Denver Northfield High School to open for first time Monday


Northfield High School in Denver

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DENVER -- Denver Public Schools is opening its first comprehensive new high school in 35 years, and it is located in northeast Denver, where growth and demand is high.

The district has been hearing from black and Hispanic parents for years about a lack of access to the IB program at George Washington High School for years, with many saying their children have been denied entry into the program.

“DPS has fully supported and encouraged the Northfield High School vision of diversity and inclusion,” principal Avi Tropper said. “The district has also worked diligently across the city to ensure that all kids from all neighborhoods and backgrounds have equitable access to quality schools, with the opening of Northfield High School being a prime example.”

With George Washington High’s IB program, kids of color have been, as some parents will say, "shut out"of the program for racial reasons.

Tropper said that will not be the case going forward. The numbers for the incoming freshman class will be 30 percent black, Hispanic and white, the rest will reflect Native American, Asian and "other."

The school is being set up like current business models for "startups," with breakout rooms and pod-styled classrooms with chairs that rock and even desks where kids can stand and do their work.

The hope is this kind of nontraditional school can get young people ready for the future in more ways than one.

Advisers/teachers will "loop" with their students for all four years, and math,history and literature teachers will teach kids different subject matter each year, foregoing the two to three weeks of, “Hello I am your teacher, this is how I teach, this is what we will try to learn” process which begins each year.

“Teachers all talk about working in a school such as this,” said Katie Langlois. “Avi has told us if we have ideas and think they will work, then his deal is let’s try it. That kind of flexibility by staff will draw the best teachers in metro to this school with a total mountain view.”

Classes begin Monday.

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