Coordinated High School Bell Schedule

Coordinated High School Bell Schedule
Beginning 2023-2024

As a part of the Douglas County School District (DCSD) strategic plan and priority outcomes that were created in the Fall of 2018, our school district has made a concerted effort to ensure all students are postsecondary ready (meaning ready for college, career, military or other pathway following high school graduation). 

In the early fall of the 2021-2022 school year, during a Douglas County School District (DCSD) Board of Education meeting, the DCSD superintendent mentioned the potential for a coordinated high school bell which sparked a conversation amongst our DCSD high school principals. 

As principals and district leadership discussed this further, they determined that a coordinated bell schedule would provide many benefits to DCSD students, such as greater access to programming ranging from:
  • Core Academic Programming
  • Advanced Placement
  • Concurrent Enrollment (8,100 students currently enrolled)
  • Career and Technical Education (13,030 students currently enrolled)
  • Elective-based Programming
  • Legacy Campus Pathway courses (700-1,000 students to be enrolled)
  • Other Academic programming (i.e. German, Calculus III, AP Research, AP Physics)
  • Future ROTC Programming at Chaparral High School
  • Higher education dual enrollment (i.e. at ACC Sturm Collaboration Campus)

Compatible High School Bell Schedules to Begin in 2023-2024

Beginning in the 2023-2024 school year, each of DCSD’s nine comprehensive high schools will implement coordinated 4x1 schedules. A sample of your individual school’s bell schedule will be provided by your high school principal. While key aspects of our high school schedules are being coordinated across the district, many other aspects, including start and end times, will remain school-specific.

A team of 46 staff members (including representatives from each of DCSD’s nine comprehensive high schools) are leading this work. That team will continue to meet to evaluate the feedback around this bell schedule change in order to mitigate as many potential impacts as possible. We will also continue to work with district departments, such as special education, mental health, and professional learning and development, and support schools with this change.

Why was a compatible bell schedule needed? 

  1. To Provide All Students Equal Access to Educational Programming
    DCSD provides our high school students with a myriad of educational opportunities in general education and elective programs, which include concurrent enrollment courses (where students can earn high school and college credits simultaneously), and career and technical education (over 13,000 students enrolled), where students are able to learn and explore passions, skills, and gain the knowledge and abilities to be workforce, college, and career ready. There are over 8700 concurrent enrollment seats available for students in DCSD, and approximately 8100 of them are already being taken advantage of by our high school students.

    DCSD is committed to providing a comprehensive high school experience that provides our students the opportunities to explore their passions and gain a competitive advantage following high school graduation. We believe all students should have access to core and elective-based programming and want to ensure all students have access to this programming regardless of enrollment or funding challenges. This document lists all concurrent enrollment and career and technical education opportunities for our students in the Douglas County School District.

  2. To Provide Students More Access to Concurrent Enrollment Options
    Arapahoe Community College (ACC) is DCSD’s Area Service Provider that partners with DCSD to provide concurrent enrollment where students are able to garner high school and college credit at the same time. DCSD has seen a significant increase in demand for concurrent enrollment over the last four years. We have made a concerted effort to provide equitable opportunities in all regions of our district to offer concurrent enrollment and stackable courses (i.e.courses that lead to industry certification or terminal degrees) pathways and experiences for all students. In fact, families in the 2017-2018 SY saved roughly $1.8M dollars through concurrent enrollment, and in the 2022-2023 School Year, we are projected to save families over $4.0M in concurrent enrollment. This demand demonstrates our opportunity to enhance our partnership with Arapahoe Community College (ACC). ACC’s leadership is willing to align its bell schedule structure with our revised bell schedule. This would provide a significant opportunity for our students to access ACC Sturm Collaboration Campus and ACC programs at the Legacy Campus.

  3. To Align With Change in State Legislation for House Bill: HB 22-1390 / Bill Summary (Ascent and Concurrent Enrollment Programming)
    On May 17, 2022 legislation was passed that will provide graduating high school students with a significant postsecondary opportunity through the revised Ascent and Concurrent Enrollment House Bill (HB-22-1390). In summary, any eligible graduating senior student may participate in the Ascent program where a student who has garnered 9 postsecondary credits (i.e. concurrent enrollment credit), is eligible to participate in the Ascent program and maintain a “5th year” of high school enrollment while earning a free year of public community college.

    The change in this legislation is significant, as students who are able to attend any concurrent enrollment class at the Legacy Campus (or any one of our high schools) would have access to this opportunity. To ensure we do not have a disparity of concurrent enrollment opportunities, a coordinated bell schedule would provide students with greater access to programming at our DCSD campuses and with ACC.

  4. To Provide Our Schools With More Enrollment and Financial Sustainability
    As noted within DCSD’s five-year projection of school capacity, there are variations of growth and decline in enrollment within DCSD. A number of our high schools are projected to decline in enrollment over the next five years, which could negatively impact staffing and programming available to students in those areas. By coordinating our bell schedules, schools could potentially share staffing to continue to offer programming like Advanced Placement Research, Calculus III, World Language (i.e German), etc, within the region and offer the students the experience we have committed to providing our students. 

    While also facing a national teacher shortage, where hiring pools have fewer applicants, our district is beginning to have a hard time recruiting new teachers in our district and within schools. A major benefit of a coordinated and compatible bell schedule would be sharing staff between schools. By sharing staff, our ability to hire full-time teachers would be far greater, whereas now high schools are challenged to systemically share classroom teachers.


Frequently Asked Questions

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In compliance with Titles VI & VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and Colorado law, the Douglas County School District RE-1 does not unlawfully discriminate against otherwise qualified students, employees, applicants for employment, or members of the public on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, religion, ancestry, or need for special education services. Discrimination against employees and applicants for employment based on age, genetic information, and conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth is also prohibited in accordance with state and/or federal law. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees, and members of the public. The School District's Compliance Officer and Title IX Coordinator to address complaints alleging sexual harassment under Title IX is Aaron Henderson, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado, [email protected], 720-433-1083.

Outside Agencies

Complaints regarding violations of Title VI, (race, national origin), Title IX (sex, gender), Section 504/ADA (handicap or disability), may be filed directly with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite 310, Denver, CO 80204. Complaints regarding violations of Title VII (employment) and the ADEA (prohibiting age discrimination in employment) may be filed directly with the Federal Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 303 E. 17th Ave., Suite 510, Denver, CO 80202, or the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1050, Denver, CO 80202.

NOTICE OF DESTRUCTION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION RECORDS

Special Education records which have been collected by Douglas County School District related to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of special education in the district, must be maintained under state and federal laws for the period of five (5) years after special education services have ended for the student. Special education services end when the student is no longer eligible for services, graduates, or completes his/her educational program at age 21, or moves from the district. This notification is to inform parents/guardians and former students of Douglas County School District's intent to destroy the special education records of students who exited special education services as of June 30, 2016. These records will be destroyed in accordance with state law unless the parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student notifies the school district otherwise. After five years, the records are no longer useful to the district, but may be useful to the parent/guardian or former student in applying for social security benefits, rehabilitation services, college entrance, etc. The parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student may request a copy of the records by requesting the records by email to [email protected]