DENVER (CBS4) – After four decades Denver Public Schools is once again the largest district in the state when it comes to enrollment.

It’s programs like one at the Montclair School of Academics and Enrichment that Denver Public Schools says is attracting parents and students.

Parents and students, not only of Montclair School of Academics and Enrichment, but throughout the district, say it’s part of Montclair’s title – “enrichment” — innovative teaching and learning. That is part what has led Denver Public Schools to see a 20 percent enrollment growth in the past six years.

Right now there are more than 88,000 students enrolled in Denver Public Schools this year. That’s up from a little more than 73,000 students in 2007.

On Tuesday morning Superintendent Tom Boasberg celebrated the growth at Montclair, attributing the district’s progress to the teachers and staff, and the fact that parents are choosing to send their students to Denver schools.

Boasberg also said that enrollment had been flat for many years, which forced closure of many schools. He said that’s because families were choosing to place their students in suburban schools. Now the trend has been reversed and all schools are back open and Denver Public Schools is focused on improving quality and challenging the status quo.

“That focus (is) first and foremost on attracting and retaining and developing great teachers and school leaders. But it also meant being a much more decentralized and innovative and flexible system of schools,” Boasberg said. “The kind of flexibility and innovation that developed here at Montclair are in part a result of that drive to really allow for greater flexibility; innovation from the bottom up.”

As the number of students grows, so does the need for teachers, but Boasberg said he’s happy to say that there are plenty of teachers applying to work in the Denver Public School District.

The enrollment numbers are preliminary but it’s projected that Denver Public Schools is now the largest school district in the state of Colorado. It’s also the fastest growing school district in the country.


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