Back to School: Elevating Student Success

Wednesday, August 7, 2019 - 9:30am
back to school

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 2019-2020 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.

“My teacher helped me even though I wasn’t good at writing. She helped me succeed by helping me add more details. I felt successful because she guided me through writing. I think the best thing about school is that teachers always give us a chance.”

Focus on Students. This is what I’m reminded of as I read this story that a student shared with me recently. As part of Adams 12 Five Star Schools’ new strategic plan, ELEVATE, we encourage students, parents, staff and members of the Five Star community to share their stories of strength about the district.

More than 7,000 people participated in our strategic planning process. The year-long engagement process to discover our community-driven strategic plan started with building upon what we do well. Participants were asked to tell a story when the district, school or staff member did right by a student. Thousands of stories were synthesized into five core strengths of the district which reveal who we are and who we want to continue to be. We collectively determined that in Adams 12 Five Star Schools, we Care, Collaborate, Engage, Empower and Focus on Students.

Five Star Proud

These strengths and the stories that bring them to life demonstrate that we have much to celebrate and be #FiveStarProud. Here are just a few highlights.

  • Our students have demonstrated the greatest sustained academic growth over the past four years when compared to other school districts in Colorado serving 10,000 or more students. 
  • The district’s graduation rate of 84.3 percent exceeds the state average, and the Hispanic graduation rate has jumped from 69.4 percent in 2014 to 80.7 percent in 2018.

This celebration also extends beyond academic achievements.

  • More than 30 school renovation projects are underway this summer as part of the voter-approved 2016 Bond Program. These projects include investments in safety and security, critical building repairs, playground upgrades, and improvements to schools’ arts, music and physical education programs.
  • Over 240 parents and community members have graduated from our year-long Five Star Leadership Academy. Graduates of the academy represent more than 70 percent of membership on districtwide committees such as our District Accountability Committee.

ELEVATE and the 2019-2020 School Year

We are hiring more than 150 employees in support of investments our community prioritized through ELEVATE and the November 2018 passage of Ballot Issue 5C, a $27 million mill levy override. One of the most significant areas of investment is in class size relief and the expansion of course options at the secondary level. We are hiring more than 50 teachers for next school year to address class sizes that are above target levels in elementary schools and to provide class size relief and/or more course options aligned to specific school needs at the middle and high school levels.

In support of the diverse learning needs of our students, we are adding academic interventionists at our elementary and K-8 schools. These interventionists will work directly with students in accelerating their learning in literacy and math.

Beginning this school year, we will add social emotional learning specialists in all of our elementary, middle and K-8 schools. This is a new position that will support student growth in social-emotional competencies. At the high school level, we will provide additional counselors to better support the individual needs of our students.

See You Soon
All of these successes and opportunities were made possible through our staff, students, parents and community members committing to partner and collaborate with one another.

We look forward to making your child’s 2019-2020 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 upon our collective stories of strength in the year ahead.