• Employee Resources
  • Language

Douglas County Teens Attend Youth Congress at the State Capitol

On September 25, over 130 students who live in Douglas County attended Youth Congress held at the Colorado State Capitol Building.  Students in grades 9-12 participated.  This event was sponsored by the Douglas County Youth Initiative.  The day started in the Colorado Assembly room where the students were given a presentation about the state of Colorado budget and how the tax dollars are distributed.  After this interactive session, teens broke into small groups to tackle and discuss some of the issues facing their daily lives which included mental health,  truancy, curfew, and recreation for teens.  These groups were led by adult experts in their fields.  At the end of the day, each student group presented their topic to the entire youth congress. 

By having a day like this, adults that work in our government and in Douglas County are able to gather the opinion and voices of today’s youth.  For example, students were asked  to anonymously answer the following questions:

  1. What is one thing your parents would be surprised about if they knew this was going on among teenagers at school?
  2. What is the biggest social challenge students face at your school?
  3. What makes teens feel disconnected to school?
  4. What is your thought about school suspensions? (Effective?  Or  Not Effective?)

Their responses were varied and transparent.  Responses included but were not limited to:

Things parents / adults might not know about:

We have sex
We make casual suicide jokes
High use of drugs, weed, vape, gateway drugs, adults don’t really care, they are just there for the “look”
Alcohol and juuling (e-cigarette) use
Easy access to heroin & other drugs

Social Challenges:

Making friends
Fitting in
Being in high school
Peer pressure 
Feeling alone 
Finding your identity 
Stress out about grades
Being yourself

Why are teens disconnected to school:

Standards to succeed
Bad grades
Too much stress 
Poor social climate at the schools 
No voice 
Color of my skin 
Not having people comfortable to talk to, including teachers

Your opinion about the effectiveness of school suspensions:

Not effective, not a punishment, not even slightly
Getting days off is not effective
Making kids miss school defeats the purpose-- kids want to get out of school
Effective: looks terrible on record
Effective if it’s a real problem that benefits from the student being removed in general; it may be good for some, bad for others
Not effective with truancy issues 
Kids continue to do the thing they got suspended for after the suspension is over


By using these anonymous responses and the work the students do at events like this, we can continue to use their voice in supporting their sense of safety and their growth.

October 25, 2017 | By CSilberman | Category: Mental Health, Prevention and School Culture

District News

The Apple Awards honors and celebrates excellence in education. This year, more than 5,000 nominations were submitted. 188 Apple Representatives from schools and departments were then selected by the Foundation in January. Of this outstanding group of education leaders, five individuals were awarded with an Apple Award. 

High school students across Douglas County, and many students in respective feeder schools, are once again learning that a little kindness can go a long way. Again this year, our high schools hosted Wish Weeks to make dreams come true for Make-A-Wish Foundation beneficiaries.

The Douglas County School District (DCSD) Board of Education has named Thomas S. Tucker, Ph.D. as the sole finalist to lead our 68,000-student district as superintendent on a unanimous vote.