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A different way of thinking: Higher order thinking

DOUGLAS COUNTY-- Every day, Douglas County School District (DCSD) students learn amazing amounts of information. As educators, our goal is for them to remember as much of the important stuff as possible so they are well prepared for their futures.

According to research, how we teach students can impact just how much of that knowledge “sticks” with them long-term. When we ask kids to memorize information, they only remember about 5 to 10 percent of that information.

“That is not a very good return on our investment,” DCSD Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Fagen said. “If we, instead, ask students to evaluate, create or invent with their knowledge and skills, their long-term retention rate goes up to about 90 percent.  This is an excellent return on investment.”

That is why in DCSD, we not only teach our students reading, writing and arithmetic, we want them to engage in higher-order thinking. When the students are empowered to invent new solutions using all off this knowledge together, along with the skills they are learning, it better connects neurons, making the learning more sustainable.

Watch what happens when these students put higher order thinking skills to work 


More: What students, teachers and parents are saying about higher order thinking


April 29, 2016 | By CSilberman | Category:

District News

High school students across Douglas County, and many students in respective feeder schools, are once again learning that a little kindness can go a long way. Again this year, our high schools hosted Wish Weeks to make dreams come true for Make-A-Wish Foundation beneficiaries.

The Douglas County School District (DCSD) Board of Education has named Thomas S. Tucker, Ph.D. as the sole finalist to lead our 68,000-student district as superintendent on a unanimous vote.


The American School Counseling Association (ASCA) has certified Sagewood Middle School as a Recognized ASCA National Model Program (RAMP). A prestigious honor, Sagewood is now the only middle school in the state of Colorado to have gained this certification. Schools must receive a near-perfect score on ASCA’s scoring rubric, which outlines guidelines for building and maintaining student achievement, behavior, counseling curriculum, school culture, and several other factors, in order to become certified.