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Welcome Back DCSD!

CASTLE ROCK – Nearly all of our 67,000 students are back in class this week, after returning from summer break.

The first wave of Douglas County School District (DCSD) students returned to school on Monday August 3. Soaring Hawk Elementary and Meadow View elementary schools were the first to report. 

Fifth-grade teacher June Catto was one of the many staff members greeting students with a smile and hugs as they returned to Soaring Hawk.

“They’ve only been gone for two months, but they come in and they are so excited. They bring their supplies and the energy level is so incredible. It is just amazing,” Catto said.

While there were certainly some tears as summer break ended, on the whole most teachers and students were excited to get the new school year started.

“The first day is always fun because you get to meet the kids. You have expectations of what is going to happen and it all changes based on the kids in the classroom. It is never the same. It’s always different,” explained Catto. “I’m looking forward to building a community in my classroom and having the kids work together and achieve what goals they want to set for themselves.”

This year Soaring Hawk implemented a new tradition, welcoming students outside—before proceeding into the building. Principal Chris Neville stood at the front door as the parade passed by, giving students and staff high-fives.

A couple days later, it was Renaissance Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound School’s turn. Principal Deborah Lemmer and her staff welcomed each and every student as they passed through the front door.

"Creating a sense of belonging for all members of a community is at the heart of what we do," Lemmer said. "It is with great intention we develop our community. When students and teachers feel a genuine sense of belonging they will take those important risks that ignite self discovery."

Meanwhile, most of the other DCSD's schools welcomed students back to school during the week of August 10. 

Bear Canyon Elementary School and its new principal, Kelly Ursetta, was amongst them. After moving to the school from Castle Rock Elementary, she has been working with staff to set a course for the new school year.

“[We are] talking about where we are now and what our vision is and making sure that our vision is alive and not just words on a piece of paper but what we’re doing for kids every single day,” Ursetta said. "We really focused on our school wide goals and what we need to do to make sure we’re offering the best education we possibly can for our kids and making sure that the skills that they’re working on are what’s going to prepare them for the future."

At Legend High School back to school felt like a party, with the Titan Marching Band welcoming freshmen students for their first day of school. Legend Principal Jason Jacob couldn't resist picking up the drums and joining the band. Watch the video at:

And when it comes to rockin' in the new school year, no one beats Fox Creek Elementary Principal Brian Rodda. Every year, he greets students, parents and staff with a short concert.

Back to School Resources
DCSD has created a website to provide families with Back to School the information they need about returning to school, including calendars, bus routes and more at

Additionally, back to school is a perfect time for a fresher on school safety. Click here for safety tips.

August 6, 2015 | By rmbarber | Category: District, Elementary Education, High School Education, Middle School Education, Schools

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.