News & Events

Aug 162015

Foundation Board Meets 2014-2015 Goals

The DCIS Foundation board of directors had its annual retreat in Estes Park yesterday. We’re proud to say that we accomplished all of our goals last year, and are so excited about the year ahead!

Here are the goals we met: Board retreat 2015
1. Tell our story: We updated our website with a new “student stories” page, produced a video, created a 3-year foundation report, boosted our social media pages and honed our messaging.

2. Cultivate alumni: We hosted an alumni dinner, hosted an alumni event and designated specific alumni tables at our annual gala event in the spring.

3. Meet or exceed the fundraising budget: WE DID IT! We exceeded our fundraising budget by **6%**.

4. Seek out opportunities to expand cross-cultural experiences: We enabled 14 low-income DCIS-Baker high school students to attend a cultural play at Su Teatro; enabled every single DCIS-Fairmont student in grades 1-5 to participate in local cultural experiences and overnight field trips; supported DCIS-Ford’s Global Arts Club; supported DCIS-Ford’s Chinese New Year Celebration; met with DCIS-Ford to explore additional cross-cultural experiences and ideas; sent a class of DCIS-Baker students to Canyonlands for a cultural writing experience; and supported two DCIS-Baker students on their trip to Africa with the Global Livingston Institute.

5. Increase board meeting attendance: We boosted attendance from 69% in 2013-2014 to 84% in 2014-2015.

Friends, thank you for all of your support this past year. We look forward to many great things to come as we expose more DCIS students to travel and culture opportunities, both at home and abroad!

Apr 072015

Denver Post YourHub: Taking Education Beyond the Classroom

When high-school students Jack Virnich and Jennifer Arreola-Soria go on stage in April to talk about their travels to Japan and China last year, they likely won’t be reading a laundry list of museums they visited or boat rides they took. They did do those things – and thoroughly enjoyed them.

But what Jack and Jennifer cherish most about their trips abroad was not the tourist attractions. It was the deep human connections they made, the absorption of new knowledge, and a more profound understanding of the world from vantage points they never could have imagined from their school desks.

Read the full article here!

Mar 172015

Over 500 Denver Students to Reap Benefits of Travel, Cultural Opportunities this School Year

Denver Center for International Studies Foundation Awards $32,340 in Scholarships

March 17, 2015, DENVER – The Denver Center for International Studies (DCIS) Foundation announces it has awarded $32,340 in scholarships to Denver Public Schools students during the 2014-2015 school year. More than 500 students from ECE through 12th grade who attend one of four DCIS campuses in Denver’s Baker and Montbello neighborhoods will use the scholarships to pursue a range of global and local travel, language immersion, community service and cultural exchange experiences this spring and summer. For many students, these trips offer a first-time chance to leave the city of Denver, the state of Colorado, or the United States.

“The DCIS Foundation has seen the power of travel and the way it transforms students, expanding their perspective on how the world works,” said Dan Lutz, founder of the DCIS schools and a member of the foundation’s board of directors. “When students get out into the world, they’re able to absorb so much more of what they learned from text books and in the classroom. They come back with their eyes wide open, looking for new ways to apply their learning and take action in their own communities.”

Locally, scholarship recipients will participate in and attend Denver Discovery Camps, experience the performing arts, and explore Colorado and Utah. Travel scholarship recipients will journey to England, France, Spain, Peru, Argentina, Italy and Thailand. All recipients have undergone a rigorous application process and had to meet a number of eligibility requirements. Each student must maintain a minimum grade point average, initiate fundraising efforts, gather references, write an essay, and complete a face-to-face interview with the scholarship committee, as well as attend a scholarship orientation and complete an application. The DCIS Foundation’s scholarship committee completes two yearly rounds of award-making.

With the help of the DCIS Foundation, high schoolers have traveled to countries all over the world – from Western and Eastern Europe, Asia and South America, to the Far East and Africa. Middle schoolers have traveled to other states or countries including Washington DC, New York, Costa Rica and China. Elementary school students have taken group excursions to the Colorado History Museum, the Grant Humphries Mansion and Rocky Mountain National Park, among other locales. Student experiences are documented on the DCIS Foundation’s website.

The foundation wants its number of awarded scholarships to grow. “We have a goal to reach even more students with opportunities. With our system’s recent expansion to include four schools, we believe it is possible to reach every student in some way,” Lutz said.

Founded by Lutz as a center within West High School in 1985, DCIS moved to its downtown Denver (DCIS-Baker) campus in 2006 and offered 6th through 12th grades. Building on that success, two new schools opened in 2011 in far northeast Denver: DCIS-Ford and DCIS-Montbello. And in 2013, DCIS-Fairmont opened its doors downtown. Today, the four DCIS campuses serve 2,400 students.

To raise money for its scholarship program, the DCIS Foundation will hold a fundraising dinner with the theme, “The World as A Classroom,” on Thursday, April 23, 2015 at the Denver Athletic Club. The featured keynote speaker is Jamie Van Leeuwen, a senior advisor to Governor Hickenlooper and founder and CEO of the Global Livingston Institute, a non-governmental organization in East Africa designed to engage students and community leaders, with an aim to develop innovative solutions to poverty. Tickets and reservations are available through EventBrite.

About the DCIS Foundation

The Denver Center for International Studies Foundation creates a world of opportunity for students by taking them out into it. It enables ECE through 12th grade students in four Denver Public Schools to take their knowledge from the classroom and apply it to real-life – through travel, language immersion, community service and cultural exchanges. These experiences transform students into confident, informed and compassionate individuals. They also help students develop into globally competent people who are leaders and problem-solvers and take action in their communities. Learn more at


Media Contact:

Linda Lidov / 303-358-6279

Feb 102015

DCIS Foundation’s Spring Dinner: The World as A Classroom

DCIS_Dinner Logo-1 (2)

Your support of the DCIS Foundation’s dinner will help to ensure international and cultural opportunities for our students from kindergarten through the 12th grade.

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015Denver Athletic Club

6:00p.m. Cocktails / 7:00p.m. Dinner

Location: The Denver Athletic Club, GrandBallroom, 1325 Glenarm Place, Denver

Tickets: $125 per person

RSVP and Order Tickets: Visit EventBrite to let us know you’ll be joining us and to secure your seat at the table

Sponsorship Opportunities: We are actively seeking sponsorships at a variety of levels – see Sponsorships below for details!

Honorary Chair: Zee Ferrufino, Owner and CEO, KBNO Radio
Zee2A distinguished leader within the Denver business and Hispanic communities and an accomplished businessman, Zee Ferrufino embodies the spirit of the “American Dream.” A native Bolivian, he first came to the United States more than 30 years ago, thanks to a scholarship awarded by the U.S. Air Force. Determined to achieve greater freedom and opportunity, Zee decided to immigrate to the U.S., returning to Denver, Colorado, which reminded him closely of his hometown of La Paz. In 1976, he proudly became a U.S. citizen. [Read more]



Keynote Speaker: Jamie Van Leeuwen, PhD, MA, MPH, CAC III
Jamie headshotJamie Van Leeuwen currently serves as the senior advisor for Governor Hickenlooper after almost four years as deputy chief of staff and director of community partnerships. Leading up to the Hickenlooper administration, Jamie worked as the policy director and served on the transition team for the Hickenlooper for Colorado gubernatorial campaign. He is also the founder and CEO of the Global Livingston Institute, a non-governmental organization in East Africa designed to engage students and community leaders, with an aim to develop innovative solutions to poverty. Jamie is a senior research fellow with the Buechner Institute at the University of Colorado-Denver School of Public Affairs. He became a Fulbright scholar in 2013. [Read more]

Emcee: Nelson Garcia, 9News

“The World as a Classroom” Spring Dinner Sponsorship Opportunities

Platinum Sponsor – $10,000

  • Full-page, black and white ad in program (camera-ready artwork to be provided by sponsor)
  • Introduction of officer during program

Gold Sponsor – $5,000

  • Half-page, black and white ad in program (camera-ready artwork to be provided by sponsor)
  • Verbal acknowledgement during program

Silver Sponsor – $2,500

  • Quarter-page, black and white ad in program (camera-ready artwork to be provided by sponsor)

Table Sponsor – $1250

  • A table of ten with table signage (camera-ready artwork to be provided by sponsor)

All Sponsors:

  • Share our commitment to excellence and forever changing the lives of our children and communities
  • Name/Company included in written event materials including invitation
  • Logo highlighted in video presentation projected on large screens at event
  • Inclusion in all press releases
  • One table of 10 with signage

For Information:  Contact Shannon Clifford, 303-895-9072


Platinum Sponsors 2015

Raccoon CreekRaccoon Creek Golf Club & Restaurant

Table Sponsors

LeVon Terry
Nina McGibney
George Ballaseux
Poorvi Parkhie
Dan Lutz
Chet Sisk
Linda Lidov
Mica Garcia de Benavidez
Scott Foust
Derek George
Tom Evans
Kristi LaBarge
Melanie Grant
Dianna Vigil-Sclavenitis
Ann Connelly
Kristina and Carl Ashkin

Jan 272015

Run the Colfax Marathon for the DCIS Foundation

Run the Colfax Marathon for the DCIS Foundation May 16 and 17, 2015! (**hurry and register before Jan. 28 for reduced pricing**)

Colfax MarathonBy running, you help raise funds to support the work of the DCIS Foundation!

Step 1: Register to participate in the Colfax Marathon Races at and choose the Denver Center for International Studies Foundation from the drop-down menu.

Step 2: Create a fundraising page on the Colorado gives website at
(instructions are provided) and create a link to your
fundraising page.

Step 3: Share the link for your fundraising page on your social media sites and encourage friends to help meet your fundraising goal.

Step 4: Monitor the total amount of donations received (by visiting your fundraising page) and when you have reached your goal, the DCIS Foundation will reimburse your Colfax Marathon regular registration fee.

Reach the following fundraising goals for the DCIS Foundation,
and we will reimburse your regular entry fee!

  • Marathon/Half Marathon $300
  • Urban 10 Mile Run $200
  • 5k $100
  • Relay Team $500Prefer to sleep in? Make a donation by visiting our
Nov 072014

DCIS-Montbello Fall Presentations

On November 5, several groups of students from DCIS-Montbello gave presentations about their recent travel experiences using DCIS Foundation scholarships. Their stories and photos were very impressive – we loved hearing about ways travel changed these students’ lives! We heard from students who travelled to France, China, Greece, Italy, Spain and Washington DC.

Want to know what we heard from these young travelers? See quotes below – and check out our photo album on Facebook!

P1030649“It took me out of my comfort zone.”

“The trip explained life in a way that I could see things from a different point of view.”

“I learned a lot about history – more than reading about it in a book.”

“This was my first time out of Colorado.”

“Even though the world is really big, there are not that many differences in people.”

“Now I take my education more seriously.”

“This trip made me really grateful for all we have in the U.S.”

“This was a once in a lifetime chance for me.”

Oct 132014

Fall Student Presentations

In November, students who traveled last year will have the opportunity to give presentations about their experiences. We invite community members to attend to hear how these experiences change lives!

Wed. Nov. 5, 2014: DCIS at Montbello students will give their presentations from 6:00-8:00 pm at DCIS at Montbello (5000 Crown Blvd)

Thurs. Nov. 20, 2014: DCIS at Baker students will give their presentations from 6:00-8:00 pm at Su Teatro Cultural and Performing Arts Center (721 Santa Fe Blvd)

Nov 012012

DCIS founder Dan Lutz to receive AMG National Trust Bank Award for Exceptional Community Service

Veteran Denver educator Dan Lutz and DCIS Foundation board member has been named the 2012 winner of the AMG National Trust Bank Award for Exceptional Community Service, presented annually by the Rotary Club of Denver.

Dr. Lutz will be honored at Rotary’s Branch Rickey Award dinner, Sat., Nov. 10 at the Denver Marriott Downtown.  R.A. Dickey of the New York Mets is this year’s winner of the Branch Rickey Award that recognizes individuals in baseball who contribute unselfishly to their communities and who are strong role models for young people.

Rotary initiated the ECS award in 2010 to recognize someone locally whose work has resulted in sustained improvement in the community, and has helped children experience diverse and challenging educational opportunities regardless of economic or social background. Previous honorees include Earl Wright in 2010 and Jim and Scotty Wilkins in 2011.

Dr. Lutz has been a teacher and leader in Denver Public Schools for over 35 years, and was the developer and founder of the Denver Center for International Studies magnet program that he later expanded into a stand-alone magnet school.  After directing the program for 21 years, he served as DCIS principal for another four years.  Since then he has helped develop three more DCIS schools for DPS.  He co-founded a national association of pre-collegiate international studies programs and schools in 2000, and currently consults with the International Studies Schools Network of Asia Society (ISSN), a national network of international studies schools.

Dr. Lutz began his education career and passion for international education as a high school teacher in the Teacher Corps in New York and the Peace Corps in Afghanistan.  His career has included training new Peace Corps Volunteers in Iran, helping initiate the development of Korean Heritage Camp for families with adopted children from that country, serving on the Board of Directors for Colorado Heritage Camps, and teaching a graduate global education class for teachers.

In 2008, he received the MetLife Foundation Ambassador in Education Award.  A member of Denver Rotary since 2005, Dr. Lutz said, “Rotarians are a constant source of inspiration as we all share the value of service, and know how that defines and expands our horizons.  That is what means so much to me with the young people in our schools as they complete their service requirements related to their global learning – when given the chance to make their education mean something to others the meaning and enrichment comes back to them and broadens their vision of life.

Click here for more information about purchasing tickets for the Branch Rickey Award annual dinner or call 303-893-1919, ext. 105.

article retrieved from:

Jul 252012

US News and World Report Pins Gold Medal on DCIS

Denver Center for International Studies earned a gold medal in the latest US News and World Report’s evaluation of nearly 22,000 public high schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia. The Denver public magnet school ranked 17 out of 446 Colorado public and charter schools evaluated for state proficiency reading and math standards, college readiness and other factors. DCIS ranked third in Denver after Denver School of the Arts and George Washington High School.

State Rank School Students /
(avg. proficiency)
(avg. proficiency)
#8 Denver School of the Arts
DENVER, CO 80220
Denver Public Schools
#295 Nationally Ranked

Larger than CO Avg
949 Students
42 Teachers


Above CO Avg
82% Tested (AP®)
44% Passed (AP®)


Above CO Avg
58% Proficient
42% Not Proficient


Above CO Avg
93% Proficient
7% Not Proficient

#12 George Washington High School
DENVER, CO 80224
Denver Public Schools
#418 Nationally Ranked

Near CO Avg
1,491 Students
82 Teachers


Above CO Avg
52% Tested (IB)
48% Passed (IB)


Near CO Avg
34% Proficient
66% Not Proficient


Near CO Avg
65% Proficient
35% Not Proficient

#17 Denver Center for International Studies
DENVER, CO 80204
Denver Public Schools
#473 Nationally Ranked

Larger than CO Avg
567 Students
24 Teachers


Above CO Avg
100% Tested (AP®)
29% Passed (AP®)


Near CO Avg
27% Proficient
73% Not Proficient


Near CO Avg
74% Proficient
26% Not Proficient

#20 East High School
DENVER, CO 80206
Denver Public Schools
#586 Nationally Ranked

Larger than CO Avg
2,159 Students
108 Teachers


Above CO Avg
56% Tested (AP®)
38% Passed (AP®)


Above CO Avg
37% Proficient
63% Not Proficient


Above CO Avg
75% Proficient
25% Not Proficient

#25 Denver School of Science and Technology
DENVER, CO 80235
Denver Public Schools
#752 Nationally Ranked

Near CO Avg
728 Students
54 Teachers


Above CO Avg
50% Tested (AP®)
33% Passed (AP®)


Above CO Avg
41% Proficient
59% Not Proficient


Above CO Avg
86% Proficient
14% Not Proficient

#36 Martin Luther King Middle College
19535 EAST 46TH AVE
DENVER, CO 80249
Denver Public Schools
#1322 Nationally Ranked

Larger than CO Avg
1,142 Students
61 Teachers


Near CO Avg
88% Tested (AP®)
5% Passed (AP®)


Near CO Avg
14% Proficient
86% Not Proficient


Near CO Avg
72% Proficient
28% Not Proficient