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March 17 Board Briefing

Students present at Board of Education meeting

CASTLE ROCK – The Douglas County Board of Education convened for a public meeting at 5 p.m. on March 17, 2015. The Board discussed business items and engaged public comment from a crowd of students, parents, teachers and community members. The live stream of board meetings can be found online at the official DCSD Live Stream Channel.

 learn=Meet the Board of Education

For Your Information Only - Reading File

Unofficial Board of Education Minutes

Board of Education: Department Budget Worksheet(s)

RCHS Cheer Team
CHS Poms

Student and Staff Recognitions

The Board of Education is proud to recognize the achievements a few of our outstanding teams and some of our talented music students. Superintendent Liz Fagen first recognized some of our State Champions.

The Douglas County School District had an impressive showing, winning five state titles during the 2014 State Spirit Championships held at the Denver Coliseum on December 5 and 6. As you might remember, at our last Board meeting, we honored three of the teams. Tonight, we have the opportunity to celebrate the remainder.

  • Rock Canyon’s Cheer Team won the 5A State championship in Cheer.
  • Chaparral’s Poms Team was crowned the state champion in Jazz.

Congratulations to these fine athletes. We are proud to have you represent this district.

The best musicians from across the state collaborate in the All State Choir, Band and Orchestra. This year, the All State concerts featured many talented DCSD juniors and seniors. Listed below are those recognized at tonight's meeting; students from Rock Canyon, Chaparral and Douglas County high schools will join us in April for their recognitions.

Castle View High School
Choir Jacki Bennett
Daniel Clifford
Sara Garza
David Hess
Jason Messer
Holly Sidney
Orchestra Jonathan Hoe    
Highlands Ranch High School
Choir Curtis Bodiker Tyler Lee Hanna Williamson
Band Jimmy Trayser
Olivia Johnson
Jessie Bertman
Jake Isaacs
Maddy Ulrickson
Isaac Ocken
Casey Vickers
Kenny Swartout
Jeff Bradley
Orchestra Crystal Lee
Aaron Lou
Nicole Florian
Jimmy Trayser
Trevor Vogel
Legend High School
Choir Janae Barrus
Josh Chapman
Hallie Denman
Samantha Pease  
Band Andy Bradfield
Andrew Duncan
Kaelen Guthrie
Arron Murphy
Orchestra Andy Bradfield    
Mountain Vista High School
Choir Emma Cooper
Corrine Landy
Brian Grover
Ryan O’Connor
Charis Swartley
Parker Walton
Zach Walz
Emily Workman
Kayla Reed
Will Dixon
Band Celeste Landy    
Ponderosa High School
Choir Emily Marrs Charlotte Movizzo  
Band AJ McKelvy    
ThunderRidge High School
Choir Diana Dolquist Elise Schauer Ryan Fenske
Band Hannah Harm    
Orchestra Dianna Dolquist Hannah Harm Brandon Lee

Superintendent Reports

Lone Tree Elementary, Create Something Great

Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education Steve Cook introduced Lone Tree Elementary School Principal Mindy Persichina to discuss how her staff engages students in real world learning. Staff shared how they have provided choice for students through personalized education. Examples included the use of flexible spaces, schedules and roles, as well as students taking ownership of their own learning through inquiry.

Construction Update: World Compass Academy and Global Village Academy Charters

Chief Development and Innovation Officer Pat McGraw and his team shared a construction update regarding two charter schools. World Compass Academy and Global Village Academy are both building new facilities, and expect to open in August 2015 in Castle Rock (WCA) and Parker (GVA).

New Charter Applications Update

The Choice Programming Office has received three applications for new charter schools: Parker Performing Arts, John Adams High School and Milestone Academy.

Legislative Update

Chief Legal Counsel Rob Ross provided a legislative update regarding various bills.

View remarks

Board of Education Reports

Board Report: President and Vice President Items

Board of Education President Kevin Larsen addressed some rumors he has heard in the community. He first stated that there is a rumor that DCSD is closing Larkspur Elementary School - and shared that the rumor is completely false. On Friday, Larsen met with town leaders about some recent concerns regarding the school budget. Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education Ted Knight said that during the meeting, they worked to address concerns regarding initial budget numbers. He wants to reassure the community that class sizes remain low, support for students and staff remains high and specials remain at Larkspur Elementary. Chief Financial Officer Bonnie Betz said that school budget sheets were sent out to principals on February 8.

Another rumor Larsen addressed is regarding substitute teachers in DCSD. Chief Human Resources Officer Brian Cesare shared that the DCSD fill rate is down a bit. The DCSD rate is usually around 98- or 99-percent, but that it is now around 95- or 96-percent. Compared to other districts, Cesare said that is currently the highest fill rate. He continued that student teaching is down across the nation, which leads to lower applicant pool. Cesare said all school districts are struggling with that.

Board Committee and Liaison Reports

Adoption of Consent Agenda

The Board of Education voted unanimously to adopt the consent agenda:

STEM School and Academy Grade Expansion  

STEM School and Academy currently offers a grade 6-12 program. STEM School and Academy has requested DCSD permission to add a fifth grade for school year 2015-2016, and other elementary grades in future years to become a full K-12 school at build out.

STEM's contract would need to be amended to provide for an elementary program; in addition, Douglas County will require a traffic management study, and STEM School and Academy will need to acquire the building next door to their current facility in order to accommodate the expansion. The resolution approving of the expansion contains conditions requiring the leasing of the expansion building as well as approval of a new traffic management plan by Douglas County.

The Board unanimously approved the resolution.

STEM Informational Flyer

Public Comment   


The Board of Education adjourned at 10:44 p.m.


March 18, 2015 | By SCPaulsen | Category: Board of Education, District

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.