• Employee Resources
  • Language

Students partner with architect to help design new Renaissance Secondary School

Children and parents dig dirt out of a wheelbarrow

Submitted by parent Tara Ricciardi

CASTLE ROCK- Renaissance Secondary School has broken ground on its facility serving grades 7-10, planned to open in August 2017. As a first step in planning the design of the building, students, teachers and community members had the opportunity to speak with architect Peter Ewers and provide input on a design that reflects the school’s strong culture of active participation and collaboration through shared, flexible spaces.

Collaborating on the design of the building is a natural outgrowth of the Renaissance Secondary model, where teachers and students will be designers not only of their physical environment, but also of interdisciplinary learning experiences where there will be a focus on developing critical, creative, and reflective thinking skills to solve complex problems.

Students presenting with a diagram of a building design for parents and community members“Working with the architect gave me a really good idea of what the culture of the school would be like. Where my input would be considered. To hear that the architect took some of our ideas seriously was pretty incredible,” commented seventh grade student, Nico Trettel.

The benefits of a connection to nature and the outdoors are offered through the open courtyard and exterior walkways, as well as the outdoor climbing wall, which represents and supports the school’s Adventure Education program. The Renaissance commitment to sustainability is seen in high efficiency heating, cooling, and lighting as well as recycling and composting. Students and the school’s governing board are excited about one particularly unique element in the school’s design, an element taken from the students’ brainstorming session— a slide connecting the second story to the ground level.

The facility’s builder, JHL Constructors, was selected not only as a result their considerable experience building charter schools in Colorado, but also because of their enthusiasm for involving students in the construction process. They hope to help students discover and explore their interests, be they in construction or other related disciplines, from design to marketing to mathematics or finance. “The overall umbrella is construction, but the possibilities are really quite endless,” noted Brad Schmall, Vice President at JHL.

Renaissance Secondary School will add a grade each year until 2019 when it will be at full capacity with grades 7-12. For more information about Renaissance, visit

MORE: Watch the Renaissance Secondary School Groundbreaking:

December 6, 2016 | By CSilberman | Category: Renaissance Secondary, Choice Programming

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.