Dear Team DPS,
“I want to be an astronaut and go to Mars…I thought I wanted to be a geologist, but why not go from small rocks and explore a much larger one?”
(Watch this DPS Features video about our Parent Teacher Home Visit program)
DCIS Montbello senior Daniel Sanchez shared his astronomical plans with me on Tuesday evening, at his home in Far Northeast Denver surrounded by his wonderful family. It was part of the Parent Teacher Home Visit Program that is run by our Family and Community Engagement Office. Throughout the school year, teachers from over 135 schools that are part of the program spend time on weekday evenings visiting with students and families in their homes. It’s one way we’re working to strengthen what is the most important partnership we have: the one between students, families, and teachers.
Over the course of the nine years since we launched the Parent Teacher Home Visit Program, we’ve seen strong results. Schools that participate in the program show higher attendance rates, stronger academic performance, and lower discipline rates.
As we strengthen our connection with our students and families, we have a much deeper understanding of how to support their education and how to help clear the path to the future they dream about.
“We hear consistently from our teachers that the home visit program really helps them get to know their students on a personal level,” Iesha Mitchell, who runs our Parent Teacher Home Visit program, told me. “And that the open line of communication with parents broadens their connection with their students beyond the classroom and puts them in closer touch with the full school community.”
It was so uplifting to have the chance to meet the Sanchez family, and I very much appreciate them opening up their home to me and DCIS Montbello team members Cole Ritter, Nicole Dvorak, Lilian Pereira Schmuk, Sara Ochoa-Lozoya and Leonor Aron, who have volunteered to participate in this paid program because of the connections it creates.
Marquelia and Jose are the proud parents of six children — their two oldest are grown and have families of their own now. Daniel is the oldest of their current DPS students, all who attend DCIS Montbello. His brother, Andres, is a ninth-grader. He told me: “I want to be an architect, and my dad always tells me that I am great at drawing, so I think that’s what I want to do.” And their two younger sisters are Valeria, a seventh-grader, and Brianna, a sixth-grader. They were attached at the hip during my visit, sharing frequent whispers and giggles…and, as it turns out, sharing future career plans. “I want to be a doctor and help people,” Valeria told me…to which Brianna added: “I want to be a doctor as well and get to work with my sister.”
An astronaut, an architect, and two doctors. That’s what the Sanchez family sees on their horizon. We at DPS are here to lift them up to reach those heights. And we’re so lucky to have Marquelia and Jose as our partners in educating their children. Daniel pointed out, during a very touching moment in our conversation, that one of his most important lessons so far has come from his father: “I have learned to work hard like my father, and I appreciate the hard work and sacrifice that my parents have made in order to support us.”