Character Claim 2

  • DDES students are becoming ethical people because they foster a culture of compassion.


    DDES students demonstrate a commitment to “Crew” by compassionately interacting with each other and the community.  This relational character trait is one that we think is instrumental in helping students grow into ethical people.  In fact, we continue to work on supporting students to show “unprecedented kindness” toward others.  Students have many opportunities to practice compassion while at school.  Twice a month, they celebrate one another’s character growth and take on character challenges at a school-wide community circle.  Once a year, all students celebrate “Compassion Day,” which is a day when we engage in community service to make our downtown community an even better place for all.  In the classroom, students regularly discuss what compassion means and reflect on their ability to demonstrate this trait.  We have learned that supporting students to truly develop compassion is a “long-game,” which takes time, persistence, and creativity.  We’ve also learned that it is totally worth it when we see students advocating for and supporting one another and working to support their school and local community.  

    We’ve begun to see data-based results from this work.  Each year, students in 3rd through 5th grade take a student-satisfaction survey for Denver Public Schools.  There are several “Whole Child” questions that aim to monitor the social-emotional development in each school.  On the 2015-2016 survey, DDES ranked 1st out of 109 schools for students feeling engaged, 3rd for students feeling supported, and 6th for students feeling safe at school.  We exceeded the district average in every category and were in the top 10 percent of schools with low reports of bullying behaviors.  


    Additionally, as students have grown in their ability to demonstrate compassionate behavior, DDES suspension rates have decreased significantly.  We have also met the district benchmark for three out of the last four years.  


  • Compassion in the Classroom

    Read the Story

    Compassion Day

    Read the Story

    Community Circle

    Read the Story