Cheltenham Elementary principal resigns

Dr. Kalpana Rao, the embattled Denver Public School’s Cheltenham Elementary principal, has resigned.

Rao was criticized by families and Padres & Jovenes Unidos for having students eat their lunch on the floor while awaiting punishment – a practice that reminded parents of another principal in the 1990s who forced students who spoke Spanish at school to eat on the floor.

Parents also accused Rao of making racist remarks, which she denied at a press conference yesterday.

Below is her resignation letter.

“Today, I told my staff at Cheltenham that I have decided to step down from my position as principal. While the district’s investigation found no basis for the allegation that I made a racist remark to some parents in my school, it has become increasingly clear that my presence at Cheltenham is distracting from what should always be the primary focus – our fantastic kids.

This is an extremely difficult decision for me to make. I am, and have been, incredibly committed to the idea that all children deserve access to educational opportunities that enrich their lives and make their dreams a reality. I have made mistakes in my time at Cheltenham, but I have never wavered from that steadfast vision.

At some point, however, I have to place the needs of my students first and allow our school community to heal. I want to thank my amazing teachers for the dedication and support they have shown me, and I want to encourage them to continue in their commitment to our children, our families and our school.”


  1. What a relief for students and staff! Don’t let the door hit you in the ass, Rao! You will not be missed! Having suffered through Rao’s reign of terror myself (and making it out despite her blacklisting and lack of referrals that she is famous for) I am happy, too! Now DPS needs to treat the staff and students for PTSD.

  2. Surprising, DPS did its own internal investigation and found Rao not guilty of any charges! Consequently, they are saying that the parents, students and staff are lying and that Rao was wrongly accused! Everyone that has been involved with Cheltenham during her ” reign of terror” know the truth. There have been law suits, (some still pending) against this principal. The staff that existed before Rao came into power, (except for two) have selected to leave all in part to her terrible treatment. I heard she even asked one teacher, “Who do you think you are the great white hope coming to save the school?” She is a racist, and a terrible leader. The students and parents at Cheltenham are lucky to be rid of this horrible, horrible women!! The DPS board and the superintendent are not only protecting this women but they are protecting themselves against further law suits on racism. Shame on you DPS!!!!!

  3. Surprising, DPS did its own internal investigation and found Rao innocent of all charges. (Policing itself! hum) Thus, what DPS is saying is that the parents, students, and teachers are lying. I think the district is trying to cover their own butts against further law suits. As a previous teacher at Cheltenham, under Rao’s Reign of Terror, I can assure you this is not the first time the district, the board, and human resources have been made aware of Rao’s “racist” remarks to parents, students and teachers. She does not discriminate against who she levels her verbal assaults and racial comments. But, ofcourse, DPS found her not guilty, maybe someone should policing DPS.

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