Our city and our communities are strengthened by each student who graduates ready to lead a successful life. Our goal is to help make sure every student, in every school, has the tools and resources to reach their highest potential. As the strategic fundraising partner for DPS, we work together to find and fund the highest impact investments. We engage our community, educators and DPS to accelerate progress and we help to find the most impactful ways to empower teachers, fuel engaged learning, and support students and their families. Powered by the generosity of our donors, we have demonstrated the power of public education and impacted the lives of students across DPS for three decades.

Denver Public Schools Foundation was established in 1992 in recognition of the fact that public funds alone cannot adequately support the ambitious efforts to advance student achievement in Denver Public Schools. The DPS Foundation maintained a relatively passive role over the next ten years until it was revitalized in 2002 under the instrumental leadership of former DPS Superintendent Jerry Wartgow. In 2005, under Superintendent Michael Bennet, DPS launched a comprehensive strategic plan called The Denver Plan, and the DPS Foundation worked to align its mission and activities to support the goals and priorities of this far-reaching and ambitious plan. Since 2009, the DPS Foundation has worked closely with Denver Public Schools to support continued implementation of The Denver Plan, while meeting on-going, basic needs of schools and classrooms, teachers and students. As a result of its more than thirty year history, the DPS Foundation has become recognized as the portal of philanthropy for community investment in Denver Public Schools and a critical partner to the district for community engagement.

Our Values

Our students depend on Denver Public Schools. Denver Public Schools depends on all of us. We strive to live by these values, and see them as commitment to ourselves, to DPS, and to the students and families we have promised to serve.

Students First: We place the successful education and experience of the whole student at the forefront of everything we do.

  • Connect our community partners whose work aligns with student growth and incorporate more engagement opportunities
  • Monitor and adjust our student-focused goals with the ever-changing needs of students
  • Seek clarity and remind ourselves we all share the same goal of Students First

Integrity: We tell the truth to ourselves and to others. We strive to keep our word. We hold each other accountable. We listen with the intent to understand.

  • Say what we mean and mean what we say
  • Actions match our words
  • Communicate successes, challenges, and broken promises to donors, board members, and each other
  • Do the right thing when no one is looking and when it is hard
  • Reflect on our actions to find the truth, accept the truth, and move forward collectively
  • Practice active listening and seek clarity

Equity: We value our diversity. We understand each student has unique needs. We are intentional about identifying opportunities and providing resources to help ensure every child succeeds.

  • Understand your own biases and take actions to prevent a negative impact
  • Host courageous conversations about diversity, inclusion and systemic oppression
  • Celebrate all voices and experiences through story-telling
  • Ask whose voice is missing
  • Speak up when help is needed for equity and/or ask who needs help for equity
  • Be culturally responsive in our work

Collaboration: We honor the skills, talents, and perspectives each person brings to the team. We work with and support each other to reach our common goals.

  • Understand and appreciate how others learn, work and need feedback to keep collaboration positive
  • Recognize and leverage each other’s strengths
  • Build relationships and seek opportunities to partner
  • Be flexible, curious and listen with an open mind
  • Work through disagreements
  • Contribute to the team as a learner and a leader

Accountability: We take responsibility for our work and commitments. We own our successes and mistakes. We seek clarity and actively pursue continuous improvement.

  • Reflect on our own actions before critiquing the actions of others
  • Be a patient, understanding, respectful, and engaged listener
  • Correct mistakes in three steps: ask why it happened, what can be done to fix it now, and how it can be prevented in the future
  • Learn and grow from successes and failures and come with an action plan for improvement
  • Seek and provide clarity, have realistic expectations, and be comfortable asking/providing the “why”

Fun: We create a place where people want to work. We value our relationships and celebrate each other. We value the opportunity to do meaningful and impactful work. We work in an environment that facilitates a healthy work life balance.

  • Find opportunities to celebrate the achievements of students, the generosity of donors, and the commitment of DPS
  • Strive to live a balanced life and know and value the importance of self-care
  • Encourage professional growth and a pursuit of lifelong learning
  • Take time to connect with others
  • Recognize people and their contributions in ways meaningful to them
  • Create an atmosphere where people can be their authentic self
  • Create opportunities to grow together as a team


Denver Public Schools is comprised of more than 200 schools, including traditional, magnet, charter and pathways schools, with a current total enrollment of more than 90,000 students. This engaging, diverse and exciting school district is committed to meeting the educational needs of every student with rigorous, enriching educational opportunities from preschool through high school graduation.

Denver Public Schools (DPS) is committed to meeting the educational needs of every student with great schools in every neighborhood. Our goal is to provide every student in Denver with rigorous, enriching educational opportunities from preschool through high school graduation. DPS is comprised of nearly 200 schools, including traditional, magnet, charter and pathways schools, with a current total enrollment of more than 92,000 students. Of those, 56.7% of the school district’s enrollment is Latinx, 21.9% is Caucasian, and 14.1% is African American. 67% percent of the district’s students qualify for free and reduced lunch.

The Denver Plan 2020 confirms the commitment of Denver Public Schools to achieve its vision that Every Child Succeeds. Through the plan, DPS has committed to five specific goals designed to close academic achievement gaps and prepare all students for success in college and a career.