CLASS: Community Leads and Students Succeed

Denver Public Schools Foundation’s Theory of Change

A strategy to improve student and school outcomes across Denver Public Schools

 DPS Foundation’s CLASS Partners





The Challenge

Students of color and those living in under-served and low-income communities across our metropolitan area have also been disproportionately impacted by school closures and uneven access to a myriad of learning opportunities. Economic shifts have also brought additional challenges to our public schools.

Our public schools are prevented from performing at higher levels because of decreasing enrollment due to:

  • Families moving out of our metropolitan area to seek more affordable housing.
  • Lack of access to more affordable out-of-school time learning opportunities.
  • Teacher and principal attrition in many of our educational institutions.

Our school district cannot solve these challenges alone. Therefore, it is important that our schools, community-based programs, private sector and public agencies all come together and develop a collaborative approach that address the challenges that beset our schools at all levels.

The Solution

Much research has been done on how students succeed, not just in school but also in life. Denver Public Schools Foundation established a framework to bring school-based partnerships to a whole new level: customizing supports based on individual school needs, and partnering schools with corporations and community-based programs and supports that have been proven to deliver quality outcomes and sustainable results. By having the community lead in the process of supporting our students, educators will be able to focus on their core mission of teaching, which will lead towards positive student development outcomes and a higher level of school performance overall.


CLASS aligns well with the DPS Strategic Roadmap with a focus on students, educators, and community. Both share a focus on whole child development, effective teaching and learning in the classroom, and expanding learning opportunities beyond the school hours. Partnerships, data, and a focus on high quality approach are common elements in both CLASS and DPS’s Strategic Roadmap.

CLASS is scalable and sustainable

This framework incorporates proven research, best practice, sustainable resources, solid data, and a culture of collaboration and shared strategy to ensure that everyone in our school district and community are working together to not just lift student outcomes, but an entire cohort of schools that would result in population level change in our school system.

How it Works

A public school will partner with 2-3 private companies that will provide financial and in-kind resources.


Data around four key areas will be gathered and evaluated on an annual basis. These areas are: student academic growth, life skills and social emotional learning skills, family engagement and navigation, and educator leadership development.

Interested in learning more and finding out how your company can be a part of CLASS? Contact our Vice President of Development, Sara Hazel at

Make Your Impact Count

We invest strategically in proven and innovative programs to help every student have the resources and opportunities to succeed.

Annual Reports

We invest strategically in proven and innovative programs to help every student have the resources and opportunities to succeed.

2018/19  |  2017/18   |   2016/17   |   2015/16   |   2014/15