Back to School: Building on Five Star Success

Thursday, August 2, 2018 - 11:30am
Back to School 2017-2018

Read Superintendent Chris Gdowski's welcome back letter

Adams 12 Five Star Schools’ nearly 5,000 teachers, school office staff, bus drivers, principals, counselors and more look forward to making your child’s 2018-2019 school year their best one yet. We are extremely thankful for the partnership and mutual trust we have with our community and are excited to build on our collective Five Star successes in the year ahead. Don't forget to visit our online back to school resource page for all you need to know to start the school year off on the right foot, and read Superintendent Chris Gdowski's welcome back letter below.

We have much to celebrate and be #FiveStarProud about in Adams 12 Five Star Schools. Our students and staff are demonstrating amazing growth and success across the five communities we serve – Broomfield, Federal Heights, Northglenn, Thornton and Westminster. I’ll highlight just a few indicators of that success.

  • The Five Star District has been accredited as a performance district for two consecutive years and early indicators are that this designation will continue into 2018-2019.

  • The district’s graduation rate of 84.4 percent significantly exceeds the state average, and the Hispanic graduation rate has jumped from 50.8 percent in 2010 to 80.4 percent in 2017.

  • The principals of Northglenn High and Riverdale Elementary earned the Colorado Principal of the Year award for their respective levels.  

Additionally, thanks to our community’s generous support of the 2016 Bond Program, we are investing more than $350 million in every student, every school and every community through improvements to our buildings.

  • Thunder Vista P-8, a new school located in the Anthem community of Broomfield, will open August 2018 with capacity to serve up to 1,000 students.

  • Additions to Cotton Creek and Arapahoe Ridge elementary schools will open August 2018.

  • Renovation and repair work is underway this summer in 11 schools.

  • Phase 1 is complete of the reconstruction and renovation of STEM Lab, which serves students from across the entire Five Star District. Phase 2 is underway and when complete for the 2019-2020 school year, it will allow enrollment to grow from 475 current students to an anticipated 720 students.

After a year-long engagement process with more than 7,000 parents, students, staff and community members, the Five Star District will unveil its new strategic plan - ELEVATE - this fall.

Through the engagement process we discovered the strengths of the district, and the hopes and dreams of our families, staff and community members. We collectively determined that in Adams 12 Five Star Schools, we care, we collaborate, we empower, we engage and we focus on students.

Our new strategic plan has six focus areas that our community identified as being critical to student success: 21st Century Learners, Diverse Learning, Outside-the-Classroom Learning, Safe Schools, Social-Emotional Learning and World-Class Staff. Within each focus area, the plan highlights specific strategies to achieve high outcomes for students.

ELEVATE is ambitious. While we have already begun implementing many of the strategies outlined in ELEVATE to great success, the plan calls for building upon and amplifying that work to an even higher level.

ELEVATE is our roadmap for greater success and we will get there together.  What still needs to be established is how soon we get there.

You’ve likely heard of the funding challenges facing education in Colorado. Since the state first started cutting education funding in 2009-2010, Adams 12 Five Star Schools has experienced a cumulative funding shortfall of $373 million. The cut in funding for 2018-2019 alone is $32 million. Additionally, the district hasn’t received an infusion of dollars locally since the last mill levy override of 2008.

On August 22 our board of education will consider whether to place a local mill levy override on the ballot to help jump-start our investment in ELEVATE. I encourage you to attend if you can or to learn more about our new strategic plan at  

Enjoy your last few days of summer break!