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Career and Tech Ed classes helping raise DCSD student achievement

girl using table saw

CASTLE ROCK— Douglas County School District’s Career & Technical Education (CTE) program is not your mother or father’s vocational education. CTE students are gaining hands-on experience in real-world scenarios, which helps raise student achievement.

Whether they are building robots, launching rockets, catering events or proposing advertising campaigns to local businesses, CTE students are gaining skills designed to help them get a great job in a field they love.

“Career and tech ed is vital to our students’ lives today. It gives them foundations to help them realize their passions for when they leave high school and go to college. They’ll have real life skills they can use every day,” said Kimberly Baldwin, who teaches Family and Consumer Science at Ponderosa High School.

Hey DCSD Students!

If you are interested in taking a CTE course that your high school does not offer, you may submit an application to participate in a class at a neighboring high school or college.

If accepted, you must provide your own transportation.

Learn more on the Career and Technical Education page

At ThunderRidge High School, marketing students are gaining the opportunity to role-play and get involved in real-world business scenarios and marketing concepts.

“The confidence this has helped me gain with marketing has truly helped me stand above other kids in trying to go out to jobs and trying to get different scholarships,” said ThunderRidge student Kylee Franci.

Jasmine Boshell, who is taking Ponderosa High School’s automotive class, had left school for a few years before learning of the program.

“I came back specifically to take this class,” she said.

The CTE programs additionally allow students the opportunity to earn college credit while still in high school, saving parents thousands of dollars in college tuition.

“When many of our students leave high school they are leaving with a minimum of three credits, if they’ve taken at least one course—but we have many students who are well over 15 credits up to 30 credits by the time they graduate from their high schools,” said Sheri Bryant, who coordinates DCSD’s CTE program. “While chronologically they are a college freshmen on paper, many are entering as sophomores.”

Take a look at the CTE classes around the Douglas County School District:


Catering at Ponderosa High School


Biotechnology at Rock Canyon High School


Automotive at Ponderosa High School


Marketing at ThunderRidge High School


Woodworking at Ponderosa High School


Theatre tech at Chaparral High School


Alternative Cooperation at Highlands Ranch High School


Engineering at Castle View High School

February 8, 2017 | By CSilberman | Category: Career and Technical Education

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.