All Beacon Schools will be grounded on a clear, coherent plan employing consistent instructional practice.Beacon School Plans will be based on the following guiding principles:
- Leadership teams will work collaboratively with instructional staff to focus on teaching and learning to set academic goals, develop and implement the academic program, measure progress toward goals, and be held fairly and honestly accountable for the success of their school.
- A coherent academic program focused on teaching and learning will align all resources - such as professional development, school schedules, academic materials, community engagement efforts, etc. - toward reaching the planís basic goals and will lead to consistent academic practice among all instructional staff. Beacon School Plans will meet or exceed the expectations of the Denver Plan and will be based on proven best practice research.
- All school staff, including principals and teachers will be required to make a concerted choice to work in a Beacon School and to fulfill the mission as outlined in the schoolís academic plan. Staff will be held accountable for/responsible for the successful implementation of the plan in accordance with the DPS/DCTA Agreement, as well as state federal statute and policy.
- Beacon School academic programs will be durable and sustainable. Therefore Beacon School Plans must consider the overall balance of academic choices in the neighborhood, the appropriate and academically effective use of the schoolís physical structure and grounds, projected demographic changes and their effects on enrollment, demonstrated evidence of teacher and community commitment, and establish a reasonable fiscal balance so the instructional team and the community can count on the school for years to come.
- Beacon Schools will demonstrate the capacity to market their academic program to attract and retain students and families to their school.
- Beacon Schools will implement instructional practice informed by data from multiple sources, both qualitative and quantitative. Plans will incorporate benchmarks for measuring progress.
- School leaders and instructional staff will be committed to rigorous program evaluation to ensure meaningful and engaged reflection on an ongoing basis. The plan is a living document.
- DPS and DCTA will support Beacon Schools in their continuing effort to meet their academic goals and will provide ongoing technical assistance and instructional supports to schools aligned with the Denver Plan. They will support the flexibility and ingenuity necessary to enact the academic program, and will honestly and fairly hold all Beacon Schools accountable for progress toward their academic goals.
- Schools may also apply for additional financial support through the school innovation grant process. However, Beacon School proposals should be sustainable with current student funding.