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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

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.

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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.