Scholarship by Staff: A Special Kind of Inclusion
Here at ISDenver, there has always been an emphasis on family. Whenever parents are asked what they have found here, what is important to them--the answers mostly revolve around family. It is only fitting that somehow this concept of family is incorporated into the values of this school. That we invite new families to join us and be a part of our mission. That we create a welcoming home. And in creating this family, ISDenver has also created a way to support a student who otherwise might not have the chance to experience our special kind of inclusion: Scholarship by Staff.
About three years ago, when considering the concept of charitable giving, a group of teachers and staff, newly excited by what they were learning at an in-service, had a “eureka!” moment. Why not extend the education to which they are all so committed to a child, and a family, who was truly deserving? The idea of a scholarship by the faculty and staff was born.
According to Alexis Wooll, Senior Director of Advancement and External Relations, “Our teachers believe in the mission of this school and in their own abilities. They see ISDenver as one big family that all cares for one another. Scholarship by Staff is the way we can bring in one more family member.”
Scholarship by Staff is a faculty-driven initiative to invite a high-financial needs student to the school--a deserving student who otherwise wouldn’t have access to ISDenver. Here is how it works: Each year, ISDenver faculty and staff pledge to bring in a new student anonymously with a one-time or recurring gift. From there, our generous parent community pledges to keep the student through 8th grade, via Community Giving fundraising dollars.
Amazingly, it’s not just a scholarship for tuition. Donations ensure the recipients have all the resources they need to thrive--supplies, trip costs, even Dragon Swag! In 2018-19, over 80% of the ISDenver faculty and staff gave almost $13K to our scholarship recipient, and that learner is thriving today. Currently, there are two Scholarship by Staff recipients and there is about to be a third.
The parent of a past recipient says,”We are so appreciative of the ISDenver staff for giving us the opportunity to be part of this school and for giving our family the opportunity to be in a multicultural community. Because of you, our child has the opportunity to learn different languages and now has the knowledge to function in various cultures in the long run. Since joining ISDenver, our child has also been more open and sociable with other people. We are thrilled that our child will now speak multiple languages from a young age. We really appreciate each one of you for this opportunity. You may have no idea what this community and this opportunity means for our family. Thank you so much!”
Watch this video below to hear from some of our staff about why they give to the Scholarship by Staff program, and be inspired by their commitment to our community and our family:
Fourteen of our MYP students were able to attend the STAMP virtual learning conference, run and organized by High School leaders from across the area. STAMP is also part of a bigger network of diversity and inclusion, CIRCLE (Connecting Inclusive, Responsive Communities Leading Education). G4-G8 Counselor Annie Barocas provides an enlightening synopsis of the conference and our students experiences.
Isabelle Valot, now age 17, who grew up in Denver before moving to France with her family, started school here at ISDenver in the French program when she was four years old. Her first teacher was current K3 French teacher Dominique Shortridge, who is still very close to the family.
ISDenver's virtual after-school Mentor Club is thriving and providing many benefits for all its members - including language immersion to students who are staying home from school and doing long-term Livestream Learning.