POWER Zone Overview

  • The POWER Zone is one of only two zones of innovation in the state of Colorado. We have been working hard with the stakeholders in our community to implement innovative strategies to support our staff and students.

    POWER Zone logo

    About the Zone

    Our Core Values

    • The POWERZone climbs with confidence. Here, everyone has permission to fail and try new ideas.

    • The zone creates a loyalty effect, where working together to solve problems helps everyone succeed.

    • POWER Zone administrators and teachers strive to treat everyone as the most important person, ensuring a positive culture.

    • We focus on community service to ensure community support in critical times. A family-first focus for a well-rounded life helps each student’s family enjoy each other and increase academic productivity.

    • School faculty are dedicated to nurturing respectful relationships.

    • Teachers are given autonomy to teach.  Through the proposal process, anyone can bring ideas to the entire zone community for approval and implementation. All suggestions are considered with respect.

     

  • Academic Performance

    Academic Performance

    The demonstration of Knowledge and skills integrated across multiple content areas and driven through personalized learning pathways. 

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  •  Critical Thinking

    Personalized Learning

    Personalized learning is a student centered learning model where students gain more ownership over their learning and more voice with their teacher about how they learn best. This process allows students to have more choice over how they demonstrate their learning. Through developing strong problem solving and critical thinking skills students can create a clear path to competency based learning and skill development.

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  •  School Climate

    School Safety & Climate

    When we mention school climate, we're referring to a school's quality and character, along with the values expressed during social interactions. With a Capturing Kids Hearts philosophy reinforced annually, and permeating across the zone, every educator is equipped with specific strategies to help increase our effectiveness with the young people we serve.

    Our parents must know their children are safe. Our students must feel safe to learn. The importance of ensuring a safe and secure learning environment is universally seen as one the most important indicators to our community.

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POWER Zone Superintendent

Phone: 719.494.8812

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Mrs. Theresa Ritz

Theresa Ritz is honored to be your POWER Zone Superintendent. She is a servant leader known for her love of people and successful collaboration with District 49 stakeholders. Her 25 years of experience in D49 as Executive Principal, Principal, Assistant Principal, Dean of Students, and classroom teacher provides unique perspective and expertise on the ecosystem of the POWER Zone. By combining the innovation of the PZ with the D49 vision, mission, and Cultural Compass, she is able to promote creativity, teamwork, and effective communication to help strengthen connections for all educators, administrators, families, and students. Building a team that supports one another for the benefit of all children is what drives her. 

Theresa accomplished her bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Regis University, and her teaching license, master’s degree in cross-cultural education, and principal’s license from the University of Denver. She enjoys guiding our Zone in unified processes in the best interests of students: Capturing Kids’ Hearts (CKH), The New Art & Science of Teaching (NASOT) instructional framework, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and 7 Steps to a Language Rich Interactive Classroom to name a few. She appreciates working alongside dedicated principals, building leaders, and educators to ensure an excellent educational experience for every student and family.   

Theresa and her 30-year educator husband, David, enjoy their three adult children (Connor, Alex, and Grace) and one fluffy grandcat (Sprout). Theresa loves music events and attending concerts. Her favorite musician is her guitarist son, Connor, who can be seen around the Denver area performing with various groups. Alex works as an EMT and Grace serves as an elementary school teacher, both in the Colorado Springs area. Theresa is devoted to her family and friends, and a great night for her includes laughter by an outdoor fire pit taking in the beautiful Colorado views. She also delights in unique coffee shops and a good cup of coffee.

Please feel free to reach out to Theresa with questions or feedback at tritz@d49.org.

POWER Zone Schools

POWER Zone Updates

  • Dear POWER Zone Families, 

    Summer break is wonderful, but so is the start of a new school year!  It’s my hope that summer for each of our POWER Zone families was exactly what you wished for, and that you’re feeling energized for the school year ahead.  On behalf of all PZ teachers and staff, we welcome you to the 2022-2023 school year!

    My name is Theresa Ritz, and I’m honored to serve as your POWER Zone Superintendent.  This year is my 25th in District 49, where I’ve served as a teacher, dean, assistant principal, principal, PZ Executive Principal, and now as the PZ Superintendent.  Our current students bring me joy every day, and it also brings me great joy to run into former students and families out in our community and to learn about the paths they have taken in life.  I’m deeply committed to the people in the POWER Zone, and that’s why I’ve chosen to remain in D49 across the years.  I believe that our district truly is the best place to work, learn, and lead!  

    Many people have been diligently planning and preparing for the school year ahead.  From getting the buildings and grounds ready to training on curricula, there’s always a great deal happening in the summer to ensure excellent learning environments for our students.  POWER Zone new teachers started on July 20th, and they attended a two-day Capturing Kids’ Hearts training, then from there they spent two days in New Teacher Orientation and preparing their classrooms.  All teachers returned on July 26th and have engaged in a variety of professional development opportunities.  POWER Zone teachers and staff are ready and eager to get the year started, and their positive energy is impressive!  Our schools are busy with Family Orientations, Back to School Nights, and first days– it’s all very exciting! 

    One thing that you should expect on every POWER Zone campus is an intentional focus on relationships and positive culture.  In the PZ, we believe that respectful relationships are the foundation for everything else.  Student growth and achievement happen best in a positive environment where people genuinely care about one another.  I want to thank you, in advance, for partnering with us in prioritizing respectful relationships between all stakeholders in our zone.  It means so much for our students to observe the important adults in their lives interacting with kindness and compassion, even when solving problems.  When you experience outstanding examples of respectful relationships at PZ schools, I’d love to hear about it!  You can email me any time at tritz@d49.org

    One way you can help your school is to spread the word that there are still positions available for employment in the POWER Zone.  We are looking for reliable, caring staff who want to make a difference.  If you are interested, please take a look at jobs posted on the district website, and you can also reach out to the front office at your campus and ask if they have open positions.  Serving as a guest teacher or staff substitute is also an excellent option for many.

    I plan to reach out quarterly with an update for PZ parents and caregivers to share celebrations and areas for focus.  We will also reach out periodically with quick surveys to hear feedback and gain insight into a variety of topics.  In the meantime, if there’s anything you need as we get this year started, please ask.  Staff across the POWER Zone are focused on service, and we are glad to help. 

    Sincerely,

    Theresa Ritz

    POWER Zone Superintendent

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2016-2017 News in District 49

  • Kids Win With Soccer Kick Around

    Kids from the Evans International Elementary School neighborhood scored big by learning the basics of soccer at a “kick around” hosted by the Southeast Springs Soccer Initiative at the school June 19.

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  • 2017 Teachers of the Year Honored

    Heather Reading, kindergarten teacher, is recognized as Remington Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year during ‘Fantastic 49’ ahead of a monthly Board of Education meeting June 8 in District 49.

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  • Busy Construction Season Blasts Off with Wall-Breaking Ceremony

    The walls at Sand Creek High School started tumbling down on June 6 when the community came together for a groundbreaking, or rather “wall breaking,” ceremony at the school. Administrators, students, and board members took turns knocking down walls to make way for a variety of school improvements and additions. The event marked the official kick-off for $83.5 million of projects across District 49 made possible by ballot issue 3B. Last November, voters overwhelmingly approved 3B by a 2 to 1 margin.

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  • Special Olympics Brings Social and Physical Support for Students in Extended School Year Program

    Representatives from the southeast Colorado Special Olympics regional office taught bocce ball to students enrolled in District 49's extended school year program June 7 at Sand Creek High School. The extended year program serves qualifying students with special needs for four weeks at the beginning of the traditional summer break. The program focuses on retaining information and skills that students learn during the traditional school year. The extra learning helps increase retention and ensures a strong start to the school year. "When we are in the classroom we are working hard on reading and math," said Bridgette Martin, ESY coordinator for secondary students. "A lot of the students have social goals too and this is a practical and fun way to work on those goals."

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  • SCHS Graduates Prepare For Next Chapter As ‘World Changers’

    Sand Creek High School graduates prepare for a commencement ceremony May 27 at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs.

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2015-2016 News in District 49

  • 2016 Teachers of The Year Recognized

    Amy Rogers, math teacher, is recognized as Vista Ridge High School’s teacher of the year during “Fantastic 49” achievements ahead of a monthly board meeting June 9.

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  • Students Create Art Work As Part of #StopOnRed Campaign

    "We enjoy the opportunity to see the artwork from our students across the district," said Gene Hammond, District 49 transportation director. "To see the importance of safety on our buses through the eyes of those we serve reminds us of the important job we do each day."

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  • News 5 Features FESoT on Newscast

    Falcon Elementary School of Technology fifth grade students learned about being storm safe with KOAA News 5, the NBC affiliate for southern Colorado.

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  • Class of 2016: SCHS Reflects on Successes, New Possibilities

    Roughly 280 Sand Creel High School graduates received diplomas May 28 during a commencement ceremony at The Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs.

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  • Class of 2016: VRHS Marks Milestones, Considers Future

    More than 300 Vista Ridge High School graduates received diplomas May 28 during a commencement ceremony at The Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs.

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2014-2015 News in District 49

  • VRHS Student Athletes Sign Letters of Intent

    Twelfth-graders Louis Quinones, 18, and Elway Tubbs, 18, sign letters of intent May 6 at Vista Ridge High School.

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  • Students Volunteer Time During Summer Workday

    Seventh-grader Bella Fajardo paints the Falcon Homeschool Program logo during a workday July 23.

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  • Teachers of the Year Awarded During ‘Fantastic 49’

    Andrea Aragon, teacher at Ridgeview Elementary School, receives a teacher of the year award June 11 during a Board of Education meeting June 11 in District 49.

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  • Nearly 900 Youth Earn High School Diplomas in District 49

    Nearly 900 youth earned a diploma during the 2014-2015 school year by attending one of the five coordinated high schools in District 49.

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  • Class of 2015: Patriot Learning Center

    Patriot Learning center graduates turn their tassel May 21 during a commencement ceremony.

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  • Grant Propels Learning at PLC

    Paul Austin, science educator at Patriot Learning Center, will use a $4200 Teachers and Technology grant from CenturyLink to purchase a 3D printer. Austin and his students will use the 3D printer to create different propellers in a boat drag racing unit. "Without this grant, there's no way we could do the tinkering phase of the project," said Austin. "It isn't cost effective and there's no way we'd be able to wait for a manufacturer to do that process for us."

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  • Challenging Mission: To The Moon

    The POWER Zone schools in District 49 focus on the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) ecosystem. Fifth grade students from the gifted program at the zone's three elementary schools visited Challenger Learning Center May 20. The students participated in a mission to a lunar base on the moon.

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  • PPSEL Students Present Hundreds of Semester Expeditions

    Kindergartner Cassie Johnson, 6, tells principal Don Knapp that “engineers make machines to make life easier” during a gallery night May 20 at Pikes Peak School of Expeditionary Learning in District 49.

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  • On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!

    "It's a great chance for our kids to be out and compete against other schools," said Kara Woolery, Evans International Elementary School counselor, "They are showing us what they can do and are such upstanding young people. It's a nice way to end the year."

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  • Class of 2015: Falcon Virtual Academy

    Fifty-six students graduated from Falcon Virtual Academy on May 15. This is the last graduating class from FVA as it will evolve into Springs Studio for Academic Excellence during the summer.

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