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Manual High School
on the clock
September 10, 2018
After another low rating, Denver’s Manual High could face state intervention
Manual’s situation is noteworthy because Denver Public Schools generally has taken aggressive action toward low-performing schools before the state can step in.
May 31, 2018
How education reform became a wedge issue among Colorado Democrats this election year
This election season has the potential to change what’s considered mainstream Democratic education policy in Colorado.
Updated May 22, 2018
Three candidates, no new leader: Principal search at Denver’s Manual High to continue
The search committee is recommending the district name an interim principal for the rest of 2018.
April 30, 2018
Three candidates are vying to become principal of Denver’s Manual High School
The three candidates include two who currently work for Denver Public Schools.
April 27, 2018
Investigation finds former Manual High principal Nick Dawkins violated district harassment policy, document shows
District policy defines harassment as “unwelcome, hostile, and offensive verbal, written, or physical conduct."
March 12, 2018
‘Really scared and extremely angry’: Why Colorado students are walking out of school Wednesday
Wednesday's walkouts are part of a national movement after the Parkland shooting.
March 5, 2018
Interim Manual High principal named as district begins search for permanent leader
School board member Jennifer Bacon called for “a true study” of what led to the previous principal's departure.
‘Why I Left’
March 3, 2018
Former Manual principal resigned after learning of hostile work environment allegation
“The job of a principal in our current climate is not for the faint of heart."
March 2, 2018
Manual High principal resigns along with chair of booster group
The resignation of Nickolas Dawkins took many community members by surprise. He had said his vision was to "change the narrative" of the storied but struggling school.
September 27, 2017
After Confederate flag dispute at Colorado football game, schools pledge to bring students together
“At a time in our country when so many are divided, we want our students instead to come together."
August 18, 2017
These seventh-graders started the school year talking about Charlottesville and what they can do about racism
Mirroring conversations happening nationwide, a group of Denver seventh-graders this week delved into a discussion about the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.
August 8, 2017
Cut from the same cloth: Why it matters that black male teachers like me aren’t alone in our schools
Being the only person of color at the school meant that I received a great deal of attention while still feeling alone — and under a great deal of pressure.
August 2, 2017
Howe and Manual will stay open three more years under the management of CSUSA
The chronically failing schools were part of Indianapolis Public Schools until they were taken over by the state in 2012.
May 5, 2017
More Colorado students are entering college unprepared, report says
A report from the Colorado Department of Higher Education showed that more college students were unprepared in the 2015-16 school year.
September 14, 2016
With a new approach to discipline, one Indianapolis high school cut suspensions in half
Manual High School is in its second year using restorative justice.
race and policing
July 11, 2016
Manual High School student body president: ‘We have a voice and we matter’
We asked Tay Anderson about participating in recent Black Lives Matter protests and how schools should tackle issues of race and criminal justice.
December 9, 2015
Enrollment zone proposed for northeast Denver middle schools to help feed Manual High
The DPS school board will vote Thursday on erasing traditional boundaries for middle schools in several northeast Denver neighborhoods and creating an enrollment zone instead.
November 30, 2015
Still-troubled Arlington High School at center of state board debate this week
Arlington is the first school taken over by the state to be returned to its home district. Although IPS controls day-to-day operations, the state board retains oversight.
August 24, 2015
Five issues to watch as Denver Public Schools students return to the classroom
Denver Public Schools faces questions about equity, the makeup of its school board, the fate of a storied high school and more as the 2015-16 school year begins.
May 27, 2015
4 'life-changing' Indianapolis teachers awarded $25,000 prizes
Love for students the common theme among Hubbard Award-winning educators
May 7, 2015
Manual students consider pros and cons of sharing building with a middle school
DPS is requesting proposals for a new middle school to share the Manual High School building. A group of Manual students shared their opinions about the proposals.
February 25, 2015
Manual’s principal-to-be: “Changing the narrative” at a school that’s close to home
Manual's principal-to-be talks about his path to school leadership and his hopes for the school.
February 9, 2015
DPS announces new principal for Manual High School
Nick Dawkins will be principal of Manual High School.
February 4, 2015
Is Arlington High School actually coming out of state takeover?
The confusion reveals an underlying question policymakers are grappling with when it comes to the state's controversial takeover process: Is the state prepared to let go of its takeover schools?
thunderbolts in transition
January 28, 2015
Manual High School’s next leader to be named, advisory panel behind career education option
Parents and community members met with two finalists, Nickolas Dawkins and Robert Kelly Jr., Monday evening. The candidates will meet with Denver Superintendent Tom Boasberg next week for a final interview.
January 27, 2015
Deal would give IPS more control over Donnan Middle School
Charter Schools USA, the Florida-based company that has managed Donnan for more than two years, would still run the daily operations of the school but going forward its contract would be with both the state and the school district. If the Indiana State Board of Education agrees to the idea next week, the IPS board signaled it was likely formally complete the deal soon after.
December 12, 2014
Manual High School students speak out about Ferguson and race
Juniors at Manual High School presented speeches about Ferguson, police brutality, and race at an event this morning.
August 7, 2014
A new, uncertain year ahead for soon-to-be Manual High School freshmen
Soon-to-be freshman returned to Manual High School three weeks early to get ready for the new school year. They face a year of uncertainty as school and district officials navigate how to improve the struggling school. Chalkbeat talked to the students who will make up this year's freshman class.
August 6, 2014
Takeover schools criticized as too tough on discipline
A half dozen community leaders and other speakers told the Indiana State Board of Education it must address discipline at four Indianapolis schools in state takeover that rank among the city’s top seven schools for expulsions.
July 19, 2014
Arlington High School will stay open, but takeover questions remain
For the now, it seems Arlington High School will be able open its doors this year. But the ongoing troubles raise a critical question: can state takeover of low performing schools successfully be undertaken in Indiana? Or should the practice be abandoned?
July 10, 2014
Tindley says it can't afford to keep running Arlington High School
Tindley Schools, the charter school group that has run former Indianapolis’ Arlington High School for two years under a contract with the state, said today it wants out. The leader of the non-profit group that also operates a network of Indianapolis charter schools told the Indiana State Board of Education Tindley simply couldn’t afford to keep managing the school unless it received an additional $2.4 million in aid.
June 23, 2014
TeachPlus names 30 new fellows to study teaching policy
The Indianapolis chapter of TeachPlus, a national organization that aims to get teachers involved in education policy making, has named 30 new “teaching policy fellows.”…
June 5, 2014
Former Manual assistant principal speaks out after losing his job
Manual High School assistant principal Vernon Jones was caught by surprise yesterday by the decision not to renew his contract for next school year, he said…
still i rise
May 29, 2014
On the last day of a tumultuous school year, students remember Angelou
On the last day of classes, Manual students share their poems and recall the work of another poet -- Maya Angelou.
May 27, 2014
East community greets proposed ninth grade academy with questions, skepticism
A plan that would send East High School students to nearby Manual High School for ninth grade got its first airing with the East community Tuesday night -- and the reception was less than enthusiastic.
May 23, 2014
DPS puts East-Manual plans on hold
There will be no formal partnership between East and Manual High Schools at least until the 2016 school year, Denver Public Schools officials said in…
May 13, 2014
Tensions erupt at meeting to discuss future of embattled Denver high school
A proposal to turn the Manual High School campus over to a ninth grade academy for East and Manual students and a career and technical academy got an airing at a heated community meeting Monday night. Community members objected to the elimination of the current program and the impact on students.
May 8, 2014
For Manual, a journey to Oz yields talking lions, wicked witches and normalcy
In the final weeks of the school year, energy is at a premium at Denver's Manual High School. But as the school year comes to a close, students and teachers say, there's much to look forward to: prom, award ceremonies, graduation, and of course, "The Wiz."
April 23, 2014
Ferebee asks: Where do middle school kids belong?
Since his arrival in Indianapolis seven months ago, IPS Superintendent Lewis Ferebee has expressed some concerns about the grade configuration and set up of the district's middle and high schools. He spoke about that in an interview with Chalkbeat's Bureau Chief Scott Elliott Monday night at the downtown public library sponsored by WFYI.
April 16, 2014
Reversing trend, fewer students who failed state tests graduated in 2013
For the first time in four years, Indiana saw a decline in the percentage of high school graduates who were given a pass after failing state-required tests. According to 2013 data released today by the Indiana Department of Education, 6.8 percent of graduating Indiana seniors received waivers, allowing them to graduate without passing state tests. That figure exceeded 9 percent in 2012, when lawmakers and critics of the practice first raised alarms.
March 6, 2014
List of potential new Denver schools for 2015-2016 now public
For those waiting to see who might apply to take over Denver’s struggling Kepner and Manual campuses, the wait’s over. The list of potential new…
February 21, 2014
After a midyear leadership change, new faces and new rules at a struggling school
Students at Denver's Manual High School have noticed a change in the school's staff and a crackdown on attendance since Don Roy, the school's new principal, took the reins six weeks ago. Not everyone's happy with the changes.
January 31, 2014
Lawmakers will consider exit strategy for state takeover
A bill in the Indiana legislature could allow schools being run by outside groups under state takeover to return to the school districts they came from. But a provision that already has raised concerns would also allow the Indiana State Board of Education to turn those schools into charter schools, forever severing them from the districts.
January 22, 2014
Boasberg: Manual’s shortcomings are my responsibility
Denver's superintendent took full responsibility for the lackluster academic performance at a high school the district once promised would be the envy of reform efforts across the nation. "I own all of it," Tom Boasberg said in an interview with Chalkbeat Colorado. "I’m the leader of the school district. And Manual’s shortcomings are my responsibility."
January 16, 2014
Manual High School principal departs, replacement to be named
The principal of Manual High School — the once-promising school whose struggles with low performance Chalkbeat Colorado documented last week — left the school abruptly Thursday, telling staff it was at the behest of the district.
January 10, 2014
Special Report: A promise unfulfilled at Manual High School
This special report on the past and present struggles of Manual High School was recognized as a finalist in an annual education reporting competition.
January 9, 2014
Missteps, red tape and lax oversight plagued Manual High School’s turnaround
Denver Public Schools has repeatedly taken actions to make it more difficult for Manual's staff to focus on their charge of building a strong school culture and boosting student achievement. The school district forced a rushed planning process to get the school off the ground, lost one school leader, and took a full school year to find a replacement, in the process leaving a vacuum that siphoned away early academic progress.
A promise unfulfilled : Part 2
January 8, 2014
As struggling school tries to improve, conflicting views on best path forward
When Rob Stein took over Manual High School, which had been closed for chronic poor performance, he implemented a model based on best practices from charter schools around the nation. Test results went up. After his exit, the school's new leader implemented established his own vision for the high poverty school that includes all instruction be taught through a social justice lens. The school today hopes their graduates will revolutionize the world, but first leaders must improve test scores which have plummeted.
January 7, 2014
After ambitious overhauls, Denver high school sees much change, little progress
Manual High School is not supposed to be a failing school. Not again. Not after the Denver Public Schools board of education approved a reboot — that left the school empty for one year — in 2006. Chalkbeat Colorado, in a four-part series examines how and why the school returned to an all too familiar place, ranked as the city's lowest performing academic high school.
November 21, 2013
The basics of state takeover in Indiana: Getting tough with failing schools
Big questions remain about the school improvement strategy.
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