Asbury’s Black Excellence Plan

In 2019, the DPS Board of Education voted to pass the Black Excellence Resolution, officially embracing the excellence of black and African-American students and prioritizing and targeting their academic achievement.

In 2018,  Black or African-American students represented 13% of the Denver Public Schools student population, but experienced disproportionality of access to high quality learning.  Black students were (are) disproportionately overrepresented in discipline statistics and special education programming while being underrepresented in rigorous classes including Advanced Placement, honors and gifted and talented programming.  

Based on these statistics and other research, it is clear that practices in DPS have created an unbalanced picture that overemphasizes the deficits of Black children, families and communities, instead of celebrating them for the unique gifts they bring with them into schools. 

Upon the passing of the DPS Black Excellence Resolution, previous Board Member Happy Haynes noted, “We stand on the shoulders of a lot of people in our community, who have each taken their turn to push this very heavy boulder up the hill. And tonight, we have a lot of people joining us. It’s still an uphill journey, and it’s not going to be easy. But I feel the weight lifted from the fact that so many others have joined us.”In summer of 2020, the CELT, Culture and Equity Leadership Team at Asbury rallied around the work of the Black Excellence Plan. This committee was held by the principal, teachers and paras at Asbury.  We invited our Culturally Responsive Education partner to join our conversations. This team started to plan, develop and lead our monthly professional development. During this year, Culturally Responsive Education and Black Excellence became a focus of our staff professional learning. Please read more about Asbury’s Black Excellence Plan here.