DSS STudent Life
The Denver Street School is a faith-based, private, secondary school serving the Metro Denver, inner-city community. Located in Lakewood, we’re a beacon of hope for struggling students who’ve been unable to find their place in traditional high schools. More than just an educational institution, it’s a place where they can discover the love of Jesus and find motivation to build a better future for themselves.
Because we seek to remove as many hurdles from our students’ paths as possible, DSS offers in-school childcare for teen parents, tuition assistance, transportation assistance, and the opportunity to seek dual-enrollment with local community colleges for enrolled students.
Promises and Expectations
Since 1985, DSS has strived to create a “family” environment where each student is known and supported by all staff. In our hallways and classrooms, they can be free from the pressures of their outside life and pursue education in a trauma-informed, Christ-centered, academic environment.
Here’s what we promise:
- Our goal is to keep you safe so you’re able to focus on your education. This is a top priority at the Denver Street School. We have the necessary safety protocols in place, including locked and monitored entrance doors.
- You will have a faculty advocate who will personally connect with you weekly (sometimes even daily) to help navigate the ups and downs of life and school. We choose to see each student where they are and not where they’ve been.
- Our small student population allows us to be diligent in observing, supervising, and discipling inappropriate behaviors inside and outside of the building.
- There is a zero-tolerance policy for fighting, which means we work to resolve conflict and create unity among students.
Here’s what you can expect:
- We commit to building a positive relationship with you and promoting a respectful community within the student body.
- We create a school culture that is inclusive where you are known and loved for who you are.
- We intentionally have small classes that allow us to create individual academic plans and accommodate your learning style.
Student Body Profile
The students who walk the hallways of DSS are amazing! Why? They not only choose to navigate the complexities of life but also push through the struggles that often keep them stuck. When asked, most would say it’s the school culture coupled with caring adults that gives them the courage and confidence they need to achieve success!
The Denver Street School’s student body is composed of a diverse population with varying backgrounds, experiences, and needs.
Many students have faced:
- abusive situations
- education setbacks
- mental health issues
- drug use
- financial challenges
- complex trauma
We meet each student right where they are and call them higher in the right ways and at the right times.
All are welcome here! Our goal is to create an environment that is supportive and inclusive for all our students so they can reach their full potential despite the challenges they may face.
Mental Health and Well-Being
We understand the difficulties life can bring, which is why having an on-site counselor is an important resource DSS offers struggling students. The staff participates in regular targeted training so we’re able to assist those combating trauma, grief, addiction, and other challenges.
But what sets us apart from other schools is having unique opportunities to connect with students who have had similar life experiences, finding support to learn and grow from one another. We see it happen all the time.
The heart of our school is loving others in the name of Christ.
We seek to connect students with the knowledge that they were created on purpose and for a purpose. We bring the light of the Gospel into each classroom and every interaction because we believe the Lord brings life and heart transformation.
Faith is foundational for DSS. Here is how we prove it:
- We have Chapel weekly which helps to build a better understanding and knowledge of God.
- We have Bible classes that seek to deepen a student’s ability to read the Word of God. They’re designed to allow space to question and hopefully build a genuine relationship with God.
- We help students see life through a Christian worldview.
- We not only pray for students as a team, but we also embrace every opportunity to pray with students.
- We are a school filled with believers who choose to model what a relationship with Jesus looks like.
College and Career
We work with students to remove barriers so they can earn their high school diplomas and prepare them to take the next step.
- Assistance with college and/or vocational school applications
- Help filling out the FAFSA
- Opportunities for college site visits
- Internship ideas and support
Our goal is that each student has an immediate and workable plan in place following graduation.
Community Service Projects
One of the best ways we can equip DSS students for life is to let them experience the joy of serving others. By living a life focused outwardly, one will have the ability to see into someone else’s situation and gain both wisdom and endurance for their own life. And having a servant’s heart is a core teaching of Jesus. We partner with other nonprofits in our area so students can participate in quarterly service projects and experience this first-hand.
Each student has a faculty advocate who is available throughout the day. Whether it’s to help with grade and attendance tracking or to talk through life’s challenges, advocates play an important role in a student’s life. Each advocate is a safe and caring adult who will help provide comfort, understanding, guidance, and support.