DCSD BOE Meeting 19 September, 2017

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Rube Goldberg Project Gives Trailblazer Students A Break From Tests

HIGHLANDS RANCH - It’s the time of year when PARCC testing is on the minds of kids throughout the district. Many students are looking for something to give them a creative outlet after testing for hours at a time. At Trailblazer Elementary in Highlands Ranch that “something” is the Rube Goldberg project.

Kids have been skipping recess and taking a working lunch just to take part. “They PARCC test and then build, PARCC test and then build,” explains Assistant Principal Julie Crawford. “It started a couple years ago with just a simple idea and it’s turned in every year bigger and bigger.” 

Imagine an entire room filled with a large contraption composed of pulleys, ropes, jugs, balls, marbles, phones, and slides. The purpose is simple - apply a Band-Aid to a table without touching the Band-Aid.

It’s the ultimate in trial and error. The students have tested their invention 52 times. Crawford estimates that it was successful eight or nine times. The goal is to build what she calls G.R.I.T. - “guts, resilience, integrity, and tenacity.”

In addition to grit they are also developing the important skills of teamwork and problem-solving. If you ask the kids, they’ll just say they’ve been having a whole lot of fun in between tests.



April 19, 2017 | By ccheline | Category:

District News

Banner displayed on a brick wall that says "What are your Sources of Strength?"

A fairly new partnership between DCSD’s Prevention & School Culture team and Douglas County Teen Court coordinators is providing a new path for youth offenders. Additionally, Sources of Strength— now present in most DCSD high schools and some middle schools— is establishing a healthy culture and climate with the goal of catching youth long before they fall into unhealthy behaviors or consider taking their own lives.


Cohl in Athens at World Championship game, holding a large American flag over his head

Ponderosa High School student and wrestler Cohlton Schultz has just returned back from Athens, Greece to Colorado after becoming the first United States World Champion in 20 years in Greco-Roman wrestling.

Ponderosa Assistant Principal and Athletic Director, Tim Ottman led a 30-minute assembly Wednesday for Cohl, joined by Cohl’s parents, his coaches from the Olympic Training Center, his former Ponderosa wrestling coach (and current Assistant Principal) Corey McNellis, and current wrestling coach Tito Rinaldis.

Student Climbs stairs with Firefighters

“Never forget” became permanently ingrained in our heads and our hearts after the attacks of September 11, 2001. But now, 16 years later, our schools are full of students who weren’t even alive when history was made; leaving many teachers to decipher how and what to teach students about a moment in our history that changed our world forever.