Melanie Asmar, Chalkbeat

Melanie Asmar


Denver, CO, United States

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  • Chalkbeat
  • The Denver Post
  • Chalkbeat Indiana
  • Chalkbeat Colorado

Recent articles by Melanie:

Lincoln High faces a state mandate to improve. The principal has a plan to uplift his alma mater.

“I want to make sure families in this community understand we have high expectations." → Read More

Inside Students for Education Reform, a big and divisive player in the Denver school board election

The group has a sophisticated ground game and deep pockets. → Read More

These 30 people will help reimagine Denver’s controversial school rating system

“This is going to be messy and emotionally charged." → Read More

Jeffco back-to-school supplies include buckets, kitty litter for kids to use bathroom during lockdowns

Beyond the supplies themselves, which she’s grateful to have, it was the nonchalant way the buckets, kitty litter, and Sharpie marker were handed out during a routine back-to-school training that shook Jeffco Public Schools teacher Cassie Lopez. → Read More

How much money each Denver school board candidate has raised thus far

Three seats on the seven-member Denver school board are up for grabs on Nov. 5. Ten candidates are running, though the field could grow. → Read More

Inside Denver’s attempt to slow ‘summer slide’ for English language learners and struggling readers

Denver Public Schools' "summer academy" serves English language learners and students struggling with reading — with free activities for siblings, too. → Read More

New schools that want to open in Denver will now have an expiration date

The rule change was quietly adopted by the school board last week. → Read More

Denver teacher “will not return” to district after reportedly making black student clean up feces

A 6-year-old black boy was reportedly made to clean feces off the floor of a school bathroom after his kindergarten teacher believed a white student’s claim over his — an incident that advocates say illustrates the racial bias that exists in Denver’s public schools. → Read More

Denver fifth grader handcuffed multiple times at school: “Whenever I shut my eyes, I saw the cuffs”

The issue of handcuffing in Denver schools rose to prominence last month when a different family spoke out about it happening to their 7-year-old son. At the time, Denver Public Schools said its campus safety officers had handcuffed students 58 times in the past two years. → Read More

Handcuffed in Denver in the fifth grade: ‘Whenever I shut my eyes, I saw the cuffs’

The experience left the Denver 11-year-old with nightmares, scars on his wrists, and a visceral fear of police. → Read More

Part of this Denver teacher’s platform for school board? A $5,000 raise for every teacher

Anna DeWitt teaches French at North High School. She is running for the school board seat currently held by Happy Haynes, who is barred by term limits from running again. → Read More

Student and parent groups pushing Denver schools to hire ‘counselors, not cops’

Last year, the ratio of students to social workers in Denver was 681-to-1, according to state data. The recommended ratio is 250-to-1. → Read More

Student and parent groups pushing Denver schools to hire ‘counselors, not cops’

Last year, the ratio of students to social workers in Denver was 681-to-1, according to state data. The recommended ratio is 250-to-1. → Read More

Denver school district commits to $15 minimum wage by 2023

The change will cost $9 million, and affect more than 3,000 food service workers, custodians, teachers aides, and other hourly workers. → Read More

Denver school board directs district to better serve black students

Every Denver public school soon will be required to develop a plan to boost the success of black and African-American students by embracing their strengths rather than focusing on the challenges they face. → Read More

Democrats for Education Reform was behind text campaign seeking to prevent teacher strike

Jen Walmer, head of DFER's Colorado branch, said they chose to send the text after Thursday night’s talks between the district and the union collapsed. → Read More

Denver teachers union walks out of negotiations with DPS, calls latest offer “a small IOU”

The Denver teachers union rejected the school district’s latest attempt Thursday to avert a teacher strike. → Read More

Denver teachers union rejects latest district offer as a ‘waste of time’

Union lead negotiator: “They didn’t bring a proposal tonight. They brought a small IOU.” → Read More

Denver teachers are on the brink of a strike. Here's how we got here and what could be next.

The strike would be an attempt to pressure the district into giving the union what it wants — a new pay structure and more money for teacher salaries. → Read More

Negotiations poised to resume as Denver teachers plead with district to raise pay

Negotiations could resume as the district and the teachers union await a decision on state intervention in a potential Denver strike. → Read More