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.

Superintendent Alex Marrero previously suggested schools should decide on SROs. Now he wants the school board to set policy.
Decrying infighting on the Denver board, Ballenger said he wants ‘to make school board meetings boring again.’
5280 Freedom School’s founder said the inability to open will hurt Black students who are not served well in district schools.
Mike Johnston y Kelly Brough son los candidatos a alcalde de Denver. Vota antes de las elecciones el 6 de junio.
Denver Public Schools is the largest school district in the state, and Marrero’s salary will now be among the highest for a superintendent in Colorado.
Some students and advocacy groups are speaking out against permanently reintroducing police in schools. “We want to be students, not prisoners,” one student said.
A district document cites several reasons why it’s been difficult to hire a new chief, including media coverage of the school board.
‘We are going to make this right,’ Denver school board Vice President Auon’tai Anderson said.
Both mayoral candidates agreed to pay for police in schools. Neither wants to take control of Denver Public Schools.
“It’s a huge, complex system, and it’d be naive to think one piece of legislation is going to fix everything,” one state official said.
What happens when public schools can’t or won’t meet kids’ needs — and the wait for a specialized school is weeks or months?
“The regret I have right now is that he’s not here for me to tell him that,” Mason said of student Austin Lyle, who took his own life after shooting Mason and another dean.
Spearman announced Monday he plans to run for the at-large school board seat currently held by Anderson, who is running for re-election.
“Beacon Zone students and families ... will face a degraded school experience next year without the support of the Beacon Zone.”
Only 42% of respondents to a Denver teachers union survey said police in schools would make them feel safe.
Denver district would retrain all employees in safety procedures and will focus on mental health and equity, its draft safety plan proposes.
Denver mayoral candidates Kelly Brough and Michael Johnston offered their visions for the mayor’s voice in education.
Los candidatos Kelly Brough y Michael Johnston hablarán de su visión en cuanto a la voz de la alcaldía en la educación.
“We are a welcoming environment,” a top Denver administrator said this week. “We really want students to be in their school environment.”
Grant Beacon and Kepner Beacon middle schools will remain innovation schools but will be under Denver Public Schools control.
Capping enrollment at popular elementary schools could bolster enrollment at smaller schools that have been losing students.
‘Anything that’s happening amongst us ... shouldn’t even make the top 10. It shouldn’t matter at all. Because our babies don’t feel safe,’ Denver board member Michelle Quattlebaum said.
Board President Xóchitl “Sochi” Gaytán has accused Vice President Auon’tai Anderson of disclosing information from a closed-door executive session. Anderson denies it.
East families have gotten “next to nothing” in terms of communication about what will be different when students return, one parent said.
That’s short of a school board directive to station as many as two officers at all high schools.
“Right now, for my son, the only option I have is to pull him out of school to take him to speech therapy,” one parent told the school board.
Parents and students say they are numb and frustrated after the shooting of two deans at East High School. It was the third shooting this school year at or near Denver’s largest high school.