Editor’s Note: The following is an open letter from Virginia Castro, the wife of the late Richard T. Castro, to the Denver, Colorado community.
Dear Friends and Supporters of Rich Castro: I am inviting you to a parent support meeting at Richard T. Castro Elementary 845 So. Lowell, Denver, CO, 80219, on September 20th at 7:30 am to 10:30am. (you may come anytime between those hours). We have dedicated parents at Castro who are devastated that their school is failing to the point that it could become a charter school. They are asking for your support to make a statement to DPS that they care about their school and will not let it become a charter without a fight. They want to let everyone know that the Community cares also. The Denver Public School (DPS) board could vote on this as early as the end of October 2017.
They are asking for your support to make a statement to DPS that they care about their school and will not let it become a charter without a fight.
We need your help to keep DPS from handing over our school and it’s students’ Per Pupil Operating Revenue, over $7,000.00/child, to the corporate model, namely, the charter system. DPS has devised a formula for student success or failure which is systematically turning the public schools in our communities into charters. We now have two systems, the public and the charter. Rich believed in the public school system and believed, with the right leadership, our children could thrive in that system. He served on the DPS Board and could see all the possibilities for success. I experienced Rich’s urgency to finally see the drop-out rate of our students reduced.
With the proliferation of the charters, I am not sure that it is even possible to keep accurate drop-out rate data. Below I have included contact information for the current powers-that-be in DPS. Please contact them and let them know that Richard T. Castro Elementary School has a special place in this community and should not be taken over by a corporation that most certainly will change the name of the school to their brand.
Richard T. Castro Elementary School was dedicated in 1993, two years after Rich passed away in April, 1991. One of the last things that Rich put his intense energy into was his involvement on the bond issue committee that funded a new Westwood Elementary School among other major DPS projects on the Westside of Denver. His hard work and total involvement in making our community and it’s schools a better place for us and our children warranted naming the new school after him.
Changing the name of Westwood Elementary was not an easy task. The DPS board required that we have an election. They created boundaries that went beyond Westwood’s at the time. Every person within those boundaries had a vote, including all of the middle and high school students. Rich taught his community well when it came to winning elections. Under the leadership of Alberta Crespin Liebert and so many of you, Rich won the election!
Please put this extremely important meeting in your schedules. Contact the people below and tell them to help Castro Elementary succeed, not just to look at failing scores on tests and handing the students and their families over to a charter. In my opinion, by doing this, DPS is giving up on our children.
DPS Administrators: 720-423-3300 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Boasberg, Superintendent, Susana Cordova, Deputy Superintendent
Jerome Deherrera, General Counsel
Georgia Duran, Chief of Family and Community Engagement
Board of Education: 720-423-3210 or email@example.com
Anne Rowe, Dist.1 Board President
Barbara O’brien, At Large Vice President
Happy Haynes, At Large
Mike Johnson Dist.3, Treasurer
Rosemary Rodriguez, Dist.2
Rachele C.Espiritu, Dist. 4
Lisa Flores, Dist. 5
(All board members are pro charters — Barbara O’brien and Mike Johnson- Terms ending 2017, Rosemary Rodriguez- Retiring 2017)