POWER Zone Overview

  • POWER Zone's educators and support staff are dedicated to facilitating a mission focused on purposeful risk, ownership of learning, whole child-student concept, engaging inquiry and respectful relationships (POWER). Their values involve climbing with confidence where everyone has permission to fail and try new ideas. The zone is creating 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. And a focus on community service ensures their community's support in critical times. A family-first focus for a well-rounded life helps each student’s family enjoy each other, increasing academic productivity. School faculty are dedicated to nurturing respectful relationships. Teachers are given autonomy to teach and through the proposal process, anyone can bring ideas to the entire zone community for approval and implementation. All suggestions are considered with respect. The zone's administration believes in innovative change in education with comprehensive engagement, so all seek mastery.
    • Science, Technology, Engineering, Math Ecosystem
    • Arts Integrated into STEM
    • Elementary Science Labs
    • Engineering Academy
    • Robotics and Technology

    POWER Zone Indicators


    Hundreds of families responded to the POWER Zone performance dashboard survey sent in late 2015. The zones administrators are using the information their families provided, as a way to create a zone that is the best place to learn, work, and lead within. The word "best" can be subjective. What does it mean to be the best in the eyes of our community? What indicators would evidence that we are "best?" Finding the answer to this question is exactly the point of the POWER Zone performance dashboard process. As a collaborative community, our zone is committed to creating school priorities that are very real and meaningful.

    In POWER Zone, each family's input is helping to drive zone-level educational decisions. Please browse our community created indicators to see how each directly supports your child’s ability to successfully leave POWER Zone career or college ready.
     
  •  Critical Thinking

    Critical Thinking

    Critical thinking refers to a person’s capacity and commitment to embark on an unbiased, self-guided, self-disciplined reflection of ideas and evaluation of concepts, while recognizing a need to understand multiple perspectives. In our zone performance dashboard survey, parents told us that the ability for their child to not only problem solve, but to also think critically while doing so, is very important.

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  •  Problem Solving

    Problem Solving

    Problem solving skills require our students to understand how to properly identify a problem, plan out how to solve it, follow that plan, and know what to do if they don’t find the solution right away. Regardless of the profession your child wants to attain after high school, he or she will need to be able to solve problems in a variety of ways. This zone indicator allows POWER Zone to support more learning environments and opportunities that teach students the ability to look at real life problems through different lenses and points of views.

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  •  School Climate

    School Climate

    When we mention school climate, we're referring to a school's quality and character, along with the values expressed during social interactions and organizational processes and structures. To ensure POWER Zone schools demonstrate a positive school climate, where there is a focus on developing quality and supportive stakeholders relationships, we will continue our unabated focus to bring a positive school culture into every single classroom.

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  •  49 Pathways

    49 Pathways

    To ensure POWER Zone students have the opportunity to choose, create and explore targeted academic and career pathways, we will continue to commit resources in this area at our secondary schools. We now have an individual career and academic plan coordinator and a dean of concurrent enrollment at Vista Ridge High School. Both of these positions provide evidence of our commitment to this area. More and more, teacher training is occurring in this area each semester, so that we can ensure we have the personnel and resources to support such an exciting and important endeavor.

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  •  Literacy

    Literacy

    Literacy is a process of reading, thinking critically and communicating around a variety of diverse and meaningful content. Through our POWER Zone performance dashboard survey, parents overwhelmingly explained their support for strong literacy skills. We couldn’t agree more. A child's future success rate across all core content areas has been closely related to their ability to read proficiently by third grade.

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  •  Safety and Security

    Safety & Security

    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 was universally seen throughout our performance dashboard survey as the most important indicator to our community. To ensure POWER Zone school environments are kept safe and orderly, we will continue to regularly garner input from our community.

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POWER Zone Leader

Dr. Mike Pickering

Phone: 719.494.8812

Email:

Degrees and Certifications:

Dr. Mike Pickering

Dr. Mike Pickering is the POWER Zone superintendent. Ahead of his appointment in June 2013, as the former curriculum, instruction, assessment and professional development administrator, he provided the zone with the leadership needed to make significant progress with innovation initiatives. Dr. Pickering brings a diverse range of educational leadership experiences. He has served as teacher, building level administrator and zone administrator for District 49. His formal education includes a Bachelor of Arts, a master's in curriculum and instruction and a doctorate in educational leadership, research and policy.

POWER Zone Schools

POWER Zone Updates

  • Please see the following document for additional information on the Power Zone's 2019-2020 SB191 Accountability. 

     

    Power Zone SB191 Accountability 19-20

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  • New elementary school coming to the POWER Zone in 2019  

    This new neighborhood elementary will add to District 49’s portfolio of schools through integration of the visual and performing arts with traditional academic standards to develop the passion and talents of all students. Scheduled to open in August of 2019, the school will serve the Banning Lewis Ranch area and surrounding neighborhoods. This school is the second of two new D49 elementary schools outlined in the Building Our Future Community plan, made possible by the voter approved 3B MLO of 2016.
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  • August 2015 Update

    Values: Climb with Care and Confidence * Create a Loyalty Effect * The Most Important Person in the World * Family First * Serving our Community

    Mission: Purposeful Risk * Ownership of Learning * Whole Child/Student Concept * Engaging Inquiry * Respectful Relationships

     

    Current and Ongoing Activity

     

    Primary Literacy

    Last May, at the completion of a Language Arts curriculum review and adoption process lead by Sherry Kyle, POWER Zone elementary schools began to plan professional development around new programming entitled Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA).  Two days of training occurred over July 30th and 31st.  K-5 teachers dove into the material and began a learning process to better understand how to best deliver these materials to a wide variety of learners.  The program was chosen primarily due to its strong explicit core phonics instruction, along with the relevancy and engagement of their reading passages.  This particular resource will align well with current benchmarking indicators and will provide the zone with the opportunity for whole zone collaboration around reading and writing instruction.

    D49 Pathways

    VRHS now has a dedicated lead Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP) advisor whose primary responsibility is to ensure a core group of selected teachers are continually trained in the development of ICAPs for every student.  Advisory will now have an ICAP focus at strategic points throughout the year.  No longer will ICAPs be a formulaic checklist with little to no differentiation per student.  The expectation at VRHS is that ICAPs will be targeted and supported a monthly basis for each and every student.      

    Assessment Work

    POWER Zone will now use Beacon Assessments in place of Scantron for ELA and Math in grades 2-8.  These assessments are aligned to on grade level material that has the most impact on student learning.  Beacon also creates a virtual concept math for each individual student that can then be tracked once the student takes the beginning of year assessment.  This will allow for further differentiation across classrooms and grade levels.  These assessments will also be used within the zone’s student growth portion of their evaluation model.

    POWER Zone Performance Surveys

    POWER Zone is asking students, parents, and staff to take 2 surveys at the beginning of this year in order to measure the effectiveness of their three main zone initiatives of ensuring a safe, collaborative, and learning focused environment for our staff and students, ensuring they offer curriculum and learning opportunities that are engaging, rigorous, and individualized, and finally ensuring they have the most effective educators possible in each and every classroom.  The Level 1 High Reliability Schools Certification process offered through Marzano Research will serve as a framework to measure how successful each stakeholder group believes POWER Zone is in implementing strategies to meet these initiatives.

     

    Upcoming/Other Activity


    Two main focuses of the POWER Zone this year are to track feedback from their High Reliability School and Performance Dashboard surveys.  Both surveys will serve as major components of their overall community feedback process.

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2016-2017 News

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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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2013-2014 News

  • Hundreds Gather for Patriot Learning Center Commencement

    Graduate Daniella Conway, 18, takes a seat after being awarded a $1,000 Coca-Cola scholarship during a commencement ceremony May 22 at Patriot Learning Center in Falcon School District 49.

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  • Spec. Ed. Students Walk Miniature Horses

    Sierra Jarmon, 16, a Mello Memories volunteer, walks a miniature horse with seventh-grader Raneisha Clay, 12, during a special education activity May 19 at Skyview Middle School in Falcon School District 49.

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  • 51 Honored at FVA Commencement

    Mikaela Lowry, 19, is recognized as Falcon Virtual Academy's first four-year student during a commencement ceremony May 16 at Falcon Virtual Academy in Falcon School District 49.

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  • Education Secretary Collaborates in Colorado for Military Children

    “Nervous but excited,” said 10th grader Leah Petrie, standing May 9 along the hallways at Falcon High School in Falcon School District 49. Soon, she’d help influence public education’s support for military children.

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  • District 49 BOE Honors HOSA Students at 'Fantastic 49'

    Eleventh grader Adrienne DeBauche, 17, discusses qualifying for the Health Occupations Students of America national leadership conference during a Board of Education meeting May 8 in Falcon School District 49.

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