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Press Releases: Charter School News

DDES Middle School Wins Walton Family Foundation Grant

Thursday, September 01, 2016  
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Downtown Denver Expeditionary School has received a $325,000 Walton Family grant to support the development of the first Downtown Denver Expeditionary Middle School to open in August 2017.

“The grant will enable us to support what is called a ‘year zero’ for the school, an incredibly important planning year. The award will enable our principal Cindy Kapeller and a small staff to fully prepare for an August 2017 opening,” said Scott Mengel, Executive Director. "The Walton Family Foundation has been an integral partner for DDES and we are honored that they believe in our vision and development to support DDEMS with this generous grant.”


The Downtown Denver Middle School, which will serve grades 6 and 7 in 2017, is a new Denver Public School charter that expands upon the successful Downtown Denver Expeditionary School serving grades K-5 that opened in 2013. The addition of a middle school in the Downtown core fulfills a major component of the Downtown Denver Area Plan to create high performing public K-8 education facilities in the city center.


The Downtown Denver Partnership has been integral in opening these two EL Education schools downtown with a model that promotes innovative urban leadership. EL’s approach to teaching and learning makes subjects come alive for students by connecting learning to real-world issues and needs. The EL model provides children of all backgrounds and ability levels academically rigorous

learning expeditions, case studies, projects fieldwork, and service learning opportunities.


Joined by parents, community members and business leaders seeking a highperforming
EL Education school, DDES and DDEMS aim to serve a diverse range of families who live and work in the city center. DDES currently serves more than 400 students, with more demand than capacity. DDES received the Downtown Denver Annual Award in 2014 by the Downtown Denver Partnership.


For more information about DDEMS or DDES, call 720.424.2352 or visit


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