Parents, teachers urge DPS to ‘prioritize students over politics’ in search for new superintendent

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DENVER (KDVR) — After the surprising news of Denver Public Schools Superintendent Susana Cordova’s resignation Friday, some teachers and parents took things into their own hands—holding a virtual press conference on Sunday, urging DPS to “prioritize students over adult politics.”

“I do think that Dr. Carrie Olson, Tay Anderson, and Jen Bacon have tried to be good partners and listen to the community,” DPS parent and one of the press conference speakers Joanna Rosa-Saenz said.

“But the fact is, the superintendent and the board seemed to struggle to work together to create a plan. We have to hold them accountable for that,” she added.

Rosa-Saenz is part of a group of parents urging DPS to take immediate steps to appoint an interim superintendent.

They’re also asking that they have a voice during the search for a permanent leader.

“I firmly believe that in order for this to happen, we need—as the community and parents—to be involved in that process, because we have some pretty big shoes to fill,” Rosa-Saenz said.

Shortly before her resignation Friday, Cordova sent out a letter to DPS staff and parents, warning them the district may have to move back to full remote after Thanksgiving break, if cases continue to rise.

“I understand for kids to not go back after Thanksgiving, because of COVID, but this just makes me nervous that we have no superintendent,” DPS parent Jenny Nargi said.

“We have no plan in place. It’s already been frustrating navigating through this,” she added.

Nargi says along with finding a new superintendent, DPS should establish COVID-19 metrics for the district, that specify the threshold that would move students back to full remote learning.

“That will allow for parents—I have three children in DPS—to plan appropriately. Then you actually know, ‘okay, we’re heading into this zone. Kids will be remote.’ And you can plan ahead, instead of just receiving an e-mail that kids, grade 3-5 are going remote,” Nargi said.

To view the press conference, click here.

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