500 S Utica St, Denver, CO 80219
Phone: 720-424-6130 | Attendance:720-424-6160 | Fax: 720-424-6155

Black Excellence Plan

Knapp is required to have a Black Excellence Plan as part of our yearly school strategic plan. This requirement began in 2020 at Denver Public Schools, but we see it as more than a requirement. We see it as an opportunity to grow and ensure that we are working to dismantle oppressive systems and structures by elevating the voices of our Black students and families.

Black Excellence Plan Vision

At Knapp we believe in lifting the voices and histories of Black students and families deliberately and intentionally, so that the opportunity for self-efficacy emerges and a foundation for academic success occur.  We believe that by continuing to educate ourselves around equity mindsets and implementing responsive teaching practices and lessons we will disrupt racist mindsets, beliefs, behaviors, and systems so that our Black students and families will feel valued, honored, and celebrated.

Equity work with Staff

In the 2022-23 year, we prioritized teacher education from an equity perspective, aiming to confront and diminish bias while enhancing the capacity of educators. Building on this foundation, our focus for is shifting towards the holistic development of our students and fostering a stronger connection with our community. We aspire to improve student engagement, attendance rates, and academic growth while fostering a more inclusive and culturally responsive learning environment. Furthermore, we are committed to integrating education on Black history, contributions, and excellence throughout the school year to ensure our Black students feel seen, celebrated, and supported. See The Equity Experience.

Every Black student is excellent!

In the past years we have worked with our Black students in a number of ways. This includes SEL check-ins with students, nominating students to be recognized by the district for Black Excellence (chosen for receiving an award), and working specifically with students on topics of Black History, through projects and intentional curriculum focuses.  Additionally, our character education books with our counselor are specifically selected to promote and illustrate characters and settings that uplift and represent our Black students through our Culturally Responsive Lens, while also correlating with our school’s monthly character traits.  

With the success of these efforts, we will continue to build off of this foundation. Our plan for this year includes an individual plan for each of our Black students that includes social emotional support, academic support and goals, and/or home visit opportunities to strengthen relationships with our Black community. We will also continue to highlight Black characters and stories throughout the year with our  character trait selected stories, as well as during planning of curriculum resources and supplemental materials. We will provide intentional educational supports for each of our Black students throughout the year in our student support and data driven instruction meetings. Each family of Black students will be offered an opportunity for an in-home visit by members of the BSE Team.  In order to accomplish this we have created individual plans for our Black students that provide targeted SEL support with a member of our MH team, as well as academic goals and attendance tracking to ensure they have joy and representation in their learning community.

We want to create an environment where kids culturally feel accepted and want to come to school here.