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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

graduates standing in line outside, smiling

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Graduation rates in the Douglas County School District (DCSD) continue to climb. Data released today by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) shows the on-time, four-year graduation rate is now 90.4 percent.

DCSD students also made an impressive showing at graduation. The class of 2017 earned more than $82 million in scholarships.

DCSD has one of the highest graduation rates in the Denver metro area. According to CDE, DCSD graduation rates have risen steadily from 81.9 percent in 2009 to 90.4 percent in 2017.

Five female students standing on stage smiling and laughing at the awards ceremony

The top two-percent of female athletes in Douglas County School District (DCSD) were honored at the annual Girls and Women in Sports Luncheon last week at Chaparral High School. This year represented the 30th national celebration of Girls and Women in Sports Day, created to encourage and promote the participation of girls in athletics. The girls who were honored were selected by their school’s coaches, athletic directors and principals for their outstanding achievements.

Superintendent Search text based logo

Working through the recent winter break, the Douglas County School District Board of Education has kicked off its search for DCSD’s next permanent superintendent. Following a thorough vetting of potential search firms, Ray & Associates (no relation to Board Director David Ray) has been hired to conduct the national search. The cost of the firm, excluding travel expenses, is $40,000. The money will come from the school board's budget, which is used for costs such as legal expenses and conferences.