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Embracing our Community

Embracing our Community

Families connect with district, others through parent groups

Adams 12 Five Star Schools is proud of its diverse population. Students and families of all different cultures and backgrounds call the Five Star community home. Families and students feel connected by celebrating their cultural diversity alongside district staff and community partners through a number of district and school groups.

The Hispanic Advisory Council (HAC) and American Indian Parent Advisory Committee (AIPAC) are only two of the many parent groups that foster collaboration between parents and Five Star staff. For many, these groups are an extension of their family where they can show up as their authentic selves and hold meaningful conversations about how to further elevate student success. Both HAC and AIPAC are more than just a parent group, they open their meetings to children and community members and often have delicious food for their members to enjoy.

Hispanic Advisory Council (HAC)

The HAC values the richness and diversity that the Hispanic culture brings to the educational system and the greater Five Star District. When you attend a HAC meeting, you can expect to feel the comfort and support of this group that makes it easy to share your experiences and thoughts with others.

When Blanca Castillo, a single mother and immigrant, first started attending HAC meetings, she expected a group that would help her navigate a new education system. What she received was that and so much more.

She has formed relationships with staff and other parents who have now become her family and have empowered her to overcome great obstacles. Castillo recalls a time she received a call “from a HAC member letting me know that they had raised money to help pay for my expenses that month. I wasn’t expecting that.” Now, years later, she’s helping other parents find resources and connections.

Thornton Elementary and Thornton Middle School students know Blanca as ‘Ms. Castillo’ and think she’s a school employee because she has been a volunteer for over 10 years. While her youngest son is now a high school upperclassman, you can always find her at a PTO meeting or district event. Castillo’s community trusts her to advocate for them by amplifying their voices and concerns as she has always provided answers and resolutions.

American Indian Parent Advisory Committee (AIPAC)

The AIPAC strives to foster a supportive network through cultural awareness and community building. At AIPAC meetings and events you can see multigenerational engagement from grandparents to preschoolers; they all come together at cultural community events like the annual powwow.

“AIPAC cares about me,” says an elementary student member. “AIPAC cares about who I am.”

You can expect to see students performing traditional dances and songs at events, or leading and facilitating conversations alongside community leaders.    

Colorado’s small and well-connected Native community cultivates strong ties across the Five Star District.

“AIPAC provides a respectful, supportive and safe place for my family and me to be connected,” says Melissa Clyde, a parent and leader. “We meet new families and children who have the interest to share, teach and connect over our Native cultural ways. If you care about your children learning about new cultures and want to influence the public education system, then this is a great place to start.”

The HAC and AIPAC are only two of the many groups that are available to students, staff and families across the Five Star District.