DENVER - For the first time in decades, the Denver Public School district will be the largest school district in Colorado. DPS became the fastest growing urban school district in the country following years of enrollment gains.
In the 2007-08 school year, DPS had an enrollment of 73,503 students. That number has risen to 88,208 this school year showing a growth of over 20 percent in the last six years.
The school district says the boom is the result of more parents choosing to send their children to DPS schools. Superintendent Tom Boasberg told 9NEWS, "For decades the conventional wisdom was that we need to go to the suburbs to get the best education for our kids and that's changed in Denver now. Students in Denver show more academic progress this year than students in any of the suburban districts."
The school district has also seen significant growth in the students enrolled in middle school. Since 2008, middle school enrollment has increased by almost 22 percent.
"The middle schools are such a quality that families are staying for their students throughout the whole time," Boasberg said.
The school district has also cut its dropout rate in half from 2005, which means 2,000 fewer students a year have been dropping out.
Expanding the Early Childhood Education program has also led to growth in the school district. DPS has expanded its total preschool seats by more than 1,400 students and has also been able to offer full-day preschool programs.
"Clearly the overwhelming driver is that our schools are so much better and it means that families are staying in Denver and they're coming to Denver because of the quality of the schools," Boasberg said.
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