• Employee Resources
  • Language

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

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.