A few years ago, neighborhood schools like Cole Middle School were seen as in need of change by some.

It’s a change Denver School of Science and Technology, or DSST, CEO Bill Kurtz felt was necessary in order to close the achievement gap.

“Traditionally we have not served students from low income backgrounds as well in this city,” Kurtz said. “Closing that achievement gap is very, very important to us and we see that all students can succeed when given the opportunity.”

Succeed is what they did. All four DSST’s high schools were recently ranked in the top five high schools across the city.

The ranking is given by the Denver Public School District, giving top honors to DSST’s College View High School campus. The ranking didn’t seem possible in these neighborhoods not that long ago.

“Those communities really wanted us to come and open schools in those communities and so we’re thrilled to be there and thrilled to see our young people doing so well,” Kurtz said. “Making sure to do everything we can each day to help each student learn is the key to our success.”

That strategy, along with a little help from home creates a positive future for these young students.

“The opportunity for us to go to those communities and partner with their students and families to create great schools is something were very excited about,” Kurtz said.

DSST also had two middle schools ranking in the top five—an accomplishment this CEO is very excited about.

“Just a great supportive community that will help them accomplish their academic goals and become the best versions of themselves,” Kurtz said.