News Archive

Month

< 2022

2022

News Archive

  • June

    DA Alum Lead Editor on Pixar Film

    Denver Academy alum Will Ross (Class of 2011) was recently featured on Denver’s Channel 2/FOX31 for his work on the animated Pixar film “Lightyear.” Ross graduated from DA in 2011 and went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in Communications and Media Studies from Santa Clara University in 2015. He now works for Pixar Animation Studios as a production coordinator. Ross credits DA teacher Kris Fritzsche with helping him reach his career goals. Check out the newsclip below featuring Will Ross! 
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  • 2022 DA Field Day A Success

    In May, our sixth graders and elementary school students participated in field days. Sponsored by our PE Department, students competed in a variety of physical skills they’ve been working on throughout the year. The sixth grade participated in a morning session with beautiful weather and a lot of happy kids. The competition remained friendly throughout the events, even when the bouncy castle nearly took a plunge on its side due to rowdy jumpers! 

    The elementary students participated after lunch when the heat was fierce. The water bucket station became more of a water-spraying competition, and the inside stations were a relief from the hot sun. The shade under the music tent, Gatorade, and face painting were also favorite refuges. All students finished their field day events with popsicles and a ceremony to recognize outstanding performance. 
     
    The elementary and sixth grade students had a fantastic year of physical education. Students made noticeable progress in their understanding of sport strategies, kinesthetic skills, and problem-solving skills with teammates. At DA, elementary and sixth grade students have PE class every school day.

    Click here to learn more about DA’s PE program.
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  • Congratulations to the DA Class of 2022!

    In early June 2022, Denver Academy graduated 44 seniors. From colleges and universities to film school, gap years, and the workforce, our seniors worked hard to find their “what’s next?” after graduation. Check out the video below of remarks given at graduation by DA Head of School Mark Twarogowski.

    Click here to see DA college acceptances and matriculations.
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  • DA Class of 2022 Honors Students Perform Shakespeare’s Works

    Under the direction of DA High School Theater Teacher Holly Marks, DA Class of 2022 Honors Students wove their wicked way through all of Shakespeare’s comedies, histories, and tragedies in mid-May. An annual tradition, the students presented the play, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged, revised), in an irreverent, hilarious, and fast-paced romp through the Bard’s works. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors attended daytime performances during school.
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  • DA Sophomore Competes at State Championships

    On your mark, get set, GO! Denver Academy Sophomore DJ H. represented our school at the recent CHSAA State Track & Field Championships. In a unanimous show of support, the entire high school division cheered him on with a surprise send off. DJ represented DA with class, effort, and grace. He finished 13th in the state of Colorado for the 2A classification in both the Long Jump and 200 Meter Dash. Way to go, Mustang!

    Click here to learn more about Athletics at DA.
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  • Movin’ on Up: Transitioning from Fifth to Sixth Grade

    By Hannah Crawford, DA Fifth Grade Teacher
    Unique to Denver Academy is our independent sixth-grade division. To many folks, sixth grade is middle school or that final, much-too-old year of elementary school. But at DA, sixth grade is its own safe, small, super-fun division. And, although I may teach in the elementary division, I got both my start as a student and my return as a teaching assistant in DA’s sixth-grade division. So, of course, I hold it near and dear to my heart. 

    In past years, there has been a very natural upstream flow of the fifth graders into the sixth-grade division. It was as easy as crossing the commons area because both grades shared the same building. As both the elementary and sixth-grade divisions grew, the sixth grade needed to move into its own building, adding an air of mystery to the transition. In order to reacquaint our fifth and sixth graders after the physical separation — and then a year of cohorting in the 2020-21 school year — we built in transitional activities for 2021-22. 

    First, we invited legendary former DA teacher, Mr. Fred Miller, to share his enormous WWII patch collection along with his general passion for educating about that time period. When we realized just how many fifth and sixth-grade students we had enrolled, we struggled to find a location to host our event. Luckily, our PE teachers accommodated our needs and let us use their back patio for the afternoon. 

    Next, the sixth-grade teachers hosted a meet-and-greet for the fifth-grade students and parents. One day after school, fifth-grade parents headed over to the sixth-grade building. There, Dean of 6th Grade Barrie Bodden introduced his team and some of the foundational events and values of the sixth grade. The event was highly attended and as I quietly stepped out the door mid-way through, I began to feel that our students and their parents were ready to take on this transition. 

    Later in the school year, we had a visit from one of my favorite alumni, adventurer extraordinaire, and close friend Sam Orkin (Class of 2010). Since I began working at DA, Sam has visited us regularly to present his fantastic rafting and kayaking adventures around the world! Once again, we gathered fifth and sixth graders in DA’s James E. Loan Athletic Center lobby and Sam shared pictures and artifacts from his 85-day trip through the Arctic with his brother Ben. While Sam’s stories always enthrall all who listen, our students especially connect to an adult who sat where they sat, struggled with the same struggles they do, and now gets to do exactly what he wants and chase his dreams. 

    Finally, during one of the last weeks of school, the fifth graders had a transition week. We took time during character education to start talking about students’ hopes and concerns around their move to sixth grade. We debunked many rumors about sixth grade, but did confirm — to the disappointment of the students — that there will be more homework! The students were asked to reflect on what they wanted from their future. As they thought of a job they were working toward, they wrote their name and future goal on a Hollywood-walk-of-fame-esque star. If they didn’t have a career path in mind, we were certain they would all be Future 6th Graders. Once those stars were affixed to the paper, they chose a paint color and left their mark in the form of handprints. Thus, the Fifth Grade Hall of Fame was born! The fifth graders relished leaving their mark, while younger students got excited for their future moment in the hall of fame. We ended the transition week with a drop-by visit to the sixth-grade building during their last class of the day. Students wandered around, reintroduced themselves to sixth-grade teachers, poked their heads into classrooms, and started to feel some comfort in their new home. 

    As DA continues to grow and change, we adapt right along with it. I do miss having the sixth-grade students and teachers just across the hall, but finding ways to build that connection this year has been a fun challenge. 

    Good luck, new sixth graders! And, don’t forget to visit!
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  • DA Alumni, Faculty & Staff Celebrate at Reunion

    More than 100 DA alumni, along with current and former DA faculty and staff, celebrated our 50th year at an all-school reunion in early June. Students, staff, and faculty who were part of the DA community as far back as the 1970s through today attended for an afternoon of reminiscing and celebration. Some of those in attendance were DA's current Head of School Mark Twarogowski, Head of High School Mark Wood, and Head of Lower School Lori Hull, as well as teachers Chad Lindberg, Mr. K, and Wanda Zimmerman, and administrative staff Janet Woolley and Karen Lozow. Former staff included Ed McManis, Linda Sears, Cindy Souser, Cathy Allen, and Bev Ball. Check out some photos from the event on this page. To learn more about our Alumni Association or share an update with us (if you're an alum), click here.
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  • May

    DA Breaks Ground for New Performing Arts Center

    On Wednesday, May 18, 2022, we broke ground on our new Performing Arts Center. At DA, theater is a place where students find their bliss, discover their courage, and learn new skills. We're excited to share this new space with our students and community in 2023. Check out our groundbreaking video!
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  • DA Student Artists Showcase Works of Art at In-Person Show

    After two years, DA was finally able to host an in-person juried art show! DA’s National Art Honor Society hosted the fifth annual show with a public reception in late April where parents, educators, and community members voted for their favorite works of art created by DA middle and high schoolers. Awards were given according to "Best of" in 10 categories, along with grand prizes for "Best in Show" and "Viewer's Choice."
     
    GRAND PRIZE: Best in Show
    Evelyn M., Grade 12 for Mixed-Media piece, Sketchbook
     
    GRAND PRIZE: Viewer's Choice
    Seth A., Grade 12 for Metal piece, Rayne
     
    Best of Mixed Media:
    Liea M., Grade 11 for Butterfly Journal
     
    Best of Video:
    Max M., Grade 8 for Man Lost in the Woods
     
    Best of Digital Art:
    Logan W., Grade 12 for R.I.P. to my Youth
     
    Best of Street Art:
    Chase H., Grade 12 for The Art of Tagging
     
    Best of Painting:
    Evelyn M., Grade 12 for Crab Painting
     
    Best of Fiber Art:
    Madi W., Grade 9 for Sushi Friends
     
    Best of Drawing:
    Soleil R., Grade 10 for I
     
    Best of Ceramics:
    Sophia R., Grade 8 for Mountains at Sunset
     
    Best of Metal Arts:
    Seth A., Grade 12 for Rayne
     
    Best of Photography:
    Gus D., Grade 10 for Aspen and Ponderosa
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  • DA’s Director of College & Transition Counseling Brings the World to YOU!

    Denver Academy’s (DA) Director of College and Transition Counseling Dr. Jill Corbin is in demand around the WORLD! 

    Dr. Corbin was one of just 14 high school college counselors picked and funded from 800 applicants to visit and learn in person about the University College in Dublin, Ireland in February. The university ranks in the top 1% of higher education institutions worldwide and has become Ireland’s global university. Dr. Corbin had the opportunity to meet its world-renowned faculty and current American students, and also tour the state-of-the-art facilities. 

    In the same month, Dr. Corbin was featured as an expert speaker for a presentation by Eye to Eye national. In addition to a breakout session led by Dr. Corbin, the presentation also included information about Eye to Eye’s new initiative, LD Alliance. DA is investigating this club-based initiative for high schools that aims to empower, organize and mobilize students who learn differently by providing the resources they need to build community, raise awareness and engage in advocacy. Here’s a link to the complete presentation

    And these are just a few of Dr. Corbin’s accolades! She is among the top experts around the globe in her knowledge of ways to help high school students with learning differences navigate the next steps after high school. Dr. Corbin visits more than 20 colleges, universities, and post-graduate institutions annually to discover how to better serve our DA community. With 17 years of experience in higher education administration and high school college counseling, she speaks at four to five conferences per year for national and regional audiences. Dr. Corbin founded and currently serves as the co-chair of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling Learning Differences Special Interest Group. She is the immediate past president of the Rocky Mountain Association for College Admission Counseling and is an American Institute Certified Educational Planner (CEP), considered the highest level of competency in the field of educational planners.

    Together, with her amazing College & Transition Counseling (CTC) Team at Denver Academy, Dr. Corbin uses her expertise to help DA high school students figure out “what’s next?” after graduation. 

    Did you know? 
    Post-secondary programs provided by DA’s CTC Team begin in ninth grade. CTC programs then ramp up in grades 11 and 12 with multiple hour-long sessions during the school day to identify the best post-secondary path for each DA student. Click here for Denver Academy’s College & Transition Counseling Program Scope & Sequence for high school students.  

    Also, included with your tuition as a DA High School family is a wealth of college visits, seminars, college fairs, information sessions, and resources provided by Dr. Corbin, the CTC Team, and additional experts in the field of college counseling for diverse learners. To learn more, visit the CTC calendar available here or, if you’re already a DA family, log in to myDA and click on Groups/College & Transition Counseling. 

    Find out where Denver Academy’s Class of 2022 is going after graduation! Follow us on our social media channels starting mid-May to learn “what’s next” for each DA senior:

    Learn more about Denver Academy’s College & Transition Counseling Department by visiting the CTC page on our website.

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  • April

    Beyond the Classroom: DA Students Making a Difference

    Zoe Manning, DA Student Blogger
    A key pillar of the Denver Academy school curriculum is engagement in volunteerism and service. Engagement in community service allows students to gain greater social awareness, learn the importance of collaboration, and interact with their community in a meaningful way. DA encourages and supports student-initiated service projects. Through this, I was afforded the opportunity with my friend Audrey L. (DA 11th grader), to create a project that centered on bringing books to underprivileged communities over spring break.

    Access to books is critical to ending illiteracy and increasing the availability of learning opportunities. Over 64% of fourth graders in the U.S. are below or at basic level in reading. Illiteracy has become an insidious epidemic, increasing economic and social disparities. Access to books is a first step in remedying this crisis. (*Education and Career News, n.d.) Research has shown that increasing access to books and giving children the ability to choose literary materials dramatically improves childhood academic performance and positively shapes children’s attitudes toward learning. Since low-income communities lack access to books, achievement gaps emerge early leading to a cycle of poverty. Through availability of books, achievement gaps can be eradicated before they occur, ending academic disparity and fostering a path of success at an early age.

    In collaboration with Audrey L., and with the support and guidance of DA Dean of 11th Grade Mr. Roberts, we were able to find a home for over a decade’s worth of books no longer in use at DA. We gathered the books from storage, the DA library, and other donated literary materials. Over the span of three months, the almost 4,000 books were counted, logged, and boxed by Audrey and me. Then, the final destination of the literary materials was confirmed: The Pine Ridge Reservation, home to the Oglala Lakota Tribe in South Dakota. With the help of our parents, we packed over 60 boxes into our cars and a trailer and drove to the reservation.

    Pine Ridge is one of the largest Native American reservations in the country. It also is considered the “poorest” county in the U.S. with the average per capita income being approximately $8,000. Though all the residents are affected by the severe poverty that permeates the reservation, children are hit the hardest. The school dropout rate is over 70%  and childhood/teenage suicide rates are 150% higher than the rest of the United States. These startling statistics illustrate the bleak reality for children living on the reservation.

    In conjunction with Re-Member, a local nonprofit organization that works with the tribal government and residents, we were able to transport 3,842 books and 1,004 pieces of clothing, in addition to furniture, to the reservation. Re-Member works with residents of the reservation to distribute beds, clothes, and books to children, as well as build trailer skirts, outhouses, and ramps for homes on the reservation. With the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, demand for Re-Member’s services have dramatically increased. Additionally, this donation was the first received on the reservation since April 2020.

    Though we know that this donation will not eradicate the poverty on the reservation and the inequity the Native American community faces, we hope that these books and supplies can help decrease illiteracy, subsequently minimizing the achievement gap and helping to foster a path to success. This is only a first step, but it’s impossible to learn to read without books!

    “Organizing all of the books throughout the school and donating them to Pine Ridge was such a fun and unique experience. I learned new skills, such as organization and communication, as we had to communicate with Re-Member as well as individuals throughout DA. Being able to physically go to Re-Member and the Pine Ridge Reservation was memorable, and I am so appreciative for the opportunity to work on this project.” - Audrey L.

    Community service is a high priority for all students at Denver Academy and is a requirement for high school graduation. Find out more about high school at DA here

    Zoe Manning is a Denver Academy junior who has been a student at DA since seventh grade. Zoe is a student blogger/writer and her many accolades at DA include the founding of the DA Mustang Mentorship Program launched this school year. Read more about the program here

    References
    *Education and Career News. (n.d.) ​​Access to Books Is Critical to Ending Illiteracy. https://www.educationandcareernews.com/early-childhood-education/access-to-books-is-critical-to-ending-illiteracy/#
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  • On- and Off-Campus Experiential Education Returns to DA

    Experiential Education — the act of learning through doing and then reflecting — is an integral part of Denver Academy's curriculum throughout the school year. In addition to our year-round curriculum, DA typically offers special Experiential Education units the week before Spring Break. This year, students in elementary, middle and high school all participated in a variety of experiences including life skills like first aid and mastering the art of tying a tie, community service, hikes, ghost hunting, and more!
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  • March

    DA 5th Graders Tour Colorado State Capitol

    Hannah Crawford, DA Elementary School Teacher
    Third quarter is known as the big quarter, the long quarter, the never-ending, I-thought-February-was-the-shortest-month quarter! But, I love the third quarter! I love it because it is an uninterrupted chunk of time to get into whatever the subject may be. The third quarter social studies unit for Ms. Mesker’s and my fifth-grade classes was civics. I know you don’t usually think of civics and government in general as every fifth grader’s dream, but boy howdy, did we enjoy this unit!

    We started the unit by recapping the general history of the first settlers in America, the foundation of the 13 colonies, the rise of British taxes, and, of course, BOOM, POW, the Revolutionary War. From there we started to examine the Constitution and how it set a plan for our government. We learned about the three branches, the checks and balances, and the first 10 amendments to the Constitution - the Bill of Rights. We introduced and learned about all this on the national level, but at the end of the day, the Capitol, Supreme Court, and White House are very far away. Luckily, our state government is just right down the road! 

    During the second week of March, 26 DA fifth graders made their way down to the Colorado State Capitol to check out the government in action. We enjoyed a general tour of the building, climbed up to the dome, asked questions, and reflected in both the House of Representatives and Senate rooms. The absolute highlight of the trip was our meeting with Speaker of the House Rep. Alec Garnett. Speaker Garnett is in his last year of representing House District 2, the district Denver Academy is located in. Speaker Garnett set aside 15 minutes of his very busy schedule to connect with our students. The fifth graders started the Q&A with some general questions about the job, what he likes, what the weirdest bill he ever passed was, and why he chose to become a legislator. Then the hard-hitting questions came out. One student asked about Colorado’s plan to preserve our environment, while another asked about current poverty rates and inflation. Another student asked about a bill she helped with that provided more support for dyslexic students… it passed! All the adults in the room were truly blown away by these brilliant future voters! Speaker Garnett answered all their questions and left them with a little bit of advice, saying that he found the key to being successful in the Capitol building, but also in life, was to listen. He encouraged our fifth graders to enter into conversations with an open mind and to listen to what other people are saying, then work together to find solutions. 

    It was an incredible end to one of my favorite units!
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  • DA Students Honor Black History Month

    During the month of February, DA’s SOCA (Students of Color and Allies) sponsored a Black History Month event for sixth graders. Participants learned a fact or answered a question about Black history and then spun a prize wheel. Prizes included stickers, juice boxes, or chips, and a few lucky winners received a gift card to Dairy Queen. 
     
    Meanwhile, DA’s Counseling & Wellness Department held a Black History Month poster competition for sixth and ninth grades. Classes researched about and then created posters reflecting the rich culture of some of Colorado’s historically Black neighborhoods and cities, including Five Points, Breckenridge, Park Hill, Deerfield, and Lincoln Hills. Each class received doughnuts for participating. Ms. Owens's 6th-grade class and Ms. Warneke’s 9th-grade class each won a movie party with snacks. 
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  • DA’s Student Senate Donates Nearly 2,000 Books!

    Throughout the school year, our Student Senate supports our local community. During February, the Student Senate collected nearly 2,000 new and gently used books that were donated to the Salvation Army. The group’s original goal was 1,000 books. Way to go, Mustangs!
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  • February

    SAFETY AND SECURITY ARE TOP PRIORITIES AT DA

    At Denver Academy, we are dedicated to the safety and security of our entire community including students, employees, and parents. We continue to use the Standard Response Protocol (SRP) system for crisis response at DA. Below is additional information about the SRP as well as a reminder of safety and security resources for students and parents.
      
    Standard Response Protocol (SRP) Drills and Review
    DA recently conducted an employee drill of the Standard Response Protocol emergency response system. The SRP is based on five actions that will be called on the PA in the event of an emergency. Following the employee drill, DA teachers reviewed the system with students briefly in their homeroom classes so they are prepared in the event of an emergency. Please Note: We do not conduct school-wide active crisis drills with our students. Denver Academy staff is well-prepared to lead students in the necessary SRP responses if needed.   
     
    We encourage you as parents to download a copy of this flyer with more information and take a moment to review the actions with your child:  Standard Response Protocol Parent Handout
     
    Safe 2 Tell
    Safe2Tell provides young people a way to report any threatening behaviors or activities endangering themselves or someone they know in a way that keeps them safe and anonymous. More about Safe2Tell
     
    DA – Common Sense Media Certified School
    We encourage all parents to have a discussion with their children about the power of technology and its impact on others. As a Common Sense Media Certified School, we at DA are committed to preparing our students to use technology safely and responsibly. We continue to recommend that both parents and students visit the Common Sense Media website for information and guidelines around the use of technology.  
     
    In the event of an emergency on campus, you will receive a phone call and/or text from us with additional information and any details about where and when to pick up your child. We will also continue to reach out via phone with any school closures and late start information. Please log in to myDA using the link on the top right corner of the Denver Academy website to update your contact information as needed. Thank you! 
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  • Denver Academy Featured in Washington Post

    Denver Academy and DA's Director of Education Philippe Ernewein were featured recently in a Washington Post article, "How parents can help redefine what it means to be smart," by Ulcca Joshi Hansen.  

    Mr. Ernewein is quoted in part with the following: “We ask students: what do you take joy in doing or find easy to do? How do you prefer to learn? Then we build around those skills.”  

    Click here to read the Washington Post article.
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  • There's a Cool Geometric Structure on Campus

    It's a Geodesic Dome Greenhouse!

    The Greenhouse is an element of Denver Academy’s Learning Landscape Project, which aims to integrate the physical environment into everyday learning using the educational approach of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics).

    We're excited about the potential of the dome to become a rich experiential learning opportunity for our diverse learners, opening up the world of horticulture — the art, science, technology, and business of growing plants. 

    The Benedict Foundation for Independent Schools provided a grant for this project, with additional funds coming from these Learning Landscape supporters: the Edward E. Ford Foundation, the Hewit Family Foundation, and the J.K. Mullen Foundation.

    To learn more about these structures, check out our Pagosa Springs, Colo., supplier, Growing Spaces.
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  • January

    Register Now: DA's 2022 Symposium on Teaching & Learning

    The 2022 DA Symposium on Teaching & Learning: Motivation Breakthrough is Friday, March 11, 2022.

    The keynote address is "The Squeaky Wheel NEEDS the Grease" by Rick Lavoie with "Wired and Connected: Your Student’s Unique Social, Emotional and Behavioral Development" by Craig Knippenberg in the afternoon. 

    For more information and to register, click here.
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  • Summer Program Discount Ends Friday, Feb. 4

    Due to popular demand, early-bird registration for DA's Summer Program has been extended to February 4! Make sure you register by THIS Friday to save 10%.

    The Summer Program will take place in person on the DA campus from June 13 through July 8, 2022. This year’s program features academics, athletic and day camps, as well as tutoring and academic coaching for diverse learners in grades 1-12. DA’s Summer Program is open to both DA and non-DA students.

    Classes are filling up quickly, so use the "Waitlist" option, if needed, as we hope to add more classes based on demand. Questions? Contact Barrie Bodden.

    Learn more here.

    Register here
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  • Next Virtual Counseling & Wellness Event on Feb. 16

    DA’s Counseling & Wellness Department is proud to present another Parent Education Event in February! Topics in our Youth Mental Health series include the stress of school during the COVID-19 pandemic, ASD versus or co-occurring with ADHD, social-emotional development, and the struggle of life/stress balancing. This second presentation will be Wednesday, Feb. 16 through Zoom at 6 p.m. The event, Understanding and Supporting Students on the Autism Spectrum, will be presented by Dr. Jane Hancock.

    Dr. Jane Hancock (she/her) is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in child psychology. She also has special interest and expertise in treating children and adolescents on the autism spectrum, and specializes in giftedness, learning disabilities, and intellectual disabilities. She received her master’s and doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology at the University of Denver Graduate School of Professional Psychology. Dr. Hancock worked with children and families at community mental health clinics, residential and day treatment centers, and in the public school system before joining Birch Psychology. At Birch Psychology, she has learned the importance of weaving a child's special interests into their home and school lives. She uses a framework for supporting individuals on the spectrum that includes viewing autism as a strength-based way of being and understanding the world.

    To register for this virtual event and to receive the meeting link, please visit www.denveracademy.org/parentedfeb22. Questions? Contact Shylee Wheeler.
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