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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

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DCSD is requesting parent input on the health and wellness of our students. Last year, DCSD received a large planning grant from Colorado Health Foundation in an effort to assess how the district supports students through the lens of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model (WSCC). The mission of this grant is to review the current state of DCSD's student health and wellness program, and then formulate a three to five-year plan based on stakeholders’ needs, the latest research, and best practices. As part of this process, we would like your input.

How are we doing?

We want to hear from you! How often do you prefer to receive email newsletters from DCSD? How can we improve the news and information you receive? This brief survey should only take a minute or two of your time. Thank you for giving us your input!

Tell us what you think, here!


glowing purple lights hover over trays of seedlings in a dark room

It may look like a plain, white shipping container was just parked on the backyard grounds of Mountain Vista High School. The contents of the container are anything but plain, though. Walking inside the container, different colors of ambient lighting glow, futuristic-looking equipment and tall towers are suspended from the ceiling, and the humidity level is set to 70 percent. The container has been recycled into a new kind of learning opportunity for students.