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Sand Creek Elementary showcases sustainability efforts for U.S. Congressman Cory Gardner

SCE students with Congressman Gardner

HIGHLANDS RANCH – U.S. Congressman Cory Gardner met with Sand Creek Elementary fifth graders yesterday to learn more about DCSD sustainability efforts.

Students showcased their real-world, hands on learning experiences that have resulted in energy savings for their school.

In the past three months, students at Sand Creek Elementary have taken on the challenge of reducing their school's energy usage.  The first step was to learn how much their school used, and what equipment in their school used electrical energy.

Students then discussed how they could directly impact the usage levels themselves. They began by investigating what used the most energy, and which of those things they could control.  

Lighting and technology loads are two of the largest energy users in the school. The students now help monitor and control the amount of time these things are used each day. Making sure lights are off when rooms are empty was a big first step; students also created a marketing campaign to help remind everyone in the school how important it is to avoid wasting energy.

The next step was working on light levels in each room. Many spaces in buildings are "overlit," meaning they have more light than necessary for the work being done in the rooms.

DCSD uses standards designed by IESNA (Illumination Engineers Society of North America) for our classrooms and other school spaces. When students found rooms that were too bright, they worked with staff to bring the light levels down to the appropriate range.

"Phantom" plug load is another area investigated by the group. Many items draw energy when plugged in, even when turned off. More energy has been conserved at the school by unplugging items until they are needed.

The students continued their work by helping teachers identify unnecessary devices in their rooms that use electricity, and conducting projects with first-graders to help them understand energy use, and  how everyone can contribute to reducing energy consumption.

“DCSD has long been a model of excellence in the area of sustainability,” said Lee Smit, DCSD Sustainability Manager. “This was a great opportunity to showcase the efforts of our students, our staff, and our district leaders.”

According to Smit, sustainability efforts have saved DCSD over $15 million in the last six years.

February 27, 2014 | By SCPaulsen | Category: Sand Creek Elementary School, Sustainability

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.