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Frequently Asked Questions/FAQs

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.
As a DPS school, DCIS uses the SchoolChoice process. See Admissions/How to Apply for details.
Although it varies from year to year, wait lists are typical for 6th grade and less common for 9th grade.
The choice window typically opens in January for the school year that begins in the fall. Find specific dates here. 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.
Enter DCIS as your No. 1 choice on the form.
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.
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.
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.
Passages is 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. Learn all about Passages here.
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 an important part of the DCIS experience and is used to build community, catch up on work, discuss current events, attend community meetings, and more. Learn more about Middle School Advisement here and High School Advisement here.
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.
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 here.
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. Visit our Travel page to learn more.
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.
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.
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. Visit our Clubs page to learn more.
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. Visit our Athletics page to learn more.
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.
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 here.
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. See the bell schedule here. Classes are from 7:50 a.m. until 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.