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Teachers, parents, students participate in 'walk-in' to protest changes at McAuliffe Middle School

mcauliffe walk in protest
Posted at 4:45 PM, Nov 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-15 12:46:35-05

DENVER — A group of local educators, students and families joined together in solidarity to speak out after hearing about possible changes that could impact a Denver middle school.

Teachers scheduled what they called a "walk-in" on Tuesday morning at McAuliffe International Middle School, claiming that they're tired of being ignored by their employer, their union and in-school administrators. They added that they are ready to leave Denver Public Schools. They also expressed concerns about possible changes and staffing terminations.

Those who attended the walk-in claim they have heard that the Board of Education allegedly plans to strip McAuliffe of its innovation status, which gives the school greater autonomy over curriculum, staffing and budgeting.

Emily Fox, a parent at Swigert International, which is also an innovation school in Denver, said she's supporting McAuliffe because it is a school she wants her children to attend in the future.

"It's important for the teachers, they love being a part of an innovation school and we want to support them," Fox said.

They said not having this would cause students to lose their optional morning enrichments, which encourage students to learn through different methods as they engage in projects and activities beyond the pages of a book.

"Innovation gives the flexibility and opportunity to write curriculum, have school times adjusted and support the kids in a different way and let the teachers choose how to teach our children," Fox said.

They also have concerns about interim Principal Micah Kalver likely being fired and said that it is rumored that about seven McAuliffe staff members will be terminated on Thursday.

This is all a sensitive subject to some after the school board approved the firing of former Principal Kurt Dennis last summer.

"I would say Mr. Dennis was the best principal we had. The school is missing a piece since he's not there," said student Alyssa Hadank.

"McAuliffe is a great community and I don’t think anything should change about that," added student Vera Mercuri.

In response to these concerns, 75% of the teachers in the highest-performing middle school in the district said they are considering leaving the district, according to a press released received by the walk-in organizers.

Denver7 reached out to Denver Public Schools spokesperson Scott Pribble who said he could not confirm these claims.

Teachers, parents, students participate in 'walk-in' to protest changes at McAuliffe Middle School

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