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Douglas County School District has a pioneering spirit in the realm of choice. 

With the first charter school in Colorado in 1993 and the recent, first-in-the-country student scholarship program allowing students to use a portion of their per pupil funding to pay tuition at a menu of quality private schools in 2011, DCSD demonstrates a commitment to doing what is best for students – even when it is difficult.

DCSD believes that every student is unique with different interests, strengths and challenges. We also believe that no one understands the unique qualities of each of our students better than their parents. Therefore, DCSD is committed to partnering with parents in selecting the very best school and learning environment for their children.

DCSD is committed to choice at every level of our organization. In addition to school-to-school choices, we believe in choices within the classroom, choice pathways within a school, and even choices outside our own district, if they are best for our students. 

According to Dr. William Glasser, all people have four basic needs: the need for love/belonging, power, freedom and fun. Choice meets all four of these needs for our students and their families. In addition, choice (and competition) is an important part of continuous improvement. We learn from and are challenged by market forces associated with choice. We believe that DCSD has some of the best schools in Colorado, if not the country, and therefore, we are more than prepared to compete with anyone.No matter the choice, DCSD is committed to excellence. It makes no difference if parents choose an Artful Learning experience, an Expeditionary Learning experience, or an International Baccalaureate learning experience for their children, as all students will learn and develop the World Class outcomes and skills found in our new World Class Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum (GVC). There are many means available to DCSD students and all will deliver a world class education to all students. 

While DCSD has made great strides in choice, we recognize there is far more we can accomplish for our students, staff, parents and community. 

Read the Douglas County School District Strategic Plan
Choice in the Douglas County School District
Stories About Choice



Providing each child the maximum opportunity for success

-Communicating the unique qualities of each school to our students, staff, parents and community gives all students the highest probability for success

-Empowering every school to achieve their desired state provides many learning opportunities for students and synergy in our schools

Construction workers and the staff of American Academy gathered on Wednesday to celebrate a big milestone at the school’s newest campus in Parker.

girl using table saw

CASTLE ROCK— Douglas County School District’s Career & Technical Education (CTE) program is not your mother or father’s vocational education. CTE students are gaining hands-on experience in real-world scenarios, which helps raise student achievement.

Whether they are building robots, launching rockets, catering events or proposing advertising campaigns to local businesses, CTE students are gaining skills designed to help them get a great job in a field they love.

American Academy, a charter public school with a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) focus, as well as visual and performing arts programming and character development programming, broke ground on its third campus on November 30. The new American Academy – Lincoln Meadows campus, the school’s second campus located Parker, will be built near the intersection of Lincoln Meadows Parkway and Twenty Mile Road in Parker and is scheduled to open its doors in the fall of 2017.

Kim Hess standing with the C2E athletics teacher

PARKER - Mountain climber, Kim Hess, had to try and try again to achieve her childhood dream of summiting Mt. Everest.  Hess has survived 26 broken bones and the 2015 Nepali Earthquake while stationed at Base Camp 2 on Mt. Everest.  

Her first attempt to climb Mt. Everest ended in a tragedy for an entire country.  She stayed in Nepali for a month to help rebuild in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that killed nearly 9,000 people and injured nearly 22,000.  She returned in 2016 to complete her dream and successfully summit Mt Everest.

CASTLE ROCK – Douglas County School District’s (DCSD) open enrollment window begins November 1st for families interested in requesting enrollment at a school of their choice. The first round of open enrollment is not first-come, first-served, as families have until December 1st to complete this process.

Parents wishing to enroll their three & four year olds in DCSD preschools do not go through open enrollment. Preschool registration will take place in early January. Follow this link for more information.

New charter school expected to open in Fall 2017

CASTLE ROCK – A large group of eager parents and students gathered to break ground at the future site of Renaissance Secondary, Douglas County School District’s newest charter school, which is expected to open next fall.

Parker Core Knowledge Charter School logo

The U.S. Department of Education announced the 329 National Blue Ribbon Schools and Douglas County-based Parker Core Knowledge was on the list.

Jennifer Burgess

What started out as an idea for a new arts-oriented school four years ago by a small group of parents is finally becoming a reality this Monday, as 850 students begin their first day at the new Parker Performing Arts School (PPA).

LITTLETON—It was five years in the making. Finally, this summer, Roxborough Primary and Intermediate School principals Rick Kendall and Meghan Ofer received the news that the school has been authorized as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. Roxborough is now one of just three elementary level IB World Schools in the Douglas County School District.

Submitted by parent Jennifer Larson

PARKER—North Star Academy (NSA), a Douglas County School District (DCSD) tuition-free K-8 public charter school, announced several of its elementary and middle school students won the 2016 Colorado Congress of Foreign Language Teachers (CCFLT) video contest last month. The school celebrated the students at its annual Spanish Cultural Day.

Students enrolled in Douglas County High School’s (DCHS) International Baccalaureate (IB) dance program are getting an incredible opportunity this week-- one that no other students in the U.S. are receiving.

A new online tool is now available to help parents navigate Douglas County School District’s open enrollment process. 

Series begins Thursday, September 24 and is open to parents District-wide

Online courses offered through eDCSD, Douglas County School District’s own online school, are providing students and their families more flexibility, without sacrificing quality.

Today not much is at the corner of Twenty Mile Road and Ponderosa Drive in Parker. Soon, however, the Douglas County School District’s newest charter school, Global Village Academy, will replace the empty field.

Heritage Elementary School

HIGHLANDS RANCH – Through a partnership between the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Heritage Elementary students will get a hands-on opportunity to learn about native ecosystems and wildlife.

Academy Charter School Dean Yvette Brown

CASTLE ROCK – Science and social studies. Physical education and technology: Yvette Brown has taught it. Finance, operations and academic excellence: Yvette Brown is responsible for it. Greeting students as they walk into school every day: Yvette Brown’s favorite part of her job.

HOPE Online logo

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Jason Antonelli received straight A’s on his fifth-grade report card for the first time last year, and is on track to repeat the incredible accomplishment this year.

When you look at a mosaic, up close, it can be hard to see a pattern. It isn’t until you look at the artwork as a whole that you get a true appreciation of how all of the little pieces of stone or glass come together. The same might be said of the Mosaic Collective, a new learning model launched at Castle View High School, which aims at empowering students to lead their learning.

The Douglas County School District believes that we will provide our students with the highest probability of success by providing students, parents and our employees with choices and communicating the unique qualities of our many school communities.

Peter Pan performance at American Academy

CASTLE PINES – While students have been enjoying summertime and activities, the music department at American Academy Charter School has been undergoing a transformation in preparation for the rollout of a new Performing Arts department.

FCCLA logo

Douglas County, Highlands Ranch and Mountain Vista high schools had gold medal-winning performances.

DC Oakes Principal Mark Morgan with two students

CASTLE ROCK – Mark Morgan’s route to the principal’s desk wasn’t traditional, but perhaps that is what makes him such a great fit with the students he leads at DC Oakes High School.

American Academy hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for their new campus, which is opening in Parker later this month.

A convenient, flexible option is now available for adults and students in Douglas County who have an interest in bettering themselves through online courses.

One of the many options available in Douglas County schools is programming for highly gifted students whose needs exceed what can reasonably be expected from the regular school classroom.

In September 1993 a group of parents and teachers started Academy Charter School in a former grocery store in Castle Rock. The K–8 school opened its doors with 315 students of all educational abilities. Today Academy Charter School has an enrollment of 600 students in a 50,000 square foot building as well as an additional 150 students who attend the Home School Support Program. A total of 750 students are now educated by Academy Charter School.

eDCSD, the Colorado Cyber School is one more choice for Douglas County students.