Two weeks ago, we celebrated Matt Covey’s signing a new contract with Denver Christian, with this summer marking the completion of Matt’s first three years at Denver Christian. Reflecting on these past three years, Matt finds five categories where Denver Christian has grown significantly. We had to narrow this list extensively–which not only shows Matt’s excitement about what is going on at Denver Christian but also how much the community shown growth in the past few years.
Denver Christian’s Spiritual Growth
Matt believes, “Our “core” is still and always will be “faith formation within the context of excellent teaching and learning experiences.” We take our role as “shepherds” of young people with seriousness and passion and we want to make sure we are intentional in this endeavor and cohesive as a PS-12th grade staff. Teaching for Transformation, our biblical curriculum-building process is a step in that direction. Through the TFT process, our staff is intentionally developing “checkpoints” of faith development that will happen both formally and informally. This area is vital to who we are and who God is calling us to be as a school. This is always #1.”
Development of Programs
When Matt joined the Denver Christian staff, he found a staff and leadership team passionate about expanding past the status quo. “That this mentality was well established before I started as Head of School so I simply integrated myself into what was already happening. We are proud of the program improvements and additions we have made in the past three years. It’s taken quite a bit of work on the part of many people, but I sense we are moving in the right direction.”
A huge part of growing programmatically has been expanding our academic programs at Denver Christian. We expanded our Quest program for advanced academic aptitude in the past three years. As one of only a few Christian schools in Colorado that significantly serves students with unique learning needs, we have added a resource room to our Extend program for students with more acute learning and social/emotional needs. We also added a Reading specialist position to exclusively assist elementary students who need a boost in reading skills.
We have added various classes, clubs, and experiences to enrich students’ academic growth. Our Middle School expanded electives, adding Design Thinking, Financial Literacy, etc.
Our HS has added a variety of electives, such as Product Design (STEM), Forensic Science, Entrepreneurship, Sports Administration, etc. Our High School Discovery Week has grown each year, providing more opportunities for students to spend a focused week enjoying a new learning experience. We developed an online Learning Partnership with Freedom Learning to expand our offerings for 6-12th grades.
Fine Arts & Performing Arts Programs
We have expanded a variety of offerings, such as a 9-12th grade Drum Line pictured below. We also added an Orchestra Club for students who want even more time to grow musically together and have expanded our Speech and Debate offerings. Adding classes like a piano lab elective, chapel worship elective, and hiring a full-time MS Choral Director have allowed us to deepen our offerings during the day as well.
Perhaps the most thrilling addition is still underway. In March, the Finish the Dream campaign launched, as we move to the completion of a state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center that will be one of a kind in the state of Colorado. (To learn more about the PAC, listen to Matt and Jill’s discussion on the Big Picture Podcast and visit our website!)
Our athletic offerings now include middle school sports, such as flag football and baseball. We reintroduced football in 2019 and now offer JV and Varsity. Expanding our full-time athletics staff has allowed us to invest in our year-round offerings. Upgrading our weight room and adding lights to our baseball field were significant additions to our athletic programs as well.
We are committed to whole-child education, recognizing that a child’s social-emotional health is vital to their wellbeing. We now have full-time counseling positions for elementary, middle school, and high school. This allows each counselor to deepen their work at each level, rather than being stretched so far. This enabled our staff to expand College & Career counseling at the High school level. Expanding our partnership with Colorado Christian University’s counseling program has been an amazing opportunity.
Admissions & Marketing Growth
Matt notes, “Our enrollment has increased from 550 students in 2019 to 866 students in 2022. This is an increase of over 50% in three years which is by any measure exceptional. No doubt this is a testament to the hard work of our staff to attract families. Because of their dedication to “Accessible, World-Class, Whole-Child Christian Education.” However, you can’t grow at that pace without an excellent admissions and marketing process. Our admissions and marketing team are doing exceptional work in welcoming new and prospective families all the while telling the DC “story” on the various social media platforms.”
“We are grateful for for our families and their willingness to share their time, insights, and donations with DC. Our development team has been working hard at connecting with our donor base and they simply haven’t shied away from any challenge put forth. When COVID-19 struck we were able to quickly raise over $200,000 to help families who lost their jobs or income. This allowed these families to weather the storm.”
This amazing generosity has continued year after year. Matt explains, “When we challenged them to give towards our scholarship program at the 2022 auction. We were able to raise over $200,000 in about 20 minutes. (Not to mention our record-setting auction of netting over $600,000!) We rarely have a shortage of volunteers. When we ask for “gift in kind donations” in connection to capital improvements (construction, glass, equipment) the answer is “yes” almost every time.
Lastly, we started a capital campaign to raise over 5 million dollars to allow our performing arts center to host basic presentations. We have been able to raise enough funds to start construction in under a year’s time. Needless to say, our folks in the development office are overwhelmed with gratitude for the selflessness of our families. In 2019 we didn’t have a development team or a development plan. It is amazing how far we have grown in three years.”
We are so excited for the next 3 years and the exciting growth that is still yet to come. Thank you to each staff member, alumni, student, teacher, and family that contributes to Denver Christian’s flourishing.