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Adams 12 schools starts master plan process

`Elevate’ looks to build on schools’ successes


With graduation rates improving, better literacy test scores and a 2016 bond approval, Adams 12 Five Star school officials are beginning work on a new five-year master plan.

“We are not going to rewrite everything but we want to build on our success and look forward to the future,” said district spokesman Mark Poshak.

One goal is continue the academic success the district has been having, he said. Test scores are up and thanks to the $350 million bond voters approved in 2016, the school was able to dedicate new money to maintenance and improvements, Poshak said.

“We realized that only happened because we started early and engaged our community often, listening well and making sure everyone was on the same page,” Poshak said. “We want to replicate that success in how we think about our future.”

The bond has taken budgetary pressure off of the school district.

“Because of the generous voting by our community, we are able to now focus more on where we are heading,” he said. “Before, everything was maintenance driven and that we are providing safe and adequate buildings. Now that we have better funding for that, we are able to think about where we want to go next and what we really need.”


The district’s current master plan, POLARIS, was adopted in 2010, called out certain goals.

“We want to be at a better graduation rate at a certain time,” Poshak said. “We want to be higher than the state average on certain test scores. But it also had some strategies.”

It called for different pathways for students, create choice schools and improve community relations.

“We have set new goals from time to time since the, but we have not gone through this whole public process since then,” Poshak said.

The new process is called ELEVATE and began this month, with meetings on Nov. 1 and at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 8 at STEM Launch, at 9450 Pecos Drive in Thornton.

A third meeting is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. at Horizon High School and a fourth fall meeting is at 9 a.m. Dec. 8 at Thornton High School. The Dec. 8 session will be conducted in Spanish.

But the process is only beginning this fall. The current series of meetings are designed to take input from parents, community members and staff.

“The meetings are pretty much all the same, so people can take their pick,” he said. “The process is going to take all year, so the fall meetings are devoted to listening and learning. We will go through several steps the people who choose to come starting with stories.

“We want them to tell us their experiences, when the school did right and what came from that. We don’t want to just hear what they want for their classrooms. It start with who we are, our strengths and where we want to head.”

A team of 30 parents, principles, officials and community members will pour over that input this winter, coming back for a second round public meetings next spring.

“We’ll do a full day summit, where we invite 150, 200 people — parents, staff and all that,” he said. “We’ll look at what we’ve heard and ask them how we can achieve what people want.”

The team will take that feedback and put together a list of goals, priorities and outcomes designed to carry the school from 2022.

“Maybe we end up with a list of goals and tactics, but we don’t know right now,” Poshak said, “We don’t know right now, which makes it kind of exciting. But we’d like to present some ideas to the Board of Education at the end of the school year and then come back in August with a final plan.”

For More Information

Visit the Adams 12 Five Star’s master plan website, www.adams12.org/whatisELEVATE or elevate@adams12.org.


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