The DPS board waited an eternity to do two things it should have done long, long ago.
First, the board finally dropped the racist symbol of South High School, the Rebels. I suppose given that the Klan essentially ran Denver in the early 1900s, it shouldn't be a surprise that the school board back then would ever allow the not-at-all subtle mascot of a soldier fighting to protect slavery -- but it's shocking how long it took to get rid of it.
As a student there in the latter half of the last century, I remember that we had petitions, discussion, requests and official letters written to try to dump the mascot. In further proof that the students really have no say over what happens in the school, the effort went nowhere.
Well, a new group of students has come along and asked for a change. Good for them. And now that the administration is made up of people, well, around my age, those students actually got somewhere.
The new superintendent said he could hear this dog whistle. "I grew up on the Mason-Dixon Line," he said. "I understand the power and the meaning of these symbols."
(Those of us who grew up far from the Mason-Dixon Line understood it, too, but it was still good of him to recognize it for what it is.)
I wonder what the administration is denying now that will be granted decades from now.
The second thing that the board waited until way too late to approve was next year's school calendar. Admittedly this is a much more parochial concern, but many summer camps require deposits and a commitment in January, but the board waited until February 19th to decide on the first day of school for next year.
And the proposed calendars were different by a huge swing; there was three weeks difference in the first day of school!
Well, at least I can do something about my other, related, complaint: The undecipherable format they publish the DPS calendar in. I went and made one for myself, and then -- using technology that is just not that hard -- made the calendar available to all.
Here you are: the Denver Public Schools (DPS) Calendar in several handy formats. Enjoy.