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HomeEducationHigh administrator over McAuliffe Worldwide banned from DPS services

High administrator over McAuliffe Worldwide banned from DPS services


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As a part of the continued fallout from an investigation into the usage of a seclusion room at Denver’s McAuliffe Worldwide Faculty, the college district has barred an administrator accountable for overseeing the college from all district services and data techniques.

The administrator is Colleen O’Brien, the manager director of the Northeast Denver Innovation Zone. She oversees three semi-autonomous Denver faculties, together with McAuliffe, a well-liked center college that has been concerned in a number of high-profile controversies this 12 months.

Households and educators at McAuliffe have been on edge for months and staged a “stroll in” Tuesday morning to protest what they see as Denver Public Faculties’ makes an attempt to dismantle their college. Principal Kurt Dennis was fired in July after he spoke up about gun violence and security considerations, and the district opened an investigation into the improper use of seclusion rooms at McAuliffe in August. McAuliffe’s innovation standing — which permits the college further flexibility in scheduling and programming — can also be up within the air proper now.

The actions towards O’Brien seem like additional fallout from the seclusion room investigation.

“After an intensive and cautious overview of the outcomes from the continued investigation, it has change into clear that the actions and oversight underneath Dr. Colleen O’Brien have been in direct battle with district coverage and the values and requirements we uphold in Denver Public Faculties,” the district stated in an announcement Tuesday.

O’Brien didn’t reply Tuesday to cellphone calls and messages looking for remark.

Anne Rowe, the chairperson of the innovation zone’s board and a former president of the DPS college board, stated in an interview {that a} district administrator knowledgeable O’Brien of the ban at a DPS college board assembly Monday. O’Brien was on the assembly to provide public remark.

“What they’ve carried out has made it unimaginable for Colleen to do the work that she does rather well to help our faculties, our educators, and our children,” Rowe stated, “and we’re working actually onerous as a board to make sure that help continues till we discover a decision to this.”

It’s not clear which insurance policies had been the premise for the district’s motion towards O’Brien. O’Brien is an worker of the zone, not of DPS. Even when the district concludes that she violated DPS coverage, she wouldn’t be topic to firing the identical method as Dennis, the previous principal.

“Nonetheless,” the district stated in its assertion, “the colleges inside NDIZ are crammed with DPS staff and college students. Given the gravity of those findings, it was essential to take acceptable motion to restrict Dr. O’Brien’s entry to college students and employees, in addition to pupil data.”

Final 12 months, DPS banned vocal district critic and faculty founder Brandon Pryor from DPS property, however a federal choose overturned that ban in January.

On the college board assembly Monday, O’Brien expressed considerations that McAuliffe educators had been frightened, questioning when the inner investigation would finish. She additionally requested that DPS rent a 3rd social gathering as a substitute to conduct an investigation.

Rowe stated the zone board needs the identical factor and “is within the technique of partaking with an impartial investigator” to look into the usage of the seclusion rooms.

Rowe stated DPS not too long ago gave her and one other zone board member a 2½-page abstract of the investigation, which DPS says is ongoing. The abstract stated that the usage of the seclusion rooms had violated district coverage, Rowe stated. She stated it was clear that DPS wished the zone board to take motion concerning O’Brien primarily based on the abstract.

“We stated, ‘Properly, as a governing board, we wish to see the proof and the information that underlie this abstract of findings out of your inner investigation,’” Rowe stated.

However in the end, Rowe stated DPS denied that request.

In its assertion, DPS stated its ban of O’Brien “doesn’t replicate DPS’ view of (the zone) as an entire, however is a direct response to the actions and selections of the person in query.

“We stay dedicated to the ideas of innovation and excellence in training and imagine that this choice is a step in the direction of upholding these beliefs,” the assertion stated. “We stay up for future collaborations that align with our shared targets for instructional excellence.”

Melanie Asmar is a senior reporter for Chalkbeat Colorado, masking Denver Public Faculties. Contact Melanie at masmar@chalkbeat.org.




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