MANUAL HIGH SCHOOL
MCAULIFFE MANUAL MIDDLE SCHOOL
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What factors influenced the decision to bring McAuliffe to the Manual building High School Building? A: In the 2015 Call for New Quality Schools and its Supplement, DPS requested a new middle school provider to serve as a feeder for Manual High School. This need was identified, in part, due to the voluntary contract surrender of Pioneer Charter School. The Call did not produce high quality applications. On Sept. 17, 2015, the Board instructed the District to hire a school leader to work in collaboration with the community and the principal of Manual High School to design a school to open in fall 2016. In Oct. 2015, the District hired Jessica Long to lead the Manual feeder middle school, now called McAuliffe Manual Middle School. Ms. Long developed the school plan in consultation with Manual High School principal Nick Dawkins, McAuliffe International School principal Kurt Dennis, District staff, and members of the Manual and Near Northeast communities. The Office of Family and Community Engagement further supported community dialogue toward the school design and the shared campus considerations.
Q: What is the focus of McAuliffe Manual Middle School? A: McAuliffe Manual Middle School is dedicated to providing students with an outstanding liberal arts education with an international focus. By developing strong learning communities centered on core values and shared commitment to academic excellence, all of our graduates will be prepared for high school, college, and beyond. Through the collaborative efforts of students, teachers, parents and community our graduates will be inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who are prepared to live the life they dream and be leaders of the future. McAuliffe Manual Middle School will increase the number of students in poverty, students of color, students with disabilities, and English language learners that enter high school at grade-‐level. McAuliffe Manual Middle School is a diverse community that has a relentless focus on academic excellence and embraces culture, language, innovation, arts and athletics.
Q: How does the school plan for McAuliffe align with Manual High School? A: Co-‐locating and aligning programming with Manual High School offers many unique opportunities for McAuliffe Manual Middle School students. McAuliffe Manual Middle School shares in the Manual High School’s focus areas of culture, community and innovation. In order to prepare middle school students for success in high school, McAuliffe Manual Middle School will emphasize rigorous academics, career and college preparedness, student life and character development, and shared school leadership. McAuliffe Manual Middle School students will also have access to high school level courses while in middle school. There will be strong collaboration between the curriculum, vision, and values at both schools. Manual students will have leadership and mentorship opportunities as they work with McAuliffe students. McAuliffe Manual Middle School students will potentially be able to earn high school credit by taking advanced classes at Manual, and will have the opportunity to access collegiate prep programming. Manual High School’s physical facilities are among the best in the city. The school’s 1,200-‐seat auditorium is the venue for events ranging from musical productions to major community meetings. The Thunderdome is a fully equipped, state-‐of the-‐art gym for basketball and other indoor athletics.
Manual also has an Olympic-‐sized pool, one of the district’s largest outdoor stadiums, music rooms, and recently refurbished science labs – all of which will be available to McAuliffe Manual Middle School students for their use. Both principals will work together to create a shared-‐campus plan for the use of the facilities in order to best serve students at both schools.
Q: Who will the school leaders be and how will they work together? A: Nick Dawkins will be the principal of Manual and Jessica Long will be the principal at McAuliffe Manual Middle School. Both leaders have demonstrated a shared commitment to collaborative leadership and continuity between mission and vision between schools.
Q: What are the opportunities my student will have in Manual High School’s Med School? A: Manual High School is the first school confirmed to launch a new program called the CareerResidency as part of its medical-‐focused CareerConnect pathway, called the “Med School at Manual.” Manual may have the opportunity to apply for state Pathways in Technology Early College (P-‐ TECH) funding to support its CareerResidency sustainably. The program is a grade 9 through 11 CareerConnect pathway paired with a grade 12 through 13 (or potentially 14) CareerResidency program and/or preferential admissions to a four-‐year university that allows students to envision and pursue their own personalized college and career pathway within Colorado’s high-‐opportunity industries. For more information visit: manual.dpsk12.org/academics/med-‐school/.
Q: Are there any enrollment priorities for McAuliffe students into Manual? A: Any McAuliffe eighth grader will have a guaranteed spot at Manual and priority admission into the Med School at Manual if he or she chooses to pursue this program.
Q: Does Manual have the facility space for McAuliffe? A: Given current enrollment numbers, Manual has enough room to dedicate the third floor of the building to the McAuliffe Manual Middle School students. Manual students will attend classes on the first and second floors. We expect total student enrollment for both schools to be 1,100 when both schools are fully enrolled in the 2018-‐19 school year, which is well below the building’s capacity of 1,600 students. McAuliffe Manual Middle School started with a sixth-‐grade class of about 150 students and add an additional sixth-‐grade class in the subsequent years about the same size until it is serving grades six through eight. How will the space be divided and how much interaction there will be between middle school and high school students (this includes supervised and unsupervised times)?
Q: Why was McAuliffe Manual Middle School located at the Smiley campus for its inaugural year? A: In order to support the successful launch of McAuliffe Manual Middle School, a one-‐year incubation alongside the flagship McAuliffe on the Smiley campus was proposed and approved by the school board in December 2015. Having both schools on the same campus allowed for easier collaboration and training between the two school staffs. This plan also gave Nick Dawkins and his team more time to focus on the academic and cultural initiatives already underway at Manual High School.
Q: What transportation options will be available for students? A: Students will participate in the Success Express transportation system for the near northeast in the 2017-‐18 school year. More details on transportation specifics will be provided as soon as they are determined.
Q: What will be the name of the new McAuliffe Manual Middle School? A: The new name is McAuliffe Manual Middle School. The principal, Ms. Long, worked with McAuliffe Manual Middle School students and Manual High School students and families and selected a permanent name for the new school in its innovation planning the spring of 2016. Being a part of a founding school gives students many opportunities to shape their middle school experience. McAuliffe Manual Middle School students will help select the school’s mascot and help determine the after school clubs and enrichments that the school will offer.
Q: How can I stay involved in the design process for McAuliffe Manual Middle School? A: We encourage community engagement in the design process for McAuliffe Manual Middle School, and there will be opportunities to participate in this process throughout the spring. To see upcoming events visit the school’s website at mcauliffemanual.dpsk12.org. You can also contact the principal, Ms. Long, directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-‐423-‐6550.
Q: What are the school leaders doing to keep McAuliffe Manual Middle School and Manual students safe? A: Student safety is a top priority for Mr. Dawkins and Ms. Long. We will create a shared campus plan that best supports middle school and high school students. The plan will ensure staggered starts, dismissals, passing periods, and lunches so that students are interacting primarily with their peers during the school day. Middle School students will be supervised at all times during the school day. Manual has taken many steps to increase student safety in recent years. The current and past school year has seen an 85% reduction in discipline issues from five years ago. This is a decrease that few other high schools in the city can match and is a reflection of the enhanced school, student, and academic culture at Manual. What kind of structures are in place already at both schools and as a joint partnership are there for safety?
Q: How is discipline handled at McAuliffe? A: Should a teacher or staff member have a discipline incident with a student, the teacher will work to correct the problem with the individual student through the least invasive intervention (i.e. warning or a mandatory conference, parent notification, written reflections, and/or other disciplinary action). Staff who are hired at McAuliffe Manual Middle School have experience with restorative approaches to discipline and the onboarding process allows them to deeply understand their role in the discipline process. School leadership observations of classroom teachers will provide immediate and personalized support to teachers who need it to promote strong and healthy classroom management and environments. McAuliffe International Schools use the Denver Public Schools discipline matrix and follow DPS policies and procedures regarding student discipline and appeals processes.
Q: How will school leaders be supporting current Manual families during this transition? A: We know this is a new change for the Manual community and we will work closely with you in the coming weeks and months to address your questions and concerns and make this transition as seamless as possible. We invite our community to become involved and join the Common Grounds team. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Dr. Colleen O’Brien at colleen_o’email@example.com.
Q: What is a shared campus? A: In Denver Public Schools, a shared campus is when two or more individual schools share one or more facilities. This can be multiple schools housed in one building, or sharing common spaces like cafeterias, libraries and gyms (which are sometimes located in separate buildings). Shared campuses allow DPS to serve more students while reducing resource duplication and maintenance costs, and they provide more choices for students and families.
Q: What is the difference between a campus and a school? A: Many of us associate a school with a particular building. In DPS, we think of a school as a program serving a distinct community of leaders, educators, students and families who share a common vision for how to educate their children. With shared campuses, more than one of these school communities share one or more physical buildings.
Q: Do schools at shared campuses have access to the same resources as schools that have their own buildings? A: Yes. When the DPS board votes to place schools on a shared campus, school leaders and district staff create a contract that outlines how the schools will coordinate use of resources and common spaces, such as the cafeteria, gym, elective rooms and other shared spaces.
Q: Logistically, how does a shared campus work? A: Proper planning is key to the success of a shared-‐campus arrangement. Initially, DPS staff review the facility to come up with hallway and classroom configurations to accommodate each school’s enrollment. School leaders work out distinct bell schedules, including pick-‐up and drop-‐off times. Additionally, each school typically has its own entrance to avoid school overlap. A spirit of partnership is necessary for a shared campus to succeed. How much interaction will middle school students have with high school students? Will the school be divided into separate sections? With different entrances? Will students be able to interact during passing periods, lunch, before and after school and during athletics?
Q: What are the benefits of being in a shared-‐campus environment? A: Even though it is important for schools to be separate and unique, a well-‐run shared campus creates many opportunities for collaboration, including sharing of staff, specialized space, professional development and classroom resources. In particular, schools with fewer students and a smaller operating budget can benefit by sharing resources (including new schools during their early years). DPS is supportive of staff and students from shared-‐campus schools to interact and learn from each other. Sharing a campus with one or more schools can be a rewarding experience!