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DCSD schools honor our veterans

Thank you paper quilt designed by students

DOUGLAS COUNTY - On Veterans Day, November 11, we honor the brave men and women who have selflessly served our country and risked their lives to protect our freedoms. Around Douglas County School District, schools are saluting veterans with performances, projects, ceremonies and more throughout the week. 

Scroll down and take a look! View even more photos here.

student orchestra playing with Wall of Honor in the background. Inset picture closeup of wall of honor with veteran names on each "brick" in the wall.

Bird eye view of orchestra while parents watch.    

Mesa Middle School kicks off the week

Mesa Middle School students created a Wall of Honor (above). Each "brick" in the wall includes the name or multiple names of veterans in the lives of students. Theatrical skits, performances by the school's orchestra and choir, and patriotic music by the Stellar Band (below)-- all of whom are veterans-- rounded out the evening.

Two band members from the veteran band, Stellar Band, playing french horn and trombone.     All six members of the Stellar Band, in veteran uniform, performing for students. Instrumentation includes drums, french horn, trombone, tuba, and trumpets.


 

The oldest Pearl Harbor veteran visits Sand Creek Elementary School

Navy veteran Lt. James Downing is the oldest Pearl Harbor veteran. On Wednesday, November 9, he spoke at Sand Creek Elementary School about his experiences and answered questions by students.

He took the children and the many veterans in the audience, on a journey through the day’s events, and recounted his very human feelings.

Surprise. “There was no warning, no radar. All we knew is what we saw.”

Fear. “That one plane missed, but maybe the next will be more accurate.”

Anger. “Our leadership allowed the situation to happen.”

Resolve. “This situation will never happen again.”

Pride. “The response by fellow servicemen – everyone was a hero.”

Through this historical account, he made sure to address the plight of today’s veterans. While there are 21 million veterans living today,

  • 1.4 million are disabled
  • 250,000 have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • 50,000 are homeless, and
  • 22 veterans commit suicide every day.

The event closed with a touching presentation of tokens of appreciation to the veterans in the audience, who were invited to the front of the gym upon hearing the song representing their specific branch of military service. Students then joined them at the front.

Many of these same veterans were commemorated in pictures and murals lining the hallway to the gym – a reminder to the students that freedom isn’t free and many have sacrificed much to preserve it.  

Two kids holding flag that says United States Marine Corps, camera facing their backs, while they face a massive sea of students.     Two kids carrying flags, one for the United States, and one for Colorado.


A sea of students hold blue colored folders over top of their heads outdoor on the football field.     A further distance shot of the student body holding red, white, and blue folders over top of their heads to make out the image of a flag.

A birds-eye view of a student created flag at Highlands Ranch High School

All of the students and staff of Highlands Ranch High School showed their patriotism and support for our troops this Veterans Day week by joining together to create a big flag outside of the school. 

"It is simply a salute to America," said Highlands Ranch High School math teacher Tony Verbsky. "A lot of people are talking about putting America back together and our school theme is 'All In.' Today, we all came together and were 'All In' this flag."

Highlands Ranch High School Senior Madeline Ng was one of the five student from the Mu Alpha Theta National Math Honors Society who organized the event. It took about two years to plan the moment in which the school created an American flag, measuring about 91 feet by 61 feet. To capture it all, the students launched drones with cameras.

"Academically it is pretty challenging, but in terms of teamwork, it is just huge," Ng said. 

It is definitely a good math exercise," Ng continued. "It is full of geometry and the basic math that we have learned, like calculating areas and perimeters how many people can fit where. The kids in our class know all the math that goes into the flight path and all the calculations. It is also complicated because you are working with real life people and real life stuff and it doesn't always go exactly as planned."

"It is an exercise in systems thinking. It is a real world type of problem that they had to solve," Verbsky added. 

The students used about 3,000 colored folders, purchased with money from their club, as well as drones purchased using money from the Innovation Grant received by Verbsky when he won the World Class Educator Award during last year's Apple Awards.

Each folder has “HRHS USA” imprinted upon it. View the drone video below:

 


     

Larkspur Elementary School

Larkspur students rang a replica of the liberty bell and sang as part of a moving ceremony on Thursday, November 10.


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Pine Grove Elementary School


Mike Coffman shaking hands with student, audience in background.         

Cimarron Middle School

Cimarron held a moving ceremony for hundreds of audience members. Students gave a brief history of each American war. As they spoke about more recent wars, they asked those respective veterans in the audience to stand, to which the veterans received a huge applause. A video of students discussing what Veterans Day means to them and talking about those in their lives that have fought for this country was shown. Congressman Mike Coffman attended the event and greeted students, families and veterans, and also spoke to the crowd. All veterans in attendance were invited to come on stage at the end of the event.


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students at southridge sit on floor with veterans and teachers on stage.      Sgt. talks to kids from stage.

South Ridge Elementary School


North Star Academy's principal addresses crowd during Veterans Day event       North Star Academy's choir sings during Veterans Day event

North Star Academy's choir sings during Veterans Day event      A student speaks during North Star Academy's Veterans Day event

North Star Academy


      

Sand Creek Elementary School


      

Coyote Creek Elementary


     

Arrowwood Elementary School

Congressman Mike Coffman also stopped by Arrowwood Elementary School for a visit. Additionally, students had the chance to hear from veterans.

   


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Rock Ridge Elementary

Above: Teacher Erin Hahn has four kids who also attend Rock Ridge. Her husband is a Captain in the U.S. Army National Guard, and he also volunteers at the school.

 

 


     

Eldorado Elementary School

Congressman Mike Coffman additionally visited Eldorado Elementary. He said, “By your honoring our veteran’s today, I think it proves America is a great nation. I want to thank you for what you’ve done today, to honor those who served this nation in a uniform. And to remember to that there is a price for freedom and it isn’t free.”

Gage, a sixth grade student at Eldorado said, “We performed and sang to remind people and veterans that even though sometimes people don’t think about our veterans, we remember what they do, that we still care, and today we honor them for their service."


Clear Sky Elementary

Veterans joined students on stage at the end of the school's Veterans Day performance.

Elijah, a third grader at Clear Sky, said, "Today means a lot. My parents are very special today. We honor them. It felt really good and made me proud that my mom and dad serve in our military and they’ve been doing this for a long time."

Paul Dubey, a veteran, said, "It is very honoring, especially in today’s environment. So many people don’t appreciate our military, fire, police, people who serve our country to provide the freedom and the liberties that we have. So for kids to see that and recognize that and see it with their Grandfathers, fathers, brothers, sisters I think it’s very special."


Trailblazer Elementary

Students in Trailblazer's chorus sang patriotic songs for students and parents.

 


Mountain Ridge Middle School

Students at Mountain Ridge Middle School produced this Veterans Day video.


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November 9, 2016 | By CSilberman | Category: Communications, Elementary Education, High School Education, Middle School Education, Schools

District News

kids running outside as part of a race

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.