Main Office: 720-423-4300 & Attendance: 720-423-4354
Main Office: 720-423-4300 & Attendance: 720-423-4354

Commander Communicator – Week of 03/01/21

Dear Commander Community,

Sunday marks the end of Black History Month 2021; but, here at Kennedy, 2/28/21 does not end our efforts to continue including, recognizing, and celebrating our Black students and families. We are committed to continuously finding ways to help our students, especially our BIPOC community members, find connections within our school, step into leadership opportunities, explore and thrive in their academic pathway, and elevate their voices every day all year. A few initiatives and shifts to our systems and policies include: 

  • Improving our grading practices:
    • Students can show proficiency through retakes or by work turned in late without penalty. Teachers will replace (instead of average) scores to accurately show mastery. Students have up to a week before grades are due to demonstrate mastery in competencies. A student who turns their work in on time has the opportunity to revise and resubmit their work after tutoring with either the teacher or the Paper online tutoring app.
    • Transparency in our grading systems shown here and course syllabi posted on our website here
  • A Restorative Approach to behavior intervention
  • A revised dress code that allows for more student expression through dress and to dismantle policy that oppresses our students 
  • We are no longer requiring a certain attendance percentage to cross the stage at graduation

We love getting feedback on how to continuously improve, so please reach out to me via email, if you’d like to provide further suggestions on how to move closer towards becoming a truly equitable and inclusive school. Additionally, if you would like to provide input on our Bell Schedule for next year, take this survey asap.

Please sign up for virtual parent/guardian/teacher conferences held this Wednesday and Thursday from 4 – 7 pm using the sign up links on this document, which is also on our website. Special shout out to Ms. Randall, Ms. Gilmore, and all of the students from Kennedy and BVIS who participated in or watched the ARISS contact with the International Space Station, see the coverage on 9News here. What a great week to be a Commander!



  • ARISS Contact: This week a select group of JFK and BVIS students got the opportunity to chat with an astronaut on the International Space Station! If you missed our watch party, you can still watch the recording of the event here.
  • ELA PAC Meeting: We hosted our virtual ELA PAC meeting on February 24th at 5:30 PM. If you were unable to join us, you can watch the meeting recording here. The slides to the presentation can be viewed here
  • CMAS/SAT/PSAT Assessment Options: State Assessments have been scheduled!

    • SAT for 11th grade is Tuesday, April 13th 

    • PSAT for 9th grade is Wednesday, April 14th 

    • PSAT for 10th grade is Thursday, April 15th

    • CMAS for 11th grade Thursday, April 15th

      *Assessment times are to be determined

      If you DO NOT want your student to take their assessment (opt out of the test) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please review the attached document to determine how to do so. If you do not opt your student out of testing, they will be automatically scheduled for their respective test and will be expected to come into the building to take it.  More communications will follow closer to the test date.

      If a student opts out of these assessments, they will not receive scores. If they opt out of SAT, they lose the chance for the state to pay for this assessment and to have the scores for college applications. They will also potentially miss qualifying scores on the Colorado SAT that may be applied toward fulfilling the DPS graduation requirements. 

      If you choose to opt your student out of any of these assessments, please log into your Parent Portal account and follow the directions here by the end of the day on Friday, February 26th. 


Code2 College:

Are you interested in writing and submitting an essay for a chance to win a college scholarship of up to $500? All you have to do is submit a 300 to 500-word draft addressing the prompt below. The best part?

Code2College volunteers will be editing and reviewing your essays before the final judging!

Scholarship Essay Prompt:

One of our Code2College Student Values is "Lift Up." It’s not enough for you to succeed in life. Your goal should be to lift up others on the way. Whether a classmate, another Code2College student or anyone else in the community, you should work to improve the lives of those who you encounter on your path.

Write about a time that YOU lifted someone up and the impact of that action.

Ask: Submit a draft (300-500 words) as a Google Doc to by Friday, March 12th. Please use the email subject line "Lift Up Scholarship Essay"

Prize Amounts:

​Are you interested in Code2College and are applying for our April classes? Below are the first, second, and third place prize amounts:




Have you taken or are currently taking a Code2College class? Below are the first, second, and third place prize amounts:




Please do not hesitate to reach out to them with any questions. They can't wait to read your submission!


  • Register for Season C: Attention Commanders! 

    Family ID is open to register for Season C! Season C Sports include: Football, Volleyball and Boys Soccer.

    Registration closes on March 8th at 8 PM.

  • Futures Football: Do you know any 7th or 8th graders interested in playing Futures Football at Kennedy? Futures Football tryouts start April 26th. Please have parents sign up via this form if they are interested and we will reach back out with further details!


  • Our school nurse created a virtual health office containing links to lots of different information. Click on LINK for helpful resources.
  • Here is a link to a list of various food assistance resources around Denver!
  • Here is a link to information on Free Covid Tests.
  • Here is information on where to get Free Meals from DPS.
  • Here is the link to access DPS Coronavirus Resources
  • Here is the Southwest Denver Free Activities Calendar
  • Free COVID Tests are now available at our Denver Health Clinic!
    • You must be a DPS STUDENT
    • You must be consented for the Denver Health Clinic and also for the Flu Vaccine
    • To make an appointment: E-mail or call 303-602-8958 or the JFK Clinic direct number: 720-423-4355
      For more information on resources click here.

It is our priority to keep you informed of incidents related to safety. We want to make you aware that 2 students or staff members have been diagnosed with COVID-19. These individuals are remote; therefore, there was not a need to contract trace within our school building.

Each case of COVID-19 is interviewed by public health. As part of this public health investigation:

  • The person diagnosed is being kept home from school until they are no longer infectious. 

  • The person’s activities when they could have spread COVID-19 were assessed. 

  • The people who were close contacts of the person with COVID-19 are instructed to stay home from school for 10 days after the exposure. This is called quarantine.

If you have any concerns about your health, we encourage you to contact the Denver Health School Based Health Center at 303-602-8958 (or your primary care provider) for further evaluation and possible testing.

Same as last week:

Denver Public Schools has been working tirelessly toward the safe and continuous reopening of in-person learning at our schools. As we begin to return to in-person learning, we are working to monitor and screen for COVID-19 across students, faculty, and staff. 

We are partnering with COVIDCheck Colorado to provide free, fast and convenient COVID-19 testing to all faculty, staff and students, not just those who may be experiencing symptoms. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 40% of people who are infected with the coronavirus show no symptoms. Regular testing is a critical step toward the safe and continued re-opening of our schools. Through our partnership with COVIDCheck, we are piloting in-person student testing at 6 DPS High Schools: East, John F. Kennedy High School, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College, Northfield, TJ, West Early College/West Leadership Academy.

Each week, a segment of our population of students (who have opted in to the program) will be tested by DPS nursing staff. The in-school tests are done using saliva and results will be available within 24-36 hours. 

The saliva protocol that COVIDCheck Colorado uses is SalivaDirect™, which is an FDA Emergency Use Authorization-approved PCR testing protocol. The Yale School of Public Health developed the protocol; the NBA used SalivaDirect™ in “the bubble” to test its players, and the protocol is being rolled out to other organizations, institutions, and populations around the country. Yale’s studies have shown that SalivaDirect™ PCR is as sensitive as a nasal PCR test and is both more convenient and comfortable for participants than a nasal swab.  

If you would like to sign your student up for this ongoing testing program, please do so now. It’s free, fast, and convenient: If you’d like to see the registration process, here’s a video that goes through each step.  If your student has been exposed to COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms, they must be tested at a COVIDCheck Colorado drive-up testing site.  Please register for that one-time test here:

Thank you for helping us keep our students, staff, and the broader community safe. 

All students coming into the school building must take and pass the health screener here.

  • Chromebooks/Hotspots: Denver Public Library will be offering Chromebooks/Hotspots for 3-month checkout periods and it is open to anyone! Those interested will need to contact them at 720-865-2362 and leave a message or email
  • Chromebooks: If you are in need of a Chromebook you can pick them up at the school any weekday between 7 AM and 3 PM.
  • Hotspots: If you are in need of a hotspot please email We do not have many available but we are working on adding more to our inventory so for now, you will be put on a waitlist until we have more.
  • Troubleshooting: Please contact if you are having issues attending your courses in Schoology.

  • 03/03 — Virtual Parent Teacher Conferences
  • 03/04 — Virtual Parent Teacher Conferences
  • 03/10 —  Winning Wednesday with CU Boulder Rep
  • 03/10 - 04/05 — Spring Break

    For more information on any of these events check





2855 S. LAMAR ST. DENVER, CO 80227







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