve had no response from the union. So Friday, the last day for teachers in DPS, Hagerman, four parents and 21 teachers went to union headquarters downtown. “We don’t want to go through the summer without any agreement with them,” Kimmal said. Union leaders, including Denver Classroom Teachers Association President Kim Ursetta, were out, attending a Teachers Union Reform Network conference in Vail. At least they weren’t sick […]