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Melanie Asmar

Senior Reporter, Chalkbeat Colorado

Melanie Asmar has covered Denver Public Schools for Chalkbeat Colorado since 2015. Asmar previously worked at Westword newspaper in Denver and for a daily newspaper in New Hampshire, where she covered education. Follow her on Twitter at @MelanieAsmar.

The 5280 Freedom School plans to open next fall with kindergarten and first grade, and add grades each year up to fifth grade.
One student called Denver Public Schools’ actions “an example of performative support of student activism.”
Four Black students allege that Denver Public Schools unlawfully tried to trademark the name of their Know Justice, Know Peace podcast.
Two Colorado schools earned a National Blue Ribbon award for closing academic gaps between all students and historically underserved groups. Two more won the honor for academic excellence.
The boys attend “affective needs centers,” which are separate classrooms designed to serve students with emotional disabilities.
These are Colorado’s first school ratings based on complete test results since 2019.
Schools without air conditioning in Denver and around Colorado cancel classes as temperatures rise to high 90s.
Chalkbeat spoke with several families. All said they felt push back. Some felt pushed out. The district disputes that the school isn’t accommodating.
Montbello Career and Technical High School would close and the growing Robert F. Smith STEAM Academy would take over the building.
The Denver school district and teachers union are renegotiating the teacher contract for the first time since a 2019 strike. Here’s where they disagree.
Despite facing familiar challenges — declining enrollment, academic gaps — Denver’s Castro Elementary posted high growth scores on state tests.
With temperatures climbing into the high 80s during the first week of school, 48 Denver campuses still don’t have air conditioning.
While Denver’s white students score near the top in Colorado, its Black and Hispanic students score near the median, resulting in yawning gaps.
Superintendent Alex Marrero lays out a vision that emphasizes belonging and community alongside academic achievement. Denver’s last strategic plan expired in 2020.
After being turned down by the Denver school board, the 5280 Freedom School appealed to the State Board of Education and won.
This was the first year Colorado gave the full suite of CMAS tests since 2019. See how your school and district did here.
Eye to Eye’s Colorado conference provides an opportunity for neurodiverse youth to learn mentorship, leadership, and advocacy. They also get to be themselves.
“The power struggle will overshadow the board doing anything,” one observer said.
The $1.5 million investment is part of a broader pandemic-fueled effort to improve the air that Denver Public Schools students breathe.
High housing costs and falling birth rates are driving down school enrollment in Denver’s historically Latino neighborhoods, making it harder to fill some bilingual classrooms.
Los altos costos de vivienda y la reducción en tasas de natalidad están reduciendo la matrícula escolar en las comunidades históricamente latinas de Denver, y esto hace más difícil llenar algunos salones bilingües.
That’s one finding from the biennial Healthy Kids Colorado survey. The results point to the need for more support for LGBTQ+ youth.
A controversial March decision had unintended consequences that limited some innovation school flexibility, board members argued.
Summer Connections is like a super-sized version of Denver Public Schools’ usual summer programming, paid for with federal COVID relief funds.
It took nine rounds of voting and several tense exchanges to fill the District 5 vacancy.
The charter schools proposed to replicate the STEM School in Highlands Ranch, provide an education that centers Black students, and offer an arts option for elementary students.
Citing unintended consequences, a majority of Denver school board members support moving forward a proposal to overturn parts of a new policy limiting school autonomy.
Declining enrollment is one of Denver Public Schools’ most pressing issues. An annual report takes a deep dive into the numbers. Here’s what it says.
“I thought, ‘Well, if I die sitting next to these two people, then it’s not that bad. And that’s a thought no student should have in a classroom.’ ”
Unions representing Denver school custodians, food service workers, and aides want an $18/hour pay hike, but district officials say that is not sustainable.