Frequently Asked Questions

Is DCIS a neighborhood school?

DCIS does not have a neighborhood boundary and is a school of choice, which means that applicants must submit a choice form in order to be considered for admission. This includes students transitioning from middle to high school at DCIS

How does DCIS determine which students are admitted?

As a DPS school, DCIS uses the SchoolChoice process. Learn more about enrolling at DCIS.

Does DCIS usually have a waiting list?

Although it varies from year to year, waitlists are typical for 6th grade and less common for 9th grade.

When are choice forms due, and how do we submit the forms?

The choice window typically opens in January for the school year that begins in the fall. Visit School Choice for specific dates. Forms are preferably submitted online through the Parent Portal; however, you can also submit the paper form to any DPS school or at a DPS Choice office.

If DCIS is our preference, how do I indicate that on the form?

Enter DCIS as your No. 1 choice on the form.

Which world languages are offered?

DCIS offers Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese, Lakota and Spanish. Students entering DCIS in 6th grade are expected to complete five years of a single world language beginning in 7th grade, and those who enter as 9th graders are expected to complete four years.

Is DCIS a language immersion program?

Although DCIS students are required to take five years of language study and must be proficient to earn a DCIS diploma, DCIS is not a language immersion school. Students do, however, have opportunities to use their world language skills in real-world settings through exchange programs, travel experiences and in advanced language classes. Language classes are offered from beginner through Advanced Placement and concurrent enrollment courses at community colleges. Many of our world language teachers are native speakers of the language they teach.

Does DCIS offer an International Baccalaureate education?

DCIS offers a rigorous curriculum in international studies, including accelerated and Advanced Placement courses that allow students to earn college credit, but it does not offer an International Baccalaureate. Instead, DCIS is part of the Asia Society Center for Global Education’s International Studies Schools Network.

What are International Passages?

Passages consist of a two-year sequence beginning with a self-directed research class required of all juniors. In this class students conduct independent research on a topic of their choosing, culminating in a 15-page college-ready research paper, accompanied by a 30-minute oral presentation and defense of their research. This class is followed by the completion of two major experiential learning projects, or three in partial fulfillment of graduation with Honors. Learn more about Passages.

What is Advisement?

All students are enrolled in an Advisement class and typically stay with the same group of students and with the same Advisement teacher throughout their time at DCIS. Advisement is important for students in maximizing their DCIS learning experience, which includes learning how to apply the DCIS learning framework, building community, catching up on work, discussing current events, attending community meetings, and more. Learn more about Middle School Advisement and High School Advisement.

What advanced or accelerated courses does DCIS offer?

As a college preparatory school, DCIS offers honors classes for students in high school, along with Advanced Placement (AP) courses and concurrent enrollment courses for which high school students may earn both high school and college credit. Honors classes give students the opportunity to challenge themselves beyond a class’s regular curriculum. AP classes prepare students to take the related AP exam, for which they can earn college credit if they score high enough. Concurrent enrollment allows juniors and seniors to enroll in local college courses and earn college credit. Learn more about course offerings.

How does a DCIS diploma differ from a DPS diploma?

Every student at DCIS who meets the basic requirements for graduating, as established by Denver Public Schools (DPS), will receive a DPS diploma. The majority of DCIS students opt to go above and beyond those requirements to also earn the DCIS Diploma of International Studies. This second diploma not only is a source of pride to the students who have worked hard to achieve it, but it also carries considerable weight with college admissions counselors. Students who wish to challenge themselves even more can aim to graduate with honors. Learn more about the DCIS diploma and graduating with honors.

What travel opportunities do students have?

DCIS students have traveled around the globe to places such as Algeria, China, Costa Rica, England, France, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mongolia, South Africa, Tunisia and New Zealand. Numerous travel opportunities are available for both middle and high school students, including exchange programs, teacher-led educational trips and independent travel through study-abroad organizations such as Adolesco, AFS, CIEE and others. Learn more about Travel opportunities.

How much do trips cost, and is financial assistance available?

Travel expenses vary greatly by trip, but scholarships are available through the DCIS Foundation and other organizations such as NSLI-Y (National Security Language Initiative for Youth, sponsored by the State Department). Interested students should speak with Sally Bishop, Travel Center Coordinator.

Why does DCIS have service requirements?

Volunteering, whether as part of school or community service, can be a life-changing experience, one that allows students to give back, broaden their horizons, foster meaningful relationships, and expand their awareness and skills — all of which align perfectly with our four domains of global leadership. Service work also helps students stand out from other applicants when applying to college.

What clubs are available, and when do they typically meet?

Clubs are student-led organizations with faculty sponsors, so the list changes from year to year. Students with interests not represented by a current club are encouraged to start their own. Clubs typically meet during lunch hour, once a week. Learn more about clubs.

Does DCIS have sports teams?

Middle school students have an opportunity to play for DCIS teams, while high school students have an opportunity to play for West High School teams (walking distance from DCIS), their designated neighborhood high school team, or another DPS high school if their sport is not offered at West or their neighborhood school. DCIS athletes account for approximately 20 percent of West High School’s rosters. Learn more about Athletics.

How much interaction is there between middle and high school students, and do middle schoolers find interacting with high schoolers intimidating?

Serving grades 6–12, DCIS eases the transition from middle to high school and provides students with an opportunity to develop strong bonds with faculty. Middle school students spend most of their time in core classes and Advisement with students in their grade levels, but they have an opportunity to work with high school students in world language classes when studying at the same levels (for example, entering 9th graders and middle school students in their first year of language study). Clubs are also open to students in all grades and provide an opportunity to build a community of common interest, which benefits both younger and older DCIS students. Younger students learn from their older counterparts’ experiences at the school while older students get experience in mentoring.

Can I ride the DPS bus to and from school? Does a bus pick up/drop off near my home?

Middle school students who live more than 2.5 miles from DCIS are guaranteed a spot on the yellow bus that departs from many neighborhood schools (typically the neighborhood middle school). There is no need to apply for this transportation. DPS will send out letters in the summer with detailed route information. High school students who live more than 3.5 miles from school are eligible for an RTD pass, but they can apply for a waiver to ride the yellow bus instead, if space is available. Learn more about transportation.

What is the daily class schedule like?

DCIS uses a block schedule, and the days of the week are color-coded to help students keep track. Mondays and Wednesdays are green days, Tuesdays and Thursdays are blue days, and Fridays are white days. Classes are from 7:50 a.m. to 2:55 p.m., Monday through Friday, with a 45- to 50-minute lunch. Class lengths are either 50 minutes (white days) or 90 minutes (green and blue days). Once a week, students get together for an all-school meeting during their Advisement class to share announcements, have fun, and create a sense of community and purpose.