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Landshark? How about a tankful?

Students making presentation

HIGHLANDS RANCH – Teaching and learning in Douglas County schools takes on many forms, including one at Rocky Heights Middle School that took a dive into the "Shark Tank."

Rocky Heights Middle School Teacher Judi Holst recently led her Language Arts students through a unit that brought the 4Cs (collaboration, communication, creativity and collaboration) to the forefront. Her unit was modeled after the popular reality television series "Shark Tank."

Students found themselves navigating through a sea of challenges as they set out to invent solutions to global problems. Once their research and development was complete, they were required to pitch their ideas to a panelist of "sharks," a group of parent volunteers who deftly performed the roles of potential investors.

"Not only have the students been engaged in this unit, but they have learned real-world skills in many subject areas, along with the Language Arts Standards," said Holst. “Their creativity and innovation is what made this unit worthwhile.”

After the unit concluded, Holst found that she was actually capable of swimming with the sharks, when the success of the project came ashore in this post on the Shark Tank Blog on January 28.

Student's Shark Tank recap published

Maria Pangalos presents to the Shark TankThe Shark Tank unit left 8th-grade student Maria Pangalos so inspired that she wrote an article about her experience, which was recently published in The Castle Pines Connection.

“This phenomenal project sparked ideas that the students didn’t even know they had. In fact, the project brought out the amazing creativity that might have gone unnoticed for years if it weren’t for the passion of having a little freedom, and a lot of fun,” wrote Pangalos. View the full story

February 5, 2014 | By SCPaulsen | Category: Rocky Heights Middle School, Middle School Education

District News

graduates standing in line outside, smiling

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Graduation rates in the Douglas County School District (DCSD) continue to climb. Data released today by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) shows the on-time, four-year graduation rate is now 90.4 percent.

DCSD students also made an impressive showing at graduation. The class of 2017 earned more than $82 million in scholarships.

DCSD has one of the highest graduation rates in the Denver metro area. According to CDE, DCSD graduation rates have risen steadily from 81.9 percent in 2009 to 90.4 percent in 2017.

Five female students standing on stage smiling and laughing at the awards ceremony

The top two-percent of female athletes in Douglas County School District (DCSD) were honored at the annual Girls and Women in Sports Luncheon last week at Chaparral High School. This year represented the 30th national celebration of Girls and Women in Sports Day, created to encourage and promote the participation of girls in athletics. The girls who were honored were selected by their school’s coaches, athletic directors and principals for their outstanding achievements.

Superintendent Search text based logo

Working through the recent winter break, the Douglas County School District Board of Education has kicked off its search for DCSD’s next permanent superintendent. Following a thorough vetting of potential search firms, Ray & Associates (no relation to Board Director David Ray) has been hired to conduct the national search. The cost of the firm, excluding travel expenses, is $40,000. The money will come from the school board's budget, which is used for costs such as legal expenses and conferences.