EL Education Credentialing Portfolio

  • Mission:

    The Downtown Denver Expeditionary School (DDES) is an EL Education K-5 DPS public charter school. DDES seeks to richly implement the core principles, practices, and curriculum of EL Education to offer a diverse, caring and collaborative learning environment while utilizing the city as our campus.

    DDES IS…

    Downtown Denver Expeditionary School (DDES) is K-5 Charter within the Denver Public School District.  We were founded in 2013 by parents, community members, and business leaders who desired a high performing EL Education school in downtown Denver.  DDES is the first public elementary school in over 100 years in Downtown Denver, and has been in the Downtown Denver Area Plan for over 30 years.

    At DDES, we are dedicated to fully embracing and executing EL Education’s definition of Achievement.  Through a commitment to continuous learning, staff members at DDES create learning activities that promote student growth and achievement on traditional measures, support students to create high quality work, and promote the development of both relational and performance character.  When a DDES student takes the next academic step, he will have demonstrated mastery of common core standards, articulated the steps he took as a learner to address challenges, created professional products to impact the world, and reflected on his growth as a member of his community.  

    City As Campus

    As a downtown school, we often refer to the city as our campus.  A component of our mission is to fully utilize the resources that surround us to create meaningful, deeper learning opportunities for students.  DDES students have danced at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, presenting transportation reports to travellers at Union Station, and argued a proposed bill about prairie dogs during a meeting of representatives at the Colorado State Capitol.  When we’re not in the building, we do our work in the city by walking to the public library, interacting with citizens on the 16th street mall, and even participating in group games at a nearby park.  Our unique location is a key component of the DDES experience!

    Students we serve 

    DDES  is the most geographically diverse elementary school in Denver and currently serves 27 of 27 of the Denver Public Schools zip codes and over 40 Denver Metro zip codes.  We opened in 2013 with 175 students in K, 1, and 2.  In 2016-2017 our population has grown to full build out with 410 students in grades Kindergarten through 5th.  Currently, approximately 24 percent of our students qualify for the Free and/or Reduced Lunch program and 39 percent are a non-white ethnicity.  














    Credentialing Data Sheet

    Implementation of EL Education 

    Staff members and families at DDES often say that when they became connected with EL Education, they found their people.  From the beginning, we have been fully committed to deep implementation of the model.  (Something here about the choice to be an EL School upon founding).  Within our first year, we developed “The Way of the Blue Bear” which are the character traits that drive all of our work and learning.  We continue to work on our approach to performance and relational character development because we know it is the foundation of everything else we do.  In years two and three, we focused in on our curriculum, data, and deeper learning practices.  Our goal is for students to think deeply and care deeply as worked through expedition content and projects.  While we are proud of what we’ve developed so far, we continue to leverage the EL network to improve as we strive for high quality implementation of a model we very much believe in!

    2014 IR                                        2015 IR                                        2016 IR

    Go To

    Mastery of Knowledge and Skills
    High Quality Work