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Behind the Scenes Logo

Welcome to Behind the Scenes, the DCSD spotlight for good news occurring in and around the Douglas County School District by our amazing staff and students. Learn about the heroes who are impacting our school district every day behind the scenes, and the events taking place within our schools that enrich the educational value for others.

 

Castle View to Produce Frozen, The Musical in 2023
09/26/2022
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We’re excited to announce that Castle View High School will produce Frozen, The Musical in November 2023! Talk about magical! Through a unique nationwide competition, one high school in every U.S. state and territory were granted the rights to produce Disney’s Frozen: The Broadway Musical in their local communities. The winning productions will mark the first-ever school productions of Frozen anywhere in the world. Congratulations Sabercats!
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Colorado Proud School Meal Day 2022
09/23/2022
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Colorado Proud School Meal Day is held annually on September 20 to spotlight Colorado agriculture and to educate students about healthy eating. In celebration of Colorado Proud School Meal Day, DCSD’s 51 elementary schools featured a Colorado Proud Meal for lunch: mixed melons and honeydew, rainbow carrots, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers on the harvest bar, and fresh roasted fingerling potatoes with broccoli and cheese sauce. Colorado Proud School Meal Day is a great way to introduce fresh produce and food to children who might be unfamiliar with some items. This year, in connection with Colorado Proud School Meal Day, DCSD families and members of the community visited a day-long Farmer’s Market on the front lawn of Arrowwood Elementary in Highlands Ranch. DCSD’s Nutrition Services partnered with Hoffman Farms in Greeley and other local producers, such as Beyond the Hive, Merfs, and Yumbana, which supplied fresh produce and food available for purchase. Attendees had the opportunity to purchase corn, Palisade peaches, shishito peppers, tomatoes, Pueblo chilis, honey sticks, hot sauce and condiments, and gluten-free baked goods.
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Welcome to Bellisimo Blu Salon and Academy at Highlands Ranch High School, operated by students enrolled in the cosmetology program.
08/31/2022
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Welcome to Bellisimo Blu Salon and Academy at Highlands Ranch High School, operated by students enrolled in the cosmetology program. On August 11, Highlands Ranch High School hosted a grand opening ceremony for Bellisimo Blu Salon and Academy.
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Apple Award Winners 2022
04/07/2022
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Congratulations to 2022 Apple Awards Winners! Check out some of the extraordinary accomplishments of these extraordinary staff.
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Individualized Learning Key to Success for Students With Autism at Coyote Creek Elementary
04/06/2022
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According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 44 children in the United States today. No two children with autism are alike, so teachers like Chelsea Krier of Coyote Creek Elementary are taking an individualized approach to learning.
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Tim Ottmann: The Foundation of Ponderosa High School
04/05/2022
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What builds a school? Concrete, rebar, bricks, and relationships. The first three are obvious, but relationships form invisible cultural foundations that define a school as much as its building. Nothing could be more true for Ponderosa High School in Parker. The most remarkable piece of Ponderosa High School’s foundation is Principal Tim Ottmann.
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A Leader Under Pressure: How One DCHS Grad Stepped Up During the Marshall Fire
03/08/2022
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When the Marshall Fire broke out in Superior, CO, on December 30, 2021, businesses and homes were consumed in flames, with many families forced to leave their beloved pets behind. One Douglas County High School graduate, Ellie Creasey, took on an extraordinary role in reuniting families with their furry friends.
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Walter's Wish
02/21/2022
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Chief Commander Walter is 9 years old. He has Cystic Fibrosis, so much of his day is typically filled with breathing treatments and managing his digestion. Today is not a typical day, thanks to students and staff in the Mountain Vista High School community.
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New Friendships Forming At Heritage Elementary
02/15/2022
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Recess is the time for fun and games, and the playground is often a place where friendships are formed. After a couple of years of remote learning and transitions, coming back together didn't always come naturally, particularly for the youngest learners.
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Saying "Thanks!" to Our School Counselors
02/11/2022
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February 7-11, 2022, is National School Counselors Week! Just like teachers, counselors are essential parts of schools as they help students navigate the complex waters of growing up. Thank you, school counselors, for the amazing work you do every day all year round! Take a peek into some counselors' perspectives.
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District's Best Musicians Bring Back the Music to Boettcher
01/22/2022
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After a year away, the Continental League Music Festival made its return to Boettcher Music Hall in downtown Denver. Musicians from band, orchestra, and choir auditioned for this prestigious honor. This year marked a celebration after the pandemic prevented musicians from getting together to perform.
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Ponderosa Community Builds New Outdoor Classroom
01/14/2022
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Riley Gordon had no idea what this would become. The Ponderosa High School alum (Class of '21) was involved in the PeaceJam organization since her freshman year. It was there that the idea for an outdoor learning space was born.
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Legend Computer Science Class Inspires Young Entrepreneur
01/12/2022
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The relationship between humans and computers is pretty simple. In Legend High School's Computer Science class, Mr. Stasiak makes it like a game. After being in the class four years, Legend Alum Lance Schneider has turned the game into a business. His automated attendance taker is saving teachers valuable class time.
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DCSD Acquires CU South Building For Future Student Innovation Center
12/21/2021
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On December 15, 2021, the Douglas County School District closed and assumed ownership of the CU South Building in Lone Tree. The approximately 175,000 square foot site will eventually be home to DCSD Career and Technical Education (CTE) and other student programming, as well as providing space for conferences, proms, homecomings, and other student and community events.
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The World's A Stage at ThesCon 2021
12/17/2021
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The 57th annual theater conference drew high school and charter school theater troupes from across Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico. Nearly a dozen theatre programs in DCSD attended and received accolades.
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Pre-K Playground Transformed at Early Childhood Center South
12/15/2021
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At the DCSD Early Childhood Center South location in Castle Rock, a regular pre-K playground was transformed into a more enriching outdoor experience. Thanks to a grant from Early Childhood Healthy Outdoors (ECHO) and donations from around DCSD, outdoor learning will continue to blossom one recess at a time.
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Bear Canyon Elementary's Anchor Room Provides Stability
12/14/2021
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When life is unstable it's good to have an anchor. At Bear Canyon Elementary, there's a room for that.
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Mesa Students Get Hands-On with Car Engines
12/13/2021
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Over 100 students at Mesa Middle School received several special visits from an automotive technician and a master mechanic from Christian Brothers Automotive. Student teams worked to disassemble car engines and learn first-hand what a career in automotive could look like.
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TIME Magazine Kid of the Year Inspires fellow DCSD students
12/03/2021
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Gitanjali Rao has an impressive list of accomplishments - innovator, author, public speaker, and TIME magazine's very first Kid of the Year. All of this might be intimidating to other kids her age, but the STEM School Highlands Ranch student has a message - if I can do it, so can you.
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Chaparral High School Alums Reunite To Celebrate 25 Years
11/19/2021
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Chaparral High School opened its doors 25 years ago. Principals, teachers, students, and superintendents past and present gathered to remember how the Chaparral school culture and community have shaped who they have become.
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Friends 2 Friends Event Brings Together SSN Groups
11/18/2021
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Eagle Ridge invites students in Significant Support Needs (SSN) programs from across the district to cheer each other on during the field day activities.
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Sky Ridge Gives Students A Closer Look Into the Medical Field
11/17/2021
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Every year, Sky Ridge Medical Center hosts Mini Medical University to provide students interested in the medical field the chance to tour a hospital, see professionals in action, and ask questions along the way.
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One Book One District 2021
11/15/2021
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Douglas County School District celebrates National Children's Book Week with the week long literacy event "One Book, One District." To kick off the week, renowned children's author LeUyen Pham read her book "Outside, Inside" to classes throughout DCSD and answered questions about her work as an author and illustrator. Copper Mesa Elementary 6th Grader Sydney Thomas had the honor of introducing Pham on a Google Meet.
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Letters for Veterans at Redstone Elementary
11/12/2021
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Redstone Elementary has a special tradition for celebrating Veterans Day: students write letters and collect treats for service members at Buckley Air Force Base. These small acts of kindness, along with a special guest speaker, make the annual community outreach project a powerful expression of appreciation.
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Celebrating Veterans in DCSD
11/11/2021
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Thank you to all the DCSD Family members for your years of service to our country and our community!
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Eagle Academy Grad Returns to Help Students in Alternative Education
11/05/2021
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When he graduated from Eagle Academy in 2014, Kyle McKinney never thought he would return to DCSD. But the beginning of the 2021-22 school year found him as an Educational Assistant for Affective Needs at Plum Creek Academy. There, he finds happiness and inspiration in the familiar alternative education atmosphere.
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Ranch View Middle School Gives Back To Their Community
11/01/2021
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Students at Ranch View Middle School come from several different elementary schools throughout the Highlands Ranch community. Now it's their turn to give back to that same footprint. Principal Erin Kyllo headed up the school's inaugural Community Service Day. Students took time to write letters to former teachers, clean up their building, and do some work in the schools they came from.
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Alum Returns as School Psychologist, Shares Love for Helping Kids
10/29/2021
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After graduating from Ponderosa High School in 1994, Rochelle Evans returned to Douglas County School District (DCSD) in 2006. She now works as a school psychologist at Gold Rush Elementary in the same town where she grew up. We caught up with Evans for a glimpse at what it has been like to work in her hometown community.
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DCSD Celebrates AP Capstone Diploma Recipients
10/21/2021
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The Douglas County School District (DCSD) is honored to recognize students who exceeded expectations in the Advanced Placement (AP) program. DCSD celebrates the 26 students who earned the AP Capstone Diploma and the 19 students who earned the AP Seminar and Research Certificate during the 2020-2021 school year. The AP Capstone Diploma program helps students develop critical thinking, research, collaboration and presentation skills that are critical to academic success.
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DCSD Teachers Receive Boettcher Foundation Recognition Award
10/18/2021
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Two Douglas County School District teachers have been selected as recipients of the Boettcher Foundation’s Teacher Recognition Award. This annual award honors educators for their exemplary influence in educating some of the state’s top students. Congratulations to Michael Schneider, an English teacher at Castle View High School, and Heather Riggs, a Mountain Vista High School science teacher!
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Ponderosa Alum Credits High School Community for Perspective on Nursing
10/13/2021
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Maddison Wilson graduated from Ponderosa High School in 2016 and now spends her nights working with COVID patients on the third floor of Sky Ridge Medical Center. She says that Ponderosa's loving community helped her understand what it means to be a nurse.
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Family Liaisons Break Down Barriers
10/04/2021
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Navigating a new school is difficult for anyone, especially when there is a language barrier between families and staff. That's where DCSD's Family & Cultural Liaisons and Interpreters come in.
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Arrowwood Elementary's Ninja Nation Helps Kids That Have Fallen Behind
09/20/2021
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Ninja Nation is one of the most anticipated days of the year at Arrowwood Elementary. The kids love to swing, hang, jump, and climb - but the real fun is watching the adult ninjas in action.
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New Mountain Vista Class Connects With Students Through Rock and Roll
09/15/2021
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Students at Mountain Vista High School are learning U.S. History like never before. Students in teacher Patrick McGuire’s class are getting a unique look at American History through the lens of music.
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DCSD Home to 20 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists 2021
09/15/2021
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Douglas County School District (DCSD) is pleased to announce the names of 20 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists, making them part of an elite group representing less than 1 percent of U.S. high school seniors. These academically talented students advance in the competition, which awards 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $30 million.
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Eldorado Elementary Celebrates 20 Years, Reflects on 9/11
09/11/2021
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In the 20 years since Eldorado Elementary opened, the school has been known for their community engagement efforts, love of students, and their academic excellence. The staff and students always take the time each year to celebrate the day their doors opened and to spend time reflecting on the moment that happened the day before the day the world changed forever.
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Alumni Feature: Megan Dierker, CNA
09/10/2021
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Megan Dierker graduated from Highlands Ranch High School (HRHS) in 2014. The former HRHS Falcon now soars on the frontlines of healthcare, lifted up by her education and experiences at the Douglas County School District (DCSD). Stacy Blaylock, DCSD Communications Coordinator, sat down with Dierker to see how she got to where she is today.
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HRHS Astronomy Teacher Selected For NASA Flight
08/31/2021
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Highlands Ranch High School Astronomy teacher Bob MacArthur has always been fascinated by the moon, the sun, and the stars. In June of 2021 he got a closer look at them thanks to NASA's Airborne Astronomy Ambassador’s program. He was the only teacher in all of Colorado to fly aboard SOFIA, an aircraft that utilizes multiple cameras to examine the galaxy under infrared lighting.
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Cover of Ride, the book
DCSD Seventh-Grader Publishes Book
08/31/2021
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When Reagan Seewald was a Rock Ridge Elementary 6th Grader, she accomplished a very big goal.
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MMS ROAR Day
Mesa Middle School Reconnects Students at First ROAR Day
08/27/2021
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After two straight years of interruptions from the COVID pandemic, a return to a normal school setting might be daunting. That's why Mesa Middle School's Professional Learning Specialist Erin Gilbert helped to create the first annual ROAR Day. The goal is to build relationships through team building exercises.
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Luke Karel, Ponderosa High School, Baseball
Luke's Team (Social-Emotional Learning in Action)
08/26/2021
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It's an incredible story of perseverance, belonging, and social-emotional support.
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National Recognition for Social Innovation Awarded to Mountain Vista Sophomore
05/05/2021
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In March 2021, Sophomore Taylor Witte of Mountain Vista High School (MVHS) received national recognition in the Junior Achievement Social Innovation Challenge for her book vending machine prototype.
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Girls and Women in Sports Logo
DCSD's Elite Athletes Honored
04/30/2021
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Douglas County School District and the Foundation for Douglas County Schools would like you to join us in congratulating the following elite athletes selected by their schools to be honored for National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
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Buttercup, CVHS Police Therapy Dog
Meet Buttercup, Castle View High School Police Therapy Dog
04/23/2021
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As sweet as she sounds! Castle Rock Police Department and the Douglas County School District are proud to introduce the newest team member of the Castle View High School (CVHS) family, Buttercup. Buttercup is a 2-year-old Golden Retriever-Sheltie mix who joins School Resource Officer (SRO) Scott Gillespie in his duties at the school.
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National Merit Corporate Scholarship Logo
2021 National Merit Corporate Scholarship Winners
04/23/2021
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DCSD is pleased to announce the 2021 National Merit Scholarship winners. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation released the names of the first group of winners in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Only 16 students in Colorado are being recognized for their educational excellence with corporate-sponsored awards - with four of those coming from the Douglas County School District.
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Wildcat Mountain Garden Club
DCSD Celebrates Earth Day 2021
04/22/2021
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All across DCSD, earth-friendly school programs and clubs are sprouting up to make a greener tomorrow. Students of all ages are learning to nurture their environments while inspiring wonder.
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Sophia Gardner, Ranch View Middle School
Rising RVMS Student Thanks Teachers, Admin for a Successful Competitive Ski Season
04/16/2021
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Sophia Gardner was only five years old when she started skiing the bunny hills at the Loveland Ski Club. What started out as learning skiing fundamentals evolved into a passion for a sport. By the age of seven, Sophia began competing in mini ski races that advanced her confidence and skills. Her father, Bill Gardner, recalls when Sophia had entered a race in Winter Park to try her luck, that standing on the podium as 3rd Place Winner with a metal around her neck was the spark that ignited the fire and love of competitive ski racing.
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Cherokee Trail Elementary World Book Day
Cherokee Trail Elementary Celebrates World Book Day
04/15/2021
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Cherokee Trail Elementary celebrated World Book Day on Friday, March 5th. We had all kinds of book characters roaming our halls, spinning the Wheel of Reading for prizes and choosing free books! The day was made extra special with in-character book readings by Mr. Bartuska (A Giraffe and a Half), Mr. Major (The Beautiful, Fabulous, Phyllis McFee) and Mr. Miller (On Account of the Gum). We're building life-long learners and readers at CTE!
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Mountain View Elementary Class in Parker, CO
Mountain View Elementary Achieves Level 1 Certification
03/26/2021
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Mountain View Elementary School has been awarded Level 1 certification in Marzano High Reliability Schools. Level 1 certification means Mountain View Elementary School has created a “Safe, Supportive, and Collaborative Culture,” which is the foundation for every level that follows. Without such a culture, student achievement is compromised, according to Marzano Resources. Day-to-day school operations are addressed and evaluated in Level 1.
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In compliance with Titles VI & VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and Colorado law, the Douglas County School District RE-1 does not unlawfully discriminate against otherwise qualified students, employees, applicants for employment, or members of the public on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, religion, ancestry, or need for special education services. Discrimination against employees and applicants for employment based on age, genetic information, and conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth is also prohibited in accordance with state and/or federal law. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees, and members of the public. The School District's Compliance Officer and Title IX Coordinator to address complaints alleging sexual harassment under Title IX is Aaron Henderson, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado, [email protected], 720-433-1083.

Outside Agencies

Complaints regarding violations of Title VI, (race, national origin), Title IX (sex, gender), Section 504/ADA (handicap or disability), may be filed directly with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite 310, Denver, CO 80204. Complaints regarding violations of Title VII (employment) and the ADEA (prohibiting age discrimination in employment) may be filed directly with the Federal Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 303 E. 17th Ave., Suite 510, Denver, CO 80202, or the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1050, Denver, CO 80202.

NOTICE OF DESTRUCTION OF SPECIAL EDUCATION RECORDS

Special Education records which have been collected by Douglas County School District related to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of special education in the district, must be maintained under state and federal laws for the period of five (5) years after special education services have ended for the student. Special education services end when the student is no longer eligible for services, graduates, or completes his/her educational program at age 21, or moves from the district. This notification is to inform parents/guardians and former students of Douglas County School District's intent to destroy the special education records of students who exited special education services as of June 30, 2016. These records will be destroyed in accordance with state law unless the parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student notifies the school district otherwise. After five years, the records are no longer useful to the district, but may be useful to the parent/guardian or former student in applying for social security benefits, rehabilitation services, college entrance, etc. The parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student may request a copy of the records by requesting the records by email to Karen.callas[email protected]