Back to School: celebrating success, building for the future

Tuesday, August 1, 2017 - 8:00am
Back to School 2017-2018

Read Superintendent Chris Gdowski's welcome back letter

Summer is a time for students, families and staff to relax, recharge and enjoy time with family and friends. As the break comes to an end, we cannot wait to welcome back students, staff, families and the entire Five Star community for the 2017-18 school year. 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.

Welcome back, Five Star families! We appreciate and value the partnership we have with our community and look forward to further collaboration as we build on the many successes of last year.

Partners in Education

Strong schools build strong communities, and strong communities support strong schools. In November 2016, the Five Star community gave us the green light to make the necessary investments in support of student success with the passage of a $350 million bond. We are thankful for the passion and commitment you bring to supporting students in the Five Star District and look forward to projects that will invest in every student, every school and every community.

In the first year of the 2016 Bond Program, we celebrated two groundbreakings – first at our new P-8 school in Broomfield and second kicking-off the renovation and reconstruction of STEM Lab in Northglenn.

In addition, we started collaborative discussions with the community and industry experts surrounding our Career and Technical Education (CTE) expansion. The basis of our CTE expansion stems from one of the Five Star District’s core strategies: creating multiple pathways for student learning. By engaging students, staff, industry experts and community members we hope to shape future programming that will provide more students the opportunity to pursue their passions. 

In partnership with Design Advisory Groups (DAGs), which include school staff and parent representatives, we are far along in shaping the design of renovations at eight schools, including building additions at two schools.

You can read more about the 2016 Bond Program at

Five Star Proud

Thanks to strong academic gains, the Five Star District was accredited as a Performance District for the first time since the state began giving school and district accountability ratings in 2010. This demonstrates that when you give high-caliber teachers and school administrators the tools and resources they need, and then let them make the best decisions for their students, great things happen.

In addition to the strong showing at the district level, a record seven schools in the Five Star District moved out of the priority improvement rating and a total of 15 schools moved to a higher performance category as a result of their academic gains. This tremendous work in closing the achievement gap is a direct result of the hard work of principals, teachers, students and families in these schools, and a strong focus on curriculum and resources. In addition our support staff who feed our students, transport them to school and care for them before and after school are critical to helping our students be “ready to learn”.

With such academic gains, it is no surprise that our four-year graduation rate continues to increase year-over-year. The 2016 Class holds a four-year graduation rate of 81.9 percent, surpassing the state average of 78.9 percent, making it the highest graduation rate in recent memory and up more than nine percent since 2010.

Future Planning

Sustaining these successes in future years will prove more challenging if we do not soon arrive at a solution to state and local funding challenges. We look forward to working with our community throughout the 2017-18 school year to take a deeper look at the programming that has made a positive difference in the lives of our young people. How can we best provide services, supports and opportunities that we believe are sound investments in more fully developing our students to their highest potential? We are eager to dream with you as we elevate our current successes to ensure that every child receives the best education possible in every classroom, every day.

Thank you for your continued support in helping our students thrive in the Five Star District. Enjoy the remainder of the summer! We look forward to welcoming you back to school in the next few weeks, rejuvenated, rested and ready to further build on our successes together!


Chris Gdowski