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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.

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.
Superintendent Alex Marrero lays out a vision that emphasizes belonging and community alongside academic achievement. Denver’s last strategic plan expired in 2020.
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.
Metrics for evaluating the superintendent say he should identify at least two “enduring systems of oppression” within the district to be dismantled.
“No solo queremos que nuestro maestro regrese, también queremos más maestros que se vean como él.”
We spoke with 4 students at Denver’s North High about losing teacher Tim Hernández and why teacher diversity matters.
The applicants are vying to replace Brad Laurvick, who will step down next month.
Manual High’s JROTC program will be transferred to bigger Northfield High school next year, a move alumni who praise the program and its instructor say is wrong.
El distrito de Denver ahorrará millones de dolares por el corte de 76 puestos. Así se propone gastarlos.
The amended bill gives semi-autonomous innovation zones some recourse when they disagree with school district decisions while preserving local control.
But the district is leaving the details to schools, and not all students are getting help.
Among the uses: opening six community hubs serving students and families, raising hourly wages, and more.
The board is looking to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of member Brad Laurvick, who represents northwest Denver.
Denver Superintendent Alex Marrero is cutting dozens of administrator and support jobs to save DPS $9 million.
Polis is one of few elected Democrats to speak out against the changes, which could make it harder for charters to get startup grants.
As Denver debates contentious issues, school leaders were told to keep concerns internal and support district positions when acting in an official capacity.