Close the opportunity gap by providing small group math & literacy instruction for our highest need students in order to accelerate their academic growth.

Letter to All Denver Fellows

A version of this letter was shared with Denver Fellows team members in mid-February 2018.

 

Dear Team,

 

I am writing to share an important decision.  I have decided that I will be leaving Denver Fellows and Denver Public Schools at the end of the school year.  I am fully committed to ensuring a smooth transition and working with each of you for the remainder of the year in service to our students and families.

 

I have decided to leave because my wife has been accepted into medical school out of state.  While I do not know at this time what my next step is professionally, I will share more when I know more.

 

After over five years in the director role, I also think it is a good time for me to step aside.  I came to Denver to scale the math fellow program and have accomplished that, with each of you, in addition to launching literacy fellows and fellow resident roles in our partner schools and starting the work of shifting the practice of small group instruction from remediation to grade level rigor in all our schools.  Fellows now serve in every geographic region across Denver and provide a proof point that our students can and will achieve at high levels when held and supported to reach high expectations.

 

I am proud of the work that we have accomplished by providing thousands of students and families with daily small group instruction in math and literacy at no cost to them and by attracting top talent to work in our schools.  I also feel good about the work that we have done together to adopt best practices in instructional leadership and am excited about the culture of feedback, practice, focus on student work analysis and lesson planning that is developing within Denver Fellows.

 

We have also made organizational advances in our commitment to diversity and creating an inclusive environment for students and staff through our efforts to hire and retain staff members at all levels who reflect the diversity of the students we serve.  Further, we have transitioned to provide more decision making to school leaders while creating stability though a new three-year opt-in process.  In both areas, I am excited to see what happens next.

 

I will be assisting in the process of identifying my successor and will look forward to introducing them this spring and working with them on a smooth transition for the 2018-2019 school year.

 

Finally, I would like to share a special note of gratitude to each fellow who has served this year or in the past and who took on the sacrifice of participating in a service year for our students to provide access to challenging academic content and mentoring.  I am inspired by your commitment and care.

 

Tim Johnson

Director, Denver Fellows