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. By learning, working, and leading, we will prepare students, in a safe and caring environment, to be successful, competent and productive citizens in a global society.
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 a Superintendent, Peter Hilts, who supervises offices focused on business, operations, and education. The Superintendent works collaboratively with department directors and teams staffed with activity coordinators and specialists.
Falcon Zone has a strong tradition that dates back to 1900. That tradition carries on today with six highly successful schools: Falcon High, Falcon Middle, Falcon Elementary School of Technology, Woodmen Hills Elementary, Meridian Ranch Elementary, and Bennett Ranch Elementary. You can learn more about our history, traditions, and our vision for modern personalized learning here below.
Falcon Zone offers the following programs: Academy of Health Science, Academy of Finance, Academy of Information 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 performed well on CMAS and SAT.
While the Falcon Zone greatly honors tradition, we also embrace that our leaders 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 (Empower FZ), we aim to empower our learners by offering three main things:
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.
POWER Zone Overview
The POWER Zone is comprised of six unique and excellent schools across the northwest portion of District 49: Vista Ridge High School, Skyview Middle School, Inspiration View Elementary School, Ridgeview Elementary School, ALLIES, and Odyssey Elementary School. Although each POWER Zone school is unique, we are guided by a shared vision, mission, and values.
POWER Zone values apply to students, staff, and families and they include prioritizing: family, service, trust, relationships, purposeful innovation, and continuous growth.
POWER Zone leaders, teachers, and support staff function to ensure a safe and collaborative culture, effective teaching in every classroom, and a guaranteed and viable curriculum. Research-based resources are utilized in our work. The Capturing Kids' Heart process provides an inspiring relational framework that is used across our six campuses. Marzano's High Reliability Schools framework and the New Art & Science of Teaching instructional framework provide processes, elements, and strategies that promise a strong focus on teaching and learning and an excellent educational experience for every student.
The Sand Creek Zone
The Sand Creek Zone is located at the southern end of District 49. Our zone includes Evans Elementary, Horizon Middle, Remington Elementary, Sand Creek High School, Springs Ranch Elementary and Stetson Elementary. The Sand Creek Zone is made up of 5 Title 1 schools, receiving federal funding to support academic achievement and growth. We also offer a Dual Language Immersion opportunity at Stetson elementary, beginning with Kindergarten and 1st grade, that is only available in District 49. Many of our schools truly embody the Community School model, utilizing our community partners, resources and volunteers to bring a well rounded education to our students and families. Josten's Renaissance is a cornerstone of the Sand Creek Zone; we believe that building relationships is critical to high-achieving schools and that students and staff must feel connected to their work in order to succeed. We are dedicated to student success, service to our community, dedication to our people and constant innovation and growth.
The Sand Creek Zone holds instruction in high regard. We believe all teachers should provide great instruction, every day. Our instructional framework came from a collaboration of all zone instructional coaches as well as feedback from our administration team. This framework is visible in each classroom in the Sand Creek Zone and guides our observations and evaluations of what good instruction looks like.
Instructional Framework: The Sand Creek Zone is committed to building collective efficacy by intentionally fostering a student-centered culture with clear instructional expectations focused on student success.
Culture: positive relationships, clear routines, explicit expectations with accountability, engagement, and recognition
Instruction: Data-driven decisions, viable curriculum, intentional, collaborative planning, explicit core instruction and intervention, language-rich environment
Success: Student growth and achievement is vital, clarity of learning intention and success criteria, effective use of instructional time, timely feedback, growth mindset, and peer collaboration
We offer many certifications and certificates that students can earn prior to graduating high school with a focus on Business, Manufacturing, Computer Science, Engineering, Graphic Design, Personal Training, and Health & Exercise Science pathways for students to explore. We are excited to be adding Criminal Justice starting in the Winter of 2024. We offer a wide variety of college courses at Sand Creek High School, supporting the most CE students in the district with many of them earning 1-2 years of free college courses prior to graduation. We also have brought on AVID at the high school level to move our students from the middle to higher-achieving courses, mindsets and growth.
The Sand Creek Zone leads the way in Community and Family Engagement. We have 5 Family Engagement Liaisons for our Title 1 schools; these liaisons provide resources, plan events and connect with our families to add value to the work of our schools. We host the only food and clothing pantry, the Community Resource Center, at Horizon Middle School, which is open to all families in D49. We provide many opportunities for Adult and Family Education with our Parent Academies, resource fairs, and Sand Creek Zone partner meetings. We know the value of partnering with our families and community and strive to enhance and maintain those partnerships.
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 Education
- Tuition-free Charter Schools