Whiteout and blizzard conditions caused the closure of several roads in the Pikes Peak region March 24. U.S. Highway 24 was closed in both directions from Constitution Avenue in Colorado Springs to Interstate 70 in Limon for several hours during the morning commute.
Four community meetings were held in early March to discuss the most efficient use of the new school to be built in Falcon Zone. Watch the meeting held at Falcon Middle School.
District 49 school nurses report an increase in illness in our community and throughout District 49.
Published Jan. 13, this edition of the Dispatch highlights work beginning after the passage of ballot issue 3B, an award from Rocky Mountain Performance Excellence and successes in the classrooms across the district.
District 49 Board of Education directors unanimously approved, 5-0, a charter school application Jan. 12 for Colorado’s first military academy. “I’m looking forward to this school,” said Kevin Butcher, District 49 Board of Education treasurer. “I think it will be a great addition to our district’s strong military tradition and our portfolio of schools.”
Due to high winds across the region, and high profile vehicle safety restrictions issued for El Paso County by the Colorado Department of Transportation, District 49 school buses will not run this afternoon, Monday, Jan. 9.
Due to extremely cold wind chill temperatures early Friday morning, a two-hour delay has been called for Friday, Jan. 6. The air temp and wind chill will increase dramatically once the sun comes up.
Winter weather communications survey for the closure is now available.
"District 49's values to innovate and be creative are supported by a systematic approach for stimulating innovation and determining intelligent risks," said Dr. Jim Walker, Rocky Mountain Performance Excellence managing director. "They employ systematic processes to collect and use data to drive performance, to listen to customers and to support their workforce."
Due to contractual obligations with Swire Coca-Cola, District 49 is no longer able to offer free bottled water with the purchase of a school meal. A 4-ounce juice box will be available at no charge as an alternative to milk. Students are encouraged to bring reusable water containers from home.
Wind chill values early Thursday will be between -14° and -22°F through 7:30 am. A two-hour delay will keep students out of the coldest part of the day.
Winter weather survey now available. Click title for the survey link.
View the construction progress of Banning Lewis Preparatory Academy, District 49's first charter high school, scheduled to open for the 2017-2018 school year.
“The partnership between a strong school district and an engaged community cannot be overstated,” said LaVere-Wright. “We thank our community for participating in the process and choosing to invest in District 49 as we provide a world-class education for the next generation.”
"This is a long term strategy," said Gene Hammond, transportation director. "It will take many years for our entire fleet to be entirely seat belt equipped, but we have targeted our trip buses, those most likely to travel on high speed roads and into the mountains, as our priority for equipping with seat belts."
Volume 1, number 2 features homecoming game activities at the three large high schools and featured stories across the district.
The District 49 Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution of support for El Paso County ballot issue 3B in a 5-0 vote during its monthly meeting Oct. 13. “I’m proud of all the work that has gone into this,” said Marie LaVere-Wright, BOE president, prior to the vote. “I believe this will do a great deal of good in our community, furthering our investment, taking care of what we have without raising taxes.”
District 49 and its schools will recognize Sept. 17, 2016 as National Constitution Day.
The District 49 Board of Education approved Aug. 24 ballot language for the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder's Office.
The District 49 Dispatch is a community newspaper published quarterly by the District 49 communications department through a partnership with the Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group.
Beginning Monday, June 6, free breakfast is available at Evans International Elementary School in support of District 49’s summer reading program. The free breakfast is part of the USDA summer food service program. Breakfast will be provided to all children, ages 1-18, for free.
The District 49 Board of Education approved May 12 the first school district policy in Colorado to allow the therapeutic administration of cannabinoid products on school property.
Opening fall of 2016, Pikes Peak Early College uses online and blended learning, coupled with early college opportunities that foster college and career readiness through flexible and individualized pathways, to empower academic leaders.
Expect a sloppy morning commute with wet spring snow and a rain/snow mix in District 49 Friday, April 29.
A custodian in District 49 was arrested April 26 after sending inappropriate messages to an undercover investigator posing as a minor.
District 49 leaders are discussing a policy that would allow the compassionate administration of cannabinoid products on school property, in a controlled location, by the student’s primary caregiver or a medical professional employed to assist the qualified student.
Imagine Classical Academy and Rocky Mountain Classical Academy are on a two-hour delay. Literacy Camp starts at 8:30 a.m. KAGAN training will begin at 10 a.m. Champions and Kids Corner are on their normal two-hour delay schedules.
Imagine Classical Academy, Rocky Mountain Classical Academy and the spring break literacy camp are closed Wednesday, March 23, due to wind warnings and snow forecasts in District 49.
Please dress appropriately for the wintry weather. Allow additional time to travel today and drive at slower speeds for the winter conditions. Some District 49 buses may run a little behind schedule.
“Falcon has done an amazing job of aligning resources, being transparent and accounting for all resources,” said Lisa Escarcega, chief accountability officer for Aurora Public Schools. “It’s an amazing process that they’ve gone through. They can certainly give a great deal of insight about what that looks like there and what implementation would look like here.”
"Falcon thrives under the new system of student-based budgeting, where school leaders control how money is spent and per-pupil dollars follow children to the school of their choice."
Calendar approval for 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 school years aligns professional development days across the district's zones.
Four schools entered a lockout status Feb. 9 in District 49. The lockouts lasted almost 40 minutes, as police activity developed in the POWER Zone area of District 49.
District 49’s Board of Education held a special meeting Feb. 5 to address a grievance filed by a Falcon High School parent. After hearing several parents voice concerns about the district’s school accountability committee processes, and its handling of graffiti removed from the high school grounds, Marie LaVere-Wright, president, offered a statement.
Road assessment teams report plows have been through a number of neighborhoods overnight, but recognize that some roads are still untouched. We know some areas are still very difficult and a number of students will not be able to attend. Teachers will be extra accommodating to students who are absent Thursday—respecting the reality of road conditions and parent decisions.
The District 49 operations office is renting a front-end loader to remove the snow from campuses. “We won’t be able to clear the snow without one,” Jilek said. In some cases, main entrance and emergency exit doors are buried under six foot snowdrifts.
In the words of Phil Conners, "Do you ever have déjà vu, Mrs. Lancaster?"
CLOSED: Monday, Feb. 1 due to the expected deterioration of weather conditions during the day on Monday that will result in hazardous travel across District 49.
State mandated testing windows open soon in District 49. Learn more about how test results are used and the district's exemption procedure.
District 49's GOAL Academy enrollment is up by 811 students over last year, for a statewide total of 4,070.
One of two first of its kind schools in the state, District 49 and James Irwin Charter Schools have partnered to bring Power Technical Early College to the Pikes Peak Region. The school will serve grades 6-14. Students can earn a free associates degree in applied science while earning high school diploma.
Winter weather communications survey results are posted. In general, there was disagreement with the decision to remain on normal schedule.
Building Our Future Community: Without raising taxes, the plan includes: 1) A major remodel/additions at the three largest high schools 2) renovate and refresh all schools 3) more competitive teacher salaries and 4) two new elementary schools.
Weather forecasts show wind increasing between 5:30 a.m. and 7 a.m. to 30 mph and continuing at 20-35mph through early afternoon. Due to the blowing and drifting that is already occurring, and that will likely continue with the forecasted wind, our crews can not prep some of our school campuses for the safe arrival of students, parents and staff today.
“PARCC allows us to analyze the data on a standard by standard basis to measure the effectiveness of our instruction,” said Amber Whetstine, learning services executive director. “It will help us identify areas where students are not fully mastering concepts and refine our instruction to address their needs. For students that have mastered the standards, teachers can continue to challenge those learners to reach a greater depth of knowledge.”
District 49 transportation and facilities team members that have been out working at campuses and evaluating road conditions recommend a normal schedule. We urge our young student drivers, parents/guardians and employees to leave a little extra commute time this morning and allow extra space between vehicles as always during winter driving conditions.
Marie LaVere-Wright was unanimously elected School Board president and David Moore unanimously elected School Board vice-president at a special meeting Nov. 18.
440 students, parents, community members and staff participated in the winter weather communications survey for the Nov. 16-17 winter storm.
Getting Smart names District 49 one of 30 districts that are "changing their community trajectory by working on blended, personalized and competency-based learning"
A fast moving storm may bring the first snow to northern portions of District 49 early Wednesday. Everyone will get colder and very windy.
District 49 residents approved Nov. 3 the election of Board of Education members by geographical representation, as well as two board candidates.
"In the last two cycles, we have been able to absorb revenue increases within the district general fund budget and not pass on any cost increases to employees. With other general fund revenue pressures this year, we recognize the employees will have to share in creating the needed revenue increase," said Shannon Hathaway, risk and benefits manager.
From Sept. 1, 2015, to Aug. 31, 2016, all kids in the fourth grade have access to their own Every Kid in a Park pass. This pass provides free access to national parks, national forests and national wildlife refuges.
The annual 30 day carry-over grace period for families who qualified for free and reduced meals during the 2014-2015 school year ends Sunday, Sept. 13. Any student that doesn't have a current application for the 2015-2016 school year will be removed from the program Sunday night, September 13 and must pay full-price for any meals beginning Monday, Sept. 14.
When the call for nominations to serve on the Board of Education closed Aug. 28, District 49’s designated election official had received completed packets, including at least 50 registered voter signatures, from two candidates.
In 1986, the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act was signed into law requiring all public and non-profit private K-12 schools to inspect for the presence of asbestos containing building materials. P.H. Ricker completed the initial inspection on District 49 schools in September 1988, and Praxis Environmental Technologies continues to monitor.
"SBB extends Colorado’s established system of 'local control' beyond district headquarters to decision-makers closer to individual students," said author Ben DeGrow. "It also bolsters parental choice, by directing more dollars to follow students directly to where they learn. District 49 has developed the state's most robust system of SBB...the low-funded district gradually has unveiled a system that significantly expands the potential to serve individual student needs through greatly empowered local decision-making."
District 49 will no longer provide unlimited alternative meals to elementary school students who do not have money. Starting Sept. 15, elementary students will be allowed to acquire a negative balance for up to three breakfasts and three lunches. After that, they will be provided with three complimentary meals.
The Board of Education approved a resolution to place a question on the November ballot giving the voters the option to ensure local representation on the District 49 School Board.
The Colorado Department of Education released July 16 the second year results of the Colorado Measures of Academic Standards. District 49 leaders interpret the results as the baseline for future tests.
The District 49 team wishes its students and staff a safe and happy summer, and we look forward to seeing you Tuesday, Aug. 4. Sixth and ninth graders will attend orientation activities across District 49 Monday, Aug. 3.
Beginning June 1, free breakfast will be available at Evans International Elementary School in support of District 49’s summer reading program.
A District 49 employee was arrested May 22, on suspicion of sexual assault on a child while in a position of trust.
Saturday, May 23 is District 49 graduation day at the World Arena. If you can't make it to the commencement ceremonies, a live stream of each graduation can be accessed on the D49.org homepage. There will be a blue banner on the top of the district homepage and on the homepage of each high school as their ceremony gets set to begin.
To offer our student athletes the best possible facilities and equipment, participation fees will increase starting in the 2015-2016 school year.
The District 49 Board of Education approved an increase in wages for staff and approved adding additional district security resources. “Attracting and retaining high quality and effective instructors is a top strategic priority for our district,” said Brett Ridgway, chief financial officer, “And our teachers are getting a sizeable bump in compensation for the 2015-2016 school year.”
The school-based health center located at Falcon Elementary School of Technology will remain open throughout the summer. The summer of 2015 hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
A school bus carrying 16 students got into an early morning traffic accident May 4 in Colorado Springs. The accident occurred at 6:58 a.m. on the intersection of Peterson Road and Pony Tracks Drive. The bus driver was headed southbound on Peterson Road in District 49, while a passenger car driver was quickly moving westbound in a school zone on Pony Tracks Dive. The passenger car rushed through a red light and veered into oncoming traffic.
The District 49 school nutrition teams enjoy the opportunity to nourish each child’s life with healthy meals. As part of a self-funded program, they need help from parents to wrap up the school year and close the books. In May, they must stop allowing elementary school children to purchase meals without money.
Due to weather and road conditions, District 49 is closed Friday, April 17.
The District 49 Board of Education approved new job descriptions and took action on a school boundary change.
The new Falcon Zone leader says that maintaining and enhancing a positive culture is extremely important in high performing organizations. “I am people-oriented,” said Roark, “I know that deep, reciprocal relationships lead to greater success.”
Each year, school districts in Colorado report school performance to the community. This information is accessible on the Colorado Department of Education website. For your convenience in accessing District 49 and individual school performance data, instructions are provided.
The District 49 Board of Education took action March 12 on a name change for Falcon Virtual Academy and approved a new job description for improved concurrent enrollment support. They also recognized volunteers, staff and students.
Feb 23-27 featured one closure and 3 two-hour delays due to winter weather.
“Andy brings a combination of local expertise and state-level leadership that will help District 49 fulfill our commitment to be the best place to learn, work, and lead,” said Peter Hilts, chief education officer.
Wind chills early Friday will be below -18° in parts of District 49 early Friday. At a wind chill of -18°, exposed skin can get frostbite in as little as 30 minutes.
Several inches of snow by early Thursday will cause roads across District 49 to become icy and snow packed.
Schools scheduled for testing today will still test and are also on two-hour delay.
District 49 is closed Monday, Feb. 23, due to heavy snow accumulation and wind chills.
The District 49 Board of Education approved a charter applicant withdrawal and new courses at Sand Creek High School.
This isn't a particularly cold storm and combined with our recent record warmth, there is a little uncertainty with respect to how the roads will handle the snow. By sunrise Feb. 11, low temperatures should range from 25 or 26 degrees in Falcon Zone in the northern stretches of the district to between 30 and 32 degrees in Sand Creek Zone and the southern fetch of District 49. We will monitor road conditions early Wednesday morning. If there are a few areas that end up with some slush or snowpack, with the storm moving on and sun coming out road conditions will improve noticeably during the day.
"They are affirming their faith in District 49 as a financially solid organization with good financial standing and good financial practices," said Brett Ridgway, chief financial officer.
The District 49 Board of Education approved amended 2014-2015 budgets and discussed standards based grading Jan. 28 during a special meeting.
The winter weather communications survey for the two-hour delay is now open.
At some point Tuesday morning, drier air will work from the spine of the Palmer Divide on the north end of the district to lower elevations. As this happens, the fog will break up and conditions will improve. While some parts of the district may have improving conditions early Tuesday morning, other areas may still have very low visibility combined with roads that continue to be icy and snowpacked. A two-hour delay on Tuesday morning should allow for conditions to improve across the district. We will continue to monitor forecast information overnight.
Drifting snow is making it difficult to keep roads and school campuses clear in northern and eastern portions of the district. Under these conditions, our busses will not be able to deliver students to school on time, even with a two-hour delay. We anticipate parents and guardians may find road conditions too hazardous for travel in these areas.
Take the winter weather survey about the decision for today's weather event. See survey results through 12:00 p.m.
The District 49 Board of Education approved Jan. 8 new manufacturing courses, a charter applicant withdrawal and a refinancing resolution. They also honored scholars, volunteer and wellness initiatives.
Temperatures will be in the teens and twenties. Fog and flurries are expected. There is an outside possibility that freezing drizzle could develop.
Monday evening snow with more snow expected over parts of the district early Tuesday. Wind will increase dramatically Tuesday morning and may create areas of hazardous travel.
The District 49 Board of Education approved Dec.11 a new course at Falcon High School, after recognizing staff and students.
Provide feedback for the planning of Falcon Regional Park, a 215-acre park that will be located near Falcon High School. The survey is open until Dec. 12.
The District 49 Board of Education approved high school course updates and a resolution to recognize American Education Week.
The call was made just prior to 9 p.m., Nov. 12, and parents and local media were quickly updated. Across the district, wind chill values early in the morning ranged between -15 and -25 degrees Fahrenheit.
District 49 delayed its educational services Nov. 12 due to cold weather conditions.
“The single most important factor to a child’s educational success is an excellent teacher in the classroom,” said Peter Hilts, District 49 chief education officer, after early coordinated election results were released Nov. 4.
The Department of Justice has entered a comprehensive settlement agreement with District 49 to resolve complaints about the district’s response to racial harassment and discrimination.
The District 49 Board of Education approved Oct. 9 several policies, as well as a resolution of support for the school finance request headed to the November ballot.
In an effort to help some of our struggling readers, we are asking you to donate any gently used books that you may have in your home.
During fall break, District 49 will upgrade its student information system servers, causing parent and student portals to be unavailable for two days.
The District 49 Board of Education approved resolutions and a new job description Sept. 11 during a monthly meeting.
The District 49 Board of Education approved Aug. 18 ballot language for the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder's Office.
The District 49 Board of Education will hold a special meeting Aug. 18 to finalize ballot language for a school finance plan.
The Colorado Department of Education released Aug. 14 the final student assessments of the state’s standardized tests taken by students last spring. While District 49 showed a dip, leadership is optimistic.
The District 49 Board of Education approved July 22 a charter school application and continued discussion on ballot language.
The District 49 Board of Education approved July 10 two job descriptions and an intent to be included on the November ballot.
The District 49 Board of Education approved June 25 several job description changes at a special meeting.
District 49 has scheduled several town hall events in April, providing venues for parents, guardians and stakeholders to voice their capital planning priorities.
Fifth grader Roddy Lewis of Ridgeview Elementary School was selected as the 2014-2015 school year Colorado ambassador for the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.
"We are disturbed by the decline in our third grade reading results," said Peter Hilts, chief education officer in District 49, reacting to Transitional Colorado Assessment Program scores released today.
The District 49 Board of Education approved May 8 a charter school rubric and increased meal costs.
The District 49 Board of Education approved June 12 a raise in employee compensation and an advanced learning facilitator position. The directors also continued their discussions about the district’s ongoing school finance campaign.