Best District to Learn, Work and Lead
District 49 will strive to be the best district to learn, work and lead. All three of those priorities are critical. To be the best place to learn, the district must offer lots of different options for lots of different students, so students will choose to focus their educational experience around programs and schools best suited for their needs. To be a great place to work, District 49 is committed to attracting excellent staff members, talented teachers and top administrators. The district is an even better place to work when it's an awesome place to live. District 49 wants to be the best district for leaders, so that aspiring principals and veteran program administrators want to apply their leadership skills to its problems and opportunities. When the district is the best place to learn, work and lead, then it will attract learners, workers and leaders who want to be part of District 49, and who will continue to make it an outstanding district.School District 49’s board-approved strategic plan provides unified vision, goals and strategies to prepare students to achieve like never before. Its strategic plan is organized around a a big rocks metaphor. If the district identifies and focuses on what's most important – its big rocks of trust, community, best district, portfolio of schools and every student – and then adds other things around them, the medium-sized rocks, and finally works in the pebbles, everything better fits together. District 49 has applied this metaphor in its strategic plan, which identifies the district's Big Rocks. These strategic initiatives will be emphasized over the upcoming years, representing the district’s commitment to its community. These five rocks are its foundation for building an excellent future with its staff, students and greater community.
About 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.
District 49 spans 133 square miles of urban and rural areas in Colorado, covering northeast Colorado Springs and the Falcon area of El Paso County. The district's central office is located at 10850 E. Woodmen Road in Peyton, Colo. As the fastest growing school district in the Pikes Peak region, it's currently serving more than 21,000 students within its portfolio of schools. The district offers school of choice options.
District 49 is led by three chief officers rather than a single superintendent. The chief education officer, chief business officer and chief operations officer work collaboratively together, and directly with, department directors who are staffed with activity coordinators and specialists.
- Peter Hilts, CEO
- Brett Ridgway, CBO
- Pedro Almeida, COO
Falcon Zone Overview
Falcon Zone has a strong tradition that dates back to 1900. That tradition carries on today with six highly successful schools. Falcon Zone offers the following programs: Academy of Health Sciences, Academy of Finance, Academy of Information and Technology, Air Force JROTC, FBLA, Distributive Education Clubs of America, Link Crew, National Honor Society, Student-to-Student program and many others. The zone offers more than 20 advanced placement and CU Succeed classes. Its schools have performed well on CMAS and SAT.
While the Falcon Zone greatly honors tradition, we also embrace that our learners today deserve a different learning experience from yesteryear—one that will prepare them to be successful in our ever-changing world.
Through Empower Falcon Zone (EmpowerFZ), we aim to empower our learners by offering three main things:
- Engaging Environments
- Enhanced Opportunities
- Elevated Instruction
We want our students to have more voice and choice in their education. We desire to cater more to their interests and needs, while at the same time providing them with unique, challenging, expanded and blended learning opportunities.
Our logo is that of a simple propeller which captures students’ passions. We see students as pilots and when they graduate into the community, they will be fully prepared to pilot their lives toward new horizons and with a passion to make a positive difference in the world.
We began our first cohort of EmpowerFZ teachers in 2018. We are excited to be on this innovative journey with our students!
Where we've been and where we are going
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.
Sand Creek Zone Overview
The plan for Sand Creek Zone schools was developed during the 2016-2017 school year over a number of forums with community members, teachers, students, and parents. Educational leaders across the zone also provided valuable input. In addition, goals were developed in response to staff and parent survey results compiled during the 2016-2017 school year.Sand Creek Zone PlanThink of the Sand Creek Zone plan this way...the vital work we do every day, no matter the assignment, drives student success. Each member of the Sand Creek Zone team engages in service for our learners,. parents, and community in some way, shape, or form. Every staff member helps create a work environment that is healthy and stimulating. Our schools will continue to innovate and grow in purposeful fashion.Our goals address four pillars...Student Success, People, Service, and Innovation/Growth. We have defined strategic actions aligned with each of the pillars and goals and measures to assess our performance.
iConnect Zone Overview
The iConnect Zone has reinvented educational environments that inspire individuals’ peak potential. In iConnect, faculty interconnect effective educational systems, which inspire individuals to their learning potential, investigate and implement best educational practices that lead students to success, invest in students by challenging and developing citizens that compete in a global society, invent settings and systems that empower individuals’ learning, leadership and life. The zone strives to inspire individuals with meaningful challenges and surround them with nurturing support to achieve ambitious goals.
- Online and Blended Learning
- Credit Recovery
- Alternative Learning
- Homeschool Enrichment
- Personalized Diploma Pathway
- Tuition-free Charter Schools