Culture Overview

  • Edward T. Hall states that culture is primarily a system for creating, sending, storing and processing information. Communication underlies everything; therefore, culture encompasses any organization’s values, mores, behaviors, and assumptions. Organizational culture shapes the context for new organizational members; how people and groups interact with each other and with stakeholders. It directly impacts how people think, perceive and feel about an organization. In District 49, our vision is to be the best choice in public education. We envision a future when every time a student, parent, or educator chooses a school district, we are the best choice they can make. We have a mission to learn, work and lead. Our commitment is to be the best place to learn, to work, and to lead. Every day, we create environments so that everyone associated with the district is always learning, working, and leading us to be the best. Our culture is integral to achieving our vision and mission.
Louis Fletcher
Culture and Services Director
Phone: 719.495.1105

Our Cultural Compass

  • A compass is an important navigational aid. It helps to find our heading; it guides in the right direction. When off course, it can be used to get back on track. A compass tells nothing about the speed of movement however, only the direction of travel.

    District 49’s cultural compass provides the intended bearing to students, parents, and staff; how we treat each other and our work. We use the compass to orient us as an organization and as individuals in our execution of the ‘Five Big Rocks’ of our strategic plan.

    The heart of the compass rose guides our actions in how we relate to and treat each other.Cultural Compass

    We respect others for their abilities, qualities and achievements.
    We promote trust in our relationships through honest and open communication
    We provide a safe and caring environment for students and staff
    We hold ourselves accountable for our actions

    The outer face of the compass rose guides us in how we treat our work.

    We model continuous learning to encourage life-long learners

    We ensure all decisions align with the ‘Five Big Rocks’

    We encourage risk taking by supporting creative exploration of new ideas and strategies
    We embrace working together to achieve effective results for our students and community


    As our guiding paradigm, the cultural compass creates an atmosphere of camaraderie shared perspective. Maintaining a principle-centered vector to relationships and work increases the cultural capacity of the organization, making District 49 the best district to learn, work and lead.

    Mix It Up at Lunch Day

    Mix It Up at Lunch Day is a national campaign launched by Teaching Tolerance over a decade ago, which encourages students to identify, question and cross social boundaries. In surveys, students identified cafeterias as the place where divisions are most clearly drawn. So ,for one day a school year, students are asked to move out of their comfort zones and connect with someone new over lunch. It’s a simple act with profound implications. Studies have shown that interactions across group lines can help reduce prejudice. When students interact with those who are different from them, biases and misperceptions can fall away. Watch Video

2015-2016 News

  • SRES Fifth-graders Tour HMS, Realigned For Sand Creek Zone

    Springs Ranch Elementary School fifth-grader Camrie McCombs, 10, enters a gym during a Renaissance program assembly Jan. 8 at Horizon Middle School in District 49. Students set to graduate from the elementary school were invited to the assembly, where students are recognized and rewarded for classroom achievements.

    Comments (0)
  • Santa’s Toy Express Lifts Holiday Spirits, Connects Community

    Santa Claus, played by retired firefighter Jim DeGeorge, greets children Dec. 5 during Santa’s Toy Express in District 49. Chosen from elementary schools across the district, some 47 children facing special circumstances during the holidays were bused to the morning activities.

    Comments (0)
  • Marching Band Creates Harmony In Cultural Connections

    Eleventh-grader Nattasitth Yamasmit of Bangkok, Thailand, plays a marching baritone during a Veterans Day parade Nov. 7 in Colorado Springs. Nattasitth, 16, arrived in July, and enrolled at Sand Creek High School in District 49. He’s one of three foreign exchange students participating in marching band this semester.

    Comments (0)
  • Students With Special Needs Find Friendships In Cheer Squad

    Twelfth-grader Ashlynn Lahoe, 19, finishes a cheer during a homecoming assembly Oct. 2 at Sand Creek High School in District 49. The cheer squad invited Ashlynn and 10th-grader Devon Beckmann, 15, both students with special needs, to perform in their homecoming routine.

    Comments (0)
  • Teacher and Student Bonds Help Firebirds Soar

    "I am at this school because of these students," said Scott Young, Falcon Middle School science teacher, "they are very talented and respectful. I wanted to make a difference in the world and being a servant in schools for these kids is very fulfilling."

    Comments (0)

2014-2015 News

  • Father Shares Why Son’s Teacher Deserves Awards, Recognition

    Patrick Jewell, father of second-grader Brett Jewell, 8, shares his appreciation for significant support needs teacher Dawnise Sandwick of Falcon Elementary School of Technology during a Board of Education meeting May 14 in District 49. Jewell wrote a nomination for Sandwick to receive a teacher appreciation scholarship from the Colorado Springs Down Syndrome Association.

    Comments (0)
  • Romain: Mend Hardships With Friendships

    Trevor Romain, author and illustrator, meets with students May 13 at Falcon Middle School in District 49. While serving in the army of his native country, South Africa, he was inspired to assist children through hardships. Now a resident of Austin, Texas, Romain has published dozens of self-help children’s books—selling more than 1 million copies.

    Comments (0)
  • RES Families Explore Cultures, Celebrate Diversity

    Dallo Fall of Senegal leads the Jamoral troupe through West African dancing and drumming traditions April 30 during “Celebrate the Arts Family Fun Night” at Remington Elementary School in District 49.

    Comments (0)
  • Students With Special Needs Sharpen Warrior Skills

    Eleventh-grader Phillip Held, 17, navigates an obstacle course April 21 at Sand Creek High School in District 49. Two teams of students with special needs, ranging from developmental to intellectual disabilities, had rushed into the school’s field house, where they discovered an adapted obstacle course based on the popular NBC television program “American Ninja Warrior.”

    Comments (0)
  • AAYLC Awards District for Support

    Otis Campbell, African-American Youth Leadership Conference executive director, offers his gratitude during “Fantastic 49” recognition March 12, ahead of a monthly Board of Education meeting in District 49.

    Comments (0)
  • Students, Staff Commended for ECC Summit Support

    Linda Hunt-Stone, Educating Children of Color Student Ambassador Program chair, offers her gratitude during “Fantastic 49” recognition March 12, ahead of a monthly Board of Education meeting in District 49.

    Comments (0)
  • HMS Honored for Impact in School Environments, Student Achievement

    Kim Miller, a humanities teacher at Horizon Middle School, explains rising levels of school pride during “Fantastic 49” recognition Feb. 12, ahead of a monthly Board of Education meeting in District 49.

    Comments (0)
  • ‘Papa Clark’ Returns With Stories of Civil Rights Struggle, Forgiveness

    James Clark, 65, of Colorado Springs, explains the civil rights movement for middle schoolers Jan. 29 at Patriot Learning Center in District 49. For six years, Clark has visited the alternative learning school in honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday and National African American History Month.

    Comments (0)
  • Technology Student Wins Women’s Aspirations in Computing Award

    Tenth-grader Kiana Harkema, 14, troubleshoots a Wi-Fi connection with a microcontroller board during a computer forensics class Jan. 23 at Falcon High School in District 49.

    Comments (0)
  • Volunteer Dad Dedicates Time to Keep Kids Feeling Safe, Involved in Activities

    School volunteer Bruce Hicks helps children feel safe and included on a playground Dec. 11 at Falcon Elementary School of Technology in District 49.

    Comments (0)