DLS Gilpin Application

DLS Gilpin Building Application

On December 21, 2017, the DPS Board of Education voted to award the Gilpin facility to Denver Language School.

In school year 2018-19:
Grades K-3 will attend DLS at Whiteman
Grades 4-8 will attend DLS at Gilpin

In school year 2019-20:
Grades K-4 will attend DLS at Whiteman
Grades 5-8 will attend DLS at Gilpin

The DLS Board of Directors held a Board Town Hall for DLS families on January 31stto provide further information about the transition. Slides from the Board Town Hall will be available soon.

Questions? Contact facilities@denverlanguageschool.org.

Below is information on the process through which DLS Middle School was awarded the Gilpin facility.

On October 16, 2017, Denver Public Schools announced the application process for schools interested in moving a secondary school into the former Gilpin Montessori School building at 2949 California Street. On November 10, 2017, Denver Language School submitted a response and application to move our middle school to this location.

View the DLS Response to DPS Here


On November 13, 2017, the DLS Board of Directors held a town hall meeting to discuss the application and answer questions from our community about this potential move. 

Click here to view the Board Town Hall Presentation

Click here to read a summary of the presentation

Click here to view all school applications submitted for the Gilpin building




During the Board Town Hall a number of questions were asked. These have been bundled by topic and organized below. If you have additional questions, please reach out to facilities@denverlanguageschool.org, and the Committee will do its best to respond as quickly as possible.

Application Process and Confidence Level

Q) How many schools applied to Gilpin?
A) Seven schools applied, including DLS-Middle School. A full list of schools and short descriptions can be found here.

Q) Will DLS-Middle School share the campus with another school?
A) We do not anticipate another school co-locating with DLS Middle School in the foreseeable future. Child Find, a DPS program that provides developmental, hearing, speech and other screenings, is already housed at Gilpin and will remain. Child Find only uses two classrooms and is located in a more remote part of the building.

Q) Will DLS add more classes per grade when it moves into Gilpin?
A) There are no immediate plans to add more classes per grade, other than to accommodate the growing middle school.

Transportation and Bell Schedules

Q) Will DLS continue to bus to Whiteman and add bussing to Gilpin?
A) Absolutely. We can’t predict what exactly a bus schedule or route would be, but, transportation is one of DLS’ strongest programs. As a charter school that pulls students from across Denver and the suburbs we work very hard to make the school accessible. We currently move 346 students across seven bus routes everyday, and we expect to see an increase in riders next year. The school subsidizes $100,000 to keep bus fees low. We see transportation as a staple in our academic and operational success.

Q) Will busing be made accessible to families and students in Southeast Denver?
A) Right now we have transportation options that move students from DLS East to DLS West, as well as from DLS West to DLS East, every morning and every afternoon. If awarded Gilpin, and if after assessing and speaking to parents using and wishing to use the busses, a bus schedule and route system will be built to meet the needs of as many families as possible. If the need and interest is there to service Southeast Denver every effort will be made to do so.

Q) Will bell schedules change between DLS East and Gilpin?
A) We are working to finalize bell schedules as quickly as possible, but the final times are dependent upon a host of other considerations including required student contact hours, busing/transportation, and whether or not we are able to continue to have early release Fridays. We currently plan to have a soft start at 7:20 am at each camps, and will not start school before 8 am. Gilpin will most likely start and end later than Whiteman. One goal is for buses from Gilpin to Whiteman to arrive at around the same time that after school Fun Clubs at Whiteman are ending. 

After-School and Middle School Sports Opportunities at Gilpin Location

Q) What after school opportunities are in the Gilpin neighborhood?
A) The Glenarm Rec Center and the Blair Caldwell are within walking distance Gilpin. In addition, DLS welcomes the opportunity to be part of the community and looks forward to participating in the community garden and other after school community activities.

Q) What are the middle school sports opportunities at Gilpin?
A) We understand that sports are important to middle school students, and we will continue to offer the same programming at Gilpin that we offer at Whiteman. Gilpin has a larger gym, more outdoor space, and a regulation basketball court outside.  Like Whiteman, the facilities at Gilpin are not large enough to host games (i.e. volleyball games, Cross country meets) but they are excellent for practice and continuing to build our sports program.

What about Security at Gilpin?

Q) How will DLS-Middle School make Gilpin a safe school building?
A) As a DPS authorized charter, DLS submits and monitors all emergency plans, engages in emergency trainings, and trains staff on safety and security protocols. We will continue to use the same high standards to ensure a safe campus should we be placed in Gilpin. For example, DLS has invested in cameras, speakers and software at our current buildings, and we would invest any needed funds in a new building as well.  

How does DLS fit into the Gilpin community vision?

Q) How does DLS fit into the Gilpin community vision?
A) DLS is a language and culture immersion school. Beyond being able to speak, read and write in Spanish or Mandarin Chinese, we teach our students the importance of cultural awareness and sensitivity. Curtis Park, Five Points and the surrounding neighborhood is one of Denver’s richest, and most culturally diverse communities and is a natural fit for DLS.

What about the K-8 vision?

Q) Does DLS still hope to be a K-8 under one roof?
A) Yes. The founders, the Board, and many of our families would love to see DLS as a K-8 under one roof in a phenomenal facility. But with the lack of available land and construction costs, this is not a reality right now. We continue to look for opportunities, but consider a Whiteman/Gilpin two campus solution a fantastic opportunity.

How can families help?

Q) What can DLS families do to help DLS to have a smooth transition?
A) We're so glad you asked! There are a number of committees being headed up by DLS board members, including Transportation, Facilities, and more! We would love for you to sign up to help out! Contact facilities@denverlanguageschool.org for more information and to let us know that you're willing and able.


Community Engagement

Q) How will you engage with the Gilpin community?
A) DLS enjoys open interaction with the Mayfair Park neighborhood, which surrounds our Whiteman campus, and will pursue similar opportunities at Gilpin. Some examples of this engagement are: community garden, open communications with the neighborhood, restaurant night, and neighborhood clean-up days. Also, DLS has a number of non-parent community members on its Board of Directors. This is a conscious effort and is written into our Board Bylaws.

Maintain current property features for community use

Q) Will you keep current gardens, playground, and playing fields intact and available for community use?
A) Absolutely. DLS understands and honors the importance of the playground, garden, and playing fields to the Gilpin community. It is already standard practice for DLS to leave the playground open for neighborhood use, grant the neighbors full access to the community garden, and allow community sports teams to use our campus regularly.

Q) What before and after school programs do you offer?
A) DLS will open its doors at 7:20 am at each campus, offering free breakfast to all students. After school, there will be a wide variety of after school options for students to participate in. 

More information will be available soon!

If you have further questions or concerns, please contact facilities@denverlanguageschool.org. Thank you for your support!