In 2018, the Northeast Denver Innovation Zone “NDIZ” was formed and is composed of four Innovation Status and IB Accredited or Candidate schools: Swigert International School, McAuliffe International School, McAuliffe Manual Middle School, and Northfield High School.
What are Innovation Zones?
Innovation Zones are distinct groupings of Denver Public Schools that collaborate to better serve students. Innovation Zones are fundamentally about educator empowerment. They exist to empower leaders and teachers with the opportunity to design and sustain a shared learning community specifically tailored to the needs of their students and communities, and the adults who serve them. Innovation Zone schools are not charter schools and remain within the school district and accountable to the DPS board.
At Swigert International School, our Innovation status and being part of the NDIZ has allowed us to exercise several waivers from the district, develop and create our own IB curriculum, set our school calendar differently from the Denver Public Schools standard calendar, and enact annual contracts for our faculty. This autonomy allows us to meet the specific needs of our school community and the flexibility to utilize a variety of resources and professional development opportunities that exist outside traditional DPS schools.
Innovation Zones are created collaboratively with leaders, teachers, parents, and communities. Benefits of an innovation zone include leader and teacher empowerment, shared learning, diversity of options, economies of scale, tailored support structures, a focus on flexibility, and community ownership.
All NDIZ schools are located in the Northeast Denver area and all NDIZ board members live within the communities the schools serve. Each Innovation Zone school has a staff member serving on the board as well as a non-voting member. All Innovation Zone schools are International Baccalaureate Schools or candidate schools and interested in creating vertical alignment and shared professional learning for staff. NDIZ schools believe in fostering community through elevating the community’s voice and increasing ownership and responsibility over academic programming and student outcomes. These schools believe in creating diverse and inclusive environments for all students, staff, and families.
Click HERE to learn more about the Northeast Denver Innovation Zone.