The Denver Public Schools Board of Education voted Thursday night to approve eight new schools, a new structure for West High School and innovation status for six more schools.

All actions but one — innovation status for Swigert-McAuliffe International School — were unanimous. Swigert was approved 6-1.

The board also voted to place a previously approved Denver School of Science and Technology at the former Byers Middle School building in Washington Park.

One new school, Elements Academy, was rejected — also unanimously — based on DPS staff recommendations that the application was not adequate and that the leadership team was not qualified.

About five hours of public comment for Thursday's votes was heard Monday.

District staff reviewed all new school applications in the spring and made recommendations to the board.During that process, three schools withdrew their applications.

The new schools approved Thursday night include six charter schools. Among them is an all-boys school for the far northeast, the first West Denver Prep High School and a pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.

The approved changes will begin in fall 2012 when West High will no longer enroll freshman students for that year but instead will enroll them in one of two academies that will phase into the school.

The name, mascot and school colors will remain the same for West.

The academies will be district-run partnerships with Generation Schools and the College Board, both based out of state.


The innovation schools approved Thursday include three in the far northeast. Also approved for innovation status were Godsman Elementary School; Summit Academy, an alternative school in southwest Denver; and Swigert-McAuliffe International School in Stapleton.

The Denver Classroom Teachers Association has filed a lawsuit against the district and the school board for approving innovation status for new schools — including four that were granted innovation status Thursday.