• Employee Resources
  • Language

Excitement, butterflies mark first day of school in DCSD

CASTLE ROCK – Students loaded up with school supplies lined up outside of two Douglas County School District elementary schools on Monday August 4, in anticipation of the first day of school.

Filled with butterflies and excitement for the year ahead, the kids at Clear Sky, Meadow View and Soaring Hawk elementary schools and the Renaissance Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound School were the first to experience the annual tradition that will play out time and time again across DCSD in the next couple of weeks.

“We are a little nervous for her first full day of school. We are new,” explained Julie Kraus, a Meadow View parent, whose family moved to Douglas County from Greeley.

“There is a little bit of butterflies, but I’ve heard such good things, such wonderful things.  We are really excited,” Kraus said.

“There are always butterflies, even for the veteran families,” added Brittnee Pierse, a returning Meadow View parent who walked with her second and sixth-grade students to school.

She says the return to school means having to find all of those school supplies and start the daily toil of lunch making, but she and her family are ready—even if it still is the middle of summer.

“We love the schedule that we have: Modified Traditional.  We’ve got eight weeks and they’re ready to go after that time,” Pierse said.

At Soaring Hawk Elementary, the students were greeted by a disc jockey from Jammin’ 101.5, Superintendent Dr. Liz Fagen, Board of Education President Kevin Larsen, and new principal Chris Neville. However, they seemed most excited about the appearance of the school’s mascot, Hawk.

At Meadow View, much of the excitement centered on the continued roll out of Artful Learning at the school. Artful Learning is nationally recognized educational programming that works to incorporate the arts into learning throughout the school.

“I’m excited because I feel that this is a new, cutting edge style of learning,” said Kraus. “I think that adding art to anything is beneficial.”

“The kids made such great connections, global connections out of it; connections you wouldn’t expect a first or second-grader to make. That has been really cool,” explained Pierse. “We went to my in-laws’ house and there was a painting. She knew who the artist was and my mother was flabbergasted.”

As word about Meadow View’s artful learning emphasis spread, enrollment for the school has begun to rise. In fact, even parents who have decided to move to another neighborhood have chosen to continue sending their students to the school.

“We actually moved out of the Meadows and we live on the other side of Castle Rock, but I open enroll the kids back here because they love this school. The programs are amazing. The teachers are amazing. I’ve just seen so much growth in both of them. It’s a great program,” Dertz said. “I think that it is huge for the kids. I think it is much needed in the classroom. They are programs that our school district needs. The arts are an amazing part of life and should be incorporated within their education.”

“I’m very glad that [the Dertz family] still has the choice to come and I love the programming. I’m also a huge fan of neighborhood schools. I do worry that the sense of community is not what it used to be when all the families walked to school,” Pierse said.

Superintendent Fagen says she understands this concern, but knows that most families still choose their neighborhood school, regardless of whether an educational strand like Artful Learning, International Baccalaureate, or Project Based Learning is offered.

“We value the sense of community and the culture that each of our schools have created,” said Superintendent Fagen. “For many parents, the most important factor in choosing a school is location or having their children go to school with their neighborhood friends. We support that.”

“We also believe in supporting our schools and our communities in choosing program that best meets the needs of their students,” Fagen added. “Implementing Artful Learning doesn’t change the outcomes we teach our students. Instead, it offers a unique pathway to that learning.”

In addition to Meadow View and Soaring Hawk, students returned to Clear Sky Elementary School and Renaissance Expeditionary Learning Magnet during the first week of August. The majority of DCSD students will return to classes the week of August 11.

August 5, 2014 | By rmbarber | Category:

District News

While the holidays are often a joyous time with friends and family, we know that they can also be stressful, not just for adults, but for children too. In addition to the annual pressure of gift giving, family gathering and travel, the holidays can trigger memories of the loss of loved ones and other traumatic events.

DCSD Board of Directors sitting at dais

On Monday, December 4, the Douglas County School District Board of Education voted unanimously (with six voting members) to approve a resolution to rescind the Choice Scholarship Program. The Resolution outlines three steps to this revocation: 1) Rescind the Choice Scholarship Program, 2) Repeal all district policies specifically related to the Choice Scholarship Program and the School Choice Grant Program, 3) Direct the Board President and/or Interim Superintendent to end the litigation challenging the Choice Scholarship Program in a cost-efficient and timely manner. The resolution takes effect immediately.

HRHS Cyber Patriots

Equifax, Target, Yahoo... Unfortunately it is not uncommon to hear about— or fall victim to— data security breaches as computers become increasingly integrated into our lives. However, a generation of high school students are preparing to fill cybersecurity roles to help protect all of us against future attacks; and many of these future protectors are right here in Douglas County. Meet the Highlands Ranch High School CyberPatriots.