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D49 Applauds Partnerships for Military-Connected Students

District leaders and board members saluted staff, students and local military installation representatives for their contributions to military-connected families during the Fantastic 49 presentation Nov. 12 before the monthly board of education meeting. Individuals from Fort Carson and Peterson-Schriever Garrison were in attendance to receive honors, and the U.S. Air Force Academy was recognized.

The evening kicked off by honoring staff and students who helped at the recent fall STEAM camps, which were made possible by a grant from the Department of Defense Education Activity. The camps hosted 65 students in grades K-8 during fall break and taught them how to problem solve in their daily lives.

“I saw students learning the principles behind computer programming, designing with virtual and augmented reality, and thinking about math and money in brand new ways,” said Mary Velasquez, IGNITE project manager.

Approximately 25% of all students in D49 are military-connected, and the district looks to military installations to provide letters of support for grants to support special programs. One of D49’s newest grants, Mission DNA (Deploying Numeracy Achievement): The Building Blocks of Mathematical Minds, is a direct benefit of such collaboration and will bring $1.5 million to D49 during the next five years to enhance mathematical professional development for elementary teachers.

“We appreciate the thanks and recognition tonight, but more importantly, we appreciate the continued partnership we have with District 49,” shared Col. James Smith on behalf of Peterson-Schriever Garrison. “We have many families that reside in District 49, and we greatly appreciate the dedication that you and your teachers bring to support military families each and every day.”

Fort Carson receives accolades for supporting military-connected families in D49. Melissa Koestler, VRHS teacher, is honored during Fantastic 49 for her contributions to the recent STEAM camps. Col. James Smith receives honors on behalf of Peterson-Schriever Garrison during Fantastic 49 Nov. 12.

Amy Matisek